Government removes highway signs encouraging drivers to work from home during solar eclipse

'It is our expectation that all provincial staff and employees operate as usual on April 8'

Government removes highway signs encouraging drivers to work from home during solar eclipse

Digital messages on signs that lined Ontario’s 400-series highways, encouraging drivers to work from home on Monday, April 8, have been removed by the Doug Ford government.

The highway signs advised drivers to telework on Monday due to the total solar eclipse that will see parts of Canada go dark between 3:18pm ET and 5:12pm NT. “Skip traffic: telework,” the Ministry of Transportation signs read.

However, the message was not approved by senior political figures, and the signs have been taken down, according to the government.

“The signs posted were not approved and were put up independently by officials,” a spokesperson for the ministry told Global News. “The signs have since been taken down, and it is our expectation that all provincial staff and employees operate as usual on April 8.”

Just recently, Premier Ford called on the federal government to bring federal workers back to the office in Ottawa at least three days a week to help boost economic activity in the city.

Schools close doors for the eclipse

The provincial government continues to emphasize that the rare celestial event should not disrupt day-to-day operations in Ontario. However, a number of school boards have amended their schedules for the day due to safety concerns.

Several school boards have changed the dates for professional development days so students will be off on the day of the eclipse but back in class on a different day to accommodate the change. Meanwhile, other schools will dismiss students early before the sky goes dark.

The Ontario school boards that will make amendments for the eclipse include:

  • Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB)
  • Halton District School Board (HDSB)
  • Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB)
  • Peel District School Board (PDSB)
  • Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB)
  • Durham District School Board (DDSB)
  • Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB)
  • Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNC Catholic)

Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce previously made headlines for condoning a rearranged day for the eclipse but not the cancelation of school or reduction in hours with no accommodation.

“The safety of children is most important, school boards have the prerogative to use PD days if they want,” he said, adding he was “comfortable” with the move. “What I don’t support is closing schools without giving access to children to their educators. I am not comfortable with school boards unilaterally closing schools without an alternative for parents who have to work.”

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