Ontario Premier Doug Ford was adamant, when he was asked why ski hills should remain closed this winter.

"My friends, this is serious," he said, during a media briefing last Friday.

"What I wouldn't want to see is people in the hot zones -- there's a lot of skiers and snowboarders here (Toronto) -- that would travel up there to get away," he continued.

While people are being encouraged to get outside and get active during the pandemic, the community-run ski hills in Kenora and Dryden have been closed since last spring. The mild weather has also made snowmaking difficult. 

"When this is over, I encourage everyone to go visit Kenora. It's one of the most beautiful places we have in our province, but right now we have to hunker down. I just can't stress this enough. When you see the modelling, it's going to be a real wake-up call," the premier continued.

For the first time, the number of new daily cases in Ontario pushed past 4,000 last week.

During the same briefing, the premier noted the province has made more than $660 million in aid available to businesses, as they try to weather the pandemic. However, Ford said he didn't understand why only a fraction of the money had been distributed.

For more information:

Municipal closures continue under extended lockdown

Premier says millions of vaccine doses coming in spring