Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19

Sustained Measures Necessary to Stop the Spread and Protect Public Health

Ontario government decides to extend ‘state of emergency’

“During these unprecedented times, we cannot let our guard down. The actions being taken by everyone to stay home and practice physical distancing are making a difference, but we are not out of the woods yet.”                                                                         – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A COVID-19 Update from the Office of Ontario’s Premier

Posted April 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO ― On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days.

This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario legislature and with the full cooperation of all parties, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until May 12.

The extension of the provincial declaration of emergency allows Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as the closure of all non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities such as parks and recreational areas, public places and bars and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and prohibitions against price-gouging.

A full list of emergency orders can be found on the-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

“During these unprecedented times, we cannot let our guard down. The actions being taken by everyone to stay home and practice physical distancing are making a difference, but we are not out of the woods yet,” said Premier Ford.

“With the support of every Ontario MPP, we continue to take any and all actions necessary to support our frontline health care workers and respond rapidly and decisively to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”

We will have to go on doing this for a while.

The legislature also passed the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act to amend the Education Act, Planning Act, Development Charges Act, Police Services Act and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act. This new legislation demonstrates that the government is actively listening to the concerns of education and municipal stakeholders during this COVID-19 emergency.

“This legislation is about protecting the health and economic interests of Ontarians,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We will do whatever it takes to get through this challenge ― most especially for the next generation ― so that students continue learning and graduating.”

The amendments to the Education Act will allow school boards to continue charging fees on new construction in order to retain a vital source of revenue for new school projects.

School classrooms have been empty since the beginning of the March break in Ontario and will stay that way, possibly through the summer unless the province, ini concert with school boards, attempt to open public schools in the weeks ahead

The bill also includes an amendment to provide a fair and consistent provincewide approach to addressing school suspensions and expulsions as part of the government’s commitment to the safety of students and staff upon the reopening of schools.

The changes to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act will temporarily suspend student loan payments for OSAP borrowers and initiate a six-month interest-free moratorium on OSAP loans.

“We are taking action to ease the financial burden for students and current borrowers during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “By temporarily suspending loan repayments and interest accrual, our government is providing immediate support for OSAP borrowers during these challenging times.”  

The government is making it possible to suspend certain municipal planning decision timelines during the state of emergency, and change the Development Charges Act to ensure municipalities can continue to count on a vital source of revenue that helps pay for local growth-related infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewers as well as fire and police services.

The amendments to the Police Services Act also allow the Solicitor General to give municipalities an extension beyond January 1, 2021 to prepare and adoptcommunity safety and well-being plan.

“Nothing is more important than protecting the health and well-being of all individuals and families,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We have listened to our municipal partners and made these changes to help them better manage staff time and resources so they can focus on the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“In these unprecedented times, our government is doing everything in its power to support our municipal, policing and community partners,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “While Community Safety and Well-Being Plans are an important tool for municipalities to keep our communities safe, we need them to focus on allocating resources where they are needed most right now, and that is to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Background Information

Ontario Supporting Education Sector, Students, and Municipalities During COVID-19 Outbreak

Additional Resources

Learn at Home

Learn About how the Government is Supporting People, Businesses and Families during COVID-19

Ontario government decides to extend ‘state of emergency’

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

One response to “Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19

  1. Gary Screaton Page

    Please, Don’t Quit Now!
    Unless you were born before 1952 you are not likely to remember the pandemic of 1957. I was 15 and in grade ten at the time. The population in Canada, then, was only 16,561,263. Today it is over 37 million: roughly double. That year, the Asian Flu, aka “the oriental flu”, thought to have originated in northern China in February, had by Fall arrived in Canada. As I went to school each day, I entered classrooms with only four or five other students in them. Over half the teachers in my high school were ill. Classes were combined because supply teachers were ill, too.
    I have no recollection, despite reports I have read to the contrary, of school closures. Nor do I recall the closure of businesses either. There were no orders to stay home, and certainly, there were no social distancing requirements of two metres or more. Before this flu had abated in the Spring of 1958, 2000 Canadians and an estimated 2 million people worldwide, were dead!
    Today things are different. All except essential businesses are closed as are all schools and almost all daycares. There are also orders to stay home and to observe social distancing requirements of two metres or more.
    Now, consider this. Please, think hard on this! Canada’s population is twice what it was in 1957. We have safety guidelines in place. Yes, they are a challenge. They certainly are inconvenient and they are creating many hardships. Both of which the generation born since the 60s have not directly experienced on a national scale. However, I do remember how sick people got in ’57-’58. I also know how much my own brother suffered, unable to walk for some time without steel braces on his legs as a result of the polio epidemic in 1937. Most of us in the 50s will recall others who wore similar braces as a result of the same plague. We also remember the need for iron lungs! Again, there were not the restrictions we are being asked to observe today.
    However, though having twice the population then, Canada currently has half the deaths it had with the Asian Flu. Under 1957-58 conditions we could quite easily have four thousand or more. Yet, we don’t! Why? Social distancing, staying home, keeping only essential businesses open is working.
    Yes, these are difficult times. Seeing those we love, suffer and die is a lot more difficult I assure you. Please, stay home unless you absolutely must go out. Keep your distance. Save a life: maybe your own.
    Please, don’t quit now!


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