Premier Doug Ford announced today that the Ontario government has introduced legislation to give them the ability to lift the provincial declaration of emergency while continuing some emergency orders.
The goal, according to Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, is to have the ability to react quickly if there is a surge of cases.
In a press release issued today, the government outlined that the legislation would:
- Continue emergency orders in effect under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) under the new legislation for an initial 30 days.
- Allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to further extend these orders for up to 30 days at a time, as required to keep Ontarians safe.
- Allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to amend certain emergency orders continued under the EMCPA if the amendment relates to:
- labour redeployment or workplace and management rules;
- closure of places and spaces or regulation of how businesses and establishments can be open to provide goods or services in a safe manner;
- compliance with public health advice; or
- rules related to gatherings and organized public events.
- Not allow new emergency orders to be created.
- Allow emergency orders to be rescinded when it is safe to do so.
The ability to extend and amend orders under the new legislation would be limited to one year, unless extended by the Ontario legislature.
"While the declaration of emergency may come to an end shortly, the risk posed by COVID-19 is likely to be with us for some time to come," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "This new legislation would provide the government with the necessary flexibility to ensure select tools remain in place to protect vulnerable populations, such as seniors, and respond to this deadly virus."
The provincial declaration of emergency commenced on March 17 and is slated to expire on July 15. Ford has previously said he hadn't intended to renew the declaration past July. flexibility
Premier Doug Ford is slated to provide a COVID-19 update at 2 p.m. today at Queen's Park.
The announcement comes as the government is expected to introduce legislation that would allow some pandemic emergency orders to be extended over the next year.
Ford will be joined by Health Minister Christine Elliot and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones to make the announcement.
Village Media will carry the livestream, so stay tuned.