According to media reports Saturday, the Ford government is extending Ontario’s emergency declaration until at least April 23red, and adding several new measures including to banning camping on Crown land.
The declaration under the province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, first issued March 17, was until now set to end on April 14th.
From the official government statement:
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of people across the province, the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.
In addition, new measures have been introduced to address surge capacity in retirement homes, restrict recreational camping on Crown land, and allow the repurposing of existing buildings and temporary structures. All of these actions are based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
“I understand the actions we are taking are affecting the lives and livelihoods of people across the province, but these are extraordinary times and we need to do whatever we can to keep individuals and families safe and stop the spread of this terrible virus,” said Premier Ford. “We all must continue to do our part by staying home and practicing physical distancing. With the proper precautions and additional measures we’re taking today, I am confident we will get through this together and stronger.”
Ontario introduced the following new steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The government is:
Making it easier to repurpose existing buildings and put up temporary structures, like tents, so communities can meet their local needs quickly. This will reduce pressure on health care facilities, where needed, and help shelters provide more space for sleeping to maintain the physical distancing requirements to reduce the spread of the virus.
These measures were issued in addition to that introduced over the past month to prohibit gatherings of more than five people and price gouging, as well as close outdoor amenities and non-essential workplaces.