Ontario has extended the state of emergency for another four weeks, while the province has recorded another one regarding the rise in new COVID-19 infections.
The government voted to extend the state of emergency until June 30 at Queen’s Park on Tuesday after debating the issue for several hours.
The state of emergency in the province includes a number of emergency orders. These ordinances currently prohibit social gatherings of more than five people who are not from the same household.
They also prohibit the opening of restaurants and bars unless they offer take-out or deliveries.
“The fight is not over,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones at Queen’s Park on Tuesday. “I look forward to the day when all emergency orders can be lifted … this day is coming, speaker, but we are not there yet. “
“We recognize that personal adjustment and sacrifice must continue to take place a little longer. “
“We must not lose sight of what we are fighting for.”
Meanwhile, independent lawmaker Randy Hillier has said he will vote against the measure on Tuesday, saying it gives the government too much authority.
Earlier in the day, Hillier welcomed a small group of protesters outside Queen’s Park, arguing against extending the province’s emergency measures. The group did not respect physical distance restrictions, and most did not wear masks.
“There is no emerging crisis,” Hillier told the protesters. “There is no emergency. We have been interested in it for 13 weeks now, there is nothing new today that we did not already know. “
Premier Doug Ford said it was “disappointing” that Hillier had joined the group, adding “that he should have known better.”
“I am shocked that he is going there,” said Ford. ” It is sad. “
The province declared a state of emergency for the first time on March 17, as the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario continued to increase. It was extended several times during the pandemic.
Ford says extension of state of emergency will not slow reopening
On May 19, Ontario launched the first phase of the province’s reopening. This has allowed a number of businesses to reopen, including those with an entrance facing the street, if strict guidelines were followed to ensure the safety of customers and employees.
Ford told reporters on Tuesday that extending the province’s state of emergency did not affect the province’s plan to reopen.
“We will go ahead with the reopening,” said Ford. “We work day after day. “
“We have to reopen security and I understand the problems these companies are going through, but we are going as quickly as possible.”
“No one wants to spin the economy more than I do. Once we get started, we will go full steam. “
Health Minister Christine Elliott said Monday the province “still has a long way to go” before proceeding to the second stage of the reopening plan, which would include reopening more businesses in across the province.
The province also hoped to make an announcement about allowing larger social gatherings last month, but later said it had been delayed due to an increase in the number of cases.
When the state of emergency began on March 17, there were 190 cases of COVID-19 in the province. On Tuesday, the province recorded another spike in COVID-19 cases. Health officials recorded 446 new infections, bringing the provincial total to 28,709.