Ontario has introduced new legislation on Tuesday. This would enable us to extend some of the pandemic emergency orders until next year. However, the opposition critic has said that this would curb the powers granted to the government.
Solicitor General, Sylvia Jones said that this legislation would enable the government to amend some emergency orders a month at a time. The law stands valid until one year after it has passed. Jones further commented that the legislation is required to strike the balance between strict lockdown when the case is worse and relaxed conditions when the COVID19 situation improves.
This legislation would enable the province to declare emergency only when the state of emergency is in place. The state of emergency of Ontario is set to expire on July 15. The Premier Doug Ford of Ontario to introduce a motion on Wednesday to ensure the emergency is extended to 24 July. This would ensure there is no gap with the provincial declaration and the new legislation.
Ivana Yelich, Spokesperson of Ontario said that this could be the last extension of the emergency considering the health trends. However, the legislation can actually help the government to move some parts which have improved to the normal stage. The redeployment of health-care staff and public health orders to curb social gatherings can also be ordered by the government.
Ontario first declared an emergency on March 17 and since then issued subsequent orders extending the emergency. The Opposition Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner said that the government needs to respond quickly and should establish a mechanism for accountability as well with greater powers in the hand now with the new legislation.
Jones has clarified that the government needs to report an emergency order extension to the legislative committee and table a report of the use of the law six months after the law expires. This would bolster the oversight, Jones believes and would also make sure that the emergency is not overused.
Ontario has 36,060 cases as of Tuesday with 2691 deaths. The province reported 112 new cases on Tuesday. The number of people in the hospital due to the virus has increased but people in Ventilator and ICU have decreased in Ontario.
A mushroom farm in Vaughan is being under investigation for the virus outbreak as the workplace cluster has around 30 workers.