Ontario declaration of emergency extended to June
New legislation will allow for more virtual or remote transactions during COVID-19
TORONTO — On May 12, the Ontario government announced that the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act would be extended until June 2.
The declaration will allow Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as restricting retirement and long-term care home employees from working in more than one facility and prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people.
“We are making steady progress to flatten the curve and get more people back to work safely, including our legislators, but we still have far to go in defeating COVID-19,” said Premier Doug Ford in a prepared statement. “Extending the declaration of emergency will allow us to continue to take action to protect Ontarians, while carefully and cautiously reopening more parts of our economy.”
A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The House also passed the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, which will help people conduct business while practicing physical distancing by:
- Providing authority to address in-person attendance rules for school board trustees’ meetings in regulation;
- Enabling corporations to call and hold meetings virtually, as applicable, and extending the time period in which annual meetings must be held;
- Allowing designations of a beneficiary to be provided electronically for Retirement Savings Plans, Retirement Income Funds, Locked-in Retirement Accounts, Life Income Funds and Tax-Free Savings Accounts;
- Allowing electronic filing of business registration documents, and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of business registration documents and e-signatures;
- Allowing for regulations to set out the parameters for remotely commissioning or notarizing a document;
- Extending the legislated four-year period during which a Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) election is mandated to be held to give more time to support remote voting.
The Expenditure Estimates for the 2020-21 fiscal year were also tabled in the Legislature. This includes program spending to support the $17 billion announced as part of Ontario’s Action Plan 2020: Responding to COVID-19 to ensure the province’s health care system, communities, and economy are better positioned to weather challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We are all eager to reopen the economy and return to work, while physical distancing remains an important reality,” said Government House Leader Paul Calandra. “Today’s legislation helps to modernize some of our economic and community activity and make many necessary interactions that much easier and safer.”