This morning, Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in Ontario amid the COVID-19 pandemic, advising that the decision was not made lightly. As a result of this declaration and its associated orders, the following establishments are required to close immediately:
- all facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
- all public libraries;
- all private schools as defined in the Education Act;
- all licensed child care centres;
- all bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
- all theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
Further, all organized public events of over fifty people are also prohibited, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship. These orders were approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGC) and will remain in place until March 31, 2020, at which point they will be reassessed and considered for extension, unless this order is terminated earlier.
How Can This Happen?
The Ontario Government has the ability to declare a state of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (Act).
The definition of “emergency” under the Act includes a disease or other health risk.