The Ontario government has now announced proposed legislation that, if passed, would ensure certain emergency measures continue once the provincial declaration of emergency has ended.
According to a government press release, Bill 195 Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, would:
• continue emergency orders in effect under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act ("EMCPA") under the new legislation for an initial 30 days;
• allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to further extend these orders for up to 30 days at a time, as required;
• allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to amend certain emergency orders continued under the EMCPA if the amendment relates to:
labour redeployment or workplace and management rules;
closure of places and spaces or regulation of how businesses and establishments can be open to provide goods or services in a safe manner;
compliance with public health advice; or
rules related to gatherings and organized public events;
• not permit new emergency orders to be introduced through the legislation; and
• allow emergency orders to be rescinded when safe to do so.
The ability to extend and amend orders under the new proposed legislation would be limited to 1 year, unless extended by the legislature. The current declaration of emergency is in place until July 15, 2020, subject to further extension by the government.