Ontario MPPs vote to extend state of emergency to June 2

New legislation also passed to allow for more virtual or remote transactions during COVID-19

Premier Doug Ford during question period on May 12, 2020, when members of the Ontario legislature voted to extend Ontario's state of emergency until June 2, 2020. (Screenshot / Legislative Assembly of Ontario)
Premier Doug Ford during question period on May 12, 2020, when members of the Ontario legislature voted to extend Ontario's state of emergency until June 2, 2020. (Screenshot / Legislative Assembly of Ontario)

At a special sitting of the Ontario legislature on Tuesday (May 12), MPPs voted to extend the province’s declaration of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (ECMPA) until Tuesday, June 2nd.

The declaration will allow the Ontario government to continue to enforce existing 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. “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.”

The provincial government first declared a 14-day state of emergency on Tuesday, March 17th. Under the provisions of the ECMPA, the state of emergency could be extended for one additional 14-day period (until April 14th) with further 28-day period extensions requiring the support of the legislature. On April 14th, the legislature approved an extension of the state of emergency until Tuesday, May 12th.

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The Ontario legislature also passed the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, which will help people conduct business while practising physical distancing by:

  • providing authority to address in-person attendance rules for school board trustees’ meetings in regulation. This would provide the flexibility in certain emergency situations to allow trustees to meet virtually during school closures.
  • enabling corporations to call and hold meetings virtually, as applicable, and extending the time period in which annual meetings must be held in specific circumstances.
  • 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, on a one-time basis for 2020, the legislated four-year period during which a Métis Nation of Ontario election is mandated to be held to give more time to support remote voting.

The government also tabled its estimates for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which include $17 billion in program spending to support the province’s response to COVID-19.

 

List of emergency orders as of May 12, 2020

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