Ontario has expanded government powers, keeping all emergency orders in place under the Ontario Reopening Act until March 2022.
The emergency order, which is set to expire on December 1, will be extended after Solicitor General Sylvia Jones’ petition is passed in Queens Park on Tuesday.
The proposal allows the Doug Ford government to extend the emergency orders until March 28. Each order under the ROA must be extended by the cabinet in 30-day increments.
A spokesperson for Jones told CTV News Toronto that the emergency powers extension is in line with the government’s plan to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions by March.
Without expanding the ROA, all currently in place public health measures will expire on December 1.
There are currently 28 orders in effect under the reopening act, including the proof of immunization system.
The ROA gives the government the power to implement rules about public gatherings, closing businesses, and managing outbreaks in hospitals or long-term care homes.
Earlier this month, Ontario paused the next step of its reopening plan because of an increase in COVID-19 cases.
On November 15, capacity limits are expected to be lifted in the remaining high-risk facilities, where proof of vaccination is required.
That step has been delayed by at least 28 days.
The next step of the reopening plan, scheduled for January 17, will see capacity limits gradually lifted in places where proof of vaccination is not required. The province’s vaccine certification system could also be phased out at this point.
On February 7, the government plans to lift evidence of vaccination requirements in high-risk places, including nightclubs, strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs. .
On March 28, Ontario plans to lift the remaining public health measures, including wearing face coverings in public places. Proof of vaccination will also be removed from all facilities.
Ontario MP Gurratan Singh, a critic for the Attorney General, told CTV News Toronto in a statement that he has “serious concerns” about extending the emergency order.
“The NDP has serious concerns about what Doug Ford could use these powers to do, such as further cutting back on critical services and more defensive decisions serving Ford and colleagues. his development, not the public interest.”