The government of Ontario has now announced a state of emergency in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. The state of emergency provides the provincial government with additional powers to control the spread, which it has used to:
- Prohibit organized events of 50 people or more until March 31, 2020;
- Close all bars and restaurants in the province, except for the purposes of takeout and delivery;
- Implement a $300 million aid package for health care sector support, including to produce and provide ventilators, respirators, beds, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and staffing additional nurses and personal support workers.
While events are being cancelled and venues such as theatres, concert halls, libraries, places of worship, and private schools are ordered shut, the government has not yet ordered businesses generally to close. It instead has said that it will rely on businesses to act responsibly to help “flatten the curve”.
The provincial government has also called on the federal government to implement loans for businesses impacted by COVID-19, and amend the Employment Insurance Act to make benefits more available for employees whose earnings are interrupted.
CCPartners will continue to monitor the situation in Ontario and every other Canadian jurisdiction and continue to post updates to its COVID-19 blogs as they arise.
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