Co-Author by Max Skrow
On March 24, 2020, the Ontario provincial government passed Regulation 82/20 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This regulation ordered the closure of all "non-essential" businesses beginning at 11:59pm on March 24, 2020.
The regulation excludes from its scope two types of businesses: those deemed "essential", and non-essential businesses to which temporary access is permitted for specific purposes. Essential businesses are described in Schedule "2" of the regulation, and include business in the following activities:
- supply chain
- retail and wholesale of food
- food services and accommodations
- institutional, residential, commercial and industrial maintenance
- telecommunications and IT infrastructure service providers
- manufacturing and production
- agriculture and food production
- financial activities
- environmental services
- utilities and community services
- health care and social services
- business regulators and inspectors
- other specific business activities.
Pursuant to subsection 1(2) of the regulation, temporary access is permitted in respect of non-essential businesses for specific purposes:
- to perform work at the business in order to comply with any applicable law
- to allow for inspection, maintenance or repair
- to allow for the provision of security services
- to deal with critical matters related to the closure of the business
- to access materials needed for the business to operate remotely.
Further, the regulation does not prevent any non-essential business from operating remotely or providing services online or by telephone.
Pursuant to section 7.0.11 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, a violation of Regulation 82/80 can result in significant penalties:
(a) in the case of an individual, subject to clause (b), to a fine of not more than $100,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year;
(b) in the case of an individual who is a director or officer of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $500,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year; and
(c) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $10,000,000.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.