COVID-19 orders are needed to protect vulnerable populations and preserve health care capacity
TORONTO — “Extending these orders ensures the necessary tools remain in place to help respond to the disturbing increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and provide safeguards for Ontarians, especially our vulnerable populations,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Our government will continue to take the actions needed to preserve our health care capacity and protect Ontarians until everyone can be vaccinated.”
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending most orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) for another 30 days.
Most of the orders under the ROA are extended to February 19, 2021, with the exception of O. Reg. 75/20 (Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works) which is not being renewed. O. Reg. 82/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage One) was amended to ensure government infrastructure projects are able to continue as essential construction activities.
On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the Ontario government declared a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). A stay at home order came into effect Thursday, January 14, 2021, as well as enhanced authorities for enforcement personnel. Individuals and corporations who do not abide by orders under the EMCPA or the ROA can be fined.
The set fine amounts are: $750 for individuals who fail to comply with an order; $1,000 for corporations who fail to comply with an order; and $1,000 for anyone who prevents an enforcement officer from exercising their powers or performing their duties to enforce the orders. If convicted, maximum fines for committing an offence range from $100,000 for an individual to $10 million for a corporation, and for an individual, penalties could include up to a year in jail.
The list of orders under the ROA and the EMCPA can be found online on the Government of Ontario’s website. Throughout the period of the declared emergency, orders under the ROA remain in effect, along with orders under the EMCPA.