TORONTO – Mayor John Tory issued an official declaration terminating the municipal emergency first declared on March 23, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to declare the emergency terminated in accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act was made in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, City Manager Chris Murray and the City’s Strategic Command Team.
Mayor John Tory states, “While the City of Toronto is no longer operating under an emergency declaration in response to COVID-19, our work to help people get vaccinated and to lead the economic recovery is continuing. We have made it through this emergency period thanks to our dedicated City staff who confronted this global pandemic – the greatest challenge of our generation – with a determination to do everything we can to help residents and continue to deliver much-needed municipal services. As Team Toronto’s world-leading COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues, I want to thank everyone who has worked to help people get vaccinated and deliver more than 7 million doses so far. Most importantly, I want to thank Toronto residents who have worked with us throughout the emergency period of the pandemic to make sure we get through these tough times and come back stronger than ever.”
This was the first official emergency declaration in the history of the modern city of Toronto and it was in line with similar emergency declarations in response to COVID-19 by many surrounding municipalities and the Province of Ontario.
The March 2020 declaration of emergency signalled the City of Toronto’s commitment to fighting COVID-19 and protecting people, our healthcare system and the economy. Since the outset of the pandemic, the City’s commitment to protect Torontonians has been unwavering and continues today.
While, COVID-19 remains a serious concern requiring ongoing efforts and vigilance, the City’s efforts in fighting COVID-19 have placed Toronto in a position where the emergency declared in response to the pandemic can be terminated. The City has been working over the past several months to ensure staff redeployed due to the emergency declaration could return to their pre-pandemic positions without disrupting ongoing service delivery.
Vaccination remains the single best tool to protect against serious illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. The City, through Toronto Public Health, continues to bring innovative, tailored vaccination opportunities to communities across Toronto. COVID-19 supports, including public health guidance, business tools and financial supports also remain available through the City’s COVID-19 webpage: www.toronto.ca/COVID19.
While speaking to media outside City Hall this morning, Mayor Tory thanked City staff for their tireless, adaptable and innovative efforts throughout the pandemic. The Mayor also recognized the commitment and leadership of Dr. de Villa, Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg and City Manager Chris Murray.
Staff from across divisions, led by the City’s Office of Emergency Management, coordinated Toronto’s pandemic response and remain vigilant in protecting the city and keeping people safe amid continued waves of COVID-19.
Today’s announcement supports the ongoing revitalization of Toronto’s economy and cultural vibrancy. As the city reopens and in-person spring and summer events return, all residents and visitors to Toronto are asked to be part of the ongoing fight to protect vulnerable people against COVID-19.
“When we declared an emergency in 2020, COVID-19 was a new virus that we knew little about but required an extraordinary response. Over the past two years, the science has evolved quickly and we have learned how this virus spreads, actions that we can take to protect ourselves and each other, and now have the benefit of vaccines and treatments as further layers of protection. These past years have been incredibly difficult for everyone, and while we continue to see virus activity in our city, we are in a much better place thanks to your efforts to protect each other, and the tools and knowledge that we can use to safely enjoy many of the things we love and missed in our city,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“I am so pleased that our city is now in a position where Mayor Tory can terminate the emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the entire Toronto Public Service and all of our partners who worked so hard to manage this pandemic emergency. I would also like to extend a very sincere thank you to every resident and business owner who followed the public health advice and endured so much to help us fight COVID-19,” commented Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management.