Emergency Order extended for another 13 days.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 27th, 2020



It is getting a little confusing.

Emergency Orders are being extended for very short periods of time.

The most recent date is June 9th – a mere 12 days away.

We don’t seem to be getting clear reasons other than the “government continuing to protect the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak.” And that “Public health and safety remain top priorities.”

We got that – we know that.

Could we have more in the way of detailed information on the why of it all ?  Why are an additional 13 days needed?  What difference will it make ?   The people of Ontario are law abiding people – they are also capable of asking sensible, responsible questions.

Trinity Bellwoods PArk

The six foot rule didn’t seem to mean anything to this crowd. will we see a spike in infection 10 days from now. And if we don’t – what does that tell us?

Have we got testing under control?  Is the province looking for specific details to come out of the testing that will guide their next decision?

Premier with deputy May 19th

Day after day the Premier and a few of his Ministers parade before the TV cameras. Good communications practice – the message has not become more focused. The public has trusted the Premier – the Premier now needs to trust the public.

The Premier put himself and a couple of his Ministers before the television cameras every day.  He will do a rant on the “greedy landlords”; he will rant about the irresponsible behaviour of those who gathered in Trinity Bellwoods Park last weekend.

He broke the rules on Mother’s Day and made that trip to his cottage.

There is a bit of discomfort building up – the public isn’t buying it all they way they were two weeks ago.

The provincial government is “extending all emergency orders in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.”

That is a very power piece of legislation and so far, for the most part, the public has gone along with their political leadership.

I have this sense that their grip on things isn’t as firm as I’d like it to be.

“Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery.

“Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters.

“We are extending these emergency orders to protect the health and safety of all individuals and families as we begin to gradually and safely reopen our province,” said Premier Doug Ford. “To build on the progress we have made to contain COVID-19, people should continue to follow these simple public health guidelines, practice physical distancing, wear a mask when it is a challenge to physical distance, and wash their hands regularly.

The following emergency orders have been extended until June 9, 2020:

• Closure of Establishments
• Prohibiting Organized Public Events, Certain Gatherings
• Work Deployment Measures for Health Care Workers
• Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works
• Electronic Service
• Work Deployment Measures in Long -Term Care Homes
• Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses
• Traffic Management
• Streamlining Requirements for Long-Term Care Homes
• Prohibition on Certain Persons Charging Unconscionable Prices for Necessary Goods
• Closure of Outdoor Recreational Amenities
• Enforcement of Orders
• Work Deployment Measures for Boards of Health
• Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes
• Access to COVID-19 Status Information by Specified Persons
• Service Agencies Providing Services and Supports to Adults with Developmental Disabilities
• Pickup and Delivery of Cannabis
• Signatures in Wills and Powers of Attorney
• Use of Force and Firearms in Policing Services
• Child Care Fees
• Agreements Between Health Service Providers and Retirement Homes
• Temporary Health or Residential Facilities
• Closure of Public Lands for Recreational Camping
• Work Deployment Measures for Service Agencies Providing Violence Against Women Residential Services and Crisis Line Services
• Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home
• Work Deployment Measures for District Social Services Administration Boards
• Deployment of Employees of Service Provider Organizations
• Work Deployment Measures for Municipalities
• Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home
• Work Deployment Measures for Mental Health and Addictions Agencies
• Congregate Care Settings
• Access to Personal Health Information by Means of the Electronic Health Record
• Certain Persons Enabled to Issue Medical Certificates of Death
• Hospital Credentialing Processes
• Education Sector
• Management of Long-term Care Homes in Outbreak

Doug Ford - habd to head

The strain on the Premier is becoming evident.

The following orders have also been extended:

• Electricity Price for RPP Consumers (until May 31, 2020)
• Global Adjustment for Market Participants and Consumers (until June 1, 2020)

That’s a lot of orders.

We are all partners in this – help us feel more confident about what you are doing Premier.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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4 comments to Emergency Order extended for another 13 days.

  • Tom Muir

    It’s 13 days rather than indefinite because we are just opening up and many more people are out and about, mixing and mingling, and going places from home, and then home again to pass anything on, so virus transmission chances go up proportionally, then exponentially, more or less for sake of example.

    The virus incubation period is about 14 days, we have background and trend data now for the epidemic from start to date, so if opening up leads to a surge above trend to date, we should see it in the next 2 weeks, and something likely before.

    Then Ford can reassess policy and go to next stage, regress to more lock-down, or extend the present opening stage. The virus is just waiting for a mistake, but isn’t “smart” as we know it. We have to be smart like we are supposed to be, and just wait and see.

    It is indeed for him and his government a very agonizing time, where they are damned if they do or don’t. They really don’t have a choice. The virus grows and spreads explosively, and unseen until too late, and Mr. Ford knows that and that’s one of his mantra.

    I’m very happy with Mr. Ford’s performance under this sleepless night high pressure situation. Outstanding team performance I think, and from Trudeau too in my opinion.

    In my observation and opinion, you give people too much credit Pepper. They are often weak and unthinking, and I don’t think enough of them can be trusted to behave on their own.

    • Tom Muir

      I forgot to add that the average of daily COVID-19 cases in Ontario increased by 24 per cent in the weeks before and after reopening. From May 12 to 18, the province saw an average of 352 cases per day; from May 19 to 25, the average jumped to 438 cases.

      Health Minister Christine Elliott attributed the rise in infections to congregate gatherings on Mother’s Day in a press briefing Monday.

      So here you have it – people congregating more for just one or 2 days around May 10, probably not following the rules, then shortly and predictably after that, a spike that persists and we can easily detect. Now we have a extension of the Emergency Order May 27, likely influenced by this spike.

      And again in this situation, because we opened up business and possible human activity more on May 19, are we expecting more new cases to follow this pattern – opening up means more new cases?

      Wait and see.

  • Allison Thornton

    Why the short time frame and long list? It is simple, really, and has nothing to do whether the Province “has a handle on things”. The legislation itself sets time limits on extensions of the declaration of an emergency. As more orders are made, and if their usefulness has not expired, they need to be renewed. So each time the emergency declaration is extended, so too is the accumulated list of COViD-related measures the province has passed since mid-March.