November 3, 2020

COVID-19 Response Framework Released with Additional Business Relief
 
The provincial government has now released their COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open. The framework outlines provincial priorities, principles, and the approach to implementing measures to address the pandemic including the indicators that will guide decisions that impact municipalities.
 
As indicated in the document, the government is proposing to act earlier by implementing measures to protect public health and prevent closures while preparing also to gradually loosen measures as public health indicators trends improve. The framework identifies specific measures for various activities that will help municipal governments, businesses, and the public plan accordingly with greater clarity of what to expect in different scenarios. The government has also identified which level of measures is currently set out for each Public Health Unit region in the province.
 
The government is also making $300 million available for rebates to businesses required to close or significantly restrict services in areas subject to modified Stage 2 public health restrictions (Ottawa, Peel, Toronto, and York Region). The financial assistance will also be available, going forward, in areas categorized as Control or Lockdown. Beginning November 16, 2020, eligible businesses will be able to apply for temporary property tax and energy cost rebates directly to the Province through a single, online application portal.

AMO Submission: Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act, 2020
 
AMO provided a submission to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy of the Ontario Legislative Assembly.  The Standing Committee is considering Bill 218 which provides liability protection for good faith actions to protect Ontarians from the COVID-19 and makes changes to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (MEA).  AMO is strongly supportive of the liability protection provisions in the Bill but has raised significant and principled concerns regarding the MEA changes.
AMO’s COVID-19 Resources page is being updated continually so you can find critical information in one place.  Please send any of your municipally related pandemic questions to covid19@amo.on.ca.