June 16, 2020

Workplace Readiness Toolkit

The province today released a workplace readiness guide to help employers re-open safely as more people are getting prepared to return to their workplaces as Stage 2 reopenings begin. 

This new guide is designed to help employers create a workplace safety plan with a downloadable template. It includes information on the use of face coverings, personal protective equipment, as well as applying appropriate controls in the workplace.

Resumption of Land Use Planning Timelines

As of June 22, the timelines under the Planning Act will resume as usual. The Revised Regulation (O. Reg 278/20) in effect undoes the suspension of timelines put in place by O.Reg. 149/20. It appears that most municipal governments choose to continue with planning activities during the emergency. According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), those who needed to rely on the suspension of timelines have now been able to resume processing development applications.

Masks - clarification
After some additional discussion and information provided since yesterday’s update, we need to correct our statement on whether municipal governments can order the public’s mandatory use of masks.  

What we should have said was that at the local level there is greater certainty, or at least less potential for challenges, if it was the local Medical Officer of Health using their s. 22 powers under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) to mandate the use of masks than the creation of a municipal bylaw under the broad municipal powers in the Municipal Act or under a local emergency plan under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).  

If desired, municipal governments can consider the development of a bylaw to mandate mask use under the Municipal Act or the EMCPA. The legislation doesn’t say you can’t do this, but it doesn’t say you can. As always, it is prudent to seek legal advice in the development of such a bylaw.

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.