June 22, 2020

As activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic are starting to be the new normal, the provincial government is starting to release information on some of their non-COVID-19 related policy work.  AMO members will see this reflected in our policy updates going forward that will include a combination of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 policy updates of a municipal government interest.

Stage 2 Re-openings

The Province announced today that the City of Toronto and Peel Region will be allowed to go to Stage 2 re-openings as of Wednesday June 24th, however, the Windsor-Essex region is to stay in Stage 1 at this time. Testing and farm inspections will be increased in this area with the expectation that Windsor-Essex to be able to enter Stage 2 soon as they will be assessed on an ongoing basis.

Possible Extension of the Provincial Emergency Declaration

The Ontario Legislature reconvenes on Tuesday, June 23rd. The government has indicated its motion to renew its emergency declaration under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, for another potentially final 15 days to mid-July, and will be introduced to the House either Tuesday or Wednesday.  

It should be noted that the Province can extend existing emergency orders in 14-day intervals after the emergency ends to deal with the effects of the pandemic.  But once the provincial emergency declaration expires, the Ontario government can only reissue or eliminate these Cabinet orders (Order in Council regulations) but is not able amend or draft brand-new orders.

Province Considers Requiring Municipal Support for New and Expanded Water Bottling Proposals

The Ontario Government has announced it is consulting on proposals to manage and protect surface and groundwater quantity. Proposals include:
  • Requiring water bottling companies to have the support of their host municipalities for new and increasing bottled water takings, with an exemption for small businesses.
  • Establishing priorities of water use in the province that can guide water taking decisions.
  • Assessing and managing multiple water takings together in areas of the province where water sustainability is a concern.
  • Making water taking data available to the public to increase transparency of how Ontario manages water resources.
The consultation period is open until August 2, 2020. Municipal officials are encouraged to review the proposals and provide feedback through the Environmental Registry.
 
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.