WEST CARLETON ― In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30.
“The decision supports the government’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and protect the health and safety of Ontarians as the province reopens in a measured and responsible way,” the province released in a statement Jen 2. “The extension, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, was approved by the Ontario legislature earlier (yesterday, June 3).”
“Extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency will allow us to safely and gradually reopen the province, while we continue to use every resource at our disposal to battle this deadly virus,” Premier Doug Ford said. “We are not out of the woods yet, so it is critical that we exercise caution to keep everyone safe, including protecting our most vulnerable citizens in long-term care homes, retirement homes and group homes.”
As Ontario charts a path to recovery, the declaration will support the continued enforcement of emergency orders that give hospitals and long-term care homes the necessary flexibility to respond to COVID-19 and protect vulnerable populations and the public as the province reopens.
Current emergency orders include allowing frontline care providers to redeploy staff where they are needed most, enabling public health units to redeploy or hire staff to support case management and contact tracing, limiting long-term care and retirement home staff to working at one home, and preventing unfair pricing of necessary goods.
The Declaration of Emergency may be further extended with the approval of the legislature, as set out in the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
Meanwhile, the Conservative government took time to honour its “local agri-food heroes.”
“The Ontario government is celebrating local agri-food heroes who have stepped up to ensure the province’s food supply chain remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak,” the province released in a statement yesterday (June 3). “Individuals, businesses and organizations are highlighted in 2020 Local Food Report: Ontario Spirit – A Celebration of Local Food Collaboration.”
“Ontario’s agri-food supply chain is one of the strongest in the world and COVID-19 has just reinforced that fact,” Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman said. “The commitment shown by our farmers, food processors, grocery store workers, truck drivers, restaurateurs, and everyone across the agri-food sector during the COVID-19 outbreak is inspiring.”
The 2020 Local Food Report demonstrates the importance of local food for Ontario consumers and communities, while recognizing farmers and those who keep food on our plates. Highlights include:
- Breweries and distilleries adapting their production facilities so they can produce hand sanitizer to help address the supply shortage;
- Organizations promoting local food literacy through online resources, virtual experiences and recipes that focus on locally-sourced ingredients;
- Food banks, industry partners and local communities working together to create and distribute emergency food boxes to those in need;
- Local public health units and agencies, along with industry and community food organizations, collaborating to offer weekly meal packages to families in place of school food programs that aren’t currently operating.
“Over the last two months, we have heard stories of hard-working and dedicated people that have adapted to these challenging times and gone above and beyond to ensure access to local Ontario food, and we are pleased to have an opportunity to celebrate them,” Hardeman said.
Ontario is home to nearly 49,600 farms and 4,400 food processing facilities that contribute over $47 billion to the provincial GDP, making the agri-food sector a key economic driver of Ontario’s economy. Now more than ever, buying and supporting local food creates jobs and economic growth in communities across the province.