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Ontario extending emergency order powers until March

There are 28 current orders in effect under the ROA that could now be extended, including the province’s proof of vaccination system.
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Ontario Premier Doug Ford attends press availability in Marham, Ontario, on Friday July 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Ontario has extended its power to keep all emergency orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) in place through the winter.

The orders are can now be extended until late March after a motion by Solicitor General Sylvia Jones was passed at Queen’s Park on Tuesday.

The office of the Solicitor General says the motion extends the legislative authority for orders to be in effect until Mar. 28 — but adds individual orders continue to be required to be extended in 30 day increments by cabinet.

Before the motion passed, current health measures would have expired on Dec. 1.

There are 28 current orders in effect under the ROA that could now be extended, including the province’s proof of vaccination system.

The next step of the Ford government’s reopening plan is scheduled for Jan. 17 and could see capacity limits gradually lifted in places where proof of vaccination is not required. The vaccine certificate could also be gradually lifted at this time.

The province intended on removing capacity limits in nightclubs and strip clubs on Nov. 15, but paused the gradual reopening due to a recent surge in COVID-19 infections.

The province says the move will be delayed for at least 28 days as they continue to monitor the COVID indicators.

Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table projected a weakening correlation between case counts and ICU admissions thanks to the effectiveness of vaccines on more severe cases of the virus.

The latest modelling from the panel projected the seven-day average of infections will approach 700 by the end of November. A worst case scenario would see daily case counts approaching 1,000 by the end of the month.

As of Nov. 24, the weekly average of new infections sits at 686, up nearly 100 cases from one week ago and reaching the highest point since Sep. 22.

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