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Closure of Ottawa skating rinks could follow new provincial order; city reviewing regulations

General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services Anthony Di Monte said measures announced in Ontario's stay-at-home order remind him of last spring's lockdown.
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Skating on the Sens Rink of Dreams. Photo/ Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson via Twitter

The City of Ottawa is working to figure out how a new provincial stay-at-home order will change how bylaws and COVID-19-mandated rules will be enforced across the capital.

General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services Anthony Di Monte says Tuesday, January 12, his team will be reviewing new regulations handed down by the province on Wednesday, and then will let residents know, more specifically, how the regulations apply to them when they kick in on Thursday.

"It reminds me of what we were doing at the beginning of the pandemic," said Di Monte, Tuesday, after the province's initial state of emergency announcement.

Consistent with last spring's lockdown, Ontario's announcement included limiting outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings to five people, with limited exceptions.

Di Monte said it appears as though the province would like to see residents only leaving their homes in order to do groceries, go to a medical appointment, or walk around the block for outdoor exercise.

He thinks the new orders could mean the city shutting down amenities like skating rinks, but he's not 100 per cent sure yet.

"We want to see the facts, we want to read the regulations, and see exactly what the provincial government wants to achieve here, and then we'll be using the regulatory tools and doing enforcement to achieve that."

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