During an emergency sitting in the legislature today, the Ontario Legislature extended the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days, until May 12.
The Legislature also passed Bill 189, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020, which amends the Education Act, Planning Act, Development Charges Act, Police Services Act and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act.
Here are the highlights:
- The Education Act has been amended to allow school boards to continue charging development fees on new construction in order to retain a vital source of revenue for new school projects, by stipulating that any education development charge by-laws that were due to expire during the period of the Declaration of Emergency will remain in effect.
- The amendments to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act will temporarily suspend student loan payments for OSAP borrowers and initiate a six-month interest-free moratorium on OSAP loans.
- The Development Charges Act has been amended to ensure municipalities can continue to pay for local growth-related infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewers as well as fire and police services, by declaring that development charge bylaws that expired on or after March 17th (the date of the Declaration) will remain in effect until the earlier of six months after the Declaration or explicit repeal by the municipality.
- The Planning Act has been amended to authorize the Minister to make regulations in connection with an emergency declared under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
- The Police Services Act has been amended to allow the Solicitor General to give municipalities an extension beyond January 1, 2021 to prepare and adopt a community safety and well-being plan.
More details can be found here
The Premier also made a number of announcements in his press availability today. In summary:
- Students in Ontario will not be heading back to school on May 4. Education Minister Stephen Lecce will provide more details in the coming days.
- Ontario will be issuing an emergency order tonight to prevent personal support workers (PSWs) and other staff in long-term care homes from working in multiple facilities.
- The Ontario government will be releasing a new action plan tomorrow to help long-term care homes.