Readers will recall that in late July, emergency orders put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic were continued under new legislation, being the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (the “Act”). Besides continuing the orders, the Act gave the Lieutenant Governor in Council the authority to not only extend the orders in periods of 30 days at a time, but also to make certain specified amendments to the orders.
Since the passage of the Act, many of the continued orders have been subject to repeated extensions. Most recently, the orders remaining in effect were extended for an additional period of 30 days until January 20, 2021.
In Our View
The government has stated that this most recent extension was implemented in order to “support the same delivery of health care and other critical services until COVID-19 vaccines are approved and widely available.” Accordingly, one can expect that further extensions are likely until such time as a vaccine is available to a significant portion of the public. The list of Orders under the Act that have been extended can be found on the Ontario government’s website.
For more information on your rights and obligations as an employer dealing with COVID-19 and other related issues, please contact Porter Heffernan at 613-940-2764, Vicky Satta at 613-940-2753, André Champagne at 613-940-2735, Raquel Chisholm at 613-940-2755 or J.D. Sharp at 613-940-2739.