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As Canada confronts the worsening COVID-19 outbreak, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hinted his government might declare a federal emergency, giving his cabinet extra powers to battle the pandemic. “It is a major tool and I can tell you that we already have a lot of tools that allow us to do what we need to do,” said Trudeau, at his Thursday news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. “If there are other steps that need to be accomplished and can only be accomplished through invoking the Emergencies Act then we will do so.” Some experts have been urging the government to invoke the Emergencies Act, while others have shuddered at the idea, which would be an extraordinary step in the government’s response to the crisis. “We do recognize that the Emergencies Act is an extreme law with certain implications that would also require us to bring back the House of Commons to pass these measures,” said Trudeau.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says that he plans on extending the province’s state of emergency by 28 days when the legislature resumes on Tuesday. Members of Provincial Parliament will return to Queen’s Park for a single day to pass the emergency act and to discuss a bill that will cover various topics such as education, childcare and municipal housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “I just want to thank members of the opposition for their cooperation on getting these passed right away,” Ford said while speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon Watch This Video
Premier Doug Ford has declared a provincial state of emergency in response to a worsening COVID-19 outbreak and will now order the closure of restaurants and bars not providing takeout service along with a host of other venues where crowds are known to gather. Ford made the announcement at a hastily-called news conference at Queen’s Park on Tuesday morning, noting that the province is facing an “unprecedented time in its history” and must “act decisively” and “take any and all actions necessary as COVID-19 continues to spread.” He says that under the order the government will prohibit all organized public events of more than 50 people until March 31, including services in places of worship. He said that the order will also force the closure of all facilities providing indoor recreational programs, all public libraries and private schools, all licenced childcare centres, all bars and restaurants that don’t provide takeout services and all theatres, cinemas and concert venues.