Ontario premier asking to extend province's state of emergency
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford wants the province's state of emergency to be extended another 28 days.
The state of emergency, which was set to expire on June 2, will be extended until June 30 if the motion is passed on Tuesday at Queen's Park.
The province declared a state of emergency on March 17 as the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario continued to climb.
Included under the province's state of emergency are a number of emergency orders. The emergency orders include restrictions on social gathering limits.
On Monday, Ford said his government is "aggressively" working on a plan to continue reopening the economy.
"If numbers go down, we'll be looking at other stages," Ford said. "I want to get the economy going but we have to do it safely."
Ontario entered the first phase of the reopening plan on May 19. A number of businesses, including those with a street-front enterance were allowed to reopen.
The province was hoping to make an announcement on allowing larger social gatherings last month but said last week they delayed it due to an uptick in cases.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province "still needs to go some distance" before moving to stage two of the reopening plan.
"We need to take a careful and measured approached based on four factors: the number of new cases needs to go down, make sure that we have sufficient capacity in our hospitals, make sure we're doing adequate testing and we need to do contact tracing with public health units."
On March 17, when the state of emergency began, there were 190 cases of COVID-19 in the province. On Monday, the province recorded another spike in COVID-19 cases. More than 400 new infections were reported, bringing the provincial total to 28,263.