Ontario Legislature Adjourns until September 14Published on July 22, 2020
The Ontario legislature has adjourned until September 14 after an unprecedented session that saw cross-partisan collaboration in the fight against COVID-19.
The people of this province expected government to work together and reach across party lines to quickly introduce and pass critical legislation.
From the passage of 18 bills, one-third by unanimous consent of all parties, to the ground-breaking study into the economic and fiscal impacts of COVID-19 by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, the government has been working cooperatively to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians
Emergency legislation introduced and passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes:
- The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 ensures important measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial declaration of emergency has ended. These measures will provide the province with the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak as Ontario moves towards recovery. The Act will come into force on July 24, 2020 to coincide with the termination of the declared provincial emergency.
- The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 will help create jobs and generate development by getting key infrastructure projects built faster. It will also strengthen communities by ensuring municipalities are equipped with the tools they need to continue to provide critical services, along with protecting consumers, modernizing services, improving the education system and removing social and economic barriers for young people.
- Economic and Fiscal Update Act, 2020: The government’s first steps in its response to COVID-19 were set out in the March 25th Economic and Fiscal Update, which included $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for students, families and seniors, and made available $10 billion for people and businesses through interest and penalty relief measures and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.
- COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020: Legislative changes that made it easier for people to conduct business and practice physical distancing by providing Ontario corporations temporary flexibility to hold meetings virtually, defer certain annual meetings and allow the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents.
- COVID-19 Support & Protection Act, 2020: The second phase of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included temporary relief for repayment of student loans, extending expiring development charge by-laws, suspending time limits for planning matters, and extending deadlines for municipal Community Safety Plans.
- Protecting Small Business Act, 2020: To support small businesses that experienced a significant decline in revenue during COVID-19, the government temporarily halted or reversed evictions of commercial tenants and protected them from being locked out or having their assets seized if they are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance.
The government will continue to work for the people of Ontario to help them get back on their feet as the government charts a path to recovery for every region in the province.
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