'STRONGEST POSSIBLE MESSAGE': State of emergency declared in Toronto

Tuesday, 24 Mar, 2020

Premier Doug Ford's government has already declared a state of emergency of its own.

Ontario is closing its drive test centres due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A source close to the matter said Tory will tell Torontonians the move will allow him to make decisions or undertake bylaws on his own, without council approval.

"We have a responsibility to Ontarians to ensure that we take every possible step to enable social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19".

"This is a battle we must win, but only if we all join together".

On Monday, Ontario and Quebec also ordered all non-essential businesses to close as of Tuesday, while Nova Scotia imposed new restrictions at its provincial boundary with New Brunswick.

Focusing on these efforts to maintain social distancing, Tory said he is still seeing actions from some residents that are "selfish, unacceptable and it can not continue", per the Toronto Star.

"Essential" and "critical care workers" have been defined by the province and the city says a list of those services will be available soon to clarify who is eligible to apply.

According to the Emergencies Act, any jurisdiction can use this authority if the emergency, "seriously endangers the lives, health or safety" of the residents.

Trudeau has so far resisted the idea of putting into place the federal equivalent, the Emergencies Act, saying Monday that since it requires taking power out of the hands of the provinces, there needs to be a discussion with them first. Restaurants can still provide take out.

The confirmed Ottawa cases include a male in his 50s who is now in hospital.

"It is a tragic reminder that we are confronting a deadly virus".

Toronto Public Health reported as of yesterday (March 21) at 1 p.m. there are 10 people hospitalized, and 193 positive COVID-19 test results.