Ford expected to announce more details on reopening Ontario's economy

May 14 2020, 2:00 pm

Ontario Premier Doug Ford will be announcing more news for businesses during his daily press conference on Thursday, as he discusses the first stage of reopening the economy.

On Wednesday the premier said he is “putting guidelines together for areas of the population for companies and stakeholders to get ready.”

“We aren’t at stage one quite yet, but we’re asking people to get ready for stage one,” he said.

According to the province, the first stage of reopening includes businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations and opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance.

Also, opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events.

Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.

There will also be continued protections for vulnerable populations.

Government of Ontario

The framework includes three stages of which there will be two-to-four weeks between the launch of each stage to allow health officials to assess conditions before moving to the next one.

“This will determine if measures should be adjusted, loosened, or tightened. This approach will enable the government to ensure there are appropriate measures in place to open safely and limit health risks,” the province said.

Everyday actions like physical distancing, frequent hand washing and staying home when ill, will continue through each stage.

On Tuesday, Ford said that “more good news” would be coming in this upcoming announcement.

“More good news about getting people to work, more good news about opening more places, more good news about getting paychecks out the door, and more good news about slowly getting back to normal,” Ford said at the time.

The premier did not provide specifics on what the good news will entail, but he did say the announcement will focus on reopening more “low-risk workplaces, seasonal businesses and essential services.”

So far, the province has reopened retailed stores with street access to provide curbside pickup and delivery.

Over the weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing. Select essential construction projects have also been expanded.

On Monday, provincial parks began to reopen allowing for visitors to hike and birdwatch.

On May 12, the Ontario government officially extended the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 2.

Ford’s press conference is scheduled for 1 pm ET.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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