Toronto City Council is meeting virtually for the first time in its history on Thursday at 10 am, due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings.
The council meeting will look at extending Mayor John Tory’s state of emergency leadership powers granted to him until the state of emergency is over.
Since Mayor John Tory declared a state of emergency in the city on March 23, he has been able to pass bylaws and take other actions independently.
“City Council authorize an extension of the mayor’s delegated authority under Chapter 59, Emergency Management until the COVID-19 municipal emergency has been declared as terminated,” the mayor’s report on the COVID-19 Emergency reads.
Tory is also asking that the council authorize the extension of the physical distancing bylaws to remain in effect until the state of emergency is lifted.
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“I looked – as I do on all public health matters – to Dr. Eileen de Villa’s professional advice. Her advice then, which it remains now, was that we needed as many people to stay home as much as possible, to get all people in the city to keep their distance from one another, to protect the vulnerable, and to keep from overwhelming our health care system,” Tory’s statement said.
“I declared a municipal emergency – the first time in the city’s history – to allow us to respond quickly and decisively to the pandemic. To make sure we would always be able to make the quick decisions needed during this crisis.”
Last week, de Villa confirmed that Toronto’s general population is in the peak of coronavirus cases, but that physical distancing measures must remain in place for the near future.
When Tory declared the state of emergency there were 304 total coronavirus cases in Toronto.
Now, there are 5,360 total cases and 347 reported deaths.