TORONTO – The Ontario legislature has approved a temporarily ban on commercial evictions.
The government says the legislation will protect commercial tenants from being locked out or having their assets seized due to the negative impacts of COVID-19.
It would be retroactive to May 1, which is a month earlier than the Progressive Conservatives had previously proposed when they made the announcement earlier this month. It will be in effect until the end of August.
The New Democrats have been calling for the measures to be retroactive to mid-March.
The NDP also wants to see all businesses qualify – not just ones that would be covered under a federal-provincial rent relief program, but whose landlords won’t apply.
Meanwhile, Ontario reported 190 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with 12 more deaths.
More than 80 per cent of all the new cases came from Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex – the only three regions that won’t be in Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan as of Friday.
The new cases bring the provincial total to 32,744, including 2,550 deaths and 27,784 resolved cases – 353 more than the previous day.
The number of people in hospital dropped below to 383 – the lowest amount since the province started publicly reporting that figure at the beginning of April.
The numbers of people in intensive care and on ventilators also fell to their lowest levels since reporting began.
The government has also extended all emergency orders currently in force until June 30.
Premier Doug Ford said the province will review each of the orders on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they can be adjusted or lifted as officials work to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Some emergency orders were eased earlier this month, including a limit on social gatherings that is now set at 10 people instead of the previous limit of five.
Most of the province has also entered the second stage of reopening, allowing more businesses to operate again.
Ford first declared a state of emergency on March 17, which is also set to expire June 30.
— With files from Nick Westoll
© 2020 The Canadian Press