Province Launches the Ontario Together Fund

Premier Doug Ford and the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli issued a further call to action for businesses, organizations, and communities to redeploy capacity to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment to help the province combat COVID-19. To support this, the province is launching the Ontario Together Fund, a $50 million fund for innovative proposals that will help companies to urgently provide critical goods and services in support of frontline health care workers and first responders.

This is a one-time fund in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 outbreak and is available to companies and organizations across Ontario to apply through Ontario Together. The launch of the Ontario Together Fund follows the government’s acknowledgement earlier this week that there will be challenges facing Ontario’s supply lines if COVID-19 cases increase significantly in the coming weeks.

Ontario’s essential business list to be revised

Following calls for the government to limit construction activity to emergency and essential work only, Premier Ford indicated that additional businesses are going to be deemed non-essential, and that the essential workplaces list will be adjusted in the coming days. The current list of essential workplaces can be found here.

Province cracks down on emergency orders

Further measures have been announced in a bid to enforce the province’s emergency orders and further protect communities from the spread of COVID-19. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer has released a memo to municipalities urging local medical officers of health to use their authority under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to further empower them to ensure cases and contacts of COVID-19 are isolated.

In addition, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones has advised that the public will be required under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to identify themselves to law enforcement if they are charged with breaking an emergency order during the COVID-19 outbreak. Emergency orders include the closure of non-essential businesses, prohibiting gatherings of more than five people, and stopping price gouging.