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This Week At Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill - July 24, 2020

  • The Ontario legislature has adjourned until September 14, 2020. Since the Ontario legislature convened in February, six bills and 18 pieces of legislation were passed.
  • The Government of Ontario announced that a standalone statute in the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019, the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 (SIU Act), will come into force on December 1, 2020. The Act, which will clarify the mandate of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and focus on the investigative resources on potential criminal conduct, was to have come into force on June 30, 2020. In light of the global outbreak of COVID-19, the proposed June date was deferred to focus efforts on the emergency response to the outbreak.
  • Emergency Order, O. Reg. 120/20 (Access to COVID-19 Status Information by Specified Persons) made under subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) expired on July 22, 2020.
  • The Ontario Human Rights Commission has a new Interim Chief Commissioner. Ena Chadha.  Congratulations to Chief Commissioner Chadha. We look forward to working with her.
  • The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) called for the end to criminalization of drug possession for personal use.  The OACP supports the CACP’s position. The OACP Drug Awareness Committee is working on an Ontario-focused document that builds on the CACP’s position.
  • The CACP also issued a joint statement on the collection of data on Indigenous and ethno-cultural groups in Canada’s police-reported crime statistics. 
  • Government of Ontario has provided information about changes to existing Emergency Orders as well as new ones as some parts of the province transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of the Framework. On the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, changes are being implemented both province-wide and regionally. Movement to Stage 3 is being enabled on a regional basis (defined as groupings of public health unit geographic areas in the attached map) and is based on consideration of the capacity in the health and public health systems, the economic impact of the pandemic on local communities, and an informed assessment of five indicators:
    • COVID-19 case counts;
    • Effective reproduction number;
    • Percent of non-epidemiologically linked cases;
    • Percent test positivity; and
    • COVID-19 hospital admissions.
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