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Ontario expected to extend state of emergency to June 2


Ontario saw its lowest number of new daily COVID-19 cases since March 31 on Sunday. Updated figures are expected later this morning. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario’s legislature will sit Tuesday and is expected to extend the province’s state of emergency to June 2, while also holding question period again.

A statement from the government house leader’s office says unanimous consent is expected to quickly vote on all stages of the bill to extend the state of emergency past its current expiry of May 19.

Politicians have returned to the chamber — with physical distancing protocols — several times since the pandemic began to extend the state of emergency, but have now also agreed to regular question periods.

The sessions will be held Tuesday, as well as May 19, 20, 26, 27, June 2 and 3.

The government says it is consulting with opposition parties about the possibility of extending sittings into the summer.

Only 42 out of Ontario’s 124 members will be allowed in the chamber at any given time to ensure physical distancing.

Meanwhile, stores in Ontario are allowed to reopen Monday for curbside pickup after a weekend that saw the spread of COVID-19 slow to a pace not seen since March.

The measure announced last week is meant to help ramp the economy back up after the pandemic caused unprecedented job losses in March and April.

All retail stores with a street entrance will be allowed to open today to provide both curbside pickup and delivery — a move Premier Doug Ford has said will allow thousands of people to return to work.

On Friday, the government allowed garden centres and nurseries to fully reopen, and hardware stores could do the same on Saturday.

According to data released Friday by Statistics Canada, 689,200 Ontarians lost their jobs in April, in addition to the 403,000 the agency says were lost in March.

On Sunday, the province reported 294 new cases of COVID-19 — a jump of just 1.5 per cent over the previous day.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 now sits at 20,238, with a death toll of 1,733.

Ford also announced over the weekend that provincial parks will reopen Monday, though beaches, camping areas and playgrounds will remain closed and physical distancing must be maintained.

CBC News

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