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Toronto's Mayor's Emergency Powers Were Just Extended With No End Date In Sight

Emergency status in the 6ix continues as other cities open up.

Toronto officially remains under emergency. On April 30, the City Council joined each other in their first ever online meeting. There were several items on the agenda, but a major point saw Mayor John Tory granted an extension to his Toronto emergency powers until the pandemic is declared over in the 6ix. Councillor unanimously voted in favour of the motion.

This vote essentially allows Mayor Tory to continue acting on behalf of the council in regards to COVID-19 and measures implemented across the 6ix.

The city first officially declared a state of emergency in the city back on March 23.

On Thursday, council also voted for the extension of the current social distancing bylaw. That was in effect until May 2 but will now stretch until the pandemic is over, as well.

"Council votes unanimously to extend Tory's emergency powers as well as the physical distancing rules in city parks and public squares he implemented until the emergency is over," reported the Toronto Star's Jennifer Pagliaro.

Meanwhile, Tory had stark words to council.

"This is without question the greatest single challenge the city has faced in a generation at least and I think we have responded by working together, solving problems together and working hand in hand with our public service,” said the mayor during today’s meeting, via CP24.

"Know that all of us are proud of the city government and how it has responded to this emergency," he added.

The news of the extended emergency powers in Canada's biggest COVID-19 hotspot comes just hours after Ontario Premier Doug Ford suggested the province is close to being able to begin reopening.

It also comes at a time when other cities and provinces are loosening restrictions.

For example, last week, the region of Kingston, Ont. reopened numerous walking trails. Notably, that city hasn’t experienced anywhere near the same devastation that Toronto has from the virus. 

And Ontario's neighbour province of Quebec is already planning to reopen the province in May, despite the fact it has even more cases than Ontario does.

Ford suggested on Tuesday he thinks that plan, which involves reopening primary schools and daycares in mid-May, is unnecessarily risky.

But at almost literally the same time Tory's emergency powers were being extended in Toronto, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was announcing that provincial restaurants, retail stores, and salons could be reopening by May 14

In drastic contrast to that optimism, Tory actually suggested on Wednesday that all remaining 2020 Toronto events will be cancelled if they need to be, right up to the holiday season Santa Claus Parade.

Tory had even warned on Thursday morning that mandatory face masks could become a 6ix staple before this is all over.

Keep on keeping on, Toronto.