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Historic Sitting at the Ontario Legislature

The Ontario Government has just passed 18 pieces of legislation, including Bill 197, which is big for Oxford County as it gives municipalities the right to block landfills.

OXFORD COUNTY - The Ontario Government has just passed 18 pieces of legislation, including emergency measures to protect public health and prepare for economic recovery. 

The legislation that has passed includes Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act. This Bill has a major impact on Oxford County as it states that anyone wanting to build a landfill will have to get agreement from any municipality located within 3 and a half kilometres of the facility. The landfill was one of 20 measures on the bill. 

Premier Doug Ford says this was an unprecedented session of the legislature where they passed 18 pieces of legislation. 

"In our hour of greatest need, MPPs stood shoulder to shoulder as Team Ontario to protect the public during the COVID-19 outbreak. The people of this province expected us to work together and we reached across party lines to quickly introduce and pass critical legislation. We will continue to work for the people of Ontario to help them get back on their feet as we chart a path to recovery for every region in the province."

The Government was able to pass 18 pieces of legislation, including the Reopening Ontario, (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. Government House Leader Paul Calandra says this wouldn't have happened without the opposition working together. 

"In the last five months, working through an unprecedented global public health crisis, our government adapted and innovated to ensure that all MPPs could be fully engaged in legislative business. From the passage of 18 bills, one-third by unanimous consent of all parties, to the ground-breaking study into the economic and fiscal impacts of COVID-19 by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, our government has been working cooperatively to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians."

The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 ensures important measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial declaration of emergency has ended. These measures will provide the province with the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak as Ontario moves towards recovery. The Act will come into force on July 24, 2020 to coincide with the termination of the declared provincial emergency.

Additional emergency legislation introduced and passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes:

- Economic and Fiscal Update Act, 2020: The government's first steps in its response to COVID-19 were set out in the March economic and fiscal update, which included $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for students, families and seniors, and made available $10 billion for people and businesses through interest and penalty relief measures and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

- COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020: Legislative changes that made it easier for people to conduct business and practise physical distancing by providing Ontario corporations temporary flexibility to hold meetings virtually, defer certain annual meetings and allow the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents.

- COVID-19 Support & Protection Act, 2020: The second phase of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included temporary relief for repayment of student loans, extending expiring development charge by-laws, suspending time limits for planning matters, and extending deadlines for municipal Community Safety Plans.

- Protecting Small Business Act, 2020: To support small businesses that experienced a significant decline in revenue during COVID-19, the government temporarily halted or reversed evictions of commercial tenants and protected them from being locked out or having their assets seized if they are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance.

You can listen to the Premiers opening remarks from today below: 

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