Published Monday, January 11, 2021 8:07AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 11, 2021 4:32PM EST
Invoking a state of emergency is one of the options that is under active consideration as the premier meets with his cabinet Monday night, multiple sources confirmed to CP24 and CTV News Toronto.
The move would give the government the power to enact new measures above and beyond those entailed in the current provincewide lockdown. An emergency order would give Ford the power to close more businesses, prohibit events and gatherings and legally compel people to remain at home.
The Ford cabinet will consider a raft of new measures to combat coronavirus spread in Ontario at a meeting tonight but that won't include a curfew, after health officials worked through the weekend to develop a new strategy.
A government source told CP24 that work to develop new measures is still ongoing, and the final package of measures will be considered at a cabinet meeting tonight, before they are announced publicly on Tuesday morning.
Premier Doug Ford confirmed as much as he walked into his office at Queen's Park on Monday morning.
"Well we worked all weekend, right until late hours last night, we’ll be going to cabinet with recommendations tonight and we will make an announcement tomorrow," he said.
A government source indicated to CP24 that a curfew is not part of the new group of measures being presented to cabinet after public health officials discounted it.
The province declared a state of emergency during the first wave on Mar. 17, 2020. The move led to the shutdown of much of the province's economy, extended school and child care closures and restrictions on public gatherings.
The state of emergency officially ended in July, after the Ford government passed the Reopening Ontario Act.
Many of the measures included in the original state of emergency were allowed to continue under the Reopening Ontario Act, with the caveat that the province could only extend or amend existing measures.
Orders under the Reopening Ontario Act must be extended every 30 days, whereas emergency orders must be extended every 15 days.
Meanwhile, Toronto Mayor John Tory said for the first time he could support a curfew as part of the new effort, but urged the province to consider narrowing the list of businesses deemed essential to keep more people at home.
“I don't rule a curfew out, but I really question whether it will be the most effective. If you have a curfew, can we enforce it,” Tory told CP24 on Monday.
“If you said to me that short of a curfew you had to put more hours of restrictions on when you could get food, I would be perfectly comfortable with that,” he said.
Ontario reported 3,945 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, setting a new record, with Toronto seeing 1,160 on its own.
Nearly 400 people are in hospital in the city, with another 1,000+ hospitalized elsewhere in Ontario.