COVID-19 Update for March 24, 2020 – 2:00pm

This afternoon Premier Doug Ford made a series of announcements:

Reduced Hydro Rates

Premier Ford and Energy Minister Greg Rickford announced that hydro rates will be held at the low-peak usage rates (10.1 cents per kilowatt hour), 24 hours a day. This rate will apply to families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates. The change is effective immediately and will last for at least 45 days, with the option to extend. Minister Rickford noted that this $160 million investment equates to monthly savings of $20 for households, $150 for small businesses and over $300 for farms.

Additional Protection for Long-Term Care Homes

The Ontario government is taking stricter measures to protect long-term care homes from COVID-19. A directive issued this morning mandates that residents of long-term care homes will no longer be able to leave their facilities to visit friends or family. Residents will be allowed outside as long as they remain on the home’s property and maintain a safe distance from any visitors.

14-Day Shutdown

The mandatory shutdown of non-essential businesses takes effect tonight at 11:59 p.m. and will last for 14 days, with the option to extend if necessary. Late yesterday the government released a list of businesses that are considered essential and can continue operations.

Construction Industry

Premier Ford has decided to keep construction sites open but has put the “industry on notice,” warning that sites not abiding by public health guidelines will be shut down. Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer has issued a notice outlining precautions job sites must take. Ford also said that Ministry of Labour inspectors are present at numerous job sites and will not hesitate to shut down sites that do not comply with all orders.

If you have any questions please let us know.

The Enterprise Team

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