Toronto City Council has voted unanimously to extend Mayor John Tory’s emergency powers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
City councillors also voted to extend the physical distancing rules which are currently in place at all city parks and public spaces for the duration of the municipal emergency.
The resolutions were passed during a special meeting Thursday with councillors using an online video conferencing platform – the first time councillors of Canada’s most populous city met virtually.
“This extension will ensure the municipal government can continue to respond quickly to the emergency, administer other necessary City business, plan for recovery and focus on protecting the health of all residents,” read a statement released by the city.
It has been just over one month since Tory declared a State of Emergency in Toronto. At the time, there were 304 cases of COVID-19 in the city and most cases were traceable to travel or close contact with the virus. As of Thursday, the city has 5,551 confirmed cases of the virus and 366 deaths.
“I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of Toronto residents who have done the right and the responsible thing and helped us in this ongoing war to flatten the curve and defeat this virus,” said Tory. “You have saved lives. And by continuing to do the right thing and stay home as much as possible, you are continuing to save lives during this emergency.”