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Public Notices

Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of Five People or More with Strict Exceptions

News Release

Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of Five People or More with Strict Exceptions

March 28, 2020

Stronger action required to stop the spread of COVID-19

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to further stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians. 

Based on the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.

This order would not apply to private households with five people or more. It would also not apply to operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people. Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

"If we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19 now and keep our communities safe, we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure physical distancing," said Premier Doug Ford. "I strongly encourage everyone to do the responsible thing and stay home unless absolutely necessary. I can assure everyone that we will do everything in our power to stop this virus in its tracks."

"We are acting on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials across the province," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our people. Nothing is more important."

Organized public events include parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. This order replaces a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people.

Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency on March 17, 2020 and has issued orders to close non-essential workplaces, recreational programs, libraries, publicly funded schools, private schools, daycares, provincial parks, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery. Essential services, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, public transit, manufacturing facilities, and supply chain companies remain open and operational.


  • Everyone in Ontario should be practicing physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.
  • On March 25, 2020, the federal government announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. They should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.
  • Take everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; stay home if you are sick.



Ivana Yelich
Premier’s Office

Hayley Chazan 
Minister Elliott’s Office
416 726-9941

Office of the Premier

OPP News Release - Quarantine Act in Effect

(ELGIN COUNTY, ON) - "On March 17, the Government of Ontario declared a State of Emergency through the authority granted under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Emergency orders were issued under the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province of Ontario. The Government of Canada has also invoked the Quarantine Act to further support protecting everyone's health and well-being during the COVID-19 crisis.

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have been properly trained to respond to high risk incidents during this current health crisis. I can assure you that our officers are equipped with personal protective equipment that enables them, when necessary, to respond to the myriad of calls for service that we regularly see in Elgin County.

As this health care crisis continues to evolve, our policing personnel conduct regular screening measures during the course of their duties to identify potential risks of COVID-19. Members of the public entering our Elgin County OPP Detachment will be asked a few questions specific to those symptoms identified by public health experts in order to ensure everyone's safety and well-being.

I strongly urge all citizens, businesses and establishments to voluntarily comply with all of the short term restrictions that Governments have imposed. For allegations of non-compliance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, or any other non-emergency request for service, please call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. In case of an emergency, call 911. The OPP encourages the use of Online Reporting which enables responses to a large number of non-emergent requests by a police officer over the telephone.

 The OPP extends its appreciation to all Health Care Professionals, fellow First Responders and our local Municipal Governments as we respond together to the current State of Emergency declared in Elgin County. We understand the impacts of COVID-19 on our area businesses and citizens. And, while I trust everyone's good judgement to exercise compliance, the OPP will apply discretion whether to launch any investigation or enforcement actions." - Inspector Brad Fishleigh, Elgin County OPP Detachment Commander.

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Contact: Provincial Constable Adam Crewdson,
Email: adam.crewdson@opp.ca

News Release - Ontario Enabling Financial Relief for Businesses

News Release

Ontario Enabling Financial Relief for Businesses

March 26, 2020

New financial measure will allow insurance premium payment deferrals for six months

Toronto - The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.

"During this unprecedented period of uncertainty and hardship, our government is doing everything possible to support businesses and protect jobs," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "By making this change today, we are building upon the substantial financial help we are providing business owners and workers. The top priority is to keep people safe."

All employers covered by the WSIB's workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. They will not be required to opt in to receive this benefit.

Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.

"We have worked closely with the Government of Ontario to help Ontario businesses as they face this unprecedented challenge," said Elizabeth Witmer, Chair of the WSIB. "We're here to help."

The relief program is in addition to a $17 billion package included in Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

The government's action plan will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

Additionally, through the WSIB, the government reduced costs to employers by a new rate framework and the elimination of the unfunded liability charge, putting more than $2 billion back into the economy.

"Our government is working day and night to provide Ontarians with certainty and support during this difficult time. This Relief Package being implemented by the WSIB will help sustain businesses, protect our economy and save jobs," said Minister McNaughton.

The new measure builds on the government's previous actions to support business and protect jobs.


  • The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board covers over five million people in more than 300,000 workplaces across Ontario.
  • Businesses are not required to inform the WSIB that they will be taking advantage of this financial relief package.
  • The deferred premiums will amount to an average $1,760 for approximately 275,000 Ontario businesses.



Janet Deline
Communications Branch

Bradley Metlin
Minister’s Office

WSIB media relations

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development

News Release - Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Families, Small Businesses and Farms During COVID-19

News Release

Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Families, Small Businesses and Farms During COVID-19

March 24, 2020

Province suspending time-of-use rates for 45 days

TORONTO - To support Ontarians through the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, the Government of Ontario is providing immediate electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates.

For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.

To deliver savings as quickly and conveniently as possible, this discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills without the need for customers to fill out an application form.

"During this unprecedented time, we are providing much-needed relief to Ontarians, specifically helping those who are doing the right thing by staying home and small businesses that have closed or are seeing fewer customers," said Premier Doug Ford. "By adopting a fixed, 24/7 off-peak rate, we are making things a little easier during these difficult times and putting more money in people's pockets for other important priorities and necessities."

The Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to apply the off-peak TOU electricity rate for residential, small businesses, and farm customers who currently pay TOU rates.

"Ontario is fortunate to have a strong electricity system we can rely on during these exceptional times, and our government is proud to provide additional relief to Ontarians who are doing their part to stay home," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

"We thank the Ontario Energy Board and our partners at local distribution companies across the province for taking quick action to make this change and provide immediate support for hardworking people of Ontario," said Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy.

Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.


  • The Ontario Energy Board sets time-of-use electricity rates for residential and small business customers through the Regulated Price Plan.
  • Time-of-use prices as of November, 2019 ― Off-Peak: 10.1₵/kWh, Mid-Peak: 14.4₵/kWh, On-Peak: 20.8₵/kWh
  • Depending on billing cycles, some customers will see these changes on their next electricity bill. TOU customers whose billing cycle ended before their local distribution company implemented this change will receive the reduced rate as a credit on a future bill.
  • The Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) will continue to provide a 31.8 per cent rebate on the sub-total bill amount for all existing Regulated Price Plan (RPP) consumers.
  • There are approximately five million residential consumers, farms and some small businesses billed using time-of-use (TOU) electricity prices under the RPP.
  • The Ontario Energy Board has extended the winter ban on disconnections to July 31st.


(OPP WRHQ) - The Province has ordered the two-week closure of businesses deemed "non-essential" or "at-risk" as of midnight tonight. OPP West Region has some tips for business owners impacted by the closures, in an effort to ensure your property is less attractive to thieves.

  • Remove all valuables from storefront displays
  • Remove all cash from tills and leave open with the cash tray out and visibly empty
  • Ensure alarm systems are working and all contact lists are up-to-date
  • Post on doors/windows that the premises are monitored by an alarm company and that no money is kept on the premises. Include the 1-888-310-1122 number to call the OPP should anyone notice a break-in or damage
  • Clean all windows and floors prior to leaving and note when you've done so (have a log) as this will help investigators should there be a break-in
  • Consider a surveillance system which can be monitored remotely by phone/online
  • Consider putting a laminate on all windows/glass to discourage and help prevent easy entry
  • Keep some lighting on inside to help with video surveillance and consider lighting on timers if possible
  • Ensure all doors and windows are locked and secure
  • Ensure all exterior lighting is functioning and on - consider motion sensor lights as another option
  • Remove anything on the exterior which could be used to gain entry to your premises (bricks, ladders, poles, construction materials)
  • Regularly check the building and keep track of when you check (have a log) but go at different times
  • Like your home, if it looks cared for and looks like someone is home or around regularly, thieves will move on to other locations

Our OPP West Region members want the public to do its part to help keep local homes and businesses safe during the outbreak. If you see suspicious activity around a business that you know is closed, or at homes where people aren't around, call OPP at 1-888-310-1122. If it's not a crime in progress, you can also make a report online at https://www.opp.ca/index.php?id=132.

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Contact: Derek Rogers - OPP West Region Media Relations Coordinator

Email: derek.rogers@opp.ca

Update on Municipal Services and Programs

  • Garbage bag tags have been suspended until October 1, 2020 as we continue to implement social distancing  to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • ReLeaf Day is cancelled, municipal staff will be in contact with those who have pre-ordered trees as they will continue to be ordered.  
  • The Municipality is postponing the payment of the second interim tax installment due Friday, May 29, 2020 until the first due date of the final tax installment due date on Monday, August 31, 2020 and waives any new penalties for this installment until September 1, 2020
  • The Municipality is postponing the payment of the April 15th and July 15th 2020 water billings until Monday, August 31, 2020, and waives any new penalties for these billings until September 1, 2020; and
  • The Municipality will be waiving rental fees for tenants at municipal properties who are unable to operate/attend the rented space due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Joint Declaration - Mayor Purcell’s Additional Comments

Joint Declaration:

Additional comments from Mayor Bob Purcell:

“To-day (Sat) Dutton Dunwich participated in a joint “Declaration of an Emergency” relating to the Corona Virus.

Dutton Dunwich delayed this formal announcement till the County of Elgin & the City of St. Thomas were both ready to proceed. Most other Municipalities within Elgin did the same.

The time leading up to this announcement was spent properly investigating the pros & cons of such an announcement & fully understanding the mutual benefit of doing this together; as an united Team.

This combined approached dramatically lessens the local work involved; when our staff are currently fully occupied.

It also ensures a fully; coordinated effort; especially when you think about the shared services; combined operations and inter-dependent nature of our relationship with each other, in Elgin; plus, St. Thomas.

This formal joint Declaration has 3 major benefits: 

It shares and lightens the administrative work-load; it protects all our Council members; staff & any volunteers from liability claims and it gives us easier access to any related Provincial/Federal funding; when and if available.

Our local Dutton Dunwich Council did not wait for this formal Declaration to take necessary action.

We have; already, taken all the steps possible; to ensure the maximum protection of our citizens; visitors and staff.

A  Motion; was passed at our March 17th Special meeting of Council.  

“That the Mayor & Clerk be authorized to continue to make decisions and implement actions necessary to protect everyone; during, the Corona Virus crisis.

That the Mayor implement our local State of Emergency; when appropriate and beneficial; plus, work with the County of Elgin & possibly the City of St. Thomas; to harmonize this declaration.”

Carried; with ALL in favour via recorded Vote.

Every precaution possible has been implemented to protect us all from infection.

We need your; the public support & cooperation, as we all continue to follow the wise instructions from our Health experts.

ANY questions; please, call me: 519-762-3341

This to will pass!



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