This morning Premier Doug Ford gave the go-ahead for community gardens to be reopened by amending a previous emergency order to include them as an essential service. This move will ensure food security for some families and individuals during the pandemic. The reopening will include both allotment and community gardens across Ontario.
Although a date for opening has not been given, each garden will be reviewed as to how they will control the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines will be set by the local medical officer of health and must follow public health and safety guidelines.
In his announcement, the Premier stated, “The goverment will permit the use of allotment gardens and community gardens across the province. These gardens are an essential source of fresh food for some individuals and families, including those who face food insecurity. Local medical officers of health will provide advice, recommendation and instructions that the gardens must meet in order to operate, such as physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces.”
Hayley Chazan, the senior manager of media relations for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott, called them an essential source of food for some individuals and families. “That’s why Ontario is amending the emergency order to allow allotment gardens and community gardens to reopen,” Ms. Chazan wrote.
On hearing this news, Kim Bonin, Manager of Jo-Jo’s Community Garden posted on their facebook page, “This is wonderful! We will be in touch once the new guidelines are shared! Excellent news gardeners!!!”
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