(Bell Rotary Peace Park. Photo: Barry Gray)
Premier Doug Ford has announced that the emergency electricity rate relief for families, farms and small businesses is being extended until May 31, 2020. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Premier Ford said, “During this extraordinary period, many people are struggling to pay the bills as they do the right thing by staying at home, as well as our farmers and those whose businesses have closed or suffered reduced customer traffic. “…we are not out of the woods yet. The extension of this electricity rate relief will leave more money in people’s pockets until businesses can start to reopen and people can get back to work.”
The Premier also added, “All emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act will be extended until May 19, 2020.”
The other good news. The City of Ottawa is opening up parks with limited activity. Individuals and families can enjoy fresh air and some outdoor activities in City parks. Everyone must also comply with current prohibitions under the Provincial Emergency Orders, including the prohibition on organized public events, gatherings of more than five people, and entry to and use of certain outdoor recreational amenities.
Ottawa Public Health continues to advise that limiting activities to members of your own household remains important to limit the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, and that physical distancing of at least two metres from non-household members be maintained during these activities.
Examples of permitted activities for individuals in groups of up to five people or members from the same household include:
- Playing catch, kicking a soccer ball and throwing a football
- Flying a kite
- Sitting on a blanket, grass or lawn chair
- Exercising and stretching on a yoga mat, but not in a class
- Letting young children run and burn off some energy
Mayor Jim Watson said, “Allowing access to our City parks green spaces is welcome news to many of our residents – especially those with young children and those living in apartments. It’s been almost nine weeks where the only outdoor escape involved back and front yards – for those who have them – and going for walks on residential streets. While we are far from returning to normal, people can now escape the confines of the indoors and their properties to enjoy some much-needed fresh air and activity.”