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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Kathleen Wynne had the authority to declare an emergency in Toronto (but didn't)

Yesterday, I received another email from Ward 21 Councillor "Fiasco" Joe Mihevc reiterating for the umpteenth time how "disappointed" he is that Rob Ford didn't declare a state of emergency in Toronto because of a power failure following the ice storm. Within 3 days, the number of residents affected went down to less than 2.5% of the city, but declaring an emergency was never about a real need to do so - it was about Rob Ford's dishonest Council enemies trying to emasculate him by transferring all his authority to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

...Ford wasn’t the only person who could have declared a state of emergency in Toronto last week.
Premier Kathleen Wynne could have done it as well, without Ford’s consent.

Under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, either the mayor or the premier can declare a state of emergency.

Under Section 4: “The head of council (the mayor) of a municipality may declare that an emergency exists in the municipality or in any part thereof and may take such action and make such orders as he or she considers necessary ... ’’ But in the same law, under Section 7, the premier of Ontario, “may by order declare that an emergency exists throughout Ontario or in any part of Ontario” if “in the Premier’s opinion the urgency of the situation requires that an order be made immediately.” Since Toronto is clearly “any part of Ontario” Wynne could have declared a state of emergency, without Ford’s permission.

Given that Wynne didn’t do that, it’s likely, she agreed with experts on emergency preparedness who said Ford made the right call.

h/t Blazing Cat Fur 

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