Restrictions the Right Response to 'Alarming' COVID-19 Projections: Dilkens


New restrictions go into effect in province wide Saturday to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants.

Starting at 12:01 a.m., outdoor recreation amenities, such as golf courses and playgrounds will close, non-essential construction will stop, and essential retail will have a 25 per cent capacity limit.

Premier Doug Ford also announced emergency powers for law enforcement Friday, allowing them to stop residents to find out why they've left the house during a stay at home order.

Weddings, places of worship and other ceremonies will have a 10-person limit both indoors and outdoors starting Monday at 12:01 a.m.

Mayor Drew Dilkens says Ford's government is doing what it has to do in the face of "alarming" projections from health officials.

"Nobody runs for public office on a platform to shut down the economy, close schools and turn parent's lives upside down," he says. "I think the third wave is putting lives at risk and we need folks to understand the consequences."

Dilkens says police stopping residents shouldn't be a problem for locals out getting essential supplies, but it could be effective in preventing travel between municipalities.

"There's no curfew, but I think what the signal here is, they've increased powers for police to be able to track people who are going out because the idea is to stay in your house," he added.

He tells The Tom McConnell Show the province will need to start looking at more measures to compensate residents.

"The money that you're doubling from $10,000 to $20,000, you've renewed that small business grant, but more is needed if we're going to be in further lockdown," he says. "Otherwise there is going to be a lot of people, businesses and families who continue to suffer."

Essex County Warden Gary McNamara issued a statement Friday afternoon. 

He says, "additional restrictions will be difficult for residents and small businesses to bear but it's vitally important we abide by them to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep ourselves, our families and our community safe."

The measures will be in place until at least May 20.