COVID-19: What’s the latest?
COVID-19: What’s the latest?
Current as of July 20, 2021. Please note that due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, information in this article may be subject to change. For further updates, please consult the official Government of Ontario’s website and the weblinks provided in this article. Please note that this article should not be taken as legal advice.
Morgan Esposito, Canada Summer Jobs student, July 2021
We wanted to provide you with some updates after almost one and a half years of living with COVID-19. These updates include information particular to persons with disabilities and also some changes to the law in general. Here are some updates for persons living with disabilities in Ontario:
Accessible Drive to Vaccines Program
This new program is available to persons with disabilities and seniors with mobility issues. The program offers transportation from volunteer drivers to COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The service is available for both those who require their first or second dose of the vaccine. Certain eligibility requirements must be met such as you must already have a vaccine appointment booked for the day on which you are requesting a drive. More information about the program and the eligibility requirements can be found here: https://www.ontariocommunitysupport.ca/accessible-drive-to-vaccines-program#Needhelp
Ontario Community Support Program
This program is available to persons with disabilities in need and low-income seniors. The program offers the delivery of paid or subsidized meals and the delivery of medical supplies and other necessities. This program has been extended by the Ontario government until March 2022. More information about the Ontario Community Support Program can be found here: https://www.ocsa.on.ca/covid-19
COVID-19 Vaccination Survey
We also wanted to draw attention to a survey being conducted by Independent Living Canada and ARCH Disability Law Centre. The survey seeks input from persons with disabilities on issues related to vaccines. More information and access to the survey can be found here: https://archdisabilitylaw.ca/for-immediate-release-launch-of-survey-about-disability-related-barriers-to-covid-19-vaccines-across-canada/
Here are some general updates to the law in Ontario and Ottawa:
Ontario experienced a temporary freeze on the enforcement of residential evictions during the now expired stay-at-home order. The enforcement of residential evictions resumed on June 2nd, 2021. For some answers on frequently asked questions related to COVID-19, you can visit the Landlord Tenant Board’s website here: https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/faqs/
If you are a tenant in Ottawa and have concerns about issues like eviction, repair and harassment, then you can contact Community Legal Services of Ottawa (CLSO) who may be able to assist you. You can find more information about CLSO here: https://www.clsottawa.ca/ or you can give their downtown location a call at 613-241-7008. Please note that the CLSO has three different clinics in Ottawa which service different geographical locations. More information about their locations can be found on their website.
Ontario also experienced a temporary freeze on limitation periods during the pandemic. From March 16, 2020 until September 13, 2020, limitation periods stopped running for most legal matters. Limitation periods resumed as of September 14, 2020. A limitation period indicates how much time a person has to start legal action or how much time a person already involved in a legal action has to complete a step in the action. For example, in landlord and tenant matters the limitation period to start a legal action is typically one year. The temporary freeze on limitation periods means that period of time does not count in determining if a person is within or has exceeded a limitation period. More information about limitation periods can be found here: https://stepstojustice.ca/questions/covid-19/there’s-time-limit-my-legal-case-i-can’t-meet-because-covid-19-what-can-i-do/
Mandatory Mask By-law
Ottawa’s temporary mandatory mask by-law for all enclosed public spaces has been extended until August 26th, 2021. The exemptions provided for young children, persons with disabilities or a medical condition continue. For more information about this by-law you can visit the City of Ottawa’s website here: https://ottawa.ca/en/health-and-public-safety/covid-19-ottawa/wearing-mask#temporary-mandatory-mask-law