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TORONTO, Ontario, July 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The government of Ontario revoked the Declaration of Emergency last month, but its leader still has enormous power unprecedented before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act (ROA) passed into law on July 21, 2020 for one year. It gave Ontario Premier Doug Ford total legislative authority without having to declare a state of emergency. Under the ROA, Ford can act unilaterally for up to a year to impose coronavirus restrictions and measures without the need of a legislature, votes, or a debate. 

“The ROA and the actions of our Premier are both repugnant and reprehensible,” Randy Hillier, the Independent MPP of Lanark — Frontenac — Kingston, told LifeSiteNews

“They are contrary to good government, to representative government, and they are absolutely unwarranted,” he added.

“They are being used only to instil fear to our society and to encourage our society to accept totalitarian rule.” 

Hillier explained that the original Declaration of Emergency was implemented on March 17, 2021 in Ontario. It gave all legislative authority to the Premier. When the Emergency Order expired, the ROA was implemented and was supposed to be in force until July 2021. In March of 2021, Ford re-issued a state of emergency, which he needed in order to shut down the provincial borders, to ensure the police had the authority stop people and demand where they were traveling, and to issue a Stay-at-Home order.  

“These three measures were not included in Bill 195, the Reopening Ontario Act. So lawfully, he had to declare a new state of emergency,” Hillier explained.  

The emergency ended in June 2021, which meant these three measures expired, but Ford’s authority to keep the province locked down remained. 

Hillier told LifeSiteNews that the ROA was meant to be in place for only one year and to end in July 2021. On May 31, 2021, the Ford government voted to extend the ROA till December 2021 even though the coronavirus case rate in Ontario has decreased to 0.001% (as of July 12).  

When asked if the government could legally keep extending the ROA indefinitely, Hillier said yes, adding, “I disagree with it. I think it is reprehensible, but unfortunately they can.” 

The ROA orders the reopening of Ontario into three stages determined by the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated. The Government of Ontario website explains that “Ontario will remain in Step Three until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their population fully vaccinated.” 

Step Three, the most unrestricted stage of the ROA, insists on social distancing and masking, restricts indoor gatherings to 25 people and outdoor gatherings to 100 people, and continues to limit the number of people at religious services, retail outlets, and public events.  

As of July 13, 2021, 68.78% of the eligible adults in Ontario have received the first jab and 48.17% have received the second dose. 

Hillier is not the only MPP opposed to the ROA. York Centre MPP Roman Baber has also stood against the new law. In January 2021, Baber issued an open letter to Ford calling the lockdowns “deadlier than Covid.” After being booted from Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party for speaking up for his constituents, Baber launched a lawsuit suing the provincial government over the restrictions in the Reopening Act.  

In the summer of 2020, MPP Belinda Karahalios was banished from Ford’s Conservative government for standing against Bill 195 as she felt the Reopening Ontario Act ignored the principles of democracy. 

John Carpay, until recently the head of the the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), stated in a recent post that “Canadians under 70 have a higher chance of dying in a car accident than they do of dying of Covid. The chance of a child dying of Covid is the same as being hit by lightning.”  

“Covid has a 99.77 percent survival rate, and is harmless to 90 percent of people,” he continued. 

“But ideology hates common sense, so we allow lockdowns to our entire society rather than focusing our efforts sensibly on protecting truly vulnerable individuals, particularly seniors in nursing homes, from this bad annual flu.”

Referring to the mainstream COVID-19 narrative as “Covidism,” Carpay suggested that its grip on civil authority is leading to “incalculable damage.”

“Unfortunately, ideologies inflict incalculable damage on millions of people while coercive state power is in their service,” he wrote.

“But there is hope: truth eventually prevails over falsehood. For the sake of Canada and the entire world, let’s hope that Covidism’s reign ends soon.”

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is scheduled to move into Step Three of the reopening act on July 16, 2021.