Ottawa Declares State of Emergency

As of March 17th, the City of Ottawa has declared a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This blog post will provide updates on the situation as it develops.

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On Tuesday March 17th, the City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the City is taking every measure possible to protect residents and staff.

The state of emergency declaration will remain in effect for as long as necessary and will be reviewed on a weekly basis. As part of the declaration, the City has implemented a number of measures, including:

-Suspending all non-essential City operations, effective March 18th
-Cancelling all events and permitting activities
-Closing all recreation facilities, including arenas, pools, fitness centres, sports fields, playgrounds and park amenities
-Closing all Public Libraries
-Suspending all taxpayer service counter operations at 110 Laurier Avenue West

What is a state of emergency?

A state of emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to perform actions or impose policies that it would normally not be permitted to do. A state of emergency may be declared in response to a natural disaster, an Pandemic, an act of terrorism, civil unrest, or other serious crisis.

When a government declares a state of emergency, it usually does so in order to be able to respond more quickly and effectively to the crisis at hand. In many cases, this will involve suspending or curtailing some civil liberties, such as the right to assembly or the freedom of movement. It may also involve invoking powers that are normally reserved for situations of martial law.

The declaration of a state of emergency is typically made by the head of state or government, though in some cases it may be made by another official such as a governor or mayor. In some jurisdictions, the declaration of a state of emergency may need to be approved by the legislature before it takes effect. Once declared, a state of emergency typically remains in effect for a set period of time, after which it must either be renewed or allowed to lapse.

Why was it declared in Ottawa?

On September 21, 2018, Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency in Ottawa due to widespread flooding. This is the first time such a declaration has been made in the city’s history.

The declaration came after days of heavy rain that caused rivers and creeks to rise to record levels. The floods caused widespread damage to homes and businesses, and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents.

The state of emergency will remain in effect for at least seven days, and could be extended if necessary. During this time, the city will have access to additional resources to help with the recovery effort.

What are the implications of a state of emergency?

A state of emergency allows the City to have more flexibility in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City can now take decisions more quickly, and is not bound by normal processes and rules.

The state of emergency also allows the City to:
– close public buildings, including parks and recreation facilities
– cancel or postpone events
– restrict public gatherings
– implement traffic management measures, including road closures
– waive certain fees and charges

The state of emergency declaration does not allow the City to:
– enact a curfew
– restrict the movement of people within the City

How long will it last?

The Ontario Provincial Government has declared a state of emergency in Ottawa effective immediately. This is in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration will be in place for at least 28 days.

The government has put several measures in place during this time, including:

-Closing all non-essential businesses
-Restricting gatherings of more than five people
-Asking people to self-isolate if they have any symptoms of COVID-19

These measures are necessary to prevent the further spread of the virus and protect the residents of Ottawa. The government will continue to monitor the situation and may extend the state of emergency if necessary.

What can residents expect?

On March 17, 2020, the City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency to help protect the health and safety of residents and to ensure the city has the resources it needs to respond to COVID-19.

The declaration of a state of emergency allows the city to take any measures it considers necessary to deal with the situation, including using city facilities for emergency purposes, suspending or cancelling city programs and events, and waiving certain procurement rules.

Residents can expect increased police and bylaw presence in Ottawa as officers work to enforce physical distancing measures. The city is also working hard to ensure that essential services, such as garbage collection and water treatment, are not interrupted.

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we all work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.


In conclusion, the Ottawa government has declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow them to better coordinate resources and ensure that everyone in the city has access to essential services.

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