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Coronavirus: Ontario legislators call for clear criteria of ’emergency brake’ pandemic measure

Click to play video 'Mounting pressure for more details about Ontario COVID-19 vaccine rollout' Mounting pressure for more details about Ontario COVID-19 vaccine rollout
WATCH ABOVE: Premier Doug Ford was not in question period Tuesday as his government comes under increasing pressure for details about how the next phase of vaccinations will work. Travis Dhanraj reports – Feb 23, 2021

TORONTO — Ontario’s Opposition is asking the government to clearly define what would trigger an “emergency brake” measure meant to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control as the economy reopens.

The Progressive Conservative government has said the measure allows it to swiftly move a region back into lockdown if cases spike.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the government needs to detail the criteria that would trigger the use of the measure.

She says the government has loosened public health restrictions too soon, without a clearly defined plan.

Read more: Ontario reports 975 new coronavirus cases, 12 more deaths

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner are also expressing confusion over the parameters of the measure.

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Health Minister Christine Elliott says the measure considers a public health unit’s increase in case numbers, variants of concern and health system capacity.

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She also says the measure was used when the province decided last week to keep Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay under a stay-at-home order until March 8.

Ontario reported 975 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and 12 more deaths from the virus.

The province said 16,252 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered since the previous update, for a total of 585,707 doses total.