emergency alert ontario

Ontario emergency alert telling everyone to stay home angers people across the province

All of Ontario experienced a simultaneous moment of panic this morning as cell phones across the province buzzed with urgency thanks to an emergency alert from the government and, as per usual, the use of Canada's Alert Ready notification system didn't exactly go over well.

The jarring alert went out across Ontario at 11 a.m. Thursday, nearly 12 hours after the province's latest stay-at-home order came into effect,  telling people to stay home and only leave the house for essential reasons.

"A stay-at-home order is in effect," it read. "Only leave home for essential purposes such as food, health care, vaccines, exercise or work. It's the law. Stay home, save lives."

And, as is typical for these loud and unignorable notifications, the Twitter complaints began to roll in almost immediately.

Residents who are already fed up and frustrated with the province's response to the out-of-control third wave of COVID-19 took to social media for some digital eye-rolling, with many pointing out that the list of essential activities included in the alert greatly contradicts the directive to stay home at all costs. 

Others meanwhile highlighted the fact that countless residents don't actually have the option to stay home, including all essential workers and children going to in-person school. 

Residents also griped about the fact that Ontario has been in a pandemic for more than a year and lockdown restrictions have been fairly constant throughout, putting the need for such an alert into question. 

And some said that with the newly-implemented provincewide shutdown, residents who aren't essential workers wouldn't have anywhere to go even if they wanted to. 

Some people, who've been calling for paid sick leave for essential workers who don't have the luxury of staying home even when infected with COVID-19, meanwhile couldn't believe the province actually had the audacity to tell everyone to stay home considering those calls have gone ignored.

The government issued a similar alert when the first stay-at-home order was introduced back in January, and the reactions expressed on social media were quite similar to those flooding everyone's feeds today.

So while the province's intention may have been to get all residents on the same page about staying home and stopping the spread, it seems like the emergency alert mostly served to further infuriate residents who are already unimpressed and fed up with their government's actions over the past several months.

Lead photo by

blogTO Staff


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