State of emergency ends in Niagara Region after eclipse event concludes ‘without incident’

The state of emergency that was declared by Niagara Region in advance of Monday’s total solar eclipse is now over.

Regional Chair Jim Bradley officially rescinded the declaration at 5:45 p.m. after the eclipse event there “concluded without incident.”

IN PICTURES: Total solar eclipse in Ontario

On March 29, Niagara Region announced that it was taking this measure “out of an abundance of caution” as more than 1 million people were expected to visit the area for the celestial event after it was highlighted as one of the world’s optimal viewing locations.

Niagara Region, which was in the solar eclipse’s path of totality, said that said the state of emergency was a proactive step to ensure it was prepared to accommodate the “once-in-a-lifetime event.”

It went on to say that the state of emergency allowed it to facilitate the coordination of dozens of organizations along with provincial ministries and agencies and thousands of volunteers.

“Given the high levels of collaboration on all fronts, and heightened awareness among the public, the declaration has served its purpose and is no longer required to be in place,” Niagara Region said in a news release.

“(We wish) to thank the hundreds of volunteers and numerous staff who worked diligently throughout the day to ensure the health and safety of all remained a top priority.”

An emergency declaration is a provision under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that can be used by municipalities to request support from the provincial and federal government. The act defines an emergency as a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that may result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise.

The head of a municipal council has the authority to declare an emergency to protect the health and wellbeing of individuals as well as public infrastructure.

With files from CP24’s Codi Wilson.