At the Burlington City Council meeting on Jan. 19, Council unanimously approved extending the expiry dates to COVID-19 related bylaws (mask and physical distancing) until Dec. 31, 2021.
MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:
Hope is certainly on the horizon with the vaccine to get us all through to the other side of the COVID19 pandemic. For the foreseeable future, additional health measures will still be necessary – washing hands, wearing a mask, staying 6ft apart from anyone we don’t live with.
None of us know for sure when we will be through the pandemic, but based on what we have heard from the Provincial COVID19 Vaccination Task Force, vaccination efforts will take through the spring and summer, and likely into the fall.
We want to be up front with the community about that, and be clear about the need for continued health measures and our bylaws for some months. Council did discuss ending the bylaws sooner, and in the end unanimously voted to extend to the end of December. Certainly, if there is an opportunity based on health evidence and advice from our Medical Officer of Health to lift these bylaws earlier in the year, we will do so.
My own view in supporting this extension till the end of December is that it is better to be up front and honest with our community that we are still in this pandemic for a long period of time, and that it is preferable to be able to lift the regulations early, than dash the hopes of our residents if we had to continually extend the bylaw.
These are tough times, and we know everyone is struggling. I am so grateful to our community for continuing to do your part to keep yourself and those around you healthy.
Keep up the great work, from a grateful mayor and council.
BACKGROUND (From the Staff Report to Council):
City staff recommended to Committee and Council extending the expiry dates of both the Mask (62-2020) and Physical Distancing (17-2020) By-laws until the end of 2021 (currently expire on January 31, 2021).
While it is understood that vaccines for the COVID-19 virus will be available in 2021, it will take many months before the majority of people can obtain the vaccine. It is anticipated that the current Public Health recommendations regarding physical distancing and the wearing of masks will remain in place until such time that the vaccines have been widely distributed and virus levels can be controlled at an acceptable level. For this reason, staff are recommending that the by-laws remain in place.
Should conditions change, the by-laws can be revoked at any time via a motion from Council.
The full staff report is available below under “Related Links.”
Approve the amendment to By-law 62-2020, otherwise known as the “COVID-19 Mask By-law”, to provide an expiry date of December 31, 2021, as attached as Appendix A to building and by-law department report BB-02-21, in a form satisfactory to the Executive Director of Legal Services; and
Approve the amendment to By-law 17-2020, otherwise known as the “COVID-19 Physical Distancing By-law”, to provide an expiry date of December 31, 2021, as attached as Appendix B to building and by-law department report BB-02-21, in a form satisfactory to the Executive Director of Legal Services.
- Staff report: BB-02-21 – By-law Amendments to Extend Expiry Dates for COVID-19 Related By-laws
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PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.
A consolidated page for information and updates on the work of the provincial Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is available at bit.ly/COVIDVaccineUpdates.
Halton Region has also created a dedicated COVID-19 Vaccine webpage for up to date information on the status of our COVID19 vaccination program.
A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.
To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.
HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online.
- Halton Region has created a Reopening Schools resource webpage for parents, students and teachers at halton.ca/covid19.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist