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Province Listens and Gives Councils Ability to Meet Electronically Post-COVID-19

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*Please see below a Statement from Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

Burlington, Ont. – July 8, 2020 – We received great news from the Province today giving municipal councils the ability to meet electronically and allow proxy votes, allowing court proceedings to be conducted electronically and other measures that will now be permanent post-COVID-19.

I had the privilege today of joining mayors across Ontario on a conference call with Premier Doug Ford and the Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to hear directly from them about the changes, and additional measures outlined in the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act.

These were also outlined in a letter sent to heads of council (Minister’s Letter – COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act – 8 July 2020), and a media release available here.

Last week, the Halton Regional Chair, on behalf of the four mayors and municipalities of Halton, wrote to the Premier to ask for these changes to be made permanent. To read that letter, click here: Halton Region Chair Letter to Premier re Virtual Meetings – June 29 2020.

Halton municipalities have been holding virtual meetings throughout the pandemic with great success to conduct the business of our municipalities while continuing to serve our residents and provide opportunities for important public input.

The Province heard us.

We are still going through the legislation that covers a range of matters on development, economic recovery, and changes to the community benefits charges. Some of these include changes to the existing Minister’s zoning order to provide more certainty when fast-tracking the development of transit-oriented communities; making it faster to update and harmonize the Building Code so that we can break down interprovincial trade barriers; and permanently establishing the office of the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator to help solve complex land-use issues.

My team and city staff are still going through the legislation and we’ll provide more details in the coming days, but what we’ve reviewed so far shows the Province has listened to mayors and municipal councils and made positive steps forward.

This is great news, and I would personally like to thank Premier Ford and Minister Clark for consulting with us, listening and making changes.

Today’s announcement is important in ensuring the safety of members of Councils, staff and the public while we continue our business of serving our communities.

Sincerely,

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

City of Burlington

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 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:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

 

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600