*Please see below a news release issued by Ontario’s Big City Mayors.
April 16, 2021 — With the number of COVID cases rising at an alarming rate, the Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) caucus is encouraging all Ontarians who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Additionally, the caucus is urging residents to stay home and refrain from travelling outside of their areas. The caucus recognizes that this has been a long and challenging year for everyone and we are grateful for the efforts and sacrifices of Ontarians thus far, however, now is the time to make a strong final collective effort.
Focusing on Mental Health and Addictions Supports
The pandemic has highlighted the pressing need for more mental health and addictions supports for residents across the province. Today, the OBCM caucus affirmed its commitment to finding long-term solutions in partnership with all levels of government and local service providers.
At today’s caucus meeting, the Mayors received an update from the Mental Health Working Committee that has been tasked with leading this work. Committee co-chairs, Mayor Darrin Canniff of Chatham-Kent and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward of Burlington are leading the work to develop specific recommendations to the provincial government.
“We have heard from residents time and time again that support is not there to address mental health and addictions challenges. As a caucus, we are taking action to drive positive changes forward so that residents can access supports when they need them. We look forward to working closely with the mental health and addictions community and the provincial government as we develop our recommendations.” — Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, Chair of the OBCM caucus
At its caucus meeting, OBCM also discussed the need for stronger consequences for Councillors who flagrantly violate the Municipal Code of Conduct.
The Caucus passed the following motion at the April 16, 2021 OBCM meeting.
Municipal Code of Conduct
Moved by: Mayor Watson (Ottawa)
Seconded by: Mayor Guthrie (Guelph)
Whereas, currently the Municipal Act 2001, provides limited actions towards Members of Council who have violated their respective Council Codes of Conduct; and
Whereas, there have been several examples in Ontario of Members of Council acting with deliberate and total disregard for any of the principles and values outlined in their respective Council Code of Conduct and the workplace policies proclaimed by Council; and
Whereas AMO has adopted a four-point position that includes allowing a judicial removal of a Member of Council at the recommendation of a municipal Integrity Commissioner in instances of egregious or repeated violators of a Council Code of Conduct;
Therefore, be it resolved that OBCM take the position that there be stronger consequences for flagrant violations of a Council Code of Conduct by a Member of Council, including but not limited to removal of office; and
Be it further resolved that OBCM write to the Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Honourable Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, seeking revisions to the Municipal Act, 2001, that would provide for the vacating of the seat of a member of council who has been found on clear and convincing evidence to have committed serious misconduct, including any definitions necessary for the implementation of such a provision; and
Be it further resolved that these revisions consider allowing a Council or municipal Integrity Commissioner to refer a Code of Conduct Violator to the court for a judicial hearing or an arm’s length, non-political third party to address the potential removal from office of a Member of Council, similar to the current process with respect to attest relating to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
About Ontario’s Big City Mayors
Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM), formerly known as the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario, includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, who collectively represent nearly 70 per cent of Ontario’s population. OBCM advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities.
Mayor Jeff Lehman, Chair
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 at halton.ca/covidvaccines 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