After a very busy weekend, there is a lot to share about the week ahead. You can see my full weekly recap here: Mayors Weekly Public Update October 26-Nov 1 2020
On Saturday morning, all four Halton mayors and Regional Chair Carr sent a joint-letter to the Premier asking for a more targeted approach to any additional restrictions being imposed as a result of rising COVID-19 numbers, and base them on clear and transparent data, rather than a broader blanket roll-back to modified Stage 2 as has been done in cities like Toronto and Ottawa.
Local MPPs Jane McKenna and Parm Gill sent a similar letter, also signed by myself, among others, asking Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer for similar consideration.
These Halton leaders acknowledge we are still in a serious pandemic requiring adherence to ongoing precautions such as hand-washing, physical distancing and wearing masks.
To be clear: the intention of Saturday’s letters was to ask that additional restrictions take a very strategic and targeted approach that focuses action as much as possible on specific activities, industries and venues that are proven sources of local transmission – and to share the specific data being used to drive these decisions with the public at large – rather than impact entire industries who have seen no evidence of transmission due to the considerable investment they have made in personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and other training and safety measures thus far.
Doing so, it is believed by the letters’ authors, will allow us to maintain the health and well-being of our communities, result in stronger public buy-in and compliance with any new measures, and have a less negative impact on jobs and our valued small businesses.
Public sentiment has been overwhelmingly supportive in reaction to these letters based on the many social media and email responses received by my office at this time.
Media requests came in over the weekend from across Ontario to further discuss this request. Along with our MPP and Mayor Burton of Oakville, there was a lot of engagement with tv, print and radio throughout Saturday, Sunday and earlier this morning.
Additional media requests are expected to continue later today after the Premier makes an announcement about additional measures in Halton, as he indicated he would be doing in his announcement last Friday. If additional restrictions are announced, we will be ready to help our community clearly understand them and direct them appropriately if they seek more detail on the rationale behind them.
Halloween advice may also continue to evolve this week, so we will be ready to continue to share any additional guidance with our community, if needed.
My office is also seeing a significant volume of email related to the Province saying they will end the option for ranked ballots. I will look to release a statement later this week on that topic, and I will be reaching out to my colleagues at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Ontario Big City Mayors caucus, and my fellow Halton Mayors to better understand their views and discuss potential joint action such as a statement or a resolution to bring to council.