City trying to keep up with provincial pandemic orders
Since the arrival of COVID-19 in Ontario, the only constant in city planning has been change, as the municipality reacts to edicts from both the federal and provincial governments on health and safety protocols.
Chief Administrative Officer Ron Taylor reported to council on April 20 how the city is managing the new round of restrictions originally imposed on April 3, and then updated on April 7 and April 19.
“On April 3 the province applied their “emergency brake” as COVID cases began to rise,” Taylor said. “On April 7 a state of emergency and a stay at home order was declared until May 6 initially.”
“The city reacted by closing arenas, community centres, halls, pools, fitness centres, service centres and restricting public access from courts and libraries while they continued to function via Zoom or through curbside pickup,” Taylor said.
“I want to stress that landfills, transit, the city call centre and all remaining city services continue to operate with additional precautions and delays,” Taylor shared. “We have had a number of follow-up announcements from the province that have come as late as April 19.
“The stay at home order has now been extended to May 20,” Taylor added. “The province asked that anyone who could work at home do that, and that non-essential travel be severely limited. We have sent more staff home.”
Taylor reminded council that with the province modifying its initial announcement about outdoor play spaces, parks and playgrounds will remain open right across the city.
“We have all but completed our winter season of work,” Taylor told council, “ and our spring season is beginning to start up with one change that outdoor amenities like playing fields and ball diamonds will not re-open til May 20, at the earliest.”