Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Updates on COVID-19 emergency
As we proceed through the COVID-19 pandemic we are going to see and experience further restrictions and tightening of rules. Currently, we're being asked to stay home, to not leave unless it is for essential reasons and to do that as infrequently as possible too.

It is much like this quote from the Book of Isaiah 26:20

20: Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past.

If you must leave your home, please respect the physical distancing guidelines and only go out for essentials, such as:
  • For medical appointments
  • Grocery shopping
  • Picking up medications
  • Walking pets
  • Helping the vulnerable

Walking while avoiding crowds and maintaining social distancing is allowed, but please be respectful of others while you're out.

It is also strongly recommended that anyone with a compromised immune system, underlying medical conditions or over age 70 begin self-isolating now and stay home to avoid increased risk of COVID-19. 

Your Town Staff, Council and I are committed to ensuring we provide every support necessary to our community, our staff, and our regional public health officials during this very challenging time

As always, ask for help if you need it. Email me at – I will guide you to help.

Items in this update:

  • Showing appreciation for frontline workers
  • Dr. Tam issues health care warning
  • Ontario fund to re-tool factories
  • Those breaking the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act must identify themselves
  • Oakville non-essential business warned for staying open
  • Essential businesses in Oakville
  • Lakeshore Fortinos re-opens
  • COVID-19 outbreak in Halton Hills retirement home
  • Young people are note immune
  • Supply-line disruptions could cause Canadian drug shortage
  • Federal government creates COVID-19 app
  • Wage subsidy details released
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit explained
  • Toronto quarantine orders
  • White House projects bad two weeks ahead
  • Pence calls the US the equivalent of Italy
  • Saudi official urges Muslims to delay hajj plans over virus
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Showing appreciation for frontline workers
To the many frontline workers who continue to work while the rest of us stay home, we are truly thankful and grateful for all you are doing.

The best way for residents to show their own appreciation is to, first and foremost, stay home and follow isolation and physical distancing rules so our frontline can do their jobs with as low risk as possible. This one thing will be appreciated more than anything. I know because this what our frontline people are telling me every day.

Other means of showing appreciation include donating to local organizations that support both the frontline workers and the vulnerable in our community that could use the assistance right now. These include:

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario started a campaign last month, asking everyone in Ontario to show their support for health care workers by cheering, clapping and making noise on your front porch or driveway or balcony each night at 7:30 p.m.

A similar initiative by a local Sheridan College student is asking people to place a Thank you Neighbour poster, as above, in the window or on the door.  

When you must go out for basic necessities, please follow the physical distancing guidelines and stay away from others. Should you see people disobeying isolation rules, please ask them politely to follow the rules, or call the police non-emergency line at 905-825-4747.

Dr. Tam issues health care warning
Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the health care system has the potential to be overwhelmed in all of the COVID-19 scenarios projected by the federal government.

None of those projections, however have been shared by the government.

But Tam says the health system is not designed to deal with this kind of surge, and could be facing difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce resources in all those scenarios. She says in some of the worst case scenarios, the health care system will not be able to cope.

Ontario fund to re-tool factories
Ontario has established a $50 million fund to help manufacturers re-tool factories to make masks, ventilators and other gear needed to fight COVID-19.

Premier Doug Ford called on factories for help. “Your province needs you now, we have some dark days ahead," he said, warning that “there is very little separating us” from what happened in Italy or Spain to what could happen in Ontario. “We know a surge is coming.”

Visit the Ontario Together web portal:
Those breaking the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act must identify themselves
People who are being charged with an offence under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) will be required to identify themselves if asked by a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, special constables and municipal by-law enforcement officers.

This temporary power was approved by the Ontario government through an emergency order to better protect people during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Oakville non-essential business warned
for staying open
The Halton Regional Police Service has issued a warning to a business deemed non-essential after it was found open and operating this week.

On March 31, 2020 members of the Oakville District Response Team responded to complaints about a business ​in Oakville being open in contravention of the provincial order to close.

The owner of the business was issued with a Warning Notice for the offence of – Failing to Comply with an Order Made During a Declared Emergency pursuant to section EMPCA 7.0.11(1)(a).

Police also noted the following concerns:
  • Customer access to the store was unregulated
  • There was no screening signage for COVID 19
  • There were no protective barriers protecting staff or customers
  • No measurements to ensure physical distancing
  • No restrictions on number of people allowed into the store at one time

From a legislative perspective, there have been a number of recent changes, both provincially and federally, in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the country. The Halton Regional Police Service is providing the following clarity regarding their enforcement authorities, which reflect the legislative landscape as of April 1, 2020.

Non-Essential Businesses Remaining Open
As a result of a declaration by the Province of Ontario (March 24, 2020), all non-essential establishments - as identified by the provincial government - are legally required to close.
While voluntary compliance to the guidelines laid out by the provincial government is preferred, police have been provided the authority under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to issue fines to individuals and businesses that choose to defy the Act. 
The Halton Regional Police Service reminds residents with concerns about a possible offence under the Act to contact them via their non-emergency line at 905-825-4747.​
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. "See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at .
Essential businesses in Oakville
I’ve heard from many residents questioning why manufacturing plants and construction sites are still operating in Oakville when these don’t seem like essential businesses.

The orders as to what is, and isn’t, an essential business have come from the Provincial Government. Our role is now to enforce those orders.

Unless a business that has been deemed non-essential is found to be operating, the Town and Region have no jurisdiction in the matter.

Today, Premier Ford suggested that more businesses in Ontario are going to be ordered to shut down. “We’re going to be adjusting that list in the next day or so," he answered when asked about construction sites and others still considered essential.

The list should be released in the next day or two.

Lakeshore Fortinos re-opens after employee
tests positive for COVID-19
The Fortionos at 173 Lakeshore Road West is re-open today following a deep cleaning last night. This comes following a store employee testing positive for COVID-19.
Read the full story:

COVID-19 cases continue to rise
As of April 1, 2020, there are 74 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Halton region. As of 3 p.m., the Provincial Government is reporting 2,392 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario; this number includes those cases that have been reported as resolved or deceased. This represents an increase of 426 confirmed cases from the previous report.

There have been 9,017 cases of COVID-19 reported in Canada with 105 deaths.
COVID-19 outbreak in Halton Hills retirement home
Halton Region Public Health has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 in a Halton Hills retirement residence.

Regional staff are working closely with leadership at Mountainview Residence to ensure all appropriate outbreak measures are taken, including testing of any ill residents and staff.
Young people are not immune
An Alberta man in his 30s has died of COVID-19, prompting officials to warn young people they are not immune from the disease.

A 6-week-old baby in Connecticut becomes latest infant death related to the coronavirus.

Supply-line disruptions could cause Canadian drug shortage
the federal health ministry’s top public servant has warned Canadians that as COVID-19 disrupts supply chains, possible drug shortages could be on the way.

Wage subsidy details released
The Federal government released further details regarding the new Canada Wage Emergency Subsidy that will provide eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 75 per cent.

The subsidy will be available to businesses, non-profits, and charities and will cover up to three months of wages, retroactive to March 15. It was earlier reported that the program would only apply to small businesses, but the government said that large businesses would also be eligible.

To qualify, employers must demonstrate that their revenues have fallen by at least 30 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wages covered will be capped at up to $847 per week (or 75 per cent of the first $58.7k of an employee’s salary). 

The online application portal for the program should be available in three to six weeks.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit explained
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) offers a monthly payment of $2,000 for up to 16 weeks for those who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

Any Canadian who has ceased working for a 14-day period due to COVID-19 is eligible. Applicants must also have had $5,000 in employment income, maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day they make the application.

This includes contract workers, self-employed individuals, wage earners, those who have had to stay at home to care for loved ones or self-isolate, and those who haven’t been laid off permanently but have stopped receiving pay.

Those who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. However, if their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease and they are still unable to return to work due to COVID-19.

CERB payments would begin to be received within 10 days of application. The funds would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

Applications for the CERB will open on April 6 but Canadians can create a My Account on the CRA website and sign up for direct deposit in order to speed up their application.

Federal government creates COVID-19 app
Health Minister Patty Hajdu says the government has created a mobile app to provide direct updates on COVID-19.

The app will provide updates on the latest government measures and public health advice to limit the spread of the virus. It will also include a self-assessment tool for people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Toronto quarantine orders
Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa is emphasizing that residents should stay home, and only go out as needed and just for essentials. Under provincial advice, local public health officers can issue “written orders” to those with COVID-19 “to take or to refrain from taking any action that is specified.” These measures may need to be in place for “up to 12 weeks” which would be until the end of June.

De Villa is also recommending new measures including issuing orders to “emphasize the significance” of self-isolation for those tested positive, suspected cases and close contacts.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. David Williams  is “strongly urging”  his local public health counterparts to invoke a law allowing them to issue orders restricting the movements of COVID-19 patients and their contacts.

White House projects bad two weeks ahead
President Donald Trump has asked Americans to brace for a bad two weeks ahead as the White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic.
These numbers are possible even with current physical distancing measures in place.

Read the full story:

Pence calls the US the equivalent of Italy
Vice President Pence issued a dire prediction of the spread of the coronavirus, saying Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, “may be the most comparable area to the United States at this point.”

Also on Wednesday, Homeland Security officials warned the government’s emergency stockpile of respirator masks, gloves and other medical supplies  is nearly exhausted .
Saudi official urges Muslims to delay
hajj plans over virus
A senior Saudi official Wednesday urged more than 1 million Muslims intending to perform the hajj to delay making plans this year — comments suggesting the pilgrimage could be cancelled due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

Safely support local

Find out which services are open and closed, which retailers are offering online shopping and what restaurants are open for takeout downtown.

Halton Community Services Directory

Visit this database of the social and community services available to residents of Halton Region,