Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Updates on COVID-19 emergency
This weekend I'm sure we all heard the unfortunate story of the Oakville resident and his sons who received a ticket under the Emergencies Management Act and Civil Protection Act.

Let's all remember: You and I were not there. Neither of us knows all of what happened. The reporter gave us one person’s side of that story.

In his side of this story, the gentleman who got the ticket says he got the ticket after seeking to debate the matter with the officer. However, I can tell you the gentleman was fined for refusing to obey an order under the Ontario Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Municipal enforcement does first warn individuals that they must leave and only issues a ticket when they don’t comply. Municipal enforcement responded to over 300 incidents on the weekend and only issued 6 tickets for non-compliance so the vast majority of the public are complying with requests to leave.

The Premier ordered municipal parks and recreation areas closed (that includes even parking lots) and deputized municipal by-law officers to enforce the order with first a request and where anyone resists, then with fines. Mayors and Councils cannot overrule a Premier.

I'm sorry the gentleman got a ticket. The individual has 15 days to indicate he wants to dispute the Premier's orders and there is a legal process for him to do so. A by-law officer and a mayor cannot ignore the Premier's orders. The Premier is the boss.

The official Provincial word is, stay home, don't go out for more than basic necessities, and if you go out for exercise, take a walk in your own neighborhood, stay at least 2 metres away from people you don't live with, wash your hands a lot, and municipal parks and recreation facilities are closed (even their parking lots).

The medical authorities are advising the Premier that the virus can be caught from objects outdoors. The recorded daily global death numbers from COVID-19 (between 5,000 and 7,000 per day so far) are running many times the daily global death numbers from seasonal flu (between 800 and 1,700 per day, depending on the year).

The growth rate of this virus is very powerful. Consider the growth of US coronavirus deaths:
Feb. 12: 0 deaths
Mar. 12: 41 deaths
Apr. 12: 22,073 deaths

I am optimistic that if we all obey the Premier and listen to the medical experts we will turn the corner on this pandemic and get back to normal. Here in Halton, public cooperation has resulted in some of the lowest numbers in the GTA. The peak is expected later this month, sooner if everyone cooperates more.

Together, we can win the race against time to get the peak of the virus cases delayed long enough to expand our local healthcare capacity to handle what’s coming.

Please reach out anytime you need information or help, keep well, and stay safe.

Items in this update:

  • Closed means closed
  • COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2 receives Royal Assent
  • COVID case counts
  • Province's new health date reporting platform
  • Food banks reaching record demand
  • Oakville Meals on Wheels still delivering
  • Get your digital daffodil
  • How to make a face mask
  • Extension of Ontario's emergency orders
  • Temporary structures
  • Protection for parents
  • Man in Oakville park gets fined
  • John Tory calls for tougher enforcement
  • Lawn service operation
  • Waste collection reminders
  • Support local online
  • Cities face financial shortfalls
  • Russian COVID counts
  • Looking at the 'new normal'
  • Processing COVID money from Ottawa
  • Degree of normalcy by November?
  • OPL offers digital downloads, more
  • Thank you from local doctors
  • Getting social with
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Reminder: Closed means closed
The Town of Oakville reminds residents that the Ontario government issued an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as parks, sports fields and playgrounds to help curb the spread of COVID-19. This is in addition to the order that prohibits social gatherings of more than five people.

The town has also implemented a by-law to enforce physical distancing. Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them can be fined a minimum of $300 and maximum of up to $100,000 for each offence.

In keeping with the emergency order, all town parks and park facilities are closed. This includes:
  • playgrounds
  • sports fields
  • skateboard parks
  • basketball courts
  • dog parks
  • community gardens
  • picnic sites
  • harbours
  • beaches
  • park and street benches

Town-owned cemeteries are also closed to visitors, and funerals are limited to no more than 10 people.

Walkways and trails remain available to the public to walk through if absolutely necessary, but users must not linger in groups and must continue to practice physical distancing.
The overall message that the provincial and federal governments and public health officials are telling us is: stay home.

“It’s been said loud and clear, but some people are not getting the message. Closed means closed. Do not use,” said Mayor Burton. “This is a serious issue. We all know now that this virus is highly contagious and can be deadly. What we’re doing now – closing parks and encouraging people to stay home will save lives. I urge everyone, and I urge parents to tell their children, stop getting together with friends in parks. They are closed for a reason - to keep people safe. If we all follow the rules now, the sooner we can flatten the curve.”

The Province has established fines of $750 or more for those who violate the emergency order. This order applies to gatherings on private property as well as public property. As the weather gets nicer, citizens are reminded they should not be having backyard barbecues or pool parties with friends and neighbours.

As all gatherings of five or more are prohibited, the town has cancelled all planned town events through to July 3, including postponing the Community Spirit Awards, originally planned for June 11, and cancelling the Canada Day celebrations in Bronte on July 1.
Residents are urged to follow the instruction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and stay home except for essential reasons, such as to access health care services; shop for groceries; pick-up medication at the pharmacy; walk pets when required; and support vulnerable community members.

If you must go out, please remember:
  • Do not linger.
  • Do not walk or gather in groups.
  • Stay two metres (six feet) away from everyone else.
  • Keep dogs on a two-metre leash.
  • Dispose of garbage, including dog waste and used masks and gloves properly in garbage cans.

To report violations of the emergency order, call the Halton Police COVID-19 hotline at 905-825-4722 or ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601.

Find more information on the town’s response to the COVID-19 emergency on our  COVID-19 Information  page or visit the  Halton Region  website for health-related information.
COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2  receives Royal Assent to help businesses keep Canadians in their jobs
On April 11, 2020, Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced in Parliament Bill C-14, the  COVID-19 Emergency Response Act , No. 2.

The proposed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) would apply at a rate of 75% of the first $58,700 earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week, per employee. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

Employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy would be eligible, with certain exceptions including public sector entities. Flexibility in the measurement of revenue for the purpose of applying the revenue decline test would also ensure more consistent access to the wage subsidy across impacted organizations, including newly created businesses and high-growth companies, as well as non-profit organizations and registered charities.


COVID case counts
Halton’s total cases have increased by 21 from 280 cases yesterday to 316 today with 11 more cases in Oakville from 99 to 110.

As of 3 p.m., the Provincial Government is reporting 7,470 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, indicated that 24,804 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Canada with 734 deaths.

Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map.

The Ontario government is taking steps to better detect, plan and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. In consultation with the Ontario Privacy Commissioner, the province is developing a new health data platform called the Pandemic Threat Response (PANTHR). This new platform will hold secure health data that will allow researchers to better support health system planning and responsiveness, including the immediate need to analyze the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Ontario Secures Critical Medical Equipment and Supplies

Over the last five days, more than 13 million surgical and procedural masks, 200,000 N95 respirator masks, and 38 ventilators have been delivered to Ontario's pandemic stockpile warehouses.  


Ontario Businesses Stepping Up to Fight COVID-19

As of April 11, 2020, the Ontario Together portal had received over 14,000 submissions offering to provide everything from hand sanitizer, to gowns and coveralls, to masks and face shields, to testing equipment and ventilators.

Food Banks experiencing record demand
Oakville's food banks are in record-breaking demand. If you can donate anything, please do. Your help is needed.

Fareshare Food Bank Oakville: 905-847-3988 or email  oakvillefoodbank@gmail.com

Kerr Street Mission: 905-845-7485 or donate online at kerrstreet.com

The Salvation Army Oakville: Donate online https://salvationarmy.ca/


 
Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to deliver
Oakville's Meals on Wheels continues to offer services despite COVID-19. Thank you to the staff and volunteers for all they do. Please note the following measures that have been implemented to ensure everyone's safety.

  • Proactive screening of clients, volunteers and staff members
  • Reinforcing Government of Canada and Ontario protocols for clients, volunteers and staff members returning from affected countries
  • Continuing existing infection prevention and control measures
  • Ensuring volunteers and staff are informed and have access to appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Monitoring the situation daily.

Get your digital daffodil
For the first time ever, to support social distancing and ensure the safety of those we serve, the Canadian Cancer Society made the difficult decision to suspend all face-to-face fundraising activities in April and beyond.

Instead, they're offering 'digital daffodils'

  1. Donate and create a Digital Daffodil on cancer.ca/daffodil – a virtual badge to honour someone you care about to share on your social media channels.
  2. Share your reason for supporting CCS – post your daffodil on social media, or share with our community your connection to the cause, give encouragement to those in our community facing cancer during this difficult time, etc. Please tag us on Facebook at CCSBurlington, Twitter at CCSHaltonUnit and Instagram at CCSHalton.
  3. Encourage community members to participate in the CCS Digital Daffodil Campaign by doing the same.
How to make a face mask in 45 seconds
Extension of Ontario emergency orders until April 23
The Province has extended all emergency orders under s.7.0.2 (4) of the  Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act  until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings. This extension is to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Ontarians.

In addition, new measures have been introduced to address surge capacity in retirement homes, restrict recreational camping on Crown land, and allow the repurposing of existing buildings and temporary structures.

Temporary Health Care Structures for COVID-19

On April 9, an emergency order under the  Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act , provides relief from the Building Code to temporary health care structures being built for COVID-19 purposes. These structures are not designed to meet the normal requirements for health care facilities (such as HVAC or oxygen gas lines). However, they are needed as hospitals require new beds to care for those suffering from the pandemic as well as the other patients.
Specifically, the structures will:
  • not be subject to the Building Code,
  • no building permit will be required,
  • no zoning or site plans will be required.
These structures would need to be designed by architects and approved by engineers. Both these professions would have to sign off on the structures. The Chief Building Official (CBO) will need to deem the building safe and regularly inspect for structural sufficiency in keeping with the original design. We understand that CBOs have requested this approach and have been consulted by the Province in advance of this order.
Discussion about the orderly dismantling of these structures during the recovery period is taking place and will unfold as the epidemic starts to subside.  
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be setting up webinars soon to take building officials and municipal staff though the order and answer questions. More MMAH information about those sessions will be coming next week.

Child care operators prevented from charging fees while closed
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government is temporarily preventing child care centres from collecting payments from parents, while also ensuring that their child care spaces are protected. Child care centres, with the exception of those accommodating health care and other frontline workers, were ordered closed to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep the children and child care staff safe.  

An emergency order has been issued, and immediately prevents any child care operator from charging parent fees where care is not being provided. The order also means that parents cannot lose their child care space because they are not paying fees during this period. This order will affect closed municipal child care centres.

Man in Oakville park disobeys order, mocks coronavirus and gets fined $880 under emergency act
A 54-year-old man has been charged and is facing a hefty fine for going into a closed Oakville park Saturday (April 11) after a Halton Regional Police officer told him with a megaphone the area cannot be entered.

Tory asks for tougher enforcement of physical distancing rule
Toronto Mayor John Tory penned a letter urging bylaw and police to write more tickets for people not following physical distancing in the city’s parks and public spaces, and the chief says police are moving to a “zero tolerance” approach.

Lawn services
There have been a number of questions about lawn services and whether they're considered and essential service.

Ontario is the deciding authority and their rules are here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces#section-12

Within this, the following is noted: "Maintenance, repair and property management services strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings."

As a result, Oakville by-law and Halton Police will not be discouraging lawn services from operating.

Please note, none of the above requires lawn services to operate. 
Waste collection reminders
Please note that:
  • Curbside Blue Box, Green Cart and garbage will continue. 
  • Bulk waste collection is suspended until further notice.
  • Please bag and tie all garbage and organic material. Loose items will not be collected.
  • Yard waste collection planning to start as scheduled. 
  • Metal and appliances are collected by appointment only. 
  • The Halton Waste Management Site remains open for regular business hours. 
  • If necessary, please pick-up a Blue Box or Green Cart at the Halton Waste Management Site.
  • Special Waste Drop-off Days are postponed until further notice. 





Support local online

Tuesday April 14 at 7 p.m. 
Live Auction featuring 21 Downtown Oakville businesses 
Follow @oakvilledowntown on Instagram to tune in
Cities face massive financial shortfalls because of COVID
Cities can't run deficits, so how can we keep up? This Globe and Mail article gives some insight:

Russia begins releasing COVID counts
Daily updates in The Moscow Times show the number of coronavirus cases in Russia.

Oxford vaccinology professor says vaccine ready by September
According to an Oxford professor working on trials, a coronavirus vaccine could be ready by September.

Analysis finds Canadians sticking closer to home
Cellphone location data show one in six across country leave their neighbourhoods on weekends now, a sharp drop from two months ago.

What will the 'new normal' be like?
A look at processing COVID-19 money from Ottawa
American infectious disease expert hopes for a degree of normalcy by November
Anthony S. Fauci hopes for normalcy by November as U.S. COVID-19 death toll reaches 20,000, highest in the world.

Oakville Public Library still closed, digital downloads and more still available.
All public libraries in Ontario were closed as directed by the Province of Ontario as part of their declaration of emergency. As such, OPL is unable to re-open until directed to do so by the province.

However, the Oakville Public Library is offering virtual programs , including:
 
·   Live Family Storytime on Instagram and YouTube
·   Virtual Book Talks and Book Clubs
·   Teen writing contest - Write2Xpress
Brand-new 'Creation Challenges' on Facebook
 
With your library card, you can also access their online resources to read, watch, listen and learn! Some of their popular digital resources include The New York Times online, Hoopla, Lynda.com, Kanopy, and cloudLibrary.
 
If you live, work or study in Oakville you can register for a card online .
Call the COVID-19 hotline
For the duration of the pandemic, if a member of the public wishes to report an incident of non-compliance with the emergency orders, they may contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722

It is critical that our residents use 911 for emergencies only.
Pictured here are Dr. James Kovacs and Dr Mary Zamora at the hospital. Dr. Kovacs reports a good amount of PPE donations and extends his thanks to all those who donated items to help our community doctors.
Getting Social with the Town of Oakville

The Town of Oakville strives to keep you up-to-date and stays in touch with residents and community partners on   Twitter Instagram Facebook YouTube , and  LinkedIn .
Those interested in cultural updates, activities, and engagement are encouraged to visit:
Oakville Museum’s   Facebook   and  Twitter
the Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre (QEPCCC)   Facebook   page, or
the Oakville Centre’s  Facebook Twitter , and   YouTube   pages.