Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Friday, April 24 COVID-19 emergency
Today I welcomed with delight the announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford providing the rent relief for the commercial tenants and landlords including the foodservices industry that I, and others, had written requests for several times this month.
The plan, which will be funded jointly with the provinces, will provide non-repayable loans to commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of rent for April, May, and June.
Town Council and I heard from local businesses about the need for rent relief. Earlier this month I had written letters on behalf of our Oakville Economic Task Force and the restaurant industry to our local MPPs and MPs to highlight the immediate need to assist businesses by temporarily suspending the eviction of commercial tenants and providing a rent subsidy while working with commercial landlords so they have the ability to offer concessions. I would like to thank our local MPs and MPPs for listening and bringing our voice to Ottawa and Toronto.
In order to qualify, small business tenants must pay less than $50,000 a month in rent and have experienced a drop of revenue of at least 70 per cent from before the COVID-19 pandemic or been forced to shut down.
The loans will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to cut the rent by at least 75 per cent for April, May, and June and promises not to evict their tenants. The rest of the remaining rent must be covered by the small business tenant. In addition, the government is also offering a $40,000 loan to businesses, $10,000 of which can be non-repayable.
I am pleased that all levels of government are responding to the needs of residents and businesses here in Oakville. Oakville’s Economic Task Force will continue to seeks ways to provide support for Oakville businesses as we look ahead to the recovery of our local economy.

Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Oakville beginning to plan for pandemic recovery
  • Enforcement of Provincial Emergency Orders
  • Grasshopper Energy Donates PPE to hospital
  • Nourishing Neighbours program
  • Town of Oakville event cancellations
  • Province's plans to reopen on the way
  • Scotiabank Arena turns into giant kitchen
  • Medical tents at Newmarket hospital to house coronavirus patients
  • Canada Coronavirus Map and Case Count
  • Alberta’s top doctor says no mass gatherings this summer
  • One thousand new pandemic words
  •  'Stronger Together' special Sunday night
  • Can I go for a walk?
  • Top death rates per million
  • The healthiest way to drink coffee
  • Go with the flow? Vote now
  • Haltech webinar registration
  • Virtual campaigns
  • COVID-19 timeline
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Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by 5 from 410 cases yesterday to  415  with 5 more confirmed cases in Oakville, from 128 to  133 . There have been a total of 98 recoveries in Oakville to date.

According to the April 22 Surveillance Report by Halton Region, Oakville had 148 cases or 32% of cases in Halton which is lower than our percentage of population (36%) as pictured here.

Ontario public health units report a jump of 600 new cases or 4.4 per cent and 45 additional deaths. That brings the total to 14,425 confirmed or probable cases and 815 deaths in the province. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced Canadian Armed Forces will be at: Orchard Villa in Pickering; Altamont Care Community in Scarborough; Eatonville in Etobicoke; Hawthorne Place in North York and Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor in Brampton. Each of the 50-member military teams is headed by an army nurse.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says more than 2,000 people have died from COVID-19 and more than 643,000 tests have been administered, with over 6.5 per cent of people testing positive.

Visit for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map.

Oakville beginning to plan for pandemic recovery
Cautions emergency measures are still in place  
As the town’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is now in its seventh week, Town Council received an update from Acting CAO Jane Clohecy at the virtual Council meeting held online yesterday, on how the town is moving forward with critical services while planning for recovery. The town cautioned that this does not mean that emergency measures put in place by the province, the region and the town to slow the spread of COVID-19 would be lifted anytime soon.

“The town is now entering Phase 3 of its COVID-19 response plan and this includes opportunities to safely bring back additional services and begin recovery planning,” said Ms. Clohecy, adding that the town hopes that it can begin opening facilities in early July, but that is contingent on the continued success of physical distancing and isolation practices currently in place continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To help with overall recovery plans, Mayor Burton along with Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette, Milton Mayor Gord Krantz formed the Halton Mayors Recovery Coordination Group.

“We’re working together to prepare for a successful transition to a post-COVID-19 future and recovery period,” said Mayor Burton. “We are stronger when we work together as a team.”

The third phase of the COVID-19 response looks at the six-week period running from early May to mid-June and includes planning for recovery by looking at ways to deliver services such as accepting and processing new planning, building and development applications online.

At a Special Meeting of Council held April 8, staff outlined the five phases of the town’s pandemic response. The first phase took place from March 13 to April 5. This phase saw facilities and programs shut down. The second phase which began on April 6 and runs through May 3 has seen the continuation of critical services, with full-time town staff working from home where possible.

The final two phases of the pandemic response include the ramp-up for the potential reopening of facilities and the implementation of recovery efforts over the balance of the year. The dates of when recovery might begin are contingent on the continued slowing of the spread of the virus and the province lifting its emergency orders and restrictions.

To continue to assist the community through the emergency order, Ms. Clohecy highlighted a number of mitigation actions the town has implemented. These include deferral of late tax payment penalties until June 30; offering free parking and free transit; and establishing the Mayor’s Economic Task Force to support local businesses. In addition, Council approved offering rent deferrals to tenants of town-owned buildings.

As with all municipal governments across Canada, COVID–19 has had a serious impact on town finances. Analysis to date indicates an estimated revenue shortfall of approximately $19 million for the year. To help mitigate this shortfall several steps have been taken or identified as potential actions including:
  • Focus on delivery of critical and essential services resulting in a reduction to operating costs, materials, supplies and purchased services
  • A 50 per cent reduction in the town’s usual spring workforce - vacant positions, layoffs of part-time and seasonal staff, delaying summer student hiring
  • Deferring capital projects to ensure sufficient cash flow
  • Use of 2019 surplus reserve funds to help offset revenue shortfalls
  • Partnering with national, provincial, and regional organizations to seek financial support from federal and provincial governments including lobbying the federal government to provide urgent funding to assure the viability of public transit and aid transit operators in rebuilding ridership.

While the town may be looking ahead to a potential re-opening in early July, Ms. Clohecy stressed that current town restrictions remain in place to protect the public and slow the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of town facilities, parks and other communal outdoor spaces; physical distancing and anti-litter by-laws; and cancellation of public events.

In addition to this year’s Canada Day event, the town made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Children’s Festival and extend the cancellation of performances at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts through to July 3.

“The town continues to respond to direction provided by federal, provincial and regional public health officials. COVID-19 remains an ongoing health emergency and the town is continuing its focus on actions to curb the spread of this virus,” said Ms. Clohecy. “We thank residents for doing their part to help flatten the curve.”

Enforcement of Provincial Emergency Orders and Municipal Physical Distancing By-Laws
Halton Regional Police Service has provided the following data for enforcement-related calls in April that were dispatched to by-law enforcement and HRPS officers. By-law officers are happy to report that the majority of residents are doing their part to stop the spread of  #COVID19  by following Provincial Orders.

Residents who want to report an incident of non-compliance with the emergency orders or municipal physical distancing by-laws can contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline at  905-825-4722

Grasshopper Energy Donates PPE to hospital
Grasshopper Energy recently donated 5,000 surgical masks and 1,000 KN95 masks to the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

Nourishing Neighbours program
Nourishing Neighbours (food support program) will continue in a modified format Thursdays 5-6pm . Pre-bagged bags will be handed out at the door. There will be no waiting area and no browsing for goods. A single bag will be provided and ID may be requested to ensure one bag per household.

Please do not arrive before 5pm on Thursday. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, email us at or call 905-825-3364

Town of Oakville event cancellations
In addition to this year’s Canada Day event, we made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Children’s Festival and extend the cancellation of performances at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts through to July 3. Keeping our town healthy and safe is our priority and we look forward to hosting public events once it’s safe again for large crowds to gather.

Province's plans to reopen on the way
Premier Doug Ford says the Ontario government will release its plan for reopening the economy next week.
Scotiabank Arena turns into giant kitchen
MLSE prepares 10,000 meals a day for front-line health-care workers and their families as well as the city’s most vulnerable via community agencies and shelters.
MLSE is planning to run the program five days a week at least through June, delivering a half-million meals.

Medical tents at Newmarket hospital to house coronavirus patients
Two medical field tents now being set up near the east entrance of Southlake Regional Health Centre will soon be ready to take as many as 30 patients if needed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Southlake is the first hospital in Ontario using the BLU-MED tents, according to Joe Gajcevic, Ontario sales manager with distributor Rampart International Corp., which is installing the structures.

Canada Coronavirus Map and Case Count
The New York Times is tracking cases of coronavirus in Canada, and countries around the world, with an interactive map and detailed graphs. Numbers are updated regularly.

Alberta’s top doctor says no mass gatherings this summer
As the Calgary Stampede and Calgary Folk Music Festival both announced the cancellation of their premiere summer events Thursday, Alberta’s top doctor said no festivals or large gatherings will be able to take place until September at the earliest.
The blanket ban on summer events and festivals is necessary because of COVID-19’s ability to “spread like wildfire in large groups of people,” Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.

One thousand new pandemic words
'Coronadodge,' 'isobar,' and 'zumped': what other words have been created during the COVID-19 pandemic?

 'Stronger Together' special Sunday night
Dozens of all-star Canadian artists, activists, actors, and athletes will share their stories of hope and inspiration in a national salute to front-line workers fighting COVID-19 for a historic multi-platform concert, ‘Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble,’ on Sunday night.

The event, in support of  Food Banks Canada ’s $150-million campaign to provide immediate support to food banks across Canada.

More than four dozen big-name Canadians have signed on for the historic, star-studded broadcast, ‘which will air commercial-free Sunday April 26, at 6:30 p.m. across all markets/ 7 p.m. NT.

You can watch the broadcast on: CTV, CTV2, CP24, , the CTV app, , and the iHeartRadio Canada app.

Can I go for a walk?
Outdoor exercise can contribute to your overall physical and mental health. You can go for a walk if you:
  • have not been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • do not have symptoms of COVID-19
  • have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days
If you go out for a walk, do not congregate and always practise physical distancing by keeping at least 2 metres apart from others at all times.

Top death rates per million
Australia and New Zealand Aim to Show the Way to vanquishing the virus
The two countries, led by ideological opposites, are converging on an extraordinary goal: eliminating the virus. Their nonpolitical approach is restoring trust in democracy.

The healthiest way to drink coffee
Coffee consumption in the United States is a $30 billion industry and while the ongoing debate as to whether coffee is actually “good” for you or not continues to rage, this study suggests there is one brewing method that is the healthiest.

Around town:
Go with the flow? Vote now
we asked your advice on the right direction to walk on sidewalks, and we have two candidates: go with the flow, the direction of the vehicles, OR, go against the flow, as one would on a road with no sidewalks. Email your answer to .

Haltech Office Hours Webinar
Strategies to Pivot Your Business in a Crisis –  Register Here
Mon, April 27, 1-3 PM EST

Reduce Churn with Sticky Client Onboarding Experiences–  Register Here
Wed, April 29, 1-2 PM EST

Register Here  for the rest of the Start Me Up Series:
  • Part 2: Business Model Canvas - Wed, May 13, 9AM - 12PM EST
  • Part 3: Marketing Messaging - Wed, May 27, 9AM - 12PM EST
  • Part 4: Branding Exercises - Wed, June 10, 9AM - 12PM EST
United Way virtual campaign

Friday, May 8, 2020
12:00-12:30 P.M.
Attire is comfortable, sneakers and track pants welcomed!

ALS walk

The virtual edition of the Walk to End ALS event will take place on June 21st.
ALS partner, Brain Canada, is offering a dollar for dollar match of up to $1 million to invest in promising ALS research.

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

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

The Salvation Army Oakville: Donate 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.
Coronavirus timeline