August 14 Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Santa Claus is coming to Oakville
This week I spoke with Santa and he confirmed that he’ll arrive in Oakville on Saturday, November 21 in the evening. Excited families can watch via live stream and, if Provincial rules still permit, in person.

Santa’s arrival along Lakeshore Road will highlight the Lakeshore Road updates and kick off the holiday season in Oakville, which will include interactive virtual activities for children and families from the Town of Oakville. More details on those activities will be announced at a later date.

As we look ahead to Santa’s arrival and events happening sooner, such as back to school, we need to consider the important remarks made by Ontario’s chief medical officer, Dr. Williams, yesterday. “We know cases will still exist in Stage 3 – we have to continue to our part to keep the number low on a go-forward bases.”

Doing our part includes staying home when you’re feeling unwell, washing and sanitizing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, keeping physical distance and wearing a mask when you can’t, as well as indoors as mandated by our regional by-law.

My three Cs of COVID-caution can also help: Avoid crowded places, closed spaces and close-contact settings.

Below you’ll read about some of the projections for a second wave and as you do, please keep Dr. Williams’s remark in mind. Also below you’ll find the updated pandemic timeline, which shows just how far we’ve come during the COVID-19 emergency.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Health officials warn of potential 'fall peak' in COVID-19 cases in Canada
  • Canada adds 390 new coronavirus cases, nine deaths, as provinces warn of surges
  • Many COVID-19 cases resulting from public spaces, research shows
  • Town of Oakville announcements
  • Town of Oakville to receive $6.9M in federal and provincial emergency funding
  • Overcrowding at waterfront parks
  • Illegal barbecuing and bonfires
  • Lakeshore Road reconstruction update
  • Building projects must offer opportunities for all
  • Grow and donate partnership
  • CCAH free virtual town hall: Managing Diabetes During COVID-19 and Beyond
  • Shred event fundraiser
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Takes additional steps to better protect students and staff
  • Ontario supporting the safe reopening of more spaces at gyms and recreation centres
  • Ontario launches first climate change impact assessment 
  • Ontario supports plan to safely extend the life of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station
  • Ontario raises school board funding for COVID costs but unions say the back-to-school plan is unsafe
  • Activists raise alarm as Ontario passes environmental assessment redesign during pandemic
  • Federal Government announcements
  • Pathway to permanent residency recognizes exceptional service of asylum claimants on front lines of COVID-19 pandemic
  • Government of Canada releases Canada's Flight Plan for safe air travel
  • Canada-U.S. border will remain closed until Sept. 21
  • Drug shortages could 'imperil the lives' of Canadians, doctors warn
  • FCC beats cities in court, helping carrier avoid $2 billion in local 5G fees
  • Massive outbreaks in Israeli schools a 'cautionary tale' for Canada
  • New Zealand extends lockdown in largest city
  • In related news
  • Why you shouldn't be worried about getting the coronavirus from food
  • Israeli researchers studying test that can detect coronavirus in under a second
  • Scientists find coronavirus in the air — but experts say this won’t yet change how we fight it
  • Masks with exhalation valves don't protect others from COVID-19, health officials say
  • Hamilton's physical distancing bylaw is back and so are $500 fines
e-Newsletter sign up
Did you receive this email from someone? Please consider signing up so you never miss an update.

Ward News
Oakville Town Council represents seven wards with a Town and Regional and Town Councillor in each riding.

Find and connect with your Councillor by clicking the link below.
COVID case counts
Confirmed cases in Halton increased by +2 from 852 to 854, with no new confirmed cases in Oakville, total remains at 281.

There are currently 0 COVID-19 patients being cared for at OTMH and 12 active cases in Oakville.

There is 1 reported recovery in Oakville, 294 in Oakville total recoveries earlier and 881 in Halton. 
Ontario reported 92 new cases of COVID-19 today,. That brings the total to 40,459 with 36,772 of those resolved and 2,788 deaths. Currently there are 41 patients being treated for COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals, with 17 of those in ICU and 9 on ventilators.

As of today Canada had 121,234 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 107,551 of those as recovered or resolved. A tally of deaths stands at 9,053.
Visit for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
COVID-19 deaths per million
Health officials warn of potential 'fall peak' in COVID-19 cases in Canada
Canada's top doctors say they're striving for a best-case scenario but preparing for the worst: a so-called "fall peak" of COVID-19 cases across the country.

Canada adds 390 new coronavirus cases, nine more deaths as provinces warn of surges
Another 390 new coronavirus cases continued Canada’s overall flattening of the pandemic curve Thursday, yet some health officials are warning of new surges if people don’t change their behaviour.

Many COVID-19 cases resulting from public spaces, Concordia University research shows
Journalists and researchers at the Institute for Investigative Journalism break down where many coronavirus cases have been contracted.

Oakville and Halton
Town of Oakville announcements
Town of Oakville to receive $6.9M in federal and provincial emergency funding 
This week, the Province of Ontario in partnership with the federal government, announced Phase 1 of emergency funding for Ontario’s 444 municipalities. Through the Safe Restart Agreement, the Town of Oakville will receive $2,447,884 to support Oakville Transit and $4,460,300 to help with COVID-19 operating costs.

“My Council colleagues and I are pleased that the provincial and federal governments have delivered on their promise to provide financial assistance to municipalities. In the fall, Oakville will receive one-time financial assistance of $6,908,184. As municipalities are not allowed to run a deficit, this funding will help mitigate the fiscal shortfall that has resulted from the COVID-19 shutdowns and help us continue to provide the high quality facilities and services Oakville residents expect,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

The town’s projected net operating budget shortfall during the emergency shutdown is estimated at $10.3 million as a result of lower program revenues.

The town began its response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12, closing all town facilities to the public – including all recreation and culture facilities and programming, seniors’ centres, libraries, harbour facilities, parks and sports fields – and moved to providing modified, essential services only, including reduced transit service. In order to accommodate health and safety measures, fare collection on Oakville Transit was suspended from March through June.

To help mitigate the financial impact of the closures, the town made the difficult decision to issue temporary lay-offs to part-time, seasonal, casual and temporary staff.

“This funding is very welcome news. While we are now in phase 3 of recovery and some staff are returning, the town saw minimal revenue during the March 16 – June 30 closure period. It will take time for revenues to resume to normal levels during the recovery period as services are phased in and capacity limits are enforced,” said Nancy Sully, treasurer and acting commissioner, Corporate Services.

For more information, review the COVID 19 Financial Update report on the July 7, Budget Committee agenda.

The Town of Oakville has a comprehensive COVID-19 recovery process in place that aligns with the Province’s gradual phased-in approach. For more information and to learn what’s open and closed in Stage 3, visit the town’s COVID-19 page.
Overcrowding at waterfront parks
Municipal Enforcement staff is working with HRPS park patrol officers (POPP - Police on Park Patrol) to address the ongoing issue of overcrowding at waterfront parks.

Park Ambassadors have been deployed to remind people about physical distancing and signs reminding visitors to practice COVID-19 safety measures (e.g. stay 2-meters apart, wash your hands, physical distance, etc.) are posted.

Parks staff have reduced the number of picnic tables at sheltered and non-sheltered picnic sites at Coronation Park. This measure is now being enhanced and staff will be either removing or taping off all remaining tables this weekend. 
Illegal barbecuing and bonfires
Fire Prevention officers are now patrolling Tannery Park, Coronation Park and Bronte Beach, Monday to Friday from noon to 2 p.m. to provide public education on fire safety, and address problems with barbecuing in unauthorized locations. This patrol will continue until the end of the summer.

As a reminder, bonfires are illegal in public places, such as beaches. Fines are $300 under the Parks By-law for fires and are being enforced.
Lakeshore Road reconstruction update
What's happening now
Allan to Reynolds
·   Preparing for the removal of safety fence and opening roadway to pedestrian traffic
·   Grouting granite pavers

Reynolds to Trafalgar
·   Preparing for installation of concrete laybys
·   Installing granite paver base

Trafalgar to Dunn
·   Silva Cell backfilling on south side
·   Preparing for Silva Cell excavation on north side

Phase One
·   Installing street furniture

Thomas – Lakeshore to Church
·   Installation of sanitary services begins Monday, August 17, completed by August 31. Roadway will be closed to vehicular traffic but sidewalks are open.
What's been completed
Allan to Reynolds
·   Granite pavers installed – grouting underway
·   Roadway paved

Reynolds to Trafalgar
·   Sidewalk installation north side
·   Granite curb complete

Trafalgar to Dunn
·   Silva Cell installation on south side

Trafalgar – Lakeshore to Church
·   Installation of new storm sewer
Installation of new sidewalks

This week marks the completion of the sidewalk on the north side of Lakeshore between Reynolds and Trafalgar. A big thanks to the businesses and retailers who were able to work with us to complete a concrete pour in only three working days.

Some information around the sidewalk installation:
  • When possible, our contractor takes full advantage of a continuous pour of a sidewalk block. This process takes one full working day. If everyone whose front entrances are affected allow for a temporary closure, it could save up to 12 working days!
  • When scheduling the removal of sidewalks and the pouring of sidewalks, consideration is given to the time of day and the day of the week in which the work is scheduled, minimizing disruption to businesses and residents on Lakeshore Road.

Weather permitting, Lakeshore between Allan and Reynolds block will open to pedestrian traffic next week.
Building projects must offer opportunities for all
With the Canadian government’s recent announcement to fast track billions of dollars to help stimulate the economy with investments in infrastructure projects across the country, it is imperative that community benefits agreements are leveraged to prioritize women, Indigenous, Black and racialized communities in the economic opportunities generated from these investments.

Infrastructure projects are complex undertakings and can be intimidating to interact with for local community members. At the same time, meaningful community involvement in these projects is a necessary piece of the blueprint for success.

Here in Halton the United Way’s Halton Community Benefits Network was tasked to manage the Community Benefits portion of the now cancelled consolidated courthouse project.
The $500 million project was slated for North Oakville to consolidate the current Milton and Burlington courthouse facilities. The four-year construction was one of five Ontario Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) pilot projects managed by Infrastructure Ontario.

The aim was to provide opportunities during the four-year period of the courthouse construction, to incorporate employment and workforce development elements that support some targeted goals to support citizens in our region.

The focus in negotiating a CBA with the province and contractor is the inclusion of elements that will lead to better employment opportunities and skills development for beneficiary groups - individuals such as youth, newcomers and those with disabilities who may be unemployed or on low income.

Recommendations included: 
  • apprenticeships for youth exiting college
  • access to training and employment for diverse groups (newcomers and other diverse minorities)
  • access to training and employment for those in a range of fields (professional, admin and technical)
  • workforce transportation options & flexible work hours
  • extended hours for childcare with an early childhood education component onsite for 4 years

The loss of this project will be felt throughout the region.

Grow and donate partnership
Halton Food recently partnered with the Town of Oakville to grow and harvest vegetables for the local food bank, at three locations across Oakville including Kingsway Park and Kingsford Gardens Park. 
CCAH Free Virtual Town Hall:
Managing Diabetes During COVID-19 and Beyond
Join the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH), the Oakville Hospital Foundation, and the Halton Diabetes Program for a virtual town hall about steps that can be taken to delay and/or manage diabetes during COVID-19 and beyond. There will also be an announcement about how CCAH is supporting this important program.

Shred event fundraiser
Crime Stoppers of Halton, in partnership with Blue-Pencil Information Management, is hosting a Shred Event Fundraiser in September to help combat identity theft and related fraud.

The event will take place on Saturday, September 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Halton Regional Police Headquarters, at in the parking lot at 2485 North Service Rd W, in Oakville. 
All volunteers will be wearing P.P.E. and attendees can choose to stay in their vehicles as volunteers unload for them. Social distancing, safe practices and a heathy event is our main priority. 
New this year is the option to use cash, credit or debit for your donation to Crime Stoppers of Halton. Residents and business owners can utilize Blue-Pencil's secure mobile shredding trucks to ensure the safe and efficient destruction of personal and sensitive documents to help prevent identity theft and other financial fraud. 
Colin Jessome, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Halton, says "We are expecting 500+ vehicles to take advantage of Blue Pencil's mobile shredding service. It's a win-win for residents as you get to clear out your old clutter while donating to a great organization that is focused on keeping Halton safe. Donations go towards school programs on crime prevention and drug awareness, older adults' seminars regarding frauds and scams, and community housing presentations to name a few."

Identity theft remains one of the largest means of fraud with losses running into the billions of dollars.

Items such as cancelled cheques, banking, tax, and other financial records, old letterhead, invoices, copies of job applications and anything containing personal information should never be placed into regular garbage or recycling streams. In the hands of criminals, these documents can be easily used to obtain credit cards, access bank accounts, obtain passports and other identification, or even to obtain a mortgage on your home without your knowledge until it's too late. Destroying confidential and business documents is the best way to protect yourself and your family from becoming victims of fraud.
Mario Skopek, President, Blue-Pencil Information Management said that he and Blue-Pencil are proud to partner with Crime Stoppers of Halton to help give back to the community. "Blue-Pencil Information Management specializes in increasing awareness and security of information for both businesses and individuals alike to help prevent identity theft and corporate espionage. Much like Crime Stoppers helps to secure our community safety, Blue-Pencil helps secure your valuable information. We couldn't be happier to assist Crime Stoppers with this community initiative to securely dispose of sensitive documents, while helping raise funds and awareness in Halton Region," Skopek said.
Provincial Government announcements
The Ontario government is providing more than half a billion dollars in supports to school boards to ensure schools across the province will reopen safely in September and to protect students and staff. These supports will enable school boards to provide more physical distancing in classrooms and direct funding to utilize non-school community spaces, and will allow boards to make adjustments based on their local needs.

Details on these important updates for the 2020-2021 school year were provided yesterday by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, following extensive consultations with leading medical experts across Ontario.

"We have demonstrated throughout this outbreak that we will deliver the strongest and safest plan in Canada for Ontario students, with a recognition that we will continuously strengthen it over time," said Minister Lecce. "This investment and access to reserves will enable more social distancing and improve air quality, and ultimately strengthen the layers of protection to keep students and staff safe." 

Ontario is building on its plan and taking additional steps to ensure a safe return to schools in September, based on the best medical advice available. The government is allowing boards to make necessary adaptations, in consultation with their local public health unit. Adaptations could include smaller class sizes and leasing additional space. Additional measures include:
  • Unlocking access to reserves up to $496 million, an increase of $244 million, by allowing boards to access up to 2 per cent of their operating budget from their prior year accumulated surplus. This funding can be applied to local priorities of each board, based on the immediate needs on the ground to prepare for the start of school. For boards that do not have sufficient reserves, the government will provide up to an additional $11 million in funding to support equitable school re-opening plans provincewide.
  • Providing a record-setting $50 million in one-time funding to support improved ventilation, air quality and HVAC system effectiveness in schools. School boards will continue to maximize their use of existing school renewal funding, which totals over $1.4 billion this school year. Boards will focus on improving air systems in older schools, portables, and in neighbourhoods with higher rates of community transmission.

The government is also releasing a Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM)  that ensures students receive a high quality and consistent teacher-led remote learning experience. This directive will significantly strengthen minimum expectations, as well as provide a consistent approach across the province to ensure students are fully engaged in their learning, and have a predictable timetable for synchronous, live learning. It will include ministry-set requirements on the minimum time for synchronous learning by grade, protocols for communicating with parents and students and access to technology. The directive also outlines effective practices, such as training and technical support, which will enhance the implementation of synchronous instruction for students and staff.

In addition, the government is ensuring accountability for parents and an improved remote learning experience by investing $18 million to help school boards hire principal and administrative support to better deliver and oversee synchronous, live learning. Students will continue to have several opportunities throughout the school year to re-enter classroom learning, and boards need to provide at least one re-entry point in the fall.

"We are taking action to ensure live, synchronous learning is improved, providing parents with consistency and a timetable to mirror the in-class experience," said Minister Lecce. "In order for remote learning to be successful, we are urging unions to embrace this form of learning that parents expect and students deserve."

The ministry will continue working closely with public health and school boards to monitor and report on the health status of school communities as part of the government's outbreak management plan.
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is supporting the safe reopening of many sport, fitness and recreation facilities by applying a capacity limit on a per room basis to help more businesses reopen their doors, get more people back to work and promote the return to a healthy and active lifestyle for all Ontarians. Beginning August 15, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., these facilities can have up to 50 patrons for each indoor sport or fitness room, while ensuring physical distancing of at least two metres.

The revised capacity limits are on a per room basis. They will apply to the gymnasiums, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga and dance studios and other fitness facilities that are able to follow the new guidance. The change was enabled by amendments to the Stage 3 regulation and a new plan and guidance document to apply a per room limit for sport and recreational fitness activities at facilities with the necessary space or layout.

Businesses, not-for-profits, and municipalities may need or choose to take more time before implementing this change in capacity limits. Facilities may also adopt their own protocols that are more restrictive than the guidance. The government will continue to work with sport and recreation organizations across the province on their safe return to sport.

Amateur sports in Ontario have been severely impacted, as measures to stop the spread of COVID‑19 cancelled competitions and closed training centres. As access to sports and recreational facilities increases, the government is investing $8 million through the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund to help the province's sports organizations, from Alpine Ontario to WushuOntario and every sport in between, to continue to serve athletes of all levels. The funding will help them continue delivering high-quality programming and competitions to develop athletes, coaches and officials, and to promote health and wellness in communities across the province.

Based on community needs, some municipalities and local medical officers of health have implemented additional restrictions or requirements, such as mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments and indoor public places. Check with your local public health unit's or local municipality's website.
The Ontario government has selected a consulting team led by the Climate Risk Institute to conduct the province's first-ever multi-sector climate change impact assessment. The study will use the best science and information to better understand where and how climate change is likely to affect communities, critical infrastructure, economies and the natural environment, while helping to strengthen the province's resilience to the impacts of climate change.

"Our government is committed to tackling climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions and helping communities and families prepare for the effects of our changing climate," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. "I look forward to receiving the results of Ontario's first-ever climate change impact assessment, which will help the province, municipalities, Indigenous communities and local partners make more informed decisions on planning and infrastructure investments to keep communities healthy and safe."
As part of its work, the Institute will be reviewing a variety of information such as climate data, land use patterns and socio-economic projections. They will also develop an engagement plan to ensure the final assessment reflects the views and perspectives of Indigenous communities, municipalities, key economic sectors and the public. The assessment will be conducted over the next two years and it is anticipated that the final results will be released in 2022.

The climate change impact assessment is a key component of the province's Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to taking the next steps in the provincial impact assessment, last year Ontario also established an advisory panel to provide the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks with advice on the implementation of the province's climate change actions - especially how Ontarians can prepare for the costs and impacts of climate change.
The Ontario government is supporting a plan by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to safely extend the life of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. The updated schedule will provide electricity consumers with emission-free, low-cost energy and allow 4,500 high-quality jobs to remain in Durham region longer.

Under its proposed plan, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) will keep Pickering's units 1 and 4 operating until the end of 2024 and units 5 to 8 operating until the end of 2025, allowing for the safe, sequential shutdown of all units while maximizing the economic benefits of the generation station in the community.

"The safe operation of Ontario's nuclear assets is our top priority," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "I'm pleased that OPG has developed an innovative proposal that will provide Ontarians with emission-free, low cost energy, and keep highly-skilled Ontarians working in their communities longer."

OPG informed the government that ongoing testing demonstrates the plant is safe to operate beyond its previously scheduled shutdown date of 2024 and the continued improved performance at the plant provides value to electricity consumers. In December 2019, Pickering was given an exemplary performance rating from the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

"Our extensive analysis has shown that we can safely and reliably operate Pickering until the end of 2025 and provide a solid benefit to the ratepayer," said Ken Hartwick, OPG President and CEO. "I want to recognize every one of the Pickering staff for their commitment to safety and for their role in improving performance year over year. The station's performance is better than ever and Ontario electricity users will continue to benefit from clean and stable baseload power for several more years."

OPG requires approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for its revised schedule. The final decision regarding the safe operating life of the Pickering site will be made by the CNSC, which employs a rigorous and transparent process, including public hearings for decisions on licensing of major nuclear facilities.

Supporting OPG's efforts to optimize the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station's shutdown schedule is part of the government's plan to maintain a reliable and affordable energy system while keeping good jobs in local communities.
Ontario raises school board funding for COVID costs but unions say the back-to-school plan is unsafe
The Ontario government is upping funding for school boards’ COVID costs — as teacher unions up the pressure on the province to address their back-to-class concerns.

Activists raise alarm as Ontario passes environmental assessment redesign during pandemic
A new omnibus bill passed Tuesday in the Ontario legislature threatens the protections put in place by the Environmental Assessment Act, environmental groups say.

Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, will change dozens of pieces of Ontario legislation.

Federal Government announcements
Pathway to permanent residency recognizes exceptional service of asylum claimants on front lines of COVID-19 pandemic
Front-line workers play a critical role in keeping Canadians healthy. In recognition of their exceptional service, today the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced a temporary measure that will provide a pathway to permanent residency for asylum claimants working in the health-care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under this measure, asylum claimants across the country who are working on the front lines providing direct care to patients in health-care institutions will be able to apply for permanent residency if they meet the criteria. Quebec will select those qualifying for this special measure who wish to reside in Quebec. This approach recognizes those with precarious immigration status who are filling an urgent need and putting their own lives at risk to care for others in Canada.

As with all applicants for humanitarian and compassionate consideration, and in line with the government’s commitment to family reunification, in-Canada family members of the principal applicant would be included in the application and granted permanent residency, if the application is approved. Those who have been found ineligible to make an asylum claim, or who have withdrawn or abandoned their claims, would be excluded from applying.

To qualify, individuals must meet all of the following criteria:
  • have claimed asylum before March 13, 2020
  • were issued a work permit after they made a claim for asylum
  • have worked in the health-care sector, in health institutions (for example, hospitals, long-term care homes, home care through an organization or agency, assisted living facilities)
  • have worked in a designated occupation for no less than 120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020. The designated occupations that are included in this special measure are orderlies, nurses, nurses’ aides and patient service associates, assistant orderlies and certain home support workers.
  • demonstrate 6 months of experience in the designated occupation before being granted permanent residence. Applicants will have until August 31, 2021 to acquire this experience.
  • have a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ), if wishing to reside in Quebec
  • meet existing admissibility requirements, including those related to criminality, security and health  
Government of Canada releases Canada’s Flight Plan for safe air travel
While the Government of Canada continues to recommend Canadians avoid non-essential international travel, Canadians need to know that the Government of Canada continues to work with partners to protect public health by implementing measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during air travel. This is especially important during a period where jurisdictions both within Canada and beyond begin to open up and lift restrictions including those on travel.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced Canada’s Flight Plan for Navigating COVID-19 (Canada’s Flight Plan), which is the foundation for Canada’s current and future efforts to reduce the public health risks of COVID-19 while travelling by aircraft. This action plan puts in place a multi-layered system of safety measures to support public health by protecting air travellers and air industry workers from COVID-19. The Government of Canada has worked with public health authorities, counterparts around the world, and industry partners to develop a plan for COVID safety in air travel that is aligned to emerging global safety standards and best practices.

Key changes apply to all aspects of air travel, including in airports and aircraft. They include travel restrictions; mandatory use of face masks for passengers and crew; mandatory health checks by air carriers prior to passenger boarding; temperature screening at the busiest Canadian airports and at points of origin for all incoming flights to Canada; restricted services and passenger movement during flights; and enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols and practices.

In airports, these designs and measures include enhanced air conditioning and filtration systems; frequent cleaning of high-touch areas; new touchless technologies to scan boarding passes; and physical distancing measures. Modern passenger aircraft also offer a unique environment with design characteristics that reduce the risk of viral transmission. The air is exchanged at a high rate, with HEPA filtration in most large commercial aircraft. Further, the potential spread of the virus between rows is reduced by the high seatbacks and the fact that almost all passengers are seated in the same direction.

These measures prioritize the safety and security of travellers and industry employees, and have positioned Canada as an international leader in reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 while travelling by air. To date, the Government of Canada is not aware of any cases attributed to passenger-to-passenger transmission on a flight to or from Canada. However, work continues with the provinces and territories to strengthen contact-tracing processes to reduce and quantify the risk of COVID-19 transmission during air travel.

Canada’s Flight Plan will be refined as the Government of Canada learns more about COVID-19, and as international best practices evolve to ensure safety and efficiency of the Canadian aviation system in the months and years to come.
Canada-U.S. border will remain closed until Sept. 21
The federal government will extend the Canada-U.S. land border closure for another 30 days until Sept. 21, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said Friday. 

The closure to non-essential travel has been in place for months, but with caseloads still high in many U.S. states, the two governments have mutually agreed to continue restricting movement across the world's longest international border.

Drug shortages could 'imperil the lives' of Canadians, doctors warn Ottawa
A group of some of Canada's leading doctors and pharmacists have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging the federal government to address shortages for critical drugs such as Azithromycin, Lorazepam and Remdesivir that could "imperil the lives" of Canadians amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

B.C. could see 2nd wave of COVID-19 in September bigger than the first, provincial modelling shows
British Columbia's COVID-19 curve is now climbing at a higher rate than the initial outbreak in March, and new provincial modelling shows B.C. could see a second wave bigger than the first by September.

The province's contact tracing efforts, however, could temper that growth, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday, after announcing 78 new COVID-19 transmissions. 

International news
FCC beats cities in court, helping carriers avoid
$2 billion in local 5G fees
The Federal Communications Commission has defeated dozens of cities in court, with judges ruling that the FCC can pre-empt local fees and regulations imposed on wireless carriers deploying 5G networks. The ruling is good news for AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

Massive outbreaks in Israeli schools
a 'cautionary tale' for Canada
When Israel opened its schools May 17 after just two months in pandemic lockdown, it seemed the novel coronavirus had been brought under control.

But the confidence was temporary and the results were disastrous. The experience of the tiny Middle Eastern nation is serving as a “cautionary tale” for Canadian provinces and school boards ramping up plans for a return to school in September.

New Zealand extends lockdown in largest city as new coronavirus cluster grows 
The 12-day extension of Aukland's lockdown will not be extended to the rest of the country, which will stay under looser restrictions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

In other COVID-related news:
Why you shouldn't be worried about getting the coronavirus from food
Yesterday we ran a story about Chinese authorities said a surface sample from a batch of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for coronavirus. But health experts say there's no evidence the coronavirus can be transmitted through food.

Israeli researchers studying test that can detect coronavirus in under a second
Scientists say their test uses saliva to instantly detect whether someone has the coronavirus.

Scientists find coronavirus in the air — but experts say this won’t yet change how we fight it
Scientists have isolated viable coronavirus from the air in hospital patients' rooms, according to a new study.

Masks with exhalation valves don't protect others from COVID-19, health officials say
 Face masks are now a regular sight on the streets of Canadian cities, and come in all shapes, sizes and styles, from disposable surgical masks to brightly patterned cloth masks.
But not all masks provide the same level of protection to the wearer and those around them. Increasingly, health officials, countries, cities and airlines are recommending against masks with an exhaust valve -- or outright banning them.

Hamilton's physical distancing bylaw is back and so are $500 fines
The city is implementing a new physical distancing bylaw since the old one ended with the province's state of emergency. Violating this one could mean a fine of $500.
Upcoming events:
Registration now open for Beyond Boundaries program 
Beyond Boundaries is a Haltech Innovation Centre accelerator program in the Halton Region aimed to advance women’s economic empowerment. The objective is to support women entrepreneurs to grow, scale-up their business and reach global markets. The program is part of the Government of Canada Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES).

With the recent success of the first cohort, Haltech Innovation Centre is thrilled to be launching both the second and third cohort this coming Fall and in early 2021. Through the program, Haltech looks to connect participants to opportunities and help increase the economic impact of women-owned businesses in Halton as well as globally. Beyond Boundaries will help participants adopt new technologies, grow their network and further their learnings in sales and financial literacy.

Application Deadline: August 31st, 2020

Hope in High Heels goes virtual
Halton Women's Place's signature event has been reimagined so you can participate from home.

Registration is now open for this week-long event.

Halton Environmental Network is launching Pop-up Clean-ups! The socially distanced clean-ups are a safe and fun way to enjoy the outdoors while making a difference in your community. Not only will you be cleaning up litter, but you’ll be tracking the waste you find. The collected data will empower our community to make informed decisions on how to protect our environment.
You can either lead a clean-up or take part in one! Students also have the opportunity to gain volunteer hours for school credit with each clean-up they do. If you are interested, please register here.  
Sign the CN intermodal e-Petition now
This e-Petition is a collaborative effort between Milton RAIL, Milton Says No and Halton Region, to serve as the response from Halton residents during this last, vital public consultation period in the environmental assessment process.

The Review Panel Report states that the Project (CN intermodal terminal AKA Milton Logistics Hub) is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects on human health caused by air quality.

The Federal Government can still determine that the environmental effects to human health - 1,600 transport trucks on the roads every day plus the operation of a dangerous industrial facility - are justified. This would be set a devastating precedent for Canadian municipalities.

This petition is meant to ensure the Federal Government understands that significant adverse effects to human health cannot be justified.


1. Sign the petition
  • There is no minimum age to sign
  • Every signature, however, must have a unique email address (an email address may only be used once on the petition).

2. Watch for an email from the House of Commons! You must verify and confirm your signature, it will not count unless you complete this step.

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
Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to operate

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to operate under increased safety measures.

Testing in Oakville
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