July 15 Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Halton Regional Council votes in favour of regional mandatory mask by-law
Following a lengthy meeting today, Halton Regional Council has voted unanimously in favour of a region-wide mandatory mask by-law.

The by-law, which will come into effect Wednesday, July 22 at 12:01 a.m., will require masks in all public indoor spaces, with some exemptions for age, medical issues and during some activities.

Watch this space for more details and the complete by-law.

As this by-law is implemented please remember that wearing a non-medical face masks protects others from you. We know that COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and that many people who have it are asymptomatic. If we all wear masks, we're all protecting each other and I hope that community spirit, which Oakville is so well known for, will come out with mask-wearing compliance.

And of course remember to continue to follow the advice of public health to wash your hands, cover coughs and sneezes, maintain physical distance from others and stay home if you're feeling unwell. My three Cs of COVID-caution can also be used as a guideline. Avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.

For a look at the updated COVID-19 pandemic timeline, please scroll to the end of this email.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Steel yourselves for another year or two, Ottawa's medical officer of health warns
  • Mandatory mask by-law discussed on Oakville Matters
  • Town of Oakville announcements
  • Oakville releases progress report one year after declaring a climate emergency
  • Oakville Chamber of Commerce launches Recovery Activation Program
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario accelerating the development of long-term care homes
  • Ontario takes steps to strengthen consumer protection
  • Province consulting on further steps to protect Ontario's deer, elk and moose population
  • Government of Canada announcements
  • Canada supports youth and Indigenous participation in Canada's clean energy transition
  • Bank of Canada holds key interest rate 
  • At least 26 flights have arrived in Canada with COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks
  • Police notified of 21,422 cases where travellers to Canada may have broken quarantine rules
  • Dr. Henry urges B.C. not to let sacrifices go to waste
  • Alberta's top doctor worried residents may have COVID-19 fatigue
  • Statistics Canaa to start collecting race-based crime data
  • Tokyo declares coronavirus 'red' alert
  • Florida reaches 300,000 coronavirus cases, Oklahoma governor tests positive
  • In other COVID-related news
  • COVID-19 patients want more help to cope with disease's 'long-haul' effects
  • WHO slams ‘mixed messages’ from world leaders on COVID-19
  • Teachers express concerns about returning to school in September
  • Coronavirus patient recovers after nine weeks on a ventilator in Toronto hospital’s intensive care unit
  • Ontario is entering Stage 3, U.S. states are locking down again
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COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by +2 from 798 to 800 with +1 new confirmed case in Oakville from 264 to 265.

There is currently 1 COVID-19 patient being cared for at OTMH and 13 active cases in Oakville.

There was +1 reported recovery in Oakville, from 275 to 276 and +2 recoveries in Halton Region from 812 to 814
Ontario has 102 new COVID-19 cases being reported today, the lowest total since March. There are now 37,052 confirmed cases, 32,920 of which are resolved and 2,732 deaths. Currently there are 115 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, 31 of those patients are in ICU and 22 are on a ventilator.

As of today, Canada has 108,717 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 72,377 of those as recovered or resolved.

The global coronavirus case count stands at 13,382,020, with 580,038 deaths as a result of the virus and 7,445,299 cases considered recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
COVID-19 deaths per million
Steel yourselves for another year or two of
COVID-19, Etches warns residents

Ottawa's medical officer of health is warning residents to be prepared to live with the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the community well into 2021 or even 2022.

Vera Etches told Ottawa city council Wednesday that even as new cases and hospitalizations dwindle in the region, residents must remain on guard. That means continuing to practise physical distancing and wear masks.

Oakville and Halton
Mandatory mask by-law discussed on Oakville Matters
In this week’s episode I’m joined by Councillors Cathy Duddeck and Tom Adams, the sponsors of the motion for a mandatory mask by-law. Judging by my emails, this is the subject that matters most to Oakville this week.
Town of Oakville announcements
Oakville releases progress report one year after declaring a climate emergency
One year after declaring a climate emergency , the Town of Oakville has released a progress report outlining the significant progress the town and community have made to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“We now know that the emission of greenhouse gases is the largest human influence on climate change. Following the climate emergency declaration the entire community — including town staff and Council, businesses and residents — has come together to make fighting a climate crisis a priority,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “While a great deal has been achieved, there is still much work to do. Council and I are excited about the many great initiatives both underway and planned in our community.”

In June 2019, the Town of Oakville joined hundreds of municipalities across Canada in declaring a climate emergency to raise awareness of the critical need to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions and increase our resiliency to extreme weather. The declaration stressed the need for community action along with clear and achievable targets to improve our community’s overall energy efficiency.

Key highlights from the Climate Emergency Progress Report
In 2019-2020, the town:
  • developed key community partnerships to engage the community in climate action, including Halton Climate Collective, OakvilleReady, and Oakville Energy Task Force
  •  achieved 20 per cent reduction in corporate greenhouse gas emissions from a 2014 baseline by implementing lighting retrofits and improvements to existing building automation systems at town facilities
  •  finalized the Community Energy Strategy putting Oakville on track to achieving ambitious 2041 energy efficiency, emissions reduction and local economic stimulus goals and is currently moving forward with community partners on the Strategy’s priority projects and developing a not-for-profit organization to govern future implementation
  • through the OakvilleReady pilot project, established seven neighbourhood extreme weather resiliency hubs using faith-based organizations to support the community in extreme weather or other high-risk events
  • was selected as one of 25 municipalities to join the first national Showcase Cities program led by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) Canada. Throughout 2020 and beyond, the town will receive intensive support to help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change
  • established a corporate Climate Lens Tool pilot, to develop a corporate culture that integrates climate change into all decision making

The town has implemented climate change policies and energy conservation programs since 2005 and has taken significant steps to reduce its impact on the environment. In 2018, Oakville's Energy Task Force was formed, comprising a team of 21 community leaders from local businesses, government, utilities, schools and community groups to advise and champion the development and implementation of a Community Energy Strategy.  

Review the full 2019-2020 Climate Emergency Progress Report at oakville.ca
Oakville Chamber of Commerce launches
Recovery Activation Program
COVID-19 has changed how businesses operate.

From employees working remotely to virtual collaborations, the pandemic has heightened the urgency for businesses to digitize in order to thrive.
 
To support members, and assist them in the digital transformation, the
Oakville Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to deliver the Recovery Activation Program (RAP).

RAP is an immersive online workshop program that connects businesses with industry experts for guidance, mentorship and practical advice about process modernization and end-to-end digital transformation.
 
It is free for businesses and supports firms of any size across Ontario.

Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
The Ontario government announced a redesigned funding model that will lead to the building of additional, modern long-term care homes providing seniors with the quality care they deserve. This new approach will help break down historic barriers and accelerate the construction of urgently needed long-term care projects, and new and redeveloped beds. Over the next five years, the government is investing $1.75 billion in long-term care homes. It is also updating design standards to include air conditioning for any new and renovated homes, beginning immediately.

The new funding model will help speed up construction by:
  • Creating four new regional categories based on geographic location, each with a targeted home size: large urban, urban, mid-size, and rural. An increase to the province's construction funding subsidy (CFS) will be tailored to each of these four categories, enabling the government to address the barriers and needs of different communities;
  • Providing development grants, between 10 per cent and 17 per cent depending on regional category, to cover upfront costs like development charges, land and other construction expenses;
  • Helping small operators in rural communities navigate the high cost of development, while ensuring larger urban centres can secure the loans and real estate they need; and
  • Increasing funding to incentivize the construction of basic accommodation and continuing top-ups for small and medium sized homes.

By taking these steps the government is making it more attractive for operators to build long-term care homes and bring aging homes with 3-4-person ward rooms up to modern design standards. Currently, more than 38,000 people are on the wait list to access a long-term care space, and new long-term care home construction has not kept pace. The previous "one-size-fits-all" funding model has not spurred development nor accounted for how regional differences impact land, construction and other development costs.

Working with the long-term care sector, the government will dedicate funding to ensure long-term care homes in need have working air conditioning ― a measure that should have been put in place many years ago.

With thousands of new and redeveloped beds on the way, the government is also going to be changing long-term care regulations and design standards to ensure that all new long-term care builds and redevelopments are mandated to have air conditioning.
Ontario takes steps to strengthen consumer protection 
Earlier this week, the Ontario legislature approved Bill 159, the Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act. Once in force, it will promote higher quality new home construction and reduce defects and warranty claims, while better protecting consumers from bad actors in the marketplace.

The Act will overhaul Tarion Warranty Corporation and the way it protects new-home buyers with better warranties and more protections than they have had in the past. The Act will include an improved dispute resolution process and help Tarion better protect consumers by helping them get more useful information about home builders and their histories.

Bill 159 also includes improvements to administrative authorities, independent organizations like the Real Estate Council of Ontario and the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, that help protect consumers. The Act includes new powers for the government that will ensure administrative authorities can continue acting in the public interest during emergencies.

In addition, Bill 159 will allow for financial penalties under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). The people of Ontario count on the CPA everyday in a wide range of situations, including contract cancelations, door-to-door sales and the value of their reward points. 
The Act will also ensure that prices of tickets for Ontario events are listed and charged in Canadian currency.
The Ontario government is seeking public input on a proposal to increase protections for the province's wildlife populations from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that affects members of the cervid family - deer, elk, moose and caribou. While it has not been detected in Ontario, it is important for hunters, wildlife management and the general public to remain vigilant. CWD was discovered in 2018 on a deer farm in Quebec, close to the Ontario border. It has also been found in all five U.S. states bordering Ontario.

"We're committed to doing everything we can to keep Chronic Wasting Disease out of Ontario and preserve Ontario's deer, elk and moose populations for generations to come," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "I would like to hear from members of the public on our proposed measures to ensure they will work effectively in every part of the province."

The government is proposing amendments to regulations under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act that would:
  • Prohibit people from importing into Ontario live, captive cervids from outside of the province, with some exceptions.
  • Prohibit people from moving live cervids from one part of Ontario to another, with some exceptions.
  • Expand the existing prohibition on the use or possession of lures, scents and attractants made from cervid parts to include any purpose beyond hunting.
  • Expand the existing prohibition on import of high-risk parts of cervids hunted in other jurisdictions.

In December 2019, Ontario announced a  CWD Prevention and Response Plan  that will ensure the province has the right approaches in place to minimize the risk of the disease entering or spreading within the province. The new proposed measures are the next step to protect Ontario's wildlife and support sustainable hunting, which creates jobs and makes an important economic contribution to our province.

The proposed changes are now available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for public feedback until August 31, 2020. 
Canada
Government of Canada announcements
Canada supports youth and Indigenous participation in Canada’s clean energy transition 
Canada has a world-class energy sector with power coming from growing and dynamic renewable and non-emitting sources. As the clean energy sector grows and transforms, we have a tremendous opportunity to attract more young people, women and Indigenous workers and to pass knowledge and skills on to the next generation.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $470,923 in funding toward projects in remote Ontario First Nations communities that focus on supporting and enhancing Indigenous youth participation in Canada’s clean energy transition. The investment includes:
  • $262,700 for Matawa First Nations Management to build energy literacy in five remote Matawa First Nations communities. This project will increase community members’ skills and capacity, encourage them to pursue careers in clean energy and support the development of renewable energy projects and energy-efficient solutions in their communities. The project also includes career mentorship for youth; and
  • $208,223 to Opiikapawiin Services LP, in partnership with the Independent Electricity System Operator, for its Plugged into a Brighter Future initiative — a youth-focused energy engagement initiative for First Nations communities with the Wataynikaneyap Power project. This initiative will bolster Indigenous youths’ knowledge of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions so they may participate in future community energy planning. 

Funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s  $220-million Clean Energy in Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) Program  that aims to reduce diesel reliance in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity.

PS Lefebvre made the announcements during a virtual event hosted by  Electricity Human Resources Canada  (EHRC). EHRC launched its new study entitled  Generation Impact: Future Workforce Perspectives , which offers a clear picture of how Canada’s next-generation workforce views the electricity sector and insights into how to recruit and retain youth and women.

To date, the Government of Canada has provided $13.7 million to EHRC through  Employment and Social Development Canada ’s (ESDC)  Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) . Through work-integrated learning opportunities, interested students benefit from a wide range of transferable skills and key research skills in the renewable energy industry. In total, these projects will help create more than 1,700 paid placements for students between 2018 and 2022.

The CERRC program is part of the Government of Canada’s more than $180-billion  Investing in Canada  infrastructure plan for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
Bank of Canada holds key interest rate
The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of ¼ percent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly ½ percent and the deposit rate is ¼ percent. The Bank is also continuing its quantitative easing (QE) program, with large-scale asset purchases of at least $5 billion per week of Government of Canada bonds. The Bank’s short-term liquidity programs announced since March to improve market functioning are having their intended effect and, with reduced market strains, their use has declined. The provincial and corporate bond purchase programs will continue as announced. The Bank stands ready to adjust its programs if market conditions warrant.

While economies are re-opening, the global and Canadian outlook is extremely uncertain, given the unpredictability of the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting this, the Bank’s July Monetary Policy Report (MPR) presents a central scenario for global and Canadian growth rather than the usual economic projections. The central scenario is based on assumptions outlined in the MPR, including that there is no widespread second wave of the virus.

After a sharp drop in the first half of 2020, global economic activity is picking up. This return to growth reflects the relaxation of necessary containment measures put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, combined with extraordinary fiscal and monetary policy support. As a result, financial conditions have improved. The prices of most commodities, including oil, have risen from very low levels. In the central scenario, the global economy overall shrinks by about 5 percent in 2020 and then grows by around 5 percent on average in 2021 and 2022. The timing and pace of the recovery varies among regions and could be hampered by a resurgence of infections and the limited capacity of some countries to contain the virus or support their economies.

The Canadian economy is starting to recover as it re-opens from the shutdowns needed to limit the virus spread. With economic activity in the second quarter estimated to have been 15 percent below its level at the end of 2019, this is the deepest decline in economic activity since the Great Depression, but considerably less severe than the worst scenarios presented in the April MPR. Decisive and necessary fiscal and monetary policy actions have supported incomes and kept credit flowing, cushioning the fall and laying the foundation for recovery. Since early June, the government has announced additional support programs, and extended others.

There are early signs that the reopening of businesses and pent-up demand are leading to an initial bounce-back in employment and output. In the central scenario, roughly 40 percent of the collapse in the first half of the year is made up in the third quarter. Subsequently, the Bank expects the economy’s recuperation to slow as the pandemic continues to affect confidence and consumer behaviour and as the economy works through structural challenges. As a result, in the central scenario, real GDP declines by 7.8 percent in 2020 and resumes with growth of 5.1 percent in 2021 and 3.7 percent in 2022. The Bank expects economic slack to persist as the recovery in demand lags that of supply, creating significant disinflationary pressures.

CPI inflation is close to zero, pulled down by sharp declines in components such as gasoline and travel services. The Bank’s core measures of inflation have drifted down, although by much less than the CPI, and are now between 1.4 and 1.9 percent. Inflation is expected to remain weak before gradually strengthening toward 2 percent as the drag from low gas prices and other temporary effects dissipates and demand recovers, reducing economic slack. 

As the economy moves from reopening to recuperation, it will continue to require extraordinary monetary policy support. The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved. In addition, to reinforce this commitment and keep interest rates low across the yield curve, the Bank is continuing its large-scale asset purchase program at a pace of at least $5 billion per week of Government of Canada bonds. This QE program is making borrowing more affordable for households and businesses and will continue until the recovery is well underway. To support the recovery and achieve the inflation objective, the Bank is prepared to provide further monetary stimulus as needed.
At least 26 flights have arrived in Canada with
COVID-19 cases in last two weeks
Within the last two weeks -- the 14-day window believed by scientists to be the incubation period of COVID-19 -- at least 26 flights have arrived in Canadian airports with confirmed cases of the virus onboard.

Police notified of 21,422 cases where travellers to Canada may have broken quarantine rules
Police have been notified for follow-up in more than 21,000 cases where travellers arriving in Canada either couldn't be reached or showed 'indication of non-compliance' with the mandatory 14-day quarantine rules.

As COVID-19 cases tick upwards, Dr. Bonnie Henry urges B.C. not to let sacrifices go to waste
B.C.'s provincial health officer says recent increases in the number of new COVID-19 cases being confirmed each day is an expected result of people opening up their social circles and spending more time outside the home.

Alberta's top doctor worried Albertans may have COVID-19 fatigue
More than four months into a pandemic that has killed 163 people in Alberta and sickened thousands, the province's top public health official says she's worried some people may no longer be listening to her warnings.

Statistics Canada to start collecting
race-based crime data
Statistics Canada says it plans to start collecting race-based crime data — a step that comes amid mounting criticism of how law enforcement agencies across Canada police marginalized communities. 

The national statistics agency and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police will begin working with partners and stakeholders this year to figure out how to collect sound data.

International news
Tokyo declares coronavirus 'red' alert
Tokyo raised its coronavirus alert to the highest "red" level on Wednesday, alarmed by a recent spike in daily new cases to record highs, with Gov. Yuriko Koike describing the situation in Japan's capital as "rather severe."

In Tokyo, daily virus cases exceeded 200 in four of the past seven days, touching an all-time high of 243 last Friday as testing among nightclub workers in its red-light districts showed rising infections among people in their 20s and 30s. Health experts noted Tokyo hospitals were getting crowded as the number of patients doubled from the previous week.

Florida reaches 300,000 total COVID-19 cases, Oklahoma governor tests positive
Florida reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases Wednesday and reached 300,000 total infections amid an ongoing surge in the United States.

Florida reported 10,181 new confirmed cases, for a total of 301,810 since the outbreak began there March 1. The state confirmed 112 deaths — the third time in the last seven days it eclipsed 100 — and 4,626 total COVID-19 deaths. Florida's rolling seven-day average for deaths has increased to 92 per day, triple the 31 posted a month ago.

The U.S. is the worst-affected country in terms of infections, followed by Brazil and India. More than 136,000 people have died in the U.S. as a result of the virus, the highest of any country

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that he's tested positive for the coronavirus and that he is isolating at home. The first-term Republican governor has backed one of the country's most aggressive reopening plans, has resisted any statewide mandate on masks and rarely wears one himself.

Stitt attended U.S. President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa last month, which health experts have said likely contributed to a surge in coronavirus cases there. Oklahoma also has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19, with nearly 22,000 confirmed positive cases in the state and 428 total deaths.
In other COVID-related news:
A little good news
A little bad news
Some news that unsettles & reassures at the same time
Doctors, legitimate patients baffled as anti-maskers print off 'exemption cards' to flout rules
A week after anti-mask groups rode the TTC without face coverings to protest against new city bylaws requiring them, the same groups are now making “exemption cards” that claim they are medically exempt from wearing face coverings.
 
Don't use fake exemption cards to get out of wearing a mask, feds warn Canadians
Canada's human rights watchdog says no Canadian should use what it describes as fake cards claiming to grant medical exemptions from wearing face masks in public.
Anti-lockdown groups that oppose new mandatory mask bylaws have started producing plastic “face mask medical exemption” cards to avoid wearing a mask in closed public spaces.
Although the cards are fraudulent, they may appear to some as though they have been approved by a public health agency. A Canadian flag appears in the right-hand corner with a message below that states "I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a mask or face covering."
 
More Canadians will be working from home post-pandemic, StatCan data suggests
New data from Statistics Canada suggests that more Canadians will be working from home once the COVID-19 pandemic is over as more employers report that their staff can effectively do their jobs remotely.
 
Group of child care operators ask Ontario to fully reopen sector
The six operators, who are all women, say a government plan that restricts capacity could result in the closure of some centres.

Small businesses have taken on $117B in new debt due to coronavirus pandemic: CFIB - National
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business based its estimates on an online survey of small business owners from June 26 to July 2.
 
How two hairstylists with COVID-19 saw 139 clients without passing on the virus
The case of two hairstylists who developed symptoms of COVID-19 and then saw 139 clients before they stopped working, seemingly without passing on the virus to any of them, demonstrates the effectiveness of mandatory face mask policies, according to new research.
 
Canada will have to rely on immigration as global fertility rate plummets: study
A new study forecasting a decline in the world's population as female education and contraception access improves suggests that Canada will have to rely on immigration to remain one of the world's largest economies.
 
City begins court fight against ClubLink's attempt to redevelop Kanata golf course
A judge has started listening to arguments over the controversial homebuilding plans at the Kanata Golf and Country Club as the court holds a three-day hearing by video conferencing and broadcasts the proceedings on YouTube.
Upcoming events:
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 .  
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 operate

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to operate under increased safety measures. I f you know or are aware of someone who is struggling, call 211 and get help to navigate the network of health, community and social service programs. This service is offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and has interpretation for over 150 languages. And, if you are able, please consider supporting the Meals on Wheels effort by making a donation.

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