Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Monday, May 19 COVID-19 emergency
We crushed the curve.

Thanks to all of your efforts to stay home and stay safe for the last eight weeks, we’re in a position to safely and responsibly begin reopening today.

Over the course of the last eight weeks our healthcare capacity was able to expand to meet the surge of the COVID emergency. Fortunately, our hospital didn’t even see the rates of Ontario’s best-case scenario and is now poised to handle any COVID cases that may present. I thank you for your efforts but also warn that we need to remain diligent.

My advice is to continue to follow the emergency orders to maintain physical distancing and not gather in groups of more than five people who don’t live together. If you are vulnerable or want to reduce your risk of catching the virus, remember what I call my three Cs of safety: avoid Crowds, Confined spaces, and Circulating in the community yourself or with those who do.

What we know about this virus is that there are many asymptomatic folks spreading it and by wearing a mask, we keep others safe even when we don’t know we’re sick. Wearing a non-medical mask can help with more safe reopening by helping to prevent the spread. I’m sure we can all agree that none of us would want to be responsible for making anyone else sick, and this is a way to help control the spread.

Please, be the one who thinks of the vulnerable and wear a mask in public because you cannot know if you are spreading the virus. Your respect for others will go a long way in this journey.

To see how far we've already come, and where we are headed, please see the updated timeline at the end of this email.
CP24 appearance
Yesterday I appeared on the CP24 morning show, discussing how well Oakville has done in crushing the curve and how cautiously optimistic we are about reopening.

Watch the interview here
Items in this update:

  • Schools to remain closed for the school year
  • COVID case counts
  • Canada's first COVID-19 vaccine trials approved for Halifax university
  • Wearing gloves in public won't protect you from COVID-19, experts say
  • Deaths per million around the globe and close to home
  • Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital restart plan
  • What's open in Oakville
  • Greenspace and cemeteries open
  • Marinas and boat storage yards open
  • Bronte public boat launch ramp open
  • What will be open soon
  • The Shipyard Park boat launch to open in June
  • Leash-free dog parks ready to reopen
  • OPL curbside pickup on the way
  • Oakville hit by loss of revenue
  • Economic Task Force poised to assist with recovery
  • Donate to Ramadan and Eid fundraiser
  • Conservation Halton to reopen this weekend
  • Trees may boost mental health more than grass
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Emergency orders extended
  • Independent Commission into Long-Term Care announced
  • Federal Government announcements
  • Expansion of support for workers and small businesses
  • Annual increase to the Canada Child Benefit
  • Support for the Canadian Red Cross
  • Bank of Canada releases Financial System Review
  • 'I Ate' food banks fundraising campaign aims to make that true for all
  • Comparing ourselves to Sweden
  • New Zealand edges back to normal after quashing coronavirus in 49 days
  • Global worries as infections spike in Russia, Brazil, India
  • Grade one jokester becomes internet celebrity
e-Newsletter sign up
Did you receive this email from someone? Please consider signing up so you never miss an update.


Top news:
Schools to remain closed for school year
The Ontario Government is keeping schools closed for the rest of this school year.

This decision was made after consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children. At the same time, the government is planning for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year, the gradual reopening of child care, and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators.

All students who were on track to graduate from secondary school before the initial school closure order was made in March will be able to graduate, and all students will receive report cards.

Later this summer, the government will announce a plan to strengthen learning and safety protocols to enable students and staff to return to in-class instruction for the 2020-21 school year. That plan will be bolstered by an enhanced province-wide virtual learning program that will allow all students to learn, regardless of the challenges that may transpire in the coming months.

Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed for the safety and protection of children, families and staff through Stage 1 of the  Framework for Reopening the Province Emergency child care  will continue to operate and provide support for health care and other frontline workers. A gradual reopening of child care is expected to begin when the province is ready to transition to Stage 2 based on public health criteria, which will include robust safety protocols for the safety of Ontario's youngest learners and their staff.

Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, summer day camps, both indoor and outdoor, may be permitted in July and August of this year with strict health and safety guidelines to be developed in partnership with local public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities. Overnight camps will not be permitted to operate in the summer of 2020. 

The province also unveiled an expanded seven-point summer learning plan to ensure Ontario students have every opportunity to continue their learning through the summer months. Summer learning programs are being expanded to reach the most students in Ontario history, to ensure they remain on track to start the 2020-21 school year with the confidence and knowledge required to succeed.

To support at-home learning, the government is leveraging all tools, resources, technologies and services to assist school boards deliver equitable and effective learning through access to technology and Internet connectivity, especially for students in rural and remote parts of Ontario. To help improve access to remote learning, Ontario is partnering with 34 organizations and private businesses, along with school boards, to address key needs among educators, students and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ontario has worked to identify and make available low-cost, high-impact solutions that can significantly improve the Learn at Home experience now and into the future. Access to digital learning resources, supports for special education needs and mental health, as well as Internet connectivity and access to devices have all been identified by school boards and other stakeholders as urgent needs during the current school closure period. These organizations and businesses were identified through a call for proposals on the  Ontario Together  website between March 31, 2020 and April 21, 2020.
Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by 17 from 550 on Friday to  577  with  12  new confirmed case in Oakville from 187 on Friday to  198 . There were  reported recoveries in Oakville, from 156 to  163

Community contact has increased from 30 per cent on Thursday to 34 per cent today, as pictured below.
Ontario’s regional health units are reporting another 325 COVID-19 cases and 21 new deaths since Monday morning amid a sharp drop in testing over the long weekend. As of noon Tuesday, the health units had reported a total of 24,485 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,005 deaths.

Canada is reporting 78,499 cases as of today in cluding 5,857 deaths. 39,498 cases or 50 per cent are now recovered.

Visit https://art-bd.shinyapps.io/covid19canada/ for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
Canada's first COVID-19 vaccine trials approved for Halifax university
During his daily remarks on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that a Halifax research team will be working with a Chinese manufacturer to run the first Canadian clinical trials for a possible COVID-19 vaccine. The trials have been approved by Health Canada and will take place at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology (CCfV) at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Wearing gloves in public won't protect you from COVID-19, experts say
Find out why wearing gloves to run errands can actually put you at more risk than going without gloves and washing your hands.

Deaths per million around the globe and close to home
Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital restart plan
Halton Healthcare is currently waiting for the “go ahead” from the Province to restart routine clinical work.

Emergency and urgent work, including cancer treatments and kidney dialysis, continued has continued throughout the pandemic while everything that clinicians felt could be safely deferred was been postponed. This directive is still in place, and Halton Healthcare continues to follow it.

Thankfully, Halton and Oakville had fewer COVID-19 cases than even the province’s best case scenario, and are now Halton Healthcare is looking at how many clinical services can safely be resumed. Teams are working hard as they consider the complex work associated with returning to pre-pandemic levels of clinical activity and patient volumes.

COVID-19 patients are being cared for and Halton Healthcare supports the Halton Region strategy to protect our most vulnerable populations.

As a reminder, hospitals are safe and the OTMH Emergency Department is open 24/7 to care for you in the event of an urgent, life-threatening illness or injury.
What's open in Oakville
Greenspace and cemeteries open

Park greenspaces, community gardens and town-owned cemeteries are open. Park parking lots remain closed to encourage people to stay in their neighborhood and to help prevent overcrowding at some of our larger parks.


Marinas and boat storage yards open

Marinas and boat storage yards reopened Saturday for boat owners to tend to their boats and prepare for the coming season. Public handwashing stations have been installed in both locations and it is recommended that boat owners wear a mask.


Bronte public boat launch ramp open

Bronte public boat launch ramp also opened on Saturday.

What will be open soon
The Shipyard Park boat launch to open in June

The Shipyard Park boat launch at the Oakville harbor will reopen in early June as staff work to put stored boats and docks back in the water. Signage will be present to remind boat owners about safety protocols for both boaters and staff.

Leash-free dog parks ready to reopen

The Town is ready to reopen leash-free dog parks, as they were mentioned by the Premier at the press conference last Thursday. Currently the Town is still waiting on confirmation to proceed and to ensure any regulations are met.

OPL curbside pickup on the way

OPL is currently working on a comprehensive reopening and recovery plan to ensure that staff and customers can safely access the library. At this time, OPL is not ready to offer contactless holds pickup, but will be in the near future. Further details will be announced as they become available. 
Oakville hit by loss of revenue
Oakville, along with all other municipalities, is looking to the Province and the Federal government to provide the same style of relief that they’ve provided everybody else.

With the loss of revenue from transit and recreation, we need help to balance the budget as municipalities are not allowed to run a deficit. Without help, the Town would have to implement a massive property tax increase, which we cannot sustain.

There’s a deficit in every city in the country as a result of COVID-19.
Economic Task Force poised to assist with recovery
My Oakville EconomicTask Force, formed as a collaboration with the Town's Economic Development department, Oakville Chamber of Commerce and Oakville Business Improvement Associations, is poised to assist with the COVID-19 recovery.

Over the last few weeks an online survey has been recording the needs of local businesses as we navigate what is required for them to keep their doors open and the next steps in the recovery process.

The road ahead is a long one but this task force has made recovery a priority and will continue to do so.

Ramadan and Eid Fundraiser
A local group is raising money for our hospital through the Ramadan and Eid fundraiser.

During these difficult times, the group is looking to raise $50,000 with a family topping that amount up by $25,000 to make the donation to OTMH $75,000.

Conservation Halton to reopen this weekend
Five of the seven Conservation Halton parks — Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Kelso Summit — will be open to members of the public for hiking and biking on May 22 by pre-reserved visits only. Robert Edmondson, Mountsberg and the rest of Kelso will be opened in the coming weeks.

Members and other visitors will now be required to make a reservation, either online or over the phone, for a two-hour visit between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. The new reservation system, which is expected to open May 20 or 21, will enable CH to predict and monitor the number of people in the parks so that the conditions needed for physical distancing can be created.

Trees may boost our mental health more than grass 
In some good news to residents of Oakville, City Lab is reporting that trees may boost our mental health more than grass. During the pandemic, mental health is top of mind to all of us. We can be grateful in our town for our expansive tree canopy that will hopefully help with all our mental health.

Ontario
Provincial Government announcements
Ontario extends emergency orders

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020. That includes the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women's shelters. The government is also allowing drive-in religious gatherings.


Independent Commission into Long-Term Care annouced

Today, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, issued the following statement in response to the impact of COVID-19 in Ontario's long-term care homes:

"Our government has been clear that we will review the long-term care system to get a better understanding of the impacts and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Today, I am announcing that we will be launching an independent commission into Ontario's long-term care system beginning in September.

Over the next several months, our government will be finalizing details of the commission including terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines.

We have been clear the long-term care system in Ontario is broken. We must act quickly and decisively, and that is why an independent non-partisan commission is the best way to conduct a thorough and expedited review.

As we all take steps to contain this pandemic, the Commission will get down to work and provide us with guidance on how to improve the long-term care system and better protect residents and staff from any future outbreaks.

Since day one of COVID-19, our top priority has been to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians. That includes the most vulnerable members of our society like residents in long-term care.

Our government offers our condolences to the families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 while residing in a long-term care home.

Ontarians need and deserve answers, and let me assure you, they will get them."


Canada
Federal Government announcements
Expansion of support for workers and small businesses

An expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) was announced today to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on.

The changes to the CEBA will allow more Canadian small businesses to access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic.  

The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.
To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:
  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come. To date, over 600,000 small businesses have accessed the CEBA, and the government will work on potential solutions to help business owners and entrepreneurs who operate through their personal bank account, as opposed to a business account, or have yet to file a tax return, such as newly created businesses.


Annual increase to the Canada Child Benefit

Over the weekend, Justin Trudeau announced that the CCB will be increased once again in July, to help families keep up with the costs of living and raising their children.
This additional tax-free support will help families pay for things such as food, clothes, and activities they can do together at home. The increase will be in place for the 2020-21 benefit year, and will raise the maximum benefit to $6,765 per child under age 6, and $5,708 per child aged 6 through 17.
This increase is in addition to the one-time special CCB payment announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month, to help families deal with the added pressures of COVID-19. On May 20, 2020, this special measure will give families currently receiving the CCB an additional $300 per child with their May payment, and deliver almost $2 billion in extra support across the country to help families during this challenging period.

Support for the Canadian Red Cross

This weekend the Prime Minister announced up to $100 million in funding to help the Red Cross meet increased demand due to COVID-19, and to support future floods and wildfire relief efforts.
This funding includes up to $41 million to address immediate COVID-19 needs, with over $15 million committed to enhance the Red Cross’ response capacity and $25 million to support public health efforts. With this funding, the Red Cross will:
  • recruit and train volunteers and staff
  • adapt its operations to the COVID-19 context
  • support quarantine and isolation sites
  • acquire personal protective equipment for its personnel and volunteers
  • provide training to the health care sector and other essential workers on using personal protective equipment, and maintaining infection prevention and control measures within facilities
  • expand their roster of public health and infection prevention and control specialists
  • procure and deploy, as necessary, emergency health supplies and equipment, including a mobile field hospital, to prepare for future waves and outbreaks of COVID-19
  • In addition, up to $59 million of this funding will be available to support additional relief and recovery efforts this year related to COVID-19, as well as for future floods and wildfires. This will help ensure that the Red Cross can continue to support Canadians as the situation evolves and new needs emerge, including by providing assistance to those who are evacuated from their homes because of floods or wildfires.
Bank of Canada releases Financial System Review
The traditional purpose of the FSR is to identify key vulnerabilities in the financial system that can interact with and magnify economic events. Today, we are facing an extreme event in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. This FSR gives an in-depth analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian financial system and the implications for the economy.

Since the pandemic began, the Bank has focused on keeping financial markets functioning well. As we said last month in our Monetary Policy Report (MPR), the short-term goal is to help Canadian households and businesses bridge the crisis period. The longer-term goal is to provide a strong foundation for economic recovery. Both of these goals require a well-functioning financial system to ensure the success of the extraordinary fiscal response that has been put in place.

'I Ate' food banks fundraising campaign aims to make that true for all Canadians
Despite provinces starting to gradually reopen their economies, the CEO of Food Banks Canada says the demand for their services is greater than ever as the organization makes a renewed appeal to raise $150 million to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Hatch said Food Banks Canada, a national charitable organization that supports approximately 3,000 food banks across Canada, has already seen a 20 per cent increase in food bank use over the last eight weeks.

International:
Comparing ourselves to Sweden
There has been lots of talk about how Sweden fared in the pandemic without going into lockdown.
Some items that are important to note when you make such comparisons:
  • Sweden's COVID-19 death rate is sitting at 368 per million, the US is 278, and Canada is 155. Oakville is 15.
  • Sweden's Central Bank says they also took just as bad an economic hit as the rest of Europe who had a lockdown and It appears that the belief that not reducing contact among people will “save” the economy is only an assumption.
  • If we measure how Sweden’s approach “works” by what it makes happen, it “works” to kill more people without “saving” the economy.
New Zealand edges back to normal after quashing coronavirus in 49 days
New Zealand had been in almost complete lockdown for 46 days, a step the government mandated when the country had only 100 coronavirus cases but modeling showed it was on a trajectory similar to Italy’s.

Global worries as infections spike in Russia, Brazil, India
Coronavirus cases are spiking from India to South Africa and Mexico in a clear indication the pandemic is far from over, while Russia and Brazil now sit behind only the United States in the number of reported infections.

The surges come as much of Asia, Europe and scores of U.S. states have been easing lockdowns to restart their economies as new infections wane. U.S. autoworkers, French teachers and Thai mall workers are among hundreds of thousands of employees back at work with new safety precautions.

Grade one jokester becomes internet celebrity
After six months of practicing one-liners on his parents and two younger siblings, 6-year-old
Callaghan McLaughlin was ready for prime time.

Read this little boy's story by clicking the image.
Inspirational messages
Another Oakville family has been creating inspirational rock messages. Watch the video to see these pieces of art.

https://youtu.be/kQt1UoZ9vjk
Upcoming events:
What's on at the OPL
Tuesdays & Thursdays • 10 am
Family Storytime on Instagram Live
Get moving with stories, songs and fun during Family Storytime! Hosted virtually on Instagram Live. Follow  @oakvillelibrary on Instagram .


Tuesdays & Thursdays • 2 pm
Kids Library Club
Join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays as we explore fun activities in the fields of science, technology, art and more! Tuesday's session is all about  Storytelling  (wait list only) and Thursday will be a special  Show and Tell with Journey the Support Dog , in partnership with Halton Regional Police Services. Limited spaces.  Register


Wednesday, May 20 • 3 pm
Adult Book Club: Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
Our Virtual Adult Book Club meets every Wednesday!
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 925 2252 2308 | Password: 003324) or call 1-647-558-0588.  Details


Thursday, May 21 • 11 am
Let’s Talk About ... Books, Movies and More: Travel
This week, we'll discuss our favourite books, movies, podcasts, and more that relate to travel! "Let's Talk About" are weekly, virtual sessions that explore different themes in arts, culture and literature.
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 941 1022 3092 | Password: 009506) or call 1-647-558-0588.  Details


Thursday, May 21 • 12:30 pm
Small Business Meetup
Connect with others in the Oakville small business community and share your experience with running a business during this time. 
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 969 6022 2539) or call 1-647-374-4685.  Details


Friday, May 22 • 10 am
An informal, weekly craft meetup to share what you’re working on, and gather inspiration from fellow craft enthusiasts.
Join us on  Zoom  (Meeting ID: 940 3637 9535, Password: Hive) or call 1-647-558-0588.  Details


Fridays and Saturdays • 10 am
Family Storytime on YouTube 
Follow  OPL on YouTube  and enjoy Family Storytime, both live and pre-recorded. On Fridays, we host Live storytimes and on Saturdays, we upload new, pre-recorded stories — both at 10 am, and by OPL staff. Remember to subscribe to our YouTube page so you don't miss out!


Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Staff Book Recommendations on YouTube
Listen to over 100 short book reviews from OPL staff, uploaded weekly on  YouTube .


Tuesdays
Stories by Phone
Pre-recorded adult and children's stories now easily accessible by calling 905-815-2041.


Daily
Virtual Tech Help
Book a virtual one-on-one session for basic technology assistance. Limited sessions.  Register  
Note:  Dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit  opl.ca/programs  for up-to-date information.
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.

Downtown Oakville Instagram live series
On Wednesday, May 6 Downtown Oakville will be launching a weekly Instagram Live Series hosted by different Downtown businesses. The live events will allow you to purchase products, participate in fitness classes, attend workshops, and more!

Follow @oakvilledowntown on Instagram to learn more and tune in. 

Schedule
May 20 at 7 p.m. - Fred Astaire Dance Studio 
May 27 at 7 p.m. - Downtown Oakville Live Auction 
June 3 at 2 p.m. - Lakeshore Yoga 
June 10 at 1 p.m. - Makers Mojo 
June 17 at 2 p.m. - Must Boutique 
June 24 at 7 p.m. - Dr. Adrienne, Naturopathic Doctor 
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