Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Thursday, May 21 COVID-19 emergency
During his daily address today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated to Canadians the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all run the risk of "quarantine fatigue" as federal health officials are calling it, we cannot let our guards down. He encouraged us to follow the advice of Dr. Tam to wear non-medical masks when we're in a position in which physical distancing may not be possible.

This is a subject that and Councillor Natalia Lishchyna and I discussed in detail in this week's edition of Oakville Matters , which you can view below.

Today I appeared on CHCH Morning Live to discuss how Oakville is doing during the pandemic. During the segment I reiterated how proud I am of Oakville for crushing the curve and talked about how nimble our municipal government is at adapting to the changes set our by higher levels of government as we responsibly reopen.

The concept of responsible reopening is one that we at the town take very seriously to ensure community safety. Premier Doug Ford has made his agenda for community safety clear, admitting that restrictions that have been lifted can quickly be re-implemented should case numbers spike to unacceptable levels.

Today, he also made it clear that he wants to do more testing and the Prime Minister has agreed to help all the provinces do this. It's expected the PM and Premiers will discuss this tonight in their weekly meeting.

Here in Halton, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hamidah Meghani is advising that anyone with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 can be assessed and tested. In his press conference, Premier Doug Ford signalled a shift to come in the Province’s testing focus: "We’re focusing on random testing," he said.

Residents of Oakville can call 905-203-7963 to book an appointment at a Halton Healthcare Assessment Centre. Please visit for more information.

For more information on how far we've come in the COVID-19 emergency, please scroll to the end of this email for an updated timeline, which also peeks into the weeks ahead.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Province to test those with unusual symptoms
  • Don't judge those not wearing a mask, Tam says
  • Epidemiologists brace for second wave of COVID-19 
  • Sweden in deep economic crisis despite soft lockdown at death rate rises
  • WHO concerned as it reports most cases in a single day
  • Deaths per million around the globe and close to home
  • Town news discussed on Oakville Matters
  • Town of Oakville news
  • Seniors Without Walls program set to launch
  • Town enforcement staff working for resident safety
  • Spring is coyote denning season
  • Lakeshore construction continues
  • Halton Region urges Doug Ford government to rethink cancelling Oakville courthouse project
  • United Way sends letter to Premier about the cancellation
  • Provincial Government announcements
  • Ontario leading COVID-19 research in Canada
  • More Canadian soldiers test positive for COVID-19
  • Critical care doctor says the ‘inexcusable’ Ontario public health strategy is wasting the lockdown
  • Federal Government announcements
  • Additional support for Indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off reserve
  • Trudeau offering provinces, territories help to 'scale up' testing, contact tracing
  • Feds move to ease deadlines in civil proceedings
  • After new coronavirus outbreaks, China imposes Wuhan-style lockdown
  • Other news
  • Nanobodies
  • The four-day work week
  • Air pollution cut
  • Denser cities
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Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton increased by 8 from at 587  to 595  (including 1 pending) with  new confirmed cases in Oakville from 197 to  199.
There were  reported recoveries in Oakville, from 165 to  170

Oakville's community transmission rate is 33 per cent, as pictured below.
Ontario’s regional health units are reporting another 449 COVID-19 cases and 48 deaths in the last 24 hours. As of 11 a.m. Thursday, the health units had reported a total of 25,411 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,067 deaths. The total of new confirmed and probable cases reported since the same time Wednesday morning was once again up considerably from recent averages. The 48 fatal cases reported in the province since Wednesday morning were also well above recent trends.
Visit for the U of T COVID-19 data aggregation map
Province to test those with unusual symptoms
Officials are now urging people to go to  COVID-19  assessment centres for testing even if they have mild symptoms of the disease — from loss of taste or smell to pink eye — as more of Ontario’s economy starts to reopen.

Don’t judge those not wearing a face mask, Tam says — they may be asthmatic
Face masks are dangerous to the health of some Canadians and problematic for some others.

In recommending people wear masks in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19, national chief public health officer Theresa Tam has also warned against judging those who can’t wear them.

Asthma Canada president and CEO Vanessa Foran said simply wearing a mask could create risk of an asthma attack.

Epidemiologists brace for second wave of COVID-19 
It may seem like things are returning to normal as the unprecedented rules and restrictions that have governed our lives over the past two months are slowly being loosened.

But epidemiologists are warning it's still too early to let our guard down as they look ahead to the inevitable second wave of COVID-19 and the surge of sickness and death it could bring.

Sweden in deep economic crisis despite soft lockdown, as per capita deaths rise
Sweden, which has opted for a more open strategy in combating the COVID-19 pandemic than other European countries, has seen an increase in the number of deaths per capita recently, and is bracing for a recession.

Sweden has kept most schools, restaurants and businesses open during the pandemic and some theorized it might at least suffer less economic pain. But the latest data challenge that idea.

Scandinavia’s biggest economy will shrink 7 per cent this year, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Tuesday. And while overall deaths are on the decline, Sweden’s had 6.25 deaths per million inhabitants per day in a rolling average between May 12 and May 19, according to That was the highest in Europe on a per capita basis and just above the United Kingdom, which had 5.75 deaths per million.

Over the course of the pandemic Sweden, which reported a total 3,831 deaths as of May 20, still had fewer deaths per capita than the U.K., Spain, Italy, Belgium and France, which have all opted for lockdowns, but the Swedes have a much higher death toll than their Nordic neighbours Denmark, Norway and Finland.

WHO expresses concern as it reports most coronavirus cases in a single day
The World Health Organization expressed concern on Wednesday about the rising number of new coronavirus cases in poor countries, even as many rich nations have begun emerging from lockdown.

The global health body said 106,000 new cases of infections of the novel coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day since the outbreak began.

Deaths per million around the globe and close to home
Town news discussed on Oakville Matters
and I discussed physical distancing, why wearing a mask in public reduces the growth rate of daily cases and how the efforts of Oakville residents have paid off after eight weeks.
Seniors Centres Without Walls program set to launch
We are launching a free and interactive telephone-based initiative on June 1 to connect ages 50+.

You do not need to be a member of Oakville Seniors Services to participate. And no special equipment is needed, just a telephone.
Check out the SCWW program calendar and pre-register for your preferred day(s) now. Classes start at 10 a.m.

For more information, contact:
Julie Pennal at 905-845-6601, ext. 3978
Nicole Wedgerfield at 905-845-6601, ext. 3977
Town enforcement staff working for resident safety
As outdoor amenities reopen, our enforcement staff are helping residents understand what is and isn’t open and how to maintain safety, while proactively patrolling the town to ensure the province’s emergency orders and the town’s by-laws are adhered to.

Staff are also educating businesses on proper COVID-19 protocols including recommendations for layout to access goods and services and queuing for pick-up, to achieve safe physical distancing.

This group is one of many at the town that have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety and well being of residents.
Spring is coyote denning season
Coyotes tend to be more visible during the spring – more sightings, more interactions with dogs, more shadowing (or following) of people. The reason for the increased visibility is due to denning and pupping season, the time of year when coyotes are both more active around and protective of their den sites. 

There are reports of a den site at Shell Park. Review this flyer for tips to deal with coyotes and remember that capture and relocation of coyotes more than one kilometre away is not permitted under Ontario's  Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act .
Lakeshore construction continues

What's happening now

Allan to Reynolds
·      Sanitary open cut at Reynolds Street
·      Road excavation and granular placement
·      Granite curbs installed at Allan Street
Reynolds to Trafalgar
·      Excavation for soil cells and water service connections underway
·      Traffic signal and wiring installations are taking place at Trafalgar Road

Trafalgar to Dunn
·      Work continues on the wiring for the pedestrian crossing (PXO) at Dunn Street

Phase One (Navy to Dunn)
·      Asphalt removals
·      Curb installation
·      Granite pavers
·      Trench drains

Allan St/Lakeshore Road intersection is on target to open June 1. The overall construction project is on schedule.
What has been completed

Completed Work in Phase One
·      Traffic Signals at George and Lakeshore activated
·      Decorative streetlight and pole replacement completed
·      Pedestrian crossings, (PXO) installed and bagged
·      Line markings upgraded – George and Lakeshore
Completed Underground Construction   (Watermain, sanitary and storm sewer, and Enbridge)
·      Valve chambers at Reynolds, Allan, and Trafalgar installed
·      Main line watermain installed from Allan to Trafalgar
·      Water and sanitary services installed – Allan to Reynolds
As an essential project, work has continued throughout the Spring, and as this is a very fluid situation, the project team assesses the current state and any projected changes on a daily basis. The project team is following the recommendations of the Public Health Department with respect to hand washing and social distancing.
Halton Region urges Doug Ford government to rethink cancelling Oakville courthouse project
A motion calling on the Province to postpone rather than cancel plans to build a massive new state-of-the-art courthouse in Oakville was unanimously approved by regional councillors during their May 20 session. The resolution, put forth by Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and I, asks for the Ford government to keep the Halton Consolidated Courthouse project on the table and launch it at a later date to aid economic recovery from the pandemic and create local jobs.

The matter comes in response to a statement released by Attorney General Doug Downey earlier this month that indicates the government will not proceed with the construction of a seven-storey, 45,000-square-metre courthouse on provincial lands near the intersection of  William Halton Parkway and Third Line , just north of Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

United Way sends letter to Premier
Click the image to read the letter United Way Halton and Hamilton President and CEO Brad Park has sent to the Premier regarding the cancellation of the courthouse. UWHH was set to include Community Benefit Agreements into infrastructure and public procurement of the courthouse.
Provincial Government announcements
Ontario leading COVID-19 research in Canada

The Ontario government is quickly moving forward with innovative research to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19. These projects, part of the government's $20 million  Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund , focus on areas of research such as vaccine development, diagnostics, drug trials and development, and social sciences. Additionally, Ontario is leading the country with 22 clinical trials investigating COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

The Ontario government is funding 15 high-quality and promising proposals that were submitted in response to a recent call for proposals for the  Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund . Announced only four weeks ago, the $20 million fund was created as an immediate response to engaging the research community on ways to fight COVID-19. Where relevant, a portion of these funds will be used to cover costs associated with licensing and commercialization, including patenting, of the valuable intellectual property generated by successful projects to ensure any

More Canadian soldiers test positive for COVID-19
The Canadian Armed Forces says 28 military members have  tested positive for COVID-19  after being deployed to help at long-term care facilities in Ontario and Quebec.

That represents a dramatic increase from the five cases announced last week. The number include 12 new cases in Ontario and 16 in Quebec.
Critical care doctor says the ‘inexcusable’ Ontario public health strategy is wasting the lockdown
Right now one of Toronto’s leading doctors is worrying Ontario’s public health infrastructure might have wasted our  COVID-19  lockdown. And that without solutions it could cost us, now and later.

Federal Government announcements
Additional support for Indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off reserve

On March 18, the Government of Canada announced $305 million for a new, distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in Indigenous communities, and help them respond to COVID-19. The Fund included $15 million in support for Indigenous organizations that provide services to Indigenous peoples living in urban centres and off reserve.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced $75 million in new funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve.

This additional funding will support more community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations during this crisis, including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment. It could also help with other needs, such as support for Elders, transportation, and educational materials for Indigenous children and youth. Funding for projects will start rolling out in the coming weeks.

Trudeau offering provinces, territories help to 'scale up' testing, contact tracing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the federal government is willing to help the provinces and territories increase their testing and contact tracing capabilities — two factors seen as vital to Canada's pandemic recovery.

The topic is expected to dominate the premiers' weekly call with Trudeau later this evening. 

Feds move to ease deadlines in civil proceedings, such as divorce

The federal government wants to ensure the global COVID-19 pandemic doesn't make someone miss a crucial deadline in a bankruptcy case, divorce proceeding or other civil matter.

Justice Minister David Lametti is consulting opposition critics on a legislative proposal to provide flexibility on meeting such timelines.

It is unusual for the government to release draft legislation for feedback before tabling in the House of Commons, another sign that federal officials are looking for new ways to implement measures during the pandemic.

There are hundreds of deadlines fixed by statute at the federal level alone with respect to civil proceedings before the courts, the government says.

After new coronavirus outbreaks, China imposes Wuhan-style lockdown
As Chinese authorities confront scattered outbreaks of  the coronavirus  in the country’s northeast, they are turning to many of the same strict lockdown measures that were a hallmark of the effort four months ago to stamp out the epidemic in the central city of Wuhan.

In other news:
Upcoming events:
Walk to end ALS
The virtual edition of the Walk to End ALS event will take place June 21. ALS partner, Brain Canada, is offering a dollar for dollar match of up to $1 million to invest in promising ALS research.

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 .

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

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  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

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. 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. 

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