Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Wednesday, May 6 COVID-19 emergency
We’re Moving Forward.

Next week you’ll start to notice a few more town employees around the town as we continue our recovery efforts. We want to be ready to reopen once the Chief Medical Officer says it is safe to do.

While provincial emergency order has been extended to at least May 19, we will be redeploying over 100 staff from our closed facilities to assist with getting our outdoor amenities such as parks, gardens and marinas ready to reopen. We’ll also be beginning many of our street beautification efforts, although town staffing levels are well below normal for this time of year with part-time and seasonal staff currently furloughed.

So what can you expect to see?

Cemeteries will reopen this coming weekend with safe physical distancing protocols in place, and graveside visitors limited to small groups in line with provincial measures. Signage will be posted at our cemeteries and staff will be present to advise visitors on safe practices.

Marina staff are continuing their efforts to get the marinas ready for the summer boating season. While the provincial order does not yet allow public access to the marinas, all necessary steps such as installing anchors, docks, and developing boat launch schedules for both harbours are underway.

The 2020 tree maintenance program will get underway for all town-owned street trees north of Dundas Street and town-owned street trees south of Dundas Street between Bronte Road and Burloak Drive. Forestry staff inspected slightly more than 10,200 street trees in this block and identified approximately 65 per cent of the trees are in need of pruning.

Pruning is only performed on town trees. In some cases, trees are located on the municipal property bordering a homeowner’s yard. Crews will not prune residents’ private trees.

Community gardens will also be open this weekend. The town will be following protocols approved by Halton Region Medical Officer of Health and town staff will be redeployed to each garden to assist garden volunteers in adapting to the new protocols, and limiting the number of users in each garden to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.

You’ll also see town staff redeployed as Park Ambassadors in many of our busiest parks. Staff will encourage visitors to maintain physical distancing and continue to follow the posted signage. Parks are open for pass through use only at this time but we hope to reopen them as soon as it is safe to do so.

Finally, our spring cleanup program is continuing with litter pickup and street cleaning underway. Road and sidewalk maintenance programs continue to be limited to safety related matters but are expected to return to normal operations shortly.

Just a reminder to the public, if you see staff working in your local parks, gardens or marinas, always remember to practice 2m or 6ft physical distancing at all times.

For more about where we've come from in the COVID-19 crisis and where we're headed in the recovery, scroll to the end of this email for the updated timeline.
Items in this update:

  • COVID case counts
  • Tell us your COVID test story
  • Deaths per million around the globe and close to home
  • Why the COVID death rate may be higher in the U.S. than Canada
  • Oakville Matters features big provincial, federal news and promises
  • Cemeteries to reopen this weekend
  • Biking on Oakville trails
  • Rent subsidy stories wanted
  • Non-medical facemasks available locally
  • Oakville restaurants offering take out and delivery
  • Help available at Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre
  • Free ear-savers for frontline and essential workers
  • Emergency orders extended
  • Electricity relief extended
  • Toronto property tax relief set to expire
  • Canadian international merchandise trade for March 2020
  • Fines issued for breaking pandemic measures top $5.8M
  • EU to experience recession of historic proportions
  • Irish send relief to Native Americans, inspired by tribe's donation during the Great Famine
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Oakville & Halton:
COVID case counts
Total confirmed cases in Halton have increased by  18  cases from 482 cases yesterday to 500   with  more confirmed cases in Oakville, from 164 to  170 . There were also  recoveries in Oakville from 137 to  141 . There was one death in Oakville. That leaves less than 30 active cases in Oakville.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting a total of 19,615 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 1,488 deaths. With just 319 new cases reported province wide since the same time Tuesday morning, the province’s overall case count rose by just 1.7 per cent — the lowest such increase counted.

Ontario’s public health units continue to report large numbers of new deaths, with 49 more reported since 11 a.m. Tuesday; as new cases have been falling in recent weeks, the trend in the daily count of new deaths has continued to go up.

The chief public health officer has acknowledged that the number of deaths as a result of COVID-19 in Canada has now exceeded the national projections for potentially 3,883 deaths by May 5. Just over 4,100 people have died in Canada to date.

Dr. Theresa Tam says the increased number of deaths is due to the fact that those who were infected weeks ago are now coming to the end stages of COVID-19, and are passing away, most often those in long-term care facilities.

But Tam points out that the epidemic still appears to be slowing down and that the doubling time for infections is now at about 20 days.
The country’s chief public health officer says to date, more than 970,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Canada and about six per cent of those tests were positive.

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

Tell us your COVID test story
Have you been tested for COVID-19? What was the process like and was it easy to get?

We want to hear your test stories. Please email and tell us what it was like, or if you were turned away, why.
Deaths per millions around the globe and close to home
Three reasons why the COVID-19 death rate is higher in U.S. than Canada
The U.S. has a COVID-19 mortality rate about two times higher than that of Canada, with more than 200  deaths  per million versus 100 per million in  Canada

CBC News consulted five infectious disease experts, academic studies and data collected by governments and companies to try to find out why.

The overwhelming opinion points to three main contributors: longstanding issues related to health care, politics and one particular city.

Oakville Matters features big provincial and federal news and promises
This week on Oakville Matters on YourTV Halton, MP Pam Damoff, MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos and my Council colleagues Ward 7 Town Councillor Jasvinder Sandhu and Ward 7 Town and Regional Councillor Pavan Parmar joined me as we discussed the possibility of some restrictions being lifted for parks and open spaces.

Other topics included further rent relief for business owners, financial assistance for municipalities and public transit, investments from both levels of government and when schools may reopen in Ontario.

If you have any other questions that you would like answered please contact me at:
Cemeteries to reopen this weekend
In our efforts to bring services back to the community, we are reopening all town cemeteries this Saturday, ahead of Mother’s Day. We know Sunday is one of the busiest days for cemeteries and we are glad to reopen them so people can visit with their loved ones.

Safety protocols will be in place to ensure physical distancing is maintained and gatherings are limited to no more than five people. We will have signage posted at the locations and share information through on our web site and social media channels. Starting Saturday, our cemeteries will open and remain open for visitors.
Biking on Oakville trails
We have heard issues about biking on trails and specific concerns about off-trail biking in the Lakeshore Woods area.

We do allow bikes on our trails as general cycling is not a detriment to the woodlot because of the materials we use to create paths. However, there is an expectation that users respect the environment and stay on them. Our main trails are typically made of limestone screenings and approx. 2.4 m wide so they are distinguishable as a path. When cyclists veer off the main trails they create “cowpaths” which are unofficial trails and cause damage to tree roots and other flora and fauna within the woodlots ecosystem, mainly through trampling and compaction. Woodlots should not be used to create cowpaths or for other purposes such as bike jumps, pits, etc.

For the safety of all users, our Parks By-law states that when approaching a pedestrian, cyclists shall give warning, take every precaution to avoid a collision and give pedestrians the right-of-way.

Also for the safety of cyclists, a reminder that the Ontario law states that that every cyclist under the age of eighteen must wear an approved bicycle helmet.
Rent subsidies – have you gotten one?
According to this story, not many business owners have received the rent subsidy. We want to hear your story. Have you received one? Please email to let me know.

The lack of subsidies may be thanks to a misunderstanding in the information released by the provincial government says Globe and Mail journalist Josh O'Kane.

When Ottawa released the details for how tenants could get 75% rent relief through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, they offered few details. Landlords and tenants didn’t know if it applied to base rent or gross rent.

Gross rent is a lease with a flat rent fee that encompasses rent and all costs associated with ownership, such as taxes, insurance, and utilities.

In contrast, base rent refers to the minimum amount of rent that is due under the terms of a lease. Base rent also requires the tenant to pay additional rent based on one or more factors such as a percentage-of-sales.

If the program only applied to base rent, it would have left tenants footing a much larger percentage of their monthly rent costs.

Non-medical facemasks available locally
In his address today, Premier Doug Ford advised wearing non-medical facemasks, or even a scarf, in crowded public settings. Citing the advice of a doctor on the Health Table, Ford said "even a scarf would be better than nothing at all."

Starting next week, non-medical face masks will be available for purchase at the Q. Designs online store. Since the start of the pandemic the Q. Design team has been redeployed, at home, to make non-medical masks and head coverings for frontline workers. Located in Mississauga, Q. Design is owned and operated by an Oakville resident. Visit to order.

During the pandemic, Mona at Oak Dry Cleaners has been making non-medical face masks for residents as well as gowns for frontline workers. While she awaits shipment of more supplies mid-month, the masks will once again be available Wednesdays 3-7 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 2530 Sixth Line #16. Masks are available by donation to the COVID-19 jar, which will be donated to Oakville hospital frontline workers in funds and treats at the end of each month.

Mona’s daughter Tarlan has created a Facebook group called Oakville PPE Sewers Group , which is a subdivision of Halton PPE. This group is for people who have experience in sewing and are able to help out by sewing gowns and surgical hats or ordinary people who have extra fabric in their house that can be donated to others to be used.

A local volunteer group is offering coronavirus protection kits to seniors and other vulnerable people in Oakville. The protection kits include homemade masks, disposable masks, a face shield, hand sanitizer and more. Order yours here.

An assortment of PPE may also be available at the convenience store located at the Metro plaza at Upper Middle and Eighth Line.

This video may provide some incentive to wear a non-medical face mask while out in situations in which social distancing can't be maintained.

If you have non-medical masks for sale, donation or free, please let us know. We'd also like to see the masks you've created. Reply this email with yours.
Oakville restaurant take out and delivery
There are a number of Oakville restaurants offering safe take out and delivery options and one Facebook group is tracking them all.
Join to stay up-to-date on who is offering services, specials and more.
Help available at Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre
Every Wednesday, the OPNC hosts a food bank from 11:00am – 1:30pm. Staffed by a team of volunteers, the food bank provides much needed support to our community. They provide Food for Life pre-packaged grocery bags of perishable and non perishable food items and other supplies to anyone our community who needs it.
Today they were able to offer Halal meat and dried beans thanks to generous donations. They also offer a “porch top” foodbank 24 hours a day, seven days a week which includes bins on the porch filled with non-perishable food items and items such as diapers and baby food.

OPNC also supports those who need clothing, help completing and filing their taxes, assistance with paying utilities,counselling and more. If you would like to donate food, you can drop it off on the porch at the OPNC at 2200 Sawgrass Drive in Oakville. Take what you need, leave what you can.
Emergency orders extended
Today, the Provincial direction has clearly turned from tightening to loosening, even though the premier also has extended the emergency to May 19.
The pace of the movement toward relaxation of restrictions has picked up and I believe even more is to come in the rest of this week. Mentioned yesterday by the Premier as having a good announcement later this week were parks, open space, etc.
Friday, garden centres and nurseries can open for in-store payment and purchasing.
Saturday, hardware stores and safety supply stores can open for in-store payment and purchasing.
Monday, retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery.
Essential construction is being expanded to include below-grade multi-unit residential construction for apartments and condominiums and continuing existing above-grade projects.
The Ontario emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act are extended until May 19, 2020.
The emergency orders include:
  • Work Deployment Measures for Municipalities
  • Closure of Establishments
  • Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses
  • Prohibiting Organized Public Events, Certain Gatherings
  • Closure of Outdoor Recreational Amenities
  • Closure of Public Lands for Recreational Camping
  • Enforcement of Orders
  • Electricity Price for RPP Consumers
  • Work Deployment Measures for Health Care Workers
  • Work Deployment Measures in Long -Term Care Homes
  • Streamlining Requirements for Long-Term Care Homes
  • Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes
  • Congregate Care Settings
  • Traffic Management
  • Child Care Fees
  • Prohibition on Certain Persons Charging Unconscionable Prices for Sales of Necessary Goods
  • Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works
  • Electronic Service
  • Work Deployment Measures for Boards of Health
  • Access to COVID-19 Status Information by Specified Persons
  • Service Agencies Providing Services and Supports to Adults with Developmental Disabilities
  • Pickup and Delivery of Cannabis
  • Signatures in Wills and Powers of Attorney
  • Use of Force and Firearms in Policing Services
  • Agreements Between Health Service Providers and Retirement Homes
  • Temporary Health or Residential Facilities
  • Work Deployment Measures for Service Agencies Providing Violence Against Women Residential Services and Crisis Line Services
  • Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home
  • Work Deployment Measures for District Social Services Administration Boards
  • Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home
  • Work Deployment Measures for Mental Health and Addictions Agencies
  • Access to Personal Health Information by Means of the Electronic Health Record
  • Global Adjustment for Market Participants and Consumers
  • Certain Persons Enabled to Issue Medical Certificates of Death
  • Hospital Credentialing Processes

Electricity relief extended
The Provincial Government announced that they are extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • This electricity rate relief, initially provided for a 45-day period starting on March 24, 2020, has been extended by an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 
  •  The rate relief is intended to be in place for an additional 24 days.  

Toronto's property tax relief set to expire
Yesterday, the City of Toronto reminded residents the 60-day grace period for property tax, utility bill payments and late penalties extended by the City during the COVID-19 response was ending on May 15. There are important changes to instalment amounts and due dates for customers on all payment schedules. All customers will receive a mailed notification of their revised interim bill due dates. Final tax bills will be mailed in mid-May as usual.
Canada's merchandise exports fell 4.7 per cent to $46.3 billion in March, the lowest level since January 2018.

Total imports declined 3.5 per cent to $47.7 billion, a level not observed since October 2017.

Both exports and imports were down almost 10 per cent on a year-over-year basis. Canada's trade deficit widened from $894 million in February to $1.4 billion in March.

March exports decreased 4.8 per cent and imports were down 5.8 per cent.
In the first quarter of 2020, exports decreased 3 per cent, a third consecutive quarterly decline.

Fines issued for breaking pandemic measures top $5.8M
Amid rising concerns that some COVID-19 containment measures are unfairly punishing vulnerable Canadians, a new report is shedding light on high fines and so-called “snitch lines.”

The report has been mapping where individuals have received tickets for alleged COVID-19 related infractions across Canada, how many have been ticketed and the value of the fines.

EU experiencing recession of historic proportions
The European Union predicted Wednesday "a recession of historic proportions this year" due to the impact of the coronavirus with a drop in output of more than seven per cent, as it released its first official forecast of the damage the pandemic is inflicting on the bloc's economy.

The 27-nation EU economy is predicted to contract by 7.5 per cent this year, before growing by about six per cent in 2021. The group of 19 nations using the euro as their currency will see a record decline of 7.75 per cent this year, and grow by 6.25 per cent in 2021, the European Commission said in its spring economic forecast.

More than 1.1 million people have contracted the virus across Europe and over 137,000 have died, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Unclear outbreak data, low testing rates and the strain on health-care systems mean the true scale of the pandemic is much greater.
Irish send relief to Native Americans, inspired by tribe's donation during the Great Famine
People in Ireland inspired by an act of generosity committed more than 170 years ago are paying it forward.

In 1847, the Choctaw people collected US$170 to send to people in Ireland who were starving during the potato famine.

Now, donations are pouring in from people across Ireland for a  GoFundMe campaign  set up to support the Navajo Nation and Hopi reservation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Oakville Youth Week goes virtual
Every year, Oakville celebrates  National Youth Week  with FREE activities, learning opportunities and events for youth ages 11-19. This year, the event goes virtual
Follow the  Oakville Youth Instagram , like the  Oakville Youth Facebook  page or follow on Twitter  @OakvilleYouth  for more information.

Share your photos using #OakvilleYouth.

Questions about Youth Week? Email
United Way virtual campaign

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

ALS walk

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

Food Banks experiencing record demand
Oakville's food banks are in record-breaking demand. If you can donate anything, please do. Your help is needed.

Fareshare Food Bank Oakville: 905-847-3988 or email

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

The Salvation Army Oakville: Donate online
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 13 at 7 p.m. - Hot Yoga and Pilates 
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