Office of the Mayor and Council Update
Updates on COVID-19 emergency
Town Council and I want you to know Oakville is in sync with Ontario’s State of Emergency. Public facilities and libraries are closed. Essential staff and 1 st responders are on duty. The Town emergency plan has been activated.

Public health officials are guiding us. We work with the governments above us. We each stay in our lane for efficiency.

Your actions make a difference, too. Let the difference you make be a good one. Stay home. Don’t go out unless you have to. Keep your distance if you do. Look for safe ways to help others. Use phones, email, or video.

Ask for help if you need it. Email me at mayor@oakville.ca – I will guide you to help.

Your Town Staff and I will keep doing our part with the higher levels of government to keep our community safe. Check oakville.ca for Town updates. And, please, do your part, too.


Items in this update:

  • New Coronavirus cases in Oakville
  • Travellers urged to self-isolate
  • Town focusing on providing essential services
  • Parking fees waived
  • Economic task force created
  • Resources for businesses
  • Support local businesses
  • Federal stimulus package details
  • Accessing the aid you need
  • Ministry of Transportation extensions
  • Fines for failure to comply with emergency orders announced
  • Building inspections suspended
  • Hair and nail salons, clothing stores encouraged to close
  • Oakville Hydro customer support during pandemic
  • Council and Committee meetings through April postponed
  • Oakville Ford Plant makes plans for next steps
  • U of T research suggests longer periods of social distancing ahead
  • Halton Regional Police services restrictions
  • Protecting font-line justice services
  • Municipal Council Meetings going virtual
  • Oakville Family Ribfest taking precaution against Coronavirus
Halton’s first death and
new Coronavirus cases in Oakville
Halton Regional Health announced the Region’s first death related to Coronavirus. The man in his 50s was treated at both Milton District Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

Three new cases of Coronavirus in Oakville were announced Wednesday. All cases are believed to have been contracted while travelling.

Travellers urged to self-isolate
As travellers return from abroad and March Break holidays, they are urged to self-isolate. This means heading straight home from the airport, having groceries delivered and not visiting friends and family.

The window to flatten the curve is narrow and as the Prime Minister keeps reiterating, we need to work together to get through this.
Town focusing on essential services
In a news release issued Thursday, March 19, Town of Oakville announced all non-essential services would be scaled back based on the advice being provided by the Medical Officer of Health.

Examples of essential services include: the public safety services delivered by Oakville Fire, Roads and Works, Parks and Open Spaces and Municipal Enforcement, as well as Transit, ServiceOakville and key support services.

As of today, signage warning users of Town playgrounds, basketball courts and skateboard that they do so at their own risk.

See the Town website, Oakville.ca , for more.
Parking fees waived
Until further notice, payment is not required for on-street parking or in municipal parking lots. Parking time limits have also been relaxed to help those working from home or self-isolating.

Parking enforcement is limited to safety-related issues such as fire routes, accessible parking, no parking/stopping areas and blocked areas.

Economic task force created
I, along with the Oakville Economic Development office, Oakville Chamber of Commerce and Oakville Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) have formed an Economic Task Force in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

The Task Force will identify relief and recovery actions for businesses and residents alike.

A list of current resources available can be found at Oakville.ca and will be updated as new programs are released.

More information will be available on the Town, Chamber and BIA websites as it is available.
Resources for businesses compiled by
Town of Oakville Economic Development
As the Coronavirus pandemic impacts businesses, Town of Oakville Economic Development has compiled a list of information and resources for employers to make informed decisions. It will be updated as new details and programs are released.

An Economic Task Force has also been created. More information on this as it comes.

Local businesses need your support
As we work together as a community to flatten the curve of COVID-19, many local businesses have modified operations to continue to serve you while aligning their practices with public health and safety.

Ways you can support local small businesses include:
  • Order takeout or delivery
  • Shop local for necessities
  • Shop local businesses online
  • Buy gift cards to use later
  • Post and review about local businesses online
Federal stimulus package
will help workers and businesses
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described Ottawa’s $27-billion aid package for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19 as "extraordinary". The following measures are just the start as Finance Minister Bill Morneau says it will take two, perhaps three rounds of targeted spending by the federal government to see the economy through the health crisis and put it back on the road to prosperity.

  • The Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks will provide income support to those who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave. 

  • An Emergency Support Benefit from the Canada Revenue Agency will provide support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.

  • Payments will begin to flow in April and will be retroactive to Mar. 15

  • There will also be a six-month, interest-free moratorium on payments to the Canada Student Loan Program; a special top-up payment for the Goods and Service Tax credit to assist low-income families; and a temporary hike to payments under the Canada Child Benefit.

  • the government is offering a wage subsidy for the next 90 days for small businesses that keep employees on the payroll. The amount is10 per cent to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer

  • $55 billion of tax deferrals to companies and households. The tax filing deadline for individuals will be extended to June 1 and have until Aug. 31 to pay any outstanding tax bills without penalty. Businesses will also be able to defer tax payments.

How to access the aid you need
The $82 billion stimulus package includes support not only for workers who are eligible for employment insurance (EI), but also the self-employed, independent contractors or “gig economy” workers who can’t access EI.

Here's how to apply:
  • Anyone who doesn’t have paid sick leave and hasn’t been able to work because they are sick, quarantined or caring for someone who is sick or quarantined can immediately apply for EI sickness benefits, if they are eligible, without the usual one-week waiting period.

  • Workers who are sick or quarantined who are not eligible for EI can, starting in April, apply for the Emergency Care Benefit, which will provide up to $900 every two weeks for 15 weeks.

  • No medical notes or certificates are required.

  • Healthy workers who were laid off, but aren’t eligible for EI, are eligible for the Emergency Support Benefit

  • You can apply for EI online through Service Canada’s website. The application will take about an hour to complete.


Extension of the expiry of driver, vehicle
and carrier products and services
Today, the Ministry of Transportation announced the extension of the validity of various driver, vehicle, and carrier products that would have otherwise expired on or after March 1, 2020 until further notice. 

Some products include:
  • License plate stickers
  • All classes of Ontario driver’s licences
  • Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration (CVOR) certificates 
  • Ontario Photo Cards 
Fines for failure to comply with emergency orders announced
Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), offences under the Act will be subject to fines.

Individuals be be fined set amount for:
  • Failure to comply with an order made during a declared emergency
  • Obstructing any person exercising a power in accordance with an order made during a declared emergency
  • Obstructing any person performing a duty in accordance with an order made during a declared emergency
Building inspections extended
As of March 18, building inspections have been suspended.

Please note, once inspection services resume, inspectors may require completed work to be uncovered to determine Building Code compliance
Hair and nail salons, clothing stores
encouraged to close
Toronto’s medical officer of health has encouraged all non-essential businesses such as hair and nail salons as well as clothing stores to close immediately in an effort to encourage social distancing to combat the growing  COVID-19 outbreak

Oakville Hydro customer support during pandemic
As an essential service, Oakville Hydro is taking active measures to support customers by:

  • Maintaining the provincial disconnection ban for residential customers for 90 days
  • Suspending collection action until further notice
  • Offering Arrears Payment Arrangements in order to provide customers with more time to pay outstanding balances on their account

Council and Committee meetings
through April postponed
On Wednesday, March 18 I exercised my authority under the Town’s Procedure By-law to postpone a number of Council and Committee meetings in response to the continuing COVID-19 emergency.

The following meetings will be postponed to the next regularly scheduled meeting dates:

  • Council, March 23, 2020
  • Heritage Oakville, March 24, 2020
  • Committee of Adjustment, March 31, 2020
  • Appeals Committee, April 2, 2020
  • Planning and Development Council, April 6, 2020
  • Property Standards Committee, April 28, 2020

Special meetings of Council will be convened as needed under the new virtual meeting rules enacted Thursday by the Province of Ontario.

Oakville Ford Plant determines path forward
Thursday’s shift at the Oakville Ford Plant was the last until March 30. The shut down is set to last a week while the company works to determine its approach to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Months of school closures and social distancing?
According to University of Toronto-led research, months of school closures and social distancing may be required to stifle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Halton Regional Police Services restriction
Effective yesterday (March 18) all Halton Regional Police Service locations are closed for non-emergencies until further notice. Many services are still being offered online.

Province taking action to protect
critical front-line justice services
In a statement today, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, and Attorney General Doug Downey issued a statement regarding the Province's action to protect front-line justice services.

"Adjustment are being made throughout the justice system to minimize disruption and continue to provide seamless, responsive justice services to all Ontarians," the statement said.

Measures include:
  • Limiting in-person proceedings
  • Using audio and video conferencing to hear priority matters remotely
  • The Superior Court of Justice has suspended all regular court operations until further notice
  • All sittings of the Small Claims Court in Ontario are suspended until further notice
  • The Ontario Court of Justice has established procedures to reduce the number of people who attend court in-person for criminal and family matters.

Municipal Council Meetings going virtual
During an emergency legislative session Thursday at Queen's Park, the Province introduced the Municipal Emergency Act 2020 to assist municipal governments and boards during the COVID-19 emergency.
 
Top of mind for Oakville and other municipal governments across the province has been the ability to ensure council, council committees and municipal boards can meet virtually to make key decisions without meeting physically.
 
The Act ensures that, during municipal or provincial emergencies, members of councils, local boards and committees who participate electronically in open and closed meetings may be counted for the purposes of quorum. Town Council will amend its procedural by-law to put the change into effect.
Oakville Family Ribfest cancelled in 2020
Citing concerns that the Coronavirus pandemic will still be prevalent in June, organizers of this event have decided to pre-emptively cancel the annual event now.

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