Mayors from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area are calling on the Province for greater “predictability” when it comes to Ontario’s current stay-at-home orders.
The current stay-at-home orders are now extended through June 2, but lawmakers began the week seeking more answers from the Ontario government.
“Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) held their regular weekly meeting to discuss the ongoing response to COVID-19 across the Region,” they said. “The GTHA Mayors and Chairs are asking the Province to provide predictability for the current Provincial stay-at-home order and what is to follow. As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches, people and businesses have begin to ask perfectly reasonable questions as to where things will stand as of that time, so they can make plans of all kinds – business and pleasure.
“Accordingly, we think it is important that the Ontario government communicate clearly and as soon as possible whether or not its order will be extended further or modified based on public health advice.”
The uncertainty of when the stay-at-home order will be lifted – and, indeed, what will follow – is not the only question being asked of the Provinces. Calls are growing louder from municipal lawmakers – particularly Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown – to allow outdoor sports and athletic activities to re-open, citing lack of evidence that these outdoor pursuits are contributing to the still-high case numbers of COVID-19.
The Small Urban GTHA Mayors group consists of the Mayors of Aurora, Bradford West Gwillimbury, the Township of Brock, the City of Burlington, the Towns of East Gwillimbury, Halton Hills, King, Newmarket, Orangeville, the Townships of Scugog and Uxbridge, and the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
The group met last week virtually with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 7 to raise concerns on the vaccine rollout, travel bans, the licensing of cannabis facilities and more.
“It is only through open dialogue and communication with our Federal partners that municipalities can respond to concerns as a result of changes in legislation impacting our communities,” they said. “We are grateful to the Prime Minister and our Federal Members of Parliament for their continued partnership and support and look forward to continuing to work together in response to the issues raised today.”
Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran