Brampton mayor wants COVID-19 ‘in the rear-view mirror,’ third hospital commitment and new transit projects for 2022
Published January 21, 2022 at 4:06 pm
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says while COVID-19 continues to be the number one issue for city council he’s eager to “get back to economic development.”
In an interview with insauga.com on Friday, Brown said the province’s plan to reopen and lift lockdown restrictions “can’t come soon enough” as city council looks ahead to 2022.
“There’s a lot of work on our plate right now, and I’m looking forward to getting everyone zoned in on that work as we put COVID in the rear-view mirror,” Brown said.
With major projects like a new transit facility, expanding the city’s light rail transit system and breaking ground on a second hospital on his mind, Brown – who’s struggled with “the broad nature” of the province’s lockdowns – is hopeful the worst of the pandemic is behind us.
Brown said he wants to see work start as soon as possible on the city’s new hospital which received a $1-billion tender from the province to upgrade the old Peel Memorial Hospital last year.
And while he praised the province for “stepping up to the plate” on the hospital project, Brown wants Queen’s Park to dig deeper with a planning grant for a third hospital.
“If you want to build a third hospital 13 years from now, it starts now,” he said.
He also talked about the pandemic’s impact on local businesses, saying he fields calls monthly from Brampton entrepreneurs who are struggling or forced to close up shop.
Ontario restaurants, gyms, theatres and retailers are slated to reopen at 50 per cent capacity starting Jan. 31 as the province starts lifting COVID-19 restrictions over the next few weeks.
The province will begin a gradual loosening of restrictions throughout the month of February, with Premier Doug Ford pushing for a full province-wide reopening in March.
And while the mayor’s outlook on the pandemic might be rosy in Brampton, Canada’s chief public health officer warned not to “trivialize” the virus.
Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday there are signs the spread of COVID-19 is slowing nationally, but hospitalizations and the number of patients needing critical care across the country are still rising.
With so many health workers getting sick, Tam said there’s immense strain on the country’s health system.
Health Canada data shows January will go down as one of the deadliest months in the pandemic with new deaths climbing above 100 per day this week for the first time in almost a year.
Tam said the absolute number of deaths is so high due to the number of people getting sick and that the virus is still capable of causing serious harm.
With files from the Canadian Pressinsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising