Halton mayors ask Doug Ford not to move Halton back into Stage 2


Published October 24, 2020 at 5:12 pm

In an open letter to Premier Doug Ford, Halton’s regional chair and four mayors have asked the province not to move Halton back into Stage 2.

The letter, which comes in response to Ford saying on Friday that he would review the situation in Halton, was signed by Burlington mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Oakville mayor Rob Burton, Milton mayor Gord Krantz, Halton Hills mayor Rick Bonnette, and Regional Chair Gary Carr.

The mayors requested that the province use a targeted approach, based on conclusive data, to address certain sectors that are seeing a rise in cases rather than ordering a full closure across Halton.

“A blanket approach that unfairly punishes small businesses with no explanation will hurt our local economy and impact buy-in from residents,” they warned.

“A more measured approach would be for the Province to provide guidance and specifically target sources of community spread. It is the same rationale that has been applied to keeping schools open and only closing individual schools with multiple infections instead of closing down an entire school district.”

The mayors say that the majority of Halton businesses have been complying with public health guidelines and have only seen minimal infections.

They expressed concern that these businesses — some of which having invested thousands in personal protective equipment and modifying their spaces to provide a safer environment — should not be punished under a blanket shutdown order.

“Halton residents are reasonable and will support any evidence-based decision. We welcome any data or information that your health advisors have that may impact your decision,” they said, adding that they were open to continue discussing the matter at the province’s earliest convenience.

Meed Ward shared the letter to her Instagram and insisted that Halton’s mayors support a targeted approach based on evidence of transmission risk.

Several areas in Ontario have already been rolled back to a modified Stage 2 in response to rising COVID-19 cases, including Toronto, Peel Region, and most recently York Region.

Ford plans to outline the province’s next steps for Halton and other similar regions on Monday, October 26.

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