Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown believes youth sport leagues won’t be disrupted, but new COVID-19 rules will be enforced

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Published October 29, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is confident sports leagues will continue uninterrupted, but says vaccine status will be examined for those entering arenas and community centres beginning Nov. 1 and those who can’t comply will be turned away.

The mayor’s comments follow reports that leagues and certain classes face cancellations as early as Monday when new Region-wide rules take effect in Peel, which demand anyone age 12 and older be double vaccinated before they can enter such public venues and take part in activities.

Brown believes that most who take part in hockey and swimming classes have been vaccinated and that problems will be avoided.

“I don’t think there’s a legitimate risk of sports being postponed due to a lack of vaccination. From what I’m hearing from sports organizations, the vast majority of participants are vaccinated,” Brown said during an interview with insauga.com publisher Khaled Iwamura. “There may be some families who choose not to get vaccinated, but that would be a small minority when it comes to participants.”

Yesterday (Oct. 28), Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson caused a stir when he asked Peel Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh to extend the Nov. 1 deadline due to the fact many people who are involved in these activities have not been vaccinated.

“Our biggest challenge is that by Nov. 1 all of our instructors for swimming, trainers and other things…coaches…to get their second vaccine, we aren’t going to be able to do it,” Thompson said, pointing out that it will affect many young people and volunteers. “So this means we are going to have to shut facilities down. Is there any way we can get that extension so that they can get that second shot? Nov. 1 is next week and we are going to have to notify a lot of residents that you can’t come in until we got this. Is there any way you can help us out here?”

Dr. Loh held firm on the deadline of Nov. 1; explicitly stating people have known about it for weeks and have had months to get vaccinated. He further pointed out the date aligns with other municipalities, and an extension would make things more complicated, which is why it’s out of the question.

Brown agreed with Dr. Loh’s decision to refrain from providing an extension.

“We have given everyone a fair amount of notice to get vaccinated, and we just can’t afford to risk the safety of everyone else in the facility,” he said. “This is in order to ensure we can keep these facilities open. The last thing we want is for a COVID-19 outbreak to occur, which would force us to close the facility.”

Regarding enforcement, Brown specified there will be employees at the door checking for proof of vaccination before people will be admitted, but there will not be bylaw officers or police officers on hand — at least at the start.

“We have no specific plans to be present. The respective By-Law enforcement teams may be reached for any by-law infractions,” a spokesperson for Peel Regional Police said in an email.

 

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