Mississauga mayor joins call for additional “common-sense measures” to be taken as more regions move into Stage 3
The mayors and regional chairs of Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) municipalities are calling for additional "common-sense" public health measures around bars, indoor dining and fitness facilities as more regions move into Stage 3.
Although Peel (which is comprised of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon) is not yet permitted to enter Stage 3 and therefore cannot allow local bars and restaurants to provide indoor dining, the region is expected to be cleared to enter Stage 3 in the coming weeks.
Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills, Hamilton and other GTHA cities will officially enter Stage 3 on Friday, July 24.
Peel, Toronto and Windsor will be held back a little while longer due to higher case numbers.
"GTHA Mayors and Chairs are working together and remain united on a safe restart and recovery plan," Crombie said on Twitter.
"Given the growing concerns about indoor bars and restaurants and gyms and fitness clubs reopening, we’re asking for the province to explore additional public health measures."
In a statement issued by the municipal leaders, the mayors and regional chairs asked that more public health recommendations be added to the provincial regulations guiding Stage 3.
"We will support common-sense measures taken by the Government of Ontario to do everything possible to protect the health and safety of GTHA residents and employees of reopening businesses and reduce the risk of these businesses having to close again," the statement reads.
"The Mayors and Chairs also respectfully request that the province carefully examine the rules and guidelines applicable to gyms and fitness clubs in order to ensure that places with high numbers of people, intensive physical activity, and many touchpoints are nonetheless safe from a public health standpoint."
On July 20, Crombie said she supported the province's decision to keep Peel in Stage 2 despite an overall low number of new cases in Mississauga.
"While Mississauga is a good position with an average of five new daily cases, today's decision recognizes that we have more work to do as a Region to drive cases down over a sustained period," Crombie said in a statement.
"We know when restrictions are loosened, we inevitably open up our risk of transmission. Stage 3 will see the reopening of virtually all businesses and public spaces. It will also see indoor public gatherings increase significantly, from 10 to 50."
Crombie said that while the decision disappointed some residents and local business owners, a cautious approach is the province's best defence against a second lockdown.
"I understand that some residents and businesses may be disappointed by today's decision. Our goal throughout this pandemic has been to move forward and never once look back. Our businesses and our people can't afford to be in lockdown again. I ask that you continue to be patient. Peel will enter Stage 3 when the time is right, and I'm confident that will be very soon."
In the letter penned by the GTHA mayors and regional chairs, the leaders also said they look forward to future announcements regarding funding for municipalities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and revenue-crushing lockdown,
"We look forward to having more details in the coming weeks on the positive impact for our municipalities of the Safe Restart Agreement signed last week between the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories," the letter reads.
"It is obviously crucial that this agreement provide much needed federal and provincial emergency financial support to cities and towns, including specific funding for our transit systems. As the details emerge from the other governments it will be more apparent how much of this crucial need will be met."
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