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How Burlington city government functions during COVID emergency

How Burlington city government functions during COVID emergency

The City of Burlington has issued a release describing the municipal decision making process during the COVID crisis.

City Council continues to be responsible for overall governance of the City and strategic decisions. Emergency-related and time-sensitive decisions that are being made on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis and relate primarily to operational issues are being managed by the city’s Emergency Control Group.

The city is working with a Emergency and Continuity Management Program. that was ratified by council last summer.

In accordance with that plan the City moved to a Level 3 – Full Emergency Activation, the highest level, on March 17th. A Level 3 established a Emergency Control Group (ECG). This group is vested with decision-making responsibility related to time-sensitive and immediate actions to address the emergency at hand, including operations and crisis communications.

The Corporate Emergency Control group consists of the Mayor, City Manager, Fire Chief and all department directors—16 managers in all, plus numerous support staff—all meeting remotely.

The ECG meets every afternoon, including weekends, via conference call. Meeting attendance is tracked, and minutes are kept and saved. A daily Incident Action Plan is compiled, approved by the group and sent through to the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management.

At the ECG  daily meetings the  current situation is  and time-sensitive decisions are made by the group and actionable items are assigned to appropriate owners.

Examples of some of the emergency-related decisions that are being made by this group include the closure of parks and recreation facilities, adjustments to transit schedules and services, and enacting safety measures to keep employees and the public safe through limiting access to City Hall and other administrative buildings .The ECG will continue to function as long as the City is at a Level 3 – Full Emergency Activation.

City Council continues to function throughout this emergency and is conducting only essential and time sensitive business for the time being using remote technology. Staff are looking into ways of extending the technology to allow for remote public participation. Members of the public will still be able to submit written delegations to the clerk, and any councillor who has questions can follow up directly. The council chamber is closed to the public.

Council also continues to provide ongoing support to constituents in their wards via telephone and email every day. They are provided with regular updates from the Mayor and City Manager on key communications and decisions being made by the ECG, and have the opportunity to ask the Mayor to filter issues up to the ECG in daily meetings.

As always, please stay informed with the latest local news and information on our dedicated city webpage: Burlington.ca/coronavirus, and visit the regional, provincial, and federal sites for even more.

COVID-19 Links and Resources

•             For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health www.halton.ca/coronavirus

•             Residents can stay informed at www.burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington

•             Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to rentals@burlington.ca or liveandplay@burlington.ca or 905-335-7738

•             Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus

•             Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus

•             World Health Organization: www.who.int

•             Joseph Brant Hospital: www.josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19

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