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“No COVID tourism” — GTHA Mayors and Chairs

“No COVID tourism” — GTHA Mayors and Chairs

The Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton asked people to think carefully about ‘region hopping’ regardless of the status of any given region with the main emphasis being to stay close to home and shop local.

All the Mayors and Chairs declared their commitment to following the advice of public health experts so that lives can be saved and communities can be as healthy as possible.

Despite parts of the region being in different stages, all the Mayors and Chairs agreed that the best advice for all residents was to stay home as much as possible right now and to only leave home for essential reasons – going to work or school, buying essentials, and exercise.

 In that regard, the Mayors and Chairs strongly encouraged all their residents to SHOP LOCAL and to support smaller independent businesses. They acknowledge the reality that those same small businesses across the region make 40 per cent or more of their annual sales in the holiday period and given that people are still shopping, then hopefully they will shop local and shop independent.

 It was also pointed out that these same small independent businesses are huge supporters of local causes and sports organizations and are a cornerstone of community stability in every part of the region.

Areas which are locked down have many small independent businesses which have online shopping available and curbside pickup is an option people are strongly urged to utilize so as to both protect public health and support local business.

The Mayors and Chairs reiterate their strong recommendation made last week that the federal and provincial government find a way to immediately assure every working person that they will not lose their job or their paycheque if they test positive. We simply cannot have people who are afraid to get tested and who then go to work sick because they don’t have any financial backstop. We note there has been no response from either government to last week’s recommendation concurred by all of us.

The Mayors and chairs, in an apparent jab at the mixed messaging that health officials have been providing wrote in a statement, “Finally, we are hopeful that on a weekly basis there might be a fulsome provincial presentation which tries to put the reported case count information into some context as a means of assisting the public in understanding the course of the pandemic.”

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