Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area called for more advance communication around lockdowns and consideration of alternative methods of COVID restrictions that might distribute the burden more equitably.
With Toronto, Peel and now York Region in lockdown, the Mayors and Chairs call on the province to provide as much notice as possible to affected businesses about next steps. We believe businesses need adequate notice about any changes or continuation of lockdown measures so they can plan accordingly.
The Mayors and Chairs also agreed to request the province to work with them and other affected interests over the holiday period to consider other forms of public health restrictions which could be utilized if necessary in the New Year. This could include increased use of capacity restriction or other similar measures which could see a broader sharing of the economic burdens and benefits of such public health measures. The municipal leaders also advocated an increased use of technology to avoid lineups currently being seen outside many stores which goes against public health advice.
The Mayors and Chairs also reiterated their view that steps need to be taken to deal with the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces including the provision of a guarantee to any worker who tests positive that they will lose neither their job nor their paycheque.
With Christmas holidays approaching, the Mayors and Chairs continue to urge residents to listen to the public health advice and avoid in-person Christmas gatherings with people outside their household. We understand this will be hard on residents but we all need to make this sacrifice now to stop the further spread of COVID-19.
There have been numerous complaints since the latest round of restrictions that restaurants and small retainers are being disproportionately hurt by restrictions while big box stores remain relatively unaffected by pandemic restrictions.