The Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area are supportive of the travel restrictions that came into effect today.”Having called for these measures, we appreciate these new rules and restrictions being initiated in the cause of encouraging people to stay home and limiting the arrival of the virus or the variants from outside the country,” the officials said in a communique.
The Mayors and Chairs also discussed a number of other pandemic related matters
• Support for the submissions of the Medical Officers of Health about the importance of the safe reopening of schools as soon as possible. This is especially important for the well-being of the students.
• Strongly advocate for simplified and increased sick pay benefits to be made available. As recently reported by Peel, contact tracing has shown a significant number of cases where people have gone to work sick and dozens who went to work after a positive test result. This is unacceptable and could be fixed if the will was there.
• Encouraging the Government of Ontario, in consultation with stakeholders including municipalities, to prepare plans for an overall safe reopening. While it is still not known when this might take place, the need for a well thought out plan is significant including simplified supports for affected businesses. The Mayors and Chairs also supported the continued funding of the ShopHERE program which is scheduled to expire this month. We urge businesses to familiarize themselves with these programs so they can apply to those which include them.
Senior Government financial support to municipalities
The Mayors and Chairs once again discussed the need for the federal and provincial governments to come forward with funding for municipalities through a Safe Restart Agreement 2.0. As cities finalize and implement their 2021 budgets, the vaccine distribution and ongoing efforts in fighting the pandemic, it is absolutely vital that they have funding commitments to help plan out their continued response, particularly in light of some drastically reduced revenues such as those connected to public transit.