Mayor Burton Answers your Questions: Vol. 1 Ed. 2

Questions by you answered by Mayor Rob Burton
Mayor Burton Answers your Questions: Vol. 1 Ed. 2
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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Mayor Burton will be answering your questions as part of a regular series. To ask a question all you need to do is to email admin at OakvilleNews.org. Please provide as much information as possible.

Question: Public Park Closure

Vancouver decided to close access to parking at its popular parks. The parking lots for Oakville parks along Lake Ontario such as Lakeside, Gairloch, Tannery, Waterside, Bronte Heritage Waterfront have become extremely full – is the town considering closing those lots to reduce unnecessary travel. We have excellent parks through out the town there is no need to travel to get to a park or trail.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Response to the Public Health Emergency is guided by the medical officers of health of Canada, Ontario, and Halton. They advise avoiding groups of 50 or more, staying in as much as possible, and keeping your distance when you must go out. Essential businesses and services are encouraged to remain open and available to people for the necessities of life. Exercise is such a necessity. Nevertheless, we have closed our parks and playgrounds and are assigning personnel to patrol and enforce this decision.

Question: Municipal State of Emergency

Burlington has declare a state of emergency. Will Oakville declare a state of emergency, and if we did what would it mean?

Answer:

Action was taken a week ago to declare a public health emergency. The declaration of a public health emergency is the stronger and more powerful action compared to a municipal declaration of emergency.

 

NO SHUTDOWN OR EXTRA POWERS IN A MUNICIPAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION

A municipal emergency declaration does not provide a Head of Council, nor anyone else in a municipality, with any extraordinary authorities that are not otherwise provided for in law. For example, a Head of Council will not have the authority to order a private business or service to cease operations or to close by having declared an emergency. There are no “shutdown” powers in a municipal declaration of emergency. If we declared a municipal state of emergency because people incorrectly believe it would shut down the municipality, we would raise false expectations that we could enforce such a thing.

 

ALL NECESSARY POWER IS IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY DECLARATION BY ONTARIO

The municipal level is not the level with power to order shutdowns. The Government of Ontario has the powers for closures under the Provincial Public Health Emergency Declaration. Their order is reproduced below in the answer to the next question.

 

* Please visit Ontario.ca for up to date Provincial information.

* National official information is at Canada.ca.

* Municipal information is found at Halton.ca for regional public health and service information and Oakville.ca for local Town service information.

 

Question: Dealing with people who aren’t following the rules

I’ve seen numbers of groups gathering closely together (especially younger people) – what would you recommend I do? They are putting each other and the rest of us at risk.

Answer

If you see a serious violation of the public health orders, such as someone who should be self-isolating participating in public life, you can email me (mayor@oakville.ca) and I will alert the public health authorities who do investigate and take appropriate measures to enforce the orders.

Please respect the doctors who created the Public Health Ontario /Medical Officers of Health orders.

Here they are (from https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-1):

Declaration of emergency

The province has enacted a declaration of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public.

As a result, the following establishments are required to close immediately:

  • all bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout and food delivery
  • all facilities providing indoor recreational programs
  • all public libraries
  • all private schools
  • all licensed child care centres
  • all movie cinemas
  • all theatres, including those offering live performances of music, dance and other art forms
  • all concert venues

Additionally, all organized public events of over 50 people are prohibited, including parades, events and communal services within places of worship.

These orders will remain in place until March 31, 2020, when the province will reassess for an extension or end the closures.

Questions Submission

If you have a question you would like to ask the Mayor, please email admin at OakvilleNews.org. Your name will not be posted nor will your name be provided to the Mayor.

 

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