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GTHA Mayors and Chairs committed to COVID-19 immunization efforts

Crucial for responsibilities to be clearly understood, staffing and financial help made available

HAMILTON, ON – Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area held their regular weekly meeting to discuss the ongoing response to the COVID-19 resurgence across the region.

All municipalities represented are fully engaged developing plans to assist in the task of delivering vaccine in their communities. The Mayors and Chairs emphasized the paramount need to ensure that the responsibilities of the three governments are clearly spelled out and understood well in advance to maximize success.

They also agreed that the responsibilities to be borne by municipalities will be extensive and expensive and as a result there will be a need for both human resource and financial assistance to municipalities in carrying out their assigned duties.

The Mayors and Chairs also discussed public health advice for the holidays. They acknowledge the exceptional job done to date by residents respecting the public health rules but note that as time goes by and holidays grow nearer there is a serious temptation to bend the protocols.

The hardest part begins now: Following the rules and celebrating the holidays in a very different way, accepting huge personal responsibility so as to produce a positive outcome and get this nightmare over with, and understanding that not following the rules will only make for a much worse outcome.

The Mayors and Chairs also agreed on the urgent need to hear from the other governments about restart financial assistance to take account of COVID-related financial shortfalls in 2021.

“While news of COVID-19 vaccine distribution is encouraging, I urge community members to continue stay home as much as possible to slow the spread of this virus. Now is not the time to let up on public health recommendations including restricting all social gatherings to only immediate household members, wearing a mask, physically distancing yourself from others and washing your hands. There is no doubt this holiday season will look different than in years past, however staying apart now will make it so that when we are able to gather again, no one is missing.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger