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GTHA Mayors and Chairs support new provincial measures to save lives and protect our healthcare system

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.

While there are differing circumstances which prevail in different parts of the region, the Mayors and Chairs are united in supporting the Province and working together to protect health, protect the healthcare system and protect our way of life including the economy and business.

The Mayors and Chairs continue to urge the provincial and federal governments to provide sick leave benefits for employees who test positive as well as providing for increased workplace inspections to ensure public health compliance.

They also recognize these additional measures will further impact businesses, especially smaller businesses which are vital to the well-being of local economies. We believe it is urgent that significant additional supports be made available to these small businesses immediately and that greater attention should be paid to promoting the availability of existing programs which have not had much uptake to date.

While it is important to register the urgency of additional supports for smaller businesses, we note that unprecedented government cooperation has led to a very significant array of assistance programmes for people and businesses.

We also believe that a very complete reopening plan for business will be required well in advance of the end of the lockdown period and that significant effort should be made to ensure that all businesses, big and smaller, should have a fair chance to experience the benefits of a reopened and recovering economy.

We look forward to working with the province to implement the vaccination initiatives which offer so much hope but note that there is a long and challenging road ahead as we move to the broader roll out of that program.

Ultimately, the success of a lockdown through Christmas and New Year's and into January will be determined by the individual actions of each and every resident. We strongly urge people to do everything they can in their own lives to limit the time they spend outside their home and to not gather with people outside their own household.

If people stay home, and socialize only with the people they live with we can enter the New Year on a better footing, reduce restrictions on people and businesses and get back to building what is the single strongest and most successful region in the country."

“I support and join the call of mayors across the GTHA for the Provincial and Federal governments to provide additional supports for small business and sick leave benefits for anyone who contracts COVID-19, or needs to isolate. These additional supports are essential and if implemented will help to sustain small businesses and jobs while at the same time saving lives and protecting our healthcare system.”

-Mayor Fred Eisenberger