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GTHA Mayors and Chairs support public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19

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.

Mayors and Chairs have been in conversations with each other, with public health officials and the province all weekend and we expect those discussions will continue today.

We understand that further public health action may be needed in response to the rising numbers and based on public health advice. The Provincial Framework allows for this to be done as local circumstances dictate.

The Mayors and Chairs are absolutely committed to working with health officials and the provincial government to determine what further action is needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our city and region.

We agree with Premier Ford that all options should be on the table and support our health officials across the region working together to provide their best advice on how we can save lives, keep people from getting the virus, protect our health care system from being overwhelmed, and ensure schools remain safely open.

“The current restrictions and additional health measures in place across the GTHA are absolutely necessary in order to protect the health and well-being of our communities. Now is the time for everyone to stay home as much as possible or risk additional restrictions being implemented. If you do go out for essential purposes, please wash your hands, practice physical distancing, and wear a mask. We all know what we need to do to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and what happens next is completely up to all of us.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger

The Mayors and Chairs believe an urgent discussion should take place with respect to the impact that a lack of sick pay benefits may have on certain workforce populations who are then reluctant to get tested for fear of losing their paycheques. We believe this is something that should be discussed by all governments and the private sector so as to allow all people to be tested with confidence.

We also will continue to advocate for substantial emergency support for businesses and residents affected by further public health measures from the Government of Canada. In that regard we urge the Senate of Canada to expedite its consideration of Bill C-9 as the passage of this Bill will allow substantial financial assistance to be provided to restaurants and other businesses adversely affected by these necessary public health measures.