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Office of the Mayor and Council update
May 11, 2021


 

Canada to receive enough doses for every eligible Canadian to be receive one shot by summer

 
In today’s press conference Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there will be enough COVID-19 vaccine to offer every eligible Canadian their first shot by this summer, with enough doses for everyone to be fully vaccinated by September.

“A one-dose summer sets us up for a two-dose fall, when we’ll be able to talk about going back to school, back to work, and back to more normality,” said the prime minister.

In Halton, 46 per cent of eligible residents have received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and by next Wednesday, May 19 all residents 16 and older will be eligible to book their first dose.

While this is more hopeful news after a year of this pandemic, there is still a ways to go to get us from an international pandemic to a virus that causes localized epidemics and further to become a virus that many experts agree we will live with moving forward, like the seasonal flu.

Vaccination is the key to these achievements so while we await the opportunity for everyone to get both doses it’s important that we all continue to follow all public health advice to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help our healthcare system.
  • Stay home except for essentials and if you feel unwell
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash and sanitize hands
  • Keep a distance from anyone outside your household
  • Wear a mask when distance can’t be maintained, even outside, and where mandated
  • Book your COVID-19 vaccine when you’re eligible for one
     

Please keep well, stay safe, and let me know of any chance to help by emailing mayor@oakville.ca.

Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair  Reiterate Call to Safely Reopen Outdoor Activities 

 
 

As the Province of Ontario considers extending the Stay-at-Home emergency order beyond May 20, today, Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair are reiterating our call to safely reopen outdoor activities. 
 
Outdoor activities done safely with physical distancing and masking are a necessary support to physical and mental health, especially during this prolonged period of lockdown. 
 
Guidance provided by the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table for Ontario, that has also been endorsed by the Ontario Medical Association, encourages safe outdoor activities. 
 
• Keeping people safely connected: Maintaining social connections and outdoor activity are important to our overall physical and mental health. This means allowing small groups of people from different households to meet outside with masking and two-metre distancing. It means keeping playgrounds open and clearly encouraging safe outdoor activities. 
 
As noted by the Science Table: 
 
“Policies that discourage safe outdoor activity will not control COVID-19 and will  disproportionately harm children and those who do not have access to their own  greenspace, especially those living in crowded conditions.” 
 
While the Halton Mayors and Regional Chair continue to discourage large gatherings in any setting, small groups can be at the same amenity at the same time as long as they are following the health guidelines.  
 
We also stand with our Halton students who are calling for a safe return to sports when health guidance and evidence suggests it is safe to do so. The Halton District School Board’s (HDSB) Student Senate recently passed a motion declaring sports essential in students’ lives and created a Safe Sports subcommittee, co-chaired by two Halton students. The committee seeks to work with the Province to develop a plan for the safe return of sports, beginning with low-contact sports such as track and field, tennis, badminton, and swimming.  
 
Given that many sporting activities occur in city facilities, the four Halton municipalities stand ready to partner with the Province, school boards and our local fitness providers in planning for a safe restart of sports. In light of the evidence and advice from the Science Table, we renew our call to the Province to review and reconsider the list of currently prohibited outdoor activities. We further call on the provincial 
government to consult with school boards and our youth to design a safe return to sports plan, so that low-contact sports can resume as soon as it is safe to do so. 
 

Town, Chamber partner to provide rapid testing kits



Today I joined Oakville Chamber of Commerce President Drew Redden to distribute free rapid testing kits to local small and medium-size businesses that employ up to 150 employees within the Town of Oakville.

There’s been enormous demand for this and it’s one way we can provide much-needed support to assist in the safe reopening of our local economy.

Learn more about the program and submit your request for kits.
 


Halton Region opening new COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic in Burlington



On Wednesday, May 12, Halton Region will open a new COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Gary Allan Learning Centre at 3250 New Street in Burlington. Starting today, eligible residents can book to their vaccination appointments at the new location through Halton’s online booking system. 

“Based on expected supply, Halton Region is pleased to offer more options for residents to get their COVID-19 vaccine,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “We are making great progress on vaccinating our community, but our ability to open appointments to more eligible groups and expand vaccination options remains dependent on ongoing and predictable supplies from both the Provincial and Federal governments. In addition to our new Burlington clinic, we also have capacity in our current clinics to significantly increase what we are doing now – we are ready to get more people vaccinated as we receive more vaccines from the Federal and Provincial governments.”

Halton Region now has seven COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics across the region, operating seven days a week. In addition to opening the new Burlington location, clinic hours will be extended into the evening at the FirstOntario Arts Centre location in Milton starting May 18. This will provide more options for residents to book their vaccination appointments at a time most convenient for their schedules. Residents are reminded that all appointments must be made through Halton’s online booking system and walk-ins will not be accepted.

“Getting more people vaccinated each and every day will help get us closer to achieving community protection,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “I encourage everyone to book their appointments when it’s their turn. The best vaccine for you is the first one you are offered and the more people we are able to vaccinate each and every day, the closer we can get to returning to normal.”

Halton Region Public Health is reminding all residents to continue to adhere to public health measures, regardless of vaccination status. This includes staying home as much possible, only going out for essential reasons and only gathering indoors or outdoors with their households. When out in public for essential reasons (getting groceries or medicine, attending medical appointments or work) or enjoying outdoor activities, residents are reminded to wear a mask and keep a two-metre distance from anyone outside their households.
Read more

To see today’s updated COVID-19 statistics for Oakville from Halton’s Public Health Unit CLICK HERE
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Halton COVID case counts

There are currently 251 Active Cases in Oakville and 39 COVID-19 patients being cared for at OTMH (this number includes transfers from facilities outside of Halton Region).
 
Confirmed cases in Oakville increased by +37 from 4,974 to 5,011.
Confirmed cases in Halton increased by +87 from 15,733 to 15,820.
 
There were +32 new reported recoveries in Oakville from 4,834 to 4,866.
There were +115 new reported recoveries in Halton from 15,276 to 15,391

Ontario is reporting 2,073 new cases today, bringing the total to 497,092. Of those, 457,599 are resolved with 8,342 deaths. Currently there are 1,782 patients in hospital, 802 of whom are in ICU with 568 of those on ventilators.

Comparing Halton to GTHA - Case Numbers

Source: Public Health Ontario
Halton COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard
The indicators are based on the Ontario Public Health Unit Core Indicators for COVID-19 Monitoring, with targets adapted to the local Halton context and population. Together the indicators are intended to provide an overall snapshot of current local data on the COVID-19 pandemic, to keep the community informed and assist with local decision-making.

Canada COVID case counts

As of this morning, Canada had reported 1,296,946 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 78,670 considered active. A tally of deaths stood at 24,706.

As of early Tuesday morning, more than 158.9 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according a tracking tool from Johns Hopkins University that looks at the novel coronavirus around the world. The reported global death toll stood at more than 3.3 million.

COVID-19 vaccine tracker

Halton's COVID-19 vaccination program

COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario

Source: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario

As of Tuesday at 9:25 am CST, more than 16,436,663 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

Oakville & Halton

Town of Oakville Announcements

Street sweeping program underway

 


As part of our Roads & Works spring cleaning, you may notice the street sweepers on our roads. Please be courteous and patient around these vehicles. They aren't the fastest, but they are doing an important job to keep our community clean.

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Oakville library still here to serve you

 
 
Survey seeks feedback on our plans for the future, writes Tara Wong
Read the full story
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Ontario

Government of Ontario Announcements

Ontario Celebrates Second Annual Day of Action on Litter

 

 

Today Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks released the following statement:

“Today is Ontario’s second annual Day of Action on Litter, a day to encourage individuals, municipalities and businesses across the province to work together to raise awareness about the impacts of litter and how we can reduce waste.

Every year, the average Ontarian generates one tonne of waste – much of this making its way to our waterways and greenspaces, harming wildlife and impacting human health. The waste that does end up in our landfills increases greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why it’s so important we all do our part to reduce waste and help keep our province clean, healthy and beautiful.

In light of the Stay-at-Home order and to stop the spread of COVID-19, this year’s Day of Action on Litter is focusing on raising awareness of the impacts of waste in the environment, and actions to prevent, reduce and divert waste, right at home. With this in mind, out of an abundance of caution we are not promoting cleanups today.

There are actions you can take to reduce waste and keep recyclables, food and organics out of our landfills while staying at home and physically distancing, including:
  • Using reusable storage containers instead of single-use food wraps
  • Donating gently used clothes, toys and household items rather than throwing them away
  • Planning meals in advance and only buying what you need
  • Knowing what items are accepted in your local green bin and blue box
  • For anything that does belong in the trash, such as disposable masks, make sure garbage bags are properly tied or sealed so litter is contained
Our government is working hard to continue to deliver on our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commitment to keep our neighbourhoods, parks and waterways clean and free of litter and waste. We’re expanding green bin or similar collection systems, developing a proposal to ban food waste from landfills, and supporting innovation in compostable packaging.

The Day of Action on Litter is a reminder of the importance of our greenspaces and the role we all play in maintaining a cleaner, healthier Ontario for our communities and loved ones now and for future generations.”

Learn more about the impacts of litter and waste on the environment and how to prevent, reduce and divert waste at home at ontario.ca/actonlitter.

Participate in the Day of Action on Litter by sharing your actions using #actONlitter
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Ontario Supports Safe and Reliable Student Transportation


Investment to Support Driver Retention and Service Reliability for 2021-22 School Year


As part of ongoing efforts to provide students with continued access to safe and reliable transportation, the Ontario government announced that it will continue the School Bus Driver Retention Pilot (DRP) program in the 2021-22 school year. To ensure reliable transportation service throughout the pandemic, the Ontario government had extended the DRP program in the 2020-21 school year, supporting driver retention and recruitment.
The DRP program rewards school bus drivers who stay on the job throughout the school year with the intent to reduce driver turnover leading to service stability for students and families by minimizing delays and disruptions.
The DRP program has been in place for the past four school years and has helped provide stability and reliability in the student transportation system across the province. The extension to the upcoming school year will continue to provide eligible drivers with up to $2,000 based on continuous employment during the school year. It is estimated that this will benefit approximately 18,000 drivers across Ontario who provide transportation to over 830,000 students every day.
“Our commitment is to ensure students can get to schools safely with a caring, reliable and motivated group of school bus drivers,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “This investment will support service reliability and keep students safe. Our government is taking action to prevent student transportation disruptions so that students can confidently get to and from school under the care of hard-working school bus drivers in our communities.”
The Ontario government will continue the DRP program by providing total funding of over $40 million to support school bus drivers and support service reliability for families in rural and urban settings across the province.
“In what has been a difficult year for workers across the education sector, our government is taking strong and decisive action to continue supporting some of the most important people in education — those who safely drive our students to and from school,” said Sam Oosterhoff, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education and MPP for Niagara West. “It is good news for drivers, students, and families alike that the School Bus Driver Retention Pilot program is being continued for yet another year, to ensure consistency in driver supply. This demonstrates Premier Ford and Minister Lecce’s commitment to the essential workers of our province, including school bus drivers.”
“School bus drivers perform an incredibly important role each and every day, and they deserve our thanks,” said Nancy Daigneault, Executive Director of School Bus Ontario. “I applaud the government for rewarding these hard-working school bus drivers by continuing the DRP, and for putting service reliability and student safety first.”
At a time when the pandemic has created serious disruptions in the labour market, and many school bus operators are having trouble finding qualified staff, the DRP program provides a financial incentive for school bus drivers to stay on the job, and will help to provide stability for students and families by minimizing transportation delays in the 2021-22 school year.
 
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Ontario Supporting Agri-Food Sector with New Labour Strategy

 

 

Long-Term Labour Strategy to Ensure Sector Remains Strong
 
The Ontario government is launching an agri-food labour strategy that will address sector labour challenges and ensure a stronger, more sustainable and innovative agri-food industry.

Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development announced the strategy and two initial projects during a virtual roundtable with leaders from Ontario’s agri-food supply chain.

“Many of our partners in the agri-food sector have voiced their concerns about labour disruptions to our food processing and supply chain due to the pandemic and they shared the need for a labour strategy for agriculture and food processing,” said Minister Hardeman. “That’s why we are committed to working with all partners to plan for today, and beyond the recovery period and help set up the sector for future growth. By developing this labour strategy, we will position this sector for success and ensure Ontario’s food supply chain is protected and remains strong.”

During today’s virtual roundtable, Minister Hardeman expanded on the government’s investment of $812,000 to two projects aimed at labour shortages. The program includes:
  • $617,400 for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for Feeding Your Future: Connecting Ontario’s Agri-Food Workforce, a platform that helps fill the labour shortage through a job matching concierge service, and provides free virtual career fairs, webinar series and specialized training opportunities.
  • $195,000 for Food and Beverage Ontario to implement a strategy that will address critical challenges facing the sector such as talent attraction and retention, skills development, and innovation.
Working together with industry partners, the strategy will promote career opportunities and support training in the agri-food sector while identifying concrete actions to make the agri-food value chain more resilient.

“Farming and agricultural workers are vital to putting food on the table for hard-working families,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “By thinking ahead and investing in programs that will attract and train people for these rewarding, in-demand careers, our local economies can continue to thrive for years to come.”

“The agri-food sector has endured many challenges and uncertainties during the pandemic, and we are pleased to have ongoing support from the Ontario government,” said Peggy Brekveld, OFA President. “We are very proud of the Feeding Your Future initiative and its continued success addressing labour gaps through its job matching service, which connects job seekers with agri-food employers.”

“Thank you to the Ontario government for their continued support in addressing labour challenges in the agri-food industry,” said Chris Conway, CEO of Food and Beverage Ontario. “This important funding will allow us to build a strong, resilient and innovative food supply chain well into the future.”
The agri-food sector is one of the economic engines of Ontario. It supports more than 860,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes more than $47.3 billion each year to the province’s economy. With this labour strategy and the targeted investments announced today, the agri-food sector is well-positioned for growth in the short-run and in the long-term.
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Ont. mayor says province should explain future of stay-at-home order

 

The mayor of Mississauga, Ont. says she and other mayors from the Greater Toronto Area are looking for details about the future of Ontario’s stay-at-home order.

“The stay-at-home-order was to be lifted on the 19th, that clearly won’t be the case,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie told CTV News Channel’s Power Play on Monday.

Crombie said GTA residents and businesses need to know what they can expect for the Victoria Day long weekend.
Read the full story

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Rising incidence rate of children under 5 with COVID-19 'disturbing': York Region MOH




The number has been as high as 200 per 100,000 population, according to Dr. Karim Kurji.
Read the full story
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Ontario not particularly close to most thresholds for reopening considerations



Ontario's top doctor says he wants to see daily COVID-19 case numbers drop well below 1,000 before public health restrictions are rolled back in the province, but one expert says several other metrics should also be considered before lockdowns can ease.
Read the full story
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Ontario's plan to overhaul Blue Box program stalls, leaving sector 'on hold'



As the province irons out the final details of its new recycling regulations, municipalities and environmental groups are urging them to finish the job.
Read the full story
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Canada

Government of Canada Announcements

Minister of Transport introduces new funding programs to support Canada’s airports


 

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the air sector in Canada. Airports have been significantly affected, experiencing major decreases in traffic over the past 15 months. Despite these consequences, airports have played a crucial role since the start of the pandemic by continuing to provide essential air services, including traveling to medical appointments, air ambulance services, community resupply, getting goods to market, search and rescue operations, and forest fire response.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, launched two new contribution funding programs to help Canada’s airports recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program (ACIP) is a new program providing close to $490 million to financially assist Canada’s larger airports with investments in critical infrastructure-related to safety, security or connectivity;
  • The Airport Relief Fund (ARF) is a new program providing almost $65 million in financial relief to targeted Canadian airports to help maintain operations.

In addition to launching these two new funding programs, the Minister announced that Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) is receiving a funding top-up of $186 million over two years. The ACAP is an existing contribution funding program which provides financial assistance to Canada’s local and regional airports for safety-related infrastructure projects and equipment purchases.

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Domestic flights account for 80% of COVID-19 cases among air travellers

 

Between April and May, 226 domestic flights had passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 compared to 50 planes entering Canada from an international route, federal data shows.
Read the full story
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Focus on vaccination rates, not herd immunity as the way out of the pandemic: expert

 

If you have been seeing headlines that say herd immunity to COVID-19 isn't going to happen, Dr. Catherine Hankins has a message for you: "Don't panic."

Instead, focus on getting vaccinated as soon as you can, with the first vaccine offered to you, said Hankins, co-chair of Canada's COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.
Read the full story

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PM says Canada will have enough COVID-19 vaccines for a 'one-dose summer'

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Tuesday that there will be enough COVID-19 vaccines coming into the country to offer every eligible and willing Canadian their first shot by this summer, and enough doses for everyone to be fully vaccinated “by September.”
Read the full story

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International news

COVID-19 variant first seen in India designated as global concern, WHO says



"We classify it as a variant of concern at a global level," said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19.
Read the full story

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In other COVID news

Mix and match: Canadian officials watching the data on alternating COVID-19 vaccines

 
As some experts continue to warn of very rare side effects associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Canadian health officials are now reviewing the research on mixing various COVID-19 shots.
Read the full story
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Non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients have low risk of serious long-term effects, study says

 

It was a population-based cohort study using the Danish prescription, patient and health insurance registries.
Read the full story
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Judge rules layoff due to COVID was actually constructive dismissal — opening the door for a ‘huge number’ of laid-off workers to sue their employers

 

A recent ruling by an Ontario judge confirmed what some employment lawyers have been saying for more than a year — that many businesses may have actually constructively dismissed their employees when enacting temporary layoffs, putting themselves on the hook for severance pay.
Read the full story
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Less than three per cent of all land on Earth is fully ecologically intact

 

Scientists say that less than three per cent of all land on Earth is fully ecologically intact, which means free of localized extinctions.
Read the full story
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Food Banks experiencing record demand


Oakville's food banks are in record-breaking demand. If you can donate anything, please do. Your help is needed.

Fareshare Food Bank Oakville:
905-847-3988
oakvillefoodbank@gmail.com

Kerr Street Mission
905-845-7485
kerrstreet.com

The Salvation Army Oakville
salvationarmy.ca

 


Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to operate 


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakville Meals on Wheels continues to operate under increased safety measures.
Learn more 

Oakville Fare Share Food Bank new hours

The demand for service at the Oakville Fare Share Food Bank have almost doubled over the last nine months and as a result, hours will increase to serve everyone.

The new hours are:
Monday 9.30 am to 2.30 p.m.
Thursday 2 to 7 p.m.

This is an increase of two hours per week and will continue until at least the end of February 

Upcoming events

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