Niagara mayors call on province for clearly defined re-opening plan
A statement from the mayors of Niagara’s 12 municipalities:
On Thursday Premier Doug Ford announced an extension to the Stay-at-Home order until at least June 2. The extension is needed to provide additional time to control the spread of COVID-19, bring down case counts, take pressure off already overburdened hospitals and put more vaccines in arms.
While we are supportive of the decision to further extend protective measures for the betterment of our communities, the lack of any kind of detailed plans to lead us towards an opening up of the economy is frustrating.
We believe our residents and businesses need to see a clearly developed re-opening plan that is evidence-based and includes the positive impacts of vaccinations. With more than half of Ontarians vaccinated with at least one dose, increased shipments of vaccines on the way, and age eligibility expanding in the next few weeks – Ontario should have a clearly defined re-opening plan.
We are also calling on both the Federal and Provincial governments to continue financial supports and extended benefits for businesses and organizations affected as the stay-at-home order continues. The supports must flow as quickly as possible to ensure businesses can continue to manage through these challenging times.
We also urge the Province to allow regional Public Health agencies to regulate outdoor activities based on local relevant data. The Ontario Science Table and medical professionals have stated outdoor, non-contact activities are low risk for COVID-19 transmission. We believe each region should have autonomy to determine safe return to play protocols moving forward.
With the prospect of an outstanding summer in Niagara on the horizon, we need to continue to do everything we can to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. We also need to have plans in place to allow our communities to be prepared and ready for a safe, more open summer than last year.
Mayor David Bylsma, West Lincoln Mayor Frank Campion, Welland Mayor Jim Diodati, Niagara Falls
Lord Mayor Betty Disero, Niagara-on-the-Lake Mayor Sandra Easton, Lincoln Mayor Kevin Gibson, Wainfleet
Mayor Jeff Jordan, Grimsby Mayor Marv Junkin, Pelham Mayor Wayne Redekop, Fort Erie
Mayor Walter Sendzik, St. Catharines Mayor Bill Steele, Port Colborne Mayor Terry Ugulini, Thorold