For Immediate Release
July 20, 2020

GTHA Mayors and Chairs continue to work together on restart and recovery

“Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area welcomed the news that some of our areas were moving forward into Stage 3 while others would continue in Stage 2 based on the advice of public health officials.

We are all committed to moving forward into the restart and recovery in a safe way that is based on public health advice – we know this is the best way to continue to save lives, protect the health of our residents, and ensure that we can avoid having to return to more restrictive lockdowns.

Given the growing concerns about bars and restaurants reopening for indoor dining, the Mayors and Chairs confirmed their support for possible addition of public health recommendations to be added to the provincial regulations guiding Stage 3. We will support common sense measures taken by the Government of Ontario to do everything possible to protect the health and safety of GTHA residents and employees of reopening businesses and reduce the risk of these businesses having to close again.

The Mayors and Chairs also respectfully request that the Province carefully examine the rules and guidelines applicable to gyms and fitness clubs in order to ensure that places with high numbers of people, intensive physical activity, and many touchpoints are nonetheless safe from a public health standpoint.

The Mayors and Chairs were proud to stand together for our cities, towns, and regions to protect our services and our residents and businesses in the face of unprecedented costs and revenue losses due to COVID-19. We look forward to having more details in the coming weeks on the positive impact for our municipalities of the Safe Restart Agreement signed last week between the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories.

It is obviously crucial that this agreement provide much needed federal and provincial emergency financial support to cities and towns, including specific funding for our transit systems. As the details emerge from the other governments it will be more apparent how much of this crucial need will be met.

We thank Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Finance Minister Rod Phillips along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland for advocating for our municipalities and working with us to get a deal done. It demonstrates a recognition that the municipalities of the GTHA are crucial to our provincial and national economic recovery as will a fair allocation of these funds to meet clear local government needs.

We remain committed to leading a solid, fair recovery which helps get people back to work and back to a more normal, safe and healthy life.”