For Immediate Release
July 27, 2020

GTHA Mayors and Chairs welcome initial funding announcement; strongly urge residents to continue to follow public health advice – avoid large informal gatherings

“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 transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3.

While parts of the GTHA remain in Stage 2, other parts have moved into Stage 3. The Mayors and Chairs shared what their specific municipalities are experiencing and how they are taking action to continue to stop the spread of COVID-19.

All Mayors and Chairs are committed to working with local public health authorities and with the province to make sure we have the safest restart possible and a strong recovery.

We stand together in urging residents across the GTHA to continue to follow public health advice – keep your distance from others, wear a mask when inside public places, and avoid large gatherings.

We are encouraged by the constructive nature of the discussions we continue to have with the Ontario government about strengthening public health requirements in Stage 3 and encourage them to continue to examine provincial rules related to bars and gyms within this context.

We know from public health that private parties and other large informal social gatherings are helping spread COVID-19 and putting people’s lives at risk. Beyond the health concerns, this inconsiderate behaviour threatens the GTHA’s progress towards an economic recovery and could help trigger a second wave.

We thank the vast majority of our residents who continue to do the right thing and follow public health advice. They have worked with us to make sure we flattened the curve and saved lives up to this point. We will not let their sacrifice and patience be in vain due to a small number of people who want to ignore the very real threat of this virus.

The provincial government also made it clear today that municipalities will receive some $4 billion in federal-provincial funding from the Safe Restart Agreement. This is a very positive sign and the Mayors and Chairs look forward to receiving more details about how this substantial and much-needed funding will be allocated so that we can fully understand how it will help address our requirements. We urge the governments to use up to date information in areas such as transit ridership in order to ensure that recent growth is taken into account.

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