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Halton Mayors Push Back Against Stage 2 COVID-19 Restrictions

On October 26, at the much anticipated provincial public briefing, the Premier announced that Halton and Durham Region will not roll back to a modified stage two.

According to Doug Ford, Oakville’s Mayor, Mayor Burton, called Ford saying they weren’t ready for another lockdown. Ford encouraged Halton to have their local Chief Medical Officer contact the provincial medical officer in a letter. It was the first time local politicians pushed back according to Ford. The Mayor’s of Halton (Burlington, Halton Hills, Oakville, Milton) wrote a letter to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer asking for a more targeted approach versus the blanketed approach being used to this point by the Ontario Government.

Acton UP asked Halton Hills Mayor, Rick Bonnette, to comment on the Ontario Government’s decision to not push Halton back to a modified stage two. “Do you think the letter from Halton mayors impacted Doug Ford’s decision?”

He replied “Yes I think our letter by the four mayors and chair Carr definitely had an impact along with the two MPP from Burlington Jane McKenna and Milton MPP Parm Gill.”

“If we didn’t write the letter followed by the media frenzy over the weekend I believe Halton Hills would have been rolled back to stage two which would have had a huge financial impact that would lead to layoffs and possibly permanent closure.”

Local businesses agree. Samantha Shein, owner of The Red Harp says "I feel that the letter from the Halton Mayors likely did in fact assist with bringing awareness on the impact to our business that a roll back to stage two would bring, as well as highlighting the importance of making an informed decision of where to implement tighter restrictions when the data indicates that a problem exists. If the data showed that the spread of COVID-19 was being contributed to by indoor dining at restaurants, and contact tracing proved this point, then a roll back would definitely be warranted. We are appreciative of the efforts taken by our elected officials."

We may never know if the letter impacted Ford’s decision, but local businesses are breathing a sigh of relief.


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