Ward Councillor and Mayor sponsoring a motion that will require people to wear face masks

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Sit down for this one.

At a meeting on Thursday Council is going to consider the following motion. It contains seven Whereas’s.

The essence of the motion that is sponsored by ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is for Council to enact a temporary bylaw requiring individuals, organizations or corporations that are responsible for the operation of a facility or business, which have indoor, enclosed spaces open to the public, to ensure no member of the public is permitted unless wearing a mask or face covering in a manner which covers their mouth, nose and chin, subject to the exemptions below, to help limit the spread of COVID-19

The movers of the motion also want the city to spend up to $10,000 to cover the cost of free masks to those who cannot afford one.

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The movers of a motion to make face masks mandatory in public places

The complete motion is set out below. It is, at this point, just a motion. It has to be debated and voted upon and then sent to a meeting of city council on the 13th where it will have to be approved.

Recommendation:
1. Council approve the following motion:

WHEREAS the spread of COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the City of Burlington has declared a State of Emergency, and the province remains under emergency orders due to the health risks to Ontario residents arising from COVID-19; and

WHEREAS COVID-19 continues to be present within the City of Burlington and surrounding municipalities, and is a disease that is readily communicable from person to person, even with minimal or no signs of symptoms or illness, and carrying a risk of serious complications such as pneumonia or respiratory failure, mulitiple organ failure, kidney failure, liver failure, neurological complications, and may result in death; and

WHEREAS there is a growing body of evidence on the effectiveness of masks and face coverings to act as a barrier to prevent the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS the wearing of masks and face coverings may act as an ongoing visual clue and reminder that public health measures, including hand-washing and maintaining a safe physical distance from others, are still required, that the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and that a resurgence of local disease activity remains an ongoing threat; and

WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has enacted O. Reg.263/20 (Stage 2 Closures) under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to permit certain businesses to reopen for attendance by members of the public subject to conditions, including the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials; and

WHEREAS physical distancing can be difficult to maintain in enclosed, indoor spaces open to the public; and

WHEREAS the City of Burlington wants to be prepared for the eventual Stage 3 reopenings under the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and use every tool available to protect residents from a resurgence of COVID-19.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Burlington City Council enact a temporary bylaw requiring individuals, organizations or corporations that are responsible for the operation of a facility or business, which have indoor, enclosed spaces open to the public, to ensure no member of the public is permitted unless wearing a mask or face covering in a manner which covers their mouth, nose and chin, subject to the exemptions below, to help limit the spread of COVID-19; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the operator of such facilities or businesses that are open to the public, shall conspicuously post at all entrances to the facility or business clearly visible signage outlining the requirements and exemptions of this bylaw; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that members of the public attending facilities or businesses that are open to the public shall wear a mask or face covering in a manner which covers their mouth, nose and chin, subject to the exemptions below, and unless it is reasonably required to temporarily remove the covering to access services provided by the establishment, or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness acuity during physical activity, and exemptions may be accommodated if:

a. The person is under three years of age.
b. The person has an underlying medical condition or developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering, or other physical disability whereby the wearing of a mask or face covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others.
c. Wearing a face covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way.
d. The person is unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance.
e. Employees and agents of the person responsible for the establishment are within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier.
f. Staff identify any other such exemptions that may be advisable.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that employees working with members of the public in an enclosed, indoor space must also wear a mask or face covering, unless they are in an area not for public access, or they meet one of the exemptions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that employees or members of the public shall not be required to provide proof of any of the exemptions set out herein; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the bylaw apply to all City of Burlington indoor facilities open to the public such as community centres, city hall, libraries, art gallery, performing arts centre, and public transit; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the bylaw be in force for a temporary period of time, beginning July 20 and expiring September 30, 2020, unless extended or revoked by City Council; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Executive Director of Legal Services & Corporation Counsel be directed to prepare the necessary bylaw for consideration by City Council on July 13, 2020; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Corporate Communications & Government Relations be directed to develop a communications campaign during the first month the bylaw comes into force and effect to assist residents and businesses to understand the bylaw and exemptions, assist with voluntary compliance, and where people can acquire masks; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that council request that the Region of Halton present a mandatory mask bylaw for consideration by Regional Council at its meeting of July 15, 2020 to ensure consistency across the region; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that council request the Province of Ontario to enact a mandatory mask order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for those regions that have entered Stage 2 reopening, and/or will enter Stage 3 reopening; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that council request the Government of Canada to enact a mandatory mask policy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this report be circulated to the Region of Halton, Towns of Halton Hills, Oakville and Milton, all Halton Members of Provincial Parliament, Members of Parliament, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

2. Direct the Chief Financial Officer to establish an initial grant of $10,000 to provide non-medical masks free of charge for community members who lack the financial means to purchase them, via application and submission of receipts, funded from the city’s COVID-19 account, and direct the City Manager’s Office to report back to the August 13, 2020 Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee on a plan for providing masks to in-need community members including such additional options as:

a. seeking a sponsor to fund or procure/provide masks that would be supplied free of charge to the public, with the sponsor and/or city logo displayed on the mask, and distributed by the city or through the sponsor;

b. issuing a request for proposals to local businesses to provide a quote on the cost to supply the city with masks that can be distributed to the public, either by the city or by the business, then billed to the city;

c. purchasing masks that can be distributed to members of the public, on a request basis, or made available at the entry to city facilities, once opened;

d. providing grant funding to residents to purchase their own mask, subject to quantity and cost limitations, and an application process;

e. other options as they may arise.

3. Direct the City Manager to report back to the August 13, 2020 Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee on potential grant funding for businesses and commercial establishments to assist with the cost of signage and masks as mandated by this bylaw, retroactive to the effective in-force date of the bylaw, subject to appropriate criteria.

4. That City Council seek matching funding from Halton Region at 50% or more of total costs to implement assistance to residents and businesses, given the Region’s role in health care delivery, social service delivery and business supports.

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