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Coronavirus News Updates

A Supplement to the Municipal World Daily

To help our clients and partners in their efforts to #FlattenTheCurve across Canada, Municipal World is curating this special #COVID19 news update page. The response to the outbreak is rolling out differently across the country, as appropriate for local circumstances, so our team is working to collect those items most relevant to local governments, including changes related to conferences and events. Also, you can listen to our special podcast episode on the coronavirus and the impact on communities. Check back for updates as they are posted.

 

Coronavirus Municipal Conference Updates

Last updated: September 16 at 9:15 a.m.

September 17

Vaccine passports required to access city rec facilities
Following the order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) around proof of vaccination cards for COVID-19, the City of Cranbrook requires proof of vaccination to access all city-operated recreation facilities for all adult sports and activities effective immediately. Read more…


Windsor approves new mandatory vaccine policy for municipal employees
Windsor city council approved a controversial mandatory vaccine policy for all municipal workers Thursday night, despite opposition from a string of employee representatives. Read more…


Montreal public health, Black community partner to boost vaccination rates
With COVID-19 vaccination rates still lower among Montreal’s Black communities, the city’s public health department teamed with local organizations to host an online town hall for residents this week. Read more…


P.E.I.’s new public health measures come into effect Friday
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 in P.E.I. has prompted the provincial government to implement new restrictions starting Friday. Read more…


Calgary to take own measures on COVID-19 crisis, saying province “doesn’t care”
Calgary’s mayor says the city will explore measures it can take to protect residents from the flood of COVID-19 cases overwhelming the province’s health-care system. Read more…


City of Regina delays proof of vaccination target date by two months
Regina city council is pushing back its target date to require proof of vaccination from people entering city facilities. Read more…


COVID-19 vaccine rollout costing Ottawa Public Health, city millions of dollars
Ottawa Public Health and the City of Ottawa are spending millions of dollars to make sure all Ottawa residents can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more…


St. Albert to implement vaccine passports in city facilities
St. Albert city facilities will sign on to a vaccine passport system following the province’s newly announced health restrictions, council heard during a special meeting Thursday morning. Read more…


Montreal to open more clinics, use rapid tests to curb lineups for COVID tests
Montreal public health says it will expand its COVID-19 testing network after being inundated with people seeking tests this week as caseloads continue on an upward trend following the return to school. Read more…


N.W.T. residents who are immunocompromised to soon get 3rd COVID-19 shot
Some people in the Northwest Territories with compromised immune systems will be able to get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine starting this month. Read more…


Pandemic costs may top $70M in 2021, but London still in the black
City Hall is more than just weathering the financial impacts of the pandemic – a new report projects a multi-million dollar surplus for 2021. Read more…


 

September 16

Calgary city council makes extended patios permanent feature for 2022
Patio extensions – which popped up across the city to support social distancing during the pandemic – will continue to be seen in the city into 2022, Calgary city council voted in favour of Wednesday. Read more…


City of Toronto holding “Days of Vaxtion” in bid to boost COVID-19 vaccination
The City of Toronto is launching a campaign this week involving a series of pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics aimed at helping residents get first or second doses. Read more…


Greater Sudbury makes COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for city staff
Greater Sudbury has announced all employees are required to disclose their vaccination status by Sept. 30 and to be fully vaccinated with an accepted vaccine by Nov. 15. Read more…


City of Kingston releases names of those charged for nuisance parties
The City of Kingston has started releasing the names of people charged with failing to comply with an order from the mayor during a declared emergency – specifically, holding aggravated nuisance parties in the university district. Read more…


Cambridge introduces mandatory vaccine policy for city employees
The City of Cambridge will require city staff, council members, volunteers, part-time workers and contractors to provide verification of full COVID-19 vaccination. Read more…


September 15

City of Kamloops outlining public facilities that will require proof of vaccination
On the verge of vaccine passports being introduced across B.C. to combat the COVID-19 pandemic the City of Kamloops is outlining what public facilities will be affected by the new rule. Read more…


City of Orillia latest municipality to implement vaccine policy for staff
The City of Orillia is joining several other municipalities implementing a vaccine policy for employees, requiring staff to provide proof of vaccination. Read more…


Kitchener, Waterloo, Wilmot implement mandatory vaccine policy for staff
The cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, as well as Wilmot Township, will be implementing a mandatory vaccine policy asking employees, volunteers, and students to show proof of vaccination. Read more…


City of Regina slows return to workplace plan amid fourth wave
The City of Regina is slowing down its plan to get employees back into the office as Saskatchewan grapples with the fourth wave of the pandemic. Read more…


Lt-Gov. applauds British Columbia municipalities for pandemic work
B.C. Lt. Gov. Janet Austin saluted the work of B.C. local governments in a year where British Columbians have faced the hardships of the pandemic, forest fires, and the opioid overdose crisis. Read more…


September 14

Some N.S. municipalities adopting rules for staff who aren’t fully vaccinated
Some municipalities in Nova Scotia are getting set to adopt proof-of-vaccination protocols after the province lifts COVID-19 restrictions Wednesday that will see gathering limits and mask mandates dropped. Read more…


City, town temporarily mandating masking for their facilities
Both the City of North Battleford and the Town of Battleford have temporarily mandated masking for their facilities due to increasing COVID-19 concerns in the province and the region. Read more…


City of Fort St. John releases info for proof of vaccination requirements
The City of Fort St. John has released information regarding where residents will be required to verify proof of vaccination at its facilities. Read more…


Oakville council mandates COVID-19 vaccines for municipal workers
After a fiery special meeting, Town of Oakville council unanimously voted on Monday to mandate vaccines for municipal workers as well as the municipal council. Read more…


Masks to be mandatory in City of Moose Jaw facilities next week
Moose Jaw city council voted 5-1 to make non-surgical masks mandatory in city facilities, which will come into effect on Sept. 20 at the earliest. Read more…


Toronto city staff given more time to reveal vaccination status
City of Toronto employees now have until Friday to divulge their vaccination status after being granted an extension from the original Monday deadline. Read more…


Regina delays date for requiring vaccination at facilities by two months
After announcing a target of September 20 to begin requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination at city facilities, the city of Regina is delaying the plan’s launch date until mid-November. Read more…


Kincardine lifts pandemic state of emergency
Kincardine has lifted its pandemic state of emergency. The order had been in place since March 24, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


September 13

Edmonton amends COVID-19 mask bylaw to clarify rules
Edmonton city council has tweaked its face-coverings bylaw to provide clarity on when and where masks are required and exempt in public indoor settings. Read more…


Potential COVID fourth wave has Winnipeg concerned about finances
As the City of Winnipeg begins its review process for the 2022 budget, civic officials are concerned about finances as a potential fourth wave of COVID-19 approaches. Read more…


Watson won’t put up with protests that interfere with health-care workers
Protests rejecting vaccine passports and COVID-19 public health measures are planned for Monday, but Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said he will not stand for anything that gets in the way of work being done by health-care professionals. Read more…


City of Quesnel postpones public feedback event due to rising COVID-19 cases
The City of Quesnel postponed its “Let’s Connect Community Tour” on Saturday due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the area. Read more…


How B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine card will affect access to city-run facilities
B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine card system goes into effect on Monday. The City of Vancouver says its staff is working to determine what civic facilities will fall under the new provincial health order. Read more…


September 10

Greenland announces COVID-19 reopening plan
Greenland’s government announced its reopening plan, saying it would gradually increase travelers to the island at the same it bolsters its vaccination program. Read more…


City council makes masks mandatory at city-owned facilities
Prince Albert city council voted unanimously to make masks mandatory at all city-owned indoor facilities, including city transit, by September 10. Read more…


City facilities, programs scale back services under health orders
Several City of Yellowknife programs, facilities, and services are changing in line with public health orders announced on September 8 by chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola. Read more…


New policy requires city staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested regularly
The City of Barrie has introduced and is implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy for its employees. Read more…


Chatham-Kent mandated to enforce province’s vaccine passport law
Chatham-Kent’s active COVID-19 cases reached 112 on Thursday as the push for more people to get vaccinated grows through such measures as vaccine passports and new workplace policies. Read more…


September 9

Unvaccinated Torontonians more likely to get COVID-19
Unvaccinated Torontonians are seven times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 than those who are vaccinated, the city’s medical officer of health says. Read more…


Toronto moves ahead with plan for “gradual” return of employees as Peel’s top doc calls for remote work to continue
The City of Toronto is moving ahead with plans to have some of its workers return to the office this week, even as public health officials in nearby Peel Region encourage residents to continue telecommuting as much as possible amid a Delta-driven fourth wave of the pandemic. Read more…


No proof of COVID-19 vaccination required at Vancouver city hall
When Vancouver city council returns to in-person meetings possibly this fall, citizens attending city hall will not be required to produce proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Read more…


Moe puts faith in Sask. municipalities to control COVID-19
Premier Scott Moe says provincial COVID-19 restrictions would affect each municipality the same way – regardless of their case rates and vaccination rates. Read more…


September 8

12 Edmonton-area mayors call for COVID-19 vaccine passport, other measures
A dozen mayors in and around Edmonton have written a letter to Alberta’s premier and health minister, urging the province to adopt a vaccine passport similar to those in other Canadian provinces. Read more…


Saint John approves COVID-19 vaccine and testing policy
City of Saint John employees will have to prove they’re fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing and wear a mask under a new policy approved by city council. Read more…


City implements mandatory vaccine policy for employees
The City of Ottawa implemented its mandatory vaccine policy requiring all city employees, contractors, volunteers, and students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1. Read more…


Saskatchewan’s 4th wave response: wait and delegate
The Saskatchewan government’s response to the fourth wave of COVID-19 in the province has been restrained compared to other provinces, even as cases climb and vaccinations lag. Read more…


Bulgaria, EU’s least vaccinated nation, faces deadly surge
Bulgaria has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the 27-nation European Union and is facing a new, rapid surge of infections due to the more infectious delta variant. Read more…


September 7

Vaccine passports: Scotland’s new rules are toughest yet in U.K.
The proposed “certification scheme” – which will be voted on in Holyrood in the coming days – states that a phone app displaying your record of double vaccination will be required to enter certain places. Read more…


September 3

Saskatoon drive-thru testing centre struggles to meet spike in demand
On Tuesday the drive-thru testing centre in Saskatoon closed three-and-a-half hours earlier than its 7:30 p.m. closing time because it had reached capacity. Read more…


New vaccine policy for city employees about to get tougher
The ink is barely dry and London City Hall is already updating its new COVID-19 vaccination policy for municipal employees, consultants, and volunteers. Read more…


Durham working through COVID-19 mandates for staff in municipalities
Ontario has mandated a vaccine certificate for the general population that will go into effect come Sept. 22, but until then, it’s a patchwork of what’s happening in various Durham municipalities for vaccine mandates for their own employees. Read more…


September 2

Ottawa council will continue to meet virtually this fall, city clerk recommends
Ottawa city council and committees will continue to meet virtually this fall due to concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant. Read more…


Battlefords communities yet to discuss return of mask mandates
Amid budget season creeping up on both Battleford municipalities, the potential return of COVID-19 restrictions will be a key discussion in the coming weeks. Read more…


Minto implements vaccination requirement for municipal employees
Vaccination against COVID-19 will be a condition of employment with the municipality under a new infectious diseases and vaccination policy established by the Town of Minto. Read more…


Gatineau closes beaches, pools after workers test positive for COVID-19
The City of Gatineau says health officials recommended the “preventive closure” of all municipal pools and beaches after a few employees tested positive for COVID-19. Read more…


September 1

City of Regina requires proof of vaccination for city facilities, employees
The City of Regina is working toward requiring proof of vaccination for employees while also working toward requiring proof of vaccination from all members of the public who access indoor city facilities. Read more…


Vaccination passport required for certain activities in the Pointe-Claire
The City of Pointe-Claire, in accordance with the Québec government, has decided those 13 years and over will have to show their vaccination passport as of September 1 to take part in certain activities organized by the city. Read more…


City of Yellowknife waives licence fee for some businesses
The City of Yellowknife is waiving licensing fees for some businesses to help them recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Grande Prairie committee rejects sending mask bylaw for council debate
The City of Grande Prairie’s Protective and Social Services Committee has voted down a motion to bring back the Mandatory Mask Bylaw to city council for debate at next week’s meeting. Read more…


Masks mandatory for rural Wood Buffalo students
Students in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo will see different approaches to COVID-19 safety when they return to class, depending on where they live. Read more…


Saskatoon’s hands tied on introducing stronger COVID-19 measures: mayor
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark says the city simply doesn’t have the jurisdiction to expand COVID-19 measures beyond a certain level. Read more…


August 31

Calgary city council candidates back mask bylaw, vaccine mandate
A coalition of council candidates, led by mayoral candidate Jan Damery, has joined the call for city council to take action amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. Read more…


Newmarket requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for staff
Newmarket will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all staff members, but council has yet to decide about vaccination requirements for the public using its facilities. Read more…


Saskatoon passes motion to make masks mandatory again at civic facilities
As of Wednesday masking will once again be mandatory at Saskatoon’s indoor city facilities and when riding buses while city employees will soon need to be tested on a regular basis for COVID-19. Read more…


Edmonton makes masks mandatory indoors starting on Friday
Starting Friday, Edmontonians will have to wear masks again in all public spaces, privately-owned businesses and municipal spaces as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Alberta. Read more…


Politicians don’t push to strengthen “super cautious” COVID vaccine policy
London politicians made no push for a vaccine mandate at city hall, despite a meeting that stretched nearly five hours on Monday. Read more…


August 30

Police federation calls for more officers to enforce B.C. vaccine passport
The B.C. chapter of the National Police Federation is calling for more resources for officers to adequately enforce the province’s vaccine passport, which comes into effect on Sept. 13. Read more…


Ontario to announce COVID-19 vaccine passport
The Ontario government will unveil a COVID-19 vaccine passport system this week, after calls from medical officers of health and the business community for a vaccine certificate system. Read more…


August 27

Nenshi calls for province to do more as Alberta’s COVID-19 numbers surge
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is calling on the province to provide a clearer picture about the COVID-19 situation as infection numbers continue to rise. Read more…


COVID-19 vaccine policy to be implemented for City of Mississauga workers
The City of Mississauga says it will require all employees and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October. Read more…


COVID-19 vaccine demand in B.C. surges with “passport,” mask mandates
One doctor in B.C.’s hard-hit Interior Health region has seen demand for the COVID-19 shot skyrocket as new restrictions – including a so-called “vaccine passport” – are introduced, and the trend is province-wide. Read more…


Regina, Saskatoon hospitals facing pressure in ICUs: SHA
Regina and Saskatoon hospitals are feeling pressure in emergency rooms and intensive care units, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Read more…


Council makes COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for Hamilton city workers
City council has approved a mandatory vaccination policy for municipal employees to help Hamilton fight a rising tide of COVID-19 infections. Read more…


Campbellton, N.B. mayor calls ICU closure “unacceptable”
The ICU at the Campbellton Regional Hospital is closed for two weeks with staffing shortages to blame. The city’s mayor calls the closure “unacceptable.” Read more…


August 26

Saskatoon mayor calls for vaccine passports as COVID-19 surges
The mayor of Saskatoon is calling for measures including “vaccine passports” in the wake of rising COVID-19 rates in the city. Read more…


Sarnia mayor suggests making pandemic patio rules permanent
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley wants the city to look into making its relaxed pandemic-prompted rules for extending restaurant patios into something more permanent. Read more…


Pressure mounts on City of Winnipeg to impose vaccine mandate
The City of Winnipeg is facing growing pressure to impose a vaccine mandate on its front-line workers as it reviews a provincial plan to do so. Read more…


Thunder Bay city council approves work-from-home pilot project
The City of Thunder Bay is preparing to bring its employees back to their offices, but some may have the opportunity to work from home on an ongoing basis. Read more…


Montreal public health director says city seeing steeper rise in cases 
The majority of new COVID-19 cases in Montreal are now linked to the highly contagious delta variant, and Montreal’s public health director says that’s leading to the virus spreading faster and more aggressively than last fall. Read more…


City of Windsor launches COVID vaccine lottery to boost rates
Property tax holidays, full-ride tuition grants and free rent for a year are among the prizes Windsor-area officials are dangling to entice more people to get COVID-19 vaccines. Read more…


Questions for Dawson Creek mayor following B.C. vaccine card announcement
Starting on September 13, all residents and visitors in British Columbia will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination in order to participate in certain events, but Dawson Creek’s mayor thinks the system could lead to lots of confusion. Read more…


August 25

City of Saskatoon postpones return to work plan as COVID numbers increase
A plan to bring workers back to city hall in Saskatoon starting Sept. 1 is being put on the back burner after a spike in COVID-19 cases. Read more…


Lethbridge event venues won’t require COVID-19 vaccination “at this time”
Following announcements from several organizations across Canada that proof of COVID-19 vaccines or negative COVID-19 tests will be required for audiences and fans, the City of Lethbridge hasn’t made any decisions regarding its venues. Read more…


City of Burlington preparing COVID-19 vaccination policy for all its employees
The City of Burlington will require all staff to show proof of vaccination, and provide reasonable time for staff who are not yet fully vaccinated to do so, with some exceptions for those who are legally entitled to accommodation. Read more…


Swift Current spreads some love to local non-profits
The City of Swift Current has set aside grant funding that could be used to help out non-profit and volunteer-based organizations as they struggle to get operations back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Mask mandate reintroduced in indoor public settings in B.C.
The B.C. government is bringing back its mask mandate for indoor public settings to combat the province’s ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases. Read more…


Toronto police issue mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy, union opposes
The Toronto Police Service has announced it will require all staff, both uniform and civilian, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. But there’s already push back from the union that represents officers. Read more…


August 24

Iveson supports vaccine mandate for city employees in Edmonton
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson wants a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city staff with most employees set to return to the workplace next month. Read more…


Montreal to end local state of emergency in place since start of pandemic
Despite an increase in COVID-19 caseloads in recent weeks, the City of Montreal announced it will not be renewing the local state of emergency that has been in place since the start of the pandemic. Read more…


Niagara Falls becomes second municipality in region with a fully-vaxxed council
Mayor Jim Diodati said he and the eight councillors serving the border city have now all been fully immunized. The announcement comes three days after the City of St. Catharines announced its council is double-dosed. Read more…


In-person meetings delayed for Saskatoon city council
The return to in-person meetings for Saskatoon council has been delayed indefinitely after a recent spike of active cases in the city. Read more…


Proof of vaccine to be required for some non-essential businesses in B.C.
Hoping to curb the fourth COVID-19 wave in B.C., proof of vaccination status will be required for some non-essential businesses starting next month, health officials announced Monday. Read more…


Saskatchewan municipalities consider vaccine mandates
The City of Toronto and Town of Banff have both confirmed their municipal employees will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The announcements are stirring Saskatchewan’s municipal leaders to begin discussions as well. Read more…


City of Ottawa mask bylaw to expire, but masks still required indoors
More than a year after it was enacted, the City of Ottawa’s temporary mandatory mask bylaw will expire this week. But that does not mean masks are no longer required in enclosed spaces in the city. Read more…


Vanderhoof vaccinations “sad”
Civic officials in Vanderhoof are becoming increasingly disturbed over the local vaccinations rates in that community and immediately around it. Read more…


P.E.I. releases “nearly normal” back-to-school plan
Students and teachers in Prince Edward Island schools can prepare for a “nearly normal” return to school in September. Read more…


August 23

Southern Alberta school boards grapple with masking policy
Calgary’s public and Catholic school boards have mandated mask use in indoor spaces to begin the new school year, but other districts across southern Alberta are taking different approaches. Read more…


Toronto to close four city-run COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics
The City of Toronto is closing four of its COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics at the end of the day on Sunday as it redeploys more than 300 staff to its mobile vaccination teams. Read more…


New Orleans tourism industry worries as coronavirus rages
The hospitality industry, which drives the New Orleans economy, has been hammered by the pandemic. As a result, many bars, restaurants, and music venues have been forced to close or limit their operations. Read more…


August 20

Calgary not currently planning to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for workers
While a vaccine mandate has been ruled out for now, the City of Calgary is expected to announce it will postpone the planned return of municipal workers to offices amid rising COVID numbers. Read more…


City of Toronto, TTC to require all employees to be fully vaccinated
COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for all City of Toronto employees and TTC workers in the next two months as cases continue to rise during the fourth wave of the pandemic. Read more…


Mayor backs mandatory vaccinations for city staff – awaits talks with unions
Public sector unions may have a big role in deciding if London city hall mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for all municipal employees. Read more…


South Algonquin Township closes offices
Effective immediately, the township offices of South Algonquin are closed. The township says they are closing their offices to minimize the potential for COVID-19 spread in the community. Read more…


Nelson mayor calls for more restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise
As nearby hospital beds fill with COVID-19 patients, the mayor of Nelson wants increased restrictions enacted in his city, including an indoor mask mandate. Read more…


Ontario COVID-19 vaccine passport would be “useful”: Ottawa’s top doctor
Having a provincially accepted proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be “useful” for Ottawa residents and businesses trying to navigate through the impending fourth wave of the virus, the city’s medical officer of health said. Read more…


August 19

Town of Banff mandates COVID-19 vaccines for employees
Six weeks from now, any employee of the Town of Banff who hasn’t gotten their COVID-19 vaccine will be out of a job, due to a new administrative policy instated by the municipality. Read more…


Kelowna facing double whammy as wildfires, COVID-19 crushes tourist season
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says the wildfires and COVID-19 combined have been hard on residents and businesses. Read more…


As COVID-19 cases mount, province cancels Quebec City “test concerts”
Quebec City planned to host post-pandemic concerts organized by researchers at Laval University, but the Quebec government has cancelled the event. Read more…


August 18

City gets $2.7 million to help keep vulnerable people safe during pandemic
The province is giving the City of Brantford almost $2.7 million to help deliver services, create longer-term housing solutions, and keep vulnerable people safe during the pandemic. Read more…


Regina mayor pushes for city to get to 85% vaccination rate with lip-sync video
The cities of Regina and Saskatoon have had an ongoing vaccination lip sync challenge. In a video, Regina Mayor Sandra Masters dances along and lip-syncs to the song “It Takes Two” to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. Read more…


Thompson no longer requires face masks in city-owned buildings
Face masks are no longer required in City of Thompson-owned buildings and buses after council rescinded a resolution from last October at their August 16 meeting. Read more…


City and AHS encouraging 20 to 40 years old to get vaccinated
With cases of COVID-19 rising rapidly in Medicine Hat, the city and Alberta Health Services are launching a communication campaign aimed at driving up vaccination rates. Read more…


Mayor wants new COVID-19 vaccine policy for City of Ottawa staff
Mayor Jim Watson wants all City of Ottawa staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and he’s asked the city’s manager to develop a plan to implement the new rules, according to a memo sent Tuesday afternoon. Read more…


Lincoln: Economic recovery support for craft wineries and restaurants
Town of Lincoln council and staff are continuing their advocacy efforts during the AMO 2021 Virtual Conference in support of the local craft beverage and tourism industry. Read more…


August 17

Ford promises greater pandemic support during AMO speech
In his comments at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) 2021 virtual conference, Premier Ford celebrated the efforts of municipalities, with a focus on how local governments have overcome many pandemic-related obstacles. Read more…


August 16

Ontario’s Big City Mayors call for proof of vaccination, childcare plan
Ontario’s Big City Mayors are urging the province to establish a COVID-19 proof of vaccination system, along with calling for an agreement on the $10 per day federal childcare plan. Read more…


Greater Sudbury working to support local businesses through recovery plan
The City of Greater Sudbury and the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation developed an economic recovery plan which helps local businesses that have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


New York becomes first major U.S. city to introduce COVID-19 vaccine passport
New York on Monday becomes the first major U.S. city to launch a vaccine passport system, marking a new phase in its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Read more…


August 13

Toronto mayor calls for provincewide proof of vaccination system
Mayor John Tory is calling for a “provincewide proof-of-vaccination system,” arguing that it is the “best thing we can do right now” to ensure businesses remain open during the fourth wave of the pandemic. Read more…


City of Windsor considering a policy for vaccinated employees
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said council is looking at a return to work policy that would provide a pathway for city staffers who are fully vaccinated to come back to work. And those who aren’t, might have to get testing. Read more…


Chatham-Kent’s public health officer worries about another COVID wave 
Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health said the COVID-19 case count in the region is going in the wrong direction. Read more…


San Francisco becomes second U.S. city to mandate vaccines for bars, gyms
San Francisco announced on Thursday that proof of full vaccination would be required for entry to restaurants, gyms, and other indoor venues, aiming to curb a new wave of COVID infections. Read more…


August 12

Accessibility changes are coming to Halifax patios this summer
There are more than 80 establishments in Halifax with licences allowing temporary patios on the sidewalk or road. By Aug. 30, these patios will be required to have a barrier at ground level that a cane can detect. Read more…


Mandatory masking in place at Calgary public schools
Some Calgary parents have more clarity on what a return to school will look like as COVID-19 cases start to mount due to a more transmissible Delta variant. Read more…


Hamilton councillors pushing for provincial COVID-19 vaccine passport
Hamilton city councillors unanimously approved a motion to push Ontario to institute a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy and vaccine passport program. Read more…


City of Toronto backtracks on closure of North York COVID-19 vaccination clinic
City of Toronto officials have backtracked on the planned closure of a North York COVID-19 vaccination site. It would have been one of five city-operated clinics ceasing operations as of Aug. 22. Read more…


Guelph/Eramosa council sets date for in-person meetings
Mayor Chris White has proposed a date to return to in-person council meetings. That said, any councillors uncomfortable with in-person meetings could connect remotely. Read more…


Australia’s capital Canberra to enter COVID-19 lockdown
Australia’s capital city of Canberra is expected to go into a snap lockdown after the first locally acquired COVID-19 case in more than a year. Read more…


August 11

Region of Waterloo to consider making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for staff
Staff with the Region of Waterloo will develop a policy about whether regional employees will be mandated to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more…


Charlottetown Airport activity rebounding amid ease of restrictions, new routes
The Charlottetown Airport is looking a bit livelier these days, with the easing of provincial travel restrictions coinciding with the launching of new flight routes to the city. Read more…


Lag in vaccinations means weeks before Hamilton COVID restrictions ease
Hamilton’s top doctor is suggesting it may be another “couple to three weeks” before the city’s COVID-19 vaccination rate reaches the province’s standard for easing more health measures amid the ongoing pandemic. Read more…


Delta now “dominant” COVID-19 strain in Saskatoon sewage samples
The latest update from researchers shows both increase in the presence of COVID-19 and the continuing rise of the Delta variant. Read more…


Quebec restaurant and gym to test province’s new vaccine passport system
With Quebec’s new vaccine passport system set to launch Sept. 1, test runs will be conducted this week and next to fine tune what will be a first for the province – allowing only fully vaccinated people into non-essential businesses. Read more…


August 10

Halifax police ticket man for exceeding COVID-19 social gathering limits
A man in Halifax has been ticketed for exceeding the provincially mandated COVID-19 gathering limits after police responded to a social event in the city on Saturday. Read more…


Regional restrictions “the future of COVID” in B.C.: expert
As B.C. faces a fourth wave of COVID-19, an expert thinks regional restrictions will be part of the province’s response to the pandemic moving forward. Read more…


Moncton residents disappointed in some younger people’s COVID-19 response
New Brunswick public health is seemingly blaming younger generations for the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the province. Read more…


COVID’s impacts – and upsides – revealed in council CEO survey
Nearly six in 10 local government CEOs in Australia say the financial sustainability of their councils was negatively impacted by COVID-19, a new survey shows. Read more…


Newmarket lifts pandemic state of emergency
After 17 months of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Newmarket has officially lifted its state of emergency. Read more…


August 9

B.C. tourism operators optimistic as clock ticks down to U.S. border reopening
The organization representing B.C.’s tourism operators says it’s cautiously optimistic as the clock counts down to the reopening of the border to U.S. tourists. Read more…


Waterloo Region closing in on 75 percent of population fully vaccinated
Waterloo Region is slowly getting closer toward its COVID-19 immunization goal of seeing 75 percent of residents be fully vaccinated. Read more…


Workers returning to downtown Edmonton expected to add to vibrancy this fall
Downtown Edmonton is bouncing back to life after almost 17 months of near-empty office buildings as thousands of people worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…


Toronto City Hall, civic centres start to open in August  slowly
The two-towered Toronto City Hall has been closed to the public since 2020, and on Aug. 9 will begin to reopen with some counter services along with five civic centres across the city. Read more…


Hamilton council stands firm: No COVID rent relief for market vendors
The City of Hamilton City Manager’s Office says the Hamilton Farmers’ Market vendors do not qualify for COVID rent assistance as municipal tenants. Read more…


August 6

Ontario’s governments are set to run deficits until the year 2095
The Parliamentary Budget Officer released a troubling report earlier this summer that shows that, when Ontario’s provincial and municipal finances are looked at together, Ontario will be running deficits indefinitely, until at least the year 2095. Read more…


City of Leduc’s outdoor patio policy expanded to all local businesses
Updates to the City of Leduc’s seasonal outdoor patio policy were approved by council on July 5, allowing businesses across the city to open seasonal patios between April 15 and Oct. 15. Read more…


Ottawa lacks legal ability to impose mandatory vaccine policy, mayor says
As the federal government considers making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for federal workers, Mayor Jim Watson says the city of Ottawa does not have the legal power to make vaccines mandatory for municipal employees. Read more…


In New York City, impending vaccination rules prompt concern
New York City will soon begin requiring anyone dining indoors at a restaurant, working out a gym, or grabbing cocktails at a bar to show proof they’ve been inoculated. Some see the move as an example of governmental overreach. Read more…


Mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Edmonton Elks home opener
The Edmonton Elks home opener is this Saturday, and the organization will be hosting a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic before kick-off. Read more…


Schools sue and mayor defies Arkansas mask mandate ban
Arkansas’ ban on mask mandates faced new legal challenges – including from a school district where more than 800 staff and students are quarantining because of a COVID-19 outbreak – and defiance from the mayor of the state capital. Read more…


August 5

City facilities to require masks, regardless of health orders: Bowman
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says the city will continue to require face masks inside its facilities and on transit regardless of new provincial public health orders that no longer require masks indoors. Read more…


Many New Brunswick businesses practising caution as COVID-19 cases rise
On Saturday, New Brunswick entered its Green phase of its COVID-19 reopening plan, meaning all restrictions were lifted. However, some businesses in downtown Moncton are still having their employees wear masks. Read more…


Markham mayor declares Aug. 4 “Andre De Grasse Day”
Markham’s Andre De Grasse has more than Olympic gold to celebrate after Mayor Frank Scarpitti declared Aug. 4 “Andre De Grasse Day.” Read more…


Spurred by pandemic, Barcelona backs greener, car-free future
When Spain lifted its strict pandemic lockdown in the middle of last year, residents of Barcelona found some of their streets were not as they remembered them. Read more…


City officials keeping an eye on COVID numbers, locally and provincially
At the same time active cases of COVID-19 are rising in Medicine Hat and Alberta-wide, the province is making significant changes to how it’s managing the pandemic going forward. Read more…


City of Regina sees increase in reserves in 2020 thanks to pandemic supports
The City of Regina’s reserve balance grew by 16 percent in 2020 thanks mostly to financial support from senior levels of government to weather the pandemic. Read more…


Moncton adding public washroom outside city hall sought by businesses
Moncton is adding a new public washroom to the plaza outside city hall after years of requests for more public facilities, including by downtown businesses that have dealt with damaged bathrooms. Read more…


New COVID-19 cases peak in Sydney as Australia battles Delta variant
Sydney reported a record daily number of new coronavirus cases on Thursday and the state of Victoria announced a one-week lockdown as Australia tried to contain the highly infectious Delta variant. Read more…


August 4

Cities consider mask mandates as Alberta set to cancel most pandemic tracking
Some Calgary city councillors and mayoral candidates are publicly suggesting a return to mask mandates as COVID cases climb yet again. Read more…


Mask mandate on Winnipeg Transit to continue for “foreseeable future”
Despite the province planning to lift its mask mandate this weekend, the City of Winnipeg says residents should expect to wear masks in city facilities and on Winnipeg Transit for the “foreseeable future.” Read more…


Lip sync vid coming from Regina mayor after losing July vaccination challenge
Regina’s mayor will be creating a lip sync video after losing a COVID-19 vaccination challenge between Saskatoon and the Queen City. Read more…


Medicine Hat utility customers to get rebate as part of COVID-19 support
Medicine Hat council approved a second COVID-19 relief fund valued at $4.5 million. The money will be used as part of a rebate to help residents pay their utility bills. Read more…


Touchless technology coming to 18 city buildings to reduce COVID threat
Eighteen of the busiest City of Windsor buildings will have their entrances and washrooms outfitted with touchless technology thanks to $3.2 million in government funding announced Tuesday. Read more…


Latest analysis of city sewage shows big COVID-19 surge in Saskatoon
The most recent analysis of the City of Saskatoon’s wastewater shows a 253 percent increase in the COVID-19 viral RNA load compared to the previous week. Read more…


COVID-19 another blow to passenger traffic at Fort McMurray airport
The COVID-19 pandemic tightened the squeeze on the Fort McMurray International Airport, which had already been seeing fewer passengers travel through its gates for several years. Read more…


Transit fees waived for riders attending vaccine appointments in Chatham-Kent
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is waiving transit fees for riders on their way to or back from getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Read more…


August 3

Calgary councillor asks city to reinstate mask bylaw
A Calgary councillor is asking the city to do what it can to protect public health, as the provincial government begins to end COVID-19 health measures. Read more…


Some pre-pandemic government services in N.B. return to normal
In Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John, city transit riders will no longer be required to wear masks when taking public transit. Read more…


NYC mayor strongly recommends masks, stops short of mandate
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is “strongly” recommending that even those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 wear masks indoors, stopping short of mandating such face coverings. Read more…


Colombian municipality imposed detention on those who were not vaccinated
A municipality in northwestern Colombia on Monday imposed a fine and mandatory eight-day detention on residents who do not wish to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more…


Jasper mayor urges more COVID-19 protection with mobile vaccination clinic
The Alberta government and a coalition of businesses have partnered to launch a mobile vaccination clinic that will focus on providing vaccines at worksites and rural and hard-to-reach communities. Read more…


Denver mayor orders all city workers vaccinated against COVID-19
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ordered all of the city’s 10,000 municipal workers to be vaccinated by the end of September as Covid-19 delta variant infections accelerate. Read more…


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