The Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton Area mayors voiced concerns on bars and clubs reopening, as they prepare for Stage 3.
Earlier on Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, allowed most of the province to enter Stage 3 on Friday.
While the GTA region was not given the go-ahead to enter the next stage yet, the GTHA mayors said that they “have some concerns about the manner in which bars and clubs reopen and will make sure our local Medical Officers of Health are focused on these establishments to ensure the safety and health of both customers and staff,” in a statement on Monday.
The mayors added that they appreciate the regional approach the provincial government is taking and that reopening in a “measured” way depending on the local realities will help protect the gains made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“This also allows GTHA municipalities and businesses additional time to prepare so that we can continue to protect our residents,” the mayors said.
However, the statement also noted that the future of Ontario and Canada’s economy successfully reopening will only be possible if municipalities have the financial support necessary to move forward.
“While cities continue to respond to the pandemic, they are experiencing unprecedented costs and significant revenue losses.”
While the mayors remain “hopeful” that the federal-provincial funding agreement to support municipalities can be reached to avoid “devastating cuts” to frontline services or unaffordable property tax increases.
Cities across the GTHA have said for some time that decisions on cuts will happen if they do not hear from the federal and provincial governments soon and that those discussions with their respective officials have begun.
And, the GTHA mayors and chairs continue to unanimously oppose any policy change that will result in municipalities being allowed to run deficits.
Earlier on Monday, Ford announced that 24 regions of the province can enter the next stage of reopening on July 12 at midnight.
In Stage 3, gatherings will increase to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors, as dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness centres, live shows, performing arts centres, casinos, concert venues, recreational facilities, team sports, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses, and tour and guide services can reopen.
However, dancing in bars and restaurants is prohibited and is deemed to be “high-risk.”