Orangeville declares State of Emergency

April 3, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

The Town of Orangeville followed many of its municipal neighbours last Friday, declaring a State of Emergency in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. 

The declaration gives the Town more flexibility during an emergency, a Town press release states, most notably by providing access to additional federal and provincial resources. In the past week, the towns of Caledon, Shelburne and Mono have all implemented their own emergency protocols, while Premier Doug Ford declared Ontario was officially under a State of Emergency last Tuesday (March 17). 

“The declaration of an emergency is a serious step, we are taking it in recognition of the events that are unfolding in the province,” said Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown. “We have to take the directives seriously that are coming from public health officials. Lives are depending on us adhering to expert advice.”

Essentially, by declaring a State of Emergency, municipalities maximize their ability to act, and make certain decisions, without having to wait for approval from upper tiers of government. For example, both Vancouver and Calgary initiated emergency protocols over the past week, ahead of their respective provincial governments (British Columbia and Alberta), in order to place restrictions on public gatherings, specifically at bars and restaurants. 

At this time, Orangeville has yet to implement any additional emergency measures in response to COVID-19. Currently, most of the Town’s services remain available online, or over the phone, and are outlined on the Town’s website in a special COVID-19 section. Municipal leaders are continuing to assess the situation to determine if any additional changes will be necessary to operations, programs or service levels. The Town has already taken the decision to suspend all public programming, and has closed municipal facilities to the public. 

Mayor Brown says all residents have a role to play in this situation over the coming weeks, encouraging individuals to practice social distancing in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. 

“As a community we need to come together, follow the directives but also support each other during this period of uncertainty,” Mayor Brown said.

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