Live with Mayor Joe Preston for Mayor’s Update Episode 56

We went Live with Joe Preston – Mayor ST.Thomas Ontario slightly later than we normally do, because City Council was still in session at 6.30pm. Council went into closed session, which happens in order for Council to discuss matters like: personal matters about an identifiable individual, acquisition or disposition of land, labour relations, litigation, education or training, and so on.

Mayor Preston says that the Provincial Government still has an emergency declaration in place, which may be extended into June.

He expects a statement from the Premier tomorrow regarding regulations, which will help to inform how the City will move with regulations for sports complexes, the Horton Farmer’s Market, and schools. The City recognizes the time-sensitive nature for many groups, and the Mayor is planning to make decisions this week after the Province announces it’s standpoint on emergency measures.Curbside pick-up is something that many businesses are looking towards as a viable option to continue/resume sales. The City is going to do everything possible to allow for some parking spaces outside of these businesses to be used for this purpose.

There is a vacant seat on Council, and the City has been asking for an extension from the Province to delay filling this seat (due to COVID-19 measures impacting the normal model for filling a seat). The City may appoint someone to this seat, or may host an election. Council has decided to appoint someone to this seat, and will make their decision within the remaining 30 days of their timeframe to do so.

This week is Police Week and National Nursing Week.

Mayor Preston reiterates how supportive this Council is of affordable housing, and how St. Thomas is striving to be a leader in this matter.

Backyard fireworks are allowed for Victoria Day weekend, as are backyard fires. These are allowed-in conjunction with the COVID-19 emergency measures, such as social distancing. Note* backyard fires have been allowed throughout the duration of COVID-19. If you are outside the City, check with your local municipality for information about fire bans.

1Password Park is currently still under construction, but the trails in that park will likely open once construction is complete. The sports fields and splash parks will likely remain closed for now, in order to follow guidelines from the Province, like maintaining social distance.

The construction projects that were on-hold are starting to commence again, Elm Street, Centre Street, Stanley Street, etc, and should be completed this summer.There is a listing of where to get PPE’s on the Southwestern Public Health website. Yurek Pharmacy St Thomas is stocking fabric masks for personal use.

Last week, the City held a celebration for the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Holland. The ceremony, which would typically be attended by hundreds of people, was kept small, due to social distancing. The Mayor was present, along with Tony Bendel, of Lord Elgin Branch 41, Royal Canadian Legion.

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