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Municipal Update: COVID-19 (#1)

Published on
March 19, 2020

Municipalities are continuing to conduct timely business as per the recently passed Provincial Municipal Emergency Act, 2020.

“The Municipal Emergency Act, 2020 will ensure that for the near future, the delivery of goods to Ontario's businesses and consumers isn't impacted by municipal noise by-laws that may unintentionally be impeding such deliveries when they are most urgently needed.”

“The legislation also gives municipalities the ability to fully conduct Council, local board and Committee meetings electronically when faced with local and province-wide emergencies, empowering [municipalities] to respond quickly when in-person meetings cannot be held.”

These changes enable municipalities to respond and continue to function when in-person meetings cannot be held, and council decisions need to be made.

In the City of Toronto:

City Construction Projects will continue and include sewer and watermain projects, bridge rehabilitation projects, the Gardiner Expressway rehabilitation and Water and Wastewater treatment facility projects.

City Planning Services for large-scale or time-sensitive projects, as well as public infrastructure projects will continue through the process.  Many planning projects need to move forward and based from on stakeholders and clients who have been engaging in the Mayors Economic Task Force, we have received the following intel:

  • Mayor Tory is going to speak to Premier Ford about this
  • The Permitting Department is going to start triaging i.e. occupancy permits etc – the City recognizes that they went too far about who they sent home and what can be done remotely
  • Meetings are being convened to discuss and address the Public Consultation requirements and the LPAT hearings

Here is a list of a few more municipalities that are rolling out assistance:

City of Barrie

The Mayor set up an Economic Task Force and City staff are generating a list of resources for businesses dealing with COVID-19, click here.

City of Mississauga

Today, Mississauga Councillors unanimously approved the deferral of property tax billings for three months:

  1. That the 2020 interim tax levy installments for the months of April, May and June for properties enrolled in the City’s pre-authorized payment plan be deferred to their chosen withdrawal date in the months of July, August, and September 2020, respectively.
  2. That the 2020 interim tax levy installment dates of April 2 and May 7 be deferred to July 2 and August 6, 2020, respectively.
  3. That the Region of Peel be requested to defer their payments requirement by 90 days to align with the change in installment dates.
  4. That the Province of Ontario be requested to defer the June and September school board payments requirements by 90 days.
  5. And that the necessary by-laws be enacted.

It is important to note that these installment are required to be collected within the current year, which is why the deferral dates are noted above.

Councillors are also looking at the relaxation of parking enforcement and associated fines, in addition to further measures to support businesses. More information should be available in the coming days.

Region of Durham

Durham has partnered with the Durham Chamber of Commerce and Boards of Trade, as well as municipal economic development staff to “understand how COVID-19 is impacting local businesses”. A survey has gone out to local businesses with several hundred responses so far. Right now they are in the ‘identifying’ phase of the work and presents an opportunity to get involved.

If you have any questions or are looking for assistance please do not hesitate to reach out.

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