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COVID-19 Information

 Notice- Effective July 16, 2021 The Town of The Blue Mountains, as part of the Grey Bruce Health Unit, has entered a modified Step Three of Ontario's Roadmap to Reopen.

Ontario's Road Map to Reopen

  • The Roadmap to Reopen is a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures. To learn more about the province's three-step plan, click here.

Grey Bruce Health Unit Information

  • Grey Bruce moved to a modified Step 3 on July 16, 2021, with strong recommendations for the public instead of regulatory orders to contain the spread of COVID-19. This Modified Step 3 is a strong recommendation to the public, but does not affect any Step 3 regulations, for any business. These are recommendations to the Public to assist in stalling the spread of the Delta Variant in Grey and Bruce Counties.

*Vaccination information provided on this page is from the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit. 

Future Vaccination Planning: Vaccine Schedule (publichealthgreybruce.on.ca)

  • For week of July 26, vaccinations will focus on: first and second dose vaccine clients via scheduled Hockey Hubs and walk-in clinics – details posted on the schedule above; First Nation/Metis Communities; immuno-compromised/pregnancy focused clinics; eligible priority groups; mobile clinics; and many pop-up clinics.

Booking Vaccinations

  • To book an appointment, please visit: www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca.
  • Majority of clinics are also walk-in, no appointment needed. Please review the schedule above.
  • Appointments are not available by calling your healthcare provider. Appointments are not available by calling the Health Unit.

Grey Bruce COVID-19 Vaccine App

The Grey Bruce Health Unit, in partnership with Bruce Power and NPX Innovation, has launched the Grey Bruce COVID-19 Vaccine App for residents of Grey and Bruce counties. This application is now available free to download from the Google Play and Apple Stores for all mobile devices and tablets.

To download, enter ‘gbvaccineapp’ into the search bar. You can also click these hyperlinks from your mobile device to take you directly to the App in the stores:

To learn more, visit the Grey Bruce Health Unit's press release here: https://www1.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/About-Us/News-Releases/ArticleID/823/Download-Grey-Bruce-COVID-19-Vaccine-App-now 

Town Information

The following page has been provided as a resource to residents and business owners regarding COVID-19.

To report an Emergency Order violation, please contact The Town By-Law Department by calling 1-519-599-3131 ext. 249

To view press releases issued by the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit, please visit the Public Health website.

Direct Link: https://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/About-Us/News-Releases

 

Weekly Video Message from the Mayor, Alar Soever

Every week, Mayor Soever publishes a weekly video to help keep residents informed and to share news and information related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The weekly videos are posted to the Town's YouTube account. To view the videos, please visit: Town of The Blue Mountains YouTube Account

 

As of March 25, 2020, Mayor Alar Soever has declared a State of Emergency for the Town of The Blue Mountains in accordance with Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The decision was made in conjunction with the Towns leadership team and Emergency Control Group in response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the community.

What does "State of Emergency Mean?

An emergency is defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as “a situation, or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise”  [Section 1, definition of an emergency].

Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, only the head of council of a municipality (or his or her designate) and the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Premier have the authority to declare an emergency. The Premier, the head of council, as well as a municipal council, have the authority to terminate an emergency declaration [Sections 4 (1), (2), (4)].

The declaration of an emergency provides the Head of Council with certain tools to address the situation including, but not limited to, those listed below.

General and Government:

  • [Section 4 (1) permits a head of council to “take such action and make such orders as he or she considers necessary and are not contrary to law” during an emergency.]
  • [Some situations may require extraordinary measures be taken or expenditures be made to maintain or restore essential services. A declaration of emergency may allow a head of council to expend funds outside of his or her spending resolutions and/or the regular approval process of the municipality.]
  • [Whether due to a loss of infrastructure or social unrest (e.g., a riot), a crisis situation has the potential to threaten a council’s ability to govern. In such cases, extraordinary measures may need to be taken. Section 4 (1) provides for extraordinary measures, not contrary to law. Section 55 (1) of the Police Services Act provides for the creation of special policing arrangements during an emergency.] 
  • [Experience demonstrates that the media and public often view the declaration of an emergency as a decisive action toward addressing a crisis. It must be made clear that an “emergency” is a legal declaration and does not indicate that the municipality has lost control. An emergency declaration provides an opportunity to highlight action being taken under your municipal emergency response plan.]
  •  [A declaration of emergency on the part of another level of government (e.g., lower-tier, upper-tier, provincial, federal) may indicate that you should declare an emergency within your municipality. For example, in the event of a widespread disaster affecting numerous lower-tier municipalities within a county, the county will likely need to enact its emergency response plan and should strongly consider the declaration of an emergency. In some cases, however, a declaration of emergency by a higher level of government may provide sufficient authorities to the lower-tier communities involved (e.g., municipalities operating under the authority of a provincial or federal declaration).]

Legal:

  • [Section 11 (1) states that “no action or other proceeding lies or shall be instituted against a member of council, an employee of a municipality, an employee of a local services board, an employee of a district social services administration board, a minister of the Crown, a Crown employee or any other individual acting pursuant to this Act or an order made under this Act for any act done in good faith in the exercise or performance or the intended exercise or performance of any power or duty under this Act or an order under this Act or for neglect or default in the good faith exercise or performance of such a power or duty.” Section 11 (3), however, states “subsection (1) does not relieve a municipality of liability for the acts or omissions of a member of council or an employee of the municipality….”]
  • [The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act provides that persons who assist in connection with a declared emergency are considered “workers” under the Act and are eligible for benefits if they become injured or ill as a result of the assistance they are providing. This is in addition to workers already covered by the Act.]

Operational:

  • [Section 4 (1) permits the head of council to “take such action and make such orders as he or she considers necessary and are not contrary to law to implement the emergency plan.” Section 13 (3) empowers a municipal council to “make an agreement with the council of any other municipality or with any person for the provision of any personnel, service, equipment or material during an emergency.”]
  • [In the event of a large-scale crisis, such as an epidemic or prolonged natural disaster, municipal resources may not be able to sustain an increased operational tempo for more than a few days. This is particularly true if emergency workers are injured or become ill as a result of the crisis. In such a case, the municipality may need to utilize outside emergency response personnel. Section 13 (3) provides for mutual assistance agreements between municipalities.]
  • [Provincial response (e.g., air quality monitoring, scientific advice, airlift capabilities, material resources, etc.) may involve numerous ministries and personnel. Activation of the municipal emergency response plan, including the opening of the Emergency Operations Centre and meeting of the Community Control Group, can greatly facilitate multi-agency and multi-government response. ]
  • [Section 13 (2) authorizes the Solicitor General, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, to make agreements with the federal government. In Canada, federal emergency assistance is accessed through, and coordinated by, the province. The declaration of an emergency may assist a municipality in obtaining federal assistance.]
  • [Evacuee and reception centres often use volunteers as staff. As noted above, the declaration of an emergency enacts certain parts of the Workplace Insurance and Safety Act related to volunteer workers. Secondly, an evacuation or sheltering of citizens has the potential to generate issues pertaining to liability. Section 11 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act may provide municipal councilors and employees with certain protections against personal liability.]

Economic and Financial:

  • [The rerouting of people and vehicles poses a potential liability risk. Keeping persons from their homes and delaying commercial traffic are both sensitive issues. Section 11 of the Act may provide certain protection from liability. Section 4 (1) allows for extraordinary measures to be taken, providing they are not contrary to law.]
  • [The declaration of an emergency may facilitate the ability of the municipality to respond to economic losses.]

This section contains an overview of the status of Town operations as related to COVID-19. The Town's leadership team is meeting regularly to assess the situation. The Town of The Blue Mountains would like to assure residents and visitors that all critical and essential municipal services will continue to operate as normal.

The following list highlights the status of municipal services at this time:

  • Waste Collection 
    • Curbside waste collection will continue to operate as normal and on your regularly scheduled collection day.
    • All personal hygiene and sanitary products that would typically be put in the Green Bin, including used tissues, must now be disposed of in the garbage.
    • Ensure that all material placed in your garbage is bagged, specifically cleaning products such as wipes, tissues/napkins and other sanitary/hygiene products.
    • Place all used gloves, masks and other protective equipment in the garbage – they are not recyclable.
  • Waste Disposal Site (Landfill)
    • Town landfill will be operating under the following temporary schedule:
      • Monday Closed
      • Tuesday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
      • Wednesday: Closed
      • Thursday: 8:00am – 4:00pm
      • Saturday: 8:00am – 12:00pm 
      • Sunday: Closed
    • For more information, visit the Solid Waste Services page. 
  • Property Tax & Utility Payments
    • Penalty/Interest for April to June 2021 inclusive was waived on tax roll and utility accounts
    • 2021 Annual (Final) Tax Bills will be mailed in early August with two instalments due dates August 26 and October 26
    • Property tax and utility payments can be paid online or by phone through your financial institution; by regular mail; or by the drop box at Town Hall (east doors) [credit cards not accepted]
    • The tax and utility pre-authorized payment plans (PAP) will be processed as usual unless written instructions to suspend the payment are received three (3) days prior to the withdrawal date
*To change your tax and/or utility PAP please contact the Finance department or call 519-599-3131 ext. 221
  • Public Parks, Trails and Greenspaces
    • Residents and visitors are asked to adhere to all Public Health recommendations including social distancing.
    •  
  • Building Services
    • Building Services will continue to receive digital applications and revisions to issued permits via the submission methods already in place, i.e. ShareFile system or registered Portal Users may submit via the Online Portal page on the Town’s website.
    • Permit applications, inquiries and reviews will continue to occur and comments will be provided via email using build@thebluemountains.ca
    • Zoning inquiries and Zoning and Building Compliance Report processing will continue to occur to the with our response provided by email.
    • For payment in excess of $2000 a cheque may be sent by regular mail, courier or via the Town Hall mail drop box.
    • Fees under $2000 may be paid by Visa or MasterCard by phoning in credit card information to 519 599 3131 extension 239. 
  • Building Permit Inspections
    • To request an inspection, please e-mail inspections@thebluemountains.ca
    • A site representative shall be on site and available if needed.
    • Building inspections will not be conducted within occupied dwellings. Furnished Buildings are considered occupied.
  • Planning & Development Engineering
    • Planning/Zoning inquiries and development preconsultations will continue to occur to the greatest extent possible via alternate means (TCC, etc.). However, the Development Review Committee meeting schedule has been postponed until further notice.
    • At this time, the Town does not have full capability to receive purely digital submissions and fee transfers. 
    • New Planning Act applications can be submitted to the Town by submitting the required applications, reports & materials in hardcopy.  Hardcopy materials can be delivered via mail or courier and will be handled carefully by staff using the proper precautions.  Staff will contact the applicant to facilitate the exchange of digital copies of all materials.
    • Applicants are advised that there will be some delay in the processing of Planning Act applications until public meetings, committee meetings, and Council meeting are rescheduled
    • Deferring the submission of new Planning Act applications will avoid situations where the Town is unable to process new applications within the timeframes outlined in the Planning Act.
    • For existing applications that are already under review, new planning and/or development engineering submissions (i.e. drawings, reports, etc.) will be received via digital file sharing mechanisms. Project consultant staff are encouraged to continue to contact the assigned Town staff to facilitate this review. 
    • Any review fees that are payable to the Town will be received via cheque in the Town Hall mailbox and will be handled carefully by staff using the proper precautions. As much file activity and work will occur as possible in the meantime so that things are prepared to move forward when meetings are rescheduled, and Council can reconvene again to make Planning Act decisions.
  • By-law Enforcement Issues / Complaints
    • Municipal By-law enforcement will continue to operate as normal.
    • By-law enforcement complaints can be submitted through the Town website or by calling 519-599-3131 ext. 249. The phone line is monitored 24/7.
  • Parking Ticket Payments
    • Residents and visitors are reminded that parking tickets can be paid by credit card over the phone (519-599-3131 ext. 249) or online by visiting: www.paytickets.ca/start

The Town is working with government agencies, industry partners and local business leaders to be able to effectively identify actions to support businesses in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

The following section contains links to various business resources and financial support information: 

Business Operations Standards and Tools

Local Organizations

Preparedness Toolkits

Government Programs and Support

A resource that summarizes the available government economic response initiatives can be found by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has launched a Small Business Help Centre to help business owners understand the support programs that are available: https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/small-business-resources-dealing-covid-19

Provincial Programs

Details regarding Provincial program are available by visiting: https://www.ontario.ca/page/stopping-spread-covid-19

Federal Programs

Details regarding Federal programs are available by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-businesses.html

At the March 30, 2020 Special Meeting, Council endorsed the establishment of a Community Recovery Task Force. The Task Force will be responsible for coordination and implementation of recovery and relief efforts including the consideration, development and implementation of programs to support and assist the Community and its stakeholders in reinvigorating our local and regional economies throughout the COVID – 19 Pandemic and its recovery process. The Task Force is not a Committee of Council.

Task Force Terms of Reference

For more information on the Task Force, visit the dedicated webpage.

Everyone should practice good basic hygiene as a preventative measure to protect against the novel coronavirus and other viruses in this cold and flu season.

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • stay home if you are sick

For details about the current status of COVID-19, and ways you can protect yourself, visit the Grey Bruce Public Health website.


Contacts

Shawn Everitt
Chief Administrative Officer
519-599-3131 x234

Tim Hendry
Manager of Communications & Economic Development
519-599-3131 x282