Regional chair, Durham mayors issue joint statement on potential lockdown

The following statement is being issued on behalf of John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer; and the Mayors of the Town of Ajax, Township of Brock, Municipality of Clarington, City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Township of Scugog, Township of Uxbridge and Town of Whitby:

“Recently, there have been several reports about support of a Grey-Lockdown approach for Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

First, let me reiterate that we fully support the protection of our public’s health. We will do whatever is needed to help flatten the curve—provided the data confirms it for our region.

However, recent reports, about Durham possibly moving into a lockdown, were not driven by Durham Region or any of the eight local-tier mayors. We were not consulted, nor given the opportunity to comment. Yet, we were elected by the people; chosen to make decisions on their behalf. Because we know our region best; and, we should be helping to shape these decisions for our local communities.

Since the start of this pandemic, all nine of us have committed to trusting the advice of our Medical Officer of Health. He is there to protect the health of our community; providing advice to elected officials that allows us to make informed decisions on behalf of our residents and business owners.

Yet, many people still struggle to understand provincial parameters related to complex medical analysis. Or why different regions move into various zones.

We do know that to help flatten the curve, we need people to stay in their own regions. To continue to shop local. Our local businesses are doing everything to help keep customers safe.

Durham Region would like to be consulted before any decisions are made. Our region is vastly different from others in the GTHA. As the largest geographical jurisdiction in the Greater Toronto area—totalling over 2,500 square kilometres—the needs of our residents and business owners are vastly different from surrounding regions.

Based on the numbers, Durham Region should remain in the red zone. We will continue to stand behind and support our front-line workers, who are truly #DurhamStrong.”

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