Toronto Councilors Attend First Virtual Meeting To Expand COVID-19 Powers

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TORONTO –
Torontonians are about to find out if their city councilors are more tech savvy than their federal officials.

At the first such meeting, councilors will connect to their computers on Thursday for a special virtual city council where they will discuss Toronto’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the agenda is a motion asking council to extend the powers that enabled Mayor John Tory to act on behalf of the city until the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency. The motion also calls for council to extend the city’s physical distance by-law, which was to be in effect until May 2.

In the motion, Tory writes that a state of emergency has been declared so that he can “react quickly and decisively to the pandemic, to ensure that we will always be able to make the quick decisions necessary during this crisis “

“At the time, we knew that the number of COVID-19 cases was continuing to increase in our city and that the next few days were absolutely critical in our continuing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19,” he said. he declares.

“COVID-19 leaves a devastating mark on our community. More than 274 residents died, leaving loved ones and friends behind. We mourn with these bereaved families and we remain committed to preventing as much loss of life as possible during this global pandemic. “

Council is also expected to discuss the design and installation of up to 110 modular rental units on city-owned land. Tory said Wednesday that the need for supportive housing has increased in light of the pandemic.

“I will work with the Province of Ontario to obtain operating funding for health support services and housing subsidies from them so that deeply affordable support homes can be delivered to both sites and delivered in wartime, “he said. .

Most of the meeting will be devoted to the city’s response to the pandemic, but there are a few other items on the agenda, such as an extension of the city’s bike path network and the implementation of an aerial spraying program to control a European gypsy moth epidemic in Etobicoke.

Conservative Optimistic Virtual Meeting Will Be Productive

Advisors will use an online video conferencing platform called WebEx for the meeting to adhere to physical distance regulations.

The last town council meeting was held two months ago on February 25.

“I think they’re all going to do well,” said Tory Thursday morning before the meeting. “This is a fairly simple technology and sometimes the biggest challenge you have to face is putting your finger on the screen fast enough to mute you when you are called to speak. “

The meeting comes days after federal officials held their own virtual session, which was loaded with audio issues.

The virtual meeting is scheduled to start at 10:00 am and CTVNewsToronto.ca will provide live coverage below.

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