Mayor struggles with meaning of

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 29th, 2021



“Hope is certainly on the horizon” said the Mayor who voted along with her colleagues to extend the face mask bylaw to the end of the year.

MMW at swearing in with Chain - superior look

“Hope is certainly on the horizon”

The hope the Mayor was talking about was the arrival of a vaccine which, according to the information the Mayor got from the Provincial COVID19 Vaccination Task Force, vaccination efforts will take through the spring and summer, and likely into the fall.

Not exactly on the horizon is it ?

For the foreseeable future, additional health measures will still be necessary – washing hands, wearing a mask, staying 6ft apart from anyone we don’t live with.

Foreseeable future isn’t exactly on the horizon either.

Meed Ward in a mask

Mayor Meed Ward: Clearly there was a struggle in determining just what “on the horizon” means.

“We want to be up front with the community about that” said the Mayor, “and be clear about the need for continued health measures and our bylaws for some months. Council did discuss ending the bylaws sooner, and in the end unanimously voted to extend to the end of December.

“My own view in supporting this extension till the end of December is that it is better to be up front and honest with our community.”

We are still in this pandemic for a long period of time, and that it is preferable to be able to lift the regulations early, than dash the hopes of our residents if we had to continually extend the bylaw.

Clearly there was a struggle in determining just what “on the horizon” means.

What is perfectly clear is that this council has extended the bylaw that governs the wearing of face masks to December 31st, 2021.

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9 comments to Mayor struggles with meaning of “on the horizon” – very certain about wearing a face mask

  • Sharon

    Hope on the horizon?? But extend the mask bylaw until December!! Where’s the hope?

  • john Purkis

    Toronto’s top doctor recommends extension of covid 19 bylaws until June. This timeline makes much more sense, as many professionals warn of mental health being an emerging crisis of the covid 19 pandemic. Data shows increased use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances due the stress of lost wages, home schooling etc. Double the calls to service hotlines are reflected in provincial and national data. Residents need to feel that there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ sooner rather than later. If timelines need to be extended due to data seen in the spring, so be it, but to extend the Burlington bylaws until 2022 is unreasonable at this time.

  • Penny Hersh


    Totally agree with you. It seems that embroidery has made a comeback as a hobby.

  • Dave

    A sensible decision to extend the mask bylaw now. Anyone paying attention to the public health messaging knows this was going to happen anyway. The medical community has been saying you need to continue wearing a mask after the vaccine. We won’t all get vaccinated en masse until late summer / early fall at earliest. Therefore, we’ll be wearing masks until end of the year. Is this a surprise to anyone? Council didn’t vote on extending lock-down to end of year, they voted on extending mask wearing. Is wearing a mask when out really causing people depression? It’s such a simple thing.

    As for truth and transparency, be careful what you wish for sometimes. The truth is that there will be several more bumps along the road and delays with vaccine roll-out, beyond the City’s control. New virus strains are coming that will be more contagious and more deadly, before enough people are vaccinated. Efficacy of the current vaccines will likely diminish from 95% as virus evolves. In addition, a significant enough part of the population will refuse to be vaccinated, thus extending restrictions longer. Some businesses that have been struggling to make it this far, won’t get through. We won’t see any large public gatherings until at least 2022. We won’t be back to what we think of as ‘normal’ until at least 2023 or 2024, with small outbreaks and flare-ups of the virus here and there. In fact, we may never fully rid ourselves of it, and it may be an annual concern like the flu each winter.

    And even if we do eradicate it, there will always be a different pandemic looming on the horizon. Heath experts have been warning about pandemics for years, but it hasn’t been taken seriously enough. This is the ugly consequence of our excessive and unnecessary global travel, cruises, and consumption. Quite frankly, we shouldn’t fully return to ‘normal’. We need to learn from this and modify our habits, both for humanity and planet. If we learn nothing, we are doomed to repeat it. This didn’t just happen to us, we did it to ourselves. Use this extra time on your hands to re-think.

    No vaccine for a corona virus has ever been developed in the past, despite trying. Now, we have 3 viable vaccines coming in record time, yet people are complaining! If this had happened at any other time in history (without web conferencing, high-speed connectivity, working from home, advanced medical technology), this would have been a lot more painful. Please, be grateful for what we have, that so many generations before us didn’t when they faced hardship. Partake in a hobby, use the time to learn something new, and hang in there!

  • Penny Hersh


    Until everyone is vaccinated, and not just the residents of Burlington, we are going to be dealing with restrictions.

    The City has extended mandatory mask wearing until December 30th, 2021 that tells me more than the mayor saying “Hope is certainly on the horizon”.

  • john

    Earl, I agree with your above statements and feel more thought should have been put into this decision. I am wondering if any members from the medical community were included in the discussion.

  • Penny Hersh

    It’s one thing to say “Hope is certainly on the horizon”, it’s quite another to give false hope.

    Residents in Burlington will be lucky to have been vaccinated by the end of summer or fall.

    Personally, I am sick of these platitudes. Residents need transparency and truth.

  • Earl Chapman

    It’s fine to be transparent and “upfront with the community” but the overall health of the community, mental and physical, must be considered. Extending restrictions to the end of the year is onerous at best, and will only lead to further depression. People need hope and telling them that restrictions will continue till 2022 Is a terrible decision by our representatves.

  • Hans Jacobs

    Even without COVID it seems like extending mask wearing is a good idea, since it seems to reduce influenza transmission too; e.g.: it was reported recently that throat lozenge sales are so low that employees in the lozenge production plant were being laid off.