Telephone Town Hall worked - the public was well served.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 29th, 2021



In terms of communicating with the public it went exceptionally well. The latest in a series of Telephone Town Hall events ran for an hour last evening ran out of time before they ran out of questions.

Dr Dale K

Dr. Dale Kalina, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control, Joseph Brant Hospital

Moderated by the Mayor, the strongest theme was information on the different vaccines being used by the Public Health units and the pharmacies.

Dr. Dale Kalina, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control, Joseph Brant Hospital pressed the point that the vaccine used was not a concern – what was important was that people get vaccinated.

Close to a majority of the questions asked related to the vaccines available.

Throughout the evening there were mini-surveys that asked what people thought about allowing public participation in public events suggesting that consideration is being given to opening things up a little.

There was just the one question on recreational issues; many of the people taking part in the call weren’t required to say a word.

The public was well served.

A transcript of the event will e published.

We will ask the Mayor what there are in the way of plans to open up events to the public – it will depend on what the response to the mini survey reveals.

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3 comments to Telephone Town Hall worked – the public was well served.

  • Tom Muir

    I sat in on the call and would agree that the public was well served, although I have no idea how many were on the line.

    My question was prompted by an opening remark from the Mayor. She commented that she hoped the present “lock-down” ( as she called the emergency stay at home order) is going to be the last one.

    I’m certain that everyone feels the same way, but my question was also a comment about this concern – about how are we going to move forward to get to this promised land? I see nothing of this end-game from the Ford government, and the representative in the meeting of absent MPP McKenna, did not shine any light except a defense of the provincial sick leave plan.

    The present restrictions are scheduled to expire in about 4 weeks, but what are we going to do moving forward to justify and support, on human health grounds, the expiration of restrictions at that time?

    My better ask is what is the planning for the end of this stay at home order once and for all?

    People fear yet another up and down roller coaster policy of opening/closing, like the last two, which is a basic certainty if the policy shift is based on political guessing expediency and not transparently on the data and science.

    From past performance here in Ontario, (and around the world too as noted by Minister Karina Gould last night), I have a deep science based fear that ending the “stay” on this stated schedule will result in us going right back to another bad place of openings, more cases and another surge, and a 4th wave situation we will not like at all.

    Case counts, sickness and death are still far too high, in too many places. Hospitals are overflowing and partly closed to needed surgeries and procedures. Health care staff from outside are traveling in to help. We can’t sustain hundreds and thousands of daily cases, every day, for weeks untold, indefinitely.

    Covid-19 delivers people to the hospital more and more every day with urgent or intensive care needs or ventilation, or even heart-lung treatment, with some dying every day, and continued this will crush the health care system ability to handle any other health issue.

    Vaccines available for all people to get one dose might be June, and full vaccination possible by September, if things go well, according to Minister Gould. So vaccines will not save us from continued restrictions in 4 weeks, or even in a longer period that is indeterminate or even a revealed scientific estimate.

    Minister Gould also noted the statement of Dr. Tam that we can’t reduce restrictions without a health evidence basis as we will get another surge of cases as economic activity, mobility and people contacts grow, based on all the experience and evidence we have right now, locally and around the world. This includes the vaccine roll-out schedule as it is now.

    The evidence shows that stricter measures are necessary to stem the transmission of this virus and gain control over the third wave of the pandemic. In the previous Wave 2, moving locally to grey or red was not sufficient to stop the spread and bring the numbers down, nor was the province-wide lockdown then which was stricter than what we have today. It wasn’t until we went into a province-wide stay-at-home order that the numbers really did come down.

    Today, in Wave three, the stay at home order situation and need is back. Medical officers of health, doctors and medical community expert groups demanded the stay at home restrictions we now have – they raised the alarm as variants spread faster and cause more severe illness, especially in those who are younger and healthier.

    So how and what are we planning, what evidence is it based on, and what are we going to do? We cannot afford another relapse into business thinking foolishness first, not health, life and death.

    My question did not get asked unfortunately, but needs an answer and a communication plan to let people know before 4 weeks are up.

  • Penny Hersh

    To answer your question to the Mayor about “the plans to open up events to the public” I hope her answer would be to follow the science. Opening up too early has resulted in the situation Ontario and other parts of the world are dealing with.

    Until most people are vaccinated we need to take precautions. Is going to get an ice cream, or playing golf more important than keeping residents safe?

    Now the city is starting to take registration for summer camps, when sleep away camps have cancelled the season. To date, every time the city pushes to reopen their programs they get cancelled. What does that tell you?

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