Will Council meet in an Open Session on the 22nd - masks are no longer required - in person delegations should be permitted

By Pepper Parr

March 12th, 2022



Will there be mayhem on the streets when masks can be off everywhere and almost anywhere on March 21st ?

What does that do to plans various organizations have to protect the people they care for ? The Hamilton-Wentworth School Board is reported to have told the province that they will require Masks in schools until April 15th.

With the Spring Break keeping schools closed, the concern that people travelling may bring the virus home with them; and the expected increase in social activity will bring together people who have not been together in the past increasing the opportunity for the virus to spread.

No masks in this picture: does that mean we will see every member of Council in their seats next week?

What will that do to our elected officials and the way they meet.

City Council is due to meet on the 22nd – will it be a virtual meeting, which appears to be the preference for most of the seven members on Council.

There is a bylaw in place calling for virtual council meetings – will that be the excuse that is used to require the meeting to be virtual?

The bylaw hasn’t prevented the Mayor from taking advantage of every possible photo-op.

The City Manager is reported to be working on the approach the city will take to opening things up and at the same time reporting on how many City Hall staff will work off-site and how many will work in city facilities.

There are some jobs that have to be performed at a city office; others that can be done by people working off site. The policy appears to be that a staff member is either an on-site or an offsite employee. They cannot switch from one to the other.

More clarity on just how this will be implemented and what the impact will be on the public can be expected soon given that the province has already started the process of getting to the point where there are no restrictions.

Why any of this is being done while we are still working with a pandemic befuddles us. When the World Health Organization moves Covid19 to an endemic – the restrictions can be moved.

What will we do if there is a sudden steep increase in infections ?

That appears to be a risk the politicians are ready to take.

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5 comments to Will Council meet in an Open Session on the 22nd – masks are no longer required – in person delegations should be permitted


    As in all things, children who do not have the wherewithal / capacity to make informed decisions have parents / guardians that make those decisions for them. Living a full life entails a wide range of risks. We all have choices / decisions to make every day and there is no one size fits all. Those that wish to wear a mask or take a variety of other precautions may continue do so.


    It is now time to lift all government instituted COVID related restrictions and mandates pertaining to the general public and allow each individual the freedom to take whatever precautions they consider prudent based on their personal circumstances and comfort level. Similarly, organizations and businesses should have the right to impose measures and policies that they deem necessary to maintain health and safety in their particular environment.

    • Tom Muir

      Please tell me how the individual children exercise this freedom you advocate for. The children and other vulnerable themselves do not have the wherewithal to make such an independent choice for themselves, and are at the mercy of the politics, and what you want to decide to do as the general public. The rest of us will be collateral damage.

      They need some way to be able to maintain their individual health and safety, and freedom from harm, from the measures and policies of organizations and businesses you say have the right to do what they want.

      Please tell us where this fits into your advocacy?

      Would it really be so simple as you say. Nobody has the freedom to do anything they want that harms or threatens others.

  • Tom Muir

    I think this is a pivotal time to say NO to Doug Ford about masking.

    The City has it’s own masking bylaw, and a repeal of is our decision, as a City, and we have to take the time needed for a thoughtful lifting, with adequate time and circumstance to assess the results and especially, for unintended consequences.

    I have sensed in the news, and independent medical expert opinion, that the end of March would be a prudent target date and would give us enough time to see what happens.

    It must not be just another order from Mr. Ford that we must obey, no thinking about it. From his own public words, Mr. Ford has stated many times, in so many words, that he “can’t wait to get rid of the mask and other Covid mandates”, and that his Chief Officer of Health, Kieran Moore, is “a practical man” – I heard these statements myself on TV.

    I’ve also heard or read of much independent expert opinion, including the Chair of the Ontario Advisory Committee, that it is too fast a pace for repeal, and a reasonable, informational delay, will not have any impact of real significance, but the repeal right after the Spring break, as Ford dictates must be, can be predicted, by the nature of the virus, to result in small scattered clusters of infections that can become major outbreaks.

    That’s the consensus opinion and concern of the independent experts who have spoken out – and this concern is based on the history of group gatherings of school kids and parents/teachers. It’s a fact based fear.

    But Mr. Ford does not look to be listening. He says we are all on our own, even children not vaccinated. To the immunocompromised, he said, wear a mask – cold comfort that will for sure sicken some.

    Dr. Kieran Moore has bought into the policy talk of everyone doing their own risk assessment, an expression of his “practical side” I guess. I worked for the Province and the Fed sometimes doing policy analysis, so I easily recognize a medical/health bureaucrat, who is the only staff that can speak, construct a politically driven health policy to suit his boss. Happens all the time.

    The fact is people don’t have the information to do this, and the information flow coming out of the province is set to change and this will confound understanding, sow confusion and division, and will surely cover up what really happens to surge Covid, or to not have any casualties due to the policy.

    So again, I urge City Council to stand strong, and to exercise your right and responsibility for the City by-laws around Masking and Covid to protect our children, teachers, schools, and their families that won’t suffer by an intelligent, informed lifting of mandates, but by the laws of the virus spread, will have another more or less surge, and by consequence a related amount of sickness and death.

    Mr. Ford is in election mode and cannot be trusted.

  • Agree no public in Council Chambers yet, but Council and delegations is another issue. Let’s get back to business for the last 7 months of this council.