THUNDER BAY – Moving forward again. With the announcement from the Premier that Ontario is moving to Stage 3 of reopening the economy. The City of Thunder Bay is providing updates on the next steps.
The City of Thunder Bay welcomes today’s Provincial announcement that permits the Thunder Bay District to proceed to stage three reopening beginning Friday, July 17. The City has been working on its reopening plans, putting in place all necessary arrangements. However, to do so in a safe and effective way, the City will require additional time to receive and review the appropriate provincial Orders, which have yet to be published. Once the Orders are received, reopening plans will be finalized and additional announcements communicated as more City programs, services, facilities, and amenities reopen to the public.
“Thanks to our community’s ongoing commitment to following public health advice we have found ourselves in the position to enter stage three reopening,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “As we move into stage three, this will remain a gradual process to ensure all safety parameters are put in place before areas reopen to the public. I remind all residents to continue to follow public health guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 so we can once again have our community open, healthy and strong.”
Summer Programs and Childcare Report before Council July 20
A phase three report on summer programs and childcare will be going before City Council’s Committee of the Whole on Monday, July 20, outlining administration recommendations on further reopening. If approved, the City will make the required preparations and announce reopenings as they take place.
“We recognize the importance of providing quality, safe programs and services during this unprecedented time,” said City Manager Norm Gale. “Our employees are committed to providing these opportunities in a way that is safe for both residents and staff. We ask all those we serve to follow the outlined safety guidelines so that everyone can benefit from these reopening in our City.”
Summer Camps and Playground Programs Open Today
Stemming from stage two reopenings, today marks the first day of openings for the City’s Recreation & Culture Division’s summer camps and playground programs. 125 kids are taking part in the two modified outdoor day camps for kids aged 5-12 years at Current River Arena and Delaney Arena, as well as the playgrounds program at six sites across the city.
Programs include themed activities, no-contact sports and games, arts and crafts. All programs follow the provincial guidelines for summer camps. Participants are placed in groups of eight kids plus two staff and are with their own groups for all activities throughout the week. Pre-screening and screening upon arrival are in place.
The playgrounds program is free and includes North McIntyre Community Centre, Oliver Road Community Centre, West Arthur Community Centre, West Thunder Community Centre, and Volunteer Pool. Current River and Delaney Arena summer camps are $166.88 per participant. Registration is required for both the summer camps and the playgrounds program. The playgrounds program runs from 9:30 am – 4 pm, while the summer camps run from 8 am – 5 pm. The playgrounds program is almost full for July but there is room available at the Current River and Delaney summer camps. Residents can call 625-8463 to register.
Reopenings Require Lead Times of Two to Six Weeks
The City’s reopening plans take into account health and safety including personal protective equipment needs, staffing impacts, facility considerations including physical distancing plans, technology requirements and consultation and communication with stakeholders. Once provincial Orders are in place to allow services to open, lead times of two to six weeks are required to assess impacts and get the required resources and changes in place.
As City staff work on reopening plans, they are guided by the following principles:
Safety First: “Our first priority is protecting the health and safety of the public and employees. Facilities, programs, and services will only re-open when it is safe to do so. We will follow the direction and guidance of the Province and public health.”
Value for money: “We will put a priority on reopening programs and services that deliver the highest value at best cost under the current circumstances and identify opportunities to cancel or defer reopening or adjust services to support cost containment. “
Create Opportunity: “We will consider innovative and adaptive ways to serve the community and invest strategically to support economic recovery.”
For up to date information on service changes, visit the City’s A-Z Service Directory: www.thunderbay.ca/a-z