March 25/2020: Thunder Bay Ceases “Non-Essential Services”

City Manager Norm Gale
Norm Gale, City Manager.

THUNDER BAY – In alignment with direction from the Province under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and to protect the safety of all staff, the City has taken the steps necessary to cease non-essential services until further notice.

“Decisions we have made and continue to make as a Corporation have always been informed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and professional medical opinion,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “The Thunder Bay District Health Unit advises employers to be proactive to protect their employees and clients to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spreading. This has led the City to make the difficult decision to further reduce our services.”

“Only people assigned to essential work will remain in the workplace, and where able people assigned to essential work will work from home,” said Norm Gale, City Manager. “They have been instructed to remain at home as of today.

“Their jobs will be protected. City employees who deliver important but non-essential services are being told to stay home for their safety and the safety of everyone around them. Everyone who is home has a job to come back to. Some may also be redeployed to essential services as this quickly evolving situation continues to change.

No Assurances for City Employees and Pay Past This Friday

“We appreciate there are a lot of unanswered questions. We are working on the answers to these questions,” he added. “People will be paid this Friday as they normally are. Beyond that we are sorting out the details. We are working quickly to answer what we can. We understand this causes anxiety for our employees and their families. The protection of our employee’s safety is paramount. We must pull together as a Corporation to provide the essential, critical services we all rely on.”

Examples of essential City services include but are not limited to:

  • Emergency Services such as Emergency Medical Services and Fire
  • Water
  • Wastewater
  • Pioneer Ridge
  • Transit
  • Planning and building by appointment only to facilitate construction
  • Critical business functions that support essential services such as human resources, legal, communications, finance and legislative services

Although City Hall remains closed, administrative staff continue to receive and direct calls to appropriate departments for information and receive appointments for commissioning and marriage licensing. Residents can call 625-2230.

Garbage and recycling collection will continue on residents’ normal collection date. The garbage item limit of two non-tagged items remains the same. A third item of garbage will be collected if it has a garbage item tag is attached. Garbage item tags can now be purchased over the phone during the hours of 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, by calling 625-2266. Credit card payment only. Tags will be mailed out to residents. They can also be purchased in-person at the Landfill Site. The Landfill Site and Recycling Depots will continue to operate during normal business hours.

The City’s Emergency Response Team is in place to ensure the safe, effective, and appropriate continuity of municipal services for the Corporation with the following priority objectives:

o   Ensure staff are able to safely perform their assigned duties.

o   Focus on maintaining essential services.

o   Develop and maintain contingency plans.

Decisions on programs and services are being made on a daily basis. For the most up-to-date list of service changes, and additional city service information lines, visit:

For public health information, visit:

  • – the Ontario Ministry of Health reports on the status of cases in Ontario each morning at 10:30 am.
  • www.TBDHU.COM/coronavirus – the Health Unit’s website contains links to credible sources of information for both the public and local health care providers.


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