The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, provides that the Head of Council may declare an emergency in the municipality and to take such action and make such orders as he or she considers necessary to implement the emergency plan and to protect property and the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the emergency area. Generally, emergencies are declared during a significant event like an ice storm, train derailment or other disaster when the ability to provide services from local resources fails to meet the demand. The Declaration is often linked to accessing funding from the provincial government.
In consultation with staff, particularly the Village of Westport Community Emergency Management Coordinator & CAO Mr Paul Snider, I have done daily risk assessments for the Village of Westport in relation to COVID-19. To date, the community members have been 99% compliant with all of the orders made by the Provincial Government after declaring its emergency.
In the past few days, there has been a noticeable change in the number of people who do not live in the village or surrounding township, now spending time in Westport and shopping in our stores. Every, I repeat every government and public health authority are stating in bold language that the only way for us to avoid having the number of infected people and deaths as other countries is to remain at home.
With a view to the next few weeks and the measures that we might need to take in the Village to keep that safety net in place, I declared an Emergency at 4:10 p.m.today. I want to be proactive and the declaration of an emergency gives me real time decision making authority. As both other orders of government have stated, everything is on the table to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the protection of property and the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Village of Westport.
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