The issue of Hallowe’en in the Village of Westport has been discussed by Council on three different occasions this fall. At the September 15 Committee of the Whole meeting, I asked members of Council to speak with their constituents before the October 6, 2020 Council meeting to learn any concerns by local residents and businesses. At that Council meeting, members reported hearing the strong message that door to door trick or treating was not supported during COVID-19 and the decision was taken to cancel this activity in Westport for this year.
Council reconsidered this resolution at the October 20, 2020 Special Meeting of Council, and the result of the debate did not change – the original decision of council would stand and door to door trick or treating would be cancelled.
The decision was difficult for council and for the members of the public who had plans to head out in Westport on Saturday night. This is the first issue in my time as Mayor that has been considered and reconsidered. I want to assure you that the decision was not taken lightly.
You can watch all three debates on the Village of Westport You Tube channel.
Please call if you have questions or concerns. 273-9195
As many of you are aware, Westport Council took the decision at its October 6 Council Meeting to cancel door to door trick/treating for this year due to the rising numbers of COVID-19. Prior to that meeting, unsuccessful attempts were made to learn of any guidelines from Chief Medical Officer Dr D Williams and the Ministry of Health.
Councillors had consulted with many residents prior to the October 6 meeting and it was a difficult, but unanimous decision.
On Tuesday, October 13, Dr P Stewart, MOH for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit provided some guidelines for trick/treating. As her guidelines have been taken into consideration throughout COVID-19, the matter will be on the Council agenda for Tuesday, October 20.
Since Council’s decision has already been taken, the Procedural By-law requires a two-stage process to debate it again. The first stage is called “reconsideration” – essentially this means that members of Council must agree by a majority vote to bring the matter back onto the table. If that motion carries, then the issue of door to door trick/treating will be discussed and voted on. The passing of the reconsideration motion is not an indication of how the motion on trick/treating will be decided.
I encourage you to contact a member of Council if you have any comments.
You can watch the Council meetings on live stream by clicking on the Village You Tube page at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-fs2y1g5jXLiioR0KdDgbA
For further information contact CAO Paul Snider email@example.com 613-273-2191
or firstname.lastname@example.org 613-273-9195
Thanks to the many people who have decorated their haunted houses with ghouls, ghosts, witches and our very own Game Of Thrones!!!! Rain or shine – the kids and parents will be out later today to ‘trick or treat’. Have fun finding these outstanding haunted houses.
Please wear bright clothing and drive carefully and watch out for our children. Be safe everyone.
We have just experienced another exceptional example of what it means to live in Westport. Where else does the best day in October land on the 31st? Where else do over 100 kids knock on the door for a trick or treat – and all do it wearing creative costumes…and with a joke or riddle? Where else is there an adult close by for every child? And, seriously, where else do so many people join the fun and turn their homes into haunted house?
Westport … our Village, our community. Thank you for another scary, busy Hallowe’en.