Municipality of Port Hope Council Meeting - June 16, 2020

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - Port Hope, ON

Below is a summary of key items discussed at the Municipality of Port Hope regular Council Meeting held on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. The full agenda and staff reports are available on the Council Portal. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting was held electronically via video conference.

Statement regarding Statue of Lieutenant Colonel A.T.H. Williams

Mayor Sanderson addressed citizen concerns raised about the statue of Lieutenant Colonel Williams that is located outside of Town Hall. He advised that members of council have been contacted by citizens who have trepidations about what the statue represents and its place in our community today.

Additionally, he acknowledged that during the Black Lives Matter peaceful protest that took place outside of Town Hall this past weekend, the statue was also identified as a focal point for systemic discrimination against Indigenous communities.

Mayor Sanderson advised that while a decision for permanent removal of the statue is not before Council at this time, Staff is actively seeking out opportunities for Council and Staff to continue the conversations about racial diversity, Indigenous cultural teachings and the history of colonization in our community. Council takes these concerns very seriously and is committed to listening and understanding the issues before making a decision about the future of the statue outside of Town Hall.

Suspension of sale and discharge of fireworks

Council passed a By-law to temporarily suspend certain provisions of By-law 102/2008 in Order to prohibit the sale and discharge of fireworks for the 2020 Canada Day holiday. This means that the Municipality will not be hosting its annual Canada Day fireworks display, and that residents may not discharge their own fireworks on July 1.

The provisions of the By-law have been suspended as a result of the global pandemic so that the Municipality can continue to support compliance of the Provincial Emergency Orders limiting social gatherings to not more than ten persons and to mitigate the potential for members of the public to unintentionally breach these Provincial guidelines. Additionally, suspension of this By-law will minimize the need for Fire and Emergency Services to carry out non-essential responses due to complaints/accidents associated with the discharge of consumer fireworks.

Resumption of electronic committee meetings

Council authorized the resumption of committee meetings to be held electronically to address time sensitive matters and legislated responsibilities as identified by the chair, Council representative, and staff representative in coordination with the Clerk throughout the declared Provincial Emergency and while physical distancing measures are required to remain in place.

Port Hope Civic Awards Ceremony

Council supported a staff report to allow the Civic Awards Advisory Committee to begin coordinating the delivery of a virtual Civic Awards Ceremony.

The Civic Awards Ceremony is an annual event hosted by the Municipality of Port Hope to formally and publicly recognize the individuals and groups successful in the Civic Awards nomination process.

As the timelines and any new protocols relating to the reopening of entertainment venues are unknown, and there is a responsibility to create a civic celebration, staff have recommended moving forward with a virtual ceremony to provide timely recognition to the 2019 Civic Award recipients. Staff will begin designing a virtual ceremony to allow the Municipality to recognize the 2019 recipients this year. More information about the date and format of the virtual event will be shared when it becomes available.=

Support for VIA Rail Canada service

Council supported efforts by the Municipality of Clarington with respect to a recommendation to the Government of Canada to adequately fund and fully support VIA Rail Canada in increasing the frequency, reliability, ticket cost and speed of VIA Rail Canada service in 2020 and successive years. Council will formally consider a resolution on this topic at their next regular meeting to be held on July 7, 2020

Minutes from this meeting will be available pending approval at the next Council meeting on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at which point they will become the official record of the meeting.

Recordings of the June 16, 2020 Regular Council meeting and Committee of the Whole meeting are available at porthope.ca/council-communications.

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