- Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Two motions are headed for the City Council table Monday night, both concerning Covid-19 vaccinations.

According to the latest report from Ontario's Science Table, we are still at the beginning of a growing fourth wave of Covid-19 which could have a serious impact on our health-care system. "Among the unvaccinated, we do expect to see a rapid increase in the number of seriously ill people needing hospital care as workplaces and education re-open in September. The fourth wave will affect all age groups with the potential to exceed ICU capacity."

The movers of both Council motions recognize the continuing impact of the pandemic on our community, and the necessity for local action in the face of realities about the ongoing risk to the unvaccinated, including children under 12.

The dominant Delta variant is twice as transmisable as previous forms of the virus, and "unvaccinated people have a 6-fold higher risk of symptomatic COVID-19 disease, a 30-fold higher risk of  being in the hospital and 48-fold higher risk of being in the ICU compared to the fully vaccinated."

Mayor Boddy's motion could bring a City vaccination policy to Council as early as September 27, with an unknown implementation timetable to follow.

"WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has made vaccination policies mandatory for high risk settings; and

WHEREAS many municipalities in Ontario have, or are in the process of developing a Vaccination Policy;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT City Council directs staff to bring forward a report respecting an employee and Council vaccination policy designed to protect employees, contractors, volunteers and the public."

Councillor John Tamming's notice of his motion was made before Premier Ford reversed course and announced his own version of a vaccine certificate to start September 22. The success of this motion at Monday's meeting may depend on whether individual council members believe the Premier's plan is too much or not enough.  If the motion is presented, we expect a split vote after a revealing debate.

"WHEREAS COVID-19 has devastated scores of city and regional businesses; and

WHEREAS many of our businesses simply cannot survive another COVID-19 related shutdown; and

WHEREAS we are facing a fourth wave of COVID-19 and it is unknown whether we will face multiple further waves in the future; and

WHEREAS COVID-19 vaccines are now available to any and all qualified residents; and

WHEREAS the province of Ontario has thus far opposed vaccine passports; and

WHEREAS other municipalities such as the Region of Waterloo are actively considering local vaccine passports;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT City Council correspond with each of the County of Grey, County of Bruce and Grey-Bruce Public Health and request in writing that, failing the adoption of a province wide vaccine passport plan on or before November 1, 2021, such governing bodies implement forthwith a Grey-Bruce COVID-19 vaccine passport."

(photo is not local - from a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia)





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