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COVID-19 Update

Posted On: Monday, March 16, 2020

A dedicated webpage regarding COVID-19 has been created for the Town of The Blue Mountains. To view the webpage, please visit: www.thebluemountains.ca/covid-19.cfm

Media & News Release

The Town of The Blue Mountains would like to remind residents to take extra care while sorting household garbage and recycling to ensure the proper disposal of waste and recycling.

In recent weeks, the Town has been advised by Miller Waste, the contractor responsible for garbage and recycling collection within the Town, that there have been multiple issues of improper sorting of waste items that has led to recycling and garbage not being picked up.

Residents are asked to refrain from “Wish-cycling” which is the practice of putting items in your recycling bin, hoping that the item can be recycled. This practice places unnecessary strain on the curbside recycling program and will result in your recycling being left at the curb.

To ensure that your garbage and recycling will be picked up, please remember the following:

  • Blue Box materials are product packaging only and are generally metal, plastic or glass
  • Grey Box materials include printed paper and paper product packaging
  • Clear bags may be used for recycling and must be sorted into separate Blue and Grey streams or they will not be collected
  • Masks are to be disposed of in the garbage ONLY and are not to be placed with your recycling materials
  • Durable goods like shoes, garden hose and window glass are not to be placed in the blue or grey box for recycling
  • Styrofoam is not currently accepted as recycling and is to be disposed of in the garbage
  • Flatten cardboard into bundles no larger than 61 cm x 46 cm x 15 cm
  • The weekly Limit for garbage is 1 bag, a second bag is allowed but must be tagged ($3.00 tag), more than 2 bags will not be collected (garbage bag tags can be purchased at the Town's Landfill at this time)
  • The weight limit for a bag/can is 18 kgs (40 lbs)

Residents are also reminded that all waste collection dates that fall on statutory holidays in 2021 will be collected as regularly scheduled, and all waste items should be placed by your curbside by no later than 7:00 a.m. to ensure your items are collected.

For more information on how to sort your garbage and recycling properly and to download The Blue Mountains Waste Resource App, please visit: https://www.thebluemountains.ca/solid-waste.cfm

For more information, please contact:

Operations Department
519-599-3131 ext. 276

On Saturday, April 10th, 320 people were vaccinated at a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic held at the Beaver Valley Community Centre (BVCC) in Thornbury.

“I want to thank Dr. Arra and the Grey Bruce Health Unit for making the vaccine available, and all of the community volunteers, led by Melody Fox and Bill Abbotts, as well as Dr. Remillard and his staff, and Town Staff, who all worked together and made this happen on short notice,” stated Mayor Alar Soever. “This was a true community effort. I know it has been difficult for many of our seniors to get timely appointments close to home, so I am pleased we could make this happen for at least a few of our residents. The clinic was fully subscribed within minutes of the press release announcing it being posted on Friday, and we had much more interest than vaccine.”

If you have interest in a future clinic at the BVCC, you can express your interest by e-mailing vaccine-interest@thebluemountains.ca or phoning The Town of The Blue Mountains 519-599-3131 ext 289.

For those who expressed interest in a future clinic at the BVCC, we do not know if or when vaccine supply will be allocated for future clinics at the BVCC. Your expression of interest is not an appointment, and there is no guarantee that your expression of interest will result in an appointment in the future.

With rising case counts of more transmissible strains of the virus circulating in our community and our region, the risk of serious illness or death has never been higher, so the sooner you can get vaccinated, the better. 

It is of the utmost importance that you register and lock in an appointment somewhere as soon as possible, through either the provincial online booking system https://ontario.ca/bookvaccine or by calling the toll-free number 1-888-999-6488.

Appointments can also be made by contacting the Thornbury Pharmasave, (519) 599-2719 or by visiting: http://thornburypharmasave.medmeapp.ca/schedule

For more information, please contact:

Mayor
(519) 599-3131 ext. 400

A COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic will be held at the Beaver Valley Community Centre (BVCC) on Saturday, April 10th for those who are over 65, or will be turning 65 this year (ie. born in 1956 or earlier) and have not yet been vaccinated. Capacity this week is limited to 280 people and most spots have been filled by patients from local physicians and other lists. If you are interested in registering for this clinic or wish to express an interest in a future clinic, please contact one of our community partners:

  • BVO Seniors Centre Without Walls: 519-599-2577 ext. 126
  • The Blue Mountains Public Library: 519-599-3681 ext. 5 or email LibraryInfo@thebluemountains.ca
  • The Thornbury Pharmasave: (519) 599-2719
  • The Town of The Blue Mountains: 519-599-3131 ext. 289

The active case count in the Town of The Blue Mountains is higher than it has been at any stage of the pandemic. If you belong to one of the eligible groups and have not yet been vaccinated, it is important you register immediately to make sure you are vaccinated as soon as possible.

Please register using the provincial online booking system for COVID-19 vaccinations at https://ontario.ca/bookvaccine. Those without access to the internet can call the toll-free number 1-888-999-6488. You may also call the Blue Mountains Public Library or BVO Seniors Without Walls for assistance in online registering.

With rising case counts of more virulent and more transmissible strains of the virus circulating in our community, the risk of serious illness and death has never been higher.

For more information, please contact:

Mayor
(519) 599-3131 ext. 400

The video message linked below was provided by Mayor Alar Soever as an update related to COVID-19.

Direct video link: https://youtu.be/G8aiwSs93rQ

The Town of The Blue Mountains would like to advise residents that all municipal facilities with the exception of the Town Landfill will be closed to public access, beginning on Thursday, April 8, 2021 in response to the Provincial Stay-at-Home Order announced this afternoon. The closures will remain in effect until the Province ends the shutdown and until it is deemed safe to open for public access.

Facility closures include: Town Hall, Beaver Valley Community Centre and Arena, Craigleith Community Centre, Ravenna Hall, The Blue Mountains Public Library, and the Craigleith Heritage Depot.

During the facility closures, all essential services will continue to operate as normal, including the Town’s landfill, which will operate under enhanced cleaning and safety protocols. Residents are reminded that Town staff will continue to be available for assistance over the phone and by email during regular business hours. Online services can also be accessed 24/7 by visiting: www.thebluemountains.ca/online-services.cfm.

The Blue Mountains Public Library will offer contactless curbside pickup at both facilities, and virtual programs will continue to be provided during this time. For more information, please check the Blue Mountains Public Library website by visiting: www.thebluemountainslibrary.ca.

In addition, during the Stay-At-Home Order, Short Term Accommodations are only to be provided to individuals who are in need of housing. The Town has been in contact with all licensed Short Term Accommodation owners and operators and will be actively monitoring licensed units throughout the community.

For additional information regarding the Provincial Stay-At-Home Order, please visit the Province of Ontario website at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca or the Grey Bruce Health Unit website at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Shawn Everitt
Cheif Administrative Officer
519-599-3131 ext. 234

Lead by the Joint Municipal Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, a public survey has been launched to gain feedback from residents regarding access to primary healthcare services, which include Family Physicians and Nurse Practitioners.

To complete the short, two-minute survey, please visit: www.thebluemountains.ca/family-physician-survey.cfm. The survey will be available until April 30, 2021.

The survey is a collaborative effort to lead the creation of a family physician recruitment and retention strategy between the Town of The Blue Mountains, Municipality of Meaford, Municipality of Grey Highlands, Town of Collingwood, and Clearview Township.

Data collected through the survey will be shared with the partnering municipalities and will be used by the Joint Municipal Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee to help recruit new Family Physicians and improve access to primary healthcare within the area.

“The need for family physicians can be hidden. So many of us are hanging on to family physicians where we formerly lived in fear of ending up with no physician because the availability does not exist locally,” explained Councillor and representative on the Joint Municipal Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, Andrea Matrosovs. “I raised my family in the South Georgian Bay region for over 20 years, and we still have to rely on a physician two hours away. Every time I asked locally, we were turned away. I gave up and don’t want other families to be in the same predicament.”

Further, June Porter, Chair of the Joint Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, explained that:

“Residents regularly ask me if I know of Family Physicians accepting new patients, and unfortunately, I have to say no. Currently, more than 21% of residents in The Blue Mountains are not rostered to a Family Physician, which is significantly higher than the Ontario average of 8.3%, according to Statistics Canada. Even if they have access to a Family Physician, many residents have to drive to other communities, which can prove difficult in the absence of public or private transportation. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey to assist with understanding the challenges and difficulties of access to a local Family Physician.”

To learn more about the Joint Municipal Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, please visit: www.thebluemountains.ca/family-physician-survey.cfm.

For more information, please contact:

Shawn Everitt
Chief Administrative Officer
(519) 599-3131 ext. 234

The video message linked below was provided by Mayor Alar Soever as an update related to COVID-19.

Direct video link: https://youtu.be/JHrlR2ZNzuk

The Town of The Blue Mountains Fire Department would like to advise residents that the open air burning restrictions have been lifted. 

The Ontario Fire Code states that property owners conducting open-air burning must do so in approved areas. This guideline will provide property owners in The Blue Mountains with the information required to ensure their properties meet the following minimum requirements for recreational open air burning such as campfires. This will also pertain to the use of appliances used for outdoor burning which do not conform to the Technical Standards and Safety Act.

The Blue Mountains Fire Department should be notified prior to the ignition of any outdoor fire which would not be considered a typical backyard campfire.  This notification process is to ensure fire bans are not in place due to poor air quality or extremely dry conditions. To notify the Fire Department, please use the information below. Please be prepared to provide the name of the property owner, telephone number, date of burning and the civic address. This is a notification process only and should not be considered as an approval. It is also important to understand that By-law 2004-23 will be enforced if smoke or particulate from open air burning becomes a nuisance to the public or could affect the health and wellness of the public.

Outdoor Fire Guidelines

It is the property owners’ responsibility to ensure the following minimum requirements are in place prior to burning. They include but are not limited to:

  • the fire is contained in a pit
  • the materials to be burned must be limited to dry wood or by-products of wood
  • the pit is a maximum of one meter in diameter
  • the pit is a minimum of ten meters from any buildings, overhead wires and combustible vegetation
  • a means of extinguishment is on site
  • the fire is supervised at all times by a competent person
  • the fire is completely extinguished when it is not being supervised

Residents are also reminded that leaves and garden waste which produce excessive smoke are not permitted to be burned. The Town Waste Disposal Site accepts leaves, garden waste and brush for disposal at no charge.

Open Air Burning Complaints

All complaints related to open air burning should be directed to the Town By-Law Enforcement Department by calling 519-599-3131 ext. 249. The extension is monitored 24/7. In the event the Fire Department is requested to respond to open air burning complaints where the above noted requirements have not been met or a fire is out of control, the fire will be extinguished and a user fee will be charged to the owner of the property in accordance with by-law 2020-14 schedule B, “emergency response services”, item #5.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.thebluemountains.ca/fire-services.cfm

For more information, please contact:

Fire Department
Phone: 519-599-3131 x 101

The Town of The Blue Mountains has launched a public survey to gain feedback from residents regarding updates to the current Municipal Tree Preservation By-Law 2010-68. The purpose of the survey is to gain feedback regarding the Town’s role in tree protection and preservation in the community.

The survey can be accessed by visiting the project webpage: https://yourview.thebluemountains.ca/municipal-tree-by-law-update.

The launch of the public survey follows the joint Public Open House hosted on March 24, 2021 with the County of Grey, which provided residents the opportunity to share their input on the direction future policy changes or by-law updates should take. Comments and feedback collected will assist in developing any policy changes or a proposed tree by-law. 

To watch the recorded (Virtual) Public Open House, please visit: Link to archived Public Open House – Municipal Tree By-Law Update.

The proposed tree by-law will be presented at a future Public Meeting and will give another opportunity for the public and stakeholders to provide comments. No decision will be made until both the Town Council and the County of Grey Council have considered all comments received.

“Community engagement is a vital part of the process in the Town’s consideration of a Municipal Tree By-law update,” says Councillor Matrosovs, Chair of the Agricultural Advisory Committee and Co-Chair of the Sustainability Advisory Committee. “The series of engagement opportunities will focus on the extent of the Town’s role in the protection of a wider range of trees within the municipality and the direction of future policies for the management of trees as a natural asset in our community.”

Background Information

In May 2017, Bill 68, entitled Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2017, was enacted by the provincial government and requires all municipalities to adopt and maintain policies to protect and enhance the municipal tree canopy by March 1, 2019. While the existing policies and by-laws currently in place meet the legislative requirements of Bill 68, Council is seeking to establish additional policies to further increase tree preservation and canopy enhancement in the Town.

In July of 2019, the Town hosted a Public Meeting to obtain public feedback on proposed revisions to the Municipal Tree Preservation By-law 2010-68, as is currently in force and effect, in order to extend interim protections on tree cutting on select private properties within the community. Comments received at the Public Meeting were generally supportive of the proposed revisions. However, as a result of additional comments received prior to the proposed revised by-law being considered by the Committee of the Whole, a Public Open House was scheduled to take place in the spring of 2020 to receive further feedback from the public. This Public Open House was cancelled due to COVID-19 in March 2020.

The Tree By-law Update project is now restarting and the Town and the County of Grey are now seeking further feedback and comment from the community regarding the direction and scope of tree protection policies in the Town. 

The project's community engagement will focus on whether or not the Town should take a more active role in the protection of a wider range of trees within the municipality, potentially including those located on privately owned properties. Input and comments received from the public will help to guide the scope and direction of any future policies and/or by-law updates regarding tree preservation in the Town.

For more information, please contact:

Travis Sandberg
519-599-3131 ext. 283

The video message linked below was provided by Mayor Alar Soever as an update related to COVID-19.

Direct video link: https://youtu.be/NoTNoS-r4Gg

The video message linked below was provided by Mayor Alar Soever as an update related to COVID-19.

Direct video link: https://youtu.be/ESEyRwDUVqQ

The Town of The Blue Mountains would like to remind residents that single-use face masks and face coverings do not belong in the blue or grey bins for recycling and should always be placed in your garbage.

Over the past month, the Town has been advised by Miller Waste, the contractor responsible for garbage and recycling collection within the Town, that there has been a significant increase in single-use face masks/coverings in recycling bins and containers. Used face masks/coverings present a health and safety risk to the waste collection department when items are being sorted at the Waste Facility. As such, blue bins or grey bins containing face masks or face coverings will not be picked up.

It is also important to ensure that face masks/coverings are properly disposed of to further reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the community.

How should you properly dispose of face masks or face coverings?

  • Face masks and face coverings (single-use or reusable) always go into the garbage. To take precaution, throw your used face masks/coverings into a wastebasket that is lined with a plastic bag;
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds after throwing the items away, as well as after emptying your wastebasket;
  • Ensure plastic bags are tied tightly and put it out for collection with your regular garbage.

For more information on curbside collection, please visit: https://www.thebluemountains.ca/solid-waste.cfm

For more information, please contact:

Operations Department
Phone: 519-599-3131 x 276

Public Notices

Visit our Public Notices page for an up to date list of Town public notices and  public information centres.