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‘We must use common sense’: Vaughan to open splash pads on Friday

The city made its ‘disciplined, measured’ decision after checking its own risk model
June 26, 2020
Dina Al-Shibeeb 

The City of Vaughan announced on June 24 that splash pads and public washrooms in parks are set to open on Friday, June 26.

Citing a risk model developed by the city, Vaughan dubbed its latest announcement part of its continuous “disciplined, responsible and measured approach” when it comes to decision-making.

The city said splash pads are “not supervised and require everyone to take precautions --maintain physical distancing and ensure hands are sanitized before and after use.”

It added that “sports fields and baseball diamonds are open for passive uses only --such as kicking a ball with friends (within provincial limits for gatherings).” However, “outdoor field permits for training purposes will be required as of Monday, July 6.”

“Today, we are announcing that starting Friday, June 26, we will reopen splash pads in Vaughan,” Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua said.

“I know that many of our citizens have been waiting patiently for this news, especially as we continue to experience higher temperatures,” he added. “This latest action is in line with the city’s risk model, which is informed by Vaughan-specific data to help determine what facilities should remain closed and when they should reopen --with public safety guiding all our decision-making.”

Mayor: ‘We must use our common sense’

The mayor expressed his optimism over the decline of COVID-19 cases in Vaughan and York Region, but also reminded residents to continue to take all precautions and follow public health advice by practising physical distancing, wearing a face covering, washing their hands frequently and thoroughly and avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth.

“We must use our common sense and intelligence and continue making wise choices to eradicate COVID-19.”

Despite its “healthy” fiscal policy, especially in comparison to other municipalities, Vaughan is also en route on charting its own economic recovery plan following the COVID-19-incurred losses of businesses, especially small ones.

After informing the Vaughan Citizen that the city would like an injection of $45 million from both the provincial and federal governments, Bevilacqua chaired the first meeting of the newly established Ready, Resilient and Resourceful (RRR) Committee of council on June 23.

“The RRR Committee will work closely with members of our administration to identify immediate and long-term impacts of this global pandemic on city business, and plan for our continued success,” the mayor said. “We will continue to ensure the safety of our staff while protecting public interest, responsibly manage taxpayers’ dollars and safeguard investments.”

The RRR committee was unanimously endorsed by the council members' resolution during its meeting on May 27 to continue action on city-building as COVID-19 persists.

“The City of Vaughan has proactively introduced a series of measures to provide relief and support to citizens and business owners,” the mayor said.

“We were one of the first municipalities to close all parks and enact several bylaws geared at safeguarding the physical health and financial well-being of our community. We have launched several initiatives to support local businesses, including the Vaughan Business Action Plan, #ShopVaughanLocal campaign and the new website.”