MAYOR & COUNCIL UPDATE

MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR & COUNCIL

COVID – 19

Tuesday March 24, 2020

 

Dear residents, visitors, and business owners. I know many residents are concerned, as are we [Council], about the health and safety of everyone in our town as we face this rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak. As announced by the Territorial Government, there are now two (2) confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Whitehorse. At this time, we do not have any confirmed cases in Faro. We will do everything we can to increase our level of preparedness to support the community.  

 

We strongly urge everyone to remain calm during this outbreak. We also strongly recommend all members of the community follow the guidance, direction, and orders of the Territorial Chief Medical Officer of Health.

 

STEPS TAKEN THUS FAR

 

Over the past few weeks, the COVID-19 outbreak has greatly accelerated. Due to this acceleration, we have taken several steps to help us better organize the community’s response to this pandemic. Some of the steps taken so far include:

 1.      Striking the Emergency Measures Commission on March 17, 2020. This commission is a multi-disciplinary committee that includes representation from the Faro Health Centre, Faro Mine Complex, RCMP, EMS, Fire Department, Del Van Gorder School, the Faro Airport, Town Administration, and Mayor and Council. This commission is tasked with, among many things, actively monitoring developments of this outbreak, reviewing the Town’s Emergency Plan documents, and providing guidance to Mayor and Council in the form of recommendations for responding to this situation.

 2.      On Thursday March 19, 2020, the Emergency Measures Commission met and discussed or reviewed several topic areas including the Town’s 2011 Emergency Measures Plan, the Civil Emergency Measures Act, service alterations for the Town of Faro and entities represented at the table, initial framework for triaging complaints and media requests, and began brainstorming various scenarios that the Emergency Measures Commission may be expected to respond to in Faro.  

 3.      On a daily basis, Town officials including Mayor and Council participate in a regularly scheduled conference call with experts including officials from the Ministry of Community Services, the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Yukon’s Emergency Measures Organization. There, we receive the most recent updates from the territory on developments of this virus not just within the territory but across the country as well.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT

 The Emergency Measures Commission will meet every Tuesday at 1:00pm or on an ad-hoc basis to review developments nationally, territorially, and locally. At the next Regular Council Meeting, Mayor and Council will work to pass the budget urgently which will include setting aside some funds for emergency situations.

 The Town will continue to research and explore available legislative tools to help the community prepare including the potential of declaring a Municipal State of Emergency. However, before any such action is taken, we must fullyunderstand what such a declaration will mean for our Town and the surrounding areas. More will be announced in the near future.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

 The Chief Medical Officer of Health has declared a Public Health Emergency. This is not a State of Emergency. All updates from the Chief Medical Officer of Health can be found online at https://yukon.ca/en/updates.

 With this declaration, new measures are being ordered including:

-          Self Isolation:

o   All Yukoners returning home and all visitors must self-isolate for 14 days.

 -         Restaurants and Bars:

o   All restaurants must reduce their seating capacity to 50% with spacing of 2 metres apart.

o   Prepare to offer take-out and delivery service only as of opening on March 26.

o   All bars must be closed.

 

ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS – PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES

 It is our expectation that new measures will be announced soon on what enforcement of public health orders may look like in Yukon. Please note, these decisions are not made lightly and are often made when there is pervasive non-compliance of orders.

 ESSENTIAL SERVICES

 It is imperative that as an organization, the Town continues to offer our most essential services including the delivery of utilities such as water, sewer, and waste collection. At present, the services of the Public Works Department have been identified as an essential service which means every effort will be made to ensure continuity of service. 

 OPERATIONAL UPDATES

The Town has been working hard to put into place mechanisms to ensure the continued provision of emergency services. With the closure of some facilities, staff will be reassigned to other areas as much as possible.

1.       Administrative Office, Programs & Services

 a.      Until further notice, the Town Office will be closed to the public. During this time, no in-person administrative support will be available to the public. Residents requiring services are encouraged to contact the office via email to arrange for support.

 i.     Finance Request – finance@faroyukon.ca

 

                                                            ii.      Administrative Request – admin-faro@faroyukon.ca

 

                                                           iii.      CAO Support – cao-faro@faroyukon.ca

 

b.       If you require support and do not have access to a computer with internet, please call:

 

                                                             i.      OFFICE – 1-867-994-2728

 

                                                           ii.      PUBLIC WORKS – 1-867-994-2758

 

                                                         iii.      AMBULANCE – 1-867-994-4444 (OR 911)

 

                                                          iv.      FIRE DEPT. – 1-867-994-2222

 

                                                            v.      RCMP – 1-867-994-5555 (OR 911)

 

2.       Recreation and Arena Centre

 

a.       Until further notice, the Recreation and Arena Centre will be closed. All programs scheduled will either be temporarily postponed and rescheduled or cancelled.

 

b.       THE SHEEP & CRANE EVENT IS NOW CANCELLED.

 

3.       Public Works Operations

 

a.       Public Works Operations including the Solid Waste Facility (Landfill) will continue to operate as normal at this time. The Town will re-evaluate the situation and provide further updates as is necessary.

 

4.       Mayor and Council Operations

 

a.       The Regular Council Meetings scheduled for April 7 and 21 will continue as planned at this time. This is subject to change with little to no notice. However, the administration is currently researching ways to make Council meetings accessible through electronic means.

COMMUNICATIONS

 

On behalf of Council, I would like to acknowledge and apologize for the slow pace of communication originating from the Town of Faro. We have not achieved a reasonable standard for communicating with our community members and for that, I wish to extend a profound apology. We are working to do better.

 

This outbreak has highlighted several gaps in our capacity and operational infrastructure and over the coming weeks, we will be working to address those gaps so that we can continue to support our community.

 

All updates from the municipality will be posted to our website http://faro.ca/and across municipal owned or operated social media platforms. Please visit our website for all the latest updates from the Town.  We will also post updates at the Post Office, Discovery Store, VanGorder Fuels and the bank for those who do not have computers.

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING?

 

1.       Assess yourself:

a.       The Yukon Government has a self-assessment tool which will help you identify your level of risk or exposure to the virus. Please visit https://service.yukon.ca/en/covid-19-self-assessment/for the self assessment tool. If you have symptoms of flu, please isolate yourself and contact 811 or 911 depending on the severity of your symptoms.

 

2.       Staying Informed:

a.       Do NOT panic! It is understandable if you are concerned. Every member of the community is advised to keep abreast of the facts as they evolve. Some important information can be found at: https://yukon.ca/, https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html, or https://www.who.int/. Please refrain from making decisions based purely on emotions (fear), rumours, or unverified information.

 

3.       Plan and prepare your own emergency kits

 

a.       Every member of the community is advised to check your level of preparedness for if or when the Town of Faro faces the COVID-19. Some things to consider include food supply, medication supply, batteries, and other supplies to ensure your comfort for a period of 2 weeks at a time.

 

b.      Please do not forget to think of your neighbour and fellow community members. Members of the community are encouraged to purchase only what they need at this time. Do not hoard supplies.

 

4.       If you do not have a computer or the ability to acquire the items you need to sustain yourself please contact the Health Care Center who will assist you with information on how to get food or other items you need.

 

 

I would like to thank everyone for the continued understanding and support as we do our best to support the community. I would also like to specifically recognize the hard work and dedication of our amazing staff. You are often our unsung heroes, for without you, it would be impossible to continue supporting our community.

 

This is the time when we must stand united and support each other. We are in this together and we will pull through. Please take care and stay tuned.

 

Len Faber
Mayor

 

Members of Council (alphabetical by first name)

Cheryl Stubbs, Councillor

Lisa Snyder, Deputy Mayor

Pat McCracken, Councillor

Tina Freake, Councillor