Skip to content

TBM begins to make plans for long-term COVID-19 recovery

The TBM council has launched a task force that will help chart the community’s path forward in a post-COVID-19 world
The Blue Mountains town hall. Jennifer Golletz/CollingwoodToday

The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) has established a COVID-19 task force to help chart the town’s path forward once COVID-19 quarantine measures are lifted.

“We have our emergency control group, which deals with the day-to-day stuff but to receive input from the community and suggestions as to how we might mitigate some of these effects, I thought it was a good idea,” said mayor of TBM, Alar Soever. “Many other communities are doing this as well, to set up a task force and gather insight into the impacts and how this might be best dealt with.”

At a virtual TBM town council meeting held on March 30, town council directed staff to begin outlining the final terms of reference for the task force, which will detail the appropriate composition of the group, stakeholder membership, task force responsibilities and level of decision making authority.

“What is going to happen is our town and our residents are going to need help and I don’t think that is a surprise to anyone,” said Peter Bordignon, town councillor. “The provincial and federal governments have talked in millions and billions of dollars to help Canadian and Ontarians, and now it is our responsibility to our residents and businesses to help them get through this time.”

The terms of reference will be developed with input from the mayor, finance chair, economic development chair, CAO, director of finance, IT, communications and economic development.

“This would allow us to take a look from a community standpoint at what next steps and how we can successfully move beyond this Coronavirus,” said Shawn Everitt, CAO for TBM.

The task force will look to outline both immediate and long-term recovery strategies for both local businesses and residents.

“The sooner we can get this going, the better,” said Rob Sampson, councillor with TBM. "I think that everyone is looking for the light at the end of the tunnel on this. Tourism has literally shut down. A reboot and restart is going to be required very quickly to get the local economy going.”

Soever says the task force will be expected to ensure that all areas of the town that are affected by COVID-19 become engaged in the recovery plan.

“We are going to be reaching out to business leaders and members of the community to join the task force over the next week and we will get it up and running,” Soever said. “Once it becomes clear what these other programs from the federal government and the province are going to do, then we will be in a better position to know where we can help out.”

Town staff will be working over the next few weeks to develop the final terms of reference, and to engage additional members from the business community and charitable community groups.

“I think it's important that we tap into these organizations,” Soever said. “They are out in the community, they know what is going on. They know where the needs are and it is important that we hear that so we can best design how to help.”

The final terms of reference will be presented to council at an upcoming committee of the whole meeting.

Reader Feedback

Jennifer Golletz

About the Author: Jennifer Golletz

Jennifer Golletz covers civic matters under the Local Journalism Initative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more