Main Street goes to Bay Street: Municipal governments exercise new investment powers

ONE Prudent Investor Media Release

Toronto, ON – A group of six Ontario municipalities are among the first to head to Bay Street to exercise new investment powers.

The City of Kenora, District Municipality of Muskoka and Towns of Bracebridge, Huntsville, Innisfil, and Whitby have come together to jointly invest under the Prudent Investor Standard with ONE Investment. By-laws approving investment under the new standard have just come into effect, helping municipalities to diversify their investments and improve returns.

Under Prudent Investor, municipal governments may invest in any product that is prudent for their situation, similar to pension plans and trusts. Previously, municipalities could only invest in a list approved by the Province. Securities were limited to Canadian firms, which make up only 3% of worldwide securities.

ONE Investment is a not-for-profit investment service for municipalities and the public sector. It has been serving municipalities for more than 25 years and currently manages about $2 billion in municipal investments.

“Every dollar a municipality earns through investing is one less dollar it has to collect from taxpayers. That’s more important now than ever,” said Ken Nix, Chair of ONE Investment and Whitby’s Commissioner of Corporate Services/Treasurer.

Under provincial rules for Prudent Investor, an independent Investment Board must manage investments on behalf of the municipality. ONE has created a Joint Investment Board with the six founding municipalities. It is the first of its kind in Ontario.

“ONE caters to municipalities and they understand our world. But they also have the expertise to support us through the complexity of investing and all the regulations,” said City of Kenora Treasurer Charlotte Edie. “While we could have gone it alone, we liked the idea of working with other municipalities. Plus, it’s a great value because the investment fees are shared.”

“Municipalities don’t have to navigate markets alone,” said Judy Dezell, ONE Investment Co-President/CEO. “The investment advisory team helps with investment planning and policies, while the Joint Investment Board provides hands-on expert management.”

The ONE Joint Investment Board is made up of two municipal treasurers and six professionals with a mix of experience in the municipal sector and the investment industry, including global markets and pensions.

“Having professional advice and flexibility are particularly important right now as markets fluctuate in response to COVID-19’s economic impact,” added Donna Herridge, ONE Investment Co-President/CEO and Executive Director of the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association (MFOA). “Municipalities are investing for the long-term. With professional support, they can manage current market conditions to meet future goals.”

“As a joint investment board, we provide every participating municipality with its own tailor-made investment plan,” said Bill Hughes, Chair of the ONE Joint Investment Board. “It’s our job to make wise and prudent investment decisions to meet each municipality’s goals.”

About ONE

ONE Investment combines municipal investments to achieve economies of scale for lower fees and better returns. It is a not-for-profit formed by the municipal sector, including the Local Authority Services (LAS) and CHUMS. LAS is the business services arm of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). CHUMS is a subsidiary of MFOA.

ONE has a proven track record of providing competitive returns through products that comply with provincial regulations. The Prudent Investor Standard is now another choice for municipalities to achieve their goals. ONE Investment continues to operate funds under the legal list as well.

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For more information, please contact:

Farah Tayabali

Email : tayabali@redbrick.ca

Tel : 416-570-8413

 

New Canoe Routes Published for Lake of the Woods Region

City of Kenora Media Release

In partnership with Destination Northern Ontario, the City of Kenora and the Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls are excited to launch four new canoe route publications, in addition to the two canoe routes already mapped out. The canoe routes focus on experiencing our shared body of water, Lake of the Woods, as well as many other interesting lakes and rivers in and around our communities.

Canoe routes are a top request at Visitor Centers in both communities. These publications will provide resources and support for all paddlers, and encourage new paddlers to explore our lakes and rivers. To help paddlers plan an exciting and safe adventure, the publications show the access points, possible campsites, difficulty level, and the estimated duration of each route. Purchasing detailed maps and, if necessary, guiding services are recommended to complement these guidelines when planning a canoe trip.

“We were pleased to partner with the City of Kenora and Destination Northern Ontario on this project. We recognize the importance of expanding opportunities for visitors to the region. With Lake of the Woods as a shared Tourism asset for both communities, it is great to work collaboratively to develop opportunities for visitors to explore it further,” says Norbert Dufresne, Mayor of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls.

“We receive numerous requests at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre for canoe routes. So we were excited at the opportunity to partner with Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls and Destination Northern Ontario to develop 4 new routes to accompany the 2 current routes that will help us promote Kenora and the Lake of the Woods region,” says Josh Nelson, Tourism and Recreation Division Lead for the City of Kenora.

“Nature and adventure tourism products, including paddling experiences, are key elements in the overall offerings that Northern Ontario can provide for its visitors. With an ever-growing importance on the domestic market, we know that soft outdoor experiences are great products for Ontarians and Manitobans alike. We will continue our work on product development in the paddling sector and in Northwestern Ontario to support the dynamic tourism industry in the region,” says Marty Kalagain, President of Destination Northern Ontario.

Paddlers have the opportunity to choose a canoe trip on routes through Dogtooth Lake, Ena Lake, Kakagi Lake, Kenora to Minaki, Lake of the Woods and Stewart Lake.

Find all six canoe route publications on Kenora.ca/paddle sports and Snnf.ca/canoe-routes.

Print copies are available at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre in Kenora and Northern Ontario Sport Fishing Centre in Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls.

We are also sharing with paddle organizations in Manitoba and across Northwestern Ontario.

Summer Company Businesses Launched in the Kenora Rainy-River District!

Northwest Business Centre Media Release

Securing a summer job has taken on a whole new meaning for two students in the Kenora Rainy-River District as they will each be starting and running their own business as participants in the government of Ontario’s Summer Company program, offered through the Northwest Business Centre. These two entrepreneurs – Cassandra Jolicoeur and Will Richardson – have turned their ideas and passions into businesses that they have spent the last two months planning.

Kenora’s Will Richardson is operating Wheelie Good Tune-Ups and offers bike tune-ups and tire repairs, starting at $15. Will is also offering contactless drop-off and pick up through a nifty bike stand! You can phone, text (807-464-6597) or send a Facebook message for information and to book a service (https://www.facebook.com/wheeliegoodbiketuneups/)!

Cassandra Jolicoeur is a Dryden local who is busy with residential and commercial lawn care needs! Her business is called Jolicoeur Lawn Care and you can message Cassandra through her Facebook business page to set up a free consultation appointment – but better be quick, her summer schedule is filling up fast! Call 807-216-8512 or check out her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jolicoeurlawncare/.

The Northwest Business Centre provides business counselling and training to all of our Summer Company participants, and we have paired each student with a mentor in the community for additional support and business advice.

Summer Company is a program of the Government of Ontario that helps young people between the ages of 15 and 29 years old start and run their own summer business by providing funding, advice, and services. Students accepted into the program receive an award of up to $3,000, hands-on coaching and mentoring from business leaders in their community. For more information contact the Northwest Business Centre or review the guidelines on the Summer Company website.

For further information on this program and/or the 2020 Summer Company Entrepreneurs contact:
Allyson Pele
Manager, Northwest Business Centre
Phone: 807-456-3682
Email: allyson@nwbiz.ca

 

City Plans Reopening of Municipal Facilities and Services

City of Kenora Media Release

The City of Kenora is gradually reopening municipal facilities and services through a measured path of recovery to keep our residents and employees safe. As we enter Stage 2 with guidance and directives from the Province of Ontario and medical experts, the recovery plan focuses on ensuring the appropriate measures are in place to reopen safely and avoid transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

The following provides a framework for our plans to reopen facilities and services:

Canada Day Festivities
The 2020 Canada Day festivities have been cancelled. The extension of the state of emergency until June 29th creates a situation where timelines would be too short to attempt to have a robust day of programming. Fortunately, Canada Day falls on a Wednesday this year. Tourism Kenora is planning to move the fireworks to the August long weekend, dependent on the current state of the pandemic. Staff are working with other groups/committees in an effort to secure a strong fireworks display and celebrate not only Canada but our Province and community as a whole.

Beaches
Beaches were reopened on Friday, June 12th and we encourage the public to practice social distancing and safety measures at our local beaches and adhere to keeping each other safe and do your part while visiting our beaches.

Outdoor public washrooms that opened on Friday, June 12th include:
Keewatin Beach
Portage Bay
Beatty Park
Norman Beach
Millennium Ball Park (A&W ballpark)
Jaffray Melick Ball Park
Garrow Beach
McLeod Park
Coney Island

Central Ball park washrooms will not be opening due to the Park Street construction.
There is currently twice daily cleaning of the washrooms. Each washroom is well signed that identifies that patrons should exercise precautions and ensure proper hand washing and using hand sanitizer as the washrooms are not cleaned throughout the day.

Day Camp – Kenora Recreational Centre
The Awesome Adventures Day Camp will resume on July 6th. Staff have worked diligently to ensure that all recommended practices for safety of the children and staff are being adhered to during this camp. While things will look differently than in previous years, the children are sure to still have a great experience!

Outdoor Swimming Lessons
UPDATED In consultation with the Lifesaving Society and considering the required COVID-19 restrictions that need to be put in place, we have made the decision to cancel outdoor lessons this summer.

Recreation Centre Fitness Centre
Plans are being made to operate the Fitness Centre with a limited number of visitors during set timeframes. Cleaning protocols and staffing requirements to adhere to cleaning protocols, capacity restrictions and physical distancing are under review. The Fitness Centre will not reopen until the Province moves to Phase 3 for re-openings.

Kenora Recreation Centre Pool
The pool is currently scheduled to reopen in September which is in-line with normal summer maintenance and opening calendars.

Walking Track and Other Programming
The Kenora Recreation Centre programming including fitness classes will follow provincial easing of restrictions. The walking track will reopen on June 22 with social distancing, ongoing cleaning measures and restricted numbers for use.

Matiowski Farmers’ Market
July 8th will be the first Farmers’ Market for the season which will feature only food vendors to start. As the Province continues to look at other restrictions changing, this could also change at some point. There will be limited numbers permitted at the market at one time and social distancing required along with other restrictions as directed.

White Cap Rentals
The majority of events and bookings that were scheduled for 2020 under the Whitecap have been cancelled. As the Province moves through the various stages of recovery and re-openings, rentals may be possible for various events.

Discovery Centre
The Discovery Centre reopened on Monday, June 15th. Appropriate social distancing is required when visiting the centre and safety precautions are in place for staff and the public.

Summer Ice – Keewatin Arena
Summer ice has been cancelled for 2020 and staff are developing a plan for when ice will be installed this fall.

Splash Pad
The Splash pad opened for the season on June 19th. The operating hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. There has been a number of actions taken in an effort to reduce water consumption and associated operating costs this year. The public are encouraged to respect the social distancing rules and other health and safety guidelines for attending the park.

Museum & Art Centre
The Museum and Art Centre reopened on Thursday, June 18th. Persons shall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from each other at all times by: timed entry, a limited number of visitors allowed in a place at one time which is managed by visitor flow (for example, one-way flow).

Libraries
The libraries are offering curbside service at this time. Once a reopening date is established under Phase 3, the Library will operate in accordance with public health guidelines on physical distancing, capacity and hygiene procedures (e.g., disinfecting returns and high-touch areas like computers).

Household Hazardous Waste Days
This service will resume on Thursday, July 23rd, every Thursday until October 15th.

City Hall and Operations Facility
City Hall and the Operations Facility located on Barsky’s Hill will reopen to the public on Tuesday, August 4th. Should the public require assistance with accessing either facility during this time, you are encouraged to reach out to a staff person in the department you wish to access and arrange an appointment to meet your needs.

The reopening dates and services outlined are tentative based on the current situation and Provincial government guidelines. The recovery plan is meant to be fluid and react to announcements from the Provincial and/or Federal governments.

The health and safety of all our staff, residents and visitors are our top priority. We are striving to put measures in place that allow us to move forward and not only recover from this pandemic, but ensure we learn from this experience and simply do better. Better safety protocols, better personal awareness and better choices to protect ourselves and those around us.

Read the full Reopening Framework strategy on www.Kenora.ca/COVID-19 Updates

City Moves to Expand Outdoor Commercial Patios

City of Kenora Media Release

Today, Council approved changes to the Commercial Patio Policy to support the reopening of local restaurants and as a part of the City’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

Restaurants have the opportunity to develop temporary outdoor patios on municipal property. From June until October 15, sidewalks and parking spaces can be created into innovative, stimulating, and accessible outdoor patios for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The changes are beneficial for those businesses that currently do not have space to offer outdoor seating and for existing patios to expand. The approved changes include:

• use of municipal parking spaces to a maximum of four spots
• waiving of application fees
• flexibility on insurance provisions

To further support this initiative, the Lake of the Woods Development Commission is delivering a grant program for outdoor commercial patios funded by the Municipal Accommodation Tax. Applicants can receive 50 percent of the costs to a maximum of $2,000 for the development of new patios or expansions of existing patios on municipal property. The program supports costs such as materials, labour, furniture, flowers, lighting, signage, and other costs approved at the discretion of City of Kenora staff.

In accordance with new safety protocols, outdoor patios offer benefits to both the business operator and the customer. An outdoor patio expands the seating capacity of the restaurant creating greater revenue potential. The added space allows for proper social distancing so customers can feel safe while enjoying a meal or beverage.

It is important to note that to date restaurants and bars can serve customers by curbside pickup or takeout and patio service only as permitted by the Ontario government but this could change at any time.

“We are hoping that these changes will support restaurants within the community as they work to re-open,” says Megan Dokuchie, Economic Development Officer. “We want to see patios open to bring energy and busyness to the Harbourtown Centre and beyond downtown once again.”

“Both the expanded patio policy and the grant program are important tools in the recovery and rebuilding of our local economy.” says Mayor Reynard. “We are all looking forward to enjoying a meal or beverage on a patio at a local restaurant and knowing it is helping our local businesses makes it so much more meaningful. I encourage everyone to go out and support our local restaurants.”

The amended policy supports work that has been undertaken by the Kenora Business Partners – a group of six organizations including the City of Kenora, Northwest Business Centre, Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation, Harbourtown BIZ, Kenora and District Chamber of Commerce and Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre – to assist the business community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Any business that is interested in learning more about the opportunity to develop an outdoor commercial patio is encouraged to contact the Development Services Department at 807-467-2127 or by emailing mdokuchie@kenora.ca

There will also be a virtual information session hosted on Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 9:00 am. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the process from City of Kenora staff as well as hear from Red Lion Smokehouse in Thunder Bay on their experience in building a temporary pop-up patio. For more information and to register, please see https://kenorapatiopolicy.eventbrite.ca/

Tourism Kenora Explores Modified Matiowski Farmers’ Market Model for 2020

City of Kenora Media Release

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Matiowski Farmers’ Market will look a little different for 2020. Tourism Kenora has been in discussion with the local Northwestern Health Unit to explore a new market model and to plan for safe practices for the operation of the market.

The new market model will allow regional area food vendors to sell to the community this summer. We will host food vendors, with no merchandise or craft vendors, as recommended by provincial guidelines outlined by the Ontario government and Farmers’ Markets Ontario.

We have been working closely with the Northwestern Health Unit on health and safety measures for the operation of the market including vendor permits and procedures, traffic flow, capacity, physical distancing practices and other regulations that have been created by the Ontario government and Farmers’ Market Ontario. We will be undertaking the recommended measures to ensure the safety of both our patrons and vendors.

As in previous years, this proposed model for the Matiowski Farmers’ Market will be held under the Whitecap Pavilion with physical distancing guidelines in place; the health and safety of our community members is a priority.

The Matiowski Farmers’ Market proposed start date is July 8, 2020.

Please follow Tourism Kenora’s social media for updates on the practices and procedures you must follow when attending the market this season.

Helena Devins
Tourism Kenora
Matiowski Farmers’ Market Coordinator
tourism@kenora.ca 
807-467-4637

Matiowski Farmers’ Market logo

Urban Deer Management Prevention and Personal Protection

City of Kenora Media Release June 3, 2020

This time of year the urban deer population grows as fawns are born on municipal property and in your yard. The City of Kenora reminds you to be aware of what you can do to prevent unpleasant experiences with deer and how we can work together to manage the deer population.

All wild animals, including deer, can present a danger to people. We are also seen as a danger to them especially in the spring when female deer or does are protective of their fawns, and when male deer or bucks are aggressive in fall mating season. It is best that you avoid deer during these periods and always give them plenty of space.

You may have an unpleasant or frightening experience while walking your dog. Both does and bucks see your dog as a potential predator and may try to stomp or gore them if provoked. If you come across the path of deer, you should:

  • Ensure your pet is under tight control and leashed
  • Give the deer space to move
  • Choose another path to walk around or away
  • Stay away from areas where deer are known to be

Together we can influence the population of urban deer. It is your responsibility not to feed the deer. It’s simple. Feeding deer encourages them to see your yard as a food source. It also brings them into dangerous places near streets and roads increasing the risk of collisions with vehicles. If the deer rely on the food inside the City, they won’t leave to forage naturally in the woods.

Enforcing the Prohibit Feeding Wildlife By-law is one way we can control the deer population. You cannot intentionally feed or make food available to wild animals, including deer, on any property in the City of Kenora. Any food that is purposely left for feeding deer may result in a penalty up to $300.

The fall archery hunt is another tool the City has in place to manage the urban deer population.  Hunters are able to harvest a deer south of the by-pass in bow hunting season under specific conditions.  If you are interested in participating in this hunt, details are posted on Kenora.ca / Deer Management Information.

By-law enforcement officers and City staff do not handle wildlife complaints; however they are willing to educate you on the terms of the two by-laws if needed.

If you feel in danger of an aggressive wild animal, call 911 or the OPP immediately.

Safe Storage and Use of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer, Controlling Flammable Vapours and Fire Risk

City of Kenora Media Release

Although using hand sanitizer is a good way to clean your hands to slow the spread of COVID-19, Kenora Fire and Emergency Services reminds you to be aware of proper storage and safe use of these flammable products. It is important that you read and follow directions and warnings on hand sanitizer product labels.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is flammable and may give off flammable vapours, which could ignite if exposed to open flame or an ignition source.

When using hand sanitizer, follow these safe use and storage tips:

• Keep containers in an upright position and properly sealed to avoid leakage;
• Containers should not be left in direct sunlight to avoid spillage or leakage from pressurization of the container;
• Keep away from open flames and sources of heat;
• Be especially careful if attempting to smoke, light candles, or use a gas stove immediately after applying hand sanitizer;
• When using hand sanitizer, hands should be rubbed together until they are completely dry; and
• Always read product labels carefully and follow the warnings and directions of use.

While reports have surfaced about hand sanitizer catching fire or spontaneously combusting from being kept in a hot vehicle, this is not accurate. The Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advise that the rate of vapour leakage from a personal container of hand sanitizer left in a hot vehicle does not result in enough vapours to cause concerns.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there about hand sanitizer self-combusting which is not true. However, it is very flammable and care must be taken when around open flame or other ignition sources,” says Fire Chief Todd Skene.

Please continue to stay home, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, keep a physical distance of 2 metres from others, and most of all be fire safe always.

For more information, please contact Fire Station One at 807-467-2090.

City Reopens Select Outdoor Recreation Amenities

City of Kenora Media Release

The City of Kenora remains diligent in monitoring the COVID-19 situation. We continue to evaluate and follow all public health agency communications, as well as communications from Federal and Provincial Government health authorities. The health and well-being of our residents is of great importance.

The City has reviewed the amended Provincial Emergency Order of May 19, 2020 about re-opening outdoor recreational amenities with specific restrictions. Based on this information, the City has reopened the following:

• Benches and picnic tables in all areas;
• The skate park, basketball courts, tennis and pickle ball courts; and
• All municipal ball diamonds; however, organized baseball is still not permitted for groups larger than five (5) people. Dugouts will remain closed.

While using these outdoor recreational amenities, you must maintain physical distancing of at least two (2) metres from any other person, unless you are from the same household. Washroom facilities at some outdoor facilities will begin to be opened May 25th, and we encourage you to ensure you carry hand sanitizer.

Playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, the Splash Park, and beaches remain closed until further notice.

You are strongly urged to visit the City of Kenora website and Facebook page to read the posted guidelines and best practices for each recreation area.

Stace Gander
Community Services Manager
807-467-4655
sgander@kenora.ca

Victoria Day Weekend Fire Safety

Media Release

UPDATE: City Wide Fire Ban Lifted May 15, 2020

As we approach Victoria Day holiday weekend, Kenora Fire and Emergency Services reminds residents that the Kenora region remains in a Restricted Fire Zone and our focus needs to be on fire safety.

While the Restricted Fire Zone is in place, there can be no outdoor burning of any kind, including fireworks. You can use a gas or fuel (propane) stove or BBQ for cooking or warmth as long as you are away from flammable material.

You must use extreme caution at all times. The Province of Ontario recommends to:

• be careful with anything that could start a fire;
• watch your propane or gas equipment carefully;
• smoke only when you are stationary, never while walking or working in the bush;
• make sure all matches or cigarettes are out before disposing of them.

“We are urging you to be fire safe in all activities you are planning for the first long weekend of the summer,” says Fire Chief Todd Skene. “With everyone practicing fire safety, we hope this will relieve excess pressure on emergency response services to answer calls to unintentionally set fires and other emergencies.”

You are encouraged to find fire safe creative ways to celebrate the unofficial start to the summer season. This may include watching fireworks videos, hanging LED lights, or purchasing glow sticks. Please continue to stay home, wash your hands often, and keep a physical distance of 2 metres from others.

For more information, please contact Fire Station One at 807-467-2090.

Fire Fatalities Across the Province Are Up Since Last Year

Keep Fire Safety Top of Mind

Since January 1, fire fatalities across Ontario increased by 65% compared to the same time last year, with 17 Ontarians dying in fires in March alone. City of Kenora Fire Chief Todd Skene wants to remind everyone how important it is to keep fire safety top of mind.

“I urge you to be vigilant in preventing fires in your home, especially now with so many people at home practicing physical distancing because of COVID-19,” said Fire Chief Skene. “It’s just as important that you test your smoke alarms and practice your home fire escape plan.”

Between January 1 and May 4, 2019, there were 31 fire fatalities in Ontario. Over that same period this year, there have been 51 fire fatalities.

“Only you can make sure these types of tragedies do not happen in Kenora,” continued Fire Chief Skene. “You need to do everything you can to prevent a fire in your home.” There are simple things that you can do to prevent a fire from happening in your home and ensure that everyone knows what to do if a fire starts.

How to protect yourself and your loved ones

Reduce fire risks in your home:
• Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires.
• Keep a close eye on anyone drinking alcohol and attempting to cook or smoke.
• Encourage smokers to smoke outside the home and outside the garage. Thoroughly extinguish all smoking materials in water or sand.
• Always blow out candles before leaving the room.
• Avoid overloading electrical outlets. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection. Avoid running electrical cords under rugs, which can damage the cords and cause a fire.
• Ensure items that can burn are at least one metre away from space heaters.
• Do not attempt to sterilize or decontaminate face masks for re-use by heating them in a microwave oven. Various fabric or metal components can overheat or create sparks and cause a fire if heated in a microwave.

Make sure your alarms work:
• Test smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Only working smoke alarms can give you the early warning you need to safely escape a fire in your home.

Practice your home fire escape plan:
• Ensure everyone knows two ways out of each room, if possible.
• All exits must be unobstructed and easy to use.
• Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape.
• Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.
• Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.
• Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.
• If you live in an apartment or high-rise building talk to the building superintendent to learn about the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan.

For more information or assistance with fire safety, please contact Fire Station One at 807-467-2090.

City Moves to Temporary Layoffs

City of Kenora Media Release April 21, 2020

Today, Mayor Daniel Reynard announced that the City is moving to temporary voluntary layoffs for staff deemed non-essential due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the extension of closures to non-essential business and the need for ongoing compliance and support including our part in protecting the public, the difficult decision needed to be made. Many of the significantly impacted areas are in the Community Services area including Recreation, Pool, and Arenas, Museum and Art Centre, Library and Tourism.

As a Council and Leadership Team, we have tried to balance the support of our employees to the greatest extent while continuing to be responsible to our taxpayers. The affected employees have continued to be paid since the facilities were closed in mid-March and were provided meaningful work within their departments while the closures took place. We had hoped to see a more rapid improvement to the pandemic but when the Emergency orders were extended, we recognized that we would need to move to layoffs of some staff. We have made efforts to find alternative work for those affected but there were some staff that could not be accommodated.

Mayor Reynard stressed that the layoffs are not a reflection of the employees work or their value to the City. This was not an easy decision for the City and not one that was made lightly. We recognize this is a difficult time for many, especially those who are now facing the reality of being temporarily without a job. “Every employee is an integral part of our team and the important services they deliver. We will continue to support our employees through our Employee Assistance Program and our HR Department.” States Mayor Daniel Reynard.

City Administration will continue to closely monitor the Provincial Emergency orders and respond as this pandemic evolves. The most important factor now is we continue to practice social distancing, only go out when absolutely necessary and keep safe distances from others. We are in this to minimize our impacts to our family, friends and coworkers so that we may return to enjoying our community we all love so much.