Operations Staff Shift Changes April 27, 2020

Public Notice

Please be advised that new shifts for the City Operations crews have started this week. This includes both our Roads and Sewer and Water crews. The crews will work seven days a week, from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

You may notice equipment and trucks working in your neighbourhoods into the evenings and through the weekends.

Street sweeping will be done during these new hours rather than early morning. This means crews will have to work around and through traffic. Please be patient when approaching a street sweeper. Please note when ‘No Parking’ signs have been posted in your neighbourhood and obey them, to avoid being towed.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we continue to deliver services and get through these challenging times.


Household Hazardous Waste Depot Opening Postponed

Public Notice

Please be advised the opening of the Household Hazardous Waste Depot has been postponed until further notice to protect City staff and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

You should continue to store your household hazardous items until the depot re-opens. The safest way to dispose of hazardous waste is to use this depot. Do not put these products in the garbage.

We thank you for your understanding as we navigate through this difficult time.

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.

Coney Island Footbridge Removal April 29, 2020

Public Notice

Please be advised the Coney Island footbridge will be removed for the season on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 beginning at 8:00 a.m.

This work depends on weather conditions and weather fluctuations. Should there be unfavourable weather on Wednesday, we will work to remove the footbridge by the end of the week.

Traffic Flow Changes at the Recycle Depot

Public Notice

Please be advised changes have been made at the Transfer Station Recycle Depot to streamline traffic control and ensure physical distancing.

You now access the Recycle Depot through one entry/exit at the south entrance on Mellick Avenue.

There is a three (3) vehicle limit at one time in the area. You must wait for one of the three spaces to open up before approaching any of the bins. Delays and waiting periods can be expected.

You must follow physical distancing instructions to remain two (2) metres or six (6) feet away from others at all times.

Please consider using curbside recycle and waste collection service to eliminate going out to the Transfer Station.

We thank you for your continued cooperation as we continue to make changes to protect the public.

Kenora Fire Reminds Everyone to be Fire Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic

City of Kenora Media Release

Kenora Fire and Emergency Services is urging everyone not to forget about fire safety as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. As people find themselves spending more time at home for work, self-isolation, or practicing physical distancing, they should remember the importance of preventing home fires.

Along with other essential services, the fire department has had to implement safeguards and physical distancing protocols in the workplace. Residents of the City of Kenora are advised of the following changes to fire department services during the COVID-19 pandemic response:

• To protect first responders and minimize fire risk, a Restricted Fire Zone is in place for all of Ontario;
• A city wide Fire Ban is in affect and all City of Kenora Fire Burning Permits are suspended until further notice;
• There is no public access to all fire buildings;
• Regular fire inspections are not occurring at this time. If you have any fire inspection questions or other fire safety related inquiries please call Fire Station One at 807-467-2090.

Fire Chief Todd Skene is also urging the public to remain vigilant in the ongoing battle to prevent unintentional fires and injuries by practicing fire prevention and fire safety during these extraordinary times. “Regardless of the circumstances, additional time at home with family members provides an excellent opportunity to discuss fire safety and review your home fire escape plan,” said Fire Chief Skene.

Here are some simple things that people can do to protect themselves and their families:
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms using the test button. If the alarm fails to sound, check and replace batteries if necessary. Make sure everyone knows the sound of the alarms.
• Develop or review your home fire escape plan to make sure everyone in the household knows what to do if a fire occurs. Make sure to designate someone to help older adults, children, and anyone else who may need help to escape.
• Use care when using and recharging electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, or mobile devices. Check electrical cords and charge cables to ensure they are in good condition. Don’t overload electrical circuits. Avoid placing electronics on soft surfaces like beds or upholstered furniture when recharging to avoid the risk of overheating.

As Kenora Fire continues to do our their best to protect the community under these extraordinary circumstances, it is imperative that the public does all that they can to practice fire safety in the home and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their families from the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

For more information about fire safety, please contact Kenora Fire at 807-467-2090.


Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) Requests Summer Residents to Respect Stay at Home Practices

Lake of the Woods District Hospital Media Release

As we approach the Easter weekend, we recognize that we are doing so in a very different way in our lives.

From the hospital’s perspective, we will be continuing our planning for what will come our way over the next few weeks. It is fair to say we are nervous since we do not know what we will face. However, we do have an excellent and talented team of health care workers, professional staff, and support staff that will do our utmost to serve our community. We will be as ready as we can be.

For many of us, this will be a weekend of reflection, and less so of family gatherings, with all of the concerns about COVID-19 and the spread from person-to-person. As we take on the COVID-19 pandemic and witness how it is impacting different countries, cities, and health systems around the world, important lessons are being learned. Since COVID-19 is a new virus, humans do not have immunity against it and the virus can easily spread from person-to-person. The countries and cities that have implemented social distancing and stay at home strategies are doing the best in fighting this pandemic. Behavioural change is proving to be our best weapon as a society in our fight against COVID-19 infection spread. In Northwestern Ontario this has been embraced across our communities and it is our belief that it will reduce the level of illness in our communities and the care needs we would otherwise have faced in our health system.

LWDH would like to thank Minister Greg Rickford, Mayor Dan Reynard, and Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh for their leadership, and we support them on their public positions taken over the importance of summer residents exercising their ability to help us by respecting our social distancing and stay at home practices so that we can reduce the burden of illness and the demand on the healthcare system. We are all in this together, and it is important that we all do our part. Stay safe – stay home.

LWDH Public Media Release re COVID 19 Easter Weekend Travel April 9 2020

COVID-19 Task Forces Mobilizing in the Kenora District

Kenora District Services Board and Kenora Chiefs Advisory Media Release

All Nations Health Partners

The All Nations Health Partners is a diverse coalition of municipal, Indigenous and health system leaders who have combined forces to support and prepare our communities for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part of our COVID-19 pandemic plan includes the development of a COVID-19 Emergency Centre that will serve as a temporary off-site support facility for the vulnerable population. This includes:

• People who are showing COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting for testing;
• People waiting for COVID-19 test results; and,
• People who have tested positive for COVID-19 whodo not require hospital care and need a safe and supportive place to be quarantined.

Multiple facilities throughout Kenora and Keewatin were reviewed and examined to ensure the best facility was selected to meet the needs of the COVID-19 Emergency Centre. The three largest facilities considered included the Kenora Recreation Centre, the Kenora Curling Club and the Keewatin Memorial Arena.

The All Nations Health Partners, after a careful assessment, determined that the Keewatin Arena was the most suitable facility to best support this important and critical work. In partnership, the Lake of the Woods District Hospital and the Kenora District Services Board have entered into a short-term agreement with the City of Kenora for the use of the facility. All renovations and modifications to the Keewatin Arena are temporary and the COVID-19 Emergency Centre will close once the COVID-19 pandemic response is completed.

The supports and services will be provided in coordination with many organizations from the community and the All Nations Health Partners; this includes health care service providers, developmental services, social services, local physicians and community partners. This project is a true coming together of partnerships that is equal to the very challenge that our communities are about to face.

“The support from individuals and businesses from the community has been extraordinary. To date, over $40,000 in materials, supplies, furniture and equipment has been donated to the project. Without the generosity of Sierra Construction and Weyerhaeuser, the renovations to the facility would not have been possible,” stated Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer, Kenora District Services Board.

“Responding to the COVID-19 threat is challenging and it has created a great opportunity for everyone to come together as partners, providers, volunteers and citizens to contribute in their specialized capacity. Protecting the vulnerable from COVID-19 is part of this challenge and we have created a solution that will work for our community,” says Ray Racette, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lake of the Woods District Hospital.

“The All Nations Health Partners have created a strong foundation by forming close partnerships, to make sure all voices from our area are represented. It is in critical times like these that we have to rely on those partnerships and work together to make sure our most vulnerable are taken care of, and the proper steps and precautions are taken. A big thank you to all the community support we have received and members who have stepped up to help make this possible,” says Joe Barnes, Executive Director of Kenora Chiefs Advisory.

The All Nations Health Partners thank the members of the Vulnerable Population Task Force who have worked tirelessly in bringing this project together in a very short amount of time.

Media Contact:

Joe Barnes, Executive Director
Kenora Chiefs Advisory
Co-Chair All Nations Health Partners
Phone: 807-467-8144
Email: joe.barnes@kenorachiefs.ca

Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer
Kenora District Services Board
Co-Chair All Nations Health Partners
Phone: 807-223-2100 ext. 2222
Email: hwall@kdsb.on.ca


All Nations Health Partners COVID-19 Assessment Centre Expands Service

All Nations Health Partners Media Release April 9, 2020

On Monday March 30th the Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) opened the central site drive-through COVID-19 Assessment Centre in partnership with Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), the Sunset Country Family Health Team (SCFHT), Kenora District Services Board (KDSB), Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig (WNHAC), and Kenora Chiefs Advisory (KCA),. To date, 198 swabs have been collected locally with 118 pending and 80 negative results returned.

On Thursday, April 9th, 2020, the COVID-19 Assessment Centre will progressively expand mobile COVID-19 testing services to Kenora and regional First Nations communities. “The expansion of testing services is essential for residents of this area and will help us to better understand the extent of the pandemic in our region”, said Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical officer of Health at NWHU. This expansion will occur through the coordinated effort of WNHAC/KCA and the KDSB, and will enable patients to be assessed in the community by a mobile team of travelling health care professionals. Joe Barnes, Co-chair of the All Nations Health Partners, said “I am proud to see our partners work collaboratively to ensure that everyone in the Kenora Area has access to appropriate assessment and testing. The mobile team expansion will ensure that our First Nations communities have equitable access to assessments and testing. Kenora Chiefs Advisory will be providing a mobile team to support First Nations communities in coordination with our partners at WNHAC.”

Community members with potential COVID-19 symptoms (fever, or any new or worsening acute respiratory illness including cough, shortness of breath at rest, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, and joint aches) who feel they should be assessed for COVID-19 can either contact their primary care provider or phone the Northwestern Health Unit Hotline 1-866-468-2240 to determine if they meet the eligibility criteria.  If eligible, the Assessment Centre will be notified and the individual will then be contacted to schedule an appointment, either at the drive-through central site at the LWDH, or in the individual’s residence or community.

The Assessment Centre’s key role is to assess people and take a specimen for subsequent testing for COVID-19 by an approved health laboratory. A sample is taken from the back of the nasal cavity with a swab. Offering this type of service through mobile testing will significantly increase the access to COVID-19 testing, and will reduce the need for patients to seek this service through the LWDH Emergency Department and thereby avoid unnecessary possible exposure.

People who do not require medical intervention and can safely manage independently will be provided with contact and health management information. People who require medical intervention will be directed to the most appropriate service.

The Kenora COVID-19 Assessment Centre is approved and funded by the Ministry of Health. The Assessment Centre, developed and operated by the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, the Northwestern Health Unit, the Sunset Country Family Health Team, Kenora District Services Board, Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig and Kenora Chiefs Advisory, reflects the strength and unity of the All Nations Health Partners coalition. Chief Lorraine Cobiness stated “KCA and area leadership are pleased with the collaborative efforts of all partners. In times like these we need to work together and ensure that pandemic response plans are in place to support all of our population and groups. Through our channels, the indigenous community partners, have been able to secure a substantial amount of test Kits. These test kits are going to significantly change our areas capacity to monitor Covid-19. Kenora and surrounding communities have an increased risk due to poorer health status and we need to ensure we are doing everything to be responsive to our entire population. And a reminder to everyone, do your part by social distancing and wash your hands!”

Media Contacts:
Joe Barnes, Executive Director
Kenora Chiefs Advisory
Co-Chair All Nations Health Partners
Phone: 807-467-8144
Email: joe.barnes@kenorachiefs.ca

Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer
Kenora District Services Board
Co-Chair All Nations Health Partners
Phone: 807-223-2100 ext. 2222
Email: hwall@kdsb.on.ca

ANHP press release April 9 (3) Assessment Centre Expands Services

Reuse Area Temporarily Closed

Public Notice

The Re-use area at the Transfer Station is temporarily closed.  No re-use items will be accepted until further notice. This is to reduce congestion in the public areas at the Transfer Station.

The City thanks the public for their understanding during this time.


Restricted Fire Zone – Total Fire Ban Effective April 2, 2020

Public Notice

Effective Immediately (April 2, 2020) (4:00 p.m. – CST), the Chief Fire Official has declared a Restricted Fire Zone – Total Fire Ban for the City of Kenora. This ban applies to all open-air fires including, brush piles, burn barrels, campfires, chimeneas, cooking fires, consumer fireworks, incinerators and other types of outdoor burning that use solid fuels such as wood or charcoal.

Cooking appliances such as propane or natural gas cooking equipment and outdoor appliances with a mechanical shutoff are permitted.

Due to concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the need for social distancing and to assist the health, safety and well-being of our firefighters, this open-air burn ban is being implemented as a precautionary measure to avoid any additional strain or exposure risk on our fire services at this time.

We are committed to providing and maintaining emergency response within our communities and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we cope with this uncertain and unprecedented situation.

If you have any questions, please contact Kenora Fire and Emergency Services at 807-467-2090.

“Keep Kenora Clean” Bags Available at The Transfer Station

Public Notice

Please be advised the “Keep Kenora Clean” clear bags are now available at the Transfer Station for those interested and able to clean up roadside litter. The bags can be found on the north side of the summer kiosk. There is no charge for the bags.

The clear bags are for roadside litter and debris clean up only. They cannot be used for household or personal garbage.

The bags are “City Branded” so our staff can recognize them at a glance, as well as verify the contents. City crews will collect the clear bags from the roadside and no bag tag is required. You may also call the Transfer Station to alert them that you have left the bags in a particular area.

We thank all the volunteers who take time to keep Kenora clean each year. We recognize that this year could be much different, with many in self-isolation, and there may not be the same number of volunteers picking up litter.

Please only go to the Transfer Station to pick up the clear bags if you are going out for other essential items. Remember to keep 2 metres physical distance from others when picking garbage and at the Transfer Station.