How are you coping with COVID-19?
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/04/2020 (1145 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I am writing to you from my house in St. Boniface. I want to touch base personally and provide an update to let you know about some big steps the City is taking around COVID-19, including tax deferral, state of emergency, safe walking and cycling routes, and other information.
I’ll start by saying I’m getting used to working remotely and with kids around, just like many others. I am working to help create a process for virtual council and committee meetings and I am wondering if many of the changes happening in society may be with us long after we’re through this.
I’m also always thinking of those whose jobs don’t allow this, including thousands of our front line City of Winnipeg staff. Healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, and everyone else whose jobs are essential and can’t be done from the kitchen table also deserve our utmost recognition and support.
I’d like to let you know about a few major steps the City has taken or is about to take. For a more comprehensive list, check out www.winnipeg.ca/emergweb/covid-19/
Business and property taxes
Winnipeggers will have the option to defer payment of 2020 business and property taxes without being assessed penalties or other fees.
Find out more here: http://www.winnipegassessment.com/AsmtTax/English/
State of emergency
The state of emergency declared on April 6 grants new and extraordinary temporary powers to council and the public service, allowing the City to take swift and dramatic actions if and when they are needed.
See the declaration from the April 3 agenda of our special meeting of city council: clkapps.winnipeg.ca/dmis/ViewPdf.asp?SectionId=560679#page=1
Sunday cycling routes
In an effort to assist with social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has expanded its annual bicycle and active transportation schedule. We have observed many residents using parks and sidewalks with limited space to run essential errands or get exercise during our period of long-term social distancing. We need to reduce the concentration of people walking and cycling by providing more and safer locations for people to move about.
From April 6 until May 3, four streets in Winnipeg are designated as bicycle/active transportation routes:
• Lyndale Drive, from Cromwell Street to Gauvin Street;
• Scotia Street, from Anderson Avenue (at St. Cross Street) to Armstrong Avenue;
• Wellington Crescent, from Academy Road to Guelph Street;
• Wolseley Avenue, from Raglan Road to Maryland Street.
Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians must respect the rules of the road and each other — not to mention appropriate social distancing — for this measure to be maintained and possibly expanded to other areas.
The City of Winnipeg COVID-19 website is here: www.winnipeg.ca/emergweb/covid-19/
The provincial COVID-19 website is here: www.covid19manitoba.ca/
By many estimates, we’re going to be in this situation for months. Please consider me a resource to help with any regular concerns you may have with the City, now or outstanding — not to mention regarding the City’s response to COVID-19.Please practise social distancing to the best of your ability, and let’s get through this together.
St. Boniface ward report
Matt Allard is the city councillor for St. Boniface.