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Information about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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The Town posts regular COVID-19 updates on this page. More information is available on our COVID-19 Response page. If you have any questions regarding the Town’s COVID-19 response that are not answered throughout this page, or if you have any suggestions for updates that you would like to see on this page, please email: information@sidney.ca.

Information updated as of Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 1:30 pm

Town of Sidney COVID-19 Response Survey

The Town of Sidney is looking for feedback from members of the community on our emergency response efforts to the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic (March - July 2020).

Please take this short survey to share your impressions of the Town’s response and ways in which we can improve. Your answers will help inform and prepare the Town for future emergency responses.

Click here to take the survey.

PHO order on bars, nightclubs and banquet halls amended

The provincial health officer’s order on bars, nightclubs and banquet halls has been amended. Effective September 8, 2020, all nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls are ordered closed until further notice.

Liquor sales in all bars, pubs and restaurants must cease at 10 p.m. and they must close at 11 p.m., unless providing a full meal service, in which case they may stay open, but may not serve liquor until 11 a.m. the following day.

Music or other background sounds, such as from televisions in bars, lounges, pubs and restaurants, must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation.

Read the full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0049-001688

Saanich School District Q&A

The Saanich School District has compiled a Q&A grouped into four themes - return to school, health & safety, learning cohorts & physical distancing, and student learning. Visit their website to learn more.


August 26, 2020

Possible Exposures to COVID-19 in Sidney

Island Health has shared two possible exposures to COVID-19 in our community.

Island Health provides updates on the locations and times of known possible exposures to COVID-19 to the public in our region when they have been unable to reach or identify all individuals potentially exposed via contact tracing. A close contact exposure means face-to-face contact for an extended period of time while a person is infectious.

If you have been in one of these locations at times of possible exposure, it does not mean you will develop COVID-19. The possible exposures listed are believed to be low risk but, out of an abundance of caution, Island Health asks that anyone who may have visited any of the locations listed on the specified dates and times to monitor themselves for symptoms.

  • Mary's Bleue Moon Cafe

    9535 Canora Road, Sidney, B.C.
    August 21, 2020: Between 4:00 pm and 9:15 pm
    August 22, 2020: Between 9:30 am and 3:00 pm OR between 5 pm and 10 pm
  • 10 Acres Cafe & Market at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa (NOT The Pier restaurant)

    9805 Seaport Place, Sidney, B.C.
    August 20, 2020: Between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm
    August 21, 2020: Between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm

There is no known risk to anyone who attended any listed locations outside of the specified dates and times. If people remain healthy and do not develop symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate and people can continue with their usual daily activities.

If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, please seek testing and self-isolate – for more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on Island Health's Information for the General Public page.

For additional information on public COVID-19 exposures in our region, visit Island Health's Data, Outbreaks and Exposures page.

 


August 21, 2020

Province introduces new measures to enforce COVID-19 public safety

Police and other provincial enforcement officers are being given the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order on gatherings and events. This includes hosting a private party or public event in excess of 50 people, failing to provide appropriate hand sanitation and washroom facilities, failing to provide sufficient space in the venue for physical distancing, failing to obtain a list of names and contacts at large event or having more than five guests gathered in a vacation accommodation.

When required, police and other provincial enforcement officers will also be able to actively enforce the order and ticket a series of other infractions, including:

  • $200 violation tickets for individuals who actively encourage others to attend gatherings or events that do not comply with established requirements, or refuse to leave or disperse when directed to do so by enforcement officers;
  • $200 violation tickets for individuals who refuse to comply with requests to follow the PHO order or safe operating procedures of a restaurant, bar or other licensed establishment, or respond with abusive behaviour towards employees.

For more information: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0046-001568

BC Transit – Mandatory Face Covering Policy Coming into Effect August 24, 2020

BC Transit, in alignment with Translink and other transportation agencies, will be proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings on buses in BC Transit communities across the Province as of August 24.

Exemptions for BC Transit’s mandatory face covering policy include:

  • Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering;
  • Persons unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;
  • Children under 5 years of age;
  • Employees working behind a physical barrier or within areas designated for employees and not for public access; and
  • Police, employees, or first responders in an emergency situation.

More information can be found at: https://bctransit.com/covid19

BC Ferries - Mandatory Face Coverings Beginning August 24, 2020

Beginning August 24, BC Ferries will require customers to wear non-medical masks or face coverings at terminals and while on board ferries. All walk-on and vehicle passengers will be required to wear face coverings at all times when at a BC Ferries terminal or on a BC Ferries ship, with the exception being if a customer is inside a vehicle or consuming food or drinks while maintaining physical distance. Also exempt are customers with an underlying medical condition or disability that inhibits the ability to wear a face covering, those who are unable to place or remove a face covering without assistance, and children under two years of age.

For more information, visit BC Ferries' website.

B.C.'s Back to School Plan

The Province has shared additional details regarding B.C.'s Back to School Plan. B.C.’s plan for return to in-class learning in September includes new health and safety measures, increased funding for protective equipment like masks and new learning groups to help keep everyone safe. For additional information, visit:

The Superintendent of Saanich Schools has shared an update with information about the upcoming school year in School District 63 at: https://www.sd63.bc.ca/

Provincial Updates

  • The provincial state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on September 1, 2020. Read more.
  • The BC Government has extended the temporary $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement for people on income and disability assistance for cheques issued September to December. Read more.

Federal Updates

  • Canada and the United States have agreed to extend the temporary restriction of all non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border until September 21, 2020. Read more.
  • The Government of Canada has announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new income support benefits. They also announced that in preparation for this transition and to ensure support continues for Canadians whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended by an additional four weeks to a maximum of 28 weeks. Read more.


July 29, 2020

Update Regarding Schools – Province Announces Plan to safely bring K-12 students back to class full time

The Province has announced enhanced safety measures and additional resources that will enable most students in grades K-12 to return to school on September 8, 2020, with full-time in-class learning as the province moves to Stage 2 of B.C.’s Education Restart Plan.

On the advice of the provincial health officer, students will be organized into learning groups, a consistent group of staff and students. This will reduce the number of people each student or staff member will come into contact with, reducing the risk of transmission and ensuring quicker contact tracing by health authorities.

All boards of education and independent school authorities will continue to be required to implement a suite of health and safety measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, following the recently updated guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Families will hear from their school district or independent school throughout the summer with updated health and safety guidelines for elementary, middle and secondary schools, as well as learning groups, schedules, enrolment and registration information with the final details being submitted to the ministry and posted online by the districts on Aug. 26, 2020.

Read the full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0040-001415

PHO Order on Mass Gatherings – Amendment Regarding Vacation Accommodations

The provincial health officer’s order on mass gatherings has been amended to limit the number of people in vacation accommodations, including for house, cabin, yurt and boat rentals, as well as hotel rooms.

The number of people is limited to the capacity of the space, plus up to a maximum of five visitors. For example, if the capacity of the accommodation is four people, the maximum number of visitors allowed is five, for a total of no more than nine people. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure the order is adhered to by all guests and to ensure contact tracing information is collected for everyone – guests and visitors alike.

Local Businesses - Reducing the Risk

Local businesses have been working hard to adapt to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to thank our local business community for all the measures they have already taken and continue to adopt to keep their staff and patrons safe. We would also like to thank our community for supporting local business during this challenging economic time and for following physical distancing guidance & any new safety procedures that businesses have in place.

If you have concerns about a business's current operational standards, you can do the following:

  • Contact WorkSafeBC or visit their website at www.worksafebc.com to confirm current guidelines for specific industries and orders related to COVID-19
  • Contact the Town of Sidney at 250-656-4502 or bylawenforcement@sidney.ca to request that a Bylaw Officer visit the business to provide information.
  • Contact Island Health to make them aware of your concerns.
  • Contact the business's manager to inform them of your concerns.
  • If you feel unsafe, choose not to visit the business.

Federal Update – Government legislation to support Canadian workers, businesses, persons with disabilities, and legal rights

  • Bill C-20 extends and expands the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • Bill C-20 will also allow for the sharing of information to facilitate the delivery of a one-time payment for persons with disabilities. The Government is moving forward with a non-taxable and non-reportable payment of up to $600 to approximately 1.7 million eligible individuals who: Are holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate (eligible persons not yet in possession of such a certificate will be able to apply for one up to 60 days after today’s Royal Assent to be considered for the one-time payment); Currently receive Canada Pension Plan disability benefits or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits; or are in receipt of disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • Read the statement at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/07/government-legislation-to-support-canadian-workers-businesses-persons-with-disabilities-and-legal-rights-receives-royal-assent.html


July 24, 2020

Residents Survey - Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who completed the Town’s Residents Survey. We truly appreciate the wonderful response from the community.

The survey results have been received by Sidney Council and are being reviewed by Town staff and the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Committee. The responses will be used in the formation of ideas and recommendations on recovery actions to assist with community recovery from the pandemic.

Click here to view a staff report summarizing the survey responses.

COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Committee Update

The Town’s new COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Committee has held two meetings, and a third meeting is scheduled for July 28, 2020. They are working on identifying recovery actions and programs to support and assist the community through the pandemic. Its membership consist of representatives from various community organizations that represent a broad spectrum of sectors. The committee reports to Council through the Town’s Recovery Director and focuses on economic and cultural recovery and resiliency, community resiliency, and preparation for the possibility of future COVID-19 waves.

Visit the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Committee page for additional information, including meeting agendas and videos.

COVID-19 Sidney Visitor Information

With the province in Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan, travel within British Columbia is now permitted. The Town has worked with the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Committee as well as the operators of the Sidney Visitor Information Centre & the Patricia Bay Information Centre to develop messaging for smart, safe, and respectful visits to our community. You can find this information on our COVID-19 Visitor Information page.

Modified and Online Community Events

In response to current provincial health orders prohibiting large gatherings, some Sidney events have moved to online platforms or have been modified for this year. Visit our Featured Events page to see how local event organizers have adapted some favourite community events.

Update from BC Transit

BC Transit wants to ensure that they get you where you need to be, as safely and efficiently as possible. Following the guidance of the Provincial Health Office and WorkSafeBC, and drawing on the best practices of the transit industry worldwide, they are continuing with many of the measures put in place to respond to COVID-19, and are implementing some additional practices and procedures, such as enhanced cleaning and sanitization, capacity management, and encouraging the use of face coverings when physical distancing is not possible, to align with BC’s Restart Plan. You can review their practices and procedures on their website at: https://www.bctransit.com/covid19

Provincial messaging regarding the COVID-19 response in B.C.

Here in British Columbia, our COVID-19 transmission curve is trending upward. Many of the new cases are a result of community transmission from an increase in social interactions this summer. This trend is a concern, but we can turn this trend around.

There are a few things we can all do to push that curve back down. We can stop transmission by seeing fewer people, only spending time with people we know, keeping a safe distance from others and using a mask when that is difficult. If you are hosting a small gathering, remember ‘fewer faces and bigger spaces.’ Keep your gatherings small, know everyone who is coming, and stay outside as much as possible. We also need to support contact tracing efforts by paying attention to where we go and who we see, and always, without exception, staying home if we are feeling at all unwell.

We all have a role to play in keeping our curve flat. Let’s continue to work together and do all we can to keep ourselves and each other safe. Let’s protect our communities, our Elders and our loved ones by standing united against COVID-19.

You can read the latest update from Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer on the Government of B.C.’s news page: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0040-001387

Regional COVID-19 Data

  • The BC Centre for Disease Control is maintaining a COVID-19 dashboard, which presents the latest case counts and information on recoveries, deaths, hospitalizations, testing and more. Visit their website to access this informative tool: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
  • Island Health is providing additional COVID-19 data on a weekly basis. You can access this weekly data by visiting Island Health's COVID-19 Information page and clicking on the link to “Health Service Delivery Areas (HSDA)”. Sidney is located in Island Health's "South Vancouver Island" area.

Provincial Updates

  • Provincial State of Emergency Extended
    The provincial state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on August 4, 2020.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0038-001339

  • PHO Order Amendment - Food & Liquor Service Establishments
    Recognizing the risks within bars and nightclubs and the recent links to exposure in these locations, the provincial health officer’s order is being amended. All patrons must now be seated at a designated seat. There is no liquor self-service or dancing, and measures need to be in place to reduce lineups and gathering outside. Changes in the requirements of events have also been made to further reduce the potential for transmission.
    Click here to view the order.

  • New PHO order coming soon to limit the number of people who can stay at and visit short-term rental accommodations and boat rentals
    In the coming days, a new provincial health officer order will be in place to limit the number of people who can stay at and visit short-term rental accommodations and boat rentals. Whether at home or renting, keeping our groups small will keep all of us safe. Similar to the case in restaurants, the number of people will be determined by the size of the space to ensure safe social interactions for everyone.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0040-001387

Federal Update


June 24, 2020

Town of Sidney Moves into COVID-19 Recovery Phase

The Town of Sidney has begun to transition its COVID-19 response from an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to a focused recovery structure, which includes a Recovery Director and a COVID-19 Recovery Task Force.

The Task Force will consider and develop programs and actions to support and assist the community during the COVID-19 recovery. Its members consist of representatives from various community organizations that represent a broad spectrum of sectors. They will report to Council through the Town’s Recovery Director and focus on economic and cultural recovery and resiliency, community resiliency, and prepare for the possibility of future COVID-19 waves.

The transition away from the EOC structure in no way implies that the Town’s emergency management response to this event is over. We will continue to monitor developments, and participate in regional and provincial briefings over the coming weeks and months.

Click here to read the full news release.

British Columbia Enters Phase 3 of the 4-Phase BC Restart Plan

British Columbians are taking the next step in BC’s Restart Plan with a gradual transition to Phase 3, including the safe and respectful return of travel and tourism within the province.

British Columbians who wish to travel within B.C. this summer are advised to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns. The provincial health officer has laid out travel guidelines for everyone travelling to and within B.C.:

  • Pre-trip planning and research on available resources at arriving destination;
  • Respecting any local travel advisories to isolated and remote communities;
  • No travelling for anyone who is sick, and if symptoms develop while travelling – self isolate immediately and contact 811 for guidance and testing;
  • Practising safe physical distancing of two metres at all times;
  • Spending time in small groups and open spaces; and
  • Practising good hygiene, including frequent handwashing and cleaning.

Most of the businesses listed in Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan now have the guidance they need to safely begin to open. WorkSafeBC, public health officials and industry representatives have developed guidelines for hotels and resorts, parks, the film industry and select entertainment, like movie theatres, and businesses in these sectors have already begun to open with COVID-19 safety plans in place.

The gradual easing of restrictions means more activities can get underway, but it does not change the need to maintain a safe social distance from others and to keep our groups small. The Provincial Health Officer's order for no more than 50 people at any gathering stands and will be in place until we can stop COVID-19 in our province with an effective treatment or vaccine.

For more information:

Residents Survey Reminder

Thank you to everyone who has taken the Town’s Residents Survey! We greatly appreciate the responses.

The Town would like to hear from residents on what your experience has been so far during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your answers will help guide efforts as we plan our recovery from the pandemic. This survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and will be open until Friday, July 3.

Access the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P9CP9KP

Local Facilities Reopening

Provincial Updates

  • Provincial State of Emergency Extended
    The provincial state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on July 7, 2020.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0033-001159

  • PHO Order Amendment - Food & Liquor Service Establishments
    The order for restaurants and pubs has been amended to provide greater clarity around the size of barriers. Additionally, if there is an event on the premises, the names and phone numbers or emails of patrons at the event must be collected in case there is a need for public health officials to conduct contract tracing.
    Click here to view the order.

  • Pandemic supports to continue through the summer
    The Province is extending interim measures, including a new round of funding and supports for children with special needs and youth aging out of care, to help children, youth and families through the ongoing pandemic.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CFD0051-001125

  • New provincial act will help formalize, unwind emergency orders
    Government has introduced the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, legislation that will allow for the provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the pandemic to be formalized and unwound as appropriate after the provincial state of emergency ends.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AG0043-001126

  • Extension of Temporary Rental Supplement
    The Government of British Columbia is extending the temporary rental supplement (TRS) until the end of August 2020 to continue to support renters and landlords. It will also maintain the moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent, while enabling other notices to end tenancy to resume.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0069-001100


June 18, 2020

Residents Survey Now Open

The Town would like to hear from residents on what your experience has been so far during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your answers will help guide efforts as we plan our recovery from the pandemic. This survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete.

The survey will be open until Friday, July 3. Please click here to access the survey and share your experiences with us.

Local Facilities Reopening

  • Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea
    The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea is now open on Saturdays & Sundays, from 10 am to 4:30 pm (last entry - 4PM), as well as on Statutory Holidays. For more information, visit: https://www.salishseacentre.org/admission-hours
  • Sidney North Saanich Library Now Open for Take Out Service
    Sidney North Saanich Library is open for Take Out Service! To use this service, visit their online catalogue and place holds. Staff will collect your items, you will be contacted to arrange a time, and your items will be placed at the pick-up site. For more information, visit: https://virl.bc.ca/takeout/

Sidney/Anacortes Ferry Service Suspension Extended

Washington State Ferries (WSF) has extended their suspension of the Sidney/Anacortes route until further notice. Click here to read Washington State Ferries’ full release.

The Town of Sidney will continue to monitor provincial and federal transportation directives, including restrictions on non-essential travel across the border and passenger ship regulations, and will coordinate with Washington State Ferries on the Sidney/Anacortes Ferry route.

Island Health Service Delivery Area Data

Island Health is providing COVID-19 related Health Service Delivery Areas (HSDA) data on a weekly basis. Sidney is located in Island Health's "South Vancouver Island" area. You can access this weekly data on Island Health's website.

Provincial Updates

Federal Updates

 


June 10, 2020

Update on public access to municipal buildings

  • Town of Sidney Driver Services has reopened to the public with new physical distancing measures in place.
  • Sidney Town Hall has reopened for property tax payments only. Access is limited to comply with physical distancing requirements established by the Provincial Health Officer. Visit our Property Tax Payment Options page for other payment options.
  • All other municipal business at the Town Hall will continue to be conducted by phone, email, online through our website, and by appointment.
  • Public access to the Community Safety Building and the Parks & Public Works Yard remains restricted.

Department contact information is available on our Contact Us page. You can access the Town's online services on our Online Services page. Additionally, visit our Municipal Services Updates page to see what changes our municipal departments have implemented to adapt to this situation.

Update on outdoor space opportunities for restaurants and cafés

On June 8, 2020, Council adopted an amendment to Sidney’s Off-Street Parking and Loading Bylaw which allows restaurants, cafés, and pubs to use a maximum of 50% of their privately owned parking spaces for outdoor seating for patrons, while still ensuring that the number of designated accessible parking spaces is maintained. Businesses looking for more information on the Off-Street Parking and Loading Bylaw amendments can email developmentservices@sidney.ca.

Council also adopted an amendment to the Sidewalk Café Regulations and Licensing Bylaw which allows business owners to apply to the Town for a permit to place outdoor café seating for patrons in public on-street parking spaces in addition to the previously permitted outdoor café seating on public sidewalks. The amendment also increased the minimum width of sidewalk space to be kept clear for passing pedestrians from 2 metres to 3 metres in order to allow for safe physical distancing between all users of our downtown public spaces. Businesses looking for more information on sidewalk and roadside cafés can email engineeringadministration@sidney.ca.

Playgrounds update

Municipal playgrounds have reopened! Visit our Parks & Pathways Updates page for additional information, including guidelines for safe use.

Please note: while the Rathdown Park swings have reopened, the Rathdown Park play structure will remain closed until Fall 2020 for playground equipment upgrades. Additionally, the Iroquois Water Spray Park, the outdoor exercise equipment at the Community Wellness Park, and the Town's outdoor water fountains remain closed until further notice while the Town continues to develop safe reopening plans for these amenities.

Provincial State of Emergency Extended

The provincial state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on June 23, 2020.
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0032-001035

Federal Update - Changes to travel restrictions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents

Foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days. Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.
https://www.canada.ca/en/border-services-agency/news/2020/06/changes-to-travel-restrictions-for-immediate-family-members-of-canadian-citizens-and-permanent-residents.html

 


June 5, 2020

Playgrounds Reopening

Starting June 8, 2020, the Town of Sidney will begin to reopen municipal playgrounds. This is the next step in the Town’s phased approach to safely reopen recreational facilities that have been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Playgrounds at Tulista Park and Iroquois Park will both reopen as of Monday, June 8, 2020. Other municipal playgrounds will be reopened in the days following, as required maintenance and inspections are performed. Visit our Parks & Pathways Updates page for more information.

Town Hall Reopening for Property Tax Payments Only

Effective Monday, June 8, 2020, Sidney Town Hall is reopening for property tax payments only. Access will be limited to comply with physical distancing requirements established by the Provincial Health Officer. All other municipal business will continue to be conducted by phone, email, online through our website, and by appointment. Click here for more information regarding paying your taxes and applying for the Home Owner Grant.

Federal Updates

  • Canadian seniors to receive special payment in early July
    Seniors eligible for the OAS pension will receive a payment of $300, and those also eligible for the GIS will receive an additional $200, for a total of $500. Allowance recipients will also receive $500. This $2.5 billion in financial support will help Canadian seniors cover increased costs caused by COVID-19, and give them greater financial security in this time of crisis.
    Read more at: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/06/04/canadian-seniors-receive-special-payment-early-july

  • Prime Minister announces supports for Canadians with disabilities to address challenges from COVID-19
    This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows: $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate; $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension; $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
    Read more at: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/06/05/prime-minister-announces-supports-canadians-disabilities-address


June 2, 2020

Town of Sidney Business Survey

For the past two weeks, staff in the Town of Sidney's Emergency Operations Centre have been surveying Sidney businesses to assess how COVID-19 has impacted the local economy. The results of the survey will be used to inform recovery plans currently being developed in the EOC. We appreciate the many business owners and managers who have completed the survey. If you own or operate a Sidney business and were not contacted and you are willing to complete the short survey, please email information@sidney.ca with your name, your business’s name, and your phone number, and someone will call you back. The survey closes Friday, June 5, at 4 pm.

Property Tax Payment Options

2020 Property Tax Notices have been mailed and should be arriving in mailboxes this week. Sidney Town Hall is currently closed to the public but is expected to reopen in early June with new safety measures in place. Access will be limited to comply with physical distancing requirements established by the Provincial Health Officer. Staff are available to assist you by phone or email.

We've made the 2020 tax season longer than usual, to ensure everyone has time to adjust to all the temporary measures. While the due date is published as July 2, 2020 as usual, you have until July 31, 2020 to pay your residential property taxes and claim your Home Owner Grant without penalty. The deadline for commercial properties is September 30, 2020. Click here for more information regarding paying your taxes and applying for the Home Owner Grant.

Provincial Updates

Federal Update - Updated measures for cruise ships and passenger vessels in Canadian waters

On May 29, 2020, the federal government announced updated measures pertaining to cruise ships and passenger vessels in Canadian waters:

  • Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.
  • As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations.

Click here to read the complete statement.


May 28, 2020

Supply Chain Rest Stop reverting back to Downtown Employee and Public Parking Lot

As of Friday, May 29, 2020, the western section of the Town’s parking lot that was temporarily repurposed as a supply chain rest stop will be reverting back to parking for downtown employees and the public.

As other regional services that support our local supply chain have begun to reopen, the demand for the Town’s temporary Critical Supply Chain Rest Stop has decreased. At the same time, with local businesses reopening, parking demand for downtown employees and the public is increasing. After consultation with the BC Trucking Association, the Town has decided to close the temporary rest stop. Read more on our Critical Supply Chain Rest Stop page.

Pedestrian and Business Use of Public Space in the Downtown Core

The Town of Sidney is moving forward with options for increasing public space for pedestrians and businesses in the downtown commercial area. Town staff are monitoring pedestrian levels, lineups for commercial businesses and demand for outdoor seating for food vending businesses. Pinch points will be addressed by repurposing on-street parking spaces as protected pedestrian spaces or outdoor seating areas. Staff will ensure that accessibility is maintained. If closing streets to traffic or repurposing entire block faces of on-street parking spaces is warranted, staff will report back to Council and initiate public engagement. Click here to read more.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

The Town continues to add to our Resources for Individuals and Families, Resources for Businesses, Municipal Services Updates pages. You can review these pages for additional information and resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates include compiled lists of regional gardening resources, regional food security resources, mental health resources, and more.

Saanich School District Update

As of June 1, 2020, Saanich Schools will be implementing a part-time return to instruction in all of their schools. The Saanich School District has been working with their Health & Safety committees to ensure that all of their sites have protocols in place for the return to school. Read more on their website at: www.sd63.bc.ca.

Provincial State of Emergency Extended

The provincial state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on June 9, 2020.
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0028-000959


May 25, 2020

May 25, 2020 Council Meeting Live Stream

This evening's Council meeting, which includes a COVID-19 update from the EOC Director, will be live streamed starting at 6:00 pm.

A video recording of the meeting will be available on the Council Meeting page in the coming days.

Provincial Updates

Federal Updates


May 20, 2020

Sport Courts & Skate Park Reopening

Starting May 21, 2020, the Town of Sidney will reopen municipal tennis courts, the Iroquois Park multi-sport court, the sand volleyball court, and the skate park. This step is a part of the Town’s phased approach to safely reopen recreational facilities that have been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that all municipal playgrounds will remain closed until further notice.

The Town is asking everyone to use the sport courts and skate park safely. Guidelines for these facilities include:

  • Stay home if you are sick;
  • Keep at least two metres away from people from other households;
  • Wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly and frequently;
  • Do not share equipment, water bottles, or snacks; and
  • Remain courteous and limit use if others are waiting to use the facility.

We appreciate the patience and understanding shown by our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and are requesting everyone’s ongoing cooperation in continuing to follow the Provincial Health Officer’s directions and guidance as this public health emergency evolves.

Updates regarding parks and outdoor recreation facilities can be found on our Parks & Pathways Updates Page.


May 19, 2020

Provincial Health Orders

  • Personal Service Establishments
    Effective today - May 19, 2020 - the Provincial Health Officer has cancelled the order closing all personal service establishments. Click here to view the order.
  • Food Service Establishments and Liquor Services
    Effective today - May 19, 2020 - the Provincial Health Officer has repealed and replaced the order regarding Food Service Establishments and Liquor Services.
    *New PHO order issued on May 22, 2020 that amends the previous Food Service Establishments and Liquor Services Order. Click here to view the order.

All Provincial Health Orders can be viewed on the Provincial Health Officer's web page.

Federal Updates

  • Canada/US Border
    Canada and the United States have agreed to extend the restrictions at the Canada/US border. Non-essential travel between Canada and the US will continue to be prohibited for the next 30 days, until June 21, 2020.
  • Expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
    The Prime Minister announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.
    Read more at: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/19/prime-minister-announces-expansion-support-workers-and-small


May 15, 2020

Long Weekend Update

As we start the May long weekend, the BC Government is reminding people to avoid all non-essential travel in the province to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and instead stay local if you do decide to enjoy the outdoors.

Though some restrictions are expected to ease next week, it remains vital for everyone to maintain physical distancing and take other important measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes staying home if you have any symptoms of illness, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and not touching your face.

The Provincial Government has shared some tips to help you enjoy the long weekend while following the public safety guidelines set by the provincial health officer (PHO), including:

  • Have fun close to home
  • Continue to refrain from visiting vacation properties
  • Continue to avoid non-essential boating
  • BC Ferries service is reduced on many routes – please only use BC Ferries for essential travel this weekend
  • Enjoy the outdoors safely

Read the Province’s full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0026-000870

Most of BC’s Provincial Parks are now open for day-use only. Visit BC Parks’ website to view the latest updates. The Province is urging people to only visit parks and recreation sites close to their home and avoid travelling to small communities.

The Town of Sidney is developing a phased approach to safely reopen recreational facilities that have been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town will not be reopening any facilities before the Victoria Day long weekend, but we are looking at opening some recreational facilities after additional guidelines are released next week. For now, please continue to enjoy municipal parks and pathways while following the guidance on signs in parks and adhering to these guidelines:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Enjoy parks & pathways on your own or with members of your own household only
  • Keep two metres away from people you encounter
  • Please respect the natural environment
  • Please be patient with others

You can review our Parks & Pathways Updates page for more information about Sidney park and trail usage during COVID-19. If a park looks busy, please consider visiting a different park or returning at a different time.

Sidney Town Hall and Driver Services will be closed on Monday, May 18 for Victoria Day. There will be no changes to the Garbage/Kitchen Organics and Yard/Garden Waste collection. Monday pick-ups will occur as scheduled.

For any urgent water or sewer matters, please call the Town's 24-hour phone line at 250-656-1184.

We hope everyone enjoys a happy and safe Victoria Day weekend.

Business Updates

  • Provincial Health Officer Order - Workplace COVID-19 Safety Plans
    The Provincial Health Officer has ordered all employers to:
    1) Post a copy of your COVID-19 Safety Plan on your website, if you have one, and at your workplace so that it is readily available for review by workers, other persons who may attend at the workplace to provide services and members of the public;
    2) Provide a copy of your COVID-19 Safety Plan to a health officer or a WorkSafeBC officer, on request.

BC Schools Update

  • K-12 students to have optional in-class instruction on June 1
    Parents will have the choice of bringing their children back to class on a part-time basis this school year as part of BC’s Restart Plan, with the goal of returning to full-time classes in September 2020, provided it is safe to do so. School districts will determine scheduling for classes and transportation arrangements. For kindergarten to Grade 5, this means most students will go to school half time (such as alternating days), while grades 6 to 12 will go to school about one day a week. Children of essential service workers and students needing additional supports will have the option to attend school full time. Families that decide not to send their children to class may continue learning from home.

Federal Updates

 


May 13, 2020

Restarting BC Businesses

The Government of British Columbia and WorkSafeBC have shared some additional guidance for BC's businesses that have stayed open or are planning to reopen. More details can be found at: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/covid-19-updates/covid-19-returning-safe-operation.

All businesses and organizations, whether you stayed open or are planning to re-open in Phase 2 or Phase 3, should begin planning with input from your workers for how to operate in a safe way. Check out: https://t.co/ET1F6caQz9 #COVIDBC pic.twitter.com/u082QhmQ3f

 

 

 

Sidney businesses looking for additional assistance and suggestions geared towards their particular operations can contact the Town's Emergency Operations Centre at information@sidney.ca or 250-655-6900 to schedule an on-site visit with our Business Liaison Officers.

Municipal Recreational Facilities Update

The Town of Sidney is developing a phased approach to safely reopen recreational facilities that have been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town will not be reopening any facilities before the Victoria Day long weekend, but we are looking at opening some recreational facilities after additional guidelines are released next week. We will share additional information in the coming days.

Parking Enforcement in Downtown Sidney

Over the past weeks, during this unprecedented and challenging time, parking enforcement in the downtown core has been limited to warnings. However, due to increasing activity in downtown Sidney, please be advised that parking enforcement ticketing will resume in the downtown core starting Friday, May 15.

Provincial Updates

Federal Updates


May 6, 2020

 

BC's Restart Plan

British Columbians will move forward with safely restarting their province beginning in mid-May, according to a plan announced by Premier John Horgan. Under B.C.’s Restart Plan, government will work closely with public health officials, businesses and labour organizations to lift restrictions in phases, gradually allowing for more social and economic activity, while closely monitoring health information to minimize the risk to the public. B.C. is currently in Phase 1 of the restart plan. Phase 2, which will begin in mid-May, includes:

  • small social gatherings;
  • a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling; provincial parks open for day use;
  • opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans;
  • recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.

WorkSafeBC is developing industry-specific guidance to help employers bring workers and customers back safely. Any business restarting operations must ensure it is in compliance with the provincial health officer’s orders and in accordance with occupational health and safety guidance provided by WorkSafeBC.

Read more about WorkSafeBC’s support at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_Support_for_Workplaces_Resuming_Operation.pdf

The target date for the start of Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is between June and September 2020, if transmission rates remain low or in decline.

Phase 4 will only be achieved when the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.

Most provincial parks will reopen, starting May 14, for day-use only. On June 1, many remaining facilities, including campgrounds, will reopen. A small number of parks that attract large crowds, or where reopening would pose a health risk to nearby communities, will remain closed.

Read more about provincial parks reopening at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_Parks_and_Sites_and_In-Class_Learning.pdf

A strong emphasis on personal hygiene for all British Columbians, including hand washing, physical distancing and staying at home if you are sick, will be crucial for the success of every phase of the plan.

While B.C. already has sufficient testing and tracking capacity, by continuing to increase these, government will be able to identify any flare ups in COVID-19 case numbers and address them. This approach will support public safety and confidence.

Read the Province's full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0026-000826

Read BC's Restart Plan at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/bc-restart-plan

The Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre will be closely reviewing BC's Restart Plan and will provide more information and guidance in the coming days about the easing of restrictions identified in Phase 2 of the plan.


May 1, 2020

 

Safely Restarting BC's Economy

Next week, the Government of British Columbia will be announcing a phased-in approach to lift restrictions & protect the progress that the province has made in fighting COVID-19.

The Town’s EOC has created a Business Liaison Program to support our local business community and to assist businesses that have closed and are looking at how to reopen safely. Our Business Liaison Officers will be able to visit local businesses and offer tailored support and suggestions based on guidance from the Provincial Health Officer and the provincial government.

More information can be found on our Resources for Businesses Page, and we will be able to share additional information when the province has announced their plan next week.

Puzzling by the Sea

Looking for something to do this weekend? We've created a series of online puzzles featuring some special sights of Sidney. We will continue to add to the collection so be sure to check our Puzzling by the Sea page whenever you’re in the mood to puzzle!

Provincial Updates

  • Online applications open for B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers
    British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic and are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) can now apply for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers (BCEBW) online. The BCEBW is a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 for eligible British Columbians.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020FIN0027-000794
  • Provincial State of Emergency Extended
    The provincial state of emergency is being extended for the third time, to support the extraordinary measures taken by the Province under the Emergency Program Act to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has officially extended the state of emergency through the end of the day on May 12, 2020.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0022-000783
  • More support for family caregivers during COVID-19
    As part of British Columbia’s emergency COVID-19 response plan, the Province is doubling this year’s funding for Family Caregivers of British Columbia to $1 million, helping support both caregivers and seniors. Family Caregivers of B.C. is a not-for-profit organization that supports people who are caring for elderly loved ones, family or friends. This funding will allow Family Caregivers of B.C. to enhance services during the COVID-19 pandemic, so caregivers get the increased support they need to help seniors remain at home, such as expanded toll-free support line hours, emotional supports and health-care navigation.
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0141-000763
  • Provincial Statement on safe spaces for people leaving violence
    The Province has secured nearly 300 additional spaces in communities throughout B.C. for people leaving violent or unstable situations, with more spaces to come. These are in addition to more than 100 transition houses and safe homes that the Province funds on an ongoing basis. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, please contact VictimLinkBC at 1 800 563-0808 or by email: VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020FIN0025-000774


April 30, 2020

 

Tulista Boat Launch Update

The Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Sidney Anglers Association to develop a method of operations to allow the Tulista Boat Launch to remain open to all boaters under a set of new safety guidelines.

During these extraordinary times, the Town of Sidney’s topmost priority is the health and safety of the entire community. The Town’s EOC has been monitoring safety advice regarding boating as well as monitoring the increasing usage of the boat launch for recreational purposes as we enter into the summer season. The Town did not have the staffing capacity to continue to patrol the boat launch to ensure physical distancing was being practiced at this municipal facility during peak hours.

The Sidney Anglers Association will provide safety ambassadors at peak times to ensure that everyone is able to use the boat launch safely during this unprecedented and extended public health emergency. We are happy to have the support from the Sidney Anglers Association by working together to keep this municipal facility open for safe use. Collaborating with the Sidney Anglers Association reduces the additional onus on Town of Sidney staff to monitor physical distancing on the docks, at the ramp and surrounding parking lots. With this arrangement in place, Town staff can continue to focus efforts on other ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery initiatives.

Although the province has announced that they will be looking at ways to ease restrictions in the coming weeks, public health authorities are still advising everyone to practice social and physical distancing for now. Additionally, the Canadian Coast Guard made a recent appeal to boaters to avoid non-essential boating at this time. The Canadian Coast Guard has advised boaters who do need to go out on the water to wear a lifejacket, stay near to the shore as much as possible, share your trip plan with someone, have extra fuel, make sure your boat is in good condition, only sail with people living under the same roof and practice physical distancing while on the water.

The Town of Sidney and the EOC appreciates the ongoing efforts of Sidney residents, organizations, and local businesses to keep our community healthy and safe.

For information regarding purchasing boat launch permits while public access to Sidney Town Hall is restricted, please refer to the Finance section on our Municipal Services Updates page.


April 24, 2020

 

Town of Sidney Summer 2020 Events

The Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been monitoring messaging from senior levels of government and public health authorities regarding events and large gatherings. Recent statements from the Provincial Health Officer indicate that public health guidance regarding events will not be significantly modified for the summer season.

Therefore, it is with considerable regret that the Town of Sidney’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) advised Sidney event organizers today to cancel or postpone events, both indoor and outdoor, that involve public gatherings scheduled for the summer of 2020. Consequently, the Town of Sidney has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Sidney Street Market season. While the Town of Sidney shares in the disappointment of the market’s cancellation, the Town is looking forward to next year’s market season.

The Provincial Health Officer has encouraged event organizers to come up with creative ideas for modified events. The Town of Sidney EOC has invited event organizers to reach out to the EOC if they have ideas for a significantly modified event that respects limits on public gatherings and ensures that social and physical distancing guidelines can be met.

Read more at: http://www.sidney.ca/Newsroom/Summer_2020_Events_in_Sidney_s2_p1046.htm

Reminder - Keep it Clean Toiletries Collection – Saturday, April 25, 10 am – 2 pm

The Neighbourhood Response Team is collecting new, unopened shampoo, toothbrushes and other personal hygiene products on Saturday, April 25 from 10 am to 2 pm in three locations around Greater Victoria, including in Sidney at the Tulista Park South Parking Lot (9565 Fifth Street).

Read more about the event, including their physical distancing procedures, on the United Way of Greater Victoria's website at: https://uwgv.ca/news/keepitclean/

New Federal-Provincial Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA)

The Canadian Prime Minister announced today that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

Read the provincial statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020FIN0024-000754

Read the federal statement at: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/24/prime-minister-announces-partnerships-provinces-and-territories


April 22, 2020

 

Town of Sidney COVID-19 Response Maps

The Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre’s IT Section has developed a variety of COVID-19 related interactive maps that illustrate general information, business updates, EOC initiatives, and more. You can access all of the maps on the COVID-19 Interactive Maps page.

The IT section has also created a COVID-19 Response Map Journal that highlights local information updates and response initiatives. You can scroll through the journal entries and their adjacent web maps to learn more about initiatives, updates, service changes, and important information. You can click on items within the individual web maps to get pop-up information on particular areas of interest.

Keep it Clean Collection Event

The Neighbourhood Response Team is collecting new, unopened shampoo, toothbrushes and other personal hygiene products on Saturday, April 25 from 10 am to 2 pm in three locations around Greater Victoria, including in Sidney at the Tulista Park South Parking Lot (9565 Fifth Street).

Read more about the event, including their physical distancing procedures, on the United Way of Greater Victoria's website at: https://uwgv.ca/news/keepitclean/

Provincial Updates

  • New Order from the Provincial Health Officer regarding Kearl Lake Project
    Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, has issued a new order surrounding an outbreak in Kearl Lake, Alberta: “Anyone who was at the site at Kearl Lake project near Fort McMurray, Alberta from March to present is ordered by the provincial health officer to immediately self-isolate for 14 days and contact your local public health authority or call 811.”
    https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0020-000729
  • New COVID-19 Testing Criteria
    Testing is now being used to quickly identify and address any new community clusters and outbreaks that may emerge. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can now be assessed and tested through a physician, nurse practitioner or a local community collection centre. To learn where, when and how people with symptoms can be tested, visit: http://www.phsa.ca/staff-resources/covid-19-resources-for-staff/staff-covid-19-testing

Federal Updates


April 17, 2020

 

 

Provincial Update

Today, the Province confirmed that the resiliency and 100% commitment of everyone in British Columbia is having a positive impact - we are bending the curve.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have jointly stated, “What happens next is directly tied to your continued efforts. We still have new cases, new outbreaks and tragically, new deaths. We cannot afford a resurgence that will undo all of the effort and sacrifices we have made so far. We all want opportunities for more social connection, but we’re not there yet. To safely ease restrictions, we must be thoughtful and careful in our approach. As we look ahead, we need to find the right balance. That is even more challenging because of the nature of the COVID-19 virus. Our new normal in the months ahead will be a modification of what we are doing now. The physical distancing measures, staying home if you are ill and following good hand hygiene will continue. And, it is vital that we continue to show care and compassion for those around us.”

Read the full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0133-000713

Special Council Meeting Information

There will be a special Sidney Council meeting held on Monday, April 20, 2020 at 6:00 pm, at which Council will be considering Property Tax Relief Measures. The meeting will be live-streamed beginning at 6:00 pm – you can find the live-stream link on our Council meeting page.

BCCDC COVID-19 Dashboard

The BC Centre for Disease Control has created a COVID-19 dashboard, which presents the latest case counts and information on recoveries, deaths, hospitalizations, testing and more. Visit their website to access this informative tool: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data

Showcase BC

People will now be able to enjoy more music at home, as the Province and Creative BC support musicians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with new grants for livestreaming. The B.C. government partnered with Creative BC to launch Showcase BC. This new online hub brings a variety of live performances, entertainment and content to British Columbians, so they can stay connected while staying home. To help B.C. musicians take part in Showcase BC, Creative BC has also opened a new Showcase BC music funding stream.

Access online concerts and find out more about Showcase BC at: https://showcasebc.ca/


April 15, 2020

 

 

Garbage & Kitchen Organics Collection

The Town of Sidney appreciates Emterra’s continuing essential work as the Town’s garbage and kitchen organics collection contractor.

Sidney residents and businesses can help keep Emterra staff safe by:

  • Ensuring all used tissues, napkins, paper towels, masks, gloves, and wipes are disposed of in a sealed garbage bag in your garbage bin.
  • Keeping at least 2 metres away from Emterra collection staff.

Provincial Update – B.C. Government Extends State of Emergency

The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on April 28, 2020, allowing government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe.

Read the Province’s full statement: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0020-000697

Provincial Update - Virtual Mental Health Supports During COVID-19

B.C. seniors, adults, youth and frontline health care workers experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic can get help through virtual services.

To support British Columbians of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province is expanding existing mental health programs and launching new services.

Find the Province's list of programs and services on their website at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/virtual-supports-covid-19


April 14, 2020

 

 

April 14, 2020 Council Meeting Live Stream

This evening's Council meeting will be live streamed at 6:00 pm. Click here to view the live stream.

A video recording of the meeting will be available on the Council Meeting page in the coming days.

The Town’s Emergency Operations Centre’s Director and Deputy Director will provide a verbal update on the Town’s COVID-19 response efforts during the meeting.

Sidney/Anacortes Ferry Service Suspension Extended

Washington State Ferries (WSF) has extended their suspension for the Sidney/Anacortes route until at least Saturday, June 20, 2020. They had previously announced that the start of the Anacortes/Sidney ferry schedule would be suspended until at least April 28, 2020.

The Town of Sidney will continue to monitor provincial and federal transportation directives and coordinate with Washington State Ferries on the Sidney/Anacortes Ferry route.

You can read Washington State Ferries full release here: https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/news/2020/04/10/state-ferries-extends-winter-sailing-schedules-through-june-20-due-lower-demand

Update from School District 63

School District 63 has posted a COVID-19 Q&A video with their superintendent on their website: https://www.sd63.bc.ca/news/superintendents-covid-19-qa

You can find additional information on SD63's COVID-19 response and planning on their website at: www.sd63.bc.ca. If you have any questions that are not answered on their website, you can email School District 63 at: inquiries@saanichschools.ca.


April 9, 2020

 

 

Long Weekend Message from the Town of Sidney

The Town of Sidney is asking everyone to stay safe, stay the course, and stay close to home this long weekend. We all need to keep working together to flatten the COVID-19 curve, including following the Provincial Health Officer’s guidance in maintaining social and physical distancing measures and refraining from travelling.

This is not the time to travel to secondary homes or vacation properties in other communities. Access to resources and health care may be more challenging in smaller communities if someone should become ill or if there’s a community outbreak. By staying home, we can take pressure off the already strained resources in these smaller areas.

The Province has reminded us all to postpone in-person gatherings and to gather virtually instead. Find new ways to connect and celebrate the holidays with your family and friends, while staying safe and apart.

When going outside for exercise and fresh air, please consider staying in your own neighbourhood as much as possible. Town of Sidney playgrounds, sport courts, and the skate park remain closed. CRD regional parks and Sidney municipal parks remain open, but park users are advised to:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Enjoy parks & pathways on your own or with members of your own household only
  • Keep two metres apart from people you encounter
  • Please respect the natural environment
  • Please be courteous of others

You can review our Parks & Pathways Updates page for more information about Sidney park and trail usage during COVID-19. If a park looks busy, please consider visiting a different park or returning at a different time.

Other Long Weekend Updates

Tulista Boat Launch Information

With extra days off and nice weather on the horizon, we are anticipating that the Tulista Boat Launch will be busy this weekend. Boat launch users must maintain physical distancing of 2m/6ft from others. Boat launch pass and parking regulations will be enforced – visit our Tulista Boat Launch page for more information. We are asking all boat launch users to practice patience and cooperation. If boat launch rules and etiquette are not followed, the Town will have to look at temporarily closing the site.

Enforcement Presence Around Town

Town of Sidney Bylaw Enforcement Officers will be monitoring activity around Town throughout the long weekend. If you have any concerns that you’d like to share with the Town about physical distancing issues in local businesses or gatherings of more than 50 people, please email information@sidney.ca or leave a voicemail at 250-655-6900.

Town Hall/Driver Services Closed for Long Weekend

Sidney Town Hall and Driver Services will be closed from Friday, April 9 to Monday, April 13 for the long weekend. There will be no changes to the Garbage/Kitchen Organics and Yard/Garden Waste collection. Friday & Monday pick-ups will occur as scheduled.

For any urgent water or sewer matters, please call the Town's 24-hour phone line at 250-656-1184.


April 8, 2020

 

 

New Interactive Map for Sidney Business Community Service Updates

The Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre's IT Section created an interactive and searchable web map illustrating the local business service updates that the Sidney Business Improvement Area has been gathering and updating. Access the map at: http://arcg.is/19jiW

If you own a local business and would like to provide an update, please contact the Sidney BIA by email at morgan@sidneybia.ca or by phone at 250-893-0093.

Provincial Updates

Closure of BC Parks
BC Parks is immediately closing all provincial parks in response to the widespread call for increased action to address COVID-19. The closure responds to both the federal and provincial directives that people should stay close to home to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk. This temporary measure means people should not be going to provincial parks until further notice.

Read the full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020ENV0019-000645

New Measures for Returning British Columbians
The Province introduced new measures to make sure British Columbians returning home from international destinations have the support they need to self-isolate and keep their communities safe from COVID-19.

The measures, which include a new legal requirement to provide a self-isolation plan, support the Provincial Health Officer’s travel orders and reinforce the federal emergency order under the Quarantine Act requiring people entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days.

Read the full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0019-000657

Other Provincial News:



April 7, 2020

 

 

World Health Day

As today is World Health Day, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank healthcare workers for their tireless efforts on the COVID-19 front line and their everyday efforts to keep us all healthy. Making noise at 7:00 pm has been a wonderful way to come together as a community to express our appreciation for healthcare workers. We'll be making extra noise at 7:00 pm tonight!


April 6, 2020

 

 

Spring Cleaning

As the weather gets warmer and everyone is spending more time at home, it is natural to get into the spring cleaning spirit. We are asking residents to keep the following in mind:

  • Suspended Services and Reduced Public Access at Hartland Depot - the Capital Regional District has stated that due to the need for social distancing household hazardous waste (including oil and paint) and renovation waste are not being accepted at the Hartland Public Drop-off Depot at this time and public access to the site has been reduced. High traffic volumes are causing congestion and delays. Please store non-putrescible waste (material that doesn’t rot or attract animals) until after the COVID-19 health emergency.
    For more information, visit: https://www.crd.bc.ca/service/waste-recycling/hartland-landfill-facility/hours-rates
  • Due to COVID-19 risks, a number of charities that accept donations of clothing and household goods have changed donation drop off procedures or have temporarily suspended services. Please call ahead before dropping off any donations.


April 4, 2020

 

 

Reminder - Sidney Virtual Town Hall Forum on COVID-19
April 5, 2020, 2 pm - 3 pm

Don't forget to join Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith and Emergency Operations Centre Director, Randy Humble, for a virtual Town Hall forum on COVID-19 on Sunday, April 5, 2020 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm. The event will be hosted on the video meeting platform Zoom, which is free to download. The discussion will provide updates to the community on the Town of Sidney’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a Q&A session. The link to the Zoom meeting is: https://zoom.us/j/382543792

Radio Sidney will also be live streaming the event. Although you won't be able to submit a question through the Radio Sidney live stream, you will be able to listen to the discussion. Tune into Radio Sidney at: http://radiosidney.ca


April 3, 2020

 

 

“We must be united and 100% committed”

The BC Government has reiterated that now is the time for all British Columbians to do all we can to protect our province. Please stay home as much as possible. Connect with friends and family by phone, video chats, and email. If you are out in public, please keep 2 metres from people you encounter. As Dr. Bonnie Henry has stated, “We must be united and 100% committed.”

BC Ferries Service Update

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all of us, including BC Ferries. Traffic across all of our routes is down approximately 80% because of COVID-19, and BC Ferries is adjusting service levels across multiple routes. These measures are being taken to protect the health and safety of communities and their crew, ensure the resiliency of their service, and match service levels to current demand. The changes are designed to ensure BC Ferries has sufficient capacity to allow the flow of essential goods, services, supplies and workers to their destinations. Service reductions will go into effect on Saturday, April 4, for a period of 60 days on major routes and until further notice on other routes.

Read BC Ferries full statement here: https://www.bcferries.com/current_conditions/travel-advisory.html


April 2, 2020

 

 

Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce - Local Businesses Map

The Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has created a mapped list of businesses currently operating on the Peninsula. They will be updating the map daily.

If you are aware of any businesses that have been missed, please email info@peninsulachamber.ca to have them added.

A link to this map has been added to our Service Updates from Local Businesses Page.

 

Provincial Update - New Emergency Supports for Province’s Most Vulnerable

The Government of British Columbia announced a series of temporary supports and supplements in order to ensure B.C.’s most vulnerable – including people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors – do not encounter additional barriers during the COVID-19 crisis.

You can read the Province’s statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020SDPR0012-000620

 


April 1, 2020

 

 

Waterfront Walkway Update

The section of the waterfront walkway that runs through the Sidney/Anacortes ferry terminal unfortunately doesn't allow pedestrians travelling in opposite directions enough room to pass safely. Until further notice, this section of pathway will be open only to northbound (towards Sidney) pedestrians.

Southbound pedestrians (towards Victoria) are asked to divert along the Ocean Avenue sidewalk and can rejoin the waterfront walkway at the southern end of Tulista Park.

We ask everyone to please practice patience and understanding while pedestrians get accustomed to this pathway change. This information is also available on our Parks & Pathways Updates Page.

Shower Facility Opening in Iroquois Park

As of April 2, 2020, the Town of Sidney will be operating a shower facility with access to toiletries and towels in Iroquois Park. The facility will be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. We have undertaken this initiative to ensure all members of our community can maintain vital personal hygiene practices during this public health emergency. Along with the shower facility, the Town’s three public washrooms (Fourth Street, Tulista Park, and Iroquois Park) remain open for use. These facilities are cleaned and sanitized multiple times daily.

The Town of Sidney would like to extend a big thank you to two local businesses that have shown great generosity during these challenging times. Tyneham Luxury Products donated the toiletries that will be available at the shower facility, including soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, and the Best Western Plus Emerald Isle Hotel in Sidney donated the towels that will be available. We are greatly appreciative of the support shown for this important initiative by these local businesses.

The shower facility’s hours of operations coincide with the operational hours of the adjacent Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank. The Food Bank runs a food hamper program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, and they are currently open for extra food pick-ups on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank is in urgent need of donations, and demand for its services is growing in these uncertain times. For anyone who is able, donations can be made online at www.splfoodbank.com/donate or by phone 250-655-0679.

BC Hydro Update – COVID-19 Relief Fund

BC Hydro today announced it is introducing a COVID-19 Relief Fund that will provide bill credits to its residential and small business customers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this new program, residential customers that have lost their job or are unable to work will be able to apply to receive a one-time bill credit of three times their average monthly bill amount. Small business customers that have had to close their business as a result of measures implemented to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will also be able to apply to have their electricity costs waived for up to three months.

Eligible residential customers will be able to apply for the COVID-19 Relief Fund by the end of next week and small business customers will be able to apply starting April 14. Customers have until June 30, 2020 to apply for relief.

Read BC Hydro's full statement here: https://www.bchydro.com/news/press_centre/news_releases/2020/covid-19-relief-fund.html


March 31, 2020

 

 

Bylaw Enforcement of Public Health Measures

On March 26, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General used the extraordinary powers of the Emergency Program Act to enable municipal bylaw officers to enforce the Provincial Health Officer’s orders. Town of Sidney Bylaw Officers now have the authority to ensure that local businesses are adhering to provincially mandated closures. As well, our Bylaw Officers will also work to ensure that people are practicing proper social distancing in public spaces.

Our Bylaw Officers are working closely with local businesses and the public to educate on how best to protect the health of staff, patrons, and our community at large. This will be undertaken through regular visits to Sidney businesses, the waterfront area and parks. Their focus will be providing guidance based on recommendations and orders from senior levels of government and the provincial and regional health authorities.

We would like to thank our local business community for all the measures they have already taken and continue to adopt to keep their staff and patrons safe. We would also like to thank park and trail users who are adapting to social distancing requirements and are keeping 2 metres away from others they encounter when in shared public spaces.

If you have any questions or concerns related to enforcement of public health measures, you can contact the Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre at information@sidney.ca or 250-655-6900 (phone line monitored Monday - Friday, 9 am to 4 pm, voicemails returned as soon as possible).


March 30, 2020

 

 

Sidney Virtual Town Hall Forum on COVID-19 - April 5, 2020, 2 pm - 3 pm

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith and Emergency Operations Centre Director, Randy Humble, will host a virtual Town Hall forum on COVID-19 on Sunday, April 5, 2020 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm. The event will be hosted on the video meeting platform Zoom which is free to download. The discussion will provide updates to the community on the Town of Sidney’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic followed by a Q&A session. To participate using Zoom on April 5, go to: https://zoom.us/j/382543792

Radio Sidney will also be live streaming the event. Although you won't be able to submit a question through the Radio Sidney live stream, you will be able to listen to the discussion. Tune into Radio Sidney at: http://radiosidney.ca

Updated Service Information from Local Businesses

Island Health Update – Paid Parking Temporarily Suspended

In an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Island Health is temporarily suspending pay parking for the public, staff and medical staff, at all health authority owned and operated sites, effective April 1, 2020 until further notice. Island Health operated sites in the Saanich Peninsula region include the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and the Peninsula Health Unit.

Read their statement at: https://www.islandhealth.ca/news/news-releases/island-health-temporarily-suspends-pay-parking


March 28, 2020

 

 

Website Update

We have reorganized many of the updates we've shared regarding the Town's COVID-19 response efforts and operations updates into easier-to-navigate pages accessible from our new COVID-19 Response Page. Look through the pages to learn more about the Town's Emergency Operations Centre, municipal services updates, ways to help, and more. Additional sections will be added in the coming days - be sure to check back regularly.

We will continue to post our daily updates to this newsroom page.

Virtual Discussion and Q&A Reminder

Don't forget to join Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith and Councillor Peter Wainwright for a virtual discussion and Q&A on Sunday, March 29 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. The event will be hosted on the video meeting platform called Zoom which is free to download. To access the event, go to: https://zoom.us/j/382543792. For more information, refer to the March 27, 2020 update below.


March 27, 2020

 

 

Virtual Discussion and Q&A with Mayor McNeil-Smith & Councillor Wainwright

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith and Councillor Peter Wainwright will be hosting a virtual discussion and Q&A on Sunday, March 29 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. The event will be hosted on the video meeting platform called Zoom which is free to download. The discussion will provide updates to the community on the Town of Sidney’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic followed by a Q&A session.

Zoom allows up to 100 people to participate in the discussion. To access the event go to: https://zoom.us/j/382543792

If you are unable to gain access, Radio Sidney will be live streaming the event. Although you won’t be able to submit a question, you will be able to listen to the discussion. Tune into Radio Sidney at: http://radiosidney.ca/

Social Distancing in Parks and on Paths

As we start another weekend, we’d like to remind everyone that Town playgrounds, sport courts, and the skate park are closed. Parks & trails remain open, but please remember to practice social distancing and keep 2 metres away from those you encounter.

We’ve added additional signage asking those using the Town’s Lochside Pedestrian Path to use the upper path to walk southbound (towards Victoria) and to use the lower path to go northbound (towards Sidney). This will help pedestrians keep a safe distance from others using the pathways.

Mental Health Reminder

It’s normal to be worried about COVID-19 and what the future may hold. Stress, anxiety, and sadness are common responses to the disruption and isolation that many of us are experiencing. The Government of British Columbia has put together a list of tips and resources regarding mental health management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This weekend, consider taking some time to focus on ways to manage any stress and anxiety we may be feeling. Some of the key things we can all do include:

  • Reach out to friends and family
    Social distancing is critical to help control the spread of the virus. But at the same time it can also create even greater feelings of isolation, loneliness and sometimes depression. Therefore use safe ways to connect, including picking up the phone and calling friends and family, connect with friends on-line and offer support to those who need it.
  • Have calm conversations – especially when talking to children
  • Practice self-care
    All things that you can do to manage your stress, whether it’s going for walk in your neighbourhood, exercising, meditating or practicing deep breathing, will better prepare you to take care of yourself and others.
  • Seek help when needed
    You know your body and its signs of stress. If you are having trouble managing your mental health, call your healthcare provider or a support phone line and encourage those you love to do the same.

Refer to the Province's complete list for more information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health-safety/covid19_stressmanagement_5_accessible.pdf

Provincial Update – Support for the Arts Sector

On March 27, 2020 the Government of British Columbia announced support for the people and organizations in the arts sector. COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing has had a significant impact on everyone, including those in the arts sector. Arts organizations responded to the orders, direction and recommendations from the provincial health officer, and showed leadership by cancelling events, performances and festivals to protect people’s health. The Province understands that this has had a significant impact on artists, their families and arts organizations.

Building on their COVID-19 Action Plan, the Province has developed a $3-million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to be administered by the BC Arts Council. Operating and eligible project clients will receive a supplement of up to $15,000 in early April to help them pay their bills. Starting in April 2020, the BC Arts Council will provide operating clients a 50% advance on 2020-21 funding to help with their cash flow. The Province is also extending application deadlines, relaxing reporting requirements and allowing organizations to use funding to cover immediate needs like rent and utilities.

Read the Province’s full statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020TAC0015-000577


March 26, 2020

 

 

Seniors Helpline: Call 2-1-1

  • Through the United Way, you can call 2-1-1 or visit www.bc211.ca if you are a senior in need, or would like to volunteer with a senior in your community to check in on them or to help pick-up groceries/prescriptions. The helpline will take calls 7 days/week to help keep seniors safe in their homes.
  • Beacon Community Services is also working to provide information and assistance to seniors and other vulnerable local residents by phone at 250-656-5537. If you know of any vulnerable members of our community looking for information or assistance, please pass this contact information along. If you are looking to volunteer during this time, please consider contacting Beacon Community Services regarding volunteering opportunities.

Provincial Update – Ministerial Orders Under the Emergency Program Act

Using the powers under the Emergency Program Act, the Provincial Minister of Public Safety issued a series of ministerial orders to ensure a coordinated response to COVID-19 across all levels of government for the duration of the provincial emergency. These include:

  • Supply chain: Establishing a new Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit to co-ordinate goods and services distribution; taking a more active role in co-ordinating essential goods and services movement by land, air, marine and rail; and suspending any bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day.
  • Protecting consumers: Banning the secondary resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning and other essential supplies; and restricting quantities of items purchased at point of sale.
  • Enforcement: Enabling municipal bylaw officers to support enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders for business closures and gatherings, in line with offences under the Public Health Act.
  • Travel: Ensuring all passenger and car-ferry services provide minimum service levels and priority access for residents, and essential goods and workers.
  • Protecting B.C.’s most vulnerable: Making it easier to support critical services for vulnerable people, like food banks and shelters.
  • Coordination: Suspending local states of emergency specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, except for the City of Vancouver; giving municipal councils the ability to hold more flexible meetings to expedite decisions; and coordinating potential use of local publicly owned facilities, like community centres, for self-isolation, testing, medical care, warehousing and distribution.

You can read the Province’s full statement at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0020-000568

Federal Update – Emergency Order Under the Quarantine Act

On March 25, 2020, the Government of Canada’s Minister of Health announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19.

This federal Emergency Order reinforces an existing British Columbia Provincial Health Order in place since March 17, 2020 which orders every person in British Columbia who has travelled outside Canada and returned on or after March 12 to self-isolate for 14 days.

The new federal emergency order was implemented by the Canada Border Services Agency at points of entry by midnight on March 25. The Government of Canada will use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the order. Failure to comply with this Order is an offense under the Quarantine Act. Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.

All individuals permitted to enter Canada are subject to this Order, with the exception of certain persons who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and services, and those who provide essential services. Individuals exempt from the Order will still need to practice social distancing and self-monitoring and contact their local public health authority if they feel sick.

You can read the full statement at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2020/03/new-order-makes-self-isolation-mandatory-for-individuals-entering-canada.html

BC Construction Safety Alliance Response to COVID-19

The BC Construction Safety Alliance has posted information regarding COVID-19 for the construction industry on their website. Information includes a resources & signage, info & useful links, FAQs, and mental health resources.

You can visit their website to access this information: https://www.bccsa.ca/

 


March 25, 2020

 

 

Western Section of Downtown Employee Parking Lot Temporarily Repurposed as Critical Supply Chain Rest Stop

As of March 26, 2020, the western section of the Downtown Employee/Public Parking Lot will be temporarily closed to allow for the set-up of a Town of Sidney Critical Supply Chain Rest Stop. Parking lot users are asked to please park in the eastern section of the parking lot. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate the public’s patience and support during this time.

As a result of the COVID-19 situation, several local public restrooms and rest stops have closed. The Town of Sidney Critical Supply Chain Rest Stop will allow those who are delivering essential goods to our region during this time to find a space to rest and access restrooms and local food options.

The Critical Supply Chain Rest Stop will have a soft open on Thursday, March 26, 2020 and should be fully operational on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Critical Supply Chain Rest Stop

Utility Bill Payments

The Town of Sidney will not be applying penalties to any utility billings that remain unpaid at this time.

The next utility bill is scheduled to be mailed out in mid-April. At this time, we plan on issuing these bills, but will be doing so with a long due date (some date in the summer, to be determined). Depending on circumstances at that time, we may choose not to apply penalties for late payment at that time. We hope to issue the next bill as a way to assist with our cash flow; the more funds we have coming in, the better it will be for our 2020 operations. We will be inviting those customers who can pay at this time to please do so; for other customers, leniency will be applied to the extent possible.

We are also looking at ways to extend the property tax due date. We will share more information regarding property taxes over the next several weeks.

ICBC Autoplan Insurance Transactions Available

While public access to the Town of Sidney Driver Services' Building is restricted, there are some ICBC transactions that Driver Services' staff are now able to conduct over the phone. These transactions are:

  • Renewals
  • Policy changes
  • Cancellations
  • Storage policies
  • Temporary operating permits

Call Town of Sidney Driver Services at 250-656-0614 to access these services.

BC Ferries Update

In line with directions provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada and other leading health authorities, BC Ferries is advising customers to avoid non-essential travel at this time.

BC Ferries crews have been – and continue to – take extra measures to clean and disinfect all touch points. To support social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease including COVID-19, all catering and retail services are closed until further notice.

BC Ferries are strongly advising passengers to stay in their vehicles, regardless of their car deck, during the crossing. If you must come up to the passenger decks, please maintain social distancing on board, and stay at least two metres away from employees.

Read their full statement here: https://www.bcferries.com/current_conditions/travel-advisory.html

Provincial Update – Support for Renters & Landlords

To support people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Province is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents, among other actions.

The new rental supplement will help households by offering up to $500 a month towards their rent, building on federal and provincial financial supports already announced for British Columbians facing financial hardship.

Read their full statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0048-000561

Federal Update – Canada Emergency Response Benefit

To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the Government of Canada has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Read their full statement here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html


March 24, 2020

 

 

Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre Update

The Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre’s Director & Deputy Director provided a verbal COVID-19 update to Council at the March 23, 2020 Council meeting. This update includes a description of the Emergency Operations Centre and its functions, as well as the key areas upon which the EOC has been focused.

Mental Health Supports

It is normal to be worried about COVID-19. Stress, anxiety, and sadness are common responses to the disruption and isolation many of us are experiencing. The Government of British Columbia has put together a list of tips and resources to help us all manage COVID-19-related stress, anxiety and depression: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health-safety/covid19_stressmanagement_5_accessible.pdf

Ways the Public Can Help

  • Practice social distancing – If you are sick, stay home. If you are able to stay home, please stay home. If you are out in public, keep a distance of 2 meters (6’) from other people.
  • Do not flush wipes or paper towels. Even if they say they are flushable, wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and they form blockages in the pumps that keep our sewer system running.
  • The Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank is in urgent need of donations. If you are able, please consider donating online at www.splfoodbank.com/donate or by phone 250-655-0679.
  • Beacon Community Services is working to provide information and assistance to seniors and other vulnerable local residents by phone at 250-656-5537. If you know of any vulnerable members of our community looking for information or assistance, please pass this contact information along. If you are looking to volunteer during this time, please consider contacting Beacon Community Services regarding volunteering opportunities.
  • Donate blood - visit www.blood.ca for more information.

Local Business Updates

The Sidney BIA is maintaining a list of updates from local businesses, including hour changes, closure notices, and delivery/online services: https://sidneybia.ca/sidney-business-operations-updates/

Local Facility Closures List

The following local care/retirement homes and medical facilities have limited access to the public:

  • Sidney Care
  • Sidney All Care Residence
  • Norgarden
  • The Peninsula at Norgarden
  • Amica Beechwood Village
  • Rest Haven Lodge
  • Shoreline Medical (offering telehealth visits only)

COVID-19 Contact Information

COVID-19 Medical Information:

  • For people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who require assistance with other health issues, call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1.
  • The BC Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control have developed a Self-Assessment tool, which can help you determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Click here to access the Self-Assessment Tool.

COVID-19 Non-Medical Information:

  • Provincial COVID-19 information:
    - Call: 1-888-COVID-19 (1-888-268-4319) – available 7 days a week, 7:30 am to 8 pm
    - Text: 604-630-0300
  • Public Health Agency of Canada's COVID-19 information:
    - Call: 1-833-784-4397
    - Email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca

For additional information and updates, we recommend visiting the following websites for credible information:


March 23, 2020

 

 

March 23, 2020 Council Meeting Live-Stream

The March 23, 2020 Council Meeting will be live-streamed at 6 pm. The Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre’s Director & Deputy Director will be providing a verbal COVID-19 update at the start of the meeting.

COVID-19 Informational Poster

An informational poster regarding the Community Response to COVID-19 was posted on the main entrances of multi-residential stratas in Sidney today.

You can view and print this poster here if you would like a copy.

Supports for Businesses & Workers

On March 23, 2020, the Province announced the B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan, to build on the federal government’s COVID-19 economic plan and boost supports for British Columbians.

For information about Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

For information about B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-takes-steps-to-support-people-businesses-during-covid-19-pandemic


March 21, 2020

 

 

Update from the Province

British Columbia's Provincial Health Officer recently issued 2 new orders:

  • On Saturday, March 21, 2020, BC’s Provincial Health Officer ordered personal service establishments (such as barbershops, salons, nail estheticians, health spas, massage parlours, tattoo shops and others) to close until further notice. Click here to read the full statement.
  • On Friday, March 20, 2020, BC’s Provincial Health Officer ordered that all restaurants can only offer take-out and/or delivery services, in order to ensure proper social distancing. Click here to read the full statement.

You can access a list of other BC Provincial Health Orders regarding COVID-19 on the Provincial Health Officer's page. These include:

  • Businesses with liquor primary licences, such as bars, pubs and night clubs, must close until further notice
  • Any person who has travelled outside Canada and returned on or after March 12 must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Public gatherings of more than 50 people – indoors or outdoors – must be cancelled


March 20, 2020

 

 

Playgrounds, Sport Courts, and Skate Park Closure

As of March 20, 2020, the Town of Sidney is closing municipal playgrounds, basketball, tennis, and beach volleyball courts, and the skate park until further notice. The Town is taking this action to protect public health and to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Municipal parks remain open – we encourage residents to continue to enjoy our local parks and natural areas while also maintaining appropriate social distance from others (2 meters/6 feet).


March 19, 2020

 

 

Business Updates

A number of local businesses are offering additional services to help our community during this time. In addition to online shopping and delivery options, some local grocery stores and pharmacies are offering special store hours for seniors, people with disabilities, and those most vulnerable to shop for their groceries. Visit www.sidneybia.ca/sidney-business-operations-updates/ for more information.

Canada-U.S. Travel

Canada and the United States have agreed to temporarily restrict non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border. Travellers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism.

Government of Canada travel advisories can be found at: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories


March 18, 2020

 

 

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Restricts Front Counter Services

As of March 18, 2020, the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP front counter services are restricted. For non-emergency service including deliveries during this period, please phone the detachment at: 250-656-3931. The Sidney/North Saanich RCMP apologizes for this inconvenience and appreciates your support as we work together in keeping our community safe.

A reminder: public access to all Town of Sidney municipal buildings is restricted until further notice. This includes the Town Hall, Driver Services, the Community Safety Building, and the Public Works & Parks Yard. We have taken this measure to ensure the health of our staff and the public as we all work together to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Click here to read more about this measure.

Schools

As of March 17, 2020, British Columbia has suspended Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes. Teachers and schools will be developing plans for continuing instruction, outside of the classroom. More information will be shared when it becomes available. Read more about it here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/childcare-schools

Grocery Stores

Emergency Management staff met with the three major grocery stores in Sidney and reviewed social distancing best practices. Emergency Management staff strongly recommended the following measures be considered:

  • Create visible barriers to encourage physical distancing, such as using tape to mark the floor at check outs for appropriate spacing when in line (2m/6ft)
  • Display signage around stores with messaging pertaining to washing hands, cough and sneeze into arms, do not touch face while shopping, maintain 2m/6ft distance between patrons, accessibility to sanitizer, etc.
  • Increase sanitizer accessibility for staff and patrons. Reconsider locations to increase visibility and if possible increase quantity
  • Increase cleaning of stores and their facilities
  • Increase cleaning of carts, baskets, wicket dividers

We would like to share our appreciation to Sidney’s business community for all the measures they have taken to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

We would like to remind the public that following social and physical distancing measures is a critical step to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We thank everyone for their cooperation and patience during this time.

Support for Businesses & Workers

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID19 Economic Response Plan. Learn more at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

The Sidney BIA is compiling information and resources for businesses on their website: https://sidneybia.ca/COVID-19/

The Sidney BIA is also maintaining a list of updates from local businesses, including hour changes, closure notices, and delivery/online services: https://sidneybia.ca/sidney-business-operations-updates/

Provincial Update

British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer has declared a public health emergency. This declaration allows the provincial health officer to facilitate an even faster response to the rapidly changing situation and enact further measures to protect British Columbians. The provincial health officer has issued the following orders:

  • Effective immediately, businesses with liquor primary licences, such as bars, pubs and night clubs, must close, as they are unable to adequately meet the requirements of social distancing. Restaurants and cafes that cannot maintain social distancing of one to two meters between patrons will need to move to take-out and delivery models.
  • Public gatherings of more than 50 people – indoors or outdoors – must be cancelled.

You can read their full statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0089-000505


March 17, 2020

 

 

EOC Level 2

As of March 17, 2020, the Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is operating at a Level 2. Upgrading to a Level 2 allows for additional advance planning, so that in the event mitigation strategies are not successful, response plans to anticipated events can be immediately implemented.

The Town’s Level 2 EOC includes a Recovery Planning Section Chief position. This position allows the EOC to work closely with the Sidney Business Improvement Area (SBIA) and the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to actively participate in the business recovery planning process.

Business Information

The Sidney BIA has prepared a page for local businesses to access resources, including checklists, guides, and business continuity plan templates specifically geared towards the COVID-19 situation. Click here to access the Sidney BIA's COVID-19 Resources for Businesses page.

In light of the current situation, many Sidney businesses have been modifying their hours of operations, enacting indefinite closure notices, limiting public access, and developing delivery/online services. For a list of updates from local businesses, visit the Sidney BIA's Business Updates Page.

Additionally, the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is dedicating their Facebook page to sharing updates and information from local Saanich Peninsula businesses. Click here to access the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.

Don't flush Sanitary Wipes or Paper Towels

Please do not flush wipes or paper towels. Even if they say they are flushable, wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper, and they can form blockages to the pumps that keep our sewer system running.

Social Distancing

The Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, and our regional, provincial, and federal public health agencies are all reinforcing the message of Social Distancing. If you are able to stay home, please stay home. This relates to physical distancing as well – if you are out in public, maintain a distance from others of approximately 2 meters.

A reminder: all public gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited in British Columbia.

Washington State Ferries Service Suspended

Washington State Ferries has announced that they are suspending the start of the Anacortes/Sidney schedule until at least April 28, 2020. The Town will continue regular discussions with Washington State Ferries regarding the Sidney/Anacortes route, and we will communicate any future updates.

 


March 16, 2020

 

 

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 at 11:00 am, public access to all Town of Sidney municipal buildings will be restricted until further notice.

This includes the Town Hall, Driver Services, the Community Safety Building, and Public Works & Parks Yard. We have taken this measure to ensure the health of our staff and the public as we all work together to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

We are continuing municipal operations to the fullest extent possible during this time and prioritizing essential services. Our standard departmental services will be carried out by phone, email, and through our website. You can find Department contact information on our Contact Us page and access our online services on our Online Services page. Response times to inquiries may take longer than usual - we appreciate your patience during this time.

Please note: we will be live-streaming all future Council & Committee of the Whole meetings, including the March 16, 2020 Committee of the Whole & Special Council meetings, beginning at 6:00 pm. The link to the live-stream will be posted on our Council Agendas & Minutes page.

During this time, bill payments can be:

  • Paid online at MySidney;
  • Dropped in the letterbox at the Town Hall;
  • Paid at your financial institution

March 16, 2020 Update from the Government of British Columbia

Click here to access the full statement.

Highlights:

  • Visits to long-term care facilities are restricted to essential visits only
  • A new dedicated phone service has been created for non-medical information about COVID-19
    - For non-medical information, call: 1-888-COVID-19 (1-888-268-4319)
    - For medical information (for people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who require assistance with other health issues), call: 8-1-1
  • All public gatherings of more than 50 people are now prohibited in British Columbia. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings and other similar events

March 16, 2020 Update from the Government of Canada

Click here to access the full statement.

Highlights:

  • All Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside the country until further notice
  • Canadian travellers urged to return to Canada via commercial means while they remain available
  • All travellers to Canada are to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry, with exceptions for workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people
  • To protect Canadians and to ease burdens on our health care system and frontline workers, as of March 18, 2020 at 12:01 am, the Government of Canada will, for air travel specifically, bar foreign nationals from all countries (except the United States) from entering Canada. Screening measures at airports will also be strengthened.

 


March 13, 2020

 

 

The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia are recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Effective March 12, 2020, the Government of British Columbia is asking anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return.

Additionally, the BC Government is directing event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 50 people (updated to reflect the new order issued by the BC Government on March 16, 2020). This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings or other similar events.

Earlier today, the Government of Canada announced that the start of the cruise ship season has been deferred from April 2, 2020 to July 1, 2020 at the earliest. This deferral applies to cruise ships capable of carrying more than 500 passengers and crew members. It does not apply to smaller vessels or ferries at this time.

The Town continues to monitor recommendations from Transport Canada and regional, provincial, and federal public health agencies regarding ferry travel. We are in discussions with Washington State Ferries regarding the Sidney/Anacortes route, and we will provide an update as soon as we have confirmed details.

Effective March 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm and until further notice, SHOAL Community Centre in Sidney, will be closed to the public. Beacon Community Services announced the closure as a precautionary measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Town’s Emergency Operations Centre and Town staff continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak through daily updates from the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), Emergency Management BC, and senior levels of government.

For additional information and updates, we recommend visiting the following websites for credible information:

 


March 12, 2020

 

 

The Town of Sidney has been closely monitoring and pre-planning for the COVID-19 situation since the initial outbreak. As we move forward in responding to the current COVID-19 situation, our key message is "Preparation, Not Panic."

The Town is taking the following measures to reduce the risk to our staff and the public:

  • Adopted increased cleaning protocols at our facilities, including regularly sanitizing workstations, counters and phones
  • Directed Town staff to stay home if they are sick
  • Posted signage at the Town Hall to remind staff and members of the public to wash their hands frequently - this is still our best defense against contracting and passing along the virus
  • Discontinued handshaking
  • Adopted "social distancing" - maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet/2 meters) from others when possible
  • Postponed non-essential Committee meetings
  • Live-streaming of Council and Committee of the Whole meetings will begin as soon as possible - we will encourage the public to watch meetings via the live stream
  • Sidney's Emergency Program Coordinator will provide a regular update report to Council

Additionally, the Town of Sidney activated a Level 1 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) on March 12, 2020. The EOC will:

  • Continue to closely monitor the situation
  • Provide public notifications
  • Work closely with other relevant agencies (VIHA, nursing homes, Washington State Ferries, etc.)
  • Provide guidance to staff
  • Promote Business Continuity Planning within the business community
    - If you are interested in additional information about Business Continuity Planning, including a Business Continuity Planning template, please visit our Business Continuity Planning page.


 

 

March  4, 2020

A novel coronavirus is causing an infectious disease called COVID-19 that has spread to many countries around the world. The Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, and the BC Centre for Disease Control are working with many partners to monitor, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 public health situation.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. A newly discovered coronavirus causes a respiratory disease called COVID-19.

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fever, sore throat, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.

How is the Virus Spread?

Coronavirus may be contracted through liquid droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact with an infected individual. It can also be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough. This is why it is important to cough or sneeze into your arm and wash your hands regularly.

The virus is not known to be airborne (e.g. transmitted through the particles floating in the air), and it is not something that comes in through the skin.

How do we Lower the Risk of Spreading the Virus?

The BC Centre for Disease Control recommends following regular cold and flu season practices to prevent the spreading of the virus. This includes:

  • Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water
  • When sneezing or coughing, use your arm to cover your nose and mouth
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Avoid others who are ill
  • Avoid touching your face

Be Prepared

Being prepared for the possibility that schools, events, businesses and organizations may face potential disruptions if the coronavirus spreads will result in less of a disturbance if they occur. Employees and students should be encouraged to remain home if they feel unwell. Having alternative arrangements for child care or options for working from home in place will ensure, as a community, we lower our risk of potentially spreading the coronavirus.

Travel

Travelers should keep apprised of affected countries. If you have recently traveled and feel ill, contact your primary care provider, local public health office, or call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention?

If you are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing and have recently returned from travelling in an affected area or have been exposed to the someone who has COVID-19, avoid contact with others. Contact a health care provider as soon as possible. If you are going to visit a health care provider, call them ahead of time so they can arrange for you to be assessed safely.

If you are unsure about what to do or have concerns or questions, contact HealthLinkBC by calling 8-1-1 at any time, or contact your health care provider. Additionally, the Public Health Agency of Canada has set up a COVID-19 telephone information line at: 1-833-784-4397.

Discrimination

Participating in unjust discrimination is not a method of defense against the coronavirus. The Town of Sidney and its residents pride themselves on the community we share, and estranging members of our community will only create challenges in assisting one another to stay as healthy as possible.

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