What steps the City of Winnipeg is taking to reopen some services next week

By | May 2, 2020

WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said city officials are working tirelessly to help support the province’s reopening plan.

“It is a pretty rapid reopening plan, and we’re rolling with it, and we’re going to do the best we can to support it in a thoughtful way, in a way that protects the safety of our staff, but also of our residents,” he said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Friday.

The mayor said the city saw the final reopening plan at the same time as the rest of the province, and officials were on the phone right away to determine what this means for city operations.

WINNIPEG TRANSIT

During the pandemic, Winnipeg Transit’s ridership went down by 70 per cent, and it reduced service levels by 30 per cent.

“Transit operations have definitely had to change and evolve with the change in ridership demand,” said Bowman.

He said transit has plans to scale up the system very soon, depending on what ridership and city operations look like during the reopening. Bowman noted provincial officials don’t expect everyone to be back to work right away.

“This is going to be a gradual reopening of the economy and our community,” the mayor said.

ENFORCEMENT

Though the provincial reopening plans means some non-essential businesses, such as restaurant patios and nail salons, can open beginning on May 4, they can only do so under strict guidelines.

Bowman said enforcement of these measures is dependent on location.

“The default throughout the community, throughout the province, is these are provincial health orders, and provincial enforcement measures deal with that,” he said.

Bowman noted that community service ambassadors and bylaw officers are only involved with the enforcement at city-owned and operated facilities.

“When you’re talking about patios and you’re talking about malls, that’s where the province and province’s enforcement would kick in,” he said.

So far, the City of Winnipeg has only issued one ticket regarding not following public health orders. Bowman said he wouldn’t be surprised if more penalties were handed out after the reopening begins.

“We need to continue to follow the public health orders from Manitoba Health and we need to continue to stay home where you can and make sure you’re doing the physical distancing and all of the other healthcare directions that we’re getting from Manitoba Health,” he said.

RESTAURANT PATIOS

With restaurant patios permitted to open on Monday, city officials have been working with the province to best support its establishments.

Normally, if a restaurant wants to apply for patio approval from the city, the process takes many weeks.

“Well, that’s not going to cut it for those that have never had patios and who realize on Monday, they can start making some money and welcoming people to patios,” Bowman said.

The city announced on Friday it’s offering temporary patio approvals to local restaurants.

In order to qualify, businesses must submit a registration form before 3 p.m. on May 3.

“The expectation and my objective is restaurants that want to open temporary new patio spaces on Monday, that we’re going to do everything we can to support their efforts,” the mayor said.

LIBRARIES

One difficulty the city is facing is the reopening of libraries. Bowman noted they are allowed to open on Monday but have to close high-touch displays.

He said this is tricky as libraries are high-touch locations, as people touch books, so the city is still trying to figure it out.

“We’re working those things out in real-time, and we’ll be really looking forward to when we can reopen libraries, but that won’t be on Monday.”

– With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube and Rahim Ladhani

 

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From: Rosen, Kayla

Sent: Saturday, May 2, 2020 12:23 PM

To: Winnipeg Digital News

Subject: VET REQUEST: Winnipeg mayor speaks on provincial reopening plan

 

Headline: How the City of Winnipeg is preparing to reopen some of its services next week

Headline: What steps the City of Winnipeg is taking to reopen some services next week

 

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said city officials are working tirelessly to help support the province’s reopening plan.

 

“It is a pretty rapid reopening plan and we’re rolling with it and we’re going to do the best we can to support it in a thoughtful way, in a way that protects the safety of our staff, but also of our residents,” he said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Friday.

 

The mayor said the city saw the final reopening plan at the same time as the rest of the province, and officials were on the phone right away to determine what this means for city operations.

 

WINNIPEG TRANSIT

 

During the pandemic Winnipeg Transit’s ridership went down by 70 per cent, and it reduced service levels by 30 per cent.

 

“Transit operations have definitely had to change and evolve with the change in ridership demand,” said Bowman.

 

He said transit has plans to scale up the system very soon, depending on what ridership and city operations look like during the reopening. Bowman noted provincial officials don’t expect everyone to be back to work right away.

 

“This is going to be a gradual reopening of the economy and our community,” the mayor said.

 

ENFORCEMENT

 

Though the provincial reopening plans means some non-essential businesses, such as restaurant patios and nail salons, can open beginning on May 4, they can only do so under strict guidelines.

 

Bowman said enforcement of these measures is dependent on location.

 

“The default throughout the community, throughout the province, is these are provincial health orders and provincial enforcement measures deal with that,” he said.

 

Bowman noted that community service ambassadors and bylaw officers are only involved with enforce

 

ment at city-owned and operated facilities.

 

“When you’re talking about patios and you’re talking about malls that’s where the province and province’s enforcement would kick in,” he said.

 

So far, the City of Winnipeg has only issued one ticket regarding not following public health orders, but Bowman said he wouldn’t be surprised if more penalties were handed out after the reopening begins.

 

“We need to continue to follow the public health orders from Manitoba Health and we need to continue to stay home where you can and make sure you’re doing the physical distancing and all of the other healthcare directions that we’re getting from Manitoba Health,” he said.

 

RESTAURANT PATIOS

 

With restaurant patios permitted to open on Monday, city officials have been working with the province to best support its establishments.

 

Normally, if a restaurant wants to apply for patio approval from the city, the process takes many weeks.

 

“Well that’s not going to cut it for those that have never had patios and who realize on Monday they can start making some money and welcoming people to patios,” Bowman said.

 

So the city announced on Friday it’s offering temporary patio approvals to local restaurants.

 

In order to qualify, businesses must submit a registration form before 3 p.m. on May 3.

 

“The expectation and my objective is restaurants that want to open temporary new patio spaces on Monday, that we’re going to do everything we can to support their efforts,” the mayor said.

 

LIBRARIES

 

One difficulty the city is facing is the reopening of libraries. Bowman noted they are allowed to open on Monday, but have to close high-touch displays.

 

He said this is tricky as libraries are high-touch locations, as people touch books, so the city is still trying to figure it out.

 

“We’re working those things out in real time and we’ll be really looking forward to when we can reopen libraries, but that won’t be on Monday.

 

– With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube and Rahim Ladhani

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