Stage 2 Comes with an Important Responsibility: Mayor Dilkens

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Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens calls a provincial decision to move part of this region to Stage 2 'welcome news' but he emphasizes it comes with great responsibility.

Dilkens says Windsor-Essex 'rises and falls as a region' and he is committed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Leamington and Kingsville as those two municipalities remain in Stage 1.

The mayor held a news conference Wednesday afternoon and reacted to the province's announcement where Windsor and five municipalities in Essex County can move to Stage 2, which means more businesses can reopen.

Dilkens says when he talked to the Premier, he did advocate for Windsor to reopen before the county.

"I just advocated that they come forward with a plan because my fear is that, we could have moved into next week or the following week and really been in the same position where numbers in the migrant community remained high but there was no plan to address the problem on the ground," says Dilkens.   

He says city administration is finalizing a report dealing with patios and outdoor retails spaces.

"City council has said we want to provide the pathway that reduces red tape, that removes restrictions and allows certain things to happen that we may not have done before in the city of Windsor, that there may have been some push back before because of certain logistical issues," he says.  

Dilkens says seven city BIA have already submitted plans.

"Some are interesting ideas that you've seen in cities like Halifax and some in Toronto and some other cities in North America and so we're just sorting through those details, preparing a report for city council but all of my conversations with councillors so far, they're not even hesitating," says Dilkens.  "There's just wide spread support to see some of these things happen which is great," says Dilkens.     

Dilkens points out it is important for people to continue to take the necessary steps to prevent an increase in the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

He says he had further phone calls with provincial and federal ministers this week including Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu.

Dilkens expects the recovery for businesses to be 'slow and deliberate' but he accepts it in order to move to Stage 3 in the future.

Windsor-Essex has had 1,361 confirmed cases with 788 cases are resolved.  

There have been 68 deaths including two migrant workers.

- with files from AM800's Rob Hindi