Perth County supports basing capacity limits for most facilities on size

·2 min read

PERTH COUNTY – On March 18, Perth County council passed two motions to support adjusting capacity levels during the COVID-19 pandemic to be based on the size of a facility rather than flat occupancy rates.

Coun. Todd Kasenberg introduced a motion of support for a letter from the Township of Lake of Bays asking the province to consider the capacity limits for restaurants based on the size of the seating area instead of a flat occupancy.

“They make a good case, I think, for not applying a broad stroke of ceilings and trying to make use of actual floor area to determine the number of occupants for users of restaurant spaces,” he said. “To me, that sort of capping always did bother me a little bit. I think it needs to be related to that floor area unless there are other data.”

Warden Jim Aitcheson said he could not disagree with Kasenberg’s point, but he had heard from a close friend who works in a restaurant in Stratford.

“Every person she waited on, on the weekend came from a red zone area, not locals,” he said. “I’m just making that a point. If you want to finally end this maybe, there are some reasons there are restrictions.”

Coun. Daryl Herlick introduced a motion supporting a resolution from the City of Sarnia advocating Ontario to adjust the capacity limits for dining, restaurants, sporting and recreational facilities, places of worship, event centres, and all small businesses based on the colour-coded system to the number of people per facility which ensures distancing can be maintained.

“They have their concerns with the colour coding as well,” he said. “It makes it tough. Having some close friends in the restaurant business – it certainly has been trying times. (Going) in and out of lockdowns is very hard on a person – hard on people in general… It needs to be (based) on square footage and much similar to Coun. Kasenberg – they make some good points here I feel we can support as well.”

Aitcheson pointed out that Sarnia just went back into lockdown.

“If you are looking for comment, interestingly, all these requests are coming from areas that are getting worse instead of better,” said Coun. Walter McKenzie. “I don’t know what to take from that but…”

“You can read a lot into it or not read into it,” said Aitcheson.

Council voted in favour of supporting both motions.

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner