Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark hopes to support business, co-ordinate enforcement with new COVID-19 plan

·2 min read

Mayor Charlie Clark says he's concerned about new cases of COVID-19 in Saskatoon and is looking to see what the city can do to slow the spread.

Clark sent out a series of Twitter posts Tuesday night stating that he had been speaking with a wide range of groups, including medical personnel and the business sector. Clark promised to make a Saskatoon-specific plan to slow down the spread of the virus.

In an interview, Clark said the plan will work alongside provincial restrictions and will focus on filling gaps in the current system.

"What we can do is work in a co-ordinated way between our local leadership, whether it's in the faith communities and agricultural communities and the business community, with our EMO, with our police to have the most co-ordinated approach we can," said Clark.

"We have make sure that we've got all of the right pieces working together when it comes to contact tracing and being able to track and understand where the virus is in our community."

Clark said the city does not plan on creating its own restrictions or closures and will continue to follow the province's recommendations.

At a city committee meeting on Monday, Clark and city manager Jeff Jorgenson both said the city was limited in its powers regarding COVID-19 restrictions and felt it was best to follow the province's lead on the matter.

Clark said the new plan will focus on measures including an increased effort to make sure everyone is following the rules.

"People want to see that there's co-ordinated enforcement," he said.

"We have situations where we have businesses or private gatherings that are undermining the sacrifices that so many people are making to follow the guidelines."

Clark said the plan will also include means to combat misinformation about COVID-19 and make sure businesses and other groups like churches have the resources to follow the guidelines.

"We need to identify how we can best work together to address this very urgent issue in our community, and avoid a large scale lockdown," he said.

Clark said discussions are still underway and the plan is not finished. He said he hoped the plan would be ready to roll out by the end of the week.

At the committee meeting on Monday, councillors asked administration to draft a report that looks at what role the city could play in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

The provincial government is expected to release further COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday afternoon.

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CBC News Graphics

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