City of Regina provides COVID-19 update, council looks to re-jig committees
REGINA -- Regina’s new city council will meet for the first time Wednesday, setting the groundwork for the next four years and discuss the latest impacts caused by COVID-19.
Council’s first priority will be to re-jig committee meetings. The meetings are held every month before city council. They are made up of members that provide recommendations to council before final approval.
Council members will decide whether to de-establish the priorities and planning committee and the finance and administration committee. These committees would be folded into the executive committee.
As well, council will decide if it wants a new operations and community services committee. This would replace the community and protective services committee and the public works and infrastructure committee.
Council will also vote on creating a community wellness committee, which will focus on areas of housing, poverty reduction, mental and physical wellness, addictions and safe from harm, discrimination and other social determinants of health.
Councillors will also vote to approve the meeting calendar for 2021.
Administration will provide city council with an update on how COVID-19 has affected the city.
In the report, the city said 99 per cent of transit riders have been compliant with new measures to prevent the spread, which includes wearing a mask.
It said free masks are offered to riders who don’t have one. Buses are also inspected regularly to ensure compliance.
COVID-19 has impacted a number of recreation facilities in Regina. In the report, the city said it has had to cancel adult user group activities and sporting activities. It has reduced capacity for fitness classes and for minor group activates in pools.
Swimming lessons have also been paused, but public swims, lane swimming and aquatic fitness activities will continue, though at a reduced capacity.
The city said all outdoor rinks that meet size and condition expectations will be open for a minimum of 15 hours a week.
Community associations will receive an increase in funding for supervision and enhanced cleaning.
The city has planned outdoor winter programming, like snowshoeing and sculpting.
It’s also working on a pilot program to encourage older adults who may have been socially isolated to get active.
The city has said many administrative workers are back working at home given the rise in cases. About 27.5 per cent of the city’s staff have been able to work from home.
Regina business grant:
The city awarded $278,500 in funds to 127 businesses to help them deal with financial impacts caused by COVID-19.
In the second phase of the program, grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded. This phase will launch in mid December.
People who are vulnerable:
The city said agencies have been working to provide additional shelter spaces and daytime drop-in locations for people who are homeless or vulnerable.
Some organizations focussed on delivering food security programs have expressed willingness to partner with the city should schools close again.
The city had identified a gap left for families when schools closed in the spring.