Councillor Karen Rea - COVID-19 update
COVID-19 Update
Monday, March 30

Dear Residents,

Last Friday, a special Council meeting was held remotely to amend our Procedural By-Law to permit electronic meeting participation during a state of emergency. During this meeting we discussed the Covid-19 Pandemic and what measures could be taken to help our local residents and business owners experiencing financial hardship due to the measures that are now in place.
Council approved the following relief measures:
 - No Late Payment charges on Unpaid Tax Balances from April 1st to Dec 31st, 2020
 - Deferral of the 2020 Water Rate increase of 7.8%
 - Elimination of the Storm water charge per household and for industrial/commercial properties for 2020
 - Suspension of the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) for 2020
Full details and the impacted cost to the Municipality can be read HERE
Staff will continue to monitor the financial situation and report back to Council monthly. 

We strongly encourage those that are not financially impacted by this crisis to continue to make their payments as scheduled. Our primary revenue source comes from property taxes and user fees. User fees are no longer being collected as all public facilities are closed and programming has stopped.
We are trying to do what we can to support residents and local businesses. However, we also need to continue to provide essential and necessary services to the entire community. 

We need to work together to make this work. We need to continue to stay home and not hang out with friends in person. Social distancing is not going to visit a friend, playing street hockey or gathering with people outside of your immediate family. article on social distancing.
Time to make use of social media and use video calls to stay in touch with our loved ones.

If you have any questions related to the Federal or Provincial government, please contact your local MP or MPP.  Here are their contacts:

Business owners with questions about non-essential closures can call the new Ontario hotline at 1.888.444.3659  

Businesses that should be closed and are not can be reported to YRP.

If you are aware of any stores that have inflated their prices on necessary goods; hand sanitizer, gloves etc. you can report the locations online HERE or call 1.800.889.9768 between 8.30 am - 5 pm, Monday to Friday. 

I cannot stress enough that we all need to work together to combat this virus and slowdown the spread and help flatten the curve. If you have extra masks and gloves please consider donating them to local nursing homes, hospitals and health facilities. They need that. We need them to be safe.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all first responders, nurses, doctors, staff in the health departments, and anyone directly involved in this fight against the virus, for your dedication, courage and commitment.

Thank you and be safe!

I have included a number of links below for further information.




- City of Markham
York Region
-  Government of Ontario - Public Health 
Travel Advisory
- Telehealth Ontario: 1.866.797.0000
- York Region Police website - non-emergencies, please call 1.866.876.5423
How coronavirus spreads and  how to prevent illness

There are three COVID-19 assessment centres in York Region, located at the three hospitals: Mackenzie Health, Markham-Stouffville Hospital and Southlake Regional Health Centre

Each York Region hospital will manage their assessment centre based on their operational capacity. Check your local hospital’s website for specific hours of operation and procedures.

Waste Management Department notifications

- Miller Waste will be leaving behind and OOPS stickering all blue boxes that visibly contain gloves and masks as these items are not recyclable. 
Gloves and masks are considered garbage and should be set-out in a tied plastic bag for bi-weekly for clear bag garbage collection.

- Effective Friday, March 27, York Region’s Public Waste Depots are only accepting garbage and Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) at their respective sites, until further notice. Update available at the  York Region website.

- Environmental Services will not be holding its annual compost giveaway event this spring. Staff will evaluate potential hosting locations over the summer in an effort to hold the event in the fall.


- In an effort to best allocate resources and ensure core waste collection services are maintained, the City will be delaying the start of Leaf & Yard material collection until May 19.

For more updates, please visit the COVID-19 Affected City Services page

Parks Canada’s COVID-19 response at Rouge National Urban Park - visit their  website

Feeling anxious or overwhelmed? Mental health support is available

The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people and communities. It’s normal for situations like this to affect your mental health and it’s completely OK to ask for help. If you need support, connect with family or friends or reach out to York Support at 1.855.310.COPE

Disinfecting wipes are good for cleaning, bad for pipes

There are countless items that should NEVER be flushed, and disinfecting wipes are one of them. Flushing these wipes (even ones labelled "flushable"!) can cause big problems for your home pipes and at wastewater treatment facilities. Please put all wipes in the garbage, not down the toilet.


IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM York Region Police - Superintendent Chris Bullen  

With this COVID crisis scammers/fraudsters will no doubt be out in full force, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has put out a list of reported scams that are already occurring. Some of these scams identified are:
• Cleaning or heating companies - offering duct cleaning services or air filters to protect from COVID-19
• Local and provincial hydro/electrical power companies - threatening to disconnect your power for non-payment
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization - offering fake lists for sale of COVID-19 infected people in your neighbourhood
• Public Health Agency of Canada - giving false results saying you have been tested positive for COVID-19; tricking you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription
• Red Cross and other known charities - offering free medical products (e.g. masks) for a donation
• Government departments - sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails; tricking you into opening malicious attachments; and tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details
• Financial advisors - pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease; offering financial aid and/or loans to help you get through the shut downs
• Door-to-door sales people - selling household decontamination services
• Private companies - offering fast COVID-19 tests for sale; selling fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent the disease 
      -  Only hospitals can perform the tests
      -  No other tests are genuine or guaranteed to provide accurate results
      -  Unapproved drugs threaten public health and violate federal laws
I have also attached some links from trusted organisations such as WHO ,Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre etc. with overall COVID-19 related scams/information and cyber security as a resource of reliable information:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
WHO – Beware of criminals pretending to be WHO
How to spot phishing scams arising from COVID-19
Canada – False and misleading claims
CISA – Defending against COVID-19 cyber scams
StaySafeOnline – COVID-19 Security Resource Library
Thank you



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Members of the community can donate to the Markham Food Bank at the following link:

If you have any municipal inquiry, please send an email to or call 905.477.5530. Our staff can investigate and address your concerns.


The  EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS page on the City's portal has a source of information to help you prepare and plan for emergencies in the City of Markham. Emergencies happen. Are you ready?
You can also download this information:  Markham Emergency and Non-Emergency Information Sheet [PDF]. The contact information is helpful in an emergency. Keep a copy of it in your home, your car and at work. 
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