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Kawartha Lakes implementing vaccine requirement for city meetings

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is implementing a mandatory vaccination requirement for anyone attending a city meeting.

At a meeting on Tuesday, September 21st, Kawartha Lakes council approved a motion to require either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or “proof of a negative test result [which] is dated no earlier than two days before the meeting” for anyone looking to attend a council, committee or budget meeting in person.

“Staff are coming forward with a policy for our staff, a management directive,” Mayor Andy Letham told councillors. He added the vaccination requirement at city meetings motion “lines up exactly” with provincial legislation.

Ward 5 Councillor Pat Dunn asked if anyone who can’t meet these requirements can still attend meetings via Zoom.

“Zoom is always available if somebody for whatever reason can’t make a meeting,” Mayor Letham confirmed.

When the idea of letting only fully vaccinated people into council chambers was first floated to councillors at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, September 7th, it was met with some hostility from Ward 6 Councillor Ron Ashmore.

“It’s divisive, it’s segregationist, it’s discriminatory, and it’s unconstitutional,” he said.

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