Council favours loosening restrictions on golfing, outdoor activities

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GORE BAY—Gore Bay town council agrees with a southern Ontario municipality on a request for the province of Ontario to withdraw its prohibition on golfing and any other outdoor recreational activities.

“It doesn’t make sense to limit outdoor activities like this, especially with large box stores being open and people being able to get into these stores to shop. These people are more exposed to getting COVID than if they were taking part in some type of activity outside. If I was golfing I would be in the bush all the time looking for my golf ball, so I wouldn’t be anywhere close to anyone else,” stated Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne at a council meeting earlier this week. “It is the same for all outdoor activities, people can physically distance.” 

Council, at its meeting, had considered a resolution passed by Brantford city council at a meeting April 27. Brantford council had adopted a resolution which states in part that COVID-19 restrictions have had significant impacts; and whereas many forms of socializing, recreation and sport have been curtailed; and whereas the game of golf can be enjoyed while maintaining proper social distancing. Therefore, be it resolved that the Corporation of the City of Brantford recommends: A: that the province of Ontario withdraws its prohibition on golfing and any other outdoor recreational activities which can be enjoyed while maintaining proper social distancing; and B: that the city clerk be directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the premier of Ontario, Will Bouma, MPP, Brantford-Brant, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Ontario big city mayors, and the list of other municipalities in Ontario.”

Both Gore Bay Councillors Ken Blodgett and Leeanne Woestenenk both agreed with the Brantford resolution.

However, Councillor Paulie Nodecker noted, “I disagree, because as more things are opened up there is more chance of additional people being exposed to COVID.”

It was pointed out the current provincial lockdown is slated to be in place 10 more days (as of this past Monday). However, there is talk that the province will extend the lockdown. “I would be happy with it being extended until June 1,” said Councillor Nodecker. 

Councillor Jack Clark put forward a motion for council to support the Brantford council resolution for the province to withdraw its prohibition on golfing and other outdoor recreational activities. Councillor Blodgett seconded the motion, which the majority of council approved. The resolution will be forwarded to the premier of Ontario.