COVID-19: Message from the Mayor and Council – March 30, 2020

Westmount is about community, and this has never been truer than in the current crisis.

At the outset, I wish to thank Westmounters for being considerate of their neighbours and taking social distancing to heart. I know that staying at home presents significant challenges.

But this is the only way to flatten the curve and minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

On behalf of all of us, I wish to thank all those providing essential services, including our health care professionals who are working nonstop, for their dedication and commitment. We are truly grateful.

As you know, grocery stores, pharmacies and SAQ outlets are remaining open during the pandemic. Measures including restricting the number of residents who can enter a store at once and insisting on at least two meters are kept between waiting shoppers are now in place, and I urge everyone to adhere to them.

At City Hall, we continue to adapt to this reality. We will hold a virtual city council meeting on the evening of Monday, April 6, which we will be recorded and posted on our website the following day. Unfortunately, it will not be interactive; if you have questions for councillors, please send them on Monday, April 6, by 4 p.m. through our online form at westmount.org/councilquestion.

A key item on our agenda is a motion to delay the second instalment of property taxes to June 29, 2020, to ease the financial burden of the crisis on Westmounters.

As we strive to protect the health and well-being of our employees while providing Westmounters with essential services, we have closed all play structures in our parks as well as dog runs. Summit Woods remains open as a walking path, but all dogs must be on-leash.

These are on top of the following previously announced measures:

  • City Hall closed to the public. The Library, Victoria Hall, and the Westmount Recreation Centre also closed.
  • The Urban Planning Department suspended its activities for an indefinite period of time. Until further notice, only permit requests for emergency work will be processed. By emergency work, we mean any work that can remedy a situation where human health and safety is jeopardized or the structural integrity of a building is compromised. Please rest assured that once this policy changes, we will work diligently to process applications as quickly as possible.
  • Applications for permits from Public Security must be made online and not in person.
  • Parking fees and parking restrictions are suspended. We ask residents to abide by fire regulations and handicap parking restrictions. Public Works is eager to clean streets, so please respect street cleaning hours only if possible. Montreal has declared, with Westmount’s support, a State of Emergency for the Agglomeration of Montreal.

Montreal now has special powers to ensure the health and safety of citizens, with a focus on support for our homeless population. An outdoor day centre, the first in Montreal, is set up at Cabot Square. The SPVM were given expanded powers to ensure residents are complying with physical distancing measures.

Once again, I wish to stress that social distancing – the limiting of person-to-person interaction – is the best way to minimize the spread of the virus. If you are confined to your home and need assistance, please call Public Security 514-989-5222. In addition, please look into the online services offered by the Westmount Library. Finally, consult santemontreal.ca/coronavirus or call 1-877-644-4545 for the most up-to-date information on the virus.

These are indeed extraordinary times. As I said at the outset, we should all take pride in our community’s response as each of us takes the necessary steps to protect our own health and well being and that of our family, friends and neighbours.