While other communities take a pass on Halloween this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Brockville Mayor Jason Baker is not ready to put away the candy just yet.
The mayor told Tuesday’s regular virtual meeting of city council he does not believe it’s up to city hall to cancel Halloween.
“We think we can safely allow the kids to have this fun event,” said Baker.
The mayor did, however, add a significant caution: None of what he said applies if the provincial government decides to impose blanket restrictions on Halloween activities between now and Oct. 31.
Elsewhere in the area, Westport’s council recently declared there will be no trick-or-treating in the village this year, due to fears of the coronavirus.
Westport councillors expressed their sadness at having even to consider making such a decision, but in the end it was unanimously agreed to cancel trick-or-treating in the village.
“My concern is that if we don’t cancel it, we’ll still get those visitors from bigger centres who would put our residents at risk,” said Coun. Melissa Sullivan.
In Brockville, however, Baker said he believes the regional health unit can provide proper guidelines on safe Halloween trick-or-treating.
And he hopes city officials can help work out a system whereby people who aren’t comfortable being visited by little ghosts and goblins this year can let people know to avoid their house.
The obvious way to signal this discomfort would be not to decorate one’s home and keep the exterior lights off, said Baker.
The mayor said that, with so many communities restricting activities amid the pandemic, he wants Brockville to be able to “say yes” when it can be done safely.
(With files from Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative.)
(Please check this story Wednesday for more coverage.)