Oshawa mayor Dan Carter says he won’t be the one to cancel Halloween during a global pandemic.
Some communities in Canada have cancelled the Oct. 31 festivities due to COVID-19, but Carter says it’s still a ‘go’ in Oshawa.
“We are asking everybody to be cautious, to take the right steps and to be able to make sure Halloween does not get cancelled cause I am not going to be the guy to cancel it,” says Carter.
Durham Region currently has 201 active cases of COVID-19.
Oshawa has issued some guidelines to have a safe Halloween. They include wearing masks, social distancing and taking the usual precautions.
“My granddaughter looks forward to this holiday like you wouldn’t believe,” Carter says. “So, what we are suggesting on how we can do it, is one, we are asking people to wear masks if they are going to hand out candy, and two, just use tongs to be able to put the candy in.”
Councillor Steve Yamada says Halloween is still on in Whitby, but that could change if the province decides to put Durham Region back in Stage 2 status.
“My daughter loves Halloween, it might be July and she’ll be watching a YouTube video of a skeleton finger family, what we are going to be doing is having a little family Halloween event at home,” says Yamada.
Yamada says his daughter, 4, has two friends in their neighbourhood and that they will be together on Halloween night.
“She’s got two friends in the neighbourhood, we know that have been safe, and they’ve been taking the precautions seriously,” he says. “Other than that, it’s a stay at home year.”
Meanwhile Carter has other plans for the city.
“We are asking people to take extraordinary steps, to be able to make sure Halloween happens,” he says. “I’m confident in our city, I am confident in that people will be able to follow the guidelines.”
Carter says if the community does not follow the restrictions and guidelines placed, there could be consequences.
“There are health care officers that are in the field, there are also bylaw officers, we get calls here at City Hall through Service Oshawa, that may be violating the recommendations that we had set out,” he says.
Carter reminds the community rules have not changed since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I think what we have to do is keep on wearing a mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and understand that we’re wearing these masks for others, and it will impact our lives too,” he says.
Carter says he hopes the community learns from this.
“This moment is calling all of us to be able to pay a small price, so that many of us can get through this historical moment,” he says, “I hope we never forget it, we’ve got a lot to learn about this.”