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Still weighing options on cancelling Halloween, mayor says in Thanksgiving message

Mayor Brian Bigger says he continues to consult police chief, medical officer of health on trick-or-treating
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Mayor Brian Bigger. (File)

In his Thanksgiving message to the community, Mayor Brian Bigger says he continues to weigh his options when it comes whether or not Halloween will be cancelled in Greater Sudbury.

The mayor said he continues to consult with Police Chief Paul Pederson and Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the medical officer of health for the region, “about the safest scenarios for our children and our community for the 31st,” while encouraging parents to consider alternatives to trick-or-treating.

“Other communities have already cancelled trick or treating and we're waiting for direction and guidance from the province,” Bigger writes. “It might be best to now start considering some creative options for your kids that can still make the day fun.”

The mayor also highlighted the city’s low case count of COVID-19, crediting public adoption of masks and handwashing for keeping the virus in check. At the same time, Bigger took a swipe at Washington, D.C. and President Donald Trump, referencing the COVID-19 outbreak at the White House that potentially infected thousands of people.

“We have all seen recently in Washington how one bad choice can spread this virus to so many people so quickly. It's an example of what happens when we let our guard down and think we are invincible to this virus,” Bigger said.

And finally, the mayor urged Sudburians to stay “resilient, strong and smart” by following public health recommendations to avoid large Thanksgiving gatherings.

“Every level of government and every public health expert is asking all of us to keep this weekend's dinner to people within our household,” he writes. “I know this is a weekend when we usually all gather round, it's when our kids come home from school or when we travel to see loved ones - but this is the weekend to put those plans on hold if possible.”

You can read the mayor’s complete statement below.

As we approach Thanksgiving weekend - there is a lot to be grateful for. As mayor, I'm thankful for the fortunate situation we find ourselves in as the country deals with this second wave of COVID-19. Greater Sudbury still remains in the lowest category of communities with cases and transmission.

We're doing things right.

And that is in no small part due to the fact all of us are listening to our public health experts, masking up when going out, and avoiding crowds and gatherings. We have all seen recently in Washington how one bad choice can spread this virus to so many people so quickly. It's an example of what happens when we let our guard down and think we are invincible to this virus.

With Thanksgiving here, we must ensure we stay resilient, strong and smart. Every level of government and every public health expert is asking all of us to keep this weekend's dinner to people within our household. I know this is a weekend when we usually all gather round, it's when our kids come home from school or when we travel to see loved ones - but this is the weekend to put those plans on hold if possible. We have all seen how one event can spread this disease at a fever pitch - and if we want to avoid more cases, if we want to see our restaurants, retailers and schools stay open, it will be up to us to keep our community healthy, COVID free, and running as it does now.

As for Halloween, I continue to speak with Chief Pederson and Dr. Sutcliffe about the safest scenarios for our children and our community for the 31st. Other communities have already cancelled trick or treating and we're waiting for direction and guidance from the Province. It might be best to now start considering some creative options for your kids that can still make the day fun.

Lastly and on a positive note - this is one of the most beautiful times of the year to see and explore Greater Sudbury. The colours are magnificent, the air is fresh - I'll be out for walks with my wife or riding on my bike taking everything I can before the weather turns cold. My kids and grandkids will be staying south - but we'll be in touch and celebrating together from afar.

I will be the first to acknowledge these are hard decisions to make - but restricting this weekend's celebrations is the choice we all must make in order to keep ourselves and one another safe. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all you have done to ensure that.

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