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Hamilton city council freezes recreation fees for 2021

Recreation fees are being frozen in Hamilton for 2021. Lisa Polewski / 900 CHML

Ward 6 councillor Tom Jackson is trying to spare families an “extra burden” as they struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic.

His motion to freeze all of the city’s fees for recreation programs has been approved by Hamilton City Council.

Read more: Premier Doug Ford on hand for 1st shipment of COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario

Jackson says the idea came out of a recent budget meeting, during which concerns were raised about families as they navigate COVID-19.

2021 recreation user fees will be frozen at 2020 levels and the lost revenue, estimated at $289,000, will be covered off through “safe restart” funding from the federal and provincial governments.

City councillors also want the public to understand that Limeridge Mall’s decision to extend its hours to accommodate shoppers from lockdown zones is out of their control.

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Paul Johnson, Hamilton’s emergency operations director, confirmed that retail hours “are not in the purview of the municipality.”

Read more: Hamilton’s Lime Ridge mall extends hours in anticipation of shoppers coming from GTA lockdown zones

His comment came Wednesday, under questioning from Glanbrook councillor Brenda Johnson, who says it will help her “answer a lot of emails.”

Cadillac Fairview, the mall’s owner, says the move is to “facilitate spreading out traffic in the mall” and “allow more time for visitors to shop safely.”

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Hamilton shopping mall extending hours to accommodate those in lockdown zones' Coronavirus: Hamilton shopping mall extending hours to accommodate those in lockdown zones
Coronavirus: Hamilton shopping mall extending hours to accommodate those in lockdown zones – Dec 15, 2020

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