The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville has announced that 19 unionize and non-unionized full-time staff have been temporarily laid off because of shortfalls in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
The staff layoffs are contained to the Leisure and Community Services Department and will result in the complete closure of all town facilities, the cancellation of all town events and the cancellation of all programs and camps, both online and in-person. The layoffs will be for a minimum of 12 weeks and are effective immediately.
“This is a sad day for Whitchurch-Stouffville,” Stouffville Mayor Iain Lovatt said. “This is not something we ever want to do, and this decision did not come without serious contemplation. We must deal with these challenges head-on and make decisions that are best for the taxpayers.”
The town has suffered serious revenue shortfalls since the onset of the pandemic early last year, according to Lovatt.
“Those shortfalls have been exasperated with the current lockdown which has made the providing of town services even more difficult, if not impossible,” Whitchurch-Stouffville Chief Administrative Officer Rob Adams said. “In order to remain fiscally responsible to our taxpayers we must mitigate our losses, which has unfortunately resulted in these cuts.”
The temporary layoffs affect the Leisure and Community Services Department which oversees parks, arenas, the museum, special events, downtown viability and the Leisure Centre including aquatics, fitness and recreation programs.
Other town services including garbage collection, snow plowing, and infrastructure maintenance will continue and are not impacted. The Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library will also remain open for curb-side pickup. Outdoor recreation facilities, such as town trails, toboggan hills, Greenwood Park outdoor skating rink and the off-leash door park will also remain open for the public.
Photo: “In order to remain fiscally responsible to our taxpayers we must mitigate our losses, which has unfortunately resulted in these cuts,” town CAO Rob Adams said.