It's likely Canada Day festivities in Ottawa will be cancelled due to COVID-19: Mayor Watson
OTTAWA -- Canada’s 153rd birthday party could be a quiet one due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson tells CTV News at Six that, “I think realistically, I don’t think we’re going to have the kind of Canada Day celebration that we all wanted and we’ve all seen in years gone by.”
Canada Day celebrations typically take place across Ottawa and Gatineau on July 1.
The City of Ottawa has already announced all municipal facilities and services will remain closed until June 30, and the city is not issuing permits for festivals and events before then either.
When asked what the decision to cancel all event permits until June 30 means for Canada Day festivities, Watson told reporters that “I think it’s going to be a real challenge.”
“I’m not sure if between June 30 and July 1 there’s going to be a big difference in terms of us dealing with this virus successfully and eliminating the risk to the public,” the mayor said Monday.
Watson notes the Canada Day celebrations in downtown Ottawa are organized by Canadian Heritage.
The mayor offered advice for community groups and communities planning events for July 1.
“My best advice is, certainly for the community groups, not to incur any or very few expenses because there is a likelihood that July 1 celebrations would not take place and you would be wasting a significant amount of resources and money.”
Emergency and Protective Services Head Anthony Di Monte told reporters the city has informed Canadian Heritage and other groups that the city is extending the closure of municipal facilities until June 30.
The decision to not issue permits until the end of June means there will be no TD Ottawa Jazz Festival or Canadian Tulip Festival. This year, the Tulip Festival has announced its events are moving online.