WINNIPEG – There is good news for Winnipeggers looking to get out of their homes and get some exercise.
Mayor Brian Bowman announced on Tuesday that playgrounds and sports fields are allowed to reopen under provincial public health orders.
Bowman said it takes effect immediately.
“The public service has started the process of removing the signage that is currently in place indicating that these spaces are closed,” Bowman said.
He noted that the areas will be open during the signage movement process.
“I am very happy that residents now have more options available to them to safely get out and be active. “
The news comes after the city authorized the reopening of some outdoor rinks and toboggan runs in Winnipeg last week.
Bowman also noted that the city is supporting the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centers as they work to get more information from the province for their outdoor rinks.
The voice support comes after Councilor Kevin Klein sent a letter to the mayor on Monday asking for the rinks to be open before Christmas and Klein noted that there would be a significant issue community centers would face.
“The responsibility for enforcing the COVID restriction rules for each of the community centers owned by the City of Winnipeg rests with the volunteers who operate them on our behalf,” he said in the letter.
Klein added that there is already a huge liability on community centers and it could be made more difficult if they face fines if someone does not follow the rules.
“I formally ask you to order the administration to immediately meet with representatives of the community center and work on a quick solution. I believe CUPE would support the deployment of laid-off Community Services staff to oversee these outdoor community center rinks. We can find a solution and reduce the potential for outdoor rinks to open during the holidays if we work together. “
Dr Brent Roussin, the provincial chief public health officer, was asked if changes could be made to health ordinances so that community centers are not fined the same way a business is.
Roussin said this would be looked at on a case-by-case basis and officials would look into the situation.