The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges. The Federation of PEI Municipalities has created this page to provide easy access to information that is relevant to municipal governments.
Municipalities are also encouraged to monitor the Government of PEI COVID-19 page for accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 on Prince Edward Island.
COVID-19 – Resuming Operations
On April 28, the provincial government released Renew PEI, Together, which outlined the province’s safe, measured plan to gradually ease public health restrictions related to COVID-19.
The plan was implemented in four distinct phases with a progressive lifting of public health measures on individuals, communities and organizations. Progression was gradual and constantly evaluated based on the latest public health information from PEI’s Chief Public Health Office. Decisions during each phase will be based on public health evidence and continuous monitoring. If there are concerns about moving into a next phase, progress will be slowed, halted or even reversed to continue to protect the health and safety of Islanders.
We are now in the New Normal phase, with many government offices and services open. This ‘new normal’ will continue until it is determined that further restrictions are necessary or a vaccine and/or effective treatment for COVID-19 is available.
In the meantime, the Chief Public Health Office requires operational plans to be in place to open a municipal office and other facilities to the public. A template is available at: COVID-19 Operational Plan Template. The specific steps outlined in a plan may vary from one municipality to another. Questions regarding your operational plans can be directed to Environmental Health by email to email@example.com. Operational plans do not need to be submitted the to the Chief Public Health Office; however, the plan will need to be available for inspection.
With municipal offices and facilities re-opening and services resuming, the following guidance documents are available to assist you:
- Workplaces with Offices Guidelines
- Resources – includes downloadable signs to post in offices as they re-open
- Outdoor Recreation Spaces Guidance
- Organized Recreational Activities and Team Sports Guidance
- Day Camp Guidance
- Fitness Facilities Guidance
- Gatherings Guidance
- Multiple Gatherings Guidance
- Food Premises Guidance
- Carpooling and Essential Transportation Guidance
- Construction and Landscaping Guidance
- Masks in the Workplace Guidance
- Community Gardens
- Employers FAQ
- Reopening for Business from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
COVID-19 – Meetings
The declarations of a State of Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency do not override legislated requirements for municipalities related to meetings. Restrictions on large gatherings are likely to be in place for a long time. FPEIM has asked for amendments to legislation to provide for alternative public meeting processes that respect legislation and public health requirements.
The Chief Public Health Office has recommended that non-essential meetings be postponed. If a council needs to meet, Municipal Affairs recommends using an online teleconferencing tool, conference call service, or live streaming. They note the importance of adequate notice to residents and good record keeping of council discussions and decisions.
COVID-19 – MGA Administrative Deadlines
Minister Jamie Fox issued a Ministerial Order to extend Municipal Government Act administrative deadlines. This includes:
- the requirement for a public meeting in respect of the financial plan;
- adoption of the financial plan by council (May 30, 2020); and
- submission of the financial plan to the Minister (June 15, 2020).
Municipal Affairs encourages municipalities to resume completing your financial plan as soon as possible while respecting the directives of the Chief Public Health Officer and protecting the health and safety of all concerned.
COVID-19 – Construction and Permits
All new construction is permitted to resume in the province effective Friday, May 1, 2020.
The Land Division began releasing approved Development Permits on Monday, May 4, 2020 and asked municipal planning authorities also use that date for releasing approved permits. See Re-Introduction of Permitting and New Construction memo from Inspection Services for additional information.
The Prince Edward Island Building Codes Act and Regulations came into effect on March 31st, 2020. In almost all cases, a development permit and a building permit will be required before construction or demolition of a building. Single and two-unit dwellings and accessory structures are delayed until March 31st, 2021. See Update on new Building Permit Process for additional information.
An amendment of the Building Codes Act Regulations exempts any project which had made a valid application for a Development Permit on or before April 25, 2020 from requiring a Building Permit. This includes projects that have received a Development Permit and those that are currently in the queue. See Building Codes Act Regulations Amendment for additional information.
COVID-19 – Water and Sewer Utilities
April 6, 2020
The Department of Environment, Water and Climate change has developed a revised water sampling plan for wastewater operators.
Water and Sewer Utilities
Municipal water and/or sewer utilities are essential services. Local residents receiving these services rely on them continuing.
In the case of self-isolation requirements for your primary or back up operators, provincial staff with the Drinking Water and Wastewater Management team of the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change are ready to assist as needed. Please contact the PEI Emergency Operations Centre should your municipality require assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or (902) 894-0385.
COVID-19 – Property Tax Relief
On April 3, the Minister of Finance announced the following property tax relief measures:
- Deferring provincial property tax and fee payments until December 31, 2020;
- Extending property assessment appeal deadlines for assessment year 2020 to December 31, 2020;
- Providing interest relief for tax year 2020, including all past due amounts;
- Suspending tax sale processes for the remainder of 2020; and
- Delaying mailing of provincial tax bills for 2020 until June.
The province will continue to pay municipalities, fire districts and Island Waste Management Corporation their tax and fee amounts as normal.
COVID-19 – Emergency Measures Organization (EMO)
Emergency Management Plans and Reminder from EMO
Do you have an Emergency Management Bylaw?
Does your municipality have an Emergency Management Plan?
A provincial state of health emergency does not necessarily imply the same conditions that would require a state of local emergency. A state of local emergency only needs to be declared when the municipality needs the authority to take actions above and beyond those it would ordinarily be able to do. We urge you to discuss any concerns about declaring a state of local emergency with EMO before making that decision.
Please contact the provincial EMO for support and assistance as COVID-19 continues. They can be reached at 1-877-894-0385/902-894-0385 or email@example.com.
Municipalities are reminded to let EMO know about any changes in status, needs, or essential services in the community by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact EMO with any questions you have about resources and advise EMO of operational changes to grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, hardware store or other essential services including those provided by the municipality.
COVID-19 – Pandemic Plan
- Sample Pandemic Plan
In 2009, the Town of Stratford developed a flu pandemic plan. The plan is intended to support business continuity in the event of a pandemic. It allows the Town to predetermine what services are essential to continue in the event of a local flu epidemic and what employees, contractors and supplies are required to deliver those services. The plan also addresses the impact on employees and their families, and it includes measures to help to slow or contain the spread of the virus. It is recognized that these measures will not likely stop the spread of the virus but they should help to spread out the peak period of sickness which will allow the health care system to better cope with the virus and allow the town to better continue with the provision of services. Stratford is currently updating its plan and it will be posted on the FPEIM website when it becomes available.
- The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has prepared a Business Continuity Plan – Pandemic fact sheet.
COVID-19 – Additional Links
COVID-19 – Procurement
FPEIM Trade Program
FPEIM Trade Program
Health & safety clothing or Essential Protective equipment? FPEIM programs can help.
As we all have seen, the demand for essential protective products has far outweighed the availability of supplies of the manufacturing capacities and transportation capabilities. The good news is that in addition to our current national standing fixed pricing agreements, our suppliers have also flagged our members as essential service providers.
Grainger Canada has set up an emergency response team, to evaluate incoming orders and to assist our members in getting their supplies ordered. Grainger has seen an increase of procurement agencies issuing RFQ’s which are proving difficult to respond to at a time when there is an everchanging and limited supply of resources. Our pre-tendered FPEIM Grainger program pricing remains unchanged even with the increased demand for pandemic supplies.
The ordering process is simple:
First: fill out an opt-in form for the FPEIM programs you can access here: FPEIM Program Opt-in form (forms can be returned to email@example.com) Secondly: Send a list of supplies needed with a purchase order number to the FPEIM Client Relations Manager and we will work with Grainger to process your P.O through our established channels. The key is to have a bonified order with a Purchase Order in hand. Get orders in Early, Grainger Canada Safety Equipment
The FPEIM Staples program has been flagged as an essential service due to the critical work our members perform on behalf of their communities. The process uses the online Staples Advantage portal that our members are currently using. (Contact Staples Business Advantage online (Staples Business Advantage) or via phone 1 877 272 2121 with your order) We have been directed to have our members place orders on the Staples website even if it indicates that they are currently out of stock, the order will be put into a backorder que and filled once supplies are available. Supplies are being received daily from various manufacturers.
We strive to work hard for our members, and we will continue to do everything in our power to support our members during this difficult time.
Tim Elms, MBA
Client Relations Manager
Federation of PEI Municipalities
Cell: 902 818 0980
As municipalities take steps to adapt to the changing situation due to the health crisis of COVID-19 pandemic, we want to make you aware of services that might be of interest. TELUS Business is offering the following services as a 90 day free trial:
• WEBEX Licences to collaborate and maintain social distancing
• Remote VPN
• Business Connect Soft Phone service that includes audio and video conferencing
• O365 and G-Suite
For information, contact Lee-Ann Matheson, TELUS Business Account Executive, at 1 902 476 2028 or firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 – FPEIM Annual Meeting
The FPEIM annual meeting was held virtually on Oct. 19.
COVID-19 – Municipal World Podcasts
Municipal World has released a series of podcasts on what’s happening with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on local government.