School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Queen's Contagion Cultures Lecture Series

September 15, 2020

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The Local Government Response to the Pandemic: The Kingston Case Study

Helen Cooper
Distinguished Fellow, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University

The pervasive arrival of COVID-19 and the dramatically different outcomes in various countries naturally leads to an examination of what systemic responses are most effective. The City of Kingston and the Counties of Frontenac and Lennox & Addington in Ontario have an admirable track record in both halting the virus initially, then responding rapidly and effectively when a spike occurred. This example illustrates how both federal and provincial attempts to control the spread are largely dependent on well functioning local public health and municipal administrations. At the same time, the pandemic has exposed municipal financial vulnerabilities and the deleterious effects of an archaic municipal taxation system.