Ottawa

City cancels day camps amid uncertainty

The City of Ottawa is cancelling registration for all summer day camps as it scrambles to rethink the program to conform with public health measures.

Families registered for the city-run camps will receive automatic refund

The city has not provided details on whatever programming will replace the cancelled day camps. (Jean Vaillancourt)

The City of Ottawa is cancelling registration for all summer day camps as it scrambles to rethink the program to conform with public health measures.

The city summer camps were originally scheduled to run from June 29 to Aug. 28. The city has not provided new dates, locations or registration details for whatever programming will replace them.

Any camps that do go ahead would need to have strict physical distancing rules in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and would likely feature smaller groups, additional staff and health screening protocols for campers and staff, the city said.

It all depends on whether the provincial government allows day camps to go ahead this summer, the city said. The Ontario government previously announced the cancellation of all overnight camps across the province, but hasn't said whether day camps can proceed, or under what conditions.

Parents and guardians who have already registered their children for Ottawa summer camps will have their registration automatically cancelled and will receive a credit on their account. Parents can use the credit to register for a new summer camp or request a refund at ottawa.ca. Those who paid by post-dated cheque will have them returned uncashed.

Dan Chenier, general manager of the city's recreation, cultural and facility services department, said last month that more than 10,000 children had registered for summer camps at that time. It's unclear what the capacity of the new program will be.

The City of Gatineau said last week that summer day camps will go ahead but with fewer kids, more staff and no outings or swimming because of COVID-19.

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