My last letter to our residents in the Municipality of Kincardine was in late March at the beginning of the pandemic. How fast our lives changed! The normal rhythm of our lives was totally disrupted and we really had no idea of what lay ahead and for how long. At all levels of government, emergency response plans were activated with overall guidance and expertise in Grey Bruce provided by our local medical officer of health and his staff. During my years in local politics, I have never witnessed every level of government cooperating so quickly to create consensus and find solutions. Our major employer, Bruce Power, and other businesses, contributed generously to support our local economy, community organizations and health initiatives.
While the COVID-19 health crisis has been a difficult adjustment for us all in many ways, I want to congratulate everyone in the Municipality for their cooperation, their resiliency, and their creativity in finding new ways to work, shop, exercise, visit and have fun. Thank you for supporting our Municipality of Kincardine businesses by shopping locally as much as possible.
Doing activities differently has become a new normal during this pandemic. Most of us had never used ZOOM this time last year. Now we are old pros. Like many others, I have enjoyed participating in a ZOOM wedding, birthday party, a fundraiser and church.
While meeting electronically is not a complete substitute for meeting in person at Council, it has allowed us to meet safely. We can still maintain a good amount of public participation and input with delegations and committees. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of our municipal websites and social media as key parts of our operations, not just a “nice to have”. Special thanks to our municipal Council and staff for their excellent work, expertise, and positive attitude in pivoting to new ways so quickly!
Together we were successful in flattening the curve in the first wave of the pandemic. Businesses were able to open up again and we have more choices in our daily lives. Now we are in the second wave and again we have been successful so far keeping our number of COVID cases to a minimum, due to extensive cooperative planning for recreational, business and school re-openings, along with best practices learned from the first wave and your individual cooperation.
The year 2020 has had some good news and successes. A few examples are –
Construction projects including natural gas, the Queen Street Bridge and housing projects resumed at full speed. We had good news from the provincial government and our hospital board, about the beginning stage of our Kincardine hospital site redevelopment proceeding with the inclusion of a CT scanner. Finally, our years-long dream for a new secondary school in the Kincardine area is now a reality. Special thanks to Lisa Thompson, our MPP, for her efforts at the provincial level and to our Bluewater School Board under the leadership of Jan Johnstone for making the business case for the need in our area.
So, during this week of Remembrance Day, let us remember what previous generations of our families survived during the First and Second World Wars. Let us honour their sacrifices for our community and our country by showing similar determination to do “whatever it takes” to get though our pandemic crisis and make our community even better.
One senior who lived through the depression of the 1930s and World War 2 told me that, although she missed seeing people in her social circles, she was very grateful to have a safe home with lots of food and modern conveniences to survive fairly easily, in comparison to the years of her youth.
Although “COVID fatigue” is the new buzz word, we too can learn to be resilient like former generations in the current second wave. Continue to persevere with health safety measures and stay connected supporting each other whether in your family, your circle of friends and neighbours or in the broader community!
Mayor Anne Eadie