By Don Norman
As the RM of Alexander ponders what how to address the issue of seasonal residents coming to the municipality to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, a couple hundred kilometers up the Winnipeg River, the Mayor of Kenora Daniel Reynard, has joined the chorus of Canadian officials warning seasonal residents of cottage country to stay home this summer.
“This is a difficult request to make to our valued summer residents and visitors,” said Reynard in a media release issued on Tuesday. “They are vital to our business community and as spring starts to appear, become a valued part of our community. Asking visitors and summer residents not to come to Kenora is everything opposite that Kenora has been working for, but we really need everyone to just stay home. It is key to making the difference in the spread of this virus by what we have seen in other countries. We simply need everyone to follow the direction of the health experts.”
The RM of Alexander has yet to make a firm commitment on issuing an official statement like Kenora did, but the issue is high on the priority list. “The RM has reached out to Manitoba Municipal Relations for direction on the matter and is awaiting a response,” said RM of Alexander CAO, Don Dowle. “At this time the RM recommends following ALL the good advice from both federal and provincial health officials,” he continued. “We understand that Canada’s Chief public health officer has suggested that people should avoid going to seasonal homes to self-isolate.”
Dowle was referring to comments by Dr. Theresa Tam at a news conference on Sunday saying that “urban dwellers should avoid heading to rural properties, as these places have less capacity to manage COVID-19.”
The Advocate is waiting to hear back from the RM of Lac du Bonnet regarding their stance on the issue.