COVID-19: Messages from the Mayor

Date
Image
covid_19_mxc_artwork_web_mayor.jpg

 

I support small businesses webcard from Province of Ontario

Mayor's Message - July 28, 2020 - Shop Local!

Hello everyone,

One of the groups in our community that has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic is our small business sector. While some local businesses were able to ‘pivot’ by developing different ways of safely providing their goods and services, for others there were no alternate ways of conducting business and they had to wait until Stage 3 to finally reopen.

Small businesses normally operate with tight margins but during the lockdown many incurred ongoing expenses while at the same time losing significant revenue. We need to help our local business people stay in business and get back on track! 

Our local businesses are important to the vitality and sustainability our communities. They provide local jobs. Their unique products attract visitors to Middlesex Centre, which in turn provide other opportunities for our residents. Diversification of the tax base strengthens our municipal financial position, and services closer to home provide convenience and peace of mind for residents.

I’m encouraging all of you to continue to “shop local!” Actively seek out opportunities to expand your network of local shopping connections and recommend our vendors, shop keepers and service providers to people you know. You really can get almost everything you need right here in Middlesex Centre!

Stay well,

Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet
 


Mayor's Message - June 17, 2020

Hello everyone,

I’m taking an opportunity to spread some cheer! Things are looking up when I can tell you about places to go and things to do …

The weather is decidedly better and maybe someone at your house would like a night off? Patios in Ilderton, Komoka and Delaware opened last weekend. I’d encourage you to check them out and support our local businesses! If outdoor cooking is in your plans, maybe stock up at the Ilderton Farmers Market which opened for business last weekend or the Komoka Community Market which is set to open on July 4.

Good news regarding park facilities and community events is covered in the June 17th newsletter – so get outside and enjoy it all!

Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet

Mayor's Message - June 3, 2020

Municipal Finances and COVID-19

On Monday, we heard the Prime Minister speak about changes to Federal Gas Tax funding in order to help municipalities.

Gas tax funding, which is normally spread out over two instalments, is now going to be paid in June in one lump sum. While this will help ease municipal cash flow concerns that have arisen as a result of the pandemic, it is important to note this is not “new money.” These funds are part the budget planning process and were already included in our approved 2020 budget.

Many of the revenue streams that help pay for municipal services have been lost as a result of the pandemic and cannot be recovered. As an example, in Middlesex Centre just over $300,000 in ice rental revenue has been lost as a result of the closure of facilities. At the same time, the municipality has seen unexpected costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So like you at home, the municipality is taking a close look at expenses and making hard decisions about “must have’s.” To address lost revenues, staff prepared a cost containment plan that identified $907,385 in operational savings and $3.8 million in capital project deferrals. The plan considers community needs and legislative requirements while looking to ensure the financial sustainability of the municipality throughout this changing situation. Even with these actions, assistance may be required from the Federal and Provincial governments to reduce the overall financial burden on the municipality.

As always, council and staff are working to ensure the services you rely on – safe roads, clean water, and emergency response, to mention just a few – will continue to be there for you.

Please be in touch if you have any questions.

Stay well!
Aina

Mayor Aina DeViet

Mayor's Message - May 28, 2020

Mayor DeViet shared a video message today. In the video, the Mayor speaks about the need to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid gatherings of more than 5 when visiting Middlesex Centre Parks.

 

Mayor's Message - May 22, 2020

Mayor DeViet shared a video message today. The message focused on the reopening of Middlesex Centre parks, sports fields/courts, trails, etc. and the safety precautions that should be followed to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19. These precautions include physical distancing and avoiding gathering in large groups (more than 5).

Mayor's Message - May 12, 2020

COVID-Cut Challenge Update

Mayor DeViet with COVID-Cut Hair

The two-week COVID-Cut Challenge drew to a close last Friday, and I’m delighted to report more than $5,400 was raised for the Ailsa Craig and Area Food Bank! This is a tremendous response from our community and will go a long way to helping local families.

As promised, since our community raised more than $5,000 in donations, my husband gave me a new "COVID-Cut" hairstyle.

I’m most grateful for your generosity and efforts on this campaign as well as all of the other ‘projects’ that are happening across Middlesex Centre to help those who need a hand during this challenging time.

Thank-you very much!


Victoria Day Celebrations, Parks & Reopening our Community

We’ve just had our first “virtual” Mother’s Day and now look forward to a very different Victoria Day long weekend. For me, it won’t be the same without fireworks!

While there won’t be any camping, the Premier did announce that Provincial Parks are opening this week for walking, biking and bird watching. It was also nice to see that Provincial Parks will be free until the end of the month.

We've taken direction from the province, and Middlesex Centre parks have reopened as well. Please note that playgrounds, sports fields, tennis courts and other park amenities remain closed for now.

As the Province begins to allow certain businesses and services to reopen, we need to remember that COVID-19 is still with us. We need to maintain physical distances, avoid gathering in groups, and continue to act responsibly to make certain we are taking precautions to stop the spread.

Stay well,
Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet

Mayor's Message - May 5, 2020
Picture of Mayor Aina DeViet

The Premier’s announcement last week signaled that it’s time to start looking forward to making plans to safely get back to a more “normal” work and play schedule. Golf courses and marinas are now allowed to bring employees in to start preparations for the coming season, certain construction projects are getting underway and our lawns and gardens will soon be looking even better.

Mayor's COVID-Cut Challenge in support of Ailsa Craig & Area Food Bank

Speaking of looking better, the response to my “COVID-Cut Challenge” has been wonderful -- as of Tuesday, May 5th, more than $3,500 has been pledged in support of the Ailsa Craig & Area Food Bank!

In case you missed it, my challenge to Middlesex Centre is this: If as a community we raise $5,000 in donations for the Ailsa Craig and Area Food Bank by Mother's Day, I will let my husband cut my hair. And not just a little bit, but short, almost shaved, shearing!

It seems very likely that I’m going to get that “COVID Cut”… but, let’s make sure. I’ve been telling folks who haven’t seen me recently I really NEED that haircut, so please consider making a donation, and help me while you are helping out the food bank too!

To find out about where to drop-off donations of food or make an online donation, visit middlesexcentre.on.ca/foodbank-challenge

While you are there, be sure to enter your pledge so we can keep track of our whole community effort. If you wanted to be part of this “campaign” or have already given but not recorded your donation, please fill out the form by Friday, May 8!

Thank you to all of you who have already taken part in the COVID-Cut Challenge! You have been truly generous and I want to thank everyone who has made a donation. The community spirit and your generous support of our friends and neighbours who need a hand at this difficult time is heartwarming and appreciated.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet

Mayor's Message - April 21, 2020

It’s National Volunteer Week in Canada, a time to celebrate the many volunteers who contribute their talents to make Middlesex Centre a strong, vibrant and fun place to live. 

On behalf of Council, I want to recognize all of you that volunteer your time to better our community throughout the year. Thank-you!

This year, I would like to specifically acknowledge and thank all those who have stepped up in the last month or so to help front-line workers, friends, neighbours, and those needing to self-isolate.

We’ve all seen the stories on the news and on social media about the amazing contributions of the Medway High School student who is fabricating medical face shields, the Kilworth Heights family who is raising funds for London Health Sciences Foundation through the “the biggest bottle drive ever,” and the many local knitters and sewers that are making helpful items for essential services workers. 

I’m certain that for every story we read about there are many more that are silently happening in the background. It seems everyone is putting up their hand and doing what they can to make life more bearable for friends and neighbours at this time. It’s wonderful that everyone is using their skills, talents and knowledge to help out. It seems little acts of kindness inspire others and ultimately add up to make a big difference in our community.  

Thanks to all of you for volunteering and doing what you can to make a difference!

Stay healthy,
Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet, Middlesex Centre

Mayor's Message - April 15, 2020

Yesterday, the Provincial Government announced the extension of the Declaration of Emergency until May 12 in order to continue the fight against COVID-19. 

Like most people across Ontario, the residents of Middlesex Centre have continued to stay home and to observe physical distancing to limit the community spread of the illness – and it seems to be working.

I want to applaud the efforts of all of you in helping to stop the spread, and to protect the health of others! It’s been a huge adjustment for individuals, families, farms and businesses – and quite stressful – but your efforts are making an impact.

Thank-you for your discipline, perseverance, kindness and general good humour. With some luck, the next 28-day period will show even more dramatic results, and we can start looking forward to a wonderful summer!

Stay safe and be healthy,
Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet, Middlesex Centre

Mayor's Message - April 7, 2020

Last week, the Provincial government held a special news conference on the current state of the COVID-19 virus and stressed the very significant impact that physical distancing and isolating behaviours have on stopping its spread. The message, that we are at a “critical” point in this journey, was clear. The announcements that followed about next steps reinforced all that we’ve been hearing about maintaining physical distance, staying home and avoiding outings unless absolutely necessary.

Among the announcements last week were stricter definitions of essential business and updates to physical distancing guidelines and enforcement options. For the municipality, one of the big impacts for residents is the closure of all recreational facilities – including all parks, playgrounds, sports fields and courts. Over the past month we’ve all had to absorb a lot of new information. There truly is change at every level and on a scale we’ve not experienced before. We’re dealing with changes at work, with family and friends. Our regular activities and routines are anything but normal!

I also know many of you are, or have family members who work in health care settings, seniors’ facilities or as first responders, and are worried about the health and safety of your loved ones.

Having said all this, I hear every day how people in Middlesex Centre are taking steps to stop the spread of the virus. There continue to be amazing stories of how our community is coming together to help one another at this time – but we’re not there yet!

New cases of COVID-19 are “community” spread – and that means we have the power to stop the spread. Yes, the weather continues to get better outside and we want to get out there to do things and enjoy the sunshine but please, be part of the solution – stay home to save lives.

Stay safe and be healthy,
Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet, Middlesex Centre

Mayor's Message - March 31, 2020

Over these last few weeks I feel some of my days are almost exactly like the one before! In reality however, things are changing all the time. We’ve heard announcements from both the Provincial and Federal governments about programs and plans to help to help Canadians – those who own businesses large and small, those who work for them, those who need to make mortgage payments, and so on.

As a lower tier government many of the options other levels of government can consider are not open to us. However, Council recognizes that people may need help and have put in place financial relief measures for residents and businesses affect by COVID-19. Since things are quite ‘fluid’ we will continue to re-evaluate and take steps to support residents and businesses during this uncertain time.

I want to send out a big thanks to our local businesses and residents who’ve been working to improve our quality of life. I’ve been delighted to see the creativity businesses have exhibited and partnerships they have formed to ensure they can continue to provide needed services to our communities! It’s also great to see residents trying to make things easier and brighter for their neighbours in so many ways—waving hello from across the road, sharing ‘extra’ supplies, and donating to food banks and those who need help now.

It is important that we all do our part by continuing to practice physical distancing and avoiding gatherings of more than 5 people. I’d remind you that our municipal playgrounds and sports areas are closed as a result of the Provincial Emergency Declaration. There are signs in these areas, and in some cases we have put up barriers and fencing. We would ask that you and your family respect these closures to help your community remain safe and healthy.

Thanks again for all you are doing!
Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet, Middlesex Centre

Mayor's Message - March 24, 2020

It’s only a week since we declared the municipal “State of Emergency” and announcements and updates have been coming regularly since then. Staff members have continued to adapt and refine procedures to ensure delivery of essential services continues uninterrupted, while at the same time focusing on health and safety requirements to maintain a good working environment. Please continue to check our website for updates on closures or changes to services, as well as links to information and announcements from various agencies and organizations.

We’ve had some good news from the Provincial government, which just announced funding for relief and protection of the most vulnerable. These funds are managed through the County, and are focused on community services including shelters for the homeless and assistance to food banks. The funds will also be used to help those who can’t apply for funds from the federal programs announced earlier to cover costs like rent, child care and food. While the news of assistance from both levels of government is welcome, it’s clear more will need to be done to help those facing challenges to meet basic needs.

I spent time this past weekend calling neighbours and catching up with people to understand how things had changed for them, what they have been experiencing and what their thoughts are about what is transpiring. The scope of the pandemic and its various impacts – on our financial well-being, on our families, friends and social activities, and mental and physical health – and the long-term changes for all of us are clearly being thought about and discussed.

I noted in my last update that I was gladdened by the way neighbours were helping each other out and just getting needed things done. This is key and is what will make the difference between communities that “survive” and those that “thrive.” The funding programs from both levels of governments are absolutely essential, but I believe community support will make the difference for food banks, shut-ins, those who have to isolate, and businesses in our communities. 

Middlesex Centre has a longstanding tradition of volunteer, community and charity work. Let’s all continue to work together! Call to check in on your neighbours to see if they need supplies, some help, or simply would appreciate a few minutes of conversation. Deliver a bowl of soup or some of your favorite comfort food to someone who you know is under the weather. Since it’s difficult to get certain goods and staples at the grocery store, donate gift cards or cash to the food bank in Ailsa Craig, which covers our area.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to all of you who are doing your part “to flatten the curve” by staying home and physically distancing when outside. This is an important step we can all take to help contain the spread of the virus.

Again, thanks for all you do!
Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet, Middlesex Centre

Mayor's Message - March 20, 2020

I’m encouraged to see and hear news about how we are making out here in Middlesex Centre! 

The offers of assistance, sharing of information and tips, acts of random kindness, ideas of how to entertain little ones that keep social distancing in mind and ... the sharing of “COVID -19 humour” … have been heartwarming. I’m grateful that I live here because it’s truly a community that’s working together in a difficult time.

One of the things that can really make a difference in maintaining a community is to continue to support all of our local business and entrepreneurs. Small businesses don’t have the same kinds of the resources as big businesses and, by shopping and getting your supplies close to home you’re winning on many levels too!

While there is uncertainty about what lays ahead, once again I want to reassure you that everyone at Middlesex Centre is working hard to provide as many services as possible following the required standards. Please keep an eye on the website for the latest information regarding municipal services.

Take good care and stay healthy,
Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet, Middlesex Centre

Mayor's Message - March 17, 2020

Our staff, with the support of Council, have been taking all of the necessary steps to protect the health and well being of our residents by following the recommendations from our local public health officials.

Today, Middlesex Centre declared a “State of Emergency.” This is an administrative action which will for example, ensure our municipality can qualify for emergency funding the Federal and Provincial governments may make available to help cover unexpected costs incurred as a result of the pandemic.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, our staff took early and decisive action to cancel recreational programming and close our facilities - including the Municipal office.  Where possible, staff are working from home and/or staggered shifts to ensure social distancing needs can be maintained.

Fortunately, we are well positioned to continue to provide day-to-day services like building permits, payments processing, etc. through our website and email. And, I can assure everyone that all of our essential services including water and wastewater treatment, road safety and emergency/fire services continue to operate as normal. Having said this, things continue to change quickly.  I urge all of you to check our website for the latest information regarding municipal services.

Middlesex Centre residents tend to rally together both in times of celebration and times of need.  I’ve already seen lots of that generosity, kindness of spirit coming and offers of help coming across on social media, as residents and neighbours look for ways to make things better or easier for each other.  It’s truly wonderful to see our community support each other at this difficult time!

Take good care and stay healthy,
Aina
Mayor Aina DeViet, Middlesex Centre