COVID-19: Messages from the Mayor


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.

Picture of Mayor Aina DeViet

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,
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!
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!
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,
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,
Mayor Aina DeViet, Middlesex Centre