Message from Mayor David Mayberry - Thursday, June 4th, 2020
6/4/2020 12:14:36 PM
Last week the provincial government announced a “reopening plan” which necessarily was more “a road map than a calendar” according to the Premier. And well, it should be! The province is no doubt getting huge pressure to reopen Ontario from businesses who are struggling and citizens who feel trapped in their homes. We all get the concerns and angst of the community, and we all want to get back to “normal” as quickly as possible, but we also need to make sure that it is safe to do so.
The province’s seemingly slow and careful approach may annoy us at times but it is respectfully intended to protect us from this pandemic. We have been safe so far because of the protective measures put in place including the restrictions on gathering in groups and reduced business activities. Despite our intense desire for normalcy, we all need to heed the advice of the medical experts as the province is, and advising us to do.
Much of the normal spring construction work has been delayed because of restrictions. There is concern that when construction begins there will be a flood of requests for building permits which will require some staff time. I strongly encourage anyone thinking of doing any building this spring/summer to get their building application into the office so it can be processed in a timely fashion. While the office is closed to the public, applications are being received and dealt with in the order they arrive. The earlier it is submitted, the sooner the permits can be issued after the restrictions are lifted.
As this shutdown proceeds into June, I also understand that besides the social constraints, many people and businesses are worried about, or struggling, financially. This is both to be expected, and has been anticipated, by all levels of governments. Our Federal government has created a number of programs to help people and businesses navigate through these turbulent times. The various programs available are gathered together and are available through Oxford Connection. I encourage those that need some support to take advantage of these and other programs.
As South-West Oxford (and other Oxford County municipalities) continue to consider the options and potential opportunities for “reopening” our local economies, there are a number of issues that need to be examined. We want to be sure we don’t jeopardize the longer term physical or economic health of the community through short term solutions. If local investments in infrastructure are advisable, they need to have a positive and long term impact so that the initial investment is recaptured in long term benefits. We also need to invest directly in our community by shopping locally. The local shops and markets need your support now more than ever. The Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation is promoting rural Oxford through its “Buy Close By” program. This is something we all can and should do, now and always.
Finally, while we can’t quite see it, we know the end is coming for this pandemic. Please continue to practice physical distancing, wash your hands, cough into your elbow, stay at home and help those in need. We will all get through this difficult time with our continued patience and perseverance.
Take care, stay safe!
Mayor, Township of South West Oxford