What is really dividing us?
Warning up front … this may not be seen by some people as being politically correct at times (I rarely am) and some of my comments will surely rub some people the wrong way. Some of what I have written will be re-worked by my non supporters with a negative spin but some things need to be said if we are ever going to close the divide that is growing daily in our town, province, country and world.
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Politics in Wasaga Beach
Wasaga Beach is on the right path with a responsible council moving forward with the priorities we set at the beginning of this term. Unfortunately, there is a small group in the community who are trying to undermine that with lies and innuendo about council and staff actions as well as personal attacks against individuals. While I have no obligation to share my personal life, I also have nothing to hide, so here it is, my very private story. Take a read and when you see others spinning their lies, feel free to call BS on my behalf! It’s a long read so don’t waste the beautiful weather we have been getting……………wait till a rainy day or snow storm.
Say it like it is …
While some people find my approach to matters to be too blunt, I prefer to get to the point and say it like it is.
First of all, this COVID-19 matter is serious. Please listen to Canada’s Chief Medical Officer and our local health unit.
-Stay home as much as possible
-Practice physical/social distancing
-Practice proper hygiene
By following these directives, YOU have the ability to flatten the curve and turn this situation around. YOU hold the power! Please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website for more information.
The Town continues to promote what the Chief Medical Officer is advising as well as the Provincial and Federal directives that have been put in place. It is these higher levels of government that make the decisions to restrict travel from one area to another. To date Premier Ford, County of Simcoe Warden, I and other Mayors have asked that people stay in their primary residences. Here in cottage country we are also making this ask of our seasonal residents. If we stop moving, so does the virus.
The Town continues to update our website and social media sites with media releases and information regarding COVID-19.
I am proud of all of us who are working together to make a difference and flatten the curve of COVID-19. We all need to do our part.
The Town of Wasaga Beach has put in place measures for a safe work environment for our staff. Municipal Government is deemed an essential service and it is important that we keep town business/services moving forward.
Thank you to town staff who continue to come to work. We all recognize the importance of being ready to hit the ground running once this COVID-19 situation is under control.
The Provincial Government has provided a list of businesses that are considered essential and which ones must close or provide their service in a different manner. I know that this is difficult for many business owners and causing anxiety about the future. These measures are attempts to eliminate person-to-person contact and to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
We need to keep in mind what all of this means for our economy as this will have a huge impact on all of us for a very long time.
While many have had to apply for Employment Insurance and businesses can apply for promised government funding during these difficult times, this comes at a cost. Where is the money coming from to pay those collecting EI and Business subsidies?
The more people on EI, the less income tax going to the government. The more businesses that are closed not only adds to the unemployment numbers but also provides less business tax to the government.
While I believe this funding is meant to be a calming measure now, the reality is it is creating debt that will need to be paid back at some point. Taxpayers will pay that debt.
The town has waived certain late fees for things such as property taxes. Again, it is helpful now and provides relief for some but it will have an effect on community projects, services and infrastructure going forward if it carries on too long.
The quicker we react responsibly to the measures provided to us by the Chief Medical Officer, the quicker we can get businesses back up and running and people back to work. If not, we can expect our economy to be hit and have lasting effects.
If people would follow the suggestions of the experts, we could actually flatten the curve; balance the current situation save lives and save our economy.
We do not know what this week will bring. Regardless, we need to change our routines in response to what comes at us, but we cannot live in fear. Protect yourself and follow best practices from the Chief Medical Officer and directives from the Provincial and Federal Governments.
I know that people are feeling fear right now. At a time where people could use a hug or even a handshake, we are being asked to keep our distance. For now replace the hug or hand shake with a wave, a smile and show kindness and compassion for others. Everyone deals with tough situations in their own way and if we can support each other, without judgement, we will get through this together.
I hope everyone finds a way to make this Easter weekend a special one.
Let’s be positive during a difficult time …
At a time that the world is in a doom and gloom state, where every time you turn on the TV, radio or social media it is bad scary stuff…….we need to find levity in our world, for ourselves and for our children.
Mental health is a huge issue for many people on a regular day and even more so now during a worldwide pandemic with many confined to their homes. We need to find moments to sing, dance, laugh and have some fun.
Thank you to those who are supportive and positive even when times are tough. You are so important right now to our community!
You will see on my Facebook posts there are times I do things that others like to criticize … but by far most people see the humour and fun in which they are done. To those who support me because I am not what some consider to be a normal politician………thank you!
Yes, I wear (currently in style) ripped jeans when I am at the office, with no meetings scheduled, offices closed to the public and with intentions of giving my office a good clean. Who knew that my phone in radio interview that morning would turn into a push-up challenge (which I couldn’t turn down) resulting in a video of me in my ripped jeans.
Thanks Ben McCully of Max FM for adding levity to our day!
We had a retirement this week of a long time staff member, and due to social distancing, I climbed on top of a sign to keep my distance with others in the picture. Congratulations and thanks for your years of service Mike!
At 49, I am glad I can still do these things. I will continue to do stuff until I no longer can! As my friend Karen recently said……it’s better to wear out then rust out!
Being in politics, there will always be people from the opposition side who want to criticize me and add to the doom and gloom. There are some in this world that you will never please and sometimes have to stop trying and focus on those who truly want the best for their community.
Some people think that because I am in politics, a Mayor, I have to conform to what their version of that is. Sorry folks I am going to continue to be me, have fun, accept an occasional challenge (I will not eat bugs) and live life to its fullest! I choose to enjoy life and ignore the negativity and those who spout it!
If you are at home, feeling bored, sick of yard work or spring cleaning, then start making the list of fun stuff you want to do when this COVID-19 situation is over!
FACT or FICTION
Some people believe that as Mayor, there is an expectation that I will ignore ignorant, unethical and complete lies said about me. Over the past few years, I have ignored a lot and recognize that with this position comes criticism. I have no issue with someone disagreeing with my opinion, how I voted on a matter and publicly sharing that they do not agree with me.
However, when it crosses a line that affects my reputation or my family, and are complete lies meant to defame, I have every right to speak out against it and I will.