The Current prints this letter from a seasonal resident of Madawaska Valley who expresses concerns about local municipal response to the pandemic.
My husband and I care very much about our Madawaska Valley community – our friends and neighbours and family – so we are staying away for the time being. Normally, we would be up for Easter Weekend so we could spend time with my parents who are year-round residents, but that would be irresponsible this year. It’s hard – we haven’t seen them since Christmas. They are of the age that it could have been our last Christmas together. However, we understand the risk and the fear and the difficulties being experienced – we are experiencing the same here in the city – do not think that it is easier here. At some point, however, we likely will arrive at our cottage. Hopefully in late May or June when you are better prepared for us (i.e. the normal summer influx). We would only do so responsibly – i.e. arrive healthy, arrive with our own supplies, not stop on the way, and continue to isolate and not go back-and-forth. We would be staying. This, of course, is dependent on what happens between now and then.
Something that really concerns me, though, is that the Township currently cannot handle the year-round population and are saying they can’t handle the influx of the seasonal residents at this time. So, if you can’t handle what you have right now (in April), seems to me that any further residential development in the Township may be a bad idea.
Yes, we are in extraordinary circumstances right now but, the entire world – every single day – faces the potential for disaster of all kinds – tornadoes, floods, forest fires, power outages, etc. Today, it happens to be a pandemic. Any natural or man-made disaster in the future could have the same strains on the health care system and the supply chain, just as we are experiencing now.
If you are asking current property owners to consider staying away at this time because you cannot handle them, then how can you responsibly consider further residential development and a further increase in population – seasonal or year-round? How can you allow for more to come when you can’t manage who you already have? My thoughts are that the Township should either stop any further residential and/or seasonal development or prepare to handle it – unless you want to be completely overwhelmed in the future. You can’t just keep telling people to stay away or leave when times are bad. We’re in this together. Let’s learn from what is happening right now.
Stay safe, Everyone.