By Pauline Kerr
Mayor Mitch Twolan strongly discouraged seasonal residents from travelling to Huron-Kinloss during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the fact his plea was largely disregarded, Twolan has issued an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. “We will not be hooking up water for seasonal residents,” he said.
Twolan said in a statement on Facebook, that this is not the time for people to head to the cottage to wait out the pandemic. Rural areas are not safer places to be than cities during this pandemic. “This is not a vacation or holiday,” Twolan said, in reference to measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19.
Twolan referred to a statement from the local Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ian Arra, urging people not to travel to or from Bruce County. Hospitals and medical facilities in this area have “less capacity to handle COVID-19,” Twolan said.
The declaration of the emergency in the township gives the mayor the authority to take such measures as not turning on water for seasonal residents. The decision was made in consultation with the township’s solicitor and the emergency planning committee.
The act gives the mayor the authority to “take such actions and make such orders as the mayor considers necessary to implement the township’s emergency plan and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the township.”
The order prohibits the opening of any municipally owned valve for the purpose of supplying water to a seasonal residence, and further prohibits the owners of seasonal dwellings from reinstating water supply during the emergency pandemic situation.
Those in violation of the order are subject to a substantial fine and/or jail time upon conviction.
“This is serious,” said Twolan.
In his Facebook statement, Twolan thanked front-line health workers and emergency services personnel for what they’ve been doing during this emergency. He urged everyone – both local residents and seasonal – to help control the spread of COVID-19 by staying home.
By Pauline Kerr