Manitoulin leadership grateful residents, non-residents heeding non-essential travel cautions

  Share concerns over racist tone of online commentary

The Recorder

MANITOULIN – The Manitoulin COVID-19 Leadership Co-ordination Committee is pleased to see that the May long weekend traffic was significantly down from normal years.

“Committee members all agreed that, anecdotally, it was clear that the May long-weekend traffic of people and vessels was significantly down from historic patterns,” a press release notes. “Leadership is grateful to see that both Island residents and non-residents alike are heeding cautions concerning non-essential travel and activities. Local traffic is significantly reduced as people are respecting requests not to travel and adhering to shelter-in place guidelines.”

“At our meeting we went around the table to get everyone’s input, and see if there were any concerns,” said Patsy Corbiere, chair of the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising (UCCMM), on Tuesday. “The majority of the committee said traffic levels were low, not like a normal May long weekend, and quiet. I know in the Little Current grocery stores, there were no lineups. It appears people are getting the message to stay at home. And those who came to the Island are bringing their own food.”

The Manitoulin COVID-19 Leadership Co-ordination Committee met this past Tuesday for its third session and is pleased to report that 10 community leaders comprising of four First Nations (including the UCCMM Tribal Council) and representatives of six municipalities participated in the committee’s deliberations. Based on the committee’s rotating chair format, Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin chaired the meeting following Tribal Chair Patsy Corbiere’s leadership last week.

The release notes, “on a very concerning note, committee members wish to express their joint and unanimous condemnation of the racist statements that have increasingly appeared on social media and elsewhere. Manitoulin Island leadership is dedicated to understanding our respective communities and, even where agreement cannot be reached, are committed to debate in a respectful and constructive way. How we, on Manitoulin Island, handle our differences measures our character both as communities and as individuals. We can and must do better to promote harmony amongst all of us on Manitoulin Island.” 

“All leadership expresses their gratitude for the selfless work of front-line health care and social workers who support the Island’s population. Committee members also wish to recognize the very significant public service contributions of municipal and First Nation administration staff.” 

It was also explained in the release, “local businesses are struggling and so rather than engaging in non-essential travel to off-Island businesses, we encourage that everyone, where possible, support our local businesses and keep purchases at home on the Island.”