Dear residents of the Pontiac,
As we head into the weekend and reportedly much warmer weather, I want to again extend a big thank you to everyone in the Pontiac for your continued efforts of social distancing and isolation. As I travel the Pontiac, it’s evident to me in every municipality that you are all doing your very best.
I’m happy to report that the water level is down a foot in Rapides-des-Joachims, according to Mayor Jim Gibson. Bryson Mayor, Alain Gagnon, also informed me that the water level is lower than usual in Bryson. Considering that at this time last year many of us were getting ready to evacuate our homes, the spring water levels so far are very encouraging.
I reached out to six food stores in the Pontiac this past week to discuss their challenges and their plans to ensure a good food supply for our residents.
Part of our discussion was pricing since several citizens have brought this issue to my attention. This pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of essential proximity services. Mega food chains, such as the American giant, Wal-Mart, can offer extremely low prices because of their huge buying power. We know that by shopping locally, we are protecting and growing our local businesses, and creating local jobs. And by encouraging our local food stores, not only through this pandemic, but always, we will also see product variety grow and prices drop. We thank our food suppliers for working so hard and, with the help of volunteers, for delivering food to those in need. I plan to also reach to our team of hardware stores and pharmacies, who are all doing an excellent job of serving the needs of the Pontiac.
We don’t know how long the virus will be with us. Just as Victory Gardens were popular after WWII, this summer, I intend to plant a vegetable garden and I encourage everyone who can to do the same. You will have access to fresh vegetables, and if you grow root vegetables, they can be stored for months.
Next week the Premier will announce a plan to gradually reopen schools. Please remember that the decision to send your children to school or not will be left to the parents, and there will be no penalties if you choose to keep your children at home.
The SAAQ office is now open by appointment on Wednesdays and Fridays. I would like to thank and congratulate the staff of the MRC who made it possible to make an appointment locally. You can continue to look for daily updates on my Facebook page and on the MRC Pontiac website. I am so proud of the strong determination to prevent COVID-19 in the Pontiac. Let’s keep up the good work!
Keep safe, together Pontiac!