Hello Chestermere readers. In 1982 Anne Herbert wrote the statement “practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty”. These actions offer kindness to the world, and we see faith in humanity restored.
There are so many good people around us, and especially those heroes on the front line who are running into the fire to keep us safe, keeping us healthy, driving trucks bringing needed supplies, comforting family members through anxiety, and working around the clock to keep shelves full of groceries.
I spoke with so many people this week from our faith communities, and cultural groups that are finding wonderful ways to reach out to their communities to stay connected at this time of deep reflection and social distancing.
Random acts of kindness call us to care and be compassionate, and I have seen so many acts of kindness over the past few weeks. Thank you to all of you who are posting that you are available to help your neighbours. Please call us at our office (403-962-0126) or email us at Chestermere.Strathmore@assembly.ab.ca if you need help, as we will try and connect you with information and updates as they come out to help you through this difficult time. We are all in this together.
This next bit is a difficult conversation that has to happen. In order to contain this virus, there are no options when it comes to self-isolation when one has been travelling. Many of you have family members who will be returning from their winter holidays and I cannot stress enough how important it is that messages are relayed to them that once they arrive in Canada, that they must go directly home with no stops to grocery stores, visiting family, or picking up animals from kennels.
Please help your neighbours and families to get into their homes and to self-isolate immediately by offering to get groceries, prescriptions, dropping off RV’s and picking up their pets. This is very serious, and someone returning from a trip who makes a trip to the grocery store, goes to visit their family, and any other stops along the way could the spread the virus and endanger others. This responsibility lies on all of our shoulders, and there cannot be any exceptions. This is not a consideration up for debate. This is a common sense and reasonable step to keep our population safe and healthy.
Please do your part to inform, or step in to help those who are returning home. I know that you can do this, and I know that this is important to all of us. We need to bend the curve.
On that note, our Mayor did a wonderful video on the work that is being done around the city of Chestermere to keep people safe, and addressed the kids which I thought was wonderful. I realize that it is difficult to keep the munchkins off the playparks, but consider that we do not know how long this virus can live outside the body, and we have to keep our kids from spreading their germs to each other which is why the schools have been closed. This is again imperative as we try to bend the curve on this virus. Thank you to our Mayor, council and administration for their great work in keeping us safe.
We have added in measures to protect businesses, employers, and job protected leave for employees as we are waiting for the federal government to bring forward their package for Alberta. Please visit www.alberta.ca to find out more about Federal employment insurance benefits, continuity planning resources, and utility payment deferral. Corporate income tax balances and instalment payments will be deferred from March 19 until August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay their employees, address debt and continue operations. For Farms, small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off regardless of the service provider. Please call your utility provider to set up this deferral. If you are a small business and a member of a credit union or ATB, please contact them to find out about how they are supporting their members through access to capital and deferrals.
Shop local if you can. These are difficult times for our business community throughout the constituency. Those that remain open are doing everything they can to keep their customers safe while giving you services you need so please be cooperative. A “thank you” for being there for us will go a long way. Many of our local businesses are “face to face” and are now closed for an extended period or are restricted to things like takeout only. If you are able please do what you can to support them. Consider getting takeout or if, for example, you have a favourite esthetics service, buy a service for later. Even if it’s only a call to let them know that you will be there for them when they reopen, they will appreciate it.
Stay strong, give back, practice and be proactive in social distancing. We are resilient, and we will recover from this because we will all work together to get through this stronger than before. Remember to prevent the spread and remember you can get the latest information and updates at www.Alberta.ca. As always I love to hear from you.