DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is trusting seasonal residents and visitors to the municipality to follow the COVID-19 health rules.
The City is expecting to see more people entering the municipality, with the Trent Severn Waterway having announced they will be opening their waterways, giving access to the locks, boat launches and green spaces, as of Monday, June 1st.
“With the locks opening and the weather improving, we will continue to see more and more people coming to Kawartha Lakes. And that’s okay…We support all community members and want to ensure that everyone is being respectful to one another, whether that means being a friendly neighbour to everyone in our community, or supporting our economy by shopping local,” Mayor Andy Letham said, in a YouTube video message.
In his message, Mayor Letham went on to state the City is “relying on everyone’s common sense to move forward.”
Regarding whether or not he is concerned warm weather could lead people to no longer pay attention to or follow physical distancing, the mayor had a couple thoughts.
“I have two opinions on that. One is, of course there is a concern. People are, going to start moving around, and coming to visit. But I also have a lot of businesses calling me and approaching me about when [they] can start promoting to people to come to Kawartha Lakes for a weekend or a day. If [they]’re not going to go to Europe this summer, people are going to want to take shorter trips, and how can we as a community take advantage of that. We’re kind of stuck in the middle right now. We don’t want to promote too many people coming up, until we are ready for them and it can be done safely, when some more of our businesses are open like the bars and the restaurants,” Mayor Letham told The Standard, during a telephone press conference, on Wednesday, May 27th.
“But at some point, we’re going to start carefully inviting people up to our community for the day, to try to take advantage of our proximity to the GTA and the need of our local economy to start pushing on the tourism end of it. We’re kind of in limbo right now, because we don’t want to get ahead of the provincial orders, and we want to make sure that when we start promoting that message, we do it responsibly,” Mayor Letham emphasized.