Carleton Place mayor gives Christmas address

CARLETON PLACE – At last evening’s Carleton Place council meeting, Mayor Doug Black gave his annual holiday season address which, in 2020, focuses heavily on COVID-19:

Hello Carleton Place, as your mayor, I would like to take a moment to bring Holiday greetings this evening as tonight is our last council meeting for 2020

I don’t need to tell anyone, as you are all certainly aware, that 2020 has been one of the hardest years in recent memory. However, what I can tell you, and with confidence, is how proud I am of how we pulled together as a community to support each other in this time of uncertainty.

It has been most impressive throughout the year to hear of all the different ways we have stepped up to get through this year together.

The frontline workers and first responders who risked their very lives to keep us and our families safe.

The restaurants who provided meals for those who were struggling.

Community members continuing to donate to the food bank to ensure no one went hungry.

Friends and family picking up groceries for those who couldn’t leave their home.

Volunteers shopping for and delivering groceries to our most vulnerable.

Businesses and councillors donating hand sanitizer to long term care homes and residents who sent messages of encouragement and kindness to the workers in those facilities.

Town staff who continued to work throughout the pandemic to ensure municipal services continued to be delivered to the high service standard that residents have come to expect.

Local organizations who shifted their events to virtual so that we could continue to feel a sense of community.

The Teachers who had to shift their model of how they educate our children while also keeping them safe.

And to the children who proved to be so resilient. Who stayed home and missed their friends, who gave up traditional holiday event celebrations to keep their families safe, and who painted rocks with messages of encouragement to make strangers smile.

These are all examples of what it truly means to not just live in a Town but to be a part of a community.

While we know that it’s frustrating to not celebrate in-person with our friends and family, we must remember that for us, this is a temporary measure – but for the families and friends of the over 12,000 Canadians who have lost their lives to COVID-19 – it is not.

I know how busy and stressful the Holiday season can be at the best of times but this year in particular, I ask you to remember that no one is too busy to be kind.  Please continue to check in on family, friends and neighbours, particularly those who might be facing the Holiday season alone.

Staying home and apart as much as we can is the most important thing we can do.

On behalf of council, have a safe and happy Holiday Carleton Place and all the best to you and your family in 2021.