UPDATE CHECKSTOP DELIVERIES DURING LOCKDOWN
Congratulations NCN. We have gone two more weeks with no COVID-19 cases because you have followed the rules. We know this has been tough but we are proud of this community. So far, we have been able to keep COVID out even though the number of cases in Thompson has more than doubled over the past two weeks and communities all over the north are seeing community transmission. As frustrating as it is we must keep following the public health rules and the other rules my Council and I have put in place to keep us safe.
The Tuesday and Thursday deliveries of cannabis and alcohol to the check stop are creating problems in the community. Recently, we have seen an increase in violence, staff are missing work and kids are not going to school. There are still some people who are partying and not following the public health measures. This puts all of us at risk.
To address these issues, starting next week deliveries of cannabis and alcohol will only be allowed on Friday OR Saturday, not both days. Deliveries by mail must be done legally. Each person with a permit will only be allowed a ONE day limit of cannabis, beer, wine, coolers, or spirits. No sharing of permits is allowed. You can choose to pick up your ONE day limit at the check stop on either Friday or Saturday. If the violence continues to escalate we will have to reconsider imposing a ban on alcohol and cannabis. We hope that will not be necessary.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation circulating on Facebook and through a petition that is being circulated in the community. My Council and I strongly recommend that you only obtain information from reliable sources. As we have indicated previously, the mail is NOT being searched at the post office. However, we have the check stop moving around the community to help protect us all.
Unfortunately, some people are trying to exploit the necessity for restrictions during this pandemic for their own purposes. I urge you to ignore them and instead concentrate on the facts related to this pandemic.
For every 48 people who contract the virus, three people will be hospitalized and one of those people will die. Over the past month, the COVID test positivity rate in the Northern Regional Health Region increased to become the second highest rate in the province. In November there was a major spike in deaths across all age groups.
The highest number of cases are ages 20 to 59. Therefore, I particularly want to address our youth and implore you to be careful. DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO WANT YOUR MONEY BUT ARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY.
With freedoms come responsibilities. There are limitations on rights and freedoms in a free and democratic society like ours. Leadership requires tough actions to be taken for the benefit of all. Does anyone really believe that my Council and I are imposing restrictions on you and on ourselves just to make all our lives miserable? Think again as that line of thinking is idiotic.
The real concern is how a small group are misleading our youth and others in this community with false narratives and false information. Their actions are not only wrong but are absolutely despicable. Instead of trying to create divisions in our community during the worst pandemic in over a hundred years, these negative people should seek forgiveness, show respect for others and try to find positive ways to help our community.
Stop spreading the lies and falsehoods. I remind you from the teachings of our ancestors – Oh’chinewin, your actions will come back to haunt you. For everyone else, Asehewewin, you are also responsible for your thoughts, words and actions and how they can affect the rest of us. So stop supporting the agitators, rumor mongers, the drug dealers, and the bootleggers. How dare they misuse the residential school experiences of many of us for their own selfish purposes. They are engaging in LATERAL VIOLENCE AND IT NEEDS TO STOP NOW.
As always, my Council and I are interested in hearing positive suggestions from you about how we can improve our community and how we can govern ourselves even more effectively. This pandemic is challenging for us all. So again we ask that you do everything possible to STAY SAFE. FOLLOW THE PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES. BE CAREFUL.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO ALLOW A FEW AGITATORS TO TURN US AGAINST EACH OTHER. STAY FOCUSED SO WE CAN CONTINUE TO BEAT THIS PANDEMIC. WE CAN AND WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER IF WE ARE UNITED IN OUR EFFORTS.