Officials in the Town of Bonnyville took to the web Tuesday afternoon to address concerns and outline steps going forward during the COVID-19 Outbreak. Mayor Gene Sobolewski and Bonnyville Regional Fire Chief Jay Melvin were part of an online press conference streamed on the town’s website.
Melvin says his message to residents is to continue to practice good social distancing and other ways to stay healthy during the outbreak.
“The biggest message that we’re trying to drive home is to ensure the social and physical distancing is in place, that people are following the rules. If you’re sick, you stay home. A lot of the issues that we are facing right now is things we have never experienced or even thought of.”
Meanwhile the local economy is dealing with blows that include shutdowns in the service industry and a price war bringing the selling point of a barrel of Canadian oil down with it. Sobolewski says he’s been in talks with the provincial government in regards to grants that could get residents back to work when the outbreak passes.
“We’re looking at the possibility of making sure it will be local people so local equipment, supply and labour, that will take the precedent of getting people back to work and infrastructure projects. By the time the COVID crisis starts to diminish in 6 or 8 weeks, or at least the experts are saying that may be the timeline, that won’t be the time to institute infrastructure. We need to roll it out quickly.”
A full video of the conference is available online.