County stays course with COVID-19 recovery

By Chad Ingram

Haliburton County’s four lower-tier municipalities will continue to deal with recovery from the COVID-19 crisis separately county councillors decided during a June 10 special meeting.

While there had been some thought given to collective messaging earlier in the ongoing pandemic the four municipalities have been taking their own approaches to operations and now with the phased re-opening of Ontario’s economy recovery planning.

Given that there has been a regional re-opening of some businesses by the provincial government Warden Liz Danielsen asked her colleagues if they saw any benefit to a countywide approach “or if you think it’s more productive to continue on an individual municipal basis.”

“I would say stay the course” said Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin. “After this crisis I think there’ll be lots of conversations if we want to use a different framework or how we do that in the future but in the middle of the game I’d say we missed that opportunity a couple of months ago and I’m prepared to live with the status quo for the balance of this.”

Dysart et al Mayor Andrea Roberts agreed. Dysart et al is the first of the four municipalities to have struck a COVID-19 recovery committee which was meeting for the second time last week.

“I don’t think we missed any boat or anything” Roberts said. “Each municipality wants to do something to help their communities and I think that if there’s an opportunity through our committee where we see this is really a county issue let’s work collectively then we can bring that forward to council.”

County council consists of the mayors and deputy mayors of each of the four municipalities. The county is currently having a service delivery review of itself and the four lower tiers conducted by Toronto-based consulting firm StrategyCorp.