I want to take a couple of minutes of your time to share my observations on our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, we cannot appreciate enough the work of our healthcare providers in hospital, clinic, long-term care, emergency and home care roles. They go home from long, challenging shifts daily and many self-isolate in their homes to protect their families. These are difficult times and we honour them for their service. Thank you also to all our emergency responders.
I want to thank the service clubs and community organizations that are providing important support for the most vulnerable in our communities including seniors, those with physical and intellectual disabilities and those who are unable to get out on their own.
Thank you to the businesses that have closed under the guidelines. We all recognize that this will be a very difficult time for you. Your customers respect your commitment to keeping people safe. Thank you to the businesses that are being asked to stay open to provide essential services. I sincerely appreciate your challenge and appreciate the staff and resources you support in the community. Many individuals and businesses are being creative in finding solutions to urgent community needs. Thank you.
We must follow the self-isolation and social distance guidelines to protect all who are providing services across our towns, villages and in rural areas. The vast majority of citizens are doing exactly that but we cannot let our guard down. We have already learned of COVID-19 infections through community transmission. Our grandparents, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren and friends need us all to play our part for responsible distancing.
Thank you also to the media for keeping everyone informed on the hour by hour changes experienced across the country, around the world and most importantly as it affects us in our communities.
Stay well and be supportive while staying apart.
- As of April 2, 2020, the Parkland Co-op Grocery Store will only be allowing 10 people in the store at one time. This is as much for our residents’ health and safety as it is for the health and safety of the Parkland Co-op employees.
- Due to sanitary concerns, all parks and playgrounds in Porcupine Plain will be CLOSED until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. For the safety of your family and others around us, refrain from using any and all playground equipment at this time!
- At this time, the Carwash & water pickup remains open. Hours will be be 8a.m. – 6p.m. and precautions & restrictions are in place for customer safety.
- Religious Services:
- The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church will be live streaming masses with Bishop Albert on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert Facebook Page. Visit www.padiocese.ca for mass times.
- The Redeemer Lutheran Church will be live streaming services on the Christ Lutheran Church of Tisdale SK Facebook Page. Sermons can also be emailed upon request.
- The Full Gospel Church will be live streaming services on the Porcupine Full Gospel Church Facebook Page.
- From the Porcupine Plain Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses:
- Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have suspended meetings at the Kingdom Hall and are now having meetings online. If you would like to join us, please call or text 306-278-3366 for more information.
- We have to special meetings coming up. On April 5th, a 30-minute special talk will be given worldwide, “Whose Leadership Can You Trust?” It will be available to all on www.JW.org. You can stream this talk anytime on April 5th.
- Then we invite you all to the worldwide annual observance of Jesus Christ’s death on April 7th. You can watch this 45-minute service on www.JW.org starting at 7:30p.m. Last year, over 20,000,000 people observed this important event.
- Please be safe and take care of each other.
- Below is a listing of business closure and restrictions for Town of Porcupine Plain businesses. (click image for larger view)
Amid the recent COVID-19 concerns, council is taking careful measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 within our municipality. Our top priority at this time is to protect the health of our citizens and our staff. This means limiting physical interactions.
It is natural that we worry about new threats to our health, and we suggest getting up-to-date information from reliable sources, including: Health Canada, Saskatchewan Health, and World Health Organization.
The Town Office is open and operational at this time; that being said, the doors are closed unless absolutely necessary. We are encouraging our staff to reduce the number of in-person meetings through alternatives such as video-conference, email, phone, or postponing to a later date.
We want to give our residents the reassurance that we are doing our very best to put the necessary precautions in place to assist in stopping the potential spread of the virus throughout our community.
We are specifically:
- Requesting all persons stay home if they feel sick or have been in contact with someone that has traveled outside of Canada
- Requesting that all employees and residents refrain from attending large events
- Replacing in-person meetings with telephone calls, emails, or video conferences to eliminate visitors coming into our office.
- Having our staff work remotely from home where possible.
- Cancelling non-essential business travel
- Mandating self-isolation for 14 days for those returning from travel outside the country for employees, and strongly suggesting all residents care enough about their neighbours to do the same
- Requesting residents pay their water bills or taxes (if 2019 taxes are not yet paid in full) through online banking. One can also etransfer payments to firstname.lastname@example.org, but be sure to put your name in the comments field before sending. Note that water bills are not due until the end of April, so there is no need to rush to the Town Office to get the bill paid. As always, cheques may be mailed in for payments or dropped off in the drop-box on the North side of the Town Office.
This is an unprecedented situation that council is closely monitoring. As the situation evolves, we will continue to respond and provide updates. Please check back to our website for more information. In the meantime, we wish you and your family the best of health, and we look forward to seeing you in-person in the near future.
See below COVID-19 fact sheets. If you develop symptoms, call the HealthLine: 8-1-1
Visit the Province’s newly launched Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19
Congratulations to Anna Bolvin, who on February 20th took second place in the 2020 Canadian Challenge Sled Dog Race (8-Dog Team). The Canadian Challenge sled dog race is a continuous mid-distance race held in Saskatchewan, following a route similar to that of the old sled dog trail used by trappers, the North West Mounted Police and First Nations community to travel between Prince Albert and La Ronge. The Canadian Challenge is the nation’s longest sled dog which starts, runs and finishes in Canada. The race has attracted teams from across Canada, the United States, Australia, Germany, Serbia and Belgium. The Canadian Challenge is sponsored by the Gateway North Sled Dog Race Association, a non-profit organization that promotes traditional sled dog racing in Saskatchewan.
After the race, an awards ceremony was held, where Anna also received the ‘Best Kept Team (8-Dog) award; winners of this award are chosen by the event’s team of veterinarians, recognizing a level of extraordinary dog care.
The Marvin Powlowski Memorial Sled Dog Race was a huge success, despite low snow cover. Carl and George Knudsen spent hours grooming the trails in preparation for the weekend event. Teams came from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Minnesota. A number of volunteers showed up to man road crossings, serve hot dogs, and help at the starting line.
A beautiful supper was provided to the teams and supporters, all cooked by Evelyn Powlowski. Stories were told and memories shared by Ed Jenkins, who was also the announcer at the race site.
Check out the January issue of The Chatter for all race standings and times.
Thank You to the community for coming out to watch and to volunteer, and to the sponsors who made this event
possible: Johnston Agencies, Knudsen Honey Inc., Affinity Credit Union, Parkland Co-op, Slobodian Pharmacy,
Althouse Honey, Tumax Service, Rumberger & Fettis Accounting, 2V Machining, Wheelers Transport, Dmytriw Welding, Porcupine Accounting, Thomasgard Drilling, Pet Food Service, Lintlaw Service, Vaughans Meats, Nutrien, & Tipsy’s Sports Bar. Your support is greatly appreciated!