The local Board of Health has given a vote of confidence to the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit and its Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jim Chirico.
A resolution moved by Dan Roveda and seconded by Scott Robertson unanimously supported the "measures being taken to control and mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus and subsequent variants of concern in the district," put in place during the pandemic by Chirico and the Health Unit.
As read by Chair Nancy Jacko, the resolution also authorizes the "allocation of the necessary resources for communication support, vaccination roll-out, contact tracing, and other vital actions, as required."
Robertson took the opportunity to comment on the resolution, saying he supports the public health measures and the medical officer of health but there is more to the story.
"I have strong concerns. We are hearing from people in our community who are suffering from this right now," he continued. "People are really struggling through this and people are scared. People who have worked their whole lives to build something and are worried they are going to lose it. Or, maybe they've already lost it."
Robertson told the board members he had spoken to small business owners who felt comfortable they could continue to operate but whose retirements were being cut short by the closures.
He then referred to the presentation made by Dave Lewington earlier in the Wednesday meeting and observed, "We're not really experiencing this together. We often say, 'We're all in this together,' but I don't think that's fair. I think we need to stop saying that. The truth is people are not experiencing this equally."
Tanya Vrebosch also thanked Dr. Chirico and noted, "It's not easy to make these decisions. You could just take the easy way out and open everything up and stay friends with everybody," rather than face the public scorn.
"A politician is used to being attacked in the media, in social media — I don't believe you've ever had that happen to you before — so, I feel for you and the stress you are undertaking as an individual because no decision that you make will be the right decision."
The board then took turns thanking Dr. Chirico for his service while voting in favour of the resolution.