A Conversation: Seasonal closures and advisories create divided opinions

To the Mayor:
Thank you for your quick response. I certainly appreciate that you are following the advice of Public Health, as am I, which is why I haven’t travelled to Saugeen Shores, or anywhere else for that matter.
Just to be clear, my request was not that we be welcomed back prior to the recommendation of health officials.
My request was simply that the municipal campground residents be credited a per diem amount of their annual fees for any days they are not allowed to access the park, and people who have prepaid should be given some additional consideration as those who haven’t paid on time have had their due date adjusted until an undetermined future date.
Thank you for all your efforts during this difficult time. I know this isn’t what any of us signed up for.
Respectfully,
Anne Eaton
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Reply from Saugeen Shores Mayor
Luke  Charbonneau
Hi Anne,
Thanks for the email and for expressing your concerns.
Since declaring an emergency on March 24th, the Town of Saugeen Shores has been advising everyone to avoid all non-essential travel into and out of the community and region.  This advisory remains in place and is in alignment with a similar advisory that has been issued by Grey Bruce Public Health.
The municipal trailer parks are closed to recreational use by order of the Province of Ontario; All other seasonal campgrounds and trailer parks in Ontario are similarly closed to recreational use.
The reason for these advisories and closures is to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  Based on what I am hearing from public health officials, it would seem that our province’s efforts in that regard are working; These efforts are saving lives.
Like everyone, the Town of Saugeen Shores is eager to see this pandemic emergency come to an end so that everyone can travel safely again.  Until that time, it is our hope that everyone will heed the advice of public health to stay home, stay away from others, stay isolated if sick and wash hands frequently.
I look forward to seeing you back in Saugeen Shores when it is safe to travel again.  As requested, I have cc’d Council for their information.
All the best and I hope that you and your family are well.
Luke Charbonneau
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On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 8:36 PM Anne Eaton wrote:

Offended doesn’t begin to describe how I am feeling by the way Saugeen Shores is treating their seasonal residents. My family has lived in Port Elgin since the 1880’s, I have spent my whole life summering in Port Elgin and now, not only do I feel unwelcome at the two properties that I own in Port Elgin, the sentiment expressed by the municipal government and residents alike is that the seasonal residents are somehow a pestilence upon the town.

May I remind you, that our property tax dollars pay for you to enjoy our town 12 months a year, in exchange for which we only ask for a few months of a limited amount of your services; our children don’t attend your schools, nor do we benefit from the removal of snow from your streets. Additionally, we contribute significantly to the town economy by supporting local shops and restaurants.

Personally, I am happy to contribute to a town that I love, but please don’t insult me while I do it.  While I understand the sentiment of you not wanting to share your resources, those are my resources as well. I help to pay for them.

The “non-resident’s” who help to fund our town have their own struggles right now as well. Some have a front-line worker in their family that they would love to be able to separate their children from, some have short term rental arrangements to accommodate only the winter months.

I understand the risk I take on as a second home owner in Saugeen Shores, my secondary residence will sit empty while bills mount, but at the very least, you should be offering a per diem reimbursement to the municipal park campers as you are not incurring any costs for their hydro or water use while you remain closed.

I respectfully request that this be submitted to council for consideration.
Anne Eaton

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On Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 4:07 PM Saugeen Shores Tourist Camps <camping@saugeenshores.ca> wrote:

April 21, 2020

Greetings Campers;

Please find attached the Saugeen Shores Tourist Camp FAQ (frequently asked questions) information sheet regarding the upcoming camping season.

The Municipality reminds our camping family that until Municipal Tourist Camps are officially open, no one will be permitted in the camps. We know the pride you take in your sites, and you are anxious to prepare your campground for the upcoming season. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the message from both our federal and provincial governments continues to be “Stay At Home”.

We encourage you to visit www.SaugeenShores.ca/COVID-19 for the latest information on our parks, facilities and municipal services.

Both Southampton and Port Elgin Municipal Tourist Camps are inspected daily by staff. We have also requested the Police Services provide regular monitoring as they are able to. Rest assured, we will contact you if there are any issues with your trailer.

We are looking forward to your return this summer, and we thank you for your patience as we work through these unprecedented times.

Frank Burrows