Letter of the week
Traffic control shouldn’t prevent shopping at farms
April 8, 2020
To Caryl Green, Warden, MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais
The day traffic control started, I was stopped at Farrellton on Hwy 105 northbound. I was going, as I regularly do, to buy farm produce from a local producer located on the border of Low. The policeman almost refused us passage, mentioning that if we needed to go shopping (meat and vegetables), no need to go to a local farm, we just had to go to the IGA in Chelsea. We turned back.
In terms of economic development, especially in very difficult times, this makes no sense for local producers. In terms of public health, this also makes no sense – taking a prepared basket of food from a local producer and leaving the money in an envelope is infinitely less risky than going to a store full of people, and where the risk of spreading the virus is much greater.
If traffic control measures are appropriate, they must be applied with discernment and judgement as to their purpose. In my opinion, this was obviously and eminently not the case in our situation. It should also be noted that the purpose of this measure is not to pit citizens of neighbouring municipalities against each other in the name of administrative division. It should also be noted that this division does not prevent the residents of these municipalities bordering on the MRC des Collines from benefiting for many years – and rightly so – from the health services of the Wakefield hospital.
With all due respect, it would be very relevant to correct the situation for the health of small businesses and producers in the MRC, while protecting the health of the population. One does not exclude the other. Physical or social distancing does not mean a lack of social and economic solidarity.