Opening statement from March 23 Council Meeting

In these exceptional times of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, we must all show courage and determination, personal sacrifice and community solidarity to counter the spread of this virus and save lives.

The situation we are facing is a global first. It is a new and demanding challenge for all of us.
Public health authorities ask us to stay at home to limit the contagion. Our outings should be limited to our basic food and health needs and to help our loved ones and those in need. If out for a walk, we must still maintain a 2-meter distance from others we may encounter.

We all understand that no one appreciates being limited in their individual freedoms. However, these restrictions are of paramount importance for saving lives.

Let us also all have a generous thought towards all those who are on the front lines to provide care, safety, essential supplies and logistical support. These people put themselves at risk of contagion to protect us. Let's stay at home to protect them.

Let us remember this daily in this difficult time in the world: the sacrifices we make in our personal lives save lives. We must be aware of this and we must be proud of it. Each of us has a role to play, even if it is simply to stay at home.

When all this will be over - as it will end one day – we will be proud to have saved lives through the personal sacrifices we are all making right now.

Thank you to each of you for taking action, whether it be by directly helping others or by staying at home.

The coming weeks are crucial to the success of the measures in place to counter the spread of the Coronavirus. We must be brave in this humanitarian emergency. I count on each of us and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your personal sacrifices for the common good.

Georges Bourelle