The Weather Network
May. 28, 2022 | Saturday
Local News
Editorial: Town needs to get back to business

We’ve all had it with COVID-19.

For two years, most of us have been following the rules, patiently waiting to get back to normal, or the new normal.

But while many municipalities have started to resume annual events and services, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake seems to have missed the memo.

The town hall is still closed. Councillors haven’t returned to in-person public meetings. The Christmas parade is once again cancelled and replaced with a drive-by event. Public skating is cancelled (due to staff shortages) and the arena concession stand is shuttered. The annual Candlelight Stroll is still up in the air.

The list goes on.

However, looking at other municipalities, most of them have started to resume events and services, especially outdoor events like Christmas parades.

Right next door, Niagara Falls is having one. So is London, Ont.

Yet, our town has decided to cancel ours.

Asked why, a town official said the decision was made based on consultations with other municipalities.

But when it was pointed out that some actually are resuming their parades, the town backtracked and said, “Through various meetings, Niagara municipalities came to a similar approach in considering alternatives to the traditional Santa parade.”

So it's unclear exactly what was the basis for NOTL coming to this decision. We certainly hope the town’s confusing messaging is not an attempt to simply explain away a bad decision.

This week the town of NOTL has just one active case of COVID-19. And regional cases continue to decline. Good news. If there was any time to get back to more normal activities, now would be it.

Surely a parade could happen safely, distanced if necessary, maybe with masks.

As highlighted in this week’s edition, the cancellations have angered NOTLers and parents, who are concerned about the impact missing traditional events will have on their children.

And we can’t really disagree with that — parades, public skating, buying fries at the arena are things many of us had the luxury of doing when we were young. It’s sad to see NOTL children missing the chance to march or be on floats.

After all, it’s a fragile few years parents get to share with their young ones. Before we know it, they’re all grown up.

So The Lake Report would like to encourage our town to get back to business.

Open town hall.

Get back to the council chambers for meetings.

For Pete’s sake, open public skating and the concession stand.

It’s probably too late for the Santa Claus parade, but let’s make sure we can hold the annual Candlelight Stroll. The Chamber wants to do it. Residents want it. And 90 per cent of us are fully vaccinated.

Let’s not once again get stuck in the past, like we have on so many other issues.

As someone pointed out on social media, let’s not allow NOTL to become the laughingstock of Niagara.

We’ve said it before: The town needs to cut the red tape and get moving.

So, just do it.