RM of Gimli Public message March 27, 2020: COVID-19

A Message from RM of Gimli Mayor and Council

This is an update from all of Council regarding the evolving situation from the COVID-19 crisis that we are all dealing with right now.  All municipal buildings that were closed to the public on March 17th will remain closed until further notice.  Municipal employees are continuing to perform their work responsibilities.  Council Chambers has now been designated as the Centre of Command for the oversight of COVID-19 emergency measures for our community.  The chamber has been set up for proper physical distancing and all in personmeetings are being very limited as to the number of individuals participating, most often 5 or less.  Daily meetings are taking place with our Regional Emergency Measures Coordinator, and there aredaily scheduled webinars to provide us with regular updates and Q&A opportunities with our Regional Health Authority, the Minister of Municipal Relations, and the Association of Manitoba Municipalities,as well as from other organizations.  Until further notice all regular Council Meetings will be held on the second floor at the Gimli Recreation Centre so that proper physical distancing practices can be implemented.  The first Council Meeting at this location took place on March 25th.  Councillor Cody Magnusson, who is a health care provider working in our local hospital, has chosen to call in to all meetings in order to help prevent any potential transmission.  Going forward, anyone that desires to attend a Council Meeting is advised to call our Administrative Office at 204-642-6650 to register in advance.  This request will allow us to set up the space to accommodate our commitment to social distancing.  


Public Works is continuing to provide all of its regular services throughout the RM, with the current focus being on spring gear up and thawing frozen sewer drains to allow water to properly flow.  Our Water Plant and Waste Water Treatment Plant are being continuously monitored on a day-to-day basis.  Waste and recyclable pick up is continuing uninterrupted.  Council is also currently working on finalizing the RM’s 2020 budget and making plans to continue improvements to our roads, sidewalks, drainage, and other infrastructures.    


With our entire community advancing further each day towards self-isolation in order to help prevent transmission of COVID-19, we truly understand that there will be additional stress and anxiety associated with this situation we are all facing.  Our Recreation Centre is committed to do whatever it can to provide alternative online programming support to reach those who are in self-isolation, including their children that are at home due to schools and daycares being closed.  The Rec Centre is also assisting in the coordination of a delivery service that is being provided mutually by the Gimli Lutheran Church and Camp Arnes.  We thank them for their efforts.  If you would like to volunteer or if you require assistance, please call 204-407-6130.


As you can imagine, our entire business community is suffering immensely in dealing with the impact of this situation.  Business continuity plans are being executed and revised as required on a day-to-day basis.  Many non-essential businesses have chosen to either reduce their hours of operation or shut down all together.  We have reached out to many businesses and are staying in close communication with our local Chamber of Commerce and the Gimli Community Development Corporation, and will provide whatever support we can.  When possible, support our local businesses that are able to remain open and taking the necessary and required precautions to protect the public.  They are doing their best to keep their work force employed, most of whom reside here in our community.  A number of these businesses have established delivery services that can be useful for those residents that are self-isolating. Many employees are now facing temporary layoffs or need to stay home in order to look after their children.  Our Federal and Provincial Governments have made and will continue to make announcements to financially help those in need.  

We have also reached out and had discussion with Evergreen Basis Needs.  With an increase in employee layoffs, EBN potentially anticipates a higher need for the food bank that they oversee.  They depend a lot on the Winnipeg Harvest hub for supplies, which will become more and more difficult for them to rely on going forward.  Financial donations are highly preferred at this time so that EBN has the capacity to selectively make up for gaps in their supply chain. We encourage anyone who is fortunate to have the means to do so to donate.  The RM is also committed to provide support should their food bank needs turn critical.  


At this time, the extent to which this outbreak and associated physical distancing protocols will last is unknown. Organizing committees of the various summer season events and festivals that make our community so great are diligently working on contingency plans, and the RM will do whatever we can to support their needs to accommodate them in alternate formats if required.  


At this time we want to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all those individuals who are on the front line to help our community get through this crisis.  Besides our dedicated health care providers and first responders, this also includes our various local essential service businesses that have gone above and beyond to offer special shopping and delivery services to help reduce the number of customers entering their establishments in an effort to flatten the curve. We also recognize the tremendous efforts of volunteers in helping make these expanded deliveries possible, and for assisting those who must self-isolate stay at home without loss of necessities. Lastly we want to applaud our whole community for helping to support each other in these uncertain and difficult times; the stories of helping with childcare for essential service workers, sharing supplies and groceries, wellness checks for those who are self-isolating, and others are all uplifting and show that our community spirit will help get us through.


We will continue to closely follow the directives of our Federal and Provincial Governments and advise all residents of the RM of Gimli to do the same. Following proper physical distancing practices (2 meters / 6 feet) is an absolute must. Please self-isolate yourself based on the conditions mandated by the Federal & Provincial Governments. Stay up to date with the daily briefings put out by Manitoba Public Health if possible to be aware of changes to these recommendations. Wash your hands on a regular basis and avoid touching your face.  


Together we will get through this pandemic and continue to evolve within the parameters of the new normal in all of our lives.  


Stay safe everyone!