COVID-19 in BC (May 23, 2020)
Message from SLRD Board Chair May 28, 2020
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that at the beginning of WWII, many countries including Britain and Canada embarked on schemes called “Victory Gardens”. The idea was to encourage town dwellers to dig up their flower beds and lawns and grow potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables and fruits. This was a matter of necessity as imported food supplies were considerably reduced because of the hostilities. After the war, food was still in short supply and was in fact rationed. Families had Ration Books and how much of a commodity you could buy depended on the number of people in the family and the ages of your children.
As the economy improved and food was more readily available, flower beds and lawns made a comeback but the habit of growing food did stick: to this day there are many in towns who cultivate their vegetables in what we, in B.C., call community gardens.
Since we came to Canada over fifty years ago, food has always been plentiful and affordable. For my family at least. This started to change in the late eighties when food banks were born and have since become more and more important to a growing segment of our population. COVID-19 has driven even more people to food banks, food supplies are not as secure as they were, and prices are rising. We don’t have rationing in a formal way but I do see signs limiting the purchase of some items like eggs and hand sanitizer. Who knows what to expect later in the year?
So I have been thinking again about Victory Gardens. Why not take the time to go out and dig up some ground to plant vegetables? There are a number of benefits to be gained that make this a great idea. Many of us have more time than usual so this is a good use of time out in the fresh air. A second benefit is that when you grow your own food, it is fresher and tastier than anything you can buy anywhere at any time. Third, because you are using your own labour, the cost per unit is cheaper than when you have to buy your food. You are in fact paying yourself to work and increasing your real income - and it is tax free! Finally, not only is food likely to be more expensive by the end of summer but some things will possibly not be available.
Even if we all went outside right now and planted lots of vegetables, I don’t think we’d undermine the success of our local Farmers Markets. Growing our own food makes sense therapeutically and economically, but you can still support, and rely on, local growers and makers, at your Farmers Market. It’s not realistic (in fact, it’s delusional) to aim for complete self-reliance – but by strengthening our local supply chains, we can cultivate a stronger sense of community. That’s what victory looks like to me.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
May 28, 2020 NOTICE: Message from the SLRD Board Chair
May 22, 2020 NOTICE: Message from the SLRD Board Chair
May 14, 2020 NOTICE: Message from the SLRD Board Chair
May 8, 2020 NOTICE: Message from the SLRD Board Chair
April 30, 2020 NOTICE: Message from the SLRD Board Chair
April 23, 2020 NOTICE: Message from the SLRD Board Chair
April 18, 2020 NOTICE: Message from the SLRD Board Chair
April 9, 2020 NOTICE: Message from the SLRD Board Chair
April 4, 2020 NOTICE: Message from SLRD Board Chair
April 2, 2020 NOTICE: Temporary Closure of Britannia Beach Playground and Trails
March 31, 2020 NOTICE: Temporary Closure of Furry Creek Beach Access
March 30, 2020 NOTICE: Province Offers Guidance to Retail Food and Grocery Stores Operating During COVID-19
March 27, 2020 NOTICE: Message from SLRD Board Chair
March 27, 2020 NOTICE: Open Burning Restrictions in Place
March 26, 2020 NOTICE: Notice of Changes to Procedure for Receiving Requests For Proposals
March 26, 2020 NOTICE: State of Local Emergency Suspended
March 26, 2020 NOTICE: Temporary Closure of Naylor Way
March 22, 2020 NOTICE: Notice from SLRD Board Chair
March 21, 2020 NOTICE: Notice to Avoid Travel Outside of Your Home Community
March 21, 2020 NOTICE: Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
March 20, 2020 NOTICE: State of Local Emergency Declared
March 19, 2020 NOTICE: Free Stores to Close Temporarily
March 18, 2020 NOTICE: SLRD Administration Building is Closed Until Further Notice - Staff Available Remotely
SLRD NEWS RELEASES:
April 21, 2020 NEWS RELEASE: Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Hosts First Virtual Board Meeting in Response to COVID-19
April 17, 2020 NEWS RELEASE: Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Communities Launch "Feed the Need" Program to Support Local Food Banks
April 7, 2020 NEWS RELEASE: Communities in Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Ask Visitors Not To Come During COVID-19 Pandemic
March 18, 2020 NEWS RELEASE: Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Announces Changes in Light of COVID-19 Situation
If you are concerned about COVID-19 symptoms, do not go to your local health clinic or hospital. Instead, call the Provincial Healthlink line at: 8-1-1.
Health authorities advise that the most important steps residents can take to protect themselves and the community from COVID-19 include:
- Stay home from work, school, social gatherings and events if you are experiencing any illness (even mild symptoms).
- Practice social distancing - maintain a one-metre distance between yourself and anyone else who is coughing or sneezing.
- Forgo usual greetings (e.g. handshakes or hugs).
- Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
- Anyone returning from travel outside of Canada is asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return.
- Cancel gatherings of 50 or more people.
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Limit contact with people who appear to be ill.
Links to Information Sources:
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- First Nations Health Authority
- Interior Health Authority
- Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
- Government of Canada
- Provincial Support
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
- District of Lillooet
- Village of Pemberton
- Resort Municipality of Whistler
- District of Squamish