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Oh boy, where to start?

A recent ParrySound.com article reviewed the discussion at a Carling Townhip council meeting concerning the municipalities concerns about COVID-19. Their concerns are understandable but unfortunately labeled folks who could not be immediately identified as Carling residents as ‘transients’. If like me, you don’t live in Carling you are a transient if you visit a friend or do business there. By that definition Carling residents who shop at Sobeys and NoFrills are also ‘transients’.

COVID-19 has everybody on edge. That’s no reason to point fingers and label people. It’s the type of response we abhor when there is a report of an African American being followed, and too often physically assaulted, by residents because he didn’t ‘look’ like he was ‘from there’. Or at least that is what they thought.

As home to one of the very largest Provincial Parks in Ontario I would have thought that at this point Carling Councilors would think of people ‘from away’ as visitors, tourists, or even guests.

As a resident of the Town of Parry Sound we are very used to sharing our town and our facilities with people from Carling, the other municipalities, and visitors/tourists/guests from the province, the country, and the world.

Do you want to launch a boat and leave your trailer there for the day? At Parry Sound you can do it. Want to enjoy Waubuno Beach? Please enjoy, be careful and be considerate.

There were recent rumblings in McDougall that folks wanted to limit beach use to residents. Both McDougall and Carling restrict, and in many cases prohibit, parking and by extension use of their municipal and federal boat launches unless you have a resident sticker. They will make arguments that there is limited space and residents should have first access. In many cases I see the parking spots empty. How about half reserved for residents and half for ‘visitors’? Or it just a ploy to keep the ‘transients’ out? It certainly keeps me out.

There is nothing like a threat to bring out the worst in people. And we wonder why the U.S. and Canadian large cities have problems with ‘profiling’. We have exactly the same instincts and flaws but are not put under typical urban stressors until something like COVID-19 brings our fears to the front.

Trust but confirm and be careful. People won’t infect you if you take the proper precautions. People camping on Crown Land are not a threat.