In a bid to further ensure the well-being of the Innisfail community and its residents in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Innisfail declared a state of local emergency Friday, March 20th. The declaration, which took effect at 2:50 p.m., will allow the Town access to additional resources and supports in light of the ongoing global concern. The move will also allow for enhanced intergovernmental coordination and give the Town the ability to exercise special authority in the interest of public safety, if needed.
MARCH 23, 2020 — Innisfail Mayor Jim Romane on Monday, March 23rd provided the following message to town residents regarding the municipality's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:
With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic growing stronger every day, Innisfail, like the rest of the world, is going through an immensely challenging time. It’s important we do all that we can to protect both ourselves and our community.
At the Town, the safety and well-being of our citizens remains our utmost priority, and we’ve taken a number of proactive measures accordingly. They include:
(1) Business Continuity Planning: In response to the pandemic, the Town has developed a Business Continuity Plan outlining the actions and provisions necessary for the continuation of critical and high-priority municipal services. Like its residents and businesses, the Town has been required to make adjustments and scale back some of its operations over the past couple of weeks. The plan, however, ensures that vital municipal services will at no point be compromised.
(2) Emergency Coordination Centre: The Town on March 16 activated its Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) — described by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency as a community’s “nerve centre” in a time of crisis. Members of the ECC — comprised primarily of senior Town staff — are convening multiple times daily to work toward the objectives of the Town’s Business Continuity Plan.
(3) State of Local Emergency: In a bid to further ensure the well-being of the Innisfail community, the Town declared a state of local emergency on March 20. The declaration allows the Town access to additional resources and supports and creates the ability for enhanced intergovernmental coordination. It also allows the Town to exercise special authority in the interest of public safety, if needed. The word ‘emergency’ will naturally invoke panic in some, but rest assured that the measure is largely preventive in nature and will only serve to bolster the Town’s protection/mitigation efforts.
(4) Closures & Cancellations: Upon the advice and recommendation of health officials and provincial and federal governments, the Town has temporarily closed all municipally operated facilities to the public and suspended all Town programming and events until further notice. The former includes the Innisfail Town Office, although a number of staff remain available to provide services electronically and over the phone — at email@example.com and 403-227-3376, respectively.
On the community side, I’ve been hugely impressed with the way in which Innisfailians have responded to this challenging and unprecedented situation. We’ve seen community members demonstrate a strong adherence to the advice of public health officials — through social distancing and other similar such preventive measures. Citizens and businesses continue to make sacrifices daily in the interest of protecting both themselves and their neighbours, and we can’t thank them enough for doing so.
On the subject of local businesses, we know that they too are experiencing hardships. Going forward, they’ll require the community’s support more than ever before, so please keep them in mind as the situation continues to unfold, and be sure to offer your support where it’s safe and/or possible to do so. The words ‘shop local’ have never been so important.
Finally, we recognize times like these as having the potential to significantly impact our social and mental well-being. If you’re not sure where to turn — for financial assistance, mental health support, food security or other matters — please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The Town’s Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) is a great place to start, and can provide information and referrals on a variety of topics. Karen Bradbury, the Town’s FCSS coordinator, can be reached at 403-227-3376, ext. 233.
On behalf of the Town and Council, thank you for your continued resiliency as we navigate these challenging times. For further Town updates and information on the matter, please visit innisfail.ca/covid19.
Mayor, Town of Innisfail