One of the draws of living in Small Town, Alberta is the sense of community that can be enjoyed. We go to school together, know each others’ families, serve together in local initiatives, cheer for our kids from the sidelines; we are quick to get to know and welcome newcomers to our town, we mourn together at the passing of loved ones, and enjoy a myriad of other interactions. Knowing and respecting your neighbor is worth a lot – it makes a community; it fosters a sense of belonging and safety. For the most part, we as citizens of Fort Macleod enjoy a strong sense of community. And then – along came the challenge of COVID-19. Will it strengthen or weaken that which we enjoy?
We profess no moral high ground, but collectively as your Town Council, we ask you to consider what it takes to not only preserve our community ties during this pandemic, but to strengthen them. The long and ongoing disruption to our lives, the very divergent differences of opinion regarding all matters relating to the pandemic, and a more permissive environment and technological means to lash out against those with whom we differ – these all contribute to the risk of destroying that which we value – community. We must not let division be the aftermath of COVID-19.
We ask that each of us remember civility, kindness, respect, tolerance, forgiveness – and every other attribute needed to preserve and build community. We can disagree without being disagreeable, we can express our opinion as we have a right to do, but we need not attack another in the process. When we see others acting in ways with which we disagree, it is wise to remember that there are few, if any, with truly ill-intent. We encourage mindfulness of the impact of our decisions upon our neighbors, and upon our collective sense of community.
We express our thanks to each of you for your perseverance during this pandemic and wish you good health and well-being. How we look forward to better days ahead!
Fort Macleod Town Council
Mayor Brent Feyter, Councillors Werner Dressler, Kristi Edwards, Jim Monteith, David Orr, Marco Van Huigenbos, and Gord Wolstenholme.