Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Port Alberni mayor provides an update on city’s COVID-19 response

City facilities closed to the public, but "essential services" to continue

All City of Port Alberni facilities are closed to the public, but “essential services” will continue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, says Port Alberni Mayor Minions.

Minions addressed the residents of Port Alberni through a livestream on Wednesday afternoon (March 18), giving the public an update on Port Alberni’s COVID-19 response.

Essential services include garbage pickup, as well as water and sewer services. All parks and trails are still open to the public, Minions added. The city can still be reached by phone (250-723-2146) and email (citypa@portalberni.ca).

READ MORE: An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Minions added on Wednesday that the supply chains of food and other essentials will continue uninterrupted.

“We ask members of our community to please be respectful and purchase only what you need,” she said.

Regular meetings of city council will also continue as scheduled, and although the meetings are open to the public, Minions “strongly encourages” people to watch from home, submitting questions or comments by email.

The City of Port Alberni has been working with all levels of government to come up with a plan to reduce the impact of business closures. The COVID-19 financial challenges, said Minions, have been compounded by the impacts of the recently resolved labour dispute between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers union.

READ MORE: Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

“I know that many of our local businesses have had to temporarily close their doors because of government orders around social distancing,” she said, adding that it is council’s “top priority” to make sure businesses are able to open their doors again at the end of the crisis.

Minions finished her address by stating that she is “so proud” of the way Port Alberni has already come together to respond to COVD-19.

“The world and certainly this community have shown a great ability to adapt and pull together,” she said. “Port Alberni, your compassion and strength continues to impress me.”

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