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Letter: Is Sudbury ready for the ‘new normal?’

Mayor and council need to consider post-COVID emergency recovery plan
It’s time to throw out the old playbook and think hard on what we need and what we can afford with a post-COVID-19 economic recovery plan, reader says. (File)

Is Sudbury ready for the “new normal?”

We have yet to fully understand COVID-19’s overall financial impact. What we do know is we are vulnerable, our health-care system is broken, and we are sadly unprepared for pandemics such as the one we are struggling to get through. 

Sudburians deserve a vision with a proactive strategic plan moving forward into the post COVID-19 pandemic era. 

In short, we need an integrated Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) developed by all levels of government.

As concerned taxpayers, we pose the following question.

What is the City of Greater Sudbury’s post-COVID-19 ERP that will ensure both minimal impact on residents and optimal opportunity for community development? The ERP strategy must take into consideration:

-The financial situation of residents as a result of COVID-19 and their ability to assume additional property tax and service charges.

-The businesses that have permanently shut their doors and those who will struggle for some time.

-The fact that a 4.8-per-cent increase to property taxes was already imposed for 2020.

-The relevancy of council’s 2020 budget commitments to community groups and development projects, outside of necessary infrastructure projects, given the huge unknown costs associated with COVID-19.

In the wake of the “new normal,” we expect our mayor and councillors to start functioning in this new reality. It’s time to throw out the old playbook and think hard on what we need and what we can afford.

Bob Hibbs