Posted in Faith, Mental health, Parenting

A Letter to my Local MLA

Hello Mr. Goertzen,

I have two small requests as a stay at home mom affected by the recent school, preschool, park, church, and recreational facility closures in my home community of Steinbach.

Although I find it unfair that we are the only school division to be closed, and suspect that government motives behind this closure may have something to do with the voices of protest in our community that have recently made themselves known, I have been supportive and followed all of the rules presented to me.  I am working with my son to keep him on top of his remote learning.  I do not take an extreme stance on one side or the other on issues such as mask wearing, closures, and lock downs.  I choose to believe that for the most part, the authorities in place are doing their best with the information that is given to them, so I have complied with all of the protective measures that have been taken.

Only recently have I begun to feel like my rights are being violated.  As one of many parents who are relegated to small city yards with young children, I am wondering why the safe, outdoor, recreational opportunities in our community are shut down tight.  Although a generous neighbour on our street has set up a skating rink in the park, it is closed and cannot be used.  We also have a wonderful play structure in the same park which cannot be used.  The toboggan hills have opened up, and we are thankful for that.  We have gone sledding 4-5 times already.

I am no expert but I am aware that virus transmission outside, in open, cold air, under UV light, is extremely unlikely.  Could we not simply limit the numbers of people using a facility (such as a play structure or skating rink) at one time?  Contrary to what the media may portray, it has been my experience from living in the community of Steinbach that the vast majority of people are extremely cooperative with every restriction.  I feel that I am being slapped on the wrist for something I have not done, under the assumption that I will be uncooperative.

Another rule that I feel is extreme is not allowing drive-in church services.  I have been content (for the most part) to make do with the online services offered by my church.  But I believe it should be acknowledged that churches play an enormous role in the mental health and well being of community members, and disallowing people from visiting their places of worship and supportive communities for such a length of time is bound to have severe consequences.  I wonder how many cases of addiction, abuse, mental illness, divorce, and even suicide have been averted thanks to the wonderful work of churches in our community.  It is time to acknowledge the vital role that they play and stop viewing churches as an adversary.  Restrictions on churches need to be reasonably loosened, as soon as possible.  If I can see a doctor, purchase medications, or even buy alcohol or cannabis to help medicate my psychological and emotional struggles, I should be permitted to attend my church for the same reasons. The disallowance of even orderly, drive-in church services feels to me like blatant disregard and disrespect for their precious role in many people’s lives, not to mention acts of service towards the community such as providing free food and clothing, cleaning up garbage, sharing facilities for school graduations, sharing parking lots for school pickups and drop offs (when bussing has not been provided), etc., etc., etc.

In summation, I am asking that outdoor recreational facilities be opened for limited use in a community affected by school closures, and for some evidence that the government values churches to the point of making them more accessible to the people who need them.

Thank you for your consideration.

Author:

Hi, I'm Lisa, a born-and-bred-in-Manitoba mom of 2 boys. Having lived in 7 different Manitoba towns or cities, I've managed to stay warm in them all 😜❄. I am trained as a music therapist but currently work as a fulltime stay-at-home-mom by day, and a piano teacher in the evenings. By night, well...I sleep. Usually.

7 thoughts on “A Letter to my Local MLA

    1. Gosh, I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment before! It went to my spam for some reason! Yes, I sent the letter out. Recently the health orders in my region have changed to allow drive in services, at least. Thank you for the comment Shelly.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an excellent question! I don’t think many of the leaders realize how much some people rely on the church. I’m not kidding about suicides being prevented! I 100% believe that! I know the healing I have received from God through the church is greater than what years of counselling would have done for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I really, really like this letter. Your words reflect my thoughts exactly. Steinbach has really gotten painted in a bad light that in no way reflects our community. That almost everything that brings joy has been ripped from our hands, even the things that would pose NO risk on public health or safety… really makes one struggle to make sense of the rules.
    For the most part, everyone I know is and has been obeying the restrictions. To blame high numbers of cases on the average citizen is absolutely mean spirited… I mean, even with following every single rule our family got COVID-19!! I most likely got it in a government run hospital while wearing a mask!! So no, the “rules” don’t keep us safe. They just create an illusion of control for a virus that isn’t controllable.

    That being said, I still do think our government is trying their best to make decisions to protect us. Hopefully, they realize what is “too far” before people stop listening at all anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes exactly…and I dislike the tone that certain politicians are using when they speak to the community. I’m not an unruly child; please don’t speak to me and treat me like I am one! My tiny voice doesn’t go very far though. Though some may disagree with their methods I am glad for the church in Winnipeg that has taken up this fight.

      Love your new profile pic!

      Liked by 2 people

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