Mayor wants public debrief on city’s coronavirus response

Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement speaks about the novel coronavirus quarantine at Nav Center during a police board meeting on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Clement wants a debrief with the public about how the city should respond in the future to urgent events. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The city’s mayor has indicated she will be looking for public input in the “next few days” on how the City of Cornwall responds to urgent events like the novel coronavirus quarantine.

“I’m going to be discussing it in the next few days,” Bernadette Clement said during the Cornwall Police Services Board meeting Thursday morning.

“It would be nice to discuss and debrief later on to see how – if this happens again – what would be a good way to proceed in the future. I’m going to be discussing that with the public in the next few days,” Clement said.

At the onset of the quarantine announcement by Global Affairs Canada on Feb. 15, the mayor criticized the federal government for keeping the city and other local politicians in the dark, calling it a frustrating situation.

The mayor didn’t indicate how she would be reaching out to the public. In the past, she has used Facebook exclusively for public discourse. Cornwall Public Information Coordinator Emma Meldrum told Cornwall Newswatch late Thursday afternoon that nothing had been scheduled through her office at this point.

The mayor said she visited Nav Center no less than three times during the 14 day quarantine period to ensure the public that “things were safe, that people were calm.”

The quarantine is scheduled to end tomorrow (Friday) when 129 repatriated Canadians from the Diamond Princess cruise ship will be free to leave and go home.