MPP not fighting for ‘failed’ SD&G during pandemic: Armstrong

In this March 2019, file photo, SD&G Coun. Allan Armstrong (North Dundas), far left, makes a point during a county council meeting. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – Some hard questions are coming for local MPP Jim McDonell from the United Counties of SD&G on how the region is being treated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During its meeting Monday morning, Coun. Allan Armstrong (North Dundas) requested that the MPP show up to a meeting to explain why Eastern Ontario appears to be overlooked.

“I mean no disrespect to Mr. McDonell but we need someone to fight for us now and I don’t see it happening,” Armstrong said matter-of-factly.

“I think it would behoove our MPP to show up at one of our meetings. We’re into the second year now and there’s a lot of questions people have. I think the Ontario government has done a good job in many ways but I think, to be quite blunt, we’ve been failed in many ways in Eastern Ontario,” Armstrong said.

“We are not being treated fairly 100 per cent,” Coun. Bryan McGillis (South Stormont) added. “There’s something not just sitting well with me and probably a lot of other people. I have a lot of questions I want to ask.”

Armstrong sympathized with the mayors of North and South Glengarry having to deal with the “cavalcade” of Quebec licence plates and “finally, finally, over a year later getting our borders closed or having checkpoints which are appropriate.”

As for small business, Armstrong questions whether some of the small mom-and-pop stores in his municipality will survive this third pandemic wave. He wants to see “real relief for our mom-and-pop shops” instead of owners filling out applications for a few hundred dollars a month.

The meeting invite will also go out to MP Eric Duncan and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis but the most important person wanted is McDonell.

“We’ve had someone sitting at Queen’s Park representing the ruling party and I don’t feel like we’ve had the proper representation now. I don’t think there’s enough hard fighting,” Armstrong concluded.

CAO Tim Simpson will try to set up a special council meeting with McDonell with possibly Duncan and Roumeliotis sometime next week.

Around 6 p.m. tonight (Monday), the county confirmed that it had set the special council meeting earlier than anticipated – two days from now – Wednesday (April 21) at 6:30 p.m.