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Wednesday , 23 September 2020

St. Paul to decide on Canada Day celebrations on Monday

St. Paul town council will decide whether to nix Canada Day celebrations this year at Monday’s regular council meeting.

Summer event organizers in the Lakeland and across the country are facing the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and whether gathering in any form will be allowed by July.

Mayor Maureen Miller said on The Morning After that it was likely town council will choose to postpone or cancel the celebration.

“Normally at this time, we would have naturally confirmed the order of fireworks just as a sidebar conversation that happens around July 1,” said Miller.

“If we can’t see fireworks other than from our vehicle at a distance and we can’t gather which I expect that to be extended through to July 1, then maybe this is one of those cost-saving lines that we need to look at.

“So I do believe that on Monday, that will be a decision that likely this year, we will respect the health of our community and probably postpone that gathering.”

Ottawa has cancelled their physical Canada Day celebrations for a virtual celebration and many municipalities across the nation are making similar decisions to find another way to celebrate.

Cold Lake mayor Craig Copeland said Monday he was hopeful that Canada Day celebrations could still go ahead in the city.

The costs of fireworks to the town is roughly $20,000, said Miller, and the County of St. Paul assists with that spend.

But they’re also looking at their budget, she said.

“I definitely will celebrate the day that we can gather together again, but it’s going to be different and we have the responsibility to keep our community safe.

“We need to be ahead of that curve. I don’t want to be behind that curve and have a knee jerk, non-calculated decision. And no, there will be pushback, absolutely. And as I just said, our responsibility is the entire community’s health. And they have elected us to ensure that happens.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.