Submitted by Mayor Al Miller

It is nice to be back to warmer and sunnier days, just in time for the Victoria long weekend! I know the pandemic continues to be long and challenging, and we all could use a bit of sunshine. Our community has done a tremendous job working together to stop the spread of COVID-19, and I thank you for all that you are doing. It is very important that we continue to focus on things we can control and not worry over what others are doing. 

This weekend, all visitors must do the responsible thing and stay home. You are all responsible for helping to keep our community safe. Not only does this apply to people visiting our valley but for residents who live here full time. Locals need to stay home, just as we are asking our visitors to do so. Visit a business that you may have never been to before, have a picnic with local take-out food, explore the community that you live in. The options here are endless. Staying local helps reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19 outside your area. Right now, protecting your health and the health of the people around you are the most important things to do. 

Our seasonal residents and visitors have been part of the Invermere community for many years and through many generations. We absolutely hate saying do not come here. Invermere and its neighbouring communities rely on tourists, visitors, and second-home owners to keep our local economy vibrant and functioning. You know our community well and recognise that our health care infrastructure can not handle a surge in cases if the pandemic grows in our area. 

We must keep in mind that this is only a temporary situation. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to our beautiful lakefront community once it is safe to do so. There will be many more weekends ahead of us that we all want to be able to enjoy. The sooner we comply with the orders and recommendations coming from our top health officials, the sooner the pandemic will be over. I want to thank everyone who has been respecting the health orders to stay local and avoid non-essential travel. 

It is a long weekend but enjoy it responsibly! Find ways to get outdoors for fitness and relaxation. At the same time, it is everyone’s responsibility to follow the Public Health Orders and treat each other with respect. If you are out in our public spaces and parks, and they appear to be too crowded, and you cannot maintain a good physical distance from others (or even find a parking spot for that matter), then it may be wise to move on or find another time to visit. We need to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions to keep everyone safe. 

I would like to end this message by thanking the Chief of Staff of the Invermere & District Hospital, all other health care workers, and essential workers. Your dedication, commitment, and courage deserve our deepest gratitude and admiration. On behalf of council, municipal staff, and the Invermere community, we thank all of you for your continued efforts to keep us informed and safe. 

This coming weekend, we ask that everyone in Invermere stays safe, strong, and kind. 

Mayor Al Miller