As this is my first column, I would like to begin by thanking the Rural Post for this wonderful opportunity to connect with readers and residents from across our townships.
It is my hope that these columns will provide an insight into the vision that Regional council has for our entire region. A vision that extends past this pandemic. A vision that includes all of us. A vision of vibrancy, resilience and hope.
Speaking of hope, I want to share a heartwarming story that speaks to the caring region that we are, and to the understanding that with every vaccine given, hope grows.
Recently, C.J. Ford, a gentleman in his 80s, was one of the first to be immunized in the newly open Langs clinic in Cambridge. When asked why it was important for him to get the vaccine, he responded with, “Mainly, to protect the population. Secondly, to protect myself.” C.J. wanted that message to get out because he knows that every day, with each vaccine given, we build immunity in our community. It brings hope that we return to normal soon.
Since Elmira’s Siham Ibrahim became the first local resident immunized, we have made significant progress in vaccine supply and clinic expansion. In the span of one month, six vaccine clinics have opened, including the first in our townships. The vaccine clinic in Wellesley opened March 15 with the support of the Centre for Family Medicine Health Team, the Woolwich Community Health Centre and the Elmira Medical Family Health Organization. This collaboration is one of the reasons why our community is so resilient.
Planning is also underway for more rural vaccine clinics and mobile teams are vaccinating seniors across the townships and cities in congregate care.
This is real progress. It is a sign that the return to brighter days is within reach. Not only are we working with our many partners to ensure an effective and equitable vaccine rollout, we are planning for beyond COVID-19.
We continue to build a community not just for today, but for future generations. With vision and leadership from Regional Council, we have developed a transformational plan to improve the lives of every single person in Waterloo Region. I would encourage you to see what we have planned by visiting www.regionofwaterloo.ca/vision2021.
This is evidence of our barn raising spirit; I am so proud to see the partners in our community coming together focused on a collective goal. Each one of you are our partners too. With a ramp up of the vaccine clinics, a plan for the future, and your continued commitment to protect each other, our hope and resilience continues to strengthen as we journey through these challenges together.
Written by Regional Chair Karen Redman