BAILEY: Tough times call for tough measures

It’s hard to believe that it has only been three weeks since the last time I sat down to write this column. So much has happened in those 21 days that it’s almost unimaginable. For many, their worlds have been turned upside down through sickness, loss of employment, self-quarantining, physical distancing, and a non-stop barrage of news related to COVID-19.

But even in the darkest times, we must all look for lights on the horizon to lead us forward. To rephrase the immortal opening lines of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.” That may seem unbelievable, but if you take a look at what’s happening in Sarnia-Lambton, around the province of Ontario, and across Canada, it’s not hard to see what I mean.

First, let’s recognize the good work that’s being done in our community, especially for those in isolation or affected financially by this insidious virus. Various long-time service groups and newly-created organizations are lending a hand by delivering groceries, donating to area food banks, running errands, and performing other good works to help their neighbours in need.

Even small deeds can mean so much during tough times like these, so if you have the time and the means, please consider doing your part to pitch in.

Second, let’s give a tremendous shout-out to all the frontline workers who are doing so much to help us get through these unprecedented events. That starts with our nurses, doctors, PSWs, and all the other healthcare workers who put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep us all safe and healthy. They are truly champions and we must never forget the sacrifices they make, now more than ever.

The list of essential workers in the fight against COVID-19 continues to grow and expand on a daily basis. First responders, including paramedics, police and firefighters, are all a big part of this fight, along with everyone associated with Lambton Public Health.

Let’s also not forget the truly unsung heroes during this pandemic, people like grocery store workers, pharmacy staff, cleaners, bank employees, truckers, delivery people, and utility workers. More than ever, we need to do our part to help keep these essential workers healthy by following all the protocols that our governments have established.

And, please, when you encounter one of these people, make the effort to thank them for doing what they do – and letting them know how much you appreciate their invaluable work.

Finally, we need to acknowledge everything our public officials are doing to help get us through these extraordinary times. That starts with our local municipal governments and the County of Lambton, who have been instrumental in keeping people informed and ensuring that each of us is doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

At the provincial and federal levels, it has been truly amazing to see the efforts being made by civil servants and politicians of every stripe as they band together in a concerted effort to contain this pandemic. As Premier Doug Ford has said repeatedly during his daily briefings, nothing will be spared and everything is on the table if we are to ultimately defeat this virus.

On March 25, Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips introduced, “Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19,” which outlined the province’s $17-billion response to ensure that our health care system, communities and economy are positioned to weather the challenges ahead.

These measures include $3.3 billion of additional resources for health care, $3.7 billion to support people and jobs, and $10 billion in support for people and businesses to improve cash flows. You can read more about this action plan at

I would also like to remind everyone that my constituency office is still providing assistance, although our physical office will be closed for the foreseeable future. My staff is working remotely, but please leave a voicemail message at 519-337-0051 or email us at – and we will do our best to respond as quickly as possible to your concerns.

For the latest news and information, please visit my website at, check out my Facebook page at or visit Ontario’s special COVID-19 website:

Finally, I would like remind everyone that, despite these troubling and frustrating times, we will weather this storm. Furthermore, as a community, province and country, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger, more resilient, and more prepared for the future that awaits us.

In times of adversity like these, great things are possible, especially when we are all working together for a common cause. The most vulnerable citizens in our society at this time, our seniors, have seen the world at its worst, through the Great Depression, wars, health scares and more. They have survived those unimaginable events and their spirit and fortitude should exemplify how we all, collectively, can survive COVID-19.

If you need some inspiration to remind yourself of what we can all accomplish by working as team, remember the words of Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Stay healthy and let’s all look forward to better days ahead.