By MPP Ted McMeekin
The Christmas ice storm has me thinking about gratitude.
For some, memory of the icy weather of the past couple weeks may be fading, but for others in our city and many in our province, the effects will linger.
I’m not grateful for the storm, of course, but I am grateful for the way our community pulled together to help each other. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks touring the riding, dropping into corner stores and speaking with local business owners and residents, and for every story of need, I also heard a story of someone reaching out to help. This winter storm was the worst to hit Ontario in 20 years but, as I’ve come to expect, it brought out the best in us.
As I travelled around, I also had the opportunity to speak with many of the crews working to restore power and remove debris. Their commitment, along with that of road crews, EMS, police and firefighters, was an inspiration and we are all grateful.
I hope you had a good Christmas and new year despite the storm. Ironically, it may have been the ice storm itself that reminded us what is most important around the holidays — being with family and friends and having the opportunity to help a neighbour.
My thoughts on gratitude were also stimulated this month by a letter from a woman who is receiving social assistance. I don’t know all the details of her situation, but she has fallen on hard times and I wanted to share with you some of what she said.
”My social worker sees me as a person and is professional and supportive. And … every month I have consistent confirmation that me and my children are, indeed, important. So, thanks.”
I was very moved by this expression of gratitude, and I share it with you because really, through me, she’s offering her thanks to all of you, her neighbours.
I’m grateful that we live in a province where people in need can receive assistance and restore their lives. I’m grateful for the people who work for the Ministry of Community and Social Services and who devote every effort to ensuring support for those in need.
I’m grateful for my constituency office staff who work hard every day helping to connect people with the appropriate government services.
And I’m so grateful for our community in Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale. It’s a community that does all it can to support each other when needed.