MP Darrell Samson.(Healey photo)

It’s hard to believe that we’re in the final days of 2020. For many people, the end of this year can’t come soon enough.

It has been a year like no other, with a global pandemic that has been compared to the Spanish Flu that ended over a hundred years ago. 2020 has been especially difficult for our province, filled with unthinkable tragedy and adversity. However, despite all that we faced, we remained #NovaScotiaStrong.

As COVID-19 loomed over the world like a dark cloud, we became familiar with new terms, like “flatten the curve”, “social-distancing”, and discovered a new definition for “bubble”. But that dark cloud had many silver linings too:

  • Volunteers in communities across the riding were making signs and painting rocks to help lift the spirits of community members and to thank our frontline workers. 
  • In Canada, the quick launch of COVID relief funding helped many families and businesses through the financial impacts of the pandemic, unlike what happened in other countries. I’ve heard so many heart-warming stories from people who were extremely thankful for the much-needed assistance.
  • Under the leadership of Premier McNeil and Dr. Strang (a fellow resident of Sackville‒Preston‒Chezzetcook), and in cooperation with our neighbouring provinces, our “Atlantic Bubble” managed to keep our cases of COVID-19 relatively low as we enjoyed more freedom than people in other provinces.
  • We discovered new uses for online technology (e.g. Zoom meetings) that allowed associations and community groups to safely hold meetings. It also helped residents of long-term care facilities to connect with family and friends when they weren’t allowed any visitors. Even Members of Parliament from across the country have been meeting virtually in Ottawa.
  • Thanks to the dedication of our teachers and school staff—administrators, assistants and specialists, custodians, etc.—as well as the cooperation of students and parents, our classrooms remained a safe refuge for our children’s education.

Of course, there are more examples too. My message is simply that we can find so many positive stories as we look back on 2020, even though it was a tough year for all of us.

This holiday season, our traditional festivities and celebrations will be a bit different than in previous years, but they also represent a fresh start, as we welcome a new year filled with hope. A vaccine is here, and we could very well be on the home stretch with the end of the pandemic in sight. However, for the next few months I ask that we all remain vigilant by following public health guidelines to protect ourselves and those around us. Patience and kindness helped get us through the first wave, and will continue to be key as we face the next one.

I am looking forward to 2021 and all that it holds in store for residents across the riding. From my family to you and yours, we wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël!

A closing friendly reminder

This year more than ever, we must remember that for some members of our community, the holiday season can be especially difficult. Those who find themselves alone due to circumstances beyond their control, or maybe cannot afford to provide the holiday experience for their children that they wish for, this time of year can make them particularly vulnerable.

Please take the time to check on your neighbours who might be struggling. If you find yourself in this situation and life is too overwhelming, please do not hesitate to reach out for help.

Mental Health Mobile Crisis Line:  902-429-8167 (or toll-free 1-888-429-8167)