Mayor Mike LeMay's latest message to the residents of Pembroke

Pembroke Mayor Mike LeMay Submitted photo / Pembroke Observer and News

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Dear residents of Pembroke,

I would like to open by congratulating all 2020 graduates who are celebrating a very special milestone in their lives this month. We are living in challenging times and as a result of COVID-19 we are not able to celebrate this very important occasion in person. However, rest assured, the sacrifices you are making today are keeping our community safe and healthy for tomorrow. I am positive that the educational foundation, memories, and friendships you have cultivated will serve you well for the rest of your life.

We have now entered into Stage 2 of the province’s plan for re-opening. Stage 2 is enabling many businesses and recreational sites to open across the City of Pembroke. It also enables small groups of 10 or fewer people to gather while following health and social distancing guidelines. I would like to strongly encourage all of our citizens to safely support all of our local businesses as they re-open. This will enable our local economy to recover as quickly as possible. I am continually impressed as our business community adapts to serve their customers in a safe manner.

At the City of Pembroke, we are working to support our local business community as they adapt to this new environment. The Business Development Fund is now open until July 3. This is a grant of up to $5,000 to help businesses through COVID-19.For more information visit We are also working on another grant though our Community Improvement Plan to assist with construction, renovation and signage costs for businesses as they relate to COVID-19. This grant will be open later this summer. We have implemented a number of measures to make adapting to this new normal easier for our business community. For example, free two-hour parking in downtown Pembroke has been extended until July 14 to help residents support businesses.

Diversity and inclusion remains top of mind as we see progress being made through the Black Lives Matter movement. The city has made a commitment to be a welcoming community for all and continues to work on policies and practices to ensure minority voices are heard and included in the work we do. There is work to be done, and we believe Black Lives Matter.

Over the past week, we had the pleasure of celebrating Pride Week in Pembroke, further demonstrating the importance of diversity and inclusion. Pembroke Pride had a week full of activities and educational events. At city hall, we are proudly flying the Pride flag to show our support.

With the warmer weather here to stay, we are delighted to see so many residents enjoying the outdoors. I encourage you to take the time to visit one of the many parks throughout the city, where benches and picnic tables are open for use. The Pembroke Marina is now fully operational, open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Riverside Park is open to self-contained units, and the Riverside Park beach is open and unsupervised. Kids can now enjoy the Riverside and Rotary Park Splash Pads. Our off-leash dog park, the Pembroke Bark Park is open for your four-legged family members to enjoy. Tennis courts and the Rapids Stake Park are also open to enjoy safely. Playgrounds and Kinsmen Pool remain closed.

While much of our regular programming and evenst have been cancelled due to COVID-19, we are still hosting some virtual events. On Wednesday evenings in June, July and August, be sure to tune into Virtual Yoga in the Park with White Pine Yoga. Don’t forget to also check out our Friday night Hockey Town Hangouts series in partnership with HGS.

We would not be in the place we are today without the tireless work of all front-line workers. I would like to send my deepest thanks to all essential workers in our community who are keeping us safe. As a community, we can be proud of how we have handled this pandemic and taken public safety seriously. Thank you to everyone for doing your part to keep our community safe.

There are plenty of positive developments under this new stage of opening, but it is important to remain vigilant. As the Renfrew County and District Health Unit reminds us, practise physical distancing by staying two metres (or six feet) apart from others when you are out in the community, wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible, and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, often. These measures will continue to help keep you, your loved ones and your friends and neighbours safe during this pandemic.

In closing, I would like to wish residents a Happy Canada Day! While it may not be the Canada Day we all pictured, there are many ways to enjoy this holiday safely with your family. The city will be hosting a small ceremony with the Pembroke Legion at the waterfront at noon. I encourage residents to tune into our Facebook page at noon for the live stream.

Join the city virtually for a special Canada Day episode of Hockey Town Hangouts presented by HGS Canada! The city’s Elijah McKeown will be joined by JUNO Award-winning country artist and frontman of the James Barker Band, James Barker with music from Middlebrook’s Erin Rooney. I encourage residents to join in on the national virtual Canada Day celebrations. While we will not be hosting a City fireworks show, fireworks are permitted in Pembroke on July 1 only. I encourage you to be safe and smart if you plan to have fireworks. Please respect your neighbours and keep displays manageable to ensure safety for all.

For regularly updated information on the pandemic from a local, provincial, and federal level, please visit the City’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.

Thank you, and be well.

Pembroke Mayor Mike LeMay

For further information on COVID-19, please refer to the following sources:

The City of Pembroke COVID-19 Updates and Info

The City of Pembroke COVID-19 Business Resources

Renfrew County and District Health Unit

Ontario Coronavirus Self-assessment Tool

Health Canada