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Mayor of Bancroft says “cottager versus permanent resident” debate has to end

Mayor of Bancroft Paul Jenkins says the focus needs to be on travellers, not cottagers, which he says includes permanent residents.

“I think this whole debate about cottagers versus permanent residents has to end,” he told the newsroom during his weekly chat. He added that the conversation is not serving anyone well.

“I think the focus is wrong,” Jenkins added. “It’s really about travellers.”

The conversation stems from Premier Doug Ford meeting with nearly 100 Mayors and Deputy Mayors from Cottage Country last week to discuss how to handle cottagers going forward especially with Victoria Day long weekend just days away. “I was quite surprised to hear that it had happened (on Wednesday),” Jenkins said. He said he tried to get information on the meeting last week and was unable to.

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“We are Cottage Country,” Jenkins said. “When you look at how our population changes from the off-season to the summer months, it’s a quadrupling.” He said that he – or a representative from North Hastings – should have been on the call.

He added that despite not being involved with the teleconference, it doesn’t change what the Town or its residents need to do. He said that whether you are coming from outside North Hastings to your second home or you’re a permanent resident that is returning from a day trip, you need to quarantine for two weeks. He said again that putting the focus on cottagers is wrong, it should be on travellers whether they’re part-time or full-time residents.

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