Letter: The human impact of the M’Chigeeng travel restriction

Senior citizen describes the difficulty in gathering her essential supplies

To the Expositor:

I am a senior permanent resident of Billings Township. I pay five thousand dollars plus per year for property and water taxes. Being a senior, I am on a fixed income and have to be careful with what I spend. The M’Chigeeng travel restriction deems that I cannot get through to purchase groceries as it is non-essential. The prices for the groceries I shop for in Espanola are usually a third to half the price (on sale days) as compared to prices on the Island, which I can’t always afford. 

The detour roads are very confusing to me. I got lost at one point and did not have cell phone service. I pulled over to the side of the road, sat in my seat and just cried. After pulling myself together, I continued driving and eventually found my way back home. I am sickened by the fact that I am not ‘allowed’ to use provincial Highway 540 to get to where I need. 

My son tried to get through the next day so he could buy the groceries for me. He was turned away and came back home. This just can’t be right. I think the government and the law needs to be clear that public highways are for the public. Even in these trying times, permanent, tax-paying residents should have the right to travel on a provincial highway to a grocery store they can afford.

Sincerely,

Janet Smith

Billings