Al Armstrong emphasizes focus on small business in first statement as SDG warden

SDG — The newly elected warden of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry released a statement yesterday indicating that his first priority is a focus on “programming and protocols that benefit our small business owners.”

Al Armstrong of Winchester — deputy mayor of North Dundas — finds himself in the upper-tier role following the shocking departure of Frank Prevost.

Armstrong’s statement:

My election this week has brought with it a great deal of mixed emotions. I feel humbled, honoured, concerned and confident, all at the same time.

Our goal as elected leaders has always been to put our residents first. Often we are successful to that end, but there are times, like now, when you may have questions. Some may feel triggered. And more may wonder where we go from

It is this last point that I wish to focus on by reaching out to you today. Now is a time for prioritizing resident concerns and following through with our plans for 2021.

This year continues to be a time of struggle for many of us, including our small business owners who must navigate the challenging, confusing and unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

My first priority as Warden is to ensure our council, and our staff, are focused on programming and protocols that benefit our small business owners.

It is encouraging to see COVID numbers drop, while vaccinations increase. We have heard the provincial government’s reopening plan.

It is now our job to advocate on behalf of local business owners and residents so that not one second is wasted in ensuring all of our small businesses open as soon as possible. Our COVID-19 recovery needs to begin in earnest.

As an upper-tier government we have set out priorities for 2021. Our biggest project of the year, from a construction point of view, is the new Morrisburg roundabout. Counties Council recently awarded the tender on this project, and work has now begun. This project is part of $23 million the County is investing in capital projects this year.

And finally we wish to work hand-in-hand with our colleagues at the local municipal level, as well as our friends in the City of Cornwall and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. Building on the solid foundation of respect and cooperation we have fostered with our neighbours will pay dividends for residents throughout the region.

This term of office has brought with it challenges that none of us could have predicted. I look forward to working alongside my council colleagues, and most of all YOU, to ensure we don’t lose sight of the priorities and goals we know we can achieve.

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