PERTH COUNTY – During the May 6 meeting of Perth County council, Coun. Daryl Herlick repeatedly attempted to get support from fellow council members to oppose Ontario’s current stay-at-home order.
Early in the meeting, he pulled a letter for discussion regarding a request from the City of Brantford to reopen golf courses.
Herlick started the discussion off by stating that concerning opening golf in Ontario, “it’s no secret these restrictions systematically are harming and bankrupting the economy and independent business daily.”
He said physical activity is good for everybody and “children are suffering,” so opening golf courses is “a no-brainer and something I would like to see us support.”
“I guess you could call it a no-brainer if you want but I’m certainly not in favour of this at this time,” said Coun. Walter McKenzie.
McKenzie agreed that playing golf isn’t the problem because you can be distanced and wear a mask, but he said the problem is what happens before people get there and after they leave. He referred to a news report about several fines that were laid at the Bridges at Tillsonburg Golf Course under the Reopening Ontario Act.
“They interview the guy and he’s in the car with a buddy from Kitchener,” said McKenzie. “That’s where the problem is. It’s not the golf. It’s getting there. So I could not support this.”
“Mental health is a big thing for me and child activity and I don’t know,” said Herlick. “We can’t even go from household to household so…”
Warden James Aitcheson asked if anyone wished to support the resolution to support reopening golf courses.
“I see no hands so that means no,” he said.
Later in the meeting, Herlick introduced a motion to encourage Ontario to take a new targeted approach to the pandemic and end lockdown measures. The motion did not explicitly mention what the new targeted approach should be.
“I will let you speak to it today Daryl, seeing as it’s now official,” said Aitcheson. “So if you want to speak to it just briefly because I’ll need a seconder to have a full discussion.”
“It’s no secret I’ve had my concerns with the whole approach around COVID-19 and the lockdown methodology,” said Herlick.
He mentioned that Perth County council has also had concerns with lockdown measures as it has forwarded several motions in the past regarding the subject.
“We’re not alone on that and it’s interesting times,” said Herlick. “Very interesting times, growing up in the independent meat business, I’d like to tell council there is nobody that can smell when the government’s up to something like myself.”
He mentioned that he has probably watched 5,000 independent meat shops close in 10 years in Ontario.
“I have an eye for this kind of stuff now,” said Herlick. “In my mind, the PCR test is the biggest fraud in humanity and I have doctors and lawyers who will agree with me on that. It’s interesting times. We’re systematically bankrupting society. You don’t think so?”
He said people call him all the time because they know where he stands on this.
When he was supposed to be introducing his motion – which he never did – he called the stay-at-home order a huge violation of the Bill of Rights and the Nuremberg Code.
“Family and friends who have fought wars for this kind of madness,” said Herlick. “Like I said I could sit here all day with examples of law officers speaking up daily – police on guard for thee, a constitutional challenge in the courts now which is very beautiful so I’m good.”
“At this point are you moving this notice of motion?” asked Aitcheson.
“You know what, I’m sure there is not going to be much debate. Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t,” said Herlick.
“Well we can’t have any debate if we don’t get it on the floor and I need a mover and a seconder, so are you going to move it?” asked Aitcheson.
“Yes,” said Herlick. “I’ll move it.”
“I don’t think it’s quite as in-depth as what Daryl said what the motion is,” said Coun. Doug Eidt. “The motion said we send this to Randy Pettapiece and it’s exactly like it used to be when some were green, some were grey, some were red, some were yellow. That’s what I read into this. I’m not talking about constitutional rights… That’s why I seconded because I wanted to get it out and ask that question.”
CAO Lori Wolfe pointed out to Aitcheson that towards the end of the motion it does say that the council of Perth County recommend a new target approach be taken regarding COVID-19 and lockdowns end.
“This actually doesn’t say anything to do with colours,” said Aitcheson. “This is to end the lockdown… if I read that correctly.”
Herlick emphatically nodded ‘yes’ to this statement.
Coun. Rhonda Ehgoetz said they just had Dr. Miriam Klassen, medical officer of health for Huron Perth, and Andrew Williams, chief executive officer of the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, as a delegation and she pointed out that the Township of Perth East is following the Public Health recommendations and the advice of medical professionals.
“So unfortunately I cannot support Daryl’s motion because of that,” she said.
Coun. Robert Wilhelm said he agreed with Ehgoetz.
“I would certainly support a targeted approach but I would not support (that) the lockdown ends,” he said. “This is a pandemic. It’s overwhelming our hospitals and just to strictly end it. I’m sorry I can’t support that.”
“I’ll just make it quick and easy,” said Herlick. “I guess as we go forward we’re going to see what the courts say. That’s where it’s going to end up. We’ll see how overwhelmed we really were.”
Herlick was the only council member to vote in favour of his motion.
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner