Windsorites supported each other during pandemic, mayor says

·2 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a particularly heavy toll on Windsor, but Mayor Drew Dilkens is praising how the community responded to the crisis this year.

Whether it was people signing up to offer transportation to others after public transit was shut down, a massive food drive or supports offered to temporary foreign workers, Dilkens said people came together to help each other out this year.

"That's just a small subset of ... some of the amazing things that have happened here, and I've been privileged to see so much from my chair."

"It just really reaffirms the love that I have for this place and the people who live here," he said.

Dilkens was reflecting on the impact COVID-19 has had on the city in a year-end interview with Tony Doucette of CBC Radio's Windsor Morning on Thursday.

The region has seen nearly 6,500 cases of COVID-19 and over 100 deaths. Case rates are among the highest in the province and there are currently 35 active outbreaks.

Some of the pandemic's impacts have been specific to Windsor. The "longest closure of the U.S.-Canada border in recorded history" has meant the separation of families and couples, Dilkens said.

"In our city, it plays out in a bit of a different way than elsewhere simply because of our geography and the way we have evolved as a region over time," he said.

'Headwinds' in 2021 budget

The pandemic also had a financial toll on the city, but Windsor is in good shape for 2020 due to additional funding from the province, Dilkens said.

The mayor has no regrets about the decisions made, and he noted that no capital projects were cancelled this year.

"We did not have to cut a penny," he said.

The city, he said, will have to confront more "headwinds" in 2021 due to the impact of the pandemic on revenue streams such as the airport, Caesars Windsor and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

"We don't know exactly in 2021 when a facility like the casino will open."

Listen to the full interview below: