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Reeve Beaupre urges kindness, understanding as 2021 comes to a close

County of Grande Prairie Reeve Leanne Beaupre says the last 12 months have provided a stiff test of the resilience of both residents and staff of the municipality.

Beaupre says, with the fifth wave of COVID-19 currently sweeping through Alberta and the rest of the world, they continue to try to plan for every contingency. She adds, unfortunately, they still find themselves in a situation beyond their control.

“We continue to try and keep as much normalcy, not only for our employees but our residents, because we knew they were such trying and unprecedented times,” she says.

“This time last year, I was saying to people hopefully we saw the end of it, but unfortunately it chose to show its head again and continue to create issues not only for our residents but the County of Grande Prairie.”

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Beaupre says with the second pandemic year nearly in the books, she is urging residents to continue to do their best to be understanding with one another. She adds it’s something she believes has slipped over the last 12 months.

“I think over the year, a lot of our patience and compassion has slowly been depleted, and I want to remind people that everyone is going through something a little bit different.”

“It’s really important that we stop and consider the other person.. and one of the things about people in the Peace Country is their compassion, resiliency, and kindness.”

Beaupre says on the positive side of the 2021 coin was an influx of economic growth, highlighted with a $3.5 billion clean energy project slated for the Municipal District of Greenview just south of the county. She says the hope is to see that kind of expansion continue into 2022 and well into the future.

“We’ve seen added growth and new jobs created. We see this area to continue to be the economic driver not only for Alberta but for Canada, and I think that’s something the region and the residents should be proud they can be part of that,” she adds.

As of November, the economic region containing Grande Prairie had an unemployment rate of 6.7 per cent, down from 10.3 per cent in November 2020.

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