Ponteix’s Town Council has some serious concerns about the slated closure of our community’s liquor store.
While we understand that there may be cost savings to be made in closing our liquor store, the provincial government needs to understand there are additional ramifications which may not have been considered in these plans.
We have seen rural communities of Saskatchewan losing multiple essential services over the past number of years. Our Ponteix Union Hospital closed in 1996, leading to a reduction of health services for our community members. As a result, people in outlying areas are now forced to drive more than an hour for emergency services.
The loss of bus services dealt another blow to people in our community. We have seniors with no driver’s licence who have relied on public transportation to get to larger centers for medical treatment. People in such a situation are forced to make life altering choices.
The closure of our liquor store is yet another strike against our town. Jobs will be immediately affected – the ladies who are presently employed in the liquor store have roots, homes and family here in Ponteix. Forcing people to choose could lead to reducing our population yet again.
Is the provincial government aware that the closure of our liquor store will also affect our public library? As the two businesses are presently housed in the same building, there is a distinct probability that ramifications will be felt by the library when the liquor store closes. As we hear repeatedly, literacy rates are directly affected by access to literature. The closure of our public library would again lead to job losses, a reduction of services to Saskatchewan citizens in our surrounding area, reduced access to information through the internet, and reduced access to literature. As a multi-lingual community, our library offers resources in English, French and Tagalog. Such materials can not easily be accessed in a small rural community. Literacy affects education, which in turn affects the wellness and success of a community.
As a town council, we ask you, the government for all of Saskatchewan, to reconsider the plans to close our Ponteix Liquor Store. Please look past the immediate financial considerations to examine the larger picture of what this decision means for the wellness of community members of all ages in the Ponteix area.
Ponteix Town Council