PrimeTime Magazine Spring 2020 - Page 27

How keeping informed and respecting the rules are helping Lorne and Carolyn Mitton stay positive MARGARET PATRICIA EATON When we contacted former Mayor Lorne Mitton on April 17 to learn how he was coping with isolation, he had just finished listening to the daily provincial update with Premier Blaine Higgs and Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Jennifer Russell, and was feeling hopeful. The numbers revealed 9,900 New Brunswicker’s had been tested, no new cases had been added for two days to the 117 confirmed cases, and 83 had recovered. While five remained hospitalized with three in ICU, there had been no fatalities, positive news, considering that next door, Nova Scotia, had 649 confirmed cases with four fatalities But it wasn’t only numbers that made Mitton hopeful. It was the way leaders had put politics aside During his term as Mayor, Lorne Mitton inaugurated the Mayor’s Senior’s Advisory Committee which led to the formation of the Moncton Senior’s Information Centre and PrimeTime magazine. PHOTO CREDIT: CITY OF MONCTON in this time of crisis. “When you look at the global picture, I feel by comparison we have done very well in Canada and we’re doing an excellent job in New Brunswick,” he said. “I attribute that to the leadership we have federally and provincially. It’s so nice to see all four parties in our province working together, having a consensus on so many things and putting party politics aside. They are doing all the right things and we have to support them, because just imagine what they are going through, trying to keep us safe. “We need to be thankful for what we have here, in so many respects, including politically, and that is quite something to say. If I were still involved politically, I don’t think I could do as good a job as is being done right now in our province and in the country. It makes me sleep better when I think of that.” High praise from a man whose career has exemplified civic responsibility and leadership. Mitton worked for the Atlantic Provinces Transportation Commission and was Regional Director for the National Transportation Agency before serving the City of Moncton between 1998 and 2008 as Counsellor-at-Large, Deputy Mayor and Mayor. Both before, during his time in office, and since then, he’s volunteered on numerous boards of directors, including the Friends of the Moncton Hospital Foundation. Since the lockdown, his routine has changed considerably. He and his wife Carolyn are spending their days at home, taking self-isolation seriously as a civic responsibility. They maintain contact via email and telephone with family and the various boards and organizations with which they are associated. As the designated grocery shopper, Mitton wears a mask, and admits he doesn’t always find what Carolyn wants, “so she has to go in, but we observe the rules and don’t go in together. We certainly support the direction of our provincial government and the department of health.” In isolation, Mitton is not bored and finds plenty of chores to do. An avid curler, he kept in shape walking at the Kay Arena, but now walks around his neighbourhood. “I miss sports on TV, but I realize sports are not as important as what we’re going through. What we’ve got to do is adhere to everything we’re being told to do so we will have sports and everything else we enjoy in the future.” “The main thing is to remain positive. People talk about getting back to normal, but I don’t think ‘normal’ will be the ‘normal’ we’ve known and that could be good. A lot of things are happening now with families staying home together and connecting, and kids are going to learn more about what is going on in society. This new generation will have more knowledge and understanding, learn not to take things for granted, appreciate what they have, and live in a more positive way in the future.” SUMMER/ÉTÉ 2020 PrimeTime 27