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David Denault sees light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel

New Midland CAO says the move that sees more people working remotely should make Midland an enticing home community.
Midland's new Chief Administrative Officer, David Denault (top left) gave council a brief update on his first 30 days in the position. Mehreen Shahid/MidlandToday

David Denault thinks Midland is full of opportunity --- especially after the pandemic ends.

In a conversation with MidlandToday, the new chief administrative officer for the town said he was attracted to the position because he felt it was time for him to get back to what felt like home. 

"I come from a small town in Northern Ontario and having a community that embraces everyone, diverse cultures, and economic backgrounds, is very important," he said.

And that's what he wants to do in Midland: build an inclusive community that gives everyone a chance to thrive, said Denault, who recenly completed his first month as the town's CAO.

When talking about a new "normal" and what that might look like is yet to be determined, according to Denault, who hopes one outcome from this pandemic will be the creation of opportunities for communities such as Midland.

"We're seeing the impact of COVID on dense urban populations," he said. "And we're seeing people becoming more accustomed to working remotely. These things will make people consider buying houses in communities like Midland, where you can embrace the natural beauty of things."

There's a balance in life that people are starting to appreciate, added Denault.

He said redevelopment, whether it's of the downtown core or the waterfront, is another factor that attracted him about this job. 

"This is a water community and developing that responsibly is a really unique opportunity," said Denault.

Talking about the Big Dig, he said it was important for the town to forge ahead with the project right now so as to create minimal disruption for downtown busines owners.

As for when the town offices will reopen for staff and the public, Denault said, it will be determined as information becomes available.

"We're doing a good job at trying to be cautious and responsive to the residents," he said.

Mehreen Shahid

About the Author: Mehreen Shahid

Mehreen Shahid covers civic matters under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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