The Reeve for the RM of Stuartburn has only been in her position for a few months and has already seen ways to help everyone in her RM.
Michelle Gawronsky says when it comes to the Amish, though they are very private people, they have been open enough to ask for help from her office. For example, when the pandemic hit, the Amish ran into troubles as things turned online.
She says one of the biggest issues the Amish dealt with was getting birth certificates for their children, as government offices were closed.
"These folks not having electricity and no computers, they were having babies and couldn't get birth certificates because you had to do it all online.”
She says one couple was going home to Wisconsin for Christmas, but they couldn’t take their two children across the border because they didn’t have birth certificates.
Gawronsky and MLA for La Vérendrye, Dennis Smook worked together to make sure these kids got their birth certificates.
“Dennis Smook, he put a lot of time and effort in ensuring that these children got birth certificates so that their parents could go home to visit,” she says. “And just for these poor parents to actually have the rights to their children, which sounds so strange, but that's exactly what it is.”
Gawronsky mentions that the Amish are currently dealing with another problem regarding the Canada child benefit cheques.
She says the Amish don’t accept government money, so when the government continues to send them cheques, they didn't know what to do.
"One gentleman came with a bunch of checks and said, ‘Can you help us stop the government from sending us these? We don't accept them. We send them back and because we haven't cashed them, they send bigger ones back because they have to add interest to it.’”
Gawronsky says she may have come up with a possible solution and is currently in the process of working with them on whether they’d be able to donate the money toward something in the community.
She says it could be anything from play structures to their farmer's market.
The Amish have to run it through their church to see whether that is a possible solution, and Gawronsky believes they will be able to come up with a plan so the issue is resolved.
With files from Adi Loewen