BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: Of all the commemorative accessories we decorate our outerwear with – pink ribbons, blue ribbons, white ribbons, daffodils – the poppy is still the most visible. In light of recent tragedies our nation’s capital and in Quebec, its importance and meaning is assured.
Just in time for Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, members of the Port Perry Royal Canadian Legion Branch 419 will be out in force, starting on Friday, Oct. 31.
Over the coming weeks, Legion members and volunteers offering residents a chance to show their Canadian pride and support off the Canadian Armed Forces.
Wether purchased from canvassers in many shops located around town, or from one of the numerous counter-top boxes in local stores, your donation to the Poppy Campaign will go to support our veterans, and the Scugog community at-large.
According to Dave Durham, President of the Port Perry Legion, “All of the money raised will stay in Scugog.”
Many local stores have once again shown their support for the Royal Canadian Legion. Namely, Vos’ Independent, Walmart, Pioneer Fuel, Foodland, Food Basics, Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian Tire will all see Cadets, Legion members or volunteers out front with their familiar boxes.
“The Poppy Campaign is the biggest job on our calendar, and we’re thankful for our supporters and members who brave the chilly weather,” said Mr. Durham. “The Legion would also like to extend a hand to any non-Legion members who wish to join our veterans and help out our cause, by donating their time to the Poppy Campaign.”
Funds raised through the Poppy Campaign go to many projects - including the Cadets program, the Port Perry Hospital Foundation, and any needs an applicable veteran could have - such as medical bills.
In addition, the Port Perry Legion will be hosting their annual Remembrance Day Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Legion Hall, 484 Bay St. in Port Perry.
Tickets are $18 for guests, or free for veterans and their spouses, and are available until Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Branch 419 bar counter, or by phoning 905-985-8502.
MAKING THEIR MARK: Founding members of 100 Women Who Care Scugog (clockwise from top left) Janet McGhee, Caroline Kucevic, Heather Chapman, Ginger Jackson, Margaret Ayres and Lana Crosbie prepare for the groups inaugural meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at Sunnybrae Golf and Country Club. Photo credit: Darryl Knight/The Standard
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
SCUGOG: 100 Women Who Care is coming to Scugog, and they are looking for your help!
Following on the successful heels of the Uxbridge branch of the charity, which was launched in November of 2013, the Scugog chapter will be holding its first meeting next week.
A group of six local women were instrumental in bringing the group across Lakeridge Rd., and into Scugog Township, where they hope to spread goodwill in the community.
“It’s the most wonderful and rewarding experience,” commented Ginger Jackson, one of the founding members of the Scugog Chapter as well as an Uxbridge member. “You go home after the meeting and think ‘I’ve really made a difference.’ That’s what blew me away, and why we wanted to bring this wonderful thing to Scugog.”
As part of 100 Women Who Care, members commit to attending four meetings each year (one in each quarter) that last for an hour and pledging $100 per meeting, for a total of $400 each year. Membership does not have to be for individuals; teams of up to four people can sign up.
The amazing impact of this group can be seen in the tremendous contributions made by the Uxbridge chapter over the past year to Sunrise Pregnancy Centre, Loaves and Fishes Food Bank, the Uxbridge Youth Centre and the IODE.
At each meeting, members of 100 Women Who Care may nominate a charity, from which three finalists are chosen at random, and the nominating member must then give a five-minute presentation describing the charity in need, which is then followed by a vote by the membership, which determines the charity that receives the contribution.
“Through the process, you end up learning about other charities doing wonderful things in the community that you might not have known about before,” added Janet McGhee, another founding member of 100 Women Who Care Scugog.
The first meeting of 100 Women Who Care Scugog will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at Sunnybrae Golf and Country Club, located at 1430 King St. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m., with the meeting to follow at 7 p.m. Those interested can either sign up at the door, or in advance on-line at www.100womenscugog.com.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor maintained her undefeated record in elections, as Uxbridge voted to bring her back to the head of the council bench for another four years on Monday, Oct. 27.
With 49.7 per cent of the votes cast, O’Connor won out over challengers Ted Eng (25.77 per cent) and Bob Shepherd (24.51 per cent).
“To be re-elected again to represent the people of Uxbridge feels great,” Mayor O’Connor told The Standard. “But, I didn’t do it alone, and I had a great council behind me, and I’m looking forward to working with our new council.”
Going forward, Mayor O’Connor noted that the election process has revealed some areas that the municipality could potentially improve upon.
“One thing that I learned through this process was that the township has to do a better job of communicating about large developments. I think we may have missed the boat on a couple of issues.”
With voter turnout in Uxbridge Township down slightly as 8,076 residents or 50.33 per cent cast ballots, down from 51.8 per cent of eligible voters in 2010, O’Connor opined that perhaps changes are needed with the way municipal elections are contested.
“I think people are fed up with the almost year-long election process,” commented Mayor O’Connor. “I will be asking for council’s support for a motion to go forward to the province asking for a change, from roughly 10 months to 60 days.”
Incumbents largely held onto their seats in this municipal election, save for Ward 1 Councillor Bev Northeast, who was ousted after 23 years on council by Pam Beach, who eked out a 22 vote victory. Beach took 531 votes (44.5 per cent) to Northeast’s 509 (42.7 per cent). Blair Emmerson rounded out the Ward 1 race with 152 votes (12 per cent).
“I can’t even come up with words,” an ecstatic Beach told The Standard. “I gave it 150 per cent, and the people have spoken that they want change.”
Election night doubled as Mrs. Beach’s 41st wedding anniversary to her husband Ed, and she noted that the win was “a wonderful anniversary gift.”
The other new face on Uxbridge council will be Ward 4 Councillor Fred Bryan, who took 919 votes (38 per cent), ahead of challengers Conrad Boyce with 807 votes (34 per cent) and Dave Granic, who collected 654 votes (27 per cent).
“There was a real sense of relief as the results started to come through,” Mr. Bryan said. “You put in all of this hard work not knowing if you’ll be rewarded, but it was a great feeling, and I can’t wait to get started.”
In other ward races, Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy held onto his seat with 55 per cent of the vote, as he defeated Gary Ruona.
Pat Mikuse took 53 per cent of the votes cast in Ward 3 to claim her third term on council, besting Bob Harrison and Bruce Rodman.
Ward 5 voters returned Gord Highet to the council bench for the third time with 60 per cent of the votes cast in his favour, as he won over challengers Joy Whalen and Sally Brady.
Uxbridge voters re-elected Jack Ballinger as Regional Councillor with 52 per cent of the votes cast. Jon Taylor finished second with 25 per cent, followed closely by Michelle Viney with 22 per cent.
The new council will be sworn in on Monday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. for the inaugural meeting, with councillors resuming regular meetings on Monday, Dec. 8, starting at 9:30 a.m.
In other municipal election news, a familiar face will be representing North Durham as English Catholic School Board Trustee, with the re-election of Kathy LeFort over challenger Richard Damianopoulos.
Elinor Hansen edged out Gord Baxter for the position of English Public School Board Trustee in Uxbridge/Brock.
Additionally, for the first time in the 40 year history of Durham Region, the Regional Chair was directly elected, as Roger Anderson returns to the role he has served in for the past 17 years after taking a resounding 48 per cent of the vote.
BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: Changes are in store for Scugog Township, as a new mayor and an almost entirely new council was voted in on Monday, Oct. 27.
Newcomer Tom Rowett will don the Mayoral chains for the next four years, after defeating former mayor Chuck Mercier by nearly 1,000 votes.
After taking an early 10 per cent lead, Mayor Rowett’s support only grew by the end of the evening - ending with a total of 4,661 votes to Chuck Mercier’s 3,687; with 55.83 per cent of voters choosing Mayor Rowett, and 44.17 percent choosing Mr. Mercier.
“Being elected feels amazing because we stepped forward to represent the people of Scugog, and the people stepped forward for us,” said Mayor Rowett. “This truly is a win for all of Scugog.”
Moving forward, Mayor Rowett pointed out a need to hit the ground running, and tackle the issues which his campaign platform stood upon.
“With the Greenbank Airways permit expiring on Dec. 31, and a new budget nearing, it’s time to analize the information and learn from staff,” said Mayor Rowett - promising that the public would see a new level of engagement and involvement from the Township, and would have the ear and attention of Council.
In Ward 1, Betty Somerville will step forward to replace the retired Larry Corrigan, having beat out three other competitors by nearly 300 votes.
“It was a good race, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and put our work into practice,” said Councillor Somerville. “The next four years will see a lot of follow-through in Ward 1.”
Final standings in Ward 1 were 40.83 percent and 677 votes for Councillor Somerville, 24.73 percent and 410 votes for Joe Mahoney, 24.07 per cent and 399 votes for Tony Janssen, and 10.37 per cent and 172 votes for Scott Burke.
Ward 2 residents will see new representation, after lending their support to new Councillor Janna Guido - who defeated former councillor John Hancock by 162 votes; 53.74 per cent to 46.26 per cent.
Councillor Guido told The Standard that “it’s nice to see Scugog voting for change, and the new Council is going to bring that change forward, as a team.”
In Scugog Island’s Ward 3 - Don Kett won a clear victory over Town Crier Bill McKee - with a 70.3 per cent and 375 vote lead - after former councillor Jim Howard decided against nomination earlier in the campaign.
“First of all, I would like to thank Bill McKee for his hard work - I found a new friend during this campaign, and I think Scugog should be proud to have him as our Town Crier,” said Councillor Kett. “As for the Island, it’s time to organize the issues and get to work on them as quickly as we can.”
Ward 4 is the sole portion of Scugog Township to not see change, as current Councillor Wilma Wotten defeated Aaron Hopkins in a 74.38 per cent landslide victory, totalling 1,161 votes to Mr. Hopkins’ 400.
Councillor Wotten remarked that she was sad to see her counterparts leave council, but that “We have new, fresh, and exciting blood in Council - I’m going to get to know everyone, and continue to serve this Township.”
Jennifer Back unseated former councillor Howard Danson in Ward 5, winning by nearly 800 votes.
“By addressing the issues which face Scugog, such as infrastructure deficit and proper growth, this new Council is going to make Scugog an even better place to live,” said Councillor Back.
The race was won for Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew and Durham District School Board Trustee Carolyn Mortyn in Sept., when they both were elected by acclimation. According to Regional Councillor Drew, “The election is behind us, and the people have spoken - it’s time to move on and facilitate a strong Council, making Scugog a place to work, live and play.”
Voter turnout in Scugog had a slight spike, with 47.3 per cent of eligible voters marking their ballot this year, after 2010’s rate of 46.04 per cent.
After Scugog’s new council is coached and brought up to speed by Township staff, Mayor Tom Rowett and his new councillors will be sworn into office during a ceremony at 1:30 p.m., on Monday, Dec. 1.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: A longstanding local tradition will continue next week, the when election night results are revealed at Uxbridge Arena Community Centre.
Municipal election results will be posted at the Arena Hall, after 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, with many candidates planning to attend at various points throughout the evening. Doors will open to the public at the Hall at 7 p.m.
The future of the practice was in doubt this week when the matter was debated by councillors at a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 20.
Councillor’s opinions were split on the continuation of the practice, with some arguing that the results being posted on the township’s web site allowed candidates and residents alike to view them at home, and cast doubt on the event.
However, Ward 1 Councillor Bev Northeast argued that internet is not readily available in some rural areas of the township, and many seniors in the municipality lack an internet connection.
The township’s other rural councillors, - Pat Molloy and Pat Mikuse - agreed with Councillor Northeast and voted in favour of keeping the event at the Arena. They were opposed by Ward 4 Councillor Jacob Mantle, Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet and Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger. Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor would break the tie with a ‘yay’ vote, enabling the event to continue at the Arena this year.
Results from the municipal election on Monday, Oct. 27 will be posted on the township’s web site, www.town.uxbridge.on.ca beginning shortly after 8 p.m.
Residents who have not yet done so can drop off their completed ballots at the Clerk’s Department at Town Hall, located at 51 Toronto St. South until 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27.
BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: Prince Albert residents protested a proposed subdivision expansion on Monday, Sept. 29 at Scugog Council Chambers - with one community member, Suzanne Doupe, calling it ‘mind-boggilingly unrealistic.’
The proposal, submitted by Henry Kortekaas and Associates Inc., on behalf of Home-Land Development Group Ltd., will seek to build 28 detached homes and a new cul-de-sac on a 4.15 acre lot, fronting onto the south side of King St., just west of Union Ave.
Proponent representative Henry Kortekaas touted the subdivision draft as necessary intensification of the rural reaches of Prince Albert - which currently feature older homes and large rural lots.
“We’re providing opportunities for starter homes, priced in the middle of the market, between $350,000 and $450,000,” said Mr. Kortekaas. “Smaller homes and smaller yards are perfect for retirees as well.”
Mr. Kortekaas also told Council that the new homes would be marketed to families who currently live in the southern portion of Durham Region, and further west in the GTA. The developers hope that the coming Highway 407 expansion will attract Toronto commuters to North Durham, seeking countryside living and a shorter drive to work.
Members of the local community, many of whom own homes which would butt up against the new development, took exception to the compact sized lots and homes on the draft plan.
Current Township zoning by-laws state that all residential lots must be at least 670 square metres in area with a minimum 18 metre frontage - the proposed lots would more than halve the requirements, with lot sizes as small as 300 square metres, and frontages of only 6.3 metres.
“With requested lot sizes and frontages being less than half of what our by-laws hold, what is the point in even having a by-law process?” asked Ward 2 Councillor John Hancock. “While I appreciate that we should look toward intensification – I don’t think this new subdivision will enhance the pre-existing homes.”
Councillors also discussed issues with the proposed street allowance running through the subdivision, as it was almost two metres more narrow than by-laws require, and did not feature sidewalks or room to park more than one vehicle in driveways.
“An average family has at least two workers and two cars – with capacity for one car in the driveway, would we see cars lined up on the street?” said Councillor Hancock. “If you’re touting small houses, the garage will be stuffed with belongings.”
One local homeowner, Paul Callaghan, was upset by the proposal to bring municipal sewage and water service to the new homes, stating that many homes in Prince Albert have not seen services for more than two decades.
“We don’t have sidewalks or streetlights, and we still pay taxes. You can’t build a new Prince Albert and leave the old one behind,” said Mr. Callaghan.
Mr. Kortekaas explained that the new expansion would require the servicing pipes to be expanded down Old Simcoe Rd. or Union Ave., and would aid in the planned servicing of Prince Albert.
“I don’t call what we have here a mix or affordable, it is entirely detached single family dwellings. Intensification means that we have a variety of lot sizes and price ranges,” said Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew. “What we have here is just an application, it is not complete or even approved - and it needs some major review.”
The proposal has been deferred to a future meeting with the new Scugog Township Council - after municipal election, which will take place on Oct. 27.
BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: The popular ‘Soups On Us’ meal program will return for its fourth season, on Thursday, Oct. 23.
The weekly, free, drop-in lunch will open its doors to the Port Perry community again this Fall, inside the Church of the Ascension hall.
‘Soups on Us’ is organized by a local Parents’ Support Group and five area churches. Volunteers from the churches and special needs adults will once again serve up delicious homemade soup, bread and dessert every Thursday, inside the Church of the Ascension, located at 266 North St., from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
While partaking in a hearty meal and friendly conversation is free of charge, the team behind ‘Soups On Us’ greatly appreciates funding and donations.
Kathy Payne-Mercer, leader of the Parents Support Group, said that “Soups On Us shows the true meaning of the word community. For everyone involved in the preparing, serving, and eating of the food becomes part of their town, and those living in it.”
The participating churches include Emmanuel Community Church, Hope Christian Reform Church, New Song Church, Port Perry United Church and Church of the Ascension.
“I know all the five churches are thrilled to offer such a concrete gift to the community, but we also enjoy creating a partnership in the kitchen with our new friends,” says Cathy Cooper, a ‘Soups on Us’ representative from Church of the Ascension. “‘Soups on Us’ will be a warm and welcoming place to enjoy a quick, complementary lunch, and to support some hard workers in the kitchen. We look forward to another season of great food, camaraderie, and community service.”
“Soups on Us” Mission Statement is “To provide an opportunity to develop skills and talents for volunteers from the community while sharing a wholesome lunch with the community.”
For further information, or to volunteer, please contact Kathy Payne-Mercer, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Cathy Cooper, by e-mail at email@example.com, and by phone at 905-985-3423.
BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: The committee behind the Caesarea Skateboard Park for Kids was left reeling last week, when they discovered that the sign marking the future site in Putsey Park was vandalized.
A large red circle-backslash or ‘No’ symbol was spray painted in bright red, over the recently erected sign sometime during the night of Saturday, Oct. 4.
The sign, which proudly reads “Future Site of the Caesarea Skateboard Park for Kids,” also lists the projects supporting fundraisers - including the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Hydro One, and The Township of Scugog.
“The CSP Committee and Township of Scugog are saddened by this act of vandalism. The Committee does not feel that it was done by teenagers, only by people wanting to blame the teens, as it was an act of protest, based on the graffiti that was left,” read a press release from the charity group.
At press-time, the graffiti had been speedily removed by Township staff, and has been reverted back to its original condition.
“There are a couple of cameras around the area, and once the individuals have been identified, we hope they will get a bill from the Township,” said the CSP Committee. “It would be great if we could all act as adults and discuss this instead of acting like children and sulking.”
For those interested in supporting the cause, the CSP has recently embarked on an on-line fundraising initiative, called Aviva - where the group will collect votes to pass through three qualifying rounds.
“The Kids of Caesarea want to get their skateboard park built and we need more funds,” said Susie Bollon, a member of the CSP Committee. “By voting on-line each day, we can make this happen. All you have to do is log onto www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf19968 and register your vote.”
While saddened by the act of vandalism, the CSP Committee told The Standard that they would continue to campaign to bring a skateboard park to the youth and families of Caesarea, and are thankful for the continuing support of their sponsors and the community at-large.
BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: Sixteen candidates running for election in Scugog Township and the Durham Region attended a debate at the Latcham Centre in Port Perry, on Wednesday, Oct. 8.
Held by the Port Perry Seniors Club, the debate allowed a full house of local citizens to pose their questions to the electoral hopefuls - and hear their strategies - should they be elected on Oct. 27.
Opening up the debate was a question posed to mayoral candidates Chuck Mercier and Tom Rowett, asking what their vision of Scugog was in ten years time.
“In the past four years, my Council and I have made plans for 20 years of growth in Scugog,” said Mayor Mercier. “In 10 years, we will have the infrastructure, homes and industry we need to grow Scugog - and will likely be planning for even more prosperity.”
Mayor Mercier noted that even during economic slowdown, Scugog has seen growth.
Local business owner Tom Rowett rebuttled Mayor Mercier’s comment - stating that statistics show Scugog operating at a very low efficiency of 15.6 per-cent.
“I see opportunities in our Township to tweak numbers and lower our costs and spending, to get our bank books in order,” said Mr. Rowett. “If we pay close attention to the cash flow, we can grow and expand carefully during the next 10 years.”
For the first time this year, the position of Regional Chair will be an elected position, and five hopefuls were in attendance to discuss Scugog Township’s role in Regional politics.
The candidates faced the spotlight when a local resident questioned the lack of contact from the candidates, and asked how they would ensure that Scugog’s voice remain heard on the Regional level.
Candidate Michael Deegan was first to respond, stating his preference for face-to-face interactions, and paying attention to the details in a mass of land as large as Durham Region.
“I don’t want to just mail out flyers, it’s important to me to meet people and answer their questions in person,” said Mr. Deegan.
Lynn Porteous, another hopeful Regional Chairperson, supported the power of democracy - explaining that, if elected, it would be her duty to ensure the voice of every voter was heard.
“As the daughter of a soldier I am proud to see that 82 per-cent of residents voted that the position of Regional Chair should be elected and not appointed,” said Ms. Porteous. “I would ensure that the frustrations of people in Scugog are heard.”
Mr. Peter Neal chose to forgo the aid of a microphone and instead loudly denounced the work of incumbent Roger Anderson - stating that Mr. Anderson has been in office for too long, and would “sell-out Scugog.”
Barbara Pulst was next to respond, stating “this is an inaugaral run for a very important position - the campagining process has been difficult this year, but we’re moving in the right direction.”
Incumbent Regional Chairperson Roger Anderson explained his tendancy to attend Council meetings in North Durham, and mail out literature to his constituents - ensuring that lines of communication are supported between Scugog Township and the Durham Region.
“Brock, Uxbridge and Scugog will retain their six seats at Regional Council and will keep their voice when the seats are redistributed,” said Mr. Anderson. “If they want to take seats away from the south end, I’ll tell them where to take them from - but the North will not be touched.”
One local resident, reffering to Fall as ‘Orange Paint Season,’ asked mayoral candidates why the Township’s work on the sidewalks is contracted out and not done by Township staff - as well as how each candidate plans to address the crumbling concrete.
Mayor Mercier defended the Township’s decision, explaining that the Township puts out an annual tender for the sidewalks most in need of repairs - and chooses the one with the best value, quality and price.
“These sidewalks didn’t crumble in 2014, we were given them - so we do our best to fix what we can,” said Mayor Mercier. “The spray paint doesn’t only mark the cracks, but is sprayed to warn pedestrians.”
Candidate Tom Rowett held a position of safety, no matter the cost - explaining that money can be found through efficiencies, in order to fix the aging sidewalks en-masse.
“As a resident, I’ve seen the same orange paint on the same cracks, year-after-year,” said Mr. Rowett. “We need to make sure our walking children and seniors are safe - especially during the winter - even if it means going into debt.”
To see an introductory column and platform from each Scugog municipal election candidate, please visit The Standard on-line at http://thestandardnewspaper.weebly.com/candidate-columns.html.
Election ballots must be returned via mail or to the Port Perry Municipal Office, 181 Perry St., by Tuesday, Oct. 27.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Just in time for Halloween, a local youth is planning a fundraiser in support of the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank that will pit survivors against a horde of zombies.
After a successful event last year, 13-year-old Uxbridge resident Hayden Princes is bringing back the ‘Shooting 4 Food’ event to Uxbridge Shooting Sports on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The event will again use Airsoft guns and biodegradable pellets, and after the success of the inaugural event last year, Mr. Prince is aiming even higher this year, hoping to raise $5,000 and 2,000 items for the local Food Bank, and have 250 participants for the event, after bringing in 700 items and more than $2,000 last year with 98 participants.
“Last year went well, so we’ve upped our expectations this year,” Mr. Prince, a Grade 8 student at Joseph Gould P.S. said during a presentation to Councillors in September.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor praised Mr. Prince for his willingness to get involved in his community, as well as to Uxbridge Shooting Sports for supporting the endeavour and allowing it to be covered under their insurance policy.
“Hayden, you’re an example of the great youth we have growing up in our community,” commented Mayor O’Connor.
For more information on this year’s event, visit www.shooting4food.com.