SCUGOG: For about 12 years, Never Enough Wool has been operating in the Scugog community.
Carol McGavin started 'Never Enough Wool' after she learned her favourite wool shop in the community, Yonder Yarns, was closing.
“I needed a place where I could buy yarn and wool and hang out with other people that liked to knit and crochet, and were as crazy and fun loving as I am,” Ms. McGavin said. “So I wrote up a business plan and everything fell into place.”
Shortly after it opened, a regular knitting group was set up, which has seen its membership base steadily increase over the years.
“We started with a Thursday night knitting group, and then we had a Wednesday afternoon knitting group, and then a Tuesday night class, and then a Tuesday afternoon class and then officially Saturday and then Thursday afternoon, and now pretty much anytime we are open you will find people sitting here knitting or crocheting,” Ms. McGavin said.
Barb Harvel is Carol’s business partner. She said her favourite part about the business is being able to teach the customers.
“I love teaching the new techniques to people, I love watching a new knitter go out on his or her own and just understand what he or she is doing,” she said.
Ms. Harvel also said the immense support from the community is what has kept 'Never Enough Wool' successful over the years.
“We wouldn’t do this without the community support, it is so much fun,” she told The Standard.
Ms. McGavin agreed with her business partner.
“We have people who come in and they could be having a rotten day, or I could be coming in during the day and be having a rotten morning, and people come in and we talk about the wool and suddenly it is a bright sunny day. The support from the community is just amazing,” she said.
'Never Enough Wool' is located at 26 Water St. in Port Perry. For more information, visit www.neverenoughwool.ca
SCUGOG: Two suspects from Scugog are facing numerous charges after several properties were broken into at a trailer park in Port Perry over the winter season.
According to police, on Wednesday, January 9th, members of North Division responded to a break and enter call at the Goreski's Landing R.V. and Resort, on Platten Boulevard in Port Perry. The suspects had broken in and stole property from residential units, before fleeing in a red vehicle. Police located the vehicle at a residence in Scugog and one suspect was arrested. A second male was arrested a short time after. Investigators were contacted by numerous victims from the trailer park, who had their properties broken into. Police expect that more victims will come forward when the park opens for the season.
18 year-old Nicholous Seeney is facing 28 charges, including Break and Enter with Intent; Theft Under $5,000; Possession of Property Obtained by Crime; Possession of Break-in Instrument; Mischief under $5000; Break, Enter and Theft and Break, Enter and Cause Mischief. He was released on a Promise to Appear.
18 year-old Cody Miller is being charged with two counts of Break and Enter with Intent, as well as Theft Under $5,000; Possession of Property Obtained by Crime; Possession of Break-in Instrument, two counts of Mischief under $5000, and Break, Enter and Theft. He was also released on a Promise to Appear.
Anyone with new information is asked to contact D/Cst. Brown of North Division Criminal Investigation Bureau, at 1-888-579-1520 (ext. 2675).
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-8477.
DURHAM: Ontario received the province's highest grade ever in an annual report card that evaluates governments across Canada based on their progress in cutting red tape.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) gave Ontario an A- in its 2019 Red Tape Report Card. This was a dramatic increase from the C+ that the previous government received in 2018 — which was tied for Ontario's lowest grade ever.
"Reducing red tape is a top priority for our government. We believe in eliminating unnecessary and burdensome regulations that do nothing but reduce economic growth and activity in Durham and Ontario," said Lindsey Park, Member of Provincial Parliament for Durham.
"We will continue to support our job creators in Durham and all across Ontario so that we can once again become the economic engine of Canada."
The jump from the province's lowest to its highest grade ever is a result of the new government's determination to cut the cost of doing business in Ontario and make companies more competitive.
"Our Government for the People is focused on cutting red-tape, reducing the regulatory burden on job creators and establishing the right climate for businesses to thrive – in Pickering-Uxbridge and across the province," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge.
"Because when local businesses in Durham Region thrive, families and individuals will benefit from good jobs and our community will continue to prosper."
People across the government are rolling up their sleeves to lighten the regulatory burden on businesses, and Ontario will take this work to the next level this spring.
Ministries are already pitching in with ideas for new actions to help meet an aggressive target – reducing regulatory red tape affecting businesses by 25%. From the Premier on down, the government is continuously looking for ways to lower business costs to help create and protect good jobs for the people of Ontario.
"I am proud that CFIB has recognized we mean business when it comes to cutting red tape," said Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, who is the lead minister on reducing red tape and regulatory burden.
"Ontario businesses face the highest cost to comply with regulations in any province — about $33,000 per company — and small businesses are being hit the hardest. Lowering the cost of doing business here will make companies more competitive so they can create and keep good jobs right here in Ontario. And we won't stop until we get the job done."
UXBRIDGE: Police are seeking two suspects, after a pickup truck hauling a trailer left the roadway near Leaskdale and severed a hydro pole, on Wednesday, January 23rd.
According to Durham police, at approximately 8:25 p.m., North Division officers were called to Concession Road 6, near Zephyr Road, in the Township of Uxbridge, regarding a single motor vehicle collision.
Police state, a northbound Dodge Ram pickup truck hauling a trailer left the roadway and hit a hydro pole, before ending up in the east ditch. The force of the collision severed the hydro pole and damaged a transformer. The occupants of the vehicle fled the scene, after getting a ride from a person at a nearby residence.
A hydro company later attended to repair the pole, wires and the transformer.
Police say the investigation is continuing. The two males involved in the collision were described as white males with stocky builds. One male was in his 60s and the other male was around 30 years old. The younger male had tattoos.
Anyone with new information is asked to contact Constable Arney of North Division, at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 1720.
Anonymous information can be given to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-8477.
KAWARTHA LAKES: Local MP Jamie Schmale is still encouraging local employers to apply for summer help, through the Canada Summer Jobs program. Those interested in applying now have until February 3rd, 2019 to submit their applications.
CSJ provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, to create summer job opportunities for young people, aged 15 to 30 years, who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.
“I encourage local small businesses, and organizations to apply for funding. This program can benefit both employers and students looking to gain experience, while earning money for school,” said MP Schmale. “Last summer, $703,722 was received in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and dispersed to over 93 different employers, for a total of 209 student jobs.”
For more information on the Canada Summer Jobs program, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs.html
The Canada Summer Jobs assessment criteria provide for the identification of local priorities, within the assessment process. Local priorities may be added, to ensure responsiveness to unforeseen circumstances or events.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: Members of the Durham Regional police recently appeared before two North Durham councils, seeking input on what priorities the municipalities would like set for the police’s strategic plan.
Divisional Inspector Dave Saliba and Acting Manager of Strategic Planning Brad Carter came to Scugog council, on Monday, January 14th.
Mayor Bobbie Drew told council, the issue of road safety was brought up heavily during the municipal election campaign.
“I can assure you that everybody has heard about road safety,” she said, asking councillors to think about other aspects of community safety.
Ward 5 Councillor Lance Brown asked if members of the DRPS have seen any sort of trend regarding the issues they’ve heard about thus far.
“Roadway safety is by and large the number one concern,” Mr. Carter said, adding the concerns centre around aggressive driving and distracted driving.
He also said, police visibility is another concern the force has heard raised before.
“I realize that’s a challenge in the more rural parts of the region,” Mr. Carter said.
Regarding visibility, Inspector Saliba said, North Division officers have started doing foot patrols in Port Perry.
“I’ve asked my officers to start foot patrols in our downtown, to make sure we are engaging with the people that are walking the streets, store owners so they know who the police officers are and feel comfortable seeing them in the downtown core. If they have any questions, they can approach an officer and have a discussion in a timely fashion,” Inspector Saliba said.
Regional Councillor Wilma Wotten later decided to make a motion to have the Township give the DRPS written comments, following Scugog’s Strategic Plan sessions.
A similar presentation was then made to Uxbridge council, on Monday, January 21st.
“There are challenges, and we would like your input as elected representatives of the community,” Durham Regional Chair John Henry said.
With cannabis now legal, Regional councillor Gord Highet questioned what factors exist for impaired driving enforcement.
“Right now, we are working on training our officers on the standards of sobriety testing. This is a fairly well established set of techniques to establish impairment, whether it’s by alcohol or drugs, and that’s stood the test of time in terms of the courts,” Mr. Carter told council. “In terms of drug assisted driving, the technology is still not there.”
Ward 3 Councillor Bruce Garrod said the biggest concern he heard during the municipal election campaign was street safety.
“Speeding on side streets, disregarding stop signs, street-racing, things like that,” he said. “Actions oriented towards street safety, before something horrible happens, would be where I would like to see additional focus.”
Echoing what he said at Scugog council, Mr. Carter said “roadway safety is generally the number one concern.”
Ward 4 Councillor Willie Popp questioned if there’s a plan for the DRPS to improve their response times in Uxbridge.
“That’s always going to be a challenge here. We have different geographies in the south and in the north. Would you ever have enough officers to bring response times down in a large geographic area? It’s hard to imagine you could do that in a financially sustainable way,” Mr. Carter responded. “We do the best we can with the information we have.”
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Charlotte Hale is working on creating an organization to be a voice for Scugog Island residents, and a tool for community building.
At a meeting of Scugog council on Monday, January 14th Ms. Hale told councillors she is in the early stages of forming the Scugog Island Community Association, a new “not for profit entity.”
“The primary mandate of this group will be to revitalize the community, through cultural events and activities held at the Scugog Island Hall, and to bring input to the future economic and strategic plans of the Township, with the Island citizens fully represented,” read Ms. Hale’s delegation request.
In her presentation, Ms. Hale said she got the idea while campaigning as a candidate for the Ward 3 Councillor job in the municipal election.
“It became clear that there was no formal entity for the residents of Scugog Island to necessarily have a voice,” she said.
She also explained this entity will “provide a formal, unified group for the residents of Scugog Island to have a voice and be recognized as a partner, along with the [Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation], the Township and One Toronto Gaming, as an entity for consultation and input in strategic planning, specifically economic development, tourism, environmental and infrastructure matters that will affect the residents in any way.”
She also gave an update on the formation process of the group.
“At this time, there is a small working board being established,” Ms. Hale explained.
In a document on council’s agenda, it states “[Ward 3 Councillor] Angus Ross has been invited to sit as a non voting member of the board and an invitation has been extended to the MSIFN to have a representative of their community be at the table as well.”
“The Island is poised for significant growth and the Scugog Island Community Association would like to be at the table as a partner,” Ms. Hale said.
Councillor Ross said he is “extremely encouraged by what’s happening on the Island.”
“I’m a big proponent of community pride and engagement,” he said. “I feel this is a way of bringing people together, where ideas can be focused and presented to the Township.”
DAN CEARNS The Standard
DURHAM: The Ontario Provincial government announced, on Tuesday, January 15th, they are moving forward with a review of Regional governments.
In the announcement, the province stated they have appointed Michael Fenn and Ken Seiling as Special Advisors for a review of Durham, Halton, York, Waterloo, Niagara, Peel, Muskoka District, and Oxford County, as well as the County of Simcoe, and the lower-tier municipalities.
“The regional government model has been in place for almost 50 years in Ontario and we are taking steps to ensure that regional governments are working efficiently and effectively. These advisors will consult broadly over the coming months and provide recommendations to improve governance, decision-making and service delivery,” read a press release from the government of Ontario.
According to the release, the review is intended for finding: “opportunities to make it easier for residents and businesses to access municipal services”, “processes to deliver efficient and effective local services that respects taxpayers' money”, “methods to make municipalities open for business” and “possibilities to cut red tape and duplication, and save costs.”
Durham’s Regional Chair, John Henry, said the announcement surprised him.
“I was a little bit shocked, it caught me entirely off guard,” he said.
Mr. Henry also stated Regional governments are mandated not to run deficits.
For this review to be successful, Mr. Henry believes the province needs to talk to local residents.
“If the provincial government is interested in doing a review, then they need to make sure that not only are the municipalities involved, but, most of all, people. People have to have part of this conversation, and [the Ontario government needs] to reach out to residents in the communities and ask what is on their mind and then go forward that way. It absolutely needs public participation,” he stressed.
Regarding what he wants to see come out of this review, Mr. Henry said he would like the province to find “what [the province] can do to help [the Region] advance all of [their] communities.”
The province expects to have this review completed in the summer. However, Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew is concerned about that timeline.
“The timelines are very, very short. They want the review to take place over the next six months. This is a huge issue. I hope there is enough time for meaningful consultation,” she said.
When this review was announced there were rumours it could lead to amalgamations of municipalities. Mayor Drew said if the province is considering big changes like this, then the process needs “more time for consultation.”
She also stated she feels amalgamation has not proven to be a money saver.
“All of that work costs money, and to what end?”
Durham’s Regional Chair also spoke about the amalgamation rumours.
“What they need to understand at the provincial level of government is each of the communities are vastly different,” Mr. Henry said.
On the optimistic side, Mayor Drew stated one thing she feels could be a positive coming out of this review is a “more balanced taxation model may emerge.”
“There needs to be more recognition from the province that Greenbelt communities need extra funding or an improved taxation model,” she said.
Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton gave The Standard a statement regarding this review.
“A municipal review that can find efficiencies to improve our ability to deliver quality services more affordably is a good thing. We have a very productive relationship with the Region. They support our Municipal operations in many important ways, by providing expertise and support for Planning, Economic Development, legal counsel and insurance support that we could not provide on our own. They also provide services to our community, such as policing, water/sewer, public transportation, waste-management, EMS services, social services and public health. If this process further enhances our combined abilities to serve the public, then I welcome it,” he said. “However, I also believe that we as a municipality can deliver some services more efficiently ourselves. We would not receive the same value or level of service for our Recreation, Libraries, Cultural or Fire/Emergency Response Services if those were amalgamated with other municipalities. So, from the point of view of our taxpayers, I think a review will determine that it is in the best interest of our municipality to continue to be responsible for our own services in certain areas.”
DURHAM: On Friday, January 18th, Peter Bethlenfalvy, Lorne Coe, Lindsey Park and Rod Phillips joined Regional Chair John Henry to announce, Ontario’s Government for the People is investing close to $9 Million in Durham Region to expand and improve public transit systems.
”Provincial funding has been paying off for our Region, allowing Durham Transit to expand and make significant improvements,” said Lorne Coe, Member of Provincial Parliament for Whitby. “The gas tax program helps residents of Durham to get out of their cars and into transit.”
The province is providing $364 million in gas tax funding to 107 municipalities, providing public transit service to 144 communities across Ontario. These communities represent over 92 per cent of Ontario’s total population.
“Our government is delivering on our commitment to improve transit in Durham Region. We pride ourselves on keeping our promises, and this investment will help get the people of Pickering-Uxbridge moving, attract new riders, and get the hard-working men and women of this region to their destination sooner,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Member of Provincial Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge.
This year, Durham Region will receive $8,866,900 from the province’s gas tax funding, almost $200,000 more than last year. Funding for Ontario’s gas tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province. The program provides municipalities with two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues.
“This funding will enable important improvements to Durham transit, giving Durham residents better options when traveling, for work or leisure,” said Lindsey Park, Member of Provincial Parliament for Durham. “As we work to open Ontario for business, it is vital that we have the transportation infrastructure to connect Durham Region.”
Municipalities receiving gas tax funding must use these funds towards their public transit capital and/or operating expenditures, at their own discretion, including: upgrading transit infrastructure, increasing accessibility, purchasing transit vehicles, adding more routes and extending hours of service.
“Investing in public transit is an essential part of our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, and helps us to do our part to reduce emissions,” concluded Rod Phillips, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ajax. “As the Member of Parliament for Ajax, it gives me great pleasure to see Durham Region leading the way, with support from our government.”
The share each municipality receives, under Ontario’s gas tax program, is based on a formula of 70 percent ridership and 30 percent population. These funds serve both the needs of large and small municipal transit systems.
Municipalities that contribute financially to public transit services are eligible for funding. Municipalities not currently providing transit can become eligible for funding, if they start up fully-accessible transit services.
KAWARTHA LAKES: Community involvement is a corporate priority at IG Wealth Management. As a caring community partner, the company’s goals include providing financial support to communities, where its people live and work, and encouraging and supporting its people in giving back to those communities.
Val Harris has been putting that commitment into action through the company’s Volunteer Support Program, for several years. Recently retired from IG Wealth Management, Val has also been a volunteer member of the Ross Memorial Hospital’s Board of Governors, since 2009. The Board of Governors is responsible for the overall governance of the Hospital, setting strategic priorities and ensuring they’re met, assessing quality of care, and ensuring financial resources are managed appropriately.
Val’s service to the Hospital, over the past year, was recognized by IG Wealth Management with a grant for the RMH Foundation, in the amount of $1,750. This brings the cumulative total of the Volunteer Service Program grants, based on Val’s volunteer hours, to $6,450.
“We’re so grateful to Val, for her efforts on behalf of the Hospital, and for applying for this special grant from IG Wealth Management over the years,” said Erin Coons, RMH Foundation Executive Director. “The Volunteer Support Program is truly a win-win initiative. It encourages meaningful community involvement by its team members, and further supports community organizations through donations. Philanthropic teams such as IG Wealth Management produce a happy ripple effect!”