CASSIDY MCMULLEN The Standard
DURHAM: The Gun Amnesty initiative kicked off this month for Durham Region.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), working with the Durham Regional Police (DRPS), have been collecting firearms and ammunition since April 1st, all across Ontario including Durham Region.
“It’s an opportunity for people to turn in unwanted guns… and have them disposed of safely,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said.
This is the first provincial wide initiative of its kind, shared Sgt. Schmidt.
While smaller programs have taken place regional in Ontario, there’s never been one on this scale, said Sgt. Schmidt.
So far, the Durham Regional police have called it a “great success”.
“Citizens of Durham have been very active with surrendering unwanted or illegally-owned firearms, weapons, accessories and ammunition,” said DRPS media officer Const. George Tudos.
The aim of the provincial wide project is to lower the amount of gun related crimes caused by stolen guns. By providing a safe way to surrender firearms, weapons, accessories or ammunition this improves public safety.
“We know guns are taken out of homes by… criminals and [are] used in criminal activities,” Sgt. Schmidt said.
Whether legally owned or not, the OPP and DRPS will take any guns you offer off your hands with no consequences.
The only catch is if the weapon has been used in a crime, the owner could be looking at criminal charges.
“Even one gun is one success,” Sgt. Schmidt said.
If you have firearms or ammunition you wish to dispose of, you can contact them at 905-579-1520 and make arrangements to have it picked up.
DRPS and OPP warn people not to bring weapons, ammunition or accessories to police facilities to be disposed. In order to take part in the program you must contact police first, then make arrangements to have them picked up.
The initiative runs until April 30th.
UXBRIDGE: Have you ever played a musical instrument and been wanting to play in a band, like you did in days gone by, or, is the clarinet from your high school days sitting in a closet collecting dust? The Uxbridge Community Concert Band could be the answer!
We are looking for anyone who has played a band instrument for more than two years, it doesn’t matter how rusty you may think you are. Some say it is like riding a bike; you never forget how!
We welcome all instruments, and are especially hoping for additional flutes, clarinets, trumpets and percussion.
Registration and rehearsals start on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018, in room 148, at Uxbridge Secondary School.
If you are interested in joining and would like more information, please send an email to email@example.com
See you on May 23rd, 2018!
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog council has decided to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham’s (BBBSND) application for an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grow Grant, for a project that will see an expansion of Port Perry’s Scout Hall.
At a meeting on Monday, April 9th, Margaret Ayres, BBBSND’s executive director, and Ellen Greenough from the 1st Port Perry Scouts appeared before council, to ask for the Township’s support to move forward with applying for the grant to help fund an up to 700 square-foot expansion of the Scout Hall.
“We do not have a private meeting area,” Ms. Ayres said, adding the expansion, which will be on the north side of the building, would see the shape of the building change from an ‘L’ shape to a ‘U’ shape.
She explained the expansion “won’t be an eyesore.”
“It will be kept in the same look as the Scout Hall now,” Ms. Ayres said.
Ms. Greenough told council the Scout Hall was built in the 1950s. The Township currently owns the building.
Ward 4 Councillor Wilma Wotten complimented the duo.
“You are a fine example of what it takes to get things done,” she said.
As well as deciding to provide a letter of support for the grant application, council also decided to waive the building permit, site plan, and other development fees applicable to this expansion project.
People may immediately think Canada's sports-based loyalty favors hockey. However, on the recreational side, golf is king in the country. Canada has the fourth most golf courses of any country in the world, says the National Golf Foundation. Plus, one out of every 10 Canadians play golf - a participation rate that is more than double that of the United States.
Storied golf history
Although golf can be traced back to the Netherlands during the Middle Ages, many people concur that the modern game of golf - played over 18 holes - is a Scottish invention.
The popularity of the sport began to spread throughout the world from Great Britain. The first permanent golf club in North America was founded in 1873 and was named Canada's Royal Montreal Club. The first 18-hole course in the United States was The Chicago Golf Club.
Understanding the terminology is key to becoming a full-fledged golf fanatic. While golf lingo is extensive, here is a sampling of some of the more popular terms to get novices started, courtesy of the PGA.
Approach: A shot hit towards the green.
Attack: The relative angle at which the clubhead approaches the ball at impact.
Backswing: The motion that involves the club and every element of the body in taking the club away from the ball.
Birdie: A score of one under par on a hole.
Bogey: A score of one over par on a hole.
Bunker: A hallow comprised of sand or grass that serves as an obstacle.
Carry: The distance a ball will fly in the air.
Chip: A short approach with a low trajectory.
Chunk: A poor shot caused by hitting the turf.
Divot: The turf displaced when the club strikes the ball.
Downswing: The swing forward from the top of the backswing.
Eagle: A score of two under par on a hole.
Golf range: A facility where people can practice golf swings.
Grip: The positioning of hands on the club.
Hole: A round receptacle on the green that the ball is aimed into.
Lie: As it relates to the golf ball, the position when it has come to rest.
Links: Specific term for a course built on linksland, which is land reclaimed from the ocean.
Mulligan: An extra shot taken on a poor first shot.
Par: The score an accomplished player is expected to make on a hole, either a three, four or five.
Putt: A shot on the green.
Stance: The position of the feet.
Golf terms are as varied as the game itself. Knowing commonly used words and phrases makes for a more intimate understanding of the sport.
CAM DAHL President of Cereals Canada
It has been said, by quite a few people that organizations are best defined by what they oppose, versus what they support. That seems like too cynical of a view of the world. I want to talk about what we stand for.
Canadian agriculture stands for science-based regulations and rules of trade. Why? Because, farmers across this country depend on access to international markets for their livelihood. A farmer in Mortlach Saskatchewan must have access to Japan, Indonesia, Algeria and about 100 other countries in order to ensure their farm is economically viable. If countries are free to set up trade barriers, in response to the latest internet trends, with no reference to evidence-based health or safety concerns, than our friends farming in Mortlach will soon find themselves without any markets to sell into.
What is this “science” that we stand for? This is the science behind Canada’s regulatory approval process for pesticides. Pesticides that are registered for use in Canada have been tested and found to be safe; safe for human health, safe for animal feed and safe for the environment. This applies even to pesticides like glyphosate that the “experts” on the internet might not like. This assessment of safety is built upon rigorous research, scientific peer review, and studies that have been replicated around the world.
Modern Canadian agriculture also stands for sustainability. What is “modern agriculture?” Modern agriculture makes use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Often large in scale, modern agriculture makes use of cutting-edge technology to deliver new plant varieties that give higher yields, are more resistant to disease, and have superior quality. Modern farmers use GPS, satellite imagery, and big data, to precisely place seeds and crop nutrients.
Many might think words like “modern”, “large scale”, “pesticides” and “chemical fertilizer” do not belong next to “sustainability”. But these words do belong together. Modern Canadian agriculture has a fantastic sustainability story to tell. And yes, I am going to use a bit of science to tell that story.
Between 1981 and 2011, the last year for which we have data, the amount of energy needed to produce a tonne of wheat in the prairies declined by 39%. Back in 1981, soil organic matter was being depleted. But because of modern agriculture, such as conservation tillage, organic matter in prairie soils is increasing every year. What does this mean? Well, it means soil is healthier today than it was in 1981. Soil is more productive, it is less susceptible to wind and soil erosion and farms across the country are sequestering carbon dioxide every year.
If you happen to live near Mortlach, Saskatchewan you will know that the summer of 2017 saw record low rainfall in the region. In many towns, there was less rain than the famous droughts of the 1930s. And yet farmers in Mortlach did not have a complete crop failure. Nor did Saskatchewan soil blow into Ontario all summer long, like it did in the “Dirty ‘30s.” I find it hard to think of more graphic demonstrations of the sustainability of modern agriculture.
Modern agriculture stands for science, we stand for innovation and we stand for sustainability. Some try to say this means we stand against other approaches, like organic or natural production. This is not true and is a false conflict that is harmful to farmers who utilize both production systems.
There is room for many different ways of producing food, provided these production systems are safe for the people who eat what is produced, safe for the livestock depending on the feed grown, and safe for the land and water. These are scientific questions that are a matter of evidence.
What we do not stand for is governments deviating from scientific evidence, because of pressure from activists who do not believe the scientific consensus on modern agricultural practices. Deviating from an evidence-based approach, such as banning or limiting pesticides, shown to be safe, or limiting the use of modern biotechnology, will limit the tools available to farmers. This will reduce the environmental gains we have seen in the last twenty years.
Deviating from science-based rules of trade will limit agriculture’s ability to: access markets around the world, deliver jobs to every region of the country and support our economic health.
So, I guess in the end, we are defined a bit by what we are against. However, this is not fellow producers who are trying to make a living, meeting varying demands coming from consumers. That we stand for.
UXBRIDGE: This 154th Uxbridge Fall Fair will happen September 7th – 9th, at Elgin Park. The theme is “Farm Gate To Dinner Plate” and plans are moving ahead.
World’s Finest Shows Inc will again provide the Midway, and some additional upgrades are under consideration.
Spartan Ready Mix has agreed to continue as sponsor of free parking. Many other sponsors, both new and returning, have stepped forward to assist the Fair. They are reminded that sponsorship fees are payable now, and prompt remittance will insure full recognition in the Fair Book and on signage.
Perennial favourites, such as Demo Derby, Tractor Pull, Heavy Horse Pull and Leaf Blower Soccer, will return. The success of last year’s inaugural “Great Uxbridge Carrot Cake Caper” has ensured its return for a second year.
Our recently elected President, Debbie Dickie will preside over this year’s event and its new elements. Sunday will be Seniors Day, with a $10.00 admission fee. Homecraft exhibits will be accepted, on both Wednesday and Thursday, until 7:00 p.m. daily.
In response to inquiries, be aware this year’s Fair Book is at the final editing stage and should be available soon. Also, dogs, even on leash are not permitted, except service dogs and participants in the Dog Show.
There is never a bad time to become a volunteer; and those feeling the urge are invited to contact Bev Harrison, at 905-852-5877 or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you can assist.
Please address any additional queries to email@example.com, or visit the web site at www.uxbridgefair.ca.
DURHAM: More than 1,200 Grade 3 students, from across Durham Region, attended Durham Farm Connections, an educational program that meets Ontario curriculum requirements and allows students to be a farmer for a day.
The three-day event, held April 3rd to 5th, at Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin, included live animal displays and hands-on demonstrations by local farmers. This included beef and dairy cattle, pigs, cider, crops, egg production, land stewardship and vegetable stations. A Durham Region farmer was at each station to speak with students and answer their questions.
“Durham Farm Connections has continued to provide opportunities for students and residents to learn about local agriculture in Durham Region, for the last 13 years,” said Kathy Weiss, Director of Economic Development and Tourism. “Each year the program does an amazing job at showcasing the value of agriculture in our community and the local economy.”
As part of the program, an Open House event was held on April 4th. This interactive opportunity allowed the general public to learn about agriculture in Durham Region, as well as get a first-hand look at local farming. With more than 725 individuals in attendance, the program was able to contribute 500 kilograms of food to the local food bank.
“Durham Region is home to 1,323 farms, and contributes $257.6 million in farm cash receipts to the economy in Durham Region; making it a key sector,” said Nancy Rutherford, Manager of Agricultural and Rural Affairs. “Through the numerous volunteers who dedicate their efforts each year, as well as the continued support of our local school boards, sponsors, and agricultural organizations, Durham Farm Connections remains an educational and engaging experience for all ages.”
The Durham Farm Connections program provides agricultural education opportunities for both farm and non-farm communities in Durham Region. It has been recognized with an Ontario Premier’s Award for Agri-food Innovation Excellence, as well as a Watershed Award from the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA). Durham Farm Connections is also the 2018 recipient of the Farm & Food Care Champion Award.
Durham Farm Connections also organizes an annual High School Program that aligns with the Grade 9, 11 and 12 science curriculums, and focuses on agricultural research and technology.
For more information, visit durhamfarmconnections.ca.
BROCK: Durham police are investigating a homicide, after one male was found dead at a residence in Cannington, on Friday, April 20th.
According to police, at about 1 a.m., members of North Division were called to a residence, on Hillside Crescent in Cannington, for shots fired. Police located a male, who resides at this residence, with gunshot wounds. Another male resident was taken into custody. Police, however, stress this is an isolated incident and there are no outstanding suspects.
Police identified the victim as 38 year-old Brian Shane Windsor, of Cannington.
According to police, this is Durham Region’s sixth homicide victim of 2018.
Anyone with new information about this homicide is asked to contact Det. Dennis of the Major Crime Homicide Unit, at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5402, or D/Cst. Pillman, at ext. 2726. As well, anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-8477, or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca.
UXBRIDGE: Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor was recently appointed to fill the role of the Region of Durham's regional chair, left vacant by the later Roger Anderson. This turn of events has led to a domino effect of restructuring for the Township of Uxbridge.
According to a report from town clerk, Debbie Leroux, “The Municipal Act stipulates that except where otherwise provided, no person may hold more than one office governed by the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 at the same time anywhere in Ontario.” As a result, Mrs. O'Connor resigned as mayor of Uxbridge on Monday, April 16, to take on the role of Regional Chair.
In a council meeting on Monday April 23rd, council passed a motion to select an interim mayor, to preside in Uxbridge until the municipal election in October.
Ward 2 Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Pat Molloy has performed some of the duties in council, previously performed by Mrs. O'Connor. However, Deputy Mayor Molloy expressed that there is a reason to have the roles of mayor and deputy mayor held by separate individuals, and sought council's input on how quickly they should proceed in filling the vacancy.
Ward 4 Councillor Fred Bryan felt it was prudent council fill the role “sooner rather than later”.
However, Ms. Leroux, responding to a question from Deputy Mayor Molloy, said, “There's nothing that prohibits the business from going on [at the township].”
Questioning the desire from some councillors to “rush” into a decision, Ward 3 Councillor Dave Barton asked, “I don't know what the rush is? We have 60 days.”
Gord Highet, councillor of Ward 5, also cautioned against a quick decision, stating the public could perceive council to be rushing the process, even if they're not rushing.
Ms. Leroux pointed out choosing an interim mayor from within council, would mean a councillor would have to resign from their ward or regional position, to assume the role of mayor.
“From staff's perspective, we're tight already, because you're deciding from [among] yourselves, it makes another vacancy for staff to deal with.”
With an election on the horizon, Ms. Leroux indicated that delaying the decision on an interim mayor would cause complications for township staff. According to Councillor Bryan, this meant “time is not at an optimum.”
Responding to Councillor Highet's cautions not to make a hasty decision, Councillor Bryan said, “I think right now with this issue, I don't think we can drag it out.”
Councillor Highet and Councillor Bryan ultimately agreed they are responsible to the citizens of Uxbridge on handling this situation appropriately.
Council passed a motion to hold a recorded vote, to decide who will be the interim mayor, at the regular meeting on May 14th. Council also voted to change the time of the meeting to 7 p.m., due to the scheduling of a local event earlier that day.
CASSIDY MCMULLEN The Standard
KAWARHTA LAKES: A petition has collected 526 signatures in Kawartha Lakes for one purpose; to deal with the cat problem.
Keith Stata, the owner of Highlands Cinemas, started the petition, trying to make a deal between the city and local vets to provide low-cost neutering/spaying services to pet owners, and free services for feral cats in attempt to tackle the increasing cat population.
“This is the absolutely worst I have ever seen it,” Mr. Stata said.
Mr. Stata has 36 cats he has acquired, while trying to fix the problem himself, by feeding, catching, re-homing and providing medical services for stray and feral cats in the area.
“It’s just a bloody flood,” Mr. Stata explained. “One lady was driving down the road and there were kittens everywhere.”
The petition was received by Kawartha Lakes city council April 10th. The only comment made on it was by Councillor Isaac Breadner.
Councillor Breadner said neutering and spaying services are already provided by clinics in Barrie and Stouffville, and the Humane Society of Kawathra Lakes provides information regarding the services.
“It’s really about volunteerism,” Councillor Breadner shared. “We need more volunteers at the Humane Society.”
The Humane Society captures stray and feral cats, and neuters/spays and vaccinates them but not at a rate that can keep up with the growing population.
“We’re kind of chipping away at the problem,” commented senior animal care taker Josh Vettor. “We just don’t have the resources.”
The Humane Society believes there are thousands of cats in Kawartha Lakes.
“If you can see a hundred of them, there’s another hundred you haven’t seen,” Mr. Stata pointed out.
What has been proven effective in controlling cat populations like this is trap and release (TNR) programs that will get cats spay/neutered, vaccinated, and back on the streets.
Mr. Vettor said the Humane Society would love to start a major TNR program, they even have staff trained to do it.
“We are ready to go,” Mr. Vettor said. “We just don’t have the space, …equipment or volunteers.”
With only a couple of traps and their limited space and manpower, Mr. Vettor said they are stuck.
There is hope the Humane Society might be getting some funding from the city council to deal with the problem.
Mr. Vettor shared, the Humane Society does have something in the works with Councillor Breadner right now.
“We need it to go,” Mr. Vettor offered. “We can’t do it on our own.”
Mr. Stata remains skeptical.
“Too many highly paid bureaucrats,” Mr. Stata said pessimisticly. “You’re never going to get them to do what they should do.”
If you have a problem with stray or feral cats in your area, or would like to donate to the Humane Society of Kawartha Lakes, you can call 705-878-4618.