KAWARTHA LAKES: It’s approaching summer time, and Mayor Andy Letham is hosting another round of his summer Town Hall meetings across the City. Everyone is invited to attend and hear about the recent developments, our financial outlook and other topics of interest within our municipality. There will be time for questions and discussion throughout the program.
The theme of the meetings this year is Finding the Balance. “We need to find a balance between our vision for Kawartha Lakes and what we are willing to pay for it,” commented Mayor Letham. “I hope to have some frank conversations about finding the right balance between our needs and wants, as residents, cottagers and business owners in Kawartha Lakes.”
The Town Hall meetings will be hosted in the following communities this year.
June 8th: Downeyville Hall, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.. 340 St. Lukes Road,
June 10th: Bolsover Community Centre, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.. 12
Bolsover Road (Hwy 48), Bolsover
June 14th: Pontypool Community Centre, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m..
254 John Street, Pontypool
June 21st: Valentia Church, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.. 106 Elm Tree Road,
June 24th: Dalton Community Centre, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m..
13 Rumohr Drive, Sebright
June 26th: Cameron Road Training Centre, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.,
710 Cameron Road, Cameron.
July 5th: Norland Recreation Centre, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.,
7675 Hwy 35, Norland
July 8th: Burnt River Community Centre 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.,
16 Somerville Centre Road, Burnt River
SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
As the cost to produce hydro reaches record lows, Ontarians are paying more than they ever have on their hydro bills. The Liberal government has been under fire lately due to rising hydro bills, especially in rural communities. The causes range from an oversupply of power, global adjustment fees, and over paying for green energy
Ontario currently has to produce a certain amount of power each day to meet the demand of consumers. To avoid power outages, more electricity is created than the amount needed and the excess energy is sold to Canada’s neighbouring states south of the border, at rates lower than the cost of production.
“There is a fine balance between making sure we have enough power and not too much,” says press secretary to the minister of energy, Colin Nekolaichuk.
According to Mr. Nekolaichuk, Ontario has contracts with the United States and has sold around 200 to 300-million dollars worth of extra energy to them in 2015.
The money lost through the existing contracts with the U.S is paid for by ratepayers in the “global adjustment” line of their bill.
Daniel Hoornweg, the associate professor and research chair in Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science at UOIT, said the “global adjustment” fee is where electricity consumers pay for the costs to run and keep the system going.
“It’s an attempt to capture the long-term costs of maintaining and fixing the energy supply’s infrastructure. As well as the cost of building a new plant.” Said Hoornweg.
Although, in 2013 the provincial government took a small step in the right direction when they renegotiated their green energy contract with Samsung and managed to save Ontario $3.7-billion.
Even after the renegotiations Lysk found in 2014, Ontario still pays twice the market price for solar energy and three and a half times the price for wind energy.
Bonnie Lysk, the auditor general, concluded, in the 2015 Annual Report, ratepayers paid an extra $37billion more than was needed from 2006 to 2014 through the “global adjustment” part of their bill.
She also found, electricity consumers will pay an additional $133-billion by 2032, due to the global adjustment line on the hydro bill.
Ms. Lysk has criticized the government in the past for signing overly generous contracts, especially when the big push for green energy came in 2009.
The Provincial government has not since renegotiated any of their generous contracts with green energy companies, but Mr. Nekolaichuk said, the costs will drop over time.
“As the technology matures, the price of wind and solar will continue to go down.”
Prices will continue to climb until the summertime, when Ontarians will see a 17 per cent drop in their hydro bill on top of the 8 per cent rebate which went into effect in January. There has also been a 50 per cent increase in rebate programs for low income households, recently announced by the provincial government. The rebates should save low income households about 35 to 60 dollars a month, costing taxpayers $2.5 billion over the next three years.
Rebate programs are good for helping families in the short-term, but to fix Ontario’s skyrocketing electricity bills long-term, the Liberal provincial government needs to address the root of the problem. They should renegotiate contracts, freeze the privatization of Hydro One, and adjust the costs absorbed by ratepayers through the global adjustment fee.
Until the government begins to work on these issues, sincerely, skyrocketing electricity bills for Ontarians should come as no shock.
Uxbridge Secondary School Vimy 100 students hosted a Vimy Celebration Evening, on Thursday, May 18th, 2017. The students wanted to take the opportunity to thank families, friends, and the community which supported them throughout the whole process of their Vimy 100 tour, as well as to pay tribute to the veterans they represented on the tour. They also wanted to share stories, photos, and videos from the trip itself, and reflect on how the tour changed each of them individually.
"This trip was so much more than just a European vacation or sightseeing tour, it was about building on our knowledge of the past, and moving forward with a new-found appreciation for history and its events, through hearing stories of service from our veterans, and experiencing history firsthand by retracing their paths. It goes without saying that this trip was truly unforgettable and it will certainly stay with us for the rest of our lives," said grade 11 student, Emma Runnalls, as she addressed the 180 people in attendance.
The events of the evening included: a summary video, prepared by Emma and grade 12 student Jazmin Eickmeier; student reflections, by Kylie Whalen and McKenna Jackson; special music, by Bella Nove, under the direction of Jennifer Neveu; special presentations to veterans; dedications of their Vimy boots, a steel poppy, and their Vimy Oak tree; and a time for the students to share their veteran research projects with the guests.
Our community should be very proud of our USS Vimy 100 students, and all that they have done over the last year and a half in related events to Vimy 100. They have truly taken a hold of the torch of remembrance. Lest We Forget.
DURHAM: Everyone involved in agriculture knows someone whose life has been affected by a farm-related injury or death. In many cases, injuries and deaths can be prevented by following simple safety precautions. The goal of a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is to help children who live on, or visit farms, to develop an awareness of farm hazards, and to develop, within each participant, a life-long positive attitude towards farm safety. Our take home message for the children is to Stop-Think-Act.
A Progressive Agriculture Safety Day will be held, on Saturday, May 27th, 2017, at the Fairgrounds in Port Perry, from 9:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. This morning of interactive learning is open to children aged 5-15 years. There will be speakers and demonstrations on Tractor Safety, Underground Utilities, Sun Safety, Fall Prevention, Farm Hygiene, Chemical Safety, and ATV and Animal Safety. Those in attendance will also hear about two local farmers’ tractor accidents, and the lessons which have been learned. Participants are asked to pre-register in advance (spaces are limited to 110 participants), by contacting email@example.com or calling 416-571-2572.
Each participant will receive a T-shirt, snacks & lunch, as well as a take home bag with resources & information. Registration fee is $5 or $15/family. A free WHMIS (2015 GHS) session is also available for Adults. Please note pre-registration is required for the WHMIS session. Children can draw a picture or snap a photo of a safety minded person, situation or message, and bring it along for a chance to win a prize.
Durham Farm & Rural Family Resources is pleased to be part of this safety training opportunity for children, who live and work on farms and in rural areas, or who frequently visit farms. DFRFR would like to recognize and extend thanks to our many local sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible.
The Progressive Agriculture Foundation is a not for profit organization, founded in the US in 1995. The Foundation plays an active role in training and providing resources for volunteers, in communities throughout the US & Canada, to host their own Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. This year alone, there will be over 400 Safety Days, offered throughout the US and Canada. Farms of all sizes and types can be a wonderful place for children to grow and play, however, it is critical children are aware of the potential risks and how to manage them.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog residents were presented with four preliminary ward boundary designs, at the Township’s ward boundary review open house, at the Scugog Memorial Public Library, on Tuesday, May 16th.
According to Watson and Associates and Dr. Robert Williams, drawing from 2016 numbers, Ward 1 has a population of 4,940, Ward 2 has a population of 5,475, Ward 3 has 3,015, Ward 4 has a population of 5,850 and Ward 5 has 4,620.
“The current Ward 3 is far smaller in population than the other four wards,” Dr. Robert Williams told those in attendance.
Preliminary option A, involves extending ward 3 to the area to the south, having it take some of the area which currently resides in ward 4. There were also slight tweaks made to other wards in the township.
Dr. Williams said the changes keep “the major central business district, from Perry St. down to the lake, in a single ward.”
In option A, Ward 1 would have a population of 4,760, Ward 2 would have a population of 4,930, Ward 3 would have 3,380 residents, Ward 4 would decrease to 5,665 and Ward 5 would see their population increase to 5,165.
Option B would see Ward 3 take some of the area to the east of it in Ward 4, stopping short of Caesarea. In this option, Ward 1 would have the same population as in option A, Ward 2 would see its population decrease to 4,470, Ward 3 would see its population increase to 3,485, Ward 4 would decrease to 5,560 residents and Ward 5 would have a population of 5,625. Dr. Williams explained boundary option C.
“In option C, we are back to a linear ward 3, expanded ward 2 out to the east a little bit, trimmed [ward 1], trimmed [ward 4] and [we]tried again to look for a balance,” he said. “Its got a pretty good population balance with that slight tweak.”
Option C would see Ward 1 decrease to 4,825 residents, Ward 2 would have 4,470 residents, Ward 3 and Ward 4 would have the same population as in option A, and Ward 5 would have a population of 5,560.
Option D would see Ward 4 and Ward 2 take some of the territory that currently lies in Ward 1 and Ward 3 taking a corner of Port Perry area. This would lead to Ward 1 having a population of 4,210, Ward 2 would have a population of 4,140, Ward 3 would have 3,895 residents, Ward 4 would have 6,030 residents and Ward 5 would have a population of 5,625.
Dr. Williams explained to The Standard why none of the options involved changing the number of wards in the township.
“I raised [the topic of changing the number of wards] in some of the discussions with elected officials and I didn’t get a great sense that there was an appetite to increase the size of council. There are a number of factors to take into account, if that were to happen, in terms of the cost, not a big cost but there is still a cost, where that extra seat would go and just the general dynamics of making the council operate with a larger number,” he said. “It was not an issue that people felt strongly about, that we decided we should try to add that. If however there is a sentiment out there in the community, of course we will invite people, through their responses, to say ‘where’s the other seat?, we need another seat’ and we would welcome that perspective.”
For more information on the ward boundary review, and to leave a comment on the review, visit www.scugog.ca/en/township-office/ward-boundary-review.aspx.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor, Andy Letham, gave local residents and business community members an update on the City’s accomplishments, as well as a glimpse of the future, at the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce’s Mayoral Luncheon, on Wednesday, May 17th.
The event was held at the Lindsay Golf and Country Club. Mayor Letham opened his speech by stating, for years the municipality has been focused on a goal of keeping property taxes low.
“We’ve borrowed money, and we’ve used up our reserves to make up that difference. We’ve burned through, in the last 10 years, $36 million of our reserves, to keep those property taxes at, what we feel is, a reasonable level as politicians,” he said.
He added, the most common question, for councillors come budget time, is how high of a tax increase residents should be burdened with.
“What I think we should really be doing is asking the bigger question. What kind of city do we want to have? What kind of city do we want to create? What are our goals or our vision for the City of Kawartha Lakes? How much is that vision going to cost?” Mayor Letham said.
The Mayor said, Council is expected to hear more about the city’s asset management plan in the coming weeks.
“We will soon be in a much better position to make some long term decisions,” he said.
In addition, Mayor Letham discussed the city’s core service review. He said the review has shown the city “didn’t need as many libraries, service centres or fire stations.”
“The numbers told us that they were being underutilized or were over supplied, and the public has, for the most part, agreed with us,” he said. “We’ve also been able to use our core service [review] to change the way we do business, to affect a better outcome. In 2017, because of internal changes that we made at the city, we were successful in winning $2 million in additional grants, to cover some of the work for our water and waste-water systems.”
The Mayor also discussed council’s decision to discontinue trailer park operations, at Bobcaygeon’s Beach Park.
“We are working with the community later this year to determine the best way to utilize this prime waterfront area, to create a really nice park,” he said.
Mayor Letham then discussed the state of the city’s road infrastructure.
“We need to take better care of our roads,” he said, adding the city needs a better plan to keep up with the climate changes which are shortening the life cycle of their roads.
Mayor Letham concluded by mentioning the importance of each decision council makes from now on.
“We are making decisions now that will affect us today, that will affect our children tomorrow, future citizens five years from now and our grandchildren 10 years from now,” he said.
SCUGOG: Council has learned the services the Township provides to the Scugog Island first nation reserve and the Great Blue Heron Casino costs about $1.2 million annually.
At a meeting on Monday, May 15th, Gary Scandlan, from Watson and Associates Economists Ltd., presented the findings of a fiscal impact assessment regarding the present cost of providing municipal services to the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) reserve and the Great Blue Heron Casino.
According to Scugog CAO Paul Allore, in 2000 the Mississaugas of Scugog Island entered into an agreement with the township to share a portion of the casino’s revenue with the Township, 30 per cent of their 5 per cent host community share. The agreement lasted until September of 2016, when OLG took over management of the casino.
However, in July of 2016 OLG committed to continue to pay the Township at the 2015 rate for a 12-month period.
Under the temporary agreement, the payments were going to cease on Sept. 7th, unless a municipal service agreement was reached. However, earlier this month OLG extended the deadline to Dec. 31st.
“It’s vitally important for the Township to continue to receive contributions from the Great Blue Heron Casino,” Mr. Allore said.
The Township retained Watson and Associates in the fall of 2016 to conduct a fiscal impact assessment.
“What we were tasked with was to identify the costs associated with the township services provided not only to the OLG, but also to the reserve lands, because obviously they receive access to recreational services, they receive fire assistance, they receive road clearings etc.,” Mr. Scandlan said.
Mr. Scandlan’s report estimates the current annual service cost to the First Nation is $290,000 and the annual service cost for the casino is $894,000.
“I think there was talk from the OLG about a fee for service [arrangement.] I think it would be very difficult to have a fee for service [arrangement],” Mr. Scandlan said.
Council later voted to receive Mr. Scandlan’s report, to have the Mayor and CAO continue discussions with the OLG and the Mississaugas in order to establish a service agreement, and to request Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister Charles Sousa to review and reinstate the revenue sharing agreement which existed from 2000 until 2016.
KAWARTHA LAKES: During a special Council meeting Tuesday, May 23, Council recognized 10 individuals and businesses who have made outstanding contributions to improving accessibility in Kawartha Lakes.
In the past 10 years, the Accessibility Advisory Committee, through Council, has recognized 57 residents, business owners and community groups for their efforts to make Kawartha Lakes more accessible. Our Accessibility Awareness Award winners have gone above and beyond the expectation in removing barriers and have increased awareness of accessibility issues within the City.
To qualify for the award, nominees must live or work in Kawartha Lakes. Furthermore, they must be involved with accessibility issues, promote “Accessibility for All” in the community, and have demonstrated outstanding contribution within the past year.
“It’s wonderful to once again celebrate the outstanding contributions of these award recipients,” says Barb Condie, Accessibility Coordinator for the City of Kawartha Lakes. “In the 10 years that have passed since the Accessibility Advisory Committee started recognizing Kawartha Lakes residents, our community has become increasingly passionate about improving accessibility and increasing awareness.”
The awards presented Tuesday not only recognize the significant contributions from specific individuals and businesses, they encourage continue improvement in the future.
“I’d like to congratulate and thank each Accessibility Awareness Award recipient for their dedication to a more inclusive community,” says Mayor Andy Letham. “Your contributions continue to make Kawartha Lakes a better place to live, work and play and for that, on behalf of Council, I thank you.”
This year’s recipients are as follows:
and Cremation Centre
•United Way, CKL
•Five Counties Children’s Centre:
• JW Weitz •Courtney Peeters
Outstanding Contribution—City Employee: • Ryan Smith
• Globus Theatre
• St James Anglican Church, Fenelon Falls
• Jim O’Reilly and Dorothy Carroll are the owners of the historic Post building
SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHAS: With the weather warming up, it is important for residents living in the townships of Scugog, Uxbridge, and Kawartha Lakes to be aware of the by-laws around open fires.
In Scugog and Uxbridge, a recreational burn permit is required for anyone wishing to have fires in their backyard or an open space. For people living in the Kawartha Lakes a burn permit is only required if the fire exceeds two feet in diameter.
According to Uxbridge fire chief, Phil Alexander, obtaining permits and following the by-laws lessens the strain on the fire department.
“It is important that you follow the terms of the by-law.” He said, “It prevents unnecessary nuisance calls when people are burning illegally.”
The Uxbridge fire department receives complaints two to three times a week for illegal open air fires, according to the chief.
Burning without a permit or causing an adverse effect to the community can result in a fine, for the townships services used in extinguishing the fire.
“Under the by-law we are eligible to recover our cost of the response, so we bill for each truck that was needed to respond, as well as each volunteer firefighter,” said Jacqueline Bjorklund, administrative assistant for Scugog’s fire services.
The costs are hourly and are based on how many firefighters and fire trucks are called to the scene. The hourly cost of each firefighter is $34 an hour, and each truck is $450 an hour.
Recreational burn permits can be purchased in Scugog for $30, and remain valid until December 31st of each year, covering fires up to 0.5 cubic meters.
In Uxbridge recreational burn permits can be, obtained for free, renewed annually, and are for fires up to 75 centimetres in diameter.
In Kawartha Lakes a single-use regular burn permit can be purchased for $10 and an annual burn permit can be purchased for $50. These permits cover fires up to a cubic metre in size.
General provisions for open air or recreational fires include: not leaving a fire unattended, until it is fully extinguished; and having sufficient equipment readily available to extinguish the fire.
Fires should be a minimum of 15 meters away from any structures, overhead wires, and roadways.
Under weather conditions which are extremely dry, or limit the rapid dissipation of smoke, fires should not be started.
A city-wide burn ban is issued by the townships fire department, if there is poor air quality or weather conditions which can result in the rapid spread of a fire.
“A fire is more likely to get out of control during a burn ban period,” Jacqueline said.
During a burn ban the fire department will not activate burn permits or allow for any day time burning. Exception for small recreational fires during the evening hours, for individuals with a recreational burn permits, are sometimes made.
Mrs. Bjorklund said, when people follow the guidelines and burning by-laws it makes for a safer community.
“I think its really important people follow the guidelines on the burn permit. So that they burn responsibly.” She said, “And get there burn permit so that we know that their burning in a safe location.”
SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
North Durham has an incredibly rich farming community, in the summer months there are plentiful amounts of locally grown fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat in the area.
With locally grown food in high supply, it is important for people living near these farming communities to support local farmers.
Produce purchased from local sources tastes better. Crops are picked and consumed at their peak, and products like cheese are usually hand-crafted for best flavour. Livestock products are typically processed at nearby facilities which have a direct relationship with the farmer. This results in higher quality meat because it isn’t being processed for transportation in a large industrial facility.
Locally grown food is also the healthier choice. When it takes a shorter time for the produce to get to your table, food is fresher and less nutrients are lost. Imported food is older and has to travel through train, truck, or plane, and then sit in a warehouse before it reaches the consumer. This results in a shorter shelf life compared to freshly grown fruits and vegetables.
But buying food locally doesn’t only mean fresher tasting food that is better for you, it also supports local families. The wholesale prices farmers get for their products are low. They are usually close to the cost of production. Local farmers who sell directly to consumers cut out the middleman and get paid full retail price for their food. This helps farming families keep their land and continue to farm.
Buying locally also benefits the environment. Better financial support enables farmers to better manage their farms and equipment, saving time and resources, increasing crop quality. Well managed farms protect water sources, remove carbon from the atmosphere, conserve fertile soil, and provide a habitat for the wildlife in the community.
According to statistics Canada, nearly one third of agricultural land in Canada is considered a wildlife habitat.
Through supporting local farmers, you support the environment and get better tasting, healthier food. You are also helping to ensure there will be farms in your community for the years to come.