A great and successful evening was had by over 75 members and guests at the Dessert Fundraising meeting in October. Our Guest Speaker was very informative and quite witty with his presentation.
On Oct. 8, Pine Ridge Garden Club was very pleased to present a bursary of $500 to Roscoe Fisher who is graduating from Port Perry High to attend Sir Sanford Fleming College to study Fish and Wildlife. We were told that Roscoe was an “awesome kid” and we wish him the best of everything in his endeavors.
On Thursday, Oct. 29, some members will be meeting at the Port Perry Nursing Home for the Club's annual Halloween Party. This is a very ‘spooktacular’ evening with members dressing up. We provide snacks and entertainment and it is very gratifying to see how much the residents enjoy themselves.
Our next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3 will feature Shirley Binns a renown international floral designer who will instruct the members on “Seasonal Décor”. The monthly competition is “Greetings” a greeting card featuring pressed flowers and leaves. Come out to see how members create these as it may give you ideas to making your own greeting cards.
The November meeting is also the evening for members to renew their membership. This would be a good evening for new members to sign up. Joining now you get two months free as your membership will start March 2016. Membership cost is $15 single and $20 family. Please join us at 7:30 p.m. at the Nestleton Community Centre, all will be most welcome. For more info, please contact S. Love 905-986-5330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: With elementary teacher’s escalating their work to rule, Premier Kathleen Wynne made a bold move on Friday, Oct. 23, threatening to dock teacher’s pay.
Premier Wynne has given the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) until Sunday, Nov. 1 to end their work to rule action before the government will start docking paycheques.
School boards across the province recently asked the Premier if they could start docking pay for the withdrawal of services.
ETFO President Sam Hammond said this action wouldn’t have been necessary if the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association had returned to the table sooner.
“Up until now, the government has done little to move negotiations forward. The Premier has just committed to eight full days of bargaining,” he said in a press release. “(OPSBA) and the government need to send people to the table with a mandate to resolve the outstanding issues that are preventing us from reaching an agreement.”
However, Mr. Hammond has also said that the work to rule actions won’t stop until a deal is in place. The ETFO has said that their teachers will pull out of all voluntary extracurricular activities starting on Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Provincial negotiations resumed on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 23.
Talks in the negotiation, which have been ongoing for more than a year, previously took place on Monday, Oct. 5, and broke off on Saturday, Oct. 10.
At that time, Mr. Hammond said in another press release that ETFO was waiting for OPSBA and the province to “develop a revised proposal” that addresses the union’s concerns, but “that didn’t happen.”
OPSBA president Michael Barrett told The Standard that the Province, OPSBA and ETFO have come to an agreement on a majority of the issues and that two issues remain on the table. Those issues are sick leave pay and benefits.
ETFO filed an unfair labour practice complaint to the Ontario Labour Relations Board on Tuesday, Sept. 29. The complaint stated that the OPSBA and the province had refused to bargain in good faith.
The over 78,000 teachers ETFO represents have been without a collective bargaining agreement since August of 2014.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Port Perry BIA’s parklette pilot project received tremendous support from councillors when the idea was presented on Monday, Oct. 19.
The proposal would see at least six parking spaces on Queen St., between Perry St. and Water St., temporarily replaced by wooden boardwalk style “bump outs” that would allow restaurants to expand their business onto the sidewalk. The project would run from the Victoria Day long weekend until Labour Day.
At a deputation to council at their regular meeting, Terri Venner of the BIA stressed that this project would not interfere with Durham Region Transit or with emergency vehicles. As well, disabled parking spots will not be used for the project. Ms. Venner also added that the project is meant to keep people in the town longer.
“This idea is all about engagement, about arranging and keeping an interest in our town,” she said.
Ms. Venner also said another one of the advantages of the parklettes will be that it will mean less road surface for the township to clean, and that will mean a drop in maintenance costs.
She later told council that the businesses that have expressed interest in the project include Captain George’s, Millar’s Market, the Piano Café, Marwan’s Global Bistro and Luke’s Country Store. She also stressed that this project is not meant to be an extension of retail space, but instead will offer more places for people to sit and relax in Port Perry’s historic downtown.
The BIA is hoping that council will waive the fees for the temporary use of the parking spaces.
Ward 1 councillor Betty Somerville questioned if there was enough parking spots in Port Perry for this project not to interfere with everyday parking needs, particularly for seniors.
“You are asking a lot of older people to walk quite a ways,” she said.
Ms. Venner responded by assuring council that there is an adequate amount of parking in the town.
“We have a lot of parking,” she said. “I know there is complaints, but it tends to be people that want to run into places like the bank, and on Saturdays there is not much we can do. There is enough parking in Port Perry.”
Ms. Venner also added that most of the parking on Queen St. is used by business owners, employees and tenants, and said that the township should do “a crackdown” on those prolonged occupiers.
Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew liked the parklette project, saying that it is a “fantastic idea.” Council later decided to also have township staff assist with the BIA’s parklette committee.
Parklettes are not a new idea, they have been featured before in places such as Oshawa and Barrie.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The crowded field of candidates in the upcoming Ward 3 byelection had the opportunity to address local voters last week, as part of a special election forum.
Sponsored by the Uxbridge Cosmos, the forum drew a large crowd to the Sandford Community Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 21 to hear from the eight candidates vying to fill the seat on the council bench, most recently held by the late Pat Mikuse.
An unprecedented field of: Mike Whitson, Lynn Klages, Ted Eng, Dave Granic, Bev Northeast, Bob Harrison, John Haddock and Mike Barton all are competing in the vote-by-mail election, which will be decided on Nov. 23.
Four ‘T’s’, taxes, tourism, technology and transportation dominated the discussion throughout the evening as the candidates detailed their individual election platforms and priorities.
Following their opening statements, the candidates engaged in a lively debate before answering questions from the media, as well as local residents. Throughout the evening, there was great candor and camaraderie amongst those vying for the seat.
Mr. Eng, a local organic farmer and former Ward 2 Councillor noted that he grew up as the ninth of 18 children, and pledged to offer more local solutions to affordable housing, such as allowing for multiple kitchens in a residence, as well as partnering with the private sector to bring more diverse economic investment to the community.
Mr. Whiston operates Lavender Cottage Bed & Breakfast with his wife Jo, and noted that his experience as a small business owner as well as an extensive career with large corporations prior to retirement gave him the necessary background for the job. Mr. Whiston also noted that as a member of the tourism and the economic development committee, he would be able to implement strategic plans to increase both areas in the municipality.
For political newcomer John Haddock, a revitalized downtown with “vibrant, busy shops instead of vacant storefronts and abandoned construction sites” is a pressing need for the municipality.
Serving as Ward 1 Councillor for 23 years give Bev Northeast the most experience in municipal government amongst those in the running. Ms. Northeast sought to appeal to the rural riding by pitching a program to facilitate more local food purchasing. She also expressed a desire to pursue a grant for the township to work with a nutritionist to improve the health of the township through new programs.
Lynn Klages, another newcomer to municipal politics noted that there are frequently different concerns for rural residents as opposed to their urban counterparts. She noted a pressing need for increased police presence in rural Uxbridge, as well as new services in hamlets such as high-speed internet and natural gas.
Rising water levels on Wagner’s Lake were a major concern for Mike Barton, and he vowed to work with local Conservation Authorities to ensure that homes in the area are protected. As well, he shared concerns over speeding on the Ward’s roadways, particularly Davis Dr.
Grand visions for the Uxbridge’s future were the basis for Dave Granic’s pitch. The owner of the local Boston Pizza noted that he would attempt to follow the lead of Scugog Township and create a municipally-owned high speed internet company to provide that service for rural residents.
As the population ages, the needs of the community are changing, as Bob Harrison noted. He would push for more investment in more local long-term care facilities to meet the needs of older residents, while providing new jobs for a new generation of Uxbridge workers.
Ward 3 residents have until Nov. 9 to mail their ballots back into Town Hall, or they can be dropped off in person until Monday, Nov. 23. If you have not received your ballot, please call 905-985-9181.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
SCUGOG: After being reelected as Durham MP last week, Erin O’Toole has turned his attention to the role of interim leader of the Conservative Party.
Earlier this week, the 42-year-old O’Toole announced his candidacy for the position. A relative newcomer to the national polictical landscape, O’Toole was first elected in a byelection in 2012 following the resignation of Bev Oda. He has quickly risen through the ranks in Ottawa, and the former air force captain and lawyer was tabbed as Veterans Affairs Minister earlier this year. If selected as the interim leader of the party, one of his first priorities would establishing new goals for the party, which will sit for the next four years as the Official Opposition.
“I really think we have to show that we’re serious about rebuilding right from Day 1 and I think the interim can be part of that,” O’Toole told the Canadian Press earlier this week, adding that he believes that he can hold his own speaking French in the House of Commons.
“We need to show that we’re bringing a new approach. I think we can get that out of the gate and start rebuilding and then whoever wins the leadership can take over a unified, strong party that’s ready to be serious in four years.”
Mr. O’Toole has carried on the legacy of his father, longtime local MPP John O’Toole, by being active and engaged with the public, and pens a bi-weekly column in The Standard to keep local residents informed. As well, prior to changes in the boundaries for Durham Riding, Mr. O’Toole kept office hours in Uxbridge to stay engaged with all corners of his riding. He noted to the Canadian Press that the Conservatives should look at a different approach with communications going forward.
“We shouldn’t fear debate,” O’Toole said. “Our party has always been a party of ideas and principles. I think we should be really proud to talk about those more and not as worried about missteps.”
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: As the red wave of change swept the across the country last night leading the Liberals to a majority government, local voters opted to reelect incumbent Conservative MP Erin O’Toole.
After a marathon campaign stretched over 78 days, on Monday, Oct. 19, voters chose to send Mr. O’Toole back to Ottawa, where he most recently served as Minister of Veterans Affairs under Stephen Harper. With the Conservatives now forming the official opposition, Mr. O’Toole told The Standard that he is looking forward to his new role in the House of Commons.
“The opposition is there to hold the government accountable,” commented Mr. O’Toole. “I will be there as an MP to make sure change doesn’t mean setting Canada back and ensure that we can keep Canada moving forward. Canadians have spoken. They wanted change, and I only hope some of the enormous economic progress we’ve made is not part of that change.”
More than 68 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in Durham, with Mr. O’Toole winning with slightly more than 45 per cent of the vote, ahead of Liberal challenger Corinna Traill with 35.7 per cent. Rounding
out the field in Durham was NDP hopeful Derek Spence (16 per cent), Green Party candidate Stacey
Leadbetter (2.6 per cent) and Andrew Moriarty of the Christian Heritage Party (0.6 per cent).
Speaking before a boisterous crowd of supporters at the Clarington Older Adults Association in Bowmanville, Mr. O’Toole credited his win to the work of his dedicated team of volunteers, and vowed to continue working to provide the best representation of local residents in Ottawa.
“It was your hard work over 78 days and your faith in me that allows us to celebrate here tonight, when many of my colleagues are not,” added Mr. O’Toole. “I’ll continue to take an active role in the community, just as I did before I was in office. It’s important to have roots and an amazing team, which was evident tonight.”
Elsewhere in North Durham, Uxbridge residents will now be represented by a Liberal MP, with former Pickering Regional Councillor Jennifer O’Connell claiming victory in the newly formed riding of Pickering-Uxbridge.
With more than 67 per cent of voters in the riding casting a ballot, Ms. O’Connell earned just over 50 per cent of the vote, as she bested incumbent Conservative MP Corneliu Chisu, who finished second with 38.2 per cent of votes cast, Pamela Downward finished in third place for the NDP with 9.2 per cent and Anthony Navarro of the Green Party rounded out the contenders with 2.3 per cent.
To the north, the riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock will remain in Conservative hands, with Jamie Schmale heading to Ottawa, replacing the man who he once served as campaign manager, outgoing Conservative MP Barry Devolin.
Mr. Schmale was swept into office with nearly 45 per cent of the vote, as close to 68 per cent of those eligible in the riding cast a ballot. Former Brock Township Councillor David Marquis finished second under the Liberal banner with 31.7 per cent of the vote, third place saw 19.5 per cent of ballots cast in support of NDP candidate Mike Perry and Bill MacCallum finished fourth, taking 4 per cent of the votes for the Green Party.
Mr. Schmale told The Standard that the opportunity to represent the area in the House of Commons is his “dream job” and added that he is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that will come with being part of the opposition.
“We will be a strong opposition and hold the Liberals to account. They promised increased infrastructure spending, and I’m going to be working hard over the next four years to make sure that as much as possible comes to this area.”
There was a huge jump in voter turnout across the country, with more than 68 per cent of eligible Canadians casting a ballot, an increase of more than 7 per cent compared to the previous election in 2011. Monday’s election saw the highest turnout since 1993, when coincidentally, the Liberals replaced an incumbent Tory government.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: Local residents are being asked to share their opinions as Durham Region Transit (DRT) prepares a new five-year service strategy for the area.
DRT manager of customer service Christopher Norris appeared before Uxbridge council at their meeting on Monday, Oct. 19 to provide an update on current transit options as well as possibilities of future services for North Durham.
As Mr. Norris explained, DRT is “one of the largest transit systems in terms of area” in southern Ontario, with integration with GO Transit and the TTC. Currently, options are being explored, such as added collaboration with York Region Transit, which could bring more options to users in the area.
“We’re looking at corridors not currently serviced by transit, such as a route to Newmarket along Davis
Dr. and new Hwy. 407 car pool lots,” said Mr. Norris. “This is a full review of services offered in North Durham and we’ll be looking at things like vehicle size, service options and how to leverage new technology that’s available for transit.”
Public Information Centres (PIC) will be held throughout North Durham to allow local residents the chance to ask questions and provide comments regarding transit options. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, a session will be held at Cannington Arena from 5 to 7 p.m. Uxbridge Arena will host a transit PIC on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. The final PIC is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 30 at Scugog Arena between 6 and 8 p.m.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: When survivors square off with zombies this weekend, the real winner will be the local Loaves and Fishes Food Bank.
The third annual Shooting 4 Food fundraiser Airsoft tournament is set for Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Uxbridge Shooting Sports, located at 5700 Conc. 4. Registration for the event is $20 per person, or $50 for a family.
Event organizer Hayden Prince, a Grade 9 student at Uxbridge Secondary School explained the importance of supporting the local food bank when making a presentation to council at their meeting on Monday, Oct. 19.
“Since 1989, the food bank has served more than 3,000 local families,” explained Mr. Prince, winner of the 2014 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year for his volunteer work. “The food bank goes through about 60,000 pounds of food every year, which is enough to fill 30 dump trucks.”
Mr. Prince added that his goal for this year’s fundraiser is 2,500 food items and a donation of $5,000.
“They don’t just help the homeless. People use the food bank when they’ve lost their job, become hospitalized, are dealing with an illness or any number of other situations. That’s something I’d really like to educate people about,” added Mr. Prince, who has partnered with the Williamson Uxbridge Care A Van to help collect non-perishable donations at the event.
For more information on the event, including registration, signing up as a volunteer, or making a donation, please visit www.shooting4food.com.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Township recently took the next step towards creating a new high speed internet service for the municipality, pre-approving over $7.6 million from next year’s municipal budget to be spent on the project.
At their meeting on Monday, Oct. 19, councillors passed a motion to pre-approve $7,689,824 from the 2016 budget for the project. The funds will be used to help create a Municipal Services Corporation and Internet Services Provider. Council also agreed to file for a debenture from the Region of Durham for a total of $7,100,000 to fund the Scugog Island portion of the project. The debenture would pay over $1,250,000 in short-term debt financing over a term of five years and then almost $6,000,000 in long-term debt financing over a term of 20 years.
However, Ward 4 Councillor Wilma Wotten questioned the costs of the project.
“My concern is that when we started talking about this project, it was going to be $6,775,000, and now I read that the total financing costs for fibre optic based broadband is approximately $9,012,338,” Councillor Wotten said. “My concern is, do we know what the overall costs are? Because everything I have read said this had to be managed tightly to come in budget. What happens if it doesn’t?”
Project manager Laura Bradley explained that the municipality will not know the costs until they go to a request for proposal (RFP) model to allow businesses in the industry to bid to provide the service.
Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew questioned whether Scugog could decide to not take the debenture from the Region if the municipality were to change its mind on the project. Scugog Treasurer Trena Debruijn responded, saying that there is “an off ramp” for council.
“We can make the request, the region would go to the market to seek money on our behalf, but if council decides they’re not going to take it, they just won’t take it,” explained Ms. Debruijn, later adding that the township would likely not be on the hook in the early years for the full amount they would have to pay the region back per year, as the project would generate some income to help offset those payments.
Mayor Tom Rowett noted that based on the numbers expected for the municipal high speed internet project, it is estimated to be cash flow positive in year two and self sustaining by year three.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The township’s new fire hall recently took another big step forward, with the awarding of a construction tender for the long-awaited project.
At council’s meeting on the morning of Monday, Oct. 5, it was revealed that BWK Construction had been awarded the contract for the project. With a cost of just over $3.5 million, the Barrie-based firm had the lowest of the eight qualifying bids received by the municipality, more than $600,000 less than the next closest bid.
Responding to an inquiry from Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet as to when construction will begin on the new hall, Director of Public Works Ben Kester noted that it is expected begin in two to three weeks time. Work at the site, located on Reach St. slightly west of Quaker Village Dr., will begin with the foundation being poured.
The Fire Department is slated to move into the new hall in 2016, leaving behind the cramped confines of the current Bascom St. location, which has housed the department for the past 60 years.