KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes Council has decided to reduce the size of Council, from the original 16 Councillors down to eight.
The decision was made at a meeting, held on Tuesday, Oct. 18th, after the City undertook a Ward Boundary and Size of Council Review, this year.
At the meeting, Councillors were shown the results of a survey by the City, which found 74 per cent of its respondents were in favour of a reduction in Councillors, and only 20 per cent wanted to keep the current number of councillors.
In the survey, the 314 residents polled, were also asked how many councillors per ward they wanted to represent them. The majority wanted a maximum of one or two.
Kawartha Council is expecting a report to come back in January, looking at the options for a four ward or eight ward system.
“This decision shows that Council is serious about changing the way we do business. We are transitioning from the system, established with the creation of the municipality, to a more focused way of servicing residents,” said Mayor Andy Letham, in a press release. “ To govern is to make decisions, and I’m excited that we have taken a big progressive step forward.
The changes will take effect at the next municipal election, in 2018.
UXBRIDGE: The Township of Uxbridge has announced the appointment of Phil Alexander as the new Fire Chief and Community Emergency Management Coordinator, effective Jan. 1st, 2017.
The appointment was made following the announcement that current Fire Chief and CEMC Scott Richardson will be retiring, at the end of 2016.
Mr. Alexander has spent the past 28 years with the City of Markham Fire and Emergency services. He has been the Deputy Fire Chief and Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) for the City of Markham since 2009. He is a resident of the Township of Uxbridge, and is well-known to many as a volunteer fire fighter, with the Uxbridge Fire Department since 1987, and has been a Captain with the Uxbridge Fire Department since 1994.
Pat Molloy, Chair of the Finance and Emergency Services Committee welcomes Mr. Alexander to his new role as Fire Chief. He noted that Mr. Alexander’s extensive experience as a project manager for many large projects in Markham, including the design and construction of new facilities, and the procurement of fire apparatus, set him apart from the other 21 qualified applicants for the position.
“Captain Alexander has shown tremendous leadership and professionalism in his capacity as a volunteer Fire fighter with the Uxbridge Fire Department”, stated Mr. Molloy. “I look forward to working with him in his new role with us and I am confident he will excel at it. On behalf of the Fire Department, Residents, Township Staff and Council, I congratulate Phil on his new position within our department.”
In addition to his role leading the operation and administration of the Fire Department, Chief Alexander will also ensure that the Township and its emergency operations response team continue to be in a state of readiness to effectively respond, in the event of a municipal emergency.
SCUGOG: 9 year-old Ashley Black of Port Perry is making strides in the acting world, as she has recently been nominated for a Joey Award.
Ashley was one of seven children across Canada nominated for the category of the best 'young actress in a television series featured role', ages 5 to 10. She was selected for her role as a young Anne in the children’s television series Annedroids.
According to the award show’s website, the goal of the Joey Awards is to “reward young actors and actresses in Canada for their hard work and dedication to their craft.”
Ashley said it would mean a lot to her if she won.
“It would mean I have accomplished something really good, and that I am good at acting, because I don't know,” she said.
Her mother, Mary Black, explained how Ashley first got started acting, as well as how she got started working with talent agent Pat Jarosz
“We had a friend whose son acted, and he lives in Port Perry as well, and I just asked her who her agent was, and I got in contact with her because I thought it was something Ashley would like,” she told The Standard. “She is a little off-the-beaten-path type kid. We met with the agent and she signed her on the spot.”
Ms. Jarosz said she “fell in love with Ashley” the moment she met her.
“She is so talented and natural,” she said. “Some can be given a script and be just like a robot. [Ashley] feels whatever it is. She gets it.”
Mrs. Black said she has seen her daughter grow through acting.
“When she first started, she was pretty hesitant. It's weird because she comes across as shy, but she is not shy at all,” she said. “She is extremely chatty, but out in public she is pretty quiet, but I think acting has brought her out of her shell a little bit. She is much more comfortable doing auditions now and being around new people.”
Ashley told The Standard there are a few things she really enjoys about being a young actress.
“I get to see very cool sets, and I get to learn a lot about the characters I am playing, and I also get to meet a lot of new people and make friends on sets.”
She also gave The Standard a little insight into what her character, Anne, is like.
“She's very smart and she loves discovering things, and before she met her two best friends, she would always be doing things on her own,” she said.
Ashley added there are some character traits she shares with her character.
“We both like discovering new things, and we are both independent and friendly,” the young actress said.
The awards ceremony is being held on Saturday, Nov. 12th in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Pat Jarosz is looking for children ages 4 to 10. If anyone is interested in having their child audition for any television or film roles, they can contact Ms. Jarosz through her web-site at www.patjarosz.com.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Citizens Committee for Council Remuneration presented their final report to Scugog Council on Monday, Oct. 24th, recommending salary raises for the Regional and Ward Councillors, as well as the Mayor.
The presentation of the report was made by Vice-Chair David LeRoy and committee member Ray Smith. The report recommended the Mayor’s salary be bumped up from $31,884 to $40,600, and the Ward Councillors’ and Regional Councillor’s salary be $25,400.
Mr. LeRoy explained why the Councillors should have the same salary.
“The rationale was that the Regional Councillor is compensated for regional duties by the region and compensation for the Scugog Township duties ought to be the same as for a Ward Councillor, given that the Regional Councillor is something akin to a Councillor at large,” he said.
The total salary increases would represent a 0.4 per cent levy increase. However, to minimize the levy hit, the committee recommended the changes be phased in. The report suggested council start with a 2.26 per cent increase to salaries in 2017. This would include the declined 1 per cent increase in 2015 and the 2017 cost of living allowance. This would add over $717 to the Mayor’s salary, almost $439 to the Ward Councillors’ salaries and over $483 to the Regional Councillor’s salary. The remaining salary adjustments would be phased in over the next four years, starting in 2018. The report included a total of 22 recommendations.
Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido questioned if the numbers in the report represented the present value of the job, or what the value would be in 2018.
“Those numbers, we would say, are the value of the job now. The implementation plan we suggested might be adjusted if Council chooses,” Mr. Smith responded.
Ward 3 Councillor Don Kett asked why the numbers are lower than what Uxbridge Councillors made in 2013.
Mr. Smith told Councillor Kett it is mostly because Uxbridge Council does not have the same policy as Scugog, about providing one third of Council remuneration tax free.
Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back stated her concern about the bigger implementations starting in 2018.
“One could argue the residents have had a deal for quite some time, probably decades, of Council not making nearly what they should, based on their comparators in other municipalities,” she said. “It does seem odd to me that this Council was brave enough to address the underpaid remuneration of Council and past Council, and that it would be for a future Council.”
However, with the budget process already underway, Council approved a motion, by Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew, to refer the recommendations regarding salary and compensation to that process.
Councillor Guido also asked that the Director of Finance bring back a report to Council, showing what kind of impact there would be if Council went with the 2.26 per cent increase in 2017, as well as if they started one of the phase ins that year, or if they went with a larger increase in 2017.
Some of the recommendations Council endorsed included; Council keeping the one third tax free policy, that Mayor and Councillor salaries be reviewed in January in the fourth year of each Council term, that a Councillor job description be prepared, and that the current benefits package given to members of Council be continued with no changes.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
BROCK: The Durham District School Board is investigating the possibility of closing Thorah Central Public School and having a new school erected in the Township of Brock.
On Monday, Oct. 17th, the Board of Trustees approved a modified accommodation review to look at Thorah Central and Beaverton Public School.
The initial staff report, shown to the board, recommends the closure of Thorah Central, relocating students to a school on the Beaverton P.S. site. This would be a new school, built in front of the current Beaverton Public School.
“This is certainly a situation where we are looking to invest in this community,” Trustee for Brock and Uxbridge Elinor Hansen said. “Ballpark, it would be a $10 million new school. This process is looking at what is best for the students, and we are looking for community feedback, and we will be providing the public with education.”
What makes this review different from ones the board has conducted in the past is, there will be no review committee set up, and there will also be a reduced timeline for the review. Trustee Hansen told The Standard the board chose a modified review because “the amalgamation is dependent on two things.” One of those is the support of the community, and the other is financial approval from the Ministry of Education.
According to the report, in 2015/16, Thorah Central P.S. had 119 students in Grades one to eight. This works out to an average of 14.88 students per grade level, which is “well below the Board average of 22.33.” The report also states, the school has undersized, and not purpose built, kindergarten rooms, and an undersized library and gymnasium. There are also no music, art or environmental studies rooms at the school, according to the staff report.
However, if the community is not in support of the closure and consolidation, there is a second option in the report that would see both schools remain open, and continue to operate in the status quo.
If the closure and consolidation options are approved, the new school would, reportedly, take two years after the board receives funding approval from the ministry to be built. In the mean time, both schools would remain open while construction occurs. Trustee Hansen said the ministry only opens up windows for applications at certain times during the year, and added it could take about four to five months after the application is submitted to receive approval.
There will be a public meeting at Beaverton Public School on Tuesday, Dec. 13th, at 7 p.m. The final report will be posted on the board’s website, at www.ddsb.ca, on Tuesday, Jan. 10th, and there will be opportunities for public delegations at the Monday, Feb. 6th meeting of the Standing Committee. People can also submit their opinions or questions by email at email@example.com, or they can call 905-666-5109 or 1-800-339-6913.
The final decision is scheduled to be made by the board on Tuesday, Feb. 21st.
NORTH DURHAM: After months of speculation, MP Erin O’Toole officially announced his candidacy for the position of leader of the Conservative Party on Friday, Oct. 14th.
The announcement was made at Soper Creek Park, in Mr. O’Toole’s hometown of Bowmanville.
“With the right leadership, our party can once again show Canadians that we are there for them and their families. Our party needs a leader with experience, a track record of getting things done, and someone with a fresh perspective,” Mr. O’Toole told those in attendance.
Mr. O’Toole said his military and private sector experience, as well as his experience as an MP and as the former minister of Veterans Affairs, makes him the perfect candidate for the position.
“I’ve learned what it takes to lead and to succeed,” he said.
He also said it was special for him that he was able to make this announcement in his hometown, and with his family in attendance.
“We drove by the house I grew up in on the way here, and it means a lot to have my parents here and my family here, because I am really a kid from the suburbs that was taught to work hard, and Canada’s the type of country [in which], if you work hard [and] respect your fellow citizens, there’s nothing you can’t do,” Mr. O’Toole said.
The former Conservative cabinet minister had previously run for the interim leadership of the party, eventually losing that race to Rona Ambrose.
“The interim leadership race was a great experience for me. I got to meet the 33 new (members of parliament) on our team and speak to them, get to know their passions for serving Canada,” he said. “The difference between that race, and this one, is I intend to win this one,” he added, which led to laughs from the crowd.
Mr. O’Toole also said if he does win this race, his main focus would be trying to win back the support of those in Atlantic Canada.
Mr. O’Toole’s father John O’Toole, who was a former MPP for Durham, said he thinks Erin has what it takes to bring the Conservative Party back into favour in the country.
“I believe he is a true spoken person, he comes from this very subdivision that we are in, and some of his old friends were here today, so he is grounded in that respect,” he said. “His achievements and hard work have been a lot of his own effort. Joining the military at 17 years of age was important for him, and he’s got the discipline and desire and, I believe, the intelligence to handle the job.”
The former MPP also had some advice for his son moving forward with this campaign.
“Be principled, listen more than you speak, try to be optimistic, demonstrate leadership and trust and I think that is all the advice I have for him,” he said.
The party will officially elect a leader, at a convention on, Saturday, May 27th.
UXBRIDGE: Operation Warm Hearts is once again looking to the public for donations to help keep the community warm.
The annual initiative is asking residents for donations of winter coats, but are also accepting other winter wear such as hats, boots and gloves.
The coats which are donated will be put up for sale, at the initiative’s annual event, in Uxbridge Public School, which is taking place on Saturday, Nov. 5th, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank, in Uxbridge.
All new or gently used winter items can be donated, by bringing them to either; the Uxbridge Seniors Centre, at 75 Marietta St.; or at the Wash Worx Laundromat, located at 11 Main St., North.
For a coat pickup, call Coordinator Maggie McCreath, at 647-380-1674.
Last year, 580 coats were donated, and the initiative raised over $600 for the local food bank.
Schmale releases results of electoral reform referendum: 87% of HKLB respondents want the final say in the future of their democracy
Special to The Standard
LINDSAY: The Liberal government wants to change the way Canadians elect their federal representatives, without first consulting Canadians by referendum. The Liberals have no mandate to transform Canada’s oldest form of democracy, and any attempt to do so without consent from the electorate would be unconstitutional.
59 Conservative MPs took it upon themselves to give their constituents the opportunity to have their opinion heard, by sending out their own reform referendum. Ballots went out and an overwhelming response was received. Local MP Jamie Schmale released the results of the latest riding-wide constituency referendum, on Monday of this week. Nearly 90 per cent of all electoral reform respondents, across Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, say they are in favour of a referendum on electoral reform.
“The Special Committee on Electoral Reform asked to hear from all Canadians,” said Schmale. “Electoral reform is an important issue that impacts all Canadians, and joining a number of caucus colleagues across the country, I sought the wishes of local residents on this national issue.”
In Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock 2,446 ballots were cast. Each ballot contained the following question “Before changing how we elect our MPs, should the government hold a referendum to get the approval of Canadians?”. 87 percent (2,127 votes) of respondents were in favour of a referendum on electoral reform, while 11.7 percent (286 votes) were opposed, and 1.3 percent (33 votes) were undecided.
Nationally 81,389 ballots were cast, and 91 percent (73,740) of respondents were in favour of a referendum, 8.1 percent (6,622) were opposed, and 1.3 percent (1,027) were undecided.
“I believe that it’s important that all Canadians, not just politicians, have clear input on an issue that will affect the way we elect our country’s leaders,” said Schmale. “This constituency referendum gave residents the opportunity to have their voices heard and provide their opinions on this issue.
“Both locally, right in in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, and nationally, the results are clear,” said Schmale. “A referendum is what Canadians want and expect when it comes to electoral reform, because when you change the rules of democracy, every Canadian deserves a say."
Schmale noted that the responses, letters and feedback he has received since releasing his constituency referendum on electoral reform, demonstrates the passion local residents have for issues of national importance.
“Our constituents are engaged, they are passionate and they deserve to have their voices heard,” he said. “I would like to thank each and every one of the constituents across Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, who took the time to express their views and [took] part in this constituency referendum.”
SCUGOG: Residents will once again have a chance to scour the community in search of hidden treasures, this Saturday, Oct. 22nd when the 9th annual Scugog Treasure Hunt returns.
The event, meant to celebrate Waste Reduction Week, invites all residents to place any unwanted items on their boulevard, on Oct. 22nd. Throughout the day, other residents will have the opportunity to travel around the Township looking for amazing finds at no cost.
Items generally found in a Treasure Hunt include: bicycles, clothing, furniture, garden tools, hardware, sporting goods and tools.
All residents will be required to have all unclaimed items returned to their residence by 4 p.m. the day of the event.
According to a Township press release, Waste Reduction Week is designed to raise public awareness about how waste impacts the environment, society and the economy.
This year’s motto is, 'Too Good to Waste'.
The Scugog Treasure Hunt is a perfect example of the Waste Reduction Week motto, as unwanted items, too good to be disposed of in a landfill, can find a home with someone else.
For more information contact Shawna Cornish, at 905-985-7346 ext 112.
All participants will receive a sign indicating their involvement in the sale to be displayed on the boulevard.
SCUGOG: Police arrested two males and are seeking another, after a Canadian Tire store in Port Perry was broken into early Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday, Oct. 11th, at approximately 1 a.m., officers in North Division responded to Canadian Tire on Simcoe St., for an alarm call. Officers arrived to find a ladder extended to a window on the second floor and two male suspects descending the ladder. Both suspects fled on foot in different directions. Officers set up a perimeter around a marsh nearby, after they heard a suspect in the water, who was concealed by six foot reeds. Air 2 arrived and directed officers to the suspect’s location, where he was arrested without further incident.
The second male was not located, but officers arrested a third suspect, who was waiting in a vehicle on Oyler Dr. A two-way radio, a mask and gloves were seized from the vehicle.
Darryl Bowler, age 34, of Oshawa, is charged with: Break and Enter; Possession of Break-In Instruments; and Fail to Comply with Probation Order.
Joey Pearson, age 19; of Oshawa, is charged with Break and Enter and Possession of Break-In Instruments.
The investigation continues.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact D/Cst. McMaster, of the North Division Criminal Investigations Bureau, at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2675.
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca. Tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.