DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog council has set a target of a total 3.9 per cent tax increase for the 2018 budget.
At a meeting on Monday, October 23rd, councillors saw a report from treasurer Dianne Valentim, which recommended an increase of 1.5 per cent, plus 0.4 per cent to help offset the impact of a $1.7 million debenture from the Region of Durham for the Scugog Line 6 project, as well as to lessen the impact of minimum wage increases due to Bill 148, and a special 2 per cent roads and infrastructure levy.
However, these numbers did not sit well with Ward 5 Councillor, Jennifer Back.
“If rate of inflation is 1.5 [per cent] currently, and it looks like that is what it is going to be for 2017, we have a proposed 1.5, plus 0.4, which is 1.9, which is already higher than the rate of inflation, then an additional 2 per cent makes it 3.9 and that’s more than double the rate of inflation. I know you can say, ‘no it’s the base’, but when people have to write the cheque, it’s the total and 3.9 is double the rate of inflation,” she said. “I understand all the stresses on our budget, but you have to understand the stresses on our community as well.”
She also said she had a “huge problem” with the 2 per cent road and infrastructure levy.
“To say that 33 per cent [of township budget survey respondents] said that they would be willing [to have] an increase in the road levy, that means 67 per cent said no and to me that is the majority,” Councillor Back said.
However, she added that she could support “a 2 per cent road levy that stays static.”
“That it was 2 per cent this year, at whatever that levy is. So, $115,683 is your 1 per cent, so your 2 per cent is $231,366. Year two would not be $462,000, it would be 2 per cent of the new levy, so let’s say it is $120,000 is your 1 per cent, now it would be $240,000 [for 2 per cent].”
Ward 4 Councillor, Wilma Wotten questioned if the report stated if the 2 per cent is compounded or is just for the 2018 budget.
“This is just for 2018. You would have to revisit every year to get council’s authorization for any additional levies,” Ms. Valentim said.
She also said a 1 per cent levy “doesn’t do much to [Scugog’s] roads.”
However, Ward 3 Councillor, Don Kett agreed with Councillor Back.
“It’s ridiculous to even think we can put that on [residents’] shoulders.”
Mayor Tom Rowett clarified that council was only expected to vote on the 2 per cent levy for the 2018 budget.
“We are only talking about the 2018 year, this is not a five year commitment for future councils, it’s just this 2018 year.”
Councillor Back said she didn’t want this road levy to be an “out of control beast.”
Mayor Rowett later spoke about the effects of council’s budget guideline.
“Remember that we are approximately one quarter, 26 per cent residential, about one fifth for industrial and commercial, so when we are talking about a 2 per cent increase, it’s really a half a percent effect on the tax bill for that levy. So we are not talking about a 2 per cent on an entire tax bill that somebody has,” he said.
Mayor Rowett also stressed that this is just a guideline and the budget could end up different.
After some tweaking to the motion, Councillors later agreed to set the recommended target.
BRENNA MAHONEY, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATION, CEREALS CANADA Special to The Standard
In the words of Henry Ford, "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." I am always grateful that I get to work for an organization where one of its guiding principles is to promote collaboration, throughout the cereals value chain. It is for this reason, I want to come to work every day. There is always a new issue, something to work on, and something to learn that 9.9 times out of 10 requires some sort of collaborative process.
In such a diverse industry, there are bound to be differences of opinion, values, and agendas, yet I have had opportunities to see a room full of people put those personal opinions aside in order to benefit the whole. Reflection on this process, I believe, is just as important as the actual collaboration itself, especially in light of a time where mergers, re-negotiation of NAFTA, a new Canadian Food Guide, grain transportation legislation, growing protectionism in key markets, just to name a few issues facing our industry.
It is important to keep in mind, in all of our opportunities to collaborate, what defines success, and what we can think about during our next opportunity to work together.
I believe that a major part of collaborative success would have an environment focused on alignment, removing roadblocks, and increasing productivity. This can be achieved, if each individual and organization is accountable, organized, motivated, engaged, and is focused on achieving the best result for the industry as a whole. This does not mean you have to agree with everyone all the time, but it does mean you have to listen to the ideas of others. It truly is about having a valuable conversation.
Just as it is important to listen, it is as equally important to check if what we are sharing is of value. Sometimes it is easy to get off track, or into the weeds, on issues that can touch on something that we are passionate about. It is important to always make sure that what we share is bringing insight and value to the goal, of improving the profitability of the value chain, and not just aimed at winning an argument or supporting our personal philosophical outlook.
Communicating clearly is a major part of what will help define success, throughout the collaborative process.
It is also important to note, not all collaborative processes can be successful. If the goal isn’t right, or the collaborative group is not individually ready to communicate together, then the collaboration has already failed. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it can allow for us to rethink our goals, and make sure that we have the right people around the table, who are motivated to move the process along.
I am part of the grain industry. There are quite a few, producer and industry, organizations serving this part of agriculture. The whole industry will benefit, if we step out of our silos to cooperate, on issues like, market development, food safety, promoting international trade, sustainability and public trust, science based regulations, market concerns with pesticide residues, and much more. I don’t think we serve our members well if we isolate ourselves within our individual organizations. And we need to recognize that effective collaboration will sometimes require a bit of compromise.
As my Henry Ford quote indicates, it is not just about getting people together, it really is about having a motivated and diverse group of people, who are willing to work together on behalf of everyone. I am still learning a lot about the world of Canadian agriculture, and all of its intricacies, and I am excited to be a part of a growing and changing industry, being built on the shoulders of change makers and collaborative leaders.
KAWARTHA LAKES: The Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation (KLH Housing Corp) held its annual general meeting, at the October 17th Special Council meeting, and presented its 2018 budget highlights.
The corporation is pleased to be in a position to make a reduced subsidy request to the City. The decrease to operating and capital budgets is significant, at over $620,000 less than last year.
Since 2015, the total number of affordable housing units across the region has increased by 4% while the total subsidy requested from the City has decreased by 48%.
The KLH Housing Corp board of directors has committed to contribute $150,000 of the 2016 operating surplus toward 2018 and 2019 budgets in order to reduce the operating subsidy request to the City.
“KLH Housing Corp consistently aims to do better, and has taken a leadership role in addressing the affordable housing needs of the community, today and into the future,” commented Hope Lee, CEO, KLH Housing Corp.
The reduction in the subsidy request to Council is a result of two major factors: real estate sales and operational efficiencies. In 2014, KLH Housing Corp began selling 64 single and semi-detached units throughout the region. To date, net sale proceeds of over $5.9 million, from 36 completed sales, are being applied toward new communities in Lindsay.
New communities, in both Minden and the Village of Haliburton, have also been possible through affordable housing program funding. By early 2019, 129 new housing units will be available across these communities, with 72% of the units being additional. In total, KLH Housing Corp owns and operates over 700 units of affordable housing.
The Corporation has created a number of operating efficiencies, including: the blending of positions, to reduce overall head count; restructuring overtime protocol; using technology to find savings; and participation in various energy savings programs, such as hydro, gas and lighting, which have also reduced operating costs. In total, efficiencies of over $217,000 have contributed to the decreased requirement for funding from the tax levy.
Looking ahead, KLH Housing Corp anticipates increases in rental revenue, through 40 additional units to be occupied in 2018. Lower expenses are forecast across these units, due to increased energy efficiencies in new buildings.
“This year’s results are extremely positive. The work of the KLH Housing Corp provides direct impacts on the many households they serve, by providing more efficient service, more housing options and communities that tenants can be proud to call home,” said Mayor Andy Letham.
(NC) Whether you're hustling kids out the door, trying to hit the gym before work, or darting out to appointments, we've all felt the pressure of mornings.
A recent survey by Centrum found that while 45 per cent of Canadians say they feel calm when going through their morning routine, four in five still wish they could add one more thing — such as exercise, leisure time or time with their family.
“Preparing your breakfast the night before is a great way to give yourself more time in the morning for working out, meditation or just getting in some extra sleep,” says Theresa Albert, a nutrition expert. “One of my favourite ways to do this is overnight oats, which packs vitamins and fibre in a small, portable package that's easy to whip up the night before. Make an oats concoction in a Mason jar and store in your fridge overnight; then simply grab the jar along with a multivitamin on your way out the door.”
Oats are high in a fibre called beta glucan that has been shown in some cases to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar. With the addition of a multivitamin (which contains Vitamin B to help in energy metabolism and Vitamin A to help support immune function) and high-protein foods like Greek yogurt or protein powder, this breakfast is an easy way to get your morning started.
Prep time: 5 minutes, Serves: 4
• 1 cup “quick” or 1 minute oats
• 2 cups Greek yogurt • 1 tbsp nut butter
• 1 tbsp protein powder (try egg protein powder or whey)
• 1 mashed banana
• 1 cup milk or almond milk • 1 tbsp cinnamon
Directions: 1. Mix all ingredients in a large Mason jar and let sit in the fridge overnight. Serve cold the next day or warm in the microwave for 30 seconds. Top with more cinnamon, to taste.
Matthew Anderson, President & CEO Lakeridge Health
Since the temporary closure of services at Port Perry Hospital, one of our top priorities has been restoring and reopening the hospital. Construction experts are working around the clock to do just that, with nearly 80 workers on site every single day.
Our initial focus has been on asbestos removal. This was necessary, to make the site safe, before a full evaluation of the damage could be completed. Our consultants are on site now and their assessment of the area most impacted by the fire is now underway. We expect to receive their full report towards the end of November, which will provide us with a more detailed timeline for reopening.
In the meantime, electrical demolition work continues on site. The roof of Port Perry Hospital has been sealed to ensure it won’t be susceptible to leaks or further damage throughout the winter months. All equipment has been removed, catalogued, and safely stored offsite, while Port Perry Hospital is being restored.
When we consider timelines to reopen Port Perry Hospital, it is important to understand, although it may appear as if there was minimal physical damage caused by the fire, all of the mechanical systems used to operate the hospital were severely impacted. The systems used to power hospitals are much more complex than those used in your home or other buildings, and most of them will need to custom built.
While this construction is expected to be a lengthy process, it gives us the opportunity to complete some upgrades, so, when Port Perry Hospital does reopen, it will be better than ever.
We are committed to keeping the community informed of our progress as we move forward. For regular updates, keep watching this space or visit our website, at www.lakeridgehealth.on.ca.
MARLO STANFIELD Special to The Standard
A pair of shutout victories last week ensured the Uxbridge Bruins would retain first place in the Orr Division standings.
Although, before a busy weekend in the Provincial Junior Hockey League was through, they would be joined by the Lakefield Chiefs, with both clubs sitting at 18 points, although the Chiefs do have a game in hand.
In the lone Tuesday night tilt of the season, at the Bear Den, on Oct. 17th, the Bruins were able to withstand a tenacious first period from the Georgina Ice, to eventually roll to an 8-0 victory.
A Simon Fieg goal, late in the first period, gave the Bruins a 1-0 advantage, before Aiden Reilly added a pair in the second period, sandwiched around a Cristian Giorgio marker.
The Uxbridge offence continued to pile up points in the third period, with Reilly completing his hat trick and singles, from Robert Freckelton, Kieran Beaudoin and Cameron Moffitt.
With first place on the line, on Friday night, the Bruins battled throughout the evening with the Clarington Eagles.
With just over six minutes remaining in the first period, Fieg capitalized on a miscue by the Eagles’ powerplay, to score a shorthanded goal, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Fieg’s was the third shorthanded tally of the season for Uxbridge.
The teams traded scoring chances throughout a tightly-contested second period, but neither side was able to solve the defence. The Bruins finally got some breathing room, with just over six minutes remaining in regulation, when Damien Heinle scored, to double the Bruins’ lead.
An empty net tally for Fieg would ultimately seal the 3-0 win for Uxbridge.
Reigning Orr Division Goaltender of the Month, Ryan McConkey turned aside all 32 shots he faced, to pick up his second straight shutout, and third overall this season, to earn a share of the overall lead across the PJHL’s eight divisions.
Bear Necessities: McConkey became the first Uxbridge net minder to post back-to-back shutouts since Chris Seiler, in his MVP season of 2008-09.
The Bruins are back in action at The Bear Den, on Friday, Oct. 27th, at 7:45 p.m., for a ‘Battle of North Durham’, against the Port Perry MoJacks.
On Saturday evening, the Bruins will make their first trek of the season to Apsley, looking to dethrone the North Kawartha Knights.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
A faculty strike at 24 Ontario colleges, including Durham College, has entered its second week.
There have been no negotiations between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and the College Employer Council (CEC), since the union decided to strike, on Sunday, Oct. 15th. As of press time, no talks, between the union and the CEC, have been scheduled.
“Unfortunately, there is no bargaining going on, despite [OPSEU] remaining open to negotiate a fair settlement,” Nicole Zwiers, president of OPSEU local 354 told The Standard.
Ms. Zwiers also had a message for students.
“I think the students need to stay strong in this. We need their support to get this resolved,” she said.
Some of the things the union is asking for, in the collective bargaining agreement, include: increased job security; a guarantee that colleges would have a 50-50 split of full time and part time faculty; and academic freedom.
Ms. Zwiers explained that academic freedom includes: faculty determining what textbooks to use; what prerequisites and requisites are appropriate; what evaluations are appropriate and what marks to give students.
Last week, the CEC released a statement calling the strike “completely unnecessary.”
“We should have had a deal based on our final offer. It is comparable to, or better than, recent public‐sector settlements with teachers, college support staff, hospital professionals, and Ontario public servants, most of which were negotiated by OPSEU,” said Sonia Del Missier, CEC bargaining chair, in a press release. “The fastest way to resolve the strike is for the union to accept the colleges’ final offer, or, at the very least, put the colleges’ final offer forward to its members for a vote.”
The CEC’s statement went on to add that OPSEU’s demands would “ultimately add more than $250 million to annual costs, eliminate thousands of contract faculty jobs, and jeopardize the quality of college programs.”
DURHAM: The Ashton farm family has been feeding Durham Region for the past 185 years, having settled in Durham, before Canada was a country.
The Ashton’s, along with many other farm families, farming in the community for over 150 years, are being honoured at the 4th Annual Durham Farm Connections Celebrate Agriculture Gala, on October 26th.
The gala is meant to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, as well as agriculture in Durham, so all the families being honoured at the gala have farmed for 150 years or more.
“The farm families are very proud of their heritages and are excited to tell their story,” said Marlene Werry, event organizer.
The Ashton’s are fifth generation farmers, and currently focus on dairy farming, cash crops, and maple syrup.
Robert Ashton, of the Ashton Farm, said the gala is a great way to celebrate agriculture and is something that should happen more often.
“I think this is a great event to celebrate agriculture. Like I said, we just don’t do it enough,” Robert said. “We need to get our story out and this is a good way of doing it.”
Agriculture is the second largest economic driver in the Durham Region, right next to the auto industry. Exported goods, such as dairy, corn, poultry, soybeans, cattle/calves, wheat, sod, field vegetables, and fruit, brought $227.4-million of wealth to the Durham Region in 2012.
“We drive a lot of the economy in Durham Region so it should be recognized,” Robert told the Standard.
The proceeds raised, from the gala’s live and silent auctions, will go towards supporting the Durham Farm Connection Committee, and the educational programming they provide throughout the year.
During the spring, Durham Farm Connections teaches a little over 1,200 grade 3 students about the importance of agriculture and how food gets to their table.
According to Robert, Durham Region is blessed with great soil and conditions for growing crops, which has allowed this area’s agricultural industry to flourish.
“We have very fertile soil here that allows us to grow great crops to raise livestock on. Even in the maple syrup part of it, we are blessed with great maple trees in this area, with a great soil that gives it a nice distinct taste,” Robert said.
He is looking forward to attending the gala and catching up with other farm families. Robert said the gala is like a big reunion for farmers around Durham and is a great chance to catch up with old friends.
Marlene, encourages residents of the Durham Region to support agriculture whenever they can.
She said, “It’s an economic benefit, it makes our community’s viable and vibrant, and there is nothing better than local food, in my opinion.”
Marlene thanks the community, for all the support the gala receives each year, and emphasizes it’s what makes this event possible.
“She said, “The strong support that we get from the community, we are very appreciative of. [This event] wouldn’t happen without them.”
SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
Council Chambers were packed with smiling faces on October 23rd, to celebrate the Township of Uxbridge’s Accessibility Recognition Awards.
Graham Baskin, a high school student who is an ambassador for accessibility in his community, received the 2017 Township of Uxbridge Individual Accessibility Award.
Graham is an advocate for people with disabilities, he has committed countless hours of volunteer service and has advised his high school and the Township on matters of accessibility.
Mayor Gerry Lynn O’Connor said, “Graham shows that regardless of barriers, everyone can live life to the fullest.”
She continued, “Graham is the perfect example of what just one person can do to create inclusive environments for people of all abilities, and his future is so bright.”
The Roxy Theatres in Uxbridge also received an award for their accessibility efforts in the community.
The 2017 Township of Uxbridge Business Accessibility Award was awarded to the Roxy for always ensuring their business is accessible to people of all abilities.
The Roxy features a special main level with accessible washrooms, full ramps, for easy access to the theatre, and priority seating for people living with a disability.
The theatre is also very accommodating in removing barriers and they are always willing to make sure their customers feel comfortable. Whether it’s special screenings or ensuring the staff are trained to assist anyone who walks in the door, the Roxy makes sure everyone feels welcome.
“The Roxy is a fantastic example of an organization succeeding in being inclusive in the community. We hope that all businesses consider the accessibility of their business when not only completing renovations, but in delivering a service,” Mayor O’Connor said.
Cathy Christoff, the recipient of the award on behalf of The Roxy, is very thankful and hopes other businesses will step up as well, to make sure they are accessible for everybody.
She said, “I would just like to say thank you to council for [making sure] that we can have an accessibility committee in our community. It’s essential that we constantly remind businesses that you should not really open your doors unless your opening them for everyone. I hope that this will inspire other businesses in our community to reach that conclusion.”
Anyone looking to make Uxbridge more accessible and accommodating of people who live with a disability, can join the Accessibility Advisory Committee. For more information about the committee and how to join, call the Township of Uxbridge’s Deputy Clerk, Catalina Blumenberg at 905-852-9181 ext. 209 or by email at email@example.com
Special to The Standard
What great looking desserts members made and entered, for judging at the October meeting. After judging, members were able to purchase a dessert of their choice.
Lizzie Matheson our speaker for the evening was great, with her demonstration of beautiful arrangements.
Our next meeting is November 7th, at 7:30 p.m. Speakers are Karen and Colleen, of Century Home and Garden Greenhouses. They will be demonstrating “Seasonal Wreaths”, a timely topic, as you know who is just around the corner.
Just a reminder, to our members, to get their crafts ready for the annual Christmas Craft Sale at our December meeting.
Please join us at the Nestleton Community Centre, 3971 Hwy. 7A, Nestleton, all will be most welcomed. Please call Shirley 905-986-5330, firstname.lastname@example.org.