SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The township of Uxbridge is preparing to start construction on the Culvert Connection Project in the downtown area, for the spring of 2018.
The current culvert under Brock Street West, carries water underneath the town from the Uxbridge Brook. The culvert has deteriorated with age, and flood modeling studies show the existing culvert is not large enough to prevent severe flooding through the downtown area, if a storm of historical proportions were to occur.
“If there was ever to be a Regional Storm, which is like a hurricane Hazel storm event, the water flowing over Brock Street would be approximately seven to eight feet deep,” said Ben Kester, Director of Public Works.
The Culvert Connection Project was started in 2012 and has been successful in obtaining grants to cover $5-million of the cost.
The total cost of the project is approximately $10-million, and will be the first project in the Township of Uxbridge to involve all four levels of government.
A portion of the culvert is property of the Durham Region, so they will be putting approximately $2.8-million into the project as well.
According to Ben, the town’s engineers are about 30 per cent done the detailed design for the culvert.
During the reconstruction of the culvert, there will be road closures along Brock Street, between Bascom Street and Main Street. According to the town, early estimates, anticipate the road closures to last approximately three to four months.
The project will require the removal of the Township-owned Durham Regional Police Services building that houses the Youth Centre, on 34 Brock Street West.
The Township has been working with the individuals who use this location, to prepare for the upcoming construction and removal of this building in the early spring of next year.
By removing this building in the downtown core, which blocks the town’s floodplain, there will be a greater opportunity for redevelopment opportunities in the future.
The Township has been fortunate in obtaining a Rural Economic Development grant, from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and rural affairs. This grant will go towards funding communication with, and promotion of, local businesses effected by the project.
The Township of Uxbridge is currently assembling a Culvert Connection project team, for the communications surrounding the project, which it hopes to roll out in the near future.
It’s been three months since the fire at Port Perry Hospital. The Foundation office is now open in a temporary location, at 246 Queen Street, with Ann Florence, our Foundation Officer, holding the fort. We have a different phone number (905-985-4356) but our mailing address is the same, 451 Paxton Street, Port Perry, ON L9L 1L9.
Work goes on at the hospital, with great progress being made on the reconstruction. And for us, it’s time to send out our annual appeal letter, and this year the theme is stars.
Stars symbolize the light that is in people; it may not always be obvious, but it can appear when you least expect it. We continue to be humbled by the contributions of those who put patient safety first the night of the fire, as they are stars in their own right. And there are many stars who have since quietly emerged to help, by making donations, ensuring when the hospital reopens, all the equipment, we were fundraising for before August 25th, can be ordered.
We miss our hospital and we’re all looking forward to the day when we celebrate our grand re-opening together.
In the meantime, on behalf of all of us at Port Perry Hospital Foundation, thank you for your thoughtful support.
KATRINA OWENS The Standard
KAWARTHAS: There is a new head of the Kawartha Lakes Public Library, his name is Jamie Anderson and The Standard had the chance to sit down with him last week to see how he’s enjoying the job so far.
“My position title is CEO and library director,” says Mr. Anderson. “Essentially, I am responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the library branches and the future direction of the library. Lindsay is the largest out of the 14 branches but we serve all of Kawartha.”
Mr. Anderson hails from out west (Vancouver Island to be more precise) and has over a decade of experience working in library setting.
“I started on Nov. 6th so this is my second week and so far so good!” he says. “Everyone has been really friendly, it’s been a bit of a learning curve as this position is a bit different from the one I had previous, but I am enjoying it so far.”
Mr. Anderson adds, “I’ve been working in public libraries for 20 years and have been a librarian for 15 and I was the director of library services back in Vancouver.”
Currently the Kawartha branches have a variety of services, including community programs, adult and child learning courses and have electronic books available.
“We have your typical library books, ebooks and audio books able to be taken out,” says Mr. Anderson. “We’re also working on an online movie streaming service which will be coming out soon. There’s language learning courses and we have the usual story times and a lot of adult resources.”
The move from B.C. to Lindsay was a big one, so says Mr. Anderson, but he says it has been worth the trek.
“I wanted a change of careers and I was looking at either southern B.C. or southern Ontario,” he says. “My wife (Chelsea), dog (Beatrice) and three cats (Elliot, Asha and Lucy) moved with me.”
Outside of the office, Mr. Anderson says you’ll most likely find him gardening (weather permitting) or walking his dog around town.
As for library news, Mr. Anderson says the Omemee branch is moving into its new location at 24 King Street East this week.
“We are having a quiet opening on Tuesday, November 21st,” he says. “We are thinking of planning a grand opening in the New Year.”
KAWARTHAS: Yesterday afternoon, MPP Laurie Scott’s Private Member’s Bill 120, the Mandatory Sexual Assault Law Training for Judicial Officers, received the support of all parties in the Legislature, at second reading in the Legislature.
On the need for Bill 120, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario noted, that since the currently available training “won’t be mandatory for current provincial judges, victims of sexual assault, appearing before the provincial court, still run the risk of experiencing negative and damaging comments and rulings from the presiding justice.”
Dr. Jacqui Linder, a renowned Clinical Traumatologist stated, “As a trauma specialist and educator, I strongly support initiatives like Bill 120, designed to increase understanding of the complex dynamics underpinning sexual assault, human trafficking and sexual violence in general.”
Bill 120 calls in particular for mandatory sexual assault training for currently sitting judges and justices of the peace.
“I am happy that, despite their long-standing opposition, the Liberal government finally decided to vote in support of mandatory training for our judicial officers,” Scott said. “With so many recent stories of judges making insensitive comments while presiding over sexual assault cases, there is a clear and urgent need for this training for sitting judges,” Scott added.
“Requiring that all judges are properly trained to handle sexual assault cases will actually go a long way towards strengthening Ontarians’ trust in our judicial system. The Liberals government must now bring this Bill to committee, and back to the Legislature for a final vote, so it can become law. Survivors of sexual assault are watching closely,” Scott concluded.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Council has decided to take a wholistic approach to decide the future of the Old Mill and the Port Perry waterfront.
At a meeting on Monday, November 20th, council decided to direct township staff to work with the Phase 2 Waterfront Steering Committee, to establish a comprehensive proposal that would include the waterfront area from the Scugog Memorial Public Library to the south side of Queen St., comprising also the township parking lot behind CIBC in Port Perry.
As well, the motion directed staff, during the process, to consult with the heritage committee, economic development and tourism advisory committee, the Port Perry Marina and the Port Perry Seniors Club and to then report back to council. The motion was made by Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back.
At the meeting, councillors saw a report which included a proposal from “small –from natural to cultural resources” and the Queen’s Water Beverage Company. The proposal was to make the Old Mill a “cultural hub.” In the proposal, the main tenant of the mill would be a craft soda company, but there would also be a heritage market, food service, public washrooms at the mill site and licensed event space in the mill.
The report recommended, should council wish to continue with the restoration of the old mill, the proposal be approved in principle, subject to certain conditions. Conditions included: that the Old Mill Structural and Building Envelope Improvements project, and Old Mill Public Square construction project, receive 2018 capital budget approval; and that staff, as well as proponents, present the proposal to the Phase 2 Waterfront Steering Committee, heritage and museum advisory Committee, economic development and tourism advisory committee, members of the Port Perry Seniors Club and to residents for input.
Some of the other conditions included: authorizing staff to negotiate a tentative leasing arrangement with the proponents; that staff be authorized to continue to apply for grant funding; that sufficient grant funding be received for the proposals; and that staff report back to council on he results of the consultation process and a recommended leasing arrangement.
The report stated, the old mill structural improvements and the public square construction would be funded, with a total township contribution from the hydro reserve of $516,440.
$100,000 of that would be drawn in 2019 for the public square project. The extra funding would comprise $300,000 in grants, and $450,000 in other contributions. These included $250,000 from a buy a brick fundraiser and $200,000 from tenant contributions.
Councillor Back explained the intention of her motion.
“It frees us up to more possibilities. More possibilities of attracting larger investment which could perhaps help offset the [township’s] portion of restoring the Old Mill.”
Ward 1 Councillor, Betty Somerville questioned whether the township should have an economic assessment study done on the cultural hub proposal “to see if it is viable.”
“I’m so concerned about that hydro reserve. If we use our reserves up, what do we have left?,” she expressed. “ I don’t want to see money spent frivolously.”
Kevin Heritage, director of development services, explained that the mill “needs a use, in order to be financially viable.”
Ward 2 Councillor Guido said there was an “outcry” from the public when the Township spent money to paint the old mill.
During discussions on the report, Mayor Tom Rowett cautioned councillors not to treat staff like they are on the “firing range”, because staff were simply reporting on the expression of interest the township shared regarding leasing the mill.
“This is [the result of] the expression of interest that [council] asked them to do. It’s coming back with the best proposal that they had, given the time of this report. I do want to remind council that we asked staff to go out and do this undertaking,” he said.
Mayor Rowett added, if the expression of interest came back with minimal cost to the township, council would not be having the discussion they did.
CAO Paul Allore explained, it would be hard to find a lease situation that would come back with minimal or no cost to the municipality.
“In our opinion, as staff, the reason that the amount, that is being requested from the municipality, and the grants, and so on, is the way it is, is it is tied directly to council’s direction to retain ownership of the Old Mill and to have it as a lease opportunity. What we have found is it is very difficult to generate financing when you are leasing the building,” he explained.
Regional Councillor, Bobbie Drew said, she could not support Councillor Back’s motion, and urged councillors to take a second look at the recommendations in the development services department’s report.
“It doesn’t state that anything is set in stone. Just as any item in the capital budget, it may be studied, revised and reconsidered,” she said, later adding there were “a lot of provisions” in the report.
Councillor Drew also called the cultural hub proposal in the report an “appropriate use of reserves.”
Council later approved Councillor Back’s motion.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHAS: College students in Ontario headed back to their classrooms on Tuesday, November 21st, as the Ontario government passed back-to-work legislation on Sunday, Nov. 19th.
The decision ends a college faculty strike, which had recently reached the five week mark.
The Ontario Liberal government made their first attempt to introduce and pass the legislation on the evening of Thursday, November 16th, however the NDP did not give consent. Despite having a majority, the Ontario Liberals still needed to have consent from the two opposition parties to have it pushed to the voting stage.
The legislation was introduced on Friday and debated over the weekend, eventually passing on Sunday.
The decision to introduce the legislation was made after Premier Kathleen Wynne met with OPSEU and the College Employer Council (CEC), shortly after 86 per cent of faculty voted to reject the CEC’s latest offer.
“We’re obviously not pleased with back-to-work legislation,” Nicole Zwiers, president of OPSEU local 354, told The Standard. “I think it is even more egregious coming off of [faculty’s democratic decision to turn down the CEC’s offer].”
Ms. Zwiers added, she was not surprised faculty overwhelmingly turned down the CEC’s offer, stating that OPSEU told the CEC, before a vote on the offer was forced, that faculty would likely reject the offer. She also said any claim, OPSEU would not allow their faculty to vote on an offer, was “simply not true.”
In a press release, issued November 16th, the CEC stated they were “in support of the government introducing back to work legislation as soon as possible.”
In a statement, Ontario deputy premier, and minister of advanced education and skills development, Deb Matthews said, the Ontario government needed to intervene in the strike.
“Students were in the middle of the strike for too long. We needed to put students first, and get them back to their studies. This legislation ensures students can get back to the classroom and refocus on their education,” she said.
Both sides will now go through an arbitration process to resolve outstanding issues.
“The College Employer Council and OPSEU have five days to agree on a mediator-arbitrator, or one will be appointed by the Minister of Labour,” read a press release from the Ontario government.
As well, in another press release, the Ontario government announced they required “colleges to establish dedicated student support funds, with net savings from the strike, that will assist students who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the strike.”
Students who decide to withdraw from college because of the strike will receive a full tuition refund.
Full time students will be eligible to receive up to $500 for “unexpected costs” such as child care fees, or rebooked train or bus tickets.
Ms. Zwiers said, faculty are “pleased they are going to be seeing their students” and are “rolling up their sleeves” and getting to work, but are “disappointed they were legislated back.”
Sam Odrowski The Standard
Over the past few years, The Ontario Bar Association has declared November “Make A Will Month”, and encourages everyone to write a will and choose a power of attorney.
“The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) started make a will month, because, as lawyers, we were really concerned about the large population of Canadians that don’t have wills,” said Kathryn Balter, wills and estates lawyer and OBA member.
She added, “This year we are really focused on getting out the word, about why you need a will, and also powers of attorney.”
According to a LawPRO survey, a majority of Canadians do not have a signed will, and 71 per cent of Canadian adults do not have a signed power of attorney.
There are two types of powers of attorney, one is a power of attorney over property and the other is a power of attorney over personal care.
A power of attorney is when someone is appointed to look after a person’s property or personal care, when they are no longer capable of doing so.
“It’s a lot less expensive to draft that document now, and make your choice about who you feel comfortable with, in making those important decisions about managing your money,” Kathryn said.
In addition to a power of attorney, writing a will is very important, to ensure your money gets divided properly amongst your loved ones.
“By writing a will you get to control what happens to your assets, you can make specific gifts to people, you can choose the person who is going to take care of your estate, and you can name custodians for your minor children, which is a big reason why people come in and make wills a lot of the time.”
If a will is not written before passing away, the Succession Law Reform Act decides how the property will be distributed to the surviving relatives. If a person dies without a will and is a parent to minor children, any money they get will have to be paid into court and they may not have access to it. Kathryn said its never a great circumstance in those situations.
“Having a will and power of attorney can save families a lot of heartache. I was formerly an estate litigator, before being an estate planner, and I’ve seen what happens when people, either, don’t have a will or don’t have one that was done professionally,” Kathryn said.
“So it is very important for people to go through the exercise, have these discussions, consult with a lawyer, and have an estate plan put into place.”
The minimum age to write a will is 18. Anyone of age, who is aware of who they want to benefit from their estate, should have one.
Kathryn said, “You could be 21 or you could be 75, it doesn’t matter, a will is important for you.”
It doesn’t have to be expensive either, there are many wills and estates lawyers of all experience levels in Canada.
“There are lawyers all across Ontario doing this, and they all come at different price points. So, speak with a lawyer, and talk about what they can provide, for what amount. There is definitely a price point for every person,” Kathryn said.
She encourages everyone who has not written a will or assigned a power of attorney, to contact their lawyer and arrange an appointment. It may be a difficult topic to think about, but it make’s a world of difference for loved ones, when a will is properly written.
LINDSAY: Santa's coming to Lindsay this weekend, on Sunday, November 19th, at 2:00 p.m. to be exact. Old Saint Nick will kick off his annual procession at the Fleming College Frost campus and end by the Academy Theatre on Kent Street East.
Parade co-ordinator Jenn Ellis said, Lindsay was one of the communities selected to receive the Canada 150th Celebration Grant, which allowed the planning committee to hire more entertainment this year.
“The 2017 Lindsay Santa Claus Parade is honoured to be chosen as a recipient of the Canada 150th Celebration Grant, through the City of Kawartha Lakes Community Partnership and Development Fund Program,” says Ellis. “Because of this funding, we are excited to bring a few new bands to the parade in 2017.”
Ellis adds, “This year we are celebrating 150 years of Canadian Christmas. We have a special band coming from Toronto, they’ll be walking on stilts while playing the drums, and we were able to get nine bands to perform, which is a few more than we usually have.”
Some of the bands include, Kawartha Kavaliers, Lindsay Pipes & Drums, 2817 RC Army Cadets & Band, Navy League Ptbo Branch Sea Cadetband, Crestwood Drumline, Salvation Army Band, and Maraca Tall Stilt Drumming Performers.
“As of November 9th we have 33 floats registered,” she said. “There will be free face painting in front of the Lindsay Public Library and we’ll also be collecting toys for the annual Kinsmen Toy Drive throughout the parade.”
Kawartha Dairy will also be on the scene handing out free milk, and Canada Post is set to collect letters to Santa.
“People usually start lining up around 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.,” says Ellis. “We’re hoping for good weather!”
For more information, visit www.lindsayparade.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The annual Uxbridge Community Toy Drive has begun. The official toy drive kickoff was held on Monday, November 13th.
“Giving back to the community is what it is all about. You’ve got to help out where you can, and I think it is important, especially around this time of year, when people are stressed more than ever,” Pat Higgins, Uxbridge Canadian Tire owner, and one of the organizers of the toy drive, told The Standard. “Between the toy drive and the food bank, it’s really good, and the nice part about this is, we work with all the different groups. We work with the church groups, social services, food bank, anyone in need, the local food hamper program. It’s really good, we’re helping lots of organizations.”
He also said he was thrilled with how the annual toy drive went last year.
“It was very good. Uxbridge always rallies to help out, which is what we need. There’s lots of people out there that are in need,” Mr. Higgins said. “Last year we had a great variety, people contributed for young kids, for teenagers, so it was really good.”
Toys can be dropped off at several businesses in Uxbridge, including Canadian Tire, McDonald’s, Zehrs, Little Acorn, M&M Meat Shops, and Walmart. They also can be dropped off at all Uxbridge Bruins home games. All toys donated will go to Uxbridge families.
For more information on the toy drive, go on-line to www.uxbridgetoydrive.com.
TINA Y. GERBER
Special to the Standard
A fall can happen in an instant, tripping on uneven pavement, a patch of ice, slipping on a rug, even getting up from the bed, bath or toilet!
According to Statistics Canada, falls are the most common cause of injury among elderly people over 65. Falls can reduce the ability for seniors to remain independent. They can lead to physical and social impacts that linger well beyond their injuries, even after they have healed!
Things such as muscle weakness, stiffness, osteoporosis, poor vision, poor mobility, poor balance, poor coordination, and cognitive impairments can lead to falls that can have an enduring and devastating impact, resulting in injury, loss of mobility, and a reduced quality of life.
Older adults and family members can take these simple steps, to protect themselves and prevent a fall of a loved one.
It’s necessary to make your living area more accessible, by getting rid of fall hazards, such as rugs, cords, obstacles and clutter. Install grab bars, stair rails, and improved lighting, and consider using a walker, cane, scooter or other devices designed to prevent falls.
My Mother wears hip protectors to cushion the hips from the impact of an unexpected fall.
Fall prevention is about improving your mobility. It is important to remember exercise can improve your balance and strengthen your legs and feet. Reduced muscle strength, and increased inactivity, plus chronic health conditions, and use of prescription medications are definitely risk factors for falls among older Canadians.
I urge you to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about medications that may make you more likely to fall. Have your eyes checked by an optometrist, yearly, and update your eyeglasses as needed.
Remember attempting to do activities or chores beyond your physical ability, such as, clearing snow, putting up Christmas lights, or cleaning the top shelves of cupboards can lead to a fall!
I read, "An indirect death from a fall occurs when the fall itself is not deadly, but the injuries that are sustained undermine the individual’s health so much that other diseases and illnesses prove fatal. Pneumonia and infections are often the causes of indirect deaths after a fall.”