KAWARTHA LAKES: An initiative is taking root in the City of Kawartha Lakes, to help students who use nutrition programs at school reap the rewards of eating local foods.
For more than a year, Food For Kids City of Kawartha Lakes has been working to create a ‘Local Food Initiative’, to benefit Student Nutrition Programs (SNPs). The idea is to increase the amount of fresh, healthy food grown/raised within a 100-kilometre radius of Kawartha Lakes available to SNPs. Through funding for the initiative, local food items are being purchased at a lower cost, delivered to Kawartha Lakes Food Source, and then distributed to schools at no additional charge. In some cases, local growers have also donated food, to increase the supply available to students.
Locally-grown apples are among the first items being distributed through the Local Food Initiative.
The initiative is proving popular, with more than four out of five schools in Kawartha Lakes taking part. Food For Kids is also considering a fundraising campaign, to expand the Local Food Initiative, to include more foods and farmers.
“We’re really pleased at how CKL schools and local farmers/producers are embracing the Local Food Initiative and working together to achieve success,” says Jen Armitage, the Community Student Nutrition Coordinator with Food For Kids CKL. “Eating local benefits all of us, is good for our community, and is great for the environment. That is why we would love to see the initiative expanded even further.”
In general, local food tends to be fresher, more flavourful and full of nutrients, and doesn’t need to travel great distances to get here, adds Aisha Malik, a Registered Dietitian with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “Eating local food also supports farmers in our community, while helping students make connections as to the origin of the food they eat,” notes Ms. Malik, who is Food For Kids chair.
“We’re pleased to be able to support Food For Kids, in the delivery and distribution of local food to local students,” adds Heather Kirby, General Manager with Kawartha Lakes Food Source. “Many schools already use Food Source for their student nutrition programs, so being able to add in extra local food items into a school’s regular food order is great to do.”
Food for Kids CKL supports Student Nutrition Programs, which are provided at every school in Kawartha Lakes. SNPs consist of a full sit-down breakfast before school starts, a grab-and-go program, or ones where snack bins are delivered to each classroom. In whatever form they take, SNPs are free, voluntary, and provide food to thousands of students every day, to ensure they have the fuel they need to learn in class.
Kawartha Lakes students come to school hungry for many reasons, not just poverty, Armitage notes. “Long bus rides to school, early morning practices and rehearsals, hurried morning routines in which students do not eat breakfast, and children not being hungry before school can all be factors,” she says.
To support or learn more about the Local Food Initiative, visit Food For Kids CKL, at (www.foodforkidsckl.ca) online.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog residents will get a chance to look at the Township of Scugog’s proposed 2019 Operating and Capital budgets at an open house event on Wednesday, February 20th.
The event will be held at the Scugog Memorial Public Library starting at 6:30 p.m. Residents are invited to come to ask questions to Township staff as well as provide input on the budget.
“Everyone is invited,” Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew said.
In December, council approved setting a target tax rate of 3.9 percent. This includes a 2.4 percent regular increase, plus a 1 percent special levy for roads and infrastructure and a 0.5 percent special levy dedicated for vehicles and equipment.
Following the open house, the municipal budgets are expected to come back to council for approval on March 4th.
UXBRIDGE: At the February 11th council meeting, Ward 1 Councillor Pamela Beach declared a potential pecuniary (financial) interest in matters relating to Grain Boys Holdings Inc.’s Goodwood land re-zoning application “because there is—have been—continuing emails and theories talking about the conflict and misinformation they’re putting out there and, you know, I’m just looking at myself and the corporation, as I stated this morning, that I think [it is] for the betterment of all for me to step away if people, you know, seem to feel that, then they will not have representation in this manner… their choice.”
Beach’s decision to remove herself from any discussions or communication regarding the Grain Boys application came despite a ruling from Township Integrity Commissioner Guy Giorno, who wrote “Assuming you have no business relationship with Grain Boys and no current intention to enter into a business relationship with Grain Boys, I believe you do not have a pecuniary interest… in the application…” She excused herself when correspondence from Uxbridge residents regarding her potential conflict of interest was to be discussed.
Speaking for a group of Uxbridge residents who’d signed a letter to the Township regarding Beach’s potential conflict of interest, Conrad Richter told council he remained concerned, despite what he’d heard at the meeting. “One fact not presented (to the integrity commissioner) was that the applicant wants to purchase from local grain farmers. I consulted with an expert and he agreed with the (commissioner’s) conclusion when given the same facts. But when I gave (him) documents saying there was a supply possibility, it changed everything.”
“That’s why she’s stepping out,” said Mayor Barton, to which Richter replied, “But it looks like nothing was wrong.” Councillor Popp noted, “She cannot do anymore.” Clerk Leroux reminded Mr. Richter that he had until March 1st to bring forth legal action.
While considering the correspondence, council discussed the conflict issue, with Mayor Dave Barton stating that “From our perspective, Councillor Beach doesn’t have a conflict. The advice we paid for says we do not have a conflict, but she’s declared a conflict anyway to avoid legal issues.” Councillor Willie Popp returned to the application’s status and informed the meeting that Grain Boys Holdings had yet to provide answers to residents’ questions, despite council “going back to them a couple of times.”
With a grain processing facility now in an Aurora industrial park, the Grain Boys Holdings wishes to change the zoning by-law on their 351 Regional Road 47 property from a rural to acceptable agricultural use to allow a dry grain processing plant featuring 60 foot processing towers, warehouse and office space. Since the proposed site is designated Countryside Area on the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, Grain Boys Holdings has been asked to provide information to the public, including an open house held at the Goodwood Community Centre on January 7th.
A January 21st council resolution asked the company to respond to residents’ questions and the township planner was to release a report on the issue at the February 4th council meeting. No questions were answered by Grain Boys Holdings and planner Elizabeth Howson did not file her report.
After much discussion and consideration of the need for interested parties to review planner Howson’s report, council decided to make the report available March 4th and to hold a special evening meeting at 7 p.m. on March 18th.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
DURHAM: Evan Price is hoping voters in the Durham riding will consider the Green Party of Canada “a real contender” in the 2019 federal election in October.
Mr. Price was named the Green Party’s Durham riding candidate in late January.
“Evan Price supports policies and legislation that increase freedoms and protections for children, women, immigrants, and minority groups. He is especially passionate about election reform and the Green Party’s call for proportional representation to ensure Canadians are accurately being represented in government, as well as developing more opportunities for youth engagement,” read a press release from the Green Party.
Mr. Price explained he plans to be active all across the riding leading up to election day.
“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I plan to have a really large campaign. I think this is the year people will really start considering the Green Party as a real contender. People are looking for change, someone who will step up and take charge of this democracy.”
Mr. Price said, while the Green Party has not had a lot of success in Durham in the past, he feels that as a 24 year-old candidate, he can inspire the younger voter demographic.
“I have an opportunity to connect with these people, show them how their vote matters,” he said, adding one of the benefits of being a younger candidate is he looks “far ahead into the future to see” the possible long term affects of the decisions he makes.
Mr. Price said his main objective in this campaign is to “gain respect and earn the trust of the voters.” He said he decided to start the campaign early, in order to “listen to people’s concerns” and then be able to “implement changes to [his] campaign.”
Mr. Price said he will be active in talking to and engaging the Scugog and Brock Township communities.
“They will no longer be overlooked and forgotten.”
He also stated his intention to be accessible to North Durham voters in the riding he is running in, and committed to having a constituency office in Scugog, if he is elected the MP for the area.
Mr. Price was critical of current MP Erin O’Toole’s response to General Motors’ plan to close the Oshawa plant.
“If I had the means and was elected as MP, I would do a lot more to make sure these employees were taken care of,” he opined.
As well, on the issue, in a press release, he stated “protecting the members of my community is of the utmost importance and I will do everything in my power to support them.”
Mr. Price asked voters to consider electing him as MP.
“As a lifelong resident of Durham Region, I’m proud to call this community my home,” he said. “What can somebody young like me bring to the table? A full understanding of the issues and emotional motivation to fix these issues.”
For more information on Mr. Price, go online to evanprice.ca.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Following the dismissal of his request for a recount of the Scugog municipal election results, in late January by the Superior Court of Justice, former Ward 3 Councillor Don Kett will have to pay Scugog Township $20,000 in legal costs.
The awarded costs were released as part of a detailed explanation the Township received, on Thursday, February 7th, from Justice Joseph Di Luca, regarding why he decided to dismiss the case.
At the hearing in late January, the Township asked the court for $29,882 in legal costs from Mr. Kett.
“I accept that the Township has incurred unnecessary expenses in defending this application. The taxpayers in this small community should not have to bear the brunt of Mr. Kett’s failed attempt to review the election process,” Justice Di Luca wrote in his explanation. “That said, the costs consequences of applications seeking to maintain and foster open, transparent, and fair elections should not operate as a deterrent to persons who legitimately seek resort to the court process to test the validity of election results. Bearing in mind the principles of proportionality and reasonableness, I find that costs of $20,000 all-inclusive are warranted in this case.”
The case originally featured three former councillors asking for a recount, however on Friday, December 21st, court officials were told former Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back and former Ward 1 Councillor Betty Somerville had decided to abandon their application for a recount.
Justice Di Luca provided detailed reasoning why he decided to deny the recount request.
“Mr. Kett essentially offers no evidence that anything untoward happened with the election process. His complaints are based on speculation that something could or might have happened with the process,” Justice Di Luca wrote.
He also wrote about the clarity of the election results.
“Given the result of the votes, this was not a close election on any front. This is not a case where a swing of a small number of votes would have changed the outcome of the election. For the results of this election to be in doubt, a very significant degree of malfeasance or error would be required.”
Justice Di Luca also brought into question Mr. Kett’s timing of bringing forward his election process concerns.
“He waited until after the election results were announced and after the council elected not to call a special meeting to consider a recount before revealing his laundry list of complaints and requests. The timing is telling,” the Justice wrote.
Near the end of his analysis, Justice Di Luca wrote “Mr. Kett’s complaints have a thread grasping, conspiracy like quality to them” and later added “Mr. Kett is not looking for answers. He is looking for questions.”
“The answers do not matter as Mr. Kett is simply not prepared to accept the results of this election. Nothing he raises provides an objective basis for concluding that there exists a reasonable probability to question the election results,” Justice Di Luca concluded.
Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew praised Justice Di Luca’s report.
“We were all very impressed and thankful [for] the level of detail and reasoning provided by Judge Di Luca in his decision,” she said, in a press release. “We all knew in our hearts that our Clerk, J.P. Newman ran the municipal election with the utmost level of integrity and transparency and that the election followed all procedures. I am thankful that we can all put this behind us and pleased that we have been awarded a good bulk of our legal costs.”
CAO Paul Allore said he was happy the Township was awarded $20,000 by the court.
“Scugog’s taxpayers should be recompensed the $20,000 in legal fees. Taxpayers should not foot the bill,” he said, in the Township’s press release.
Concession 6 Cider Plans Move Forward as council approved planner Elizabeth Howson’s recommendation to advise the Committee of Adjustment that Slabtown Cider Co.’s application for a zoning variance at 4559 Concession 6, between Wagg and Goodwood roads. The rural zoned property is to feature a cidery, including a tasting room and associated eatery, farm retail sales outlet and a utility building. Saying the variance was minor, and reporting that the proposal is also desirable and “in keeping with the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan…” Howson said it “seems to work” but the final decision rests with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission because of the cidery aspect.
UXBRIDGE: They Will Walk for Water Active new group WE Uxbridge will ask their members to walk one or five kilometres carrying water in May or June to raise money and awareness of the worldwide efforts made daily to fetch clean water. Councillor Gord Highet asked leaders Sonya Kehoe and Nicole Hopkins to send council a list of their requirements as he “loves what they’re doing.”
The group, inspired by a Girl Guides trip to Ecuador in 2018, is aligned with the Me to We charity and is linking with the WE Walk for Water project as part of their participation in the WE Schools programme. Another aspect of WE organisation participation is performing local acts of charity, which recently lead the women and teens to the St. Vincent Soup Kitchen bearing donations and supporting North House’s “Coldest Night of the Year” walk. For every $25 raised at the walk and passed on to the WE Charity, the website promises one person will have clean water for life.
After the presentation, audience member Barbara Blower, who heads the Indigenous-focused Maamawi Collective asked Kehoe why they weren’t supporting Canadian water projects. Kehoe told The Standard Tuesday that Canadian needs were on their mind and they would do something locally “if we weren’t participating in the WE program that would be different, absolutely,” and added that Mrs. Blower has been invited to a WE Uxbridge meeting “to see how we can help.”
CAM DAHL, President of Cereals Canada, Special to The Standard
Canadians and Italians like each other. Italian culture has formed a deep part of the Canadian fabric and Canadians buy hundreds of millions of dollars of goods from Italy every year.
However, there have been some hiccups recently in the trade relationship between Canada and Italy, highlighted by the protectionist measures being used to block Canadian durum exports.
I often think that the few times when differences between our countries arise, governments should just get out of the way and let ordinary people resolve the issue.
Canadian and Italian farmers met face-to-face this past December in Altamura when a team from Canada’s durum wheat value chain came to Italy to talk about the high quality of the 2018 crop. Italian farmers had the opportunity to directly interact with Saskatchewan farmer, Scott Hepworth, who was a key part of the delegation. And guess what? Farmers in Canada and Italy have much more in common than differences. Those in attendance in Altamura saw that the quality of Canadian durum is the highest it has ever been. To quote Mr. Hepworth, “this is the most beautiful durum we have ever grown.”
Farmers, from both Italy and Canada saw that by working together Italian pasta producers can make the highest quality pasta in the world, using durum from both Canadian and Italian farms. This was a great example of the positive dialog that happens when farmers from different countries meet face-to-face, rather than trying to talk through lobbyists and special interest groups that have their own agenda.
Italy and Canada are friends who benefit from increased bilateral trade. Since the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) came into effect in September of 2017, trade between Canada and Italy has increased by almost fourteen percent. Italian exports to Canada have increased by over eleven percent. All parts of the Italian economy, including farmers, are benefiting from trade with Canada.
Yet during the same time we have seen access to the Italian market for some key Canadian products become restricted. Exports of durum wheat, the primary Canadian agricultural export to Italy, has fallen by over sixty percent since CETA has come into effect. This is a result of protectionist country of origin labelling regulations in Italy and an active social media campaign disparaging of the quality of Canadian durum production. These attacks have come from special interest groups who are focused on protectionism and not healthy two-way trade.
Both Canada and Italy benefit from trade and commerce that is based on sound science. How do consumers differentiate between science facts and the latest meme on the internet? We depend on science-based regulations from the European Food Safety Authority and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Italian consumers can be confident that Canadian exports, which meet the strict regulatory requirements for importation into Italy are safe to enjoy with family and friends. Conversely, farmers in Italy know that their high-quality food products, such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Parma Ham will be accepted by Canadian consumers because of regulations that are based on sound science and not influenced by politics or the latest internet trend.
I am confident that open dialog between the people of our two great countries can resolve any differences that arise. Farmers from Italy and Canada have recently shown this to be true. Canada and Italy have both prospered economically and culturally because of the friendship between us. It is in the national interest of both countries that this relationship continues to grow and flourish.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew gave members of the local business community an idea of what to expect from this term of council, at a Scugog Chamber luncheon, on Friday, February 1st.
“Since the election, your new council has been hard at work,” Mayor Drew said.
The luncheon was held at the Latcham Centre in Port Perry. This was Mayor Drew’s first chamber luncheon as Mayor of the Township.
In January, Scugog council held Strategic Planning Sessions at the Nestleton Waters Inn.
“That’s probably one of the most important things your council can do at the beginning of the term, because it sets the direction that we hope to go to in the next four years,” Mayor Drew explained.
She also spoke about why they decided to hold it at the Nestleton site. “It was advertised as a public meeting and we did have it off site. It was a good experience. We had it off site for a number of reasons. First of all, it allows for some team building in a different atmosphere. It allows for open dialogue and it prevents any phone calls, disturbances and allowed us to focus on what we were doing.”
A report, on the results of those sessions, is expected to come to council sometime this month.
Mayor Drew said some of the priorities, the Township heard from residents in their ‘Speak Up Scugog’ survey were financial stability and sustainability, affordable and seniors housing, support for environmental initiatives and work on the Township’s roads.
Planning is also currently underway for the Township to host an “agricultural round table.”
“Agriculture and tourism are our main economic drivers in Scugog. We need to pay attention to the needs of our agricultural community,” Mayor Drew stated.
Once again, the future of Port Perry’s Old Mill was brought up.
“Now I think we’re ready, with all of the input that we’ve had, [so] we can move forward with a request for proposal. We need to make this a sustainable use. Right now, I think it is costing us around $22,000 or $23,000 a year just to keep it as it is right now. We need to save that money for better use and we need to have something in that old mill [to] enhance our tourism and business industry. We’ll get those proposals and we’ll make some sort of a decision, so we can stop throwing money into a building that isn’t giving us anything back,” Mayor Drew explained.
Mayor Drew said she is concerned about the Ontario provincial government currently reviewing the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund.
“They are looking at that, which scares us immensely,” she said.
Regarding negotiations for a new Municipal Service Agreement, Scugog’s new Mayor mentioned both the Township and Mississaugas of Scugog Island Chief Kelly LaRocca are “committed to reaching an agreement.”
“Things are going really well,” she said. “I’m really pleased with the progress that we’ve made so far.”
KAWARTHA LAKES: The Ross Memorial Hospital is currently developing plans to accommodate patients of Dr. Al-Beer following his tragic death on January 23rd. These plans include the recruitment of a locum physician and a permanent replacement. The orthopaedic program remains committed to providing exceptional care to our patients.
Patients should expect that their booked procedures and appointments may be postponed or rescheduled. You will be contacted with further information about your procedure or appointment.
Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated during this difficult time.
Please watch for further updates.