EVE-LYNN SWAN The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Township planner Elizabeth Howson told Uxbridge council that Grain Boys Holdings Inc. has provided no answers to questions posed by Uxbridge residents regarding the Zoning By-law Amendment Application for their 351 Regional Road 47 property. The planner’s status report also informed council “that the Applicant is considering options with respect to the proposed development.” Currently zoned Rural, the company wishes to change the zoning to allow a dry grain processing plant featuring a 60 foot processing tower, warehouse and office space, all within sight and hearing of nearby homes.
At the February 4th council meeting Howson revealed to the mayor and all councillors except Pamela Beach, who had excused herself from the room because of a pending ruling on a potential conflict of interest, that she could not provide the report containing her planning recommendations.
On January 21st, council had arranged direct questioning of the proponent and township staff by residents concerned about noise, dust, increased traffic and control of invasive seeds. “[Grain Boys] were to respond to 80-90 comments and have not,” said Ms Howson. Councillor Todd Snooks asked if the proponent could, legally, not respond. “They can choose not to,” said the planner.
Mayor Dave Barton called for Howson’s report to be received for information and asked staff to enquire if Grain Boys Holdings Inc. intended to proceed with the application, noting that if the planner’s report was released to the public by February 18th, the original February 25th deadline for a zoning decision could be met.
Potential mill neighbour Conrad Richter then asked council why that deadline was still on the radar, “given that the 150-day timeline is blown past.” Barton replied that it was in Uxbridge’s best interest to move the application along so the applicant doesn’t go to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), leaving control in Uxbridge. Planner Howson reassured Mr. Richter that Grain Boys Holdings was not making big changes and Uxbridge Clerk Debbie Leroux added her reassurance, saying council can push the deadline back if residents need more time.
DURHAM: Ontario Premier Doug Ford addressed a full ballroom as Ontario’s rural municipal leaders gathered at their annual Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) convention on Monday morning, saying “the people of Toronto don’t realize, number one, how great Ontario is until you get out of the bubble—I call Toronto the “bubble,” by the way. You got to get out of the bubble because there’s a whole life outside of Toronto.”
A featured speaker, Premier Ford said he was there to provide an update on what the local politicians could expect in the coming months. North Durham’s townships participated in the conference to varying degrees. Brock Township sent their mayor and entire council, Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton and councillors Willie Popp and Gary Ruona attended, and Scugog’s mayor, Bobbie Drew, was also present.
According to the ROMA’s newsletter, the rural mayors and councillors were looking forward to learning about cannabis legalization, labour law changes, and natural gas expansion.
Regarding energy, the Premier promised privately funded natural gas expansion and said it would be made available to as many as 78 communities in rural Ontario. He recalled that the Green Energy Act was cancelled to allow local communities to have input on planned energy projects and “have the final say on these important planning issues.”
Premier Ford announced a consultation process regarding municipal insurance costs, its impact on property taxes and Ontario residents, saying “We heard your concerns about the liability chill, preventing everyday activities in your municipalities, like as simple as tobogganing or street hockey…”
Ford also reminded the audience of previous announcements for transportation funding, infrastructure planning assistance, upgrades to smaller hospitals and the withdrawal of Schedule 10 of Bill 66, saying the latter was proof the government was listening: “…we would never approve any projects at the expense of the Greenbelt, water quality or public health. It just wouldn’t happen.”
As for cannabis, Premier Ford mentioned the costs of dealing with the legalised product in his closing remarks, assuring local politicians that they could count on his government.
ROMA reported that the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs spoke following breakfast, stressing the need for more broadband and telecommunications services in rural and northern areas. Attendees participated in an update on cannabis legalization prior to Mr. Ford’s appearance. Many government ministers were also present, with all other party leaders addressing ROMA on Tuesday.
ROMA is a branch of the non-profit, non-partisan Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). Scugog, Uxbridge and Brock townships are part of ROMA Zone 5, which did not have a Zone Representative before the convention and according to the organization’s web site, no nomination was received prior to the meeting.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Former Scugog Ward 3 Councillor Don Kett’s request for a recount of the 2018 municipal election results has been denied by the Superior Court of Justice.
The case was heard at the Oshawa courthouse, on Thursday, January 31st, and Justice Joseph Di Luca decided to dismiss the 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.
At the start of the hearing, Mr. Kett alleged “irregularities affected the election.”
Some of the concerns Mr. Kett brought up at the hearing were the security of the ballots, the “potential for errors in tabulators”, the accuracy of the voters list, the electronic transferring of election results and certain activities he alleged scrutineers were not allowed to witness.
He also told the court his intent for bringing this case forward was to make sure there was “transparency and accountability”, as he was seeking the court to order Scugog’s clerk J.P. Newman to release certain information he had requested from the clerk.
“I’m asking you today to direct the township clerk to release the information and, if necessary, order a manual recount of the ballots cast by the electors,” Mr. Kett told Justice Di Luca.
Regarding the results, Mr. Kett said who won and lost in the election is “irrelevant to [his] request for a manual recount”, stating he is “not a bad loser.”
Mr. Kett also called this case a “matter of great importance to our democracy” and said people “must be confident that the election was carried out properly.”
The Township’s lawyers then had a chance to respond. Lawyer Chris Lee said there was a tabulator test conducted and they found “every ballot was coded correctly.” He also echoed an affidavit from clerk J.P. Newman, which stated the information being sought was only asked for by the three applicants after the election results were released. He said he believes the Township has “gone above and beyond in providing information” the applicants are entitled to.
Mr. Lee said they have “privacy concerns” with releasing security footage, adding this request is “not rationally connected to this application.” As well, he explained a programming change was behind the Township no longer being able to provide interim results and added this change was “repeatedly explained to the candidates.”
Most of all, Mr. Lee argued that nothing Mr. Kett provided in his case proved “the election results are in doubt” and thus he didn’t feel there were “reasonable grounds for a recount.”
Justice Di Luca was also not convinced there was a need for a recount, and decided to dismiss the case.
“I am not satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe the election results are in doubt,” Justice Di Luca said. The Justice added he will later provide his reasoning to both sides of the case, which will include a decision on costs awarded.
The Township is asking for $29,882 from Mr. Kett for costs of the court case.
At the end of the hearing, Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew said she is “pleased with the judge’s decision” and stated her “utmost respect for the integrity” of clerk J.P. Newman. With the case now over, Mayor Drew said she is looking forward to getting “back to the work of running the township in a positive and respectful manner.”
Mayor Drew explained the Township “felt this whole thing was unnecessary.”
SCUGOG: There are currently plans to honour the late Bill Lishman with a statue.
Doug Moffat and Dr. Bill Eull appeared before Scugog council, on Monday, February 4th, to pitch a “memorial structure” to honour the local artist and longtime Scugog resident, who was best known for his work leading a group of geese on a southern migration with his ultra light aircraft.
“He was a great guy, great artist, and a great citizen of Ajax, Pickering, Scugog, Durham Region and the country of Canada. He has done notable work everywhere. We think it would be really worthwhile to propose a commemorative sculpture in the style of Bill Lishman,” Mr. Moffat said.
Mr. Moffat and Dr. Eull are part of a group of people who are planning to raise funds for the commission of this sculpture. The main purpose behind their presentation to council was to ask to have the Township give assurance they will receive the sculpture into their public art collection and designate a place for it when it is complete.
“We haven’t finalized a design,” Mr. Moffat said. “We haven’t finalized a location. All we’ve finalized is we think there is going to be a cost, probably $200,000, and we’re hoping to raise that.”
Mr. Moffat also said he hopes this is a sculpture that will last “many, many decades.”
The Scugog Council for the Arts (SCA) has partnered with the group to help with the fundraising.
“It is a charitable body, and it can give charitable receipts. They have agreed to be partners with us on this and we will be funnelling all the moneys that we raise through the [SCA’s account,]” Dr Eull explained.
Ward 1 Councillor Ian McDougall praised the project.
“I can’t think of a more worthy person to see a statue erected for,” he said.
Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido questioned how the Township would go about finding the land, to delegate for the placement of the piece.
CAO Paul Allore suggested that could be part of the scope of the Township’s waterfront review.
Ward 5 Councillor Lance Brown questioned if the Township would be responsible for maintaining the sculpture in the future.
“ Once it [is] given to the municipality, it will be seen as a public art feature and maintained accordingly, as any other public art feature” CAO Allore explained.
Council later passed a motion to endorse the principle of a commemorative art feature honouring Mr. Lishman, which would be donated to the township as a public art feature upon completion and the advancement of the project be considered in the Township’s comprehensive waterfront strategy.
KAWARTHA LAKES: Kawartha Lakes is set to host an Indoor Triathlon on Sunday, February 24th from 8am to 12pm at the Lindsay Recreation Complex. Whether you are looking to prepare for the upcoming Triathlon season or are interested in trying it for the first time, this indoor event is the perfect place to get started.
Register in person at the Lindsay Recreation Complex, by online at kawarthalakes.perfectmind.com or by calling 705-324-9412.
Participants will have 15 minutes for each discipline with a 10 minute transition between swimming and biking. The cost to register is $50 for members and $60 for non-members. All participants will receive a long sleeve technical tee and a protein smoothie courtesy of Fresh Fuell.
We are also looking for volunteers to assist with this event. To learn more or to sign up, please contact Candace McGuigan, Fitness Coordinator at 705-324-9411 extension 1555 or email email@example.com.
CEARRA HOWEY The Standard
DURHAM: Grade 6-8 students from different elementary schools around Durham all came together on January 22nd at UOIT in Oshawa to showcase their city planning projects. The students were asked to create a model of a city 100 years in the future with this year’s theme “Powering Our Future”. With this in mind, the students had to include a power grid in their city plans that would be immune to extreme weather. This Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program ran in 20 different schools in the Durham District School Board. The competition was hosted by the UOIT Faculty of engineering, with over 80 projects registered, making this year’s event one of the biggest yet.
KAWARTHA LAKES: Mayor Letham and Ron Taylor, CAO, joined more than 1,000 rural municipal officials from across the province at the 2019 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference in Toronto, from January 27th to 29th.
Coming six months after the change in provincial government, the conference focused on the pressing challenges and emerging opportunities facing rural communities in Ontario. It was an opportunity for Kawartha Lakes to bring to the forefront the key issues facing our municipality.
Mayor Letham expressed his thoughts on the conference by stating, “The provincial government is very open to new ideas, and truly seems to understand that one size doesn’t fit all, when it comes to rural Ontario. I’m encouraged to see strong partnerships being developed to support rural municipalities. The commitment and leadership of our local MPP, Honorable Laurie Scott, has been instrumental in forging these partnerships and opening doors.”
In addition to the conference program, the City of Kawartha Lakes initiated several meetings with provincial Ministers, to discuss some local priorities including:
Honourable Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation – Supporting growth, committed to updating the City, respecting future planned long-term improvements to Highway 35 throughout the City, and working with the City to coordinate Highway 35 improvements, between Colborne Street and Thunderbridge Road, to support major planned growth and development in that area of Lindsay.
Honourable Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services – Reducing red tape for re-purposing land and buildings.
The Ministry received the City’s delegation, recommending changes to regulations for land and building disposal, sale, and utilization. They committed to working with the City to look at options, to retain existing medical practitioners in publicly owned spaces in our rural communities.
Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing - Growth Plan policy changes.
Kawartha Lakes participated in a joint delegation with Peterborough County and Northumberland County reiterating our support for the proposed changes to the Growth Plan, as it affects slow and low growth municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
“Minister Clark has been very responsive to the recommendations we made in August. We were pleased to see that many of our requested changes to help Kawartha Lakes move forward with the right type of development for our community were included in the draft,” commented Mayor Letham.
As Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus (EOWC), Mayor Letham led a multi-ministerial panel discussion, focusing primarily on the EOWC’s number one priority for 2019, which is funding for the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) cellular network and mobile broadband improvement project.
Mayor Letham was also invited to a roundtable discussion with other select Mayors and leaders, hosted by the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Federal Minister of Rural Economic Development, to discuss rural economic development interests. Mayor Letham used this opportunity to reiterate the importance of the Federal Government’s support for cellular and broadband coverage, and capacity improvements to rural Ontario businesses and residents.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: North Durham residents now have a new option for where they can buy pizza, as Papa’s Pizza Land recently opened a location in Port Perry.
The restaurant opened on Wednesday, January 16th, and is located in the 1874 Scugog St. plaza. Owner Scott Renny told The Standard what makes their pizza restaurant different from some others in the area.
“First of all, we do everything in house. We make our own dough, we make our own sauce, we do everything. The recipes that we have for specialty pizzas alone you won't see anywhere else. We have a poutine pizza, we have pizzas with hot dogs and french fries on them. We took everything from places that we worked and ran with our imagination,” he said.
Papa’s Pizza Land also has restaurants in locations such as Bowmanville, Port Hope, Oshawa, Newcastle and Peterborough.
“Port Perry just seemed like a natural fit for us,” Mr. Renny said, later adding when the perfect location became available they “jumped on it” quickly.
Mr. Renny has 25 years of experience in this business field. He talked about what he enjoys most about it.
“I love dealing with customers. I love putting whatever I want on a pizza and making everyone happy,” Mr. Renny stated.
Regarding why people should choose to buy pizzas at Papa’s, Mr. Renny explained “we're going to give you a fair price for great food.”
“Nine times out of ten, people are shocked by how good the pizzas look when they open the box,” he said.
For more information, check out Papa’s Pizza Land Port Perry on Facebook.
SCUGOG: For about 12 years, Never Enough Wool has been operating in the Scugog community.
Carol McGavin started 'Never Enough Wool' after she learned her favourite wool shop in the community, Yonder Yarns, was closing.
“I needed a place where I could buy yarn and wool and hang out with other people that liked to knit and crochet, and were as crazy and fun loving as I am,” Ms. McGavin said. “So I wrote up a business plan and everything fell into place.”
Shortly after it opened, a regular knitting group was set up, which has seen its membership base steadily increase over the years.
“We started with a Thursday night knitting group, and then we had a Wednesday afternoon knitting group, and then a Tuesday night class, and then a Tuesday afternoon class and then officially Saturday and then Thursday afternoon, and now pretty much anytime we are open you will find people sitting here knitting or crocheting,” Ms. McGavin said.
Barb Harvel is Carol’s business partner. She said her favourite part about the business is being able to teach the customers.
“I love teaching the new techniques to people, I love watching a new knitter go out on his or her own and just understand what he or she is doing,” she said.
Ms. Harvel also said the immense support from the community is what has kept 'Never Enough Wool' successful over the years.
“We wouldn’t do this without the community support, it is so much fun,” she told The Standard.
Ms. McGavin agreed with her business partner.
“We have people who come in and they could be having a rotten day, or I could be coming in during the day and be having a rotten morning, and people come in and we talk about the wool and suddenly it is a bright sunny day. The support from the community is just amazing,” she said.
'Never Enough Wool' is located at 26 Water St. in Port Perry. For more information, visit www.neverenoughwool.ca
SCUGOG: Two suspects from Scugog are facing numerous charges after several properties were broken into at a trailer park in Port Perry over the winter season.
According to police, on Wednesday, January 9th, members of North Division responded to a break and enter call at the Goreski's Landing R.V. and Resort, on Platten Boulevard in Port Perry. The suspects had broken in and stole property from residential units, before fleeing in a red vehicle. Police located the vehicle at a residence in Scugog and one suspect was arrested. A second male was arrested a short time after. Investigators were contacted by numerous victims from the trailer park, who had their properties broken into. Police expect that more victims will come forward when the park opens for the season.
18 year-old Nicholous Seeney is facing 28 charges, including Break and Enter with Intent; Theft Under $5,000; Possession of Property Obtained by Crime; Possession of Break-in Instrument; Mischief under $5000; Break, Enter and Theft and Break, Enter and Cause Mischief. He was released on a Promise to Appear.
18 year-old Cody Miller is being charged with two counts of Break and Enter with Intent, as well as Theft Under $5,000; Possession of Property Obtained by Crime; Possession of Break-in Instrument, two counts of Mischief under $5000, and Break, Enter and Theft. He was also released on a Promise to Appear.
Anyone with new information is asked to contact D/Cst. Brown of North Division Criminal Investigation Bureau, at 1-888-579-1520 (ext. 2675).
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-8477.