As most have likely read in this week’s edition, the City of Kawartha Lakes has decided to trim the number of Councillors in half, from the original sixteen members to eight councillors and one mayor. There are numerous reasons why this is a good decision for the future of the City. For one thing, this act by council proves that residents are being listened to.
At the Tuesday, Oct. 17th meeting, Council was shown the results of a public survey which stated 74 per cent of its respondents wanted a reduction in Council size. People were very vocal in deciding the future of their council, with many sending letters and voicing their opinions at public meetings to help shape the future of the municipality and it seems they were truly heard.
It is also not often politicians make a decision to trim their own jobs, so this is a refreshing move.
As a paper that covers Council meetings weekly, we also know how hard it can be sometimes for Councils to find a consensus, when they have different voices offering up their two cents, and not all wards, or Councillors, can feel their voices are counting for something all of the time. When you have a Council that has a total of 16 members, it just becomes that much harder to make a decision the majority agrees upon.
Trimming council, in the short term, may also motivate the councillors currently in power to do as much as they can, to prove they should stay in power. Now that Council is being reduced, there are going to be less openings, and therefore some will have to go, so now residents will get to see exactly who deserves their vote in the 2018 election.
In the long run, this decision will also help taxpayers, as it obviously affects future budgets. There will be less councillors for the city to pay.
This decision is truly historic, and City Council deserves praise for listening to the people and making a choice that was for the betterment of the City. One that, risk wise, could leave some of them on the outside looking in, after the 2018 election.
It should be something interesting to watch, now Council just needs to decide if they are going with a four ward or an eight ward system.
To the Editor,
Thank you for your positive article on Reducing our Footprint. Despite all the whining about every level of government that seems to go on, I do appreciate the efforts to encourage us drivers to move away from fossil fuels, and embrace electric vehicles. When our Volkswagen Golf TDI (yes, one of THOSE diesels) was destroyed by a red light runner, we decided to replace it with a Nissan Leaf. With the purchase rebate, it cost no more than any other car, comparable to our old one. It is by far the best car purchase decision I have ever made. While I firmly believe in the environmental benefit of going electric, I think it's important to point out that there are plenty of other reasons why electric cars make sense.
A common concern we hear from other people is around the cost of electricity. Yes, we pay fairly high electricity rates in Ontario, but instead of $150 per month for diesel fuel, I now pay an additional $30 in electricity. That's $120 per month saved. The time of use rate benefits us, as I can set my car to charge overnight. The operating cost savings can be quite significant, especially if you drive a lot.
In addition to saving on fuel, there is very little maintenance to an electric car. There are no oil changes or timing belts, no spark plugs or glow plugs. Twice a year I take it in for a check-up, but there is little else to do to it.
I don't believe that mass adoption of electric vehicles will strain our electrical grid, in fact, many local utilities have worked out the math, and agree that the existing grid can support charging, especially when done off peak. My car uses about the same amount of electricity when charging as my stove does when preparing a meal. Our grid seems capable of handling everyone cooking dinner at about the same time, so why could it not handle a similar load in the middle of the night when our generation capacity is otherwise wasted?
Despite other's concerns over our car's limited range, we took several road trips this summer. Some were to visit family, others for vacation. We went from Port Perry to destinations on Georgian Bay, as well as to the Hamilton area without any trouble and without a drop of fossil fuel. A little pre-planning is all it takes to ensure we will make it to our destination. I travel to the GTA several times a month on all electric power.
Now that we have a quiet, reliable, and inexpensive to drive electric car, I can't imagine ever going back. Feel free to stop and ask questions if you see our red Leaf around town. You may find that it could work for you too!
-Tim St. Pierre, Port Perry, Ontario
Recently in the United States, a new bill was proposed in Ohio, that would see residents who drive electric cars eligible for a $250 tax free benefit. As well, in Germany a resolution was passed to ban the sale of internal gas and diesel engine vehicles by 2030.
These are both meant to either encourage people to buy an electric car or to discourage those who would drive a gas or diesel one. Tax incentives, towards the purchases of these vehicles, are something that our own federal government should implement, in order to meet their promise to reduce the Country’s ecological footprint.
For one thing, a recent report in August, to Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, has already stated that rebates and incentives are the best way to encourage residents to make the choice to move towards electric vehicles.
It has been widely known across the country that these vehicles have not been the most popular choice. However, the industry is changing, bringing differently designed electric vehicles. Just look at the design for the upcoming Tesla Model 3. Offering people an extra reason to purchase these types may help bring them around.
The fact that so many governments across the world are already taking action on electric cars should be a sign that this is the way of the future, this is progress towards a cleaner world, and Canada needs to join in.
A clear road block to the widespread purchase of electric vehicles is the rapid rise of the cost of electricity. This would over burden an already struggling Hydro system and raise the cost of household electricity in turn, something nobody wants.
This causes consumers to balk at the idea of yet another large regular operating expense, to burden their already heavy laden budget.
In addition, some may say, “This would simply replace the expense of using fossil fuel dependent vehicles.” Except that these vehicles are already purchased, so that is an expense already dealt with. You'd be hard pressed to get Canadians to purchase vehicles to spearhead the change.
The idea of electric cars being the status-quo is a romantic one, and desirable. However, a very large immediate investment in infrastructure, to provide the electricity in an easily accessible way, plus a major investment in time and effort to develop the alternative technologies, to supply such a high demand of electricity, in a clean energy format, must be implemented, before their use could possibly become a practical one.
Our country has the world’s 8th largest ecological footprint, and this would be a move to help reduce our pollutants.
It is time to make moves for a better future. After all, to paraphrase the PM, it is 2016.
The results are in! This year, the participating Durham Region Tim Hortons restaurants raised $134,079, during the Smile Cookie campaign, for Community Care Durham and our clients.
On behalf of Community Care Durham, I would like to extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to this success. The overwhelming generosity from across the Region, will go towards assisting more than 12,000 individuals. Our services include support for activities of daily living, health, nutrition, transportation, personal safety and caregiver respite. We also provide mental health group support services throughout Durham, and assisted living.
The services Community Care Durham provide, help people avoid hospital admissions and emergency department visits. We can also help people when they are discharged from hospital, assisting in their successful transition home.
Your generosity during the Smile Cookie campaign will make a difference in many peoples lives. Thank you to the participating Durham Region Tim Hortons for their support, and thank you to everyone who contributed, making this year's Smile Cookie campaign such a great success!
Community Care Durham
Letter to the Editor - Port Perry BIA resignations prompt Scugog chamber to question council’s leadership
To the Editor,
It was with great interest that I read both our local papers on Thursday October 6th, 2016. The one had as its title “Port Perry BIA resignations prompt Scugog chamber to question council’s leadership” as front page fodder, while the Standard News relegated the article to where it should be and did not play into the hands of the political “drama” that it was. I attended that meeting, in fact, besides the two reporters in the room, I think there was only one other person left in the council chamber audience as the letters were read towards the end of the meeting. I believe Dan Cearns reported those actions in council more in alignment with how it actually transpired. The title says it all, “Council looks to fix BIA transparency problem”.
Yet, what neither reporter mentioned is that the BIA has formal rules and regulations it must follow from the Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing Department. The BIA comes under the Township because it’s funding flows through it. Based on a budget put forth by the BIA, the township will raise BIA owner’s taxes accordingly and collect them. The BIA must produce a yearly budget before council; all financial transactions and meetings must follow the protocol set out in the municipal act. When financial matters are passed through the township accounting system, they must be detailed and thorough. Each department, even the BIA which is at “arm’s length” of council, must be open and transparent.
As Councilor Back has stated in prior council meetings, some members of the BIA approached her months ago to ask her assistance with BIA matters on their behalf, as has about half the BIA members reside in her Ward. As a diligent councilor she did her homework and asked questions to the BIA executive administrator during the March 21st, 2016 BIA budget meeting before council. Councilor Back received an attitude not befitting people speaking to a council, even when there is disagreement, some semblance of respect and protocol must be attempted.
All our Ward councilors and Mayor are very busy with the many township matters; they are doing their best for the people that elected them. They are attempting to keep Scugog tax increases within reason or as low as possible, while still ensuring the Township moves forward on its many endeavours. Not everyone will agree with them and they will not always agree with one another – that is what a democracy is all about! Yet, people can also choose to be part of the solution – creating meaningful dialogue - and not part of the problem, even when there is not total agreement. That is how a township and its businesses move forward. The drama and pointing fingers does not facilitate it.
Cheryl Odee Helm
20 Wyndance Way, Uxbridge
Current Scugog Township Chamber Member
Former Scugog resident 1993 to 2015 and Scugog BIA member
There has been a lot of talk recently about school boards monitoring students’ lunches, and teachers searching said lunches.
At the end of the day, schools should be involved in the education portion of making kids healthier, but they should stay out of lunch bags.
They should be just informing children, so children can then inform their parents about the current healthy guidelines, enabling parents to make informed choices for their children. But parents, as well, have the right to choose whether or not their child should have a less healthy or more healthy snack with their daily meal.
Right of access to and information about healthy affordable food options is not the same as mandatory participation in the same practices.
In addition, if the schools wish the students to follow a healthier regimen, they should then provide healthier options, rather than take a policing approach. Not all parents have the option to provide students with a 100 per cent healthy meal, but if the school is willing to offer it, that would at least be a positive step.
The tone in this approach has come off slightly dictatorial rather than the helpful guideline it should be, this is what most parents have been taking offence to. Most times, parents feel that the teachers and board are acting in a way that judges both the student and their parents. But, if education is provided, about the current nutritional guidelines and affordable healthy options that are out there, and if the school has a healthy affordable option in place, this could then repair the divide. This is both clear and extends dignity to families.
But instead, reports have found some teachers are either withholding students lunches because of what they have or are confiscating the unhealthy options. This is not what we, as community members, pay taxes for them to do.
Schools need to realize that parents have a lot on their plates and, on occasion, in a rush, can make the decision to provide the students with options that may not be of optimum health benefit. Do lunches make up the sum total of a child's diet, of course not, and so therefore, are not a clear representation of the provision parents are making for their children's health. These teachers and schools need to realize this, and not let their actions come off as judgmental against these families or as policing, which is out of their scope.
Now let’s make sure this is clear, this is not meant to pertain to all schools, as not all likely carry out the same policy, but this editorial is meant to address those teachers, in the select schools, that have been operating with these practices.
It all comes down to tone of actions and if all schools and teachers can work towards a practice that comes off as less judgmental, we will no longer have a problem here, and it could morph into the solution for parents I'm sure it was intended to be.
To the Editor,
The Port Perry Agricultural Society congratulates the Port Perry Care and Share Community Permaculture Garden, on being selected by the Canadian Garden Council, to receive a donation of 1,000 red and white tulips for their 150th Celebration Gardens, commemorating Canada’s Sesquicentennial.
Please join them at the Port Perry fairgrounds, on Wednesday, October 19th, at 10 a.m., for their public planting ceremony.
“We look forward to seeing the tulips bloom in the spring!”
Port Perry Agricultural Society
(Port Perry Fair)
To the Editor,
It is so amazing how wonderful and caring Port Perry has been to our Scugog Island's Sunrise Beach, for all these many years. How many times can we say THANK YOU, never enough, to an endless list of all the special individuals and businesses whose generosity truly made our Annual Fun Day such a success.
Once again, thank you so much, everyone, for helping make our Fun Day FUN. You ARE the best!!!!!!
Linda L. Brown
Our Sunrise Beach Association
To the Editor,
On a cloudy August 30th, we attempted to host our annual Appreciation Night Cruise-In. As the rain came pouring down, a decision was made to reschedule for September 6th. The next week it was hot and humid! Between the two nights, we saw a participation of 228 classic vehicles (pre '90).
As in previous years, the public was encouraged to donate non-perishable food, paper products and /or cash to Operation Scugog. Including our paper drive in June, we were able to utilize more than four pick-up trucks and collected $1,078.80 for the benefit of our local food bank. A sincere thank you, to all who contributed to Port Perry's local organization.
A very special thanks, to Emmanuel Community Church in Port Perry, for allowing us the use of their parking lot every Tuesday night, and to the church volunteers who provided a venue to purchase food and drinks. Between our hungry cruisers, an anonymous supporter and a donation from Cruisin' Classics Car Club there was a nice sum available for the benefit of the church's youth group.
And finally words cannot express how much we appreciate the generosity of our corporate and weekly sponsors, as well as all the classic cruiser participants. With your continued support, we look forward to the 2017 cruising season.
Executive and Members of the
Cruisin' Classics Car Club
A recent National Defence audit has come back with surprising results, finding that many of Canada’s military bases are falling apart because of a lack of funding for maintenance. This should appall Canadians because these bases house the men and women tasked with keeping this country safe.
The main concern outlined in the audit is the risk of future electrical outages and sewer backups at the bases. An electrical outage could mean lost communications, which could be very bad for security. It would be the same if this was happening at local fire halls or police stations.
We have to think of health as well. The soldiers and military personnel are not the only ones who call these bases a temporary home. As people may recall, some bases are currently housing some of the Syrian refugees brought to this country. A sewer backup or a loss of heating could be very bad for all that use or live on these bases.
The Trudeau led Liberal government has not confirmed to media whether they are going to put funding into these military bases or not. With a platform that promised more money for Canadian infrastructure, it should become a priority for the government.
However, without action soon, mainly an injection of funding, this problem could become much worse then it has already proven to be. This is a situation that needs to be dealt with now, for the sake of health concerns as well as national security concerns.
To their credit, the government is taking some action on this problem. They are changing the way the military handles its properties, taking the power from the caretakers and making it a responsibility for the government to handle.
This was put off by the previous federal government, and now it is time for the Liberals to prove they are different, by making this a top priority now.