The Iroquois Matilda Lions Club donated $500 each to the Christmas Exchange on November 17th at the Morrisburg Food Bank. The Christmas Exchange supplies Christmas dinner to those in Dundas County who may otherwise have gone without on Christmas Day. Boxes, filled with everything needed to make a scrumptious meal, are available for pick up a few days before the holiday.
While South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds is getting an earful from a certain group of people about the proposed grain terminal for the Universal Dock, located along Lakeshore Drive in South Dundas, he too is looking at the proposed project for its broader benefit.
“As mayor, I’m looking at this as an opportunity to have a new business come to South Dundas,” he says.
“Looking at this from an economic development point of view, it’s a potential business that will generate revenue,” he added.
While he acknowledges that much of that revenue will go into the pockets of those in the agricultural community, there too will be some job creation.
The company building the terminal is also a member of the Stormont Dundas and Glengarry business community.
“What this will do is provide a new market for agricultural products,” says Byvelds, who is a farmer.
As a farmer, he confirms that there is a need for such an outlet for agriculture commodities.
“The reality is that we can’t use all the product that is made here and storage is an issue, so exporting makes sense,” he said.
He explained that there are some relatively local outlets for product but during the busy harvest season there is a significant bottleneck.
“Adding another outlet provides competition. And, competition is good for the industry. More competition tends to increase prices and that in turn brings more dollars into our local economy,” he added.
The building permit application is still in front of South Dundas’ building officials.
South Dundas Chief Building Officer Don Lewis, with the help of a peer review, has determined that the proposed terminal does meet the existing zoning requirements, however a building permit has not yet been issued.
While there is a process to obtaining a building permit, building permit issues are not a council matter.
“In the end, if it meets applicable law, it can proceed,” said Byvelds. Lewis said the same.
Building permit issues only become a council matter if a zoning bylaw amendment is required.
No zoning amendment is needed for this grain terminal project.
Byvelds acknowledges that people have alleged that his participating in voting on the matter could be seen as a conflict of interest. However, since building permits are not a council matter, and do not require a council vote, he has no conflict.
Mayor Byvelds has offered those opposed to the grain terminal the opportunity to make a presentation to South Dundas council as a delegation at the July 16 meeting.
A story teller has to amuse, to entice, to astonish an audience. In the process, she must also give her listeners something to think about.
Evalyn Parry is a story teller.
And there was much to entice, amuse and astonish in her splendid, thought provoking show, Spin, performed at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage on Saturday, November 24.
Parry is an amazing, versatile performer, with a strong vocal range and an equally strong acting range. On Saturday night she shared her stage with fellow musician Brad Hart, and with an unexpected performer, a vintage 1972 CCM bicycle.
I say ‘performer’ because the bike was an integral part of the Parry’s show, as its frame and wheels were made to ‘sing’ and to accompany her musically at intervals throughout the production. It was really a revelation to me, and I suspect to many in the audience, to discover how a bike could be such an innovative force in a musical production.
But then, Evalyn Parry’s entire show revolved around bicycles. It also revolved around the extraordinary computer generated images on a stage screen behind her.
Parry’s focus was the story of Annie Londonderry, a name clearly unknown to virtually all of us in the audience.
Yet in 1892, this 23 year old mother of three left her husband and children to become the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world. She had numerous adventures, survived through every type of terrain, shrewdly sported the logos of several Victorian sponsors on her evolving riding costumes, and, in the process, could be said to have started a female ‘revolution.’
“What would you do for a fee?/
What would you do to be free?/
What would you do to prove what a woman can be?” Parry sang.
In Parry’s show, Annie and the bicycle become the metaphors for change.
“…trying to stay free in a world spinning webs to catch us../
We’d never get anywhere without resistance like a foot on a pedal…”
Evalyn Parry’s show was unique, an exciting blend of music, of original vocals, of acting and of technology. She effortlessly slipped in and out of characters on the stage: the pompous businessmen who saw Annie as a kind of travelling billboard, the preachers thundering that bicycles meant the downfall of womankind, since the bicycle was a “sterility machine.”
Spin is full of music, full of sound, full of visual interest. With humour and insight it celebrates the awakening of the female spirit, still carrying on in women today.
Spin is a musical tour de force for artist and story teller, Evalyn Parry.
I have the feeling that she very firmly agrees with the words of H. G. Wells, which were projected on the screen behind her when the show opened.
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”
South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds recently tabled a motion that will help govern the rules conduct for council members, now and into the future.
Deputy Mayor Jim Locke seconded the motion, with every member of council supporting the formation of such a document.
Prefacing the need for such a document, Mayor Byvelds said, “I will first state that we, as a council have not had any major issues. However, I believe it is a course of action that will make us a better council.”
He called the formation of a code of conduct, “a proactive approach to avoid problems that can occur. “This is a proactive approach that we and future council’s will abide by.”
Staff will draft a code that will provide confirmation of each individual councillor’s role.
It will lay out protocol for how council responds to the community and council’s behaviour within it.
It will set standards of confidentiality and outline how council will work with staff concerning operational issues.
It will deal with respecting the decision-making process and lay out protocol for litigation or possible litigation issues.
Communication process for both the public and the media will also form part of this document, along with reputation management and accepting gifts and benefits.
Byvelds list of goals for this documents also lists engagement of incompatible activity and defining more closely conflict of interest.
Professional development, interpersonal behavior and compliance and implementation are also part of his list.
“A code of conduct certainly is not unique to South Dundas, as many municipalities have implemented various versions,” said Byvelds. “I will work with staff to have them bring forth a code that is fairly complete and will certainly be one that council can work with. It will have a fair process for issues to be dealt with.
As seconder to the motion, Locke was supportive, only adding that other communities have had issues and that this type of document is being put into place in many municipalities across the province.
“I totally support the concept of a code of conduct,” said South Dundas councillor Jim Graham. “Situations have arisen showing that we do need this, so I support it 100 percent.”
“I think from time to time there is likely a need for a code of conduct,” agreed councillor Archie Mellan.
“This is a good proactive exercise to do, and to get taken care of before there are any issues,” said councillor Evonne Delegarde.
This is only the first step in the process of implementing a council code of conduct, drafts will be prepared and reviewed before the final vote is before council.