The Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Provincial and Federal NDP riding associations elected their executive members for 2014 at their joint annual general meetings on March 5, at the Navy Veterans Association in Cornwall.
Brian Lynch was re-elected as President of both the SDSG provincial and federal NDP riding associations.
Lynch told the crowd that the local NDP, as a result of their outreach activities in recent years, are in a good position to run a strong campaign in SDSG in the next provincial election with nominated candidate Elaine MacDonald.
MacDonald, a twice-elected Cornwall city councillor, was nominated as the provincial NDP candidate in SDSG at a nomination meeting last year on March 27, 2013.
A provincial election in Ontario could come as early as this spring.
“Across Ontario, people are coming to see the NDP as the party that gets results to create jobs, make life more affordable, strengthen healthcare, and make the government more accountable,” said Lynch.
“Ontarians deserve better than the tired, discredited Liberals and the ‘slash and burn’ Hudak Conservatives” who want to cut essential public services and make Ontario a low wage province.”
Candidate Elaine MacDonald praised the work of NDP leader Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP caucus at Queen’s Park to get results that make life better and more affordable for everyday people.
“If elected as MPP, my first responsibility will be to the people of SDSG. I will work for good-paying jobs, youth employment, access to post- secondary education and training, healthcare we can count on, and greater affordability for everyday people,” said MacDonald.
She also wants to see greater assistance to agriculture and rural communities and a fairer tax system that will pay for essential public services and help the province balance its books.
On the issue of skyrocketing hydro rates, MacDonald said, “The Ontario NDP will stop the expensive private power deals, cap hydro executive pay and cut down on waste and duplication by merging Ontario’s hydro agencies, and stop the $1 billion annual subsidy of electricity exports to jurisdictions like New York and Michigan.”
Also elected to serve on the 16 member local NDP riding associations’ executives were Elaine MacDonald as vice president; Paul Aubin, recording secretary; David Denneny, chief financial officer; Madeleine Lebrun, women’s representative; Carilyne Hebert, youth representative; Trevor Tolley, Darlene Jalbert, Marion Adams, Jason Setnyk, Ian Wilson, Jack St. Thomas, Patricia Sylvia, Alison Parker, David Mcilveen, Bonnie Lauzon as members-at-large.
Brian Lynch and Carilyne Hebert were also elected as the local NDP provincial councillors.
The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage is presenting the second concert in its stellar 2011-12 musical series on Saturday, October 29, 7 p.m., at the Morrisburg Meeting Centre.
Outstanding artist Del Barber, fresh from winning two Western Canada Music Awards just this week for his latest album Love Songs of the Last Twenty, will be performing one concert only at the St. Lawrence Stage. Audiences won’t want to miss this talented, critically acclaimed performer.
Although his music has been described as folk, folk rock, Americana, country and alt, Barber isn’t really interested in being ‘defined’.
“I think I am first and foremost a song-writer,” Barber told The Leader. “My goal is to let people describe me in a lot of ways, not to be placed into one genre. Some days, I’m more county, some days more folk. I like audiences to decide for themselves.”
Born in Winnipeg (and a proud Westerner), Del Barber began writing and singing from a very early age. With a growing critical reputation and fan base, he has turned to music full time. “I find now that I have to keep up to my work load,” he laughed. “Last year I did 200 concerts. But I love it. Music is the focus of my life.”
His Western roots keep him anchored and flavour his approach to song writing.
“I like to write about places,” he said, “about how we are all connected to history, about how history affects us. Home, places, the prairies themselves are strong themes for me. There is also, I think, a strong narrative in my writing because I want my songs to be accessible, understandable to people, familiar to them.
It bothers me when some writers are vague in what they are saying. I believe that musical stories are more moving, and in the end, a better way to make my points. And oh yes,” Barber added, laughing. “I write about hockey too. What Canadian doesn’t write about hockey?”
The Winnipeg Free Press described Barber as “sincere and heartfelt as the day is long” and wrote that his presence on stage is “electric.”
There is also an underlying humour to Barber’s music, maybe a little touch of cynicism.
“I think that people often leave my shows laughing. There is a light-heartedness, a bit of nostalgia to my songs,” he said, then added with a laugh, “I don’t want to be a whiner.”
Just turned 28, Barber describes his guitar as “his voice” and is looking forward to the intimacy of the St. Lawrence stage. “As a performer, I like to get a strong sense of my audience and Morrisburg will offer that.”
His reputation as an outstanding artist is steadily growing. In 2010, he was nominated for a Western Canada Music Award. In 2011, he was nominated for a Juno. This October, 2011, Barber won West Coast Music Awards for roots recording of the year, and independent recording of the year.
“All my chips are in. Music is my life. There’s risk in that, of course, but I like to be challenged,” Del Barber said.
No stranger to challenge herself, and an artist for whom music and performance is a “life direction”, Carleton Place singer Brea Lawrenson will open for Del Barber on the St. Lawrence Stage on October 29.
“I was so excited to be asked to open for Del,” Lawrenson told The Leader. “He’s an incredible writer and story teller, just a great performer. It is a very significant move for me to meet and work and share with an artist who is really succeeding.”
However, Brea Lawrenson seems on the brink of ‘breaking out’ herself.
A trained singer with a rich soprano voice, she has performed on the St. Lawrence Stage before in Intimate Acoustics, and has become an audience favourite. She finds her musical home in country, and has recently returned from Nashville where she was able to focus on writing and performing.
“I write from my own experiences,” Lawrenson said. “My music reflects my feelings. I felt unaccepted in high school, and had to find my own place.” The Red Cross eventually asked her and writing partner Braiden Turner to become official spokespersons for their anti-bullying campaign, RespectEd, and she was eager to help.
“Music is a strong venue for reaching out to people of all ages,” Lawrenson said. “It really is a universal language. I write about goals, and about pursing dreams, about the ups and downs of finding your way as an artist. On stage,” she added laughing, “I am a full body singer, very passionate, with lots of energy.”
With a new album, Somewhere to Go, produced by Keith Glass of Prairie Oysters, just out, Brea Lawrenson promises to be a memorable opening act for the upcoming concert.
Tickets for the Del Barber concert, October 29, at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, with opening act Brea Lawrenson, are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. They are available at Strung Out Guitars, The Basket Case, at 613-543-2514 or at www.st-lawrencestage.com
Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) has been named Ontario’s Top Performer in Maternity Care in a new report from NRC Picker Canada and the Ontario Hospital Association.
Of new Moms who gave birth at WDMH, 89.5 percent say they would recommend the hospital to their family and friends – making WDMH the most highly recommended maternity program in Ontario.
WDMH also scored in the 90th percentile in the acute care inpatient – one of only eight hospitals in Ontario to do so.
“The purpose is to highlight excellent performance based on patient perceptions and to identify those hospitals that may have good practices in place that others may be interested in,” note the authors.
“We are very excited to be singled out in this important report,” notes Cholly Boland, WDMH CEO. “We are very proud of the care provided by our staff, physicians and volunteers and it is gratifying to see that our patients agree.”
The report is entitled Patient Ratings of Overall Satisfaction and Likeliness to Recommend for Ontario Hospitals: Percent Positive Scores and Associated Percentile Rankings for Acute Care Inpatient and Maternity, Emergency Department and Rehabilitation- 2010/11.
It focuses on patient experiences in acute care, emergency, rehabilitation, and maternity.
Patients were asked two key questions: “Overall, how would you rate the care you received at this hospital?” and “Would you recommend this hospital to your family and friends?”.
NRC Picker (NRCC) is an independent research institute that surveys and compares all hospitals in Ontario.
This report will be updated by NRCC later this fall to include data from hospitals that surveyed patients, using an NRRC Patient Experience Survey between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012.