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South Dundas budget deliberations add up to $8 increase

The average residential property owner in South Dundas will pay about $8 more in municipal property taxes this year, and when combined with the Counties and Education levies the average property tax bill will be about $20 more than last year.

An average home in South Dundas is valued at approximately $176,000.

Capital and operating budgets approved by South Dundas council for 2014 result in a total levy of $5,231,000, which is about $85,000 more than last year.

South Dundas council wrapped up two days of budget deliberations February 20 and 21, satisfied that they had met their target to hold the municipal levy increase close to one per cent.

At the outset of budget deliberations, South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds said, “We need to concentrate on getting the projects we’ve started done. We as a council have to consider what’s good for all of South Dundas, not just for individuals.”

With reserves sitting in fairly good shape at about $3 million, Byvelds suggested, “It’s better to set the books straight for the end of this year so the new council isn’t left to question what we did over the last four years.”

With staff submitting budgets that did not include a lot of excess, council made quick work of the operational budgets. For the most part they were happy with the capital projects presented, and provided their approval.

South Dundas chief administrative office Steve McDonald said there were no service cuts in the budget and told council that the 2014 budget included a one per cent increase in wages and council honourariums. Annual contributions to the municipal return of service incentive for new doctors ended this year.

“This is not an exciting budget. It’s a stay the course budget,” added McDonald, who thanked management staff, especially the treasurer, for the months of hard work that were poured into this document.

The budget does not become official until the budget bylaw is approved by council. It will be presented to council at the March 4, regular council meeting.



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Liberal candidates to debate

The Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Provincial Liberal Association has scheduled an all candidate’s debate for Monday March 3rd at 6:30 PM at the Best Western Plus Hotel, 1515 Vincent Massey Drive, Cornwall. 

The event will feature the candidates seeking the nomination for the Provincial Liberal Candidacy. Candidates will be asked a series of questions from the event moderator, and be given an allotted period of time to respond to the questions.

“There are two excellent candidates currently seeking the nomination, who come from two very

different backgrounds” explains James Borer, president of the SDSG PLA. “Both would make very strong candidates in the next Provincial election.”

Currently the two candidates seeking the nomination are Del Jones and John Earle.

The event is open to the general public. 


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SLPC CEO honoured with Government Executive Leadership Award

Darren Dalgleish, General Manager and CEO of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) has won a Canadian Government Executive (CGE) Leadership award.  

This prestigious award recognizes Dalgleish and his team for leadership in business renewal efforts through their strategy ‘Alive in Five’.  

“I am very honoured to be recognized with this award.  The toughest part of my job as CEO of SLPC is standing to receive recognition for work that others have done.  Over the past two years, my incredibly talented team has rallied around a common vision of self sufficiency and business excellence and we have achieved real momentum,” said Darren Dalgleish, General Manager and CEO, St. Lawrence Parks Commission.  

The award criteria was based upon the demonstrated benefits  improved service and reduced costs; difficulties faced; the quality of change management and leadership; innovation, collaboration, networking and partnerships; the development of team support and employee “buy-in”; the significance and materiality of the project; lessons learned and Replicability.

 “Congratulations to Darren Dalgleish on receiving the 2014 Canadian Government Executive Leadership Award.  The Commission has successfully enhanced its service offerings in creative and innovative ways during challenging economic times.  This award is a well-deserved testament to the hard work, dedication, ingenuity and leadership of the entire St. Lawrence Parks Commission team,” said Steven Davidson, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. 

Shortly after the arrival of Dalgleish, the SLPC adopted the business renewal strategy they call ‘Alive in Five’.  

The strategy, now in its third year, aims to completely renew the organization to self sufficiency within five years.  

There are two essential pillars of this plan; 1: Cost Structure improvement through the execution of Lean Kaizen methodology, enrichment of programs and product portfolio.  

“As an Agency of the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport, our priorities are complex and diverse, but we believe growth and cost effectiveness are key to regional economic growth and essential to enabling sound stewardship of the heritage facilities and properties entrusted to us” said Dalgleish.  

“Our focus is simple, we simply challenge everything we do with the question – “Would the customer be willing to pay for that?”” Dalgleish added. 

The other key is to lead a staff culture change whereby there was greater connection from the top to bottom of the organization with fewer layers, more open dialogue and greater employee engagement.  

Staff surveys, quarterly ‘All Hands’ meetings, Kaizen events, a Hero’s Cup staff award recognition program and other initiatives have helped to dramatically improve employee morale and engagement.  

“The open door management style at SLPC is taking hold” Dalgleish said.  

He also sites General Electric’s philosophy of E=QxA (effectiveness = quality (of the idea) x acceptance) as essential to the sustainability of change and at the core of SLPC’s quest. 

“Darren has brought an important private sector perspective to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.  His passion for his work has permeated the whole organization and has given new energy to all our initiatives,” said  Ian Wilson, Chair, St. Lawrence Parks Commission.

Canadian Government Executive is the journal of record for public sector executives.  

Now in its 19th year of publishing, CGE reaches a wide national audience of senior decision-makers and managers across federal, provincial and municipal jurisdictions.  

Their mission is to contribute to excellence in public sector management. 

Our contributors are among the sectors most well-known and respected thought leaders.  Published 10 times a year, CGE reaches up to 60,000 public sector leaders and decision-makers every month. 

With extensive experience in business renewal and development, Dalgleish joined the St. Lawrence Parks Commission as CEO in 2011 charged with executing a corporate transformation to create business sustainability.  

He has extensive executive leadership experience in the public and private sectors, led multinational companies and business transformations.  

He is educated in Engineering and Business and has studied at Loyalist College, York University and the University of Tennessee and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. 

The St. Lawrence Parks Commission operates internationally renowned historic site Upper Canada Village, Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada, part of Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, thirteen campgrounds and beaches from the 1000 Islands to the Quebec border, Crysler Park Marina, Upper Canada Golf Course and Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary along with two scenic parkways – the Long Sault Parkway and the 1000 Islands Parkway.


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Keith Russell

Keith Russell died peacefully  on February 11, 2014, at Winchester District Memorial Hospital following a brief illness.

Keith was born in Carp, Ontario, January 3, 1929, and the family later moved to Russell, Ontario, where Keith spent his early years. 

There he met and married Lois Smith, and together they raised two children, Doug and Donna.

After Lois’ passing, Keith moved to Morrisburg with Norma, where he enjoyed the benefits of abroad circle of friends and family.

While his professional career was spent with the Hudson Bay Company and Becker’s Stores, Keith’s passions were sports and music. As a young man he was a well known fast ball pitcher, a curler, and a sports coach. 

As a member of the Russ Hay Orchestra, and later the Don Morrell Orchestra, Keith loved playing piano and the company of his band mates.

Sports remained an interest for Keith his whole life, and he could often be found at the baseball diamond or the arena, cheering on the kids. He always enjoyed a good conversation about last night’s game whether it was hockey, football, baseball or curling.  

Keith will be sadly missed by his wife Norma;  children and stepchildren Doug, Donna (Wayne), Wayne (Vicki), Dale (Nancy), Faye (Garth), and grandchildren/great-grandchildren Brent, Lee Ann, Noah  and Jenner as well as Jennifer  (Mark) and Ben.

A celebration of Keith’s life is in the planning and will be announced at a later date.



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Perspectives with Rev. Clarence Witten

My Favourite Athlete

It’s been said that “football consists of 22 men on the field desperately in need of a rest and 50,000 in the stands desperately in need of exercise.” (with apologies to the CFL). There’s probably truth in that. 

Same is likely true of the Olympics. All of us sitting back with our chips and beverage of choice watching people who for years have lived a life of strict training and diet to get where they are at. Isn’t there something a bit amusing about that?

Yet as much as I deeply admire Olympic athletes for what they do, I know a guy whose willingness to sacrifice and suffer for his prize vastly outshines them all. 

His name is Paul. You may know him as Saint Paul, but I kind of doubt he’d really care to be called that. When he talked about himself and what he did, he saw himself much like an athlete. He devoted himself to his ‘sport’ not for a decade or two, but for an entire lifetime. And what he went through exceeds anything an Olympian ever does.

You should read it; it’s crazy (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 or 2 Corinthians 6:4-10). He was given the ‘forty lashes minus one’ five times, beaten, stoned (and left for dead), shipwrecked three times, almost died numerous times, and on and on it went.

So why did Paul subject himself to such an outrageous life?

Well, for two reasons. Like any athlete, he did for the prize.

He says as much in 1 Corinthians 9:27. As an old man looking back over this career, he writes: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness ( the word ‘crown’ here is really the word, “wreath” like the Olympians of his day were rewarded in their games), which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day…”

The other reason Paul lived such a seemingly ‘fanatical’ life was he had discovered something so amazing (and so unknown) that he couldn’t help but devote himself to sharing it with ever speck of energy he had. 

That something was what he called the “gospel” or “good news.” Simply put, it was the message that God loved this world so much (that would include you and me) that he sent his only son to die for its sins, that whoever accepted that would receive salvation as a free gift. Salvation being new life now, and eternal life in heaven.

In Romans 1:14 he says he’s obligated, or indebted, to the world to share this ‘good news.’ God has made it know to him; he’s experienced it, so he’s got no choice but to share it with others, whatever the cost, and whatever the sacrifices needed.

I think there’s good stuff to learn from Paul. 

First, a life that dedicated to a higher cause challenges us all as to what we’re living for. Are we just living for a ‘good time’ or is there more to life than that? Is there some higher purpose and meaning? Something to really be committed to? To sacrifice and even suffer for? Maybe even a God to whom we’re accountable?

But even more than this, maybe considering Paul being sold out for the ‘good news’ about Christ can make us curious, interested, to check it out for ourselves. Maybe there’s more to it than we realize. Maybe it’s better than we think.

Pastor Clarence Witten

Community Christian 

Reformed Church

Dixon’s Corners


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Seaway Spartans top on volleyball courts

Once again, the Seaway Spartans have reigned supreme on the volleyball courts, with both the senior and junior teams claiming the SD&G A school championships last week. 

The Junior girls claimed their championship in Glengarry, on Tuesday by defeating  L’Heritage, two out of three in the championship final. 

The Junior Spartans had a good year, said coach Lilace McIntyre. After finishing in third place in the regular season, they demonstrated some great play at the final to earn the championship and the right to advance to EOSSA in Deep River (today, February 19).

McIntyre also credits the local Spikes volleyball program, run by Andy Lee and a team of volunteers, for helping to develop some strong players. 

The Senior Spartans won their championship against the L’Heritage Dragons on their home court last Wednesday, February 12. 

In finishing their regular season in first place, the Spartans toughest competition came from the Dragons. They lost only one set all season and that was to the Dragons. 

Once again on Wednesday, the Dragons were up to the task. In fact, after Seaway won the first set, the Dragons turned it up a notch to win the next two and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-three match. 

Seaway scraped out a close 25-20 win in the fourth set to stay alive and then put it home with a 15-6 win in the final. 

“They were strong today,” said Spartans coach Lindsay Waddell of L’Heritage after Wednesday’s close finish. 

“These girls [the Spartans] have so much heart,” she said of the huge effort from the Spartans as they calmly worked their way back on Wednesday.  

“They are very strong mentally, and they really worked hard all season. They really wanted this.” 

The SD&G A school championship win qualifies the Spartans for EOSSA  which will be hosted by Seaway, tomorrow, Thursday, February 20. 


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Curlers on the Road

Our little rockers met each other in the “B” final of the “Big Four” bonspiel. Martina and Kyra Lewis, and Erin and Annika Gibbons lost their first game to Metcalfe, but won their second against Winchester. Nolan Belanger, James Szuky, Tommy Derikz and Abby Tritzsky lost a nail-biter to Winchester and defeated our other team to win the “B” championship. 

The next day in the Ran Wylie bonspiel, Martina and Kyra Lewis, Rhiannon Beckstead and Abby Tritzsky won both of their matches to finish second. The curlers had a great time and are preparing for the little rocks playdowns in Cornwall on March 2.

At the senior men’s Bernie Brunt Invitational Bonspiel last week met at the club, with teams from Winchester, R.C.M.P., Russell, City View, Cornwall, Rideau and Kingston in attendance, as well as two local teams.

The early draw was won by the Marseille foursome from Winchester. As the high-scoring team they got their name on the trophy. Raymond Benoit, Peter Zeran, Jack Barkley and Fred “Boomer” Langlotz played well, but did not figure in the prize money.

In the late draw, Andy Patenaude, Mahlon Locke, Neil Williams and Bob Youmelle also finished out of the money, losing to Henry’s Prescott team, who tied with City View to win the draw and prize money. As usual, the meal was excellent, the ice was great, and the day was a financial success. The hard work of the volunteers was much appreciated.

 The final Parnell competition for the season was held on Friday, and while three of our senior men’s teams wanted to represent us, we were only allowed one entry. 

Raymond Benoit, Peter Zeran, Karl Duncan and Earl Jeacle defeated Dave King, Al Harriman, Rick MacKenzie and Fred Langlotz on Thursday and won the right to go to Lancaster for the bonspiel. 

They won their first match against Prescott in an extra end, and after lunch played a strong Cornwall team. Unfortunately, Cornwall won, and with the point total, our fellows placed second to Lancaster. Well done anyway, fellows!

Susan McIntosh, Kathy Norg, Joanne Baker and Claire Locke competed in a ladies’ invitational “favourite twosomes” three-day bonspiel in Cornwall. Susan’s team lost on Friday night to Cornwall and dropped a Saturday match to Lancaster, but defeated another Lancaster foursome in the afternoon, qualifying them for the “D” final. They lost that match on Sunday, but came home happy, having enjoyed the meals, the costumes and the live band. 

Several of the ladies wore interesting outfits. One pair, for example, dressed as ketchup and mustard (favourite condiments being the twosome in that case). That must have been worth the price of admission. Maybe Susan brought home pictures.

On Saturday, the Merkley Bonspiel was on at Metcalfe. Morrisburg, Russell and Winchester each brought two teams to compete. Our champions, Robbie Stitt, Robert Houze, Rick MacKenzie and John Toonders lost their opening match to Metcalfe and defeated Russell after lunch. This qualified them for the “B” final. With Robbie having to leave early, Joe enjoyed the banquet and skipped the team against Giroud’s Russell foursome. Russell won the competition and will defend the trophy next year.

Joe McCooeye, Larry Cooper, Peter McCooeye and Wally Baker dropped their matches against Winchester and Russell. The “A” final was an all-Metcalfe affair, with the championship won by Bill Woods’ team. It was a great day for the men


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Chamber of Commerce Tubie event saviour

There’s going to be a 44th annual Tubie weekend.

The 43 year old event, was in jeopardy when two weeks ago the Morrisburg and District Lions Club’s Tubie Committee announced that they would no longer organize and host the event.

The announcement was a challenge to the community as the outgoing organizers asked that anyone interested in keeping this community’s longest continuously running festival alive, come forward. When they made the announcement, they were confident that someone would come forward to continue the popular event.

Last week, the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce board of directors approved the undertaking and February 14, issued a press release outlining their intentions.

“The community can breathe a sigh of relief. Tubie Fest will not fade away but will continue as strong as ever thanks to The South Dundas Chamber of Commerce stepping up to the plate,” reads the release. 

Chamber President Chuck Barkley is delighted that this signature event will continue. 

“This event is a major economic generator for our Community and the Board of Directors felt strongly that is was much too important to let it disappear,” said Barkley.

In preparation for the 2014 Tubie Fest, the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce will be consulting with the event’s past organizers who have done such an outstanding job over the years.  

“We certainly appreciate their countless volunteer hours and all the challenges they have faced during the past years,” said Chamber of Commerce vice president Carl McIntyre. “We are glad to hear that the previous organizers are willing to guide us through organizing this event.” In the coming months the Chamber will also be looking to the community for volunteers and support as they organize Tubie Fest 2014. 

“Tubie Fest has been one of the community’s most important events for decades and certainly has had a positive effect on the area’s economy over the years. Probably most important, however, is how Tubie Fest brings the community together every summer with friends from near and far enjoying this special week in August. The Chamber feels this is something that should continue and encourages all of those Tubie Racers, hometown folks who live away and the entire community to look forward to making Tubie Fest 2014 one of the best ever,” concludes the media release.

“We are thrilled to learn that the Chamber of Commerce has elected to pick up the torch and ensure that South Dundas will celebrate Tubie Weekend in 2014,” said Michael Domako, who along with Matt McCooeye co-chaired the outgoing organizing committee.

“The Chamber has experience organizing different types of events and by virtue of their mandate have an established network and support in the business community,” he added. “We will work with the Chamber to provide a smooth transition and look forward to the next step in the evolution of the Tubie Festival.

Details about the 44th Tubie weekend event will be up to a new committee, which the Chamber of Commerce directors hope to have in place within the next couple of weeks.

Asked what the community can expect from this year’s event, South Dundas Chamber of Commerce manager Geraldine Fitzsimmons said, “In my own personal opinion – I would think the Chamber will be keeping the event much the same as what the people are accustomed to – it’s been working great so far, so why change it?” 

The event takes a great number of volunteer resources, and the Chamber believes they will have enough help to make it work. 

“Our community is known for all the competent volunteers we have, and everyone knows how important Tubie Festival is for us,” said Fitzsimmons.

“I am glad to see the Chamber pick up the responsibility to run the Tubies,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds. “The community had told me they would have missed them and this proves that, in the end, if the event is worth doing, someone will.”


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Shift 10% Initiative gains momentum through area EDOs

SD&G – At the first meeting of the Economic Development Officers Working Group for 2014, held last week at the North Stormont Municipal Office in Berwick, a passionate introduction to the Shift 10% campaign was made.

The Shift 10% campaign is led by champions Kim Stewart, Shift 10% Coordinator, and owner of Stokefire and Donna Primeau, South Stormont, Chamber of Commerce President and owner of Showcase in the Long Sault Plaza.

Shift 10% Back to Local is a campaign designed to remind the public about the benefits of supporting their locally owned businesses. 

Campaign advocate Kim Stewart believes that by actively shifting 10 per cent of shopping to local businesses, the whole community will benefit.  

“The advantage is that we are their neighbours, we are the ones who support their son’s and daughter’s minor sports, donate to community fundraisers, and hire youth from the neighbourhood,” said Stewart.

“The South Stormont Chamber of Commerce (SSCC) has started to develop a 36 month campaign with a primary goal of increasing the profiles of local businesses,” said Donna Primeau. 

There is no charge to participate in the program, only the commitment to be an ambassador of the Shift 10% campaign.  SSCC has been presenting across Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry with the hopes that local business owners will support the Shift 10%  campaign.  

“You do not have to be a Chamber of Commerce member to participate in the program – we want Shift 10% to become region wide – and in the future be recognizable throughout eastern Ontario,” added Stewart.

SDG Economic Development and Communications Officer Terry Besner sees great potential in this grass roots movement. 

“By supporting the Shift 10% program both businesses and consumers will benefit. The economic growth will strengthen existing businesses, encourage expansion, and foster entrepreneurial spirit locally,” concluded Besner.



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Marjorie Marie Gray

Marjorie Marie Gray (nee Hornblower) passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at the Dundas Manor Nursing Home in Winchester, at the age of 96.

Born in her family’s home, in Doon Village, now Kitchener, Ontario, on December 13th, 1917, Marge was the second youngest of seven children to William John and Edith Louisa Hornblower (nee Peacock). 

Marge moved to the area in 1964, after transferring between Best Foods Factories from Ayr to Cardinal and stayed a most valued employee at Casco-Best Foods, routinely in the Corn Starch section, until her full retirement in the early 1980’s.  

To remember her, the average observer might have been fooled by the stoicism or integral approach to avoid gossip and melodrama, in thinking she was a bit crusty or the type to put on airs. But to those who knew her best, it was Marge’s reserved sincerity, compassion and generosity for others that was truly under that stern exterior. 

Indeed, it was her sincere humanitarian nature, her continuous thirst for knowledge and the intense desire to travel the world that her family will remember of her best. 

Her splendid wit and humour, her tales of travel across Canada, the continental U.S. and Hawaii, Ireland, Scotland, England, and her phenomenal memory for detail (especially Depression era song lyrics) were joys and experiences most prominently shared with friends and family.  

Whether it was during a healthy discussion of politics over the euchre table, or during passionate banter about some controversial move that the Toronto Blue Jay’s made to the starting line-up, Marge could be easily coaxed into adding her two cents (or anything upwards of 10 dollars) worth of ideas on a vast array of subjects at the drop of a hat.

And yet, over her lifetime, Marge’s proud, stubborn independent attitude saw her complain little about her tireless routine of (at times) three jobs a day to support the six children in her care.  Through those physically and emotionally draining decades, it was her easy-going, consistent attitude to the duty of motherhood and breadwinner, combined with a dedicated and reliable work ethic that continues to endear her to family, colleagues and friends. 

Indeed, her story evokes extreme pride from the women of her family in that she never burdened others with the discrimination and horrors endured for simply being that of a woman and wife, and particularly that of a single mother at a time when separating or divorce was a stigma hard to live down in any small community. 

Nannie, as her family called her, was an incredible role model, who instilled integrity, honesty, and respectful standards in all she met.  And although she hated losing control of her body these last few years, Nannie left a legacy to approach life, love, work, friends and family with the highest level of ethics, wisdom, respect and resilience.

Marjorie is fondly remembered by her children, Florence (Jim) Brennan of Perth, Ralph (Helen) of Cambridge, Gordon of Medicine Hat AB and by her granddaughter Lynn Runions (George) of Iroquois and her brother Jack of Detroit;.

Marjorie was predeceased by a daughter Marilyn Coulter, a son Ernest, a grandson James and several brothers and sisters.  

She will be sadly missed by 15 grandchildren, several great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Marge is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Friends called at the Marsden McLaughlin Funeral Home Iroquois on Saturday, January 11, from 11 a.m. until time of the service. Funeral service was held at the Funeral Home at 1 p.m.

Donations to Iroquois United Church would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. 

Online condolences may be made at