Santa Parade in Morrisburg, Saturday, December 6, 2014
The Iroquois Waterfront Committee presented South Dundas council with the plan for the Iroquois Waterfront at the March 5 meeting.
The focus of the plan is the conservation, protection and enhancement of the waterfront according to committee chair Howard Kirkby. He mentioned accessibility and improvements to the waterfront pathway system, the depiction of historically significant events and enhancements of the Iroquois Beach as key recommendations within the plan.
The next step in the process is to present the plan to the public, which they plan to do through a public meeting.
It is likely that a new committee will be struck to oversee the implementation of the plan, similar to the process with the Morrisburg waterfront plan.
That committee may have some of the same people as the initial committee, but Kirby suggested that they are, “In need of some fresh faces too.”
He suggested that the beach enhancement is likely the priority.
Effective Friday, February 13, 2015, South Dundas councillor Bill Ewing resigned from South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services.
Ewing was assistant deputy chief at SDFES Station 1-4, the Iroquois fire station.
Ewing has been an Iroquois firefighter since January 1980.
“I became a firefighter because I wanted to help the community,” Ewing told The Leader.
Now, being a South Dundas councillor, Ewing’s community service role is in a different capacity, and it is his council role that moved him to make the difficult decision to resign from the fire service, a job that was extremely important to him.
After attending a recent council seminar and seeking the opinions of three different lawyers, Ewing determined that as a firefighter, “I could not speak to any fire service issues without being in conflict.”
In order to avoid any complications, and to ensure that his voice and expertise in the fire service would still be able to benefit the community, he chose to resign from the fire service.
“People voted for me to represent them, so it’s important to have my voice part of the discussions. With my years of service I have a lot of knowledge in all aspects of the fire service,” said Ewing who worked his way up through the ranks to become assistant deputy chief.
Although Ewing was a member of the fire service, when he served on council before, at that time he was not advised that being a firefighter put him in a conflict when making council decisions.
“It was never perceived as a conflict in the past, but perceptions have changed since then,” said Ewing.
Also, the last time Ewing served on council, South Dundas did not have a full time fire chief, this time it does.
With South Dundas having recently updated their fire master plan, and considering changes to the fire station in Morrisburg, Ewing says, “There will be a number of issues, going forward, that I feel I need to speak to.”
South Dundas council is not willing to declare this municipality as ‘not a willing host’ to industrial wind turbine projects.
A year and a half ago, South Dundas was asked to consider the designation, but the request was shelved at that time, as it did not have sufficient council support to even bring the resolution to the table.
A couple of months ago, the South Branch Wind Opposition Group again asked South Dundas council to pass a resolution to declare South Dundas as ‘not a willing host.’
Finally, at the July 16 council meeting, the proposed motion from the SBWOG made it to the table, only to be defeated.
South Dundas councillor Evonne Delegarde brought the motion forward, “We’ve been sitting on this request a couple of years. I think we should deal with it,” she said.
South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke seconded the motion.
“I’m only seconding it to get it to the table,” said Locke.
Once put to a vote, Locke voted against the motion.
“I do not support the resolution and a will not support or deny any potential future project until the time comes,” said Locke.
“In my view, the South Branch wind project is already going ahead. I think council will be in a better position to understand the pros and cons of wind farms after is project is completed.
“We won’t stop the South Branch wind project. I’d rather work with them than fight with them,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds, who also opposed the resolution. “Will find out within a year what these things are all about,” he said, and added, “The province approved this project, so if there are problems, the province will have to deal with those problems.
South Dundas councillor Jim Graham stated that he would not second the motion, nor support the resolution because he of his strong opinions about the Green Energy Act.
“My problem is with the Green Energy Act. I don’t agree with it. I think the Ontario government should pull back on all of this. It’s almost criminal what they are doing to the taxpayers of this province,” said Graham.
“This resolution is moot. It’s a waste of our time.”
The motion was defeated.
South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan did not vote on it as he had declared conflict of interest.
Leslie Disheau, president of the South Branch Wind Opposition Group, released a statement regarding council’s decision, saying she was not surprised by the outcome. She does not believe working out any potential issues that may arise with the wind developer is a viable option. “Council should have read the complaint process written on this wind project, and read the documentation given to them on how flawed the complaint process is in this province. I’m not sure how they think there is a different process for our area,” said Disheau.