Chartwell Hartford Retirement Residence recognized National Seniors Day on Saturday, October 1. The Morrisburg facility’s staff began the day by handing out free coffee at both McDonald’s and Tim Hortons before heading over to Riley’s Valumart and Giant Tiger to lend a hand, inviting all they met to join them later for a celebration at the Fifth Street West residence, complete with homemade cake, coffee and tea.
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.
Beginning in September, Seaway District High School will offer a second option in the Specialist High Skills Major program.
On June 12th the province made it official and the local high school is now accredited for the Transportation High Skills Major in addition to the Agriculture High Skills Major already being offered.
According to principal Terry Gardiner, Seaway staff members Robert Knapp, Tanya Crosby and Mark Lewis were instrumental in securing the new accreditation.
The Specialist High Skills Major program allows students in grade 11 and grade 12 to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests.
The Ontario Ministry of Education offers several options within the Specialist High Skills Major program in addition to agriculture and transportation.
Seaway’s “excellent shop facilities” was just one of the reasons staff chose to pursue accreditation in the transportation program, said Gardiner.
He also explained that “a component of the High Skills Major is co-op and we have partners in the transportation industry that provide co-op for our students.”
In addition, the transportation sector is “a large employer in this part of Ontario.”
Gardiner also pointed out that the two programs, agriculture and transportation, compliment one another. He has students in the agriculture program, for example, who are focused on transportation opportunities within agriculture.
“The High Skills Major program has shown that it engages students. When they are interested in their studies, they do better and they attend more.”
He also pointed out that the program “allows students to explore work options in high school before they make decisions about college.”
They have the opportunity to try a career to see if it fits for them and, as Gardiner admitted, there are students who have said “yes, this is for me” and others who have said “no, not for me.”
The first set of Seaway students to graduate from the Agriculture High Skills Major will do so this year, said Gardiner.
As for the Transportation High Skills Major, students have already begun expressing an interest and signing up for September.
Council, for a time, at the November 5, meeting got bogged down in the details of a plan to expand the Williamsburg recreation building to include library space.
But in the end, regardless of the details, they all agreed to a motion that moves the Williamsburg libary project forward.
Design work will be completed to get the project ready for tender.
In that design work, the lowest cost option that will achieve the library board’s required minimum of 800 square feet for the library branch, will be the option pursued.
The consensus of council is that the job needs to get done and get done properly, but as inexpensively as possible.
CAO Steve McDonald, pointed out that normally, construction costs are estimated at about $150 per square foot, but added that the Dunbar recreation building cost about $118 a square foot.
The net revenue from the rental of the old municipal building to TR Leger School is about $25,000 annually and will be used to offset the cost of the addition.
It was pointed out that this project will bring a library back to Williamsburg, but also provide community space for the village.
At the end of council’s discussions on the matter, South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds turned his attention to the audience, many of whom have been actively working towards bringing a library back to Williamsburg, and said, “We are trying to get you a library.”
He pointed out that council is committed to making this happen and asked for patience in the process.
The audience applauded.