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Squashing rumours

 

If you heard about the several police cars pulled over alongside the ramp to Highway 401 with officers and dogs heading into the forest (some with machine guns), then you might be wondering what exactly was happening October 27th.

OPP Constable Pete Robertson explained the situation to the Leader on October 31st.

First off, the machine guns were, in fact, not machine guns at all. They were C8’s with clips, or semi-automatic rifles, which can easily be mistaken for machine guns.

Secondly, the entire event came about due to a tip. Robertson confirmed that “three suspected males were in an area trying to commit a theft.”

“They ran off into the bush,” where OPP officers went in pursuit, but the suspects were “not located.”

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Remembrance Day

 

 It is hard to believe that it has been 1 year since we last celebrated Remembrance Day. 

I wonder how many Veterans we have lost in the past 12 months. Sadly it seems year after year the number of these brave men and woman attending the November 11 ceremonies is falling dramatically. 

It never fails to move me emotionally when I observe the determination of these true Canadian heroes and heroines as they come to attention and salute as the National Anthem is played. 

On a positive note, I have also noticed that the number of citizens attending Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout Stormont, Dundas & South Glengarry has increased in recent years. This is a very encouraging development. I believe this is an indication that the general public is realizing the tremendous sacrifices veterans and their families have made to protect our country and its citizens.

This year marks the end of Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan. We should pay special tribute to the current members of the Canadian Forces for the enormous contributions they have made during the past decade. We should also recognize and thank their families for their many sacrifices during the same period. And of course we owe a great debt of gratitude to all who continue to support Canada’s non-combat missions throughout the world.

I encourage every constituent of SD&SG to make this Remembrance Day special. 

There are many ways to actively honour and remember our Canadian Veterans. Wear a poppy above your heart. Attend the local Remembrance Day ceremony and vow to never let their memories die. 

Probably the best way we can show the respect and gratitude our Veterans deserve is by spending time getting to know them and listening to their stories.

Lest We Forget!  

Guy Lauzon

Member of Parliament

Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

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Getting taxed to visit the States?!

 

If the International Border Caucus is unsuccessful, Canadians will have to pay a fee to visit the United States via “air or sea” beginning November 5th.

Ontario Senator Bob Runciman’s office shared a release from U.S. State Senator Patty Ritchie’s office entitled: “Border Senators oppose ‘visitor tax’ on Canadians.”

According to the release, “New York State Senators who represent districts along the 450-mile US-Canadian border joined together to urge Congress to repeal  a new $5.50 visitor fee that they say will hurt small businesses who rely on Canadian tourists, cost New Yorkers their jobs, and further damage relations between the two nations.”

“The 11 members of the State Senate’s bipartisan International Border Caucus signed a letter to both US Senators from New York, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, urging them to fight for a repeal of the new fee.”

Included in the letter, “We urge you to join us in working together to remove this tax on our Canadian friends that will hurt our economy and cost jobs across New York State.”

Runciman, the Border Caucus’ Canadian co-chair, agreed with the U.S. senators saying, “This fee, depending on how it is implemented, could be extremely damaging. I’m particularly worried about the impact on the boat cruise business if they are not granted an exemption.”

He went on to say that he’s “grateful for the support of the International Border Caucus on this issue. It’s exactly the sort of cross-border cooperation we hoped for when Senators Patty Ritchie, Joseph Griffo and I decided to put together a binational group of legislators who serve border communities.”

The “visitor fee” is actually a clause in the U.S.-Colombia free trade deal which removes exemption from the tariff for travelers from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada and Mexico have been exempt from the tariff since 1997.

The Leader spoke with Senator Runciman’s Executive Assistant, Barry Raison, asking whether Canada has a similar tax for Americans visiting Canada. “I’m not aware that we do,” he said.

Raison confirmed that “the (Canadian) government is working to convince them (U.S.) it’s not the right thing to do.”

As for who is affected by the tax, Raison reported “we’re trying to clarify” that, but it appears that the tax does “not apply to recreational boaters.”

How will this tax situation affect Canada and Canadians? As Raison said, “we’ll have to wait and see.”

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Balancing growth and agricultural land protection

 

Building houses, severing land parcels, creating subdivisions, protecting agricultural lands… these are some of the issues  behind the development of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry’s Comprehensive Settlement Area Boundary Study.

South Dundas council met at a special meeting on October 25th to review and discuss the proposed changes for the areas within South Dundas Township.

The meeting was led by South Dundas Manager for Planning and Enforcement, Don Lewis. Also in attendance to answer questions and note changes were County Planner and Department Head for the Planning Department, Michael Otis, and the GIS/Planning Technician, Jack Sullivan.

In the mayor’s absence, Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke opened the meeting explaining that “because it was apparent that we were looking at some changes,” it was decided that council should meet for a “special meeting” to discuss changes to the study “before (it) comes to (County) council for approval.”

Otis confirmed that the meeting was a “working session (so that) everyone understands what’s being proposed.” He added, “we certainly welcome your input.”

He went on to report that the idea is “to take forward the report to county  council November 21st and get some kind of approval, but before we do so we’d like to hear from each of the townships.”

“Subsequent to hearing from people from the open houses, we’ve made some changes,” informed Otis.

He outlined the reasons behind the study’s development with the most notable being: “provincial policy states (that) if you want to expand a settlement area, you have to have a comprehensive study.”

Further to that point, “a number of development proposals have surfaced which are constrained by current boundaries.”

“Some of these development proposals involve contiguous land holdings located partly within and partly outside of the settlement areas.”

“The Provincial Policy Statement and the County Official Plan strongly encourage the majority of future development to occur in the settlement areas as opposed to the rural areas of the county and as such, it is important to analyze the capacity of the settlement areas to assume this role.”

“The study reports will provide guidance to prospective developers and will provide a tool for economic development as well as land use planning.”

Lewis presented council with the recommended changes to each area with the help of maps. In most cases there were simple changes to boundaries, which acknowledged and delineated exactly where the existing boundaries are located.

The maps also showed where available land for development existed within the settlement boundaries.

The areas discussed at council included Iroquois, Stampville, Morrisburg, Mariatown, Williamsburg, Ault Island, Dunbar, Hulbert, Hainesville, Glen Becker, Glen Stewart, Irena, Brinston, Dundela, Riverside Heights, Dixon’s Corners, Winchester Springs, and Elma.

Otis told council “this study will be updated every five years. The idea is to be proactive. If someone came along and said I have a development in mind, you can’t do it without this study first.”

The following discussions were “informal” and nothing has been approved by County yet.

Iroquois

This discussion revolved mostly around whether or not to include the land that meets up with the West portion of Iroquois in the urban settlement boundary. 

It was pointed out that in a rural settlement area the home/land owner is responsible for their own water and sewer whereas in an urban settlement area the municipality is responsible.

The area southeast of Iroquois was also under consideration for potential settlement zoning. 

The area north of Iroquois, however, may be rezoned, losing its urban settlement status.

Stampville

Existing settlement to the north was acknowledged on the map’s boundaries. 

The land in the south section of Stampville, which faces Highway 401 was discussed in terms of whether it should be zoned as rural or urban settlement. It was revealed that “including it as rural settlement (is) a lot more flexible than urban in what is permitted.”

The biggest point of discussion for Stampville revolved around “West Side versus East Side.” In one area, residents on the east side of the road are zoned for settlement and are permitted severances. On the west side, however, the current zoning is agricultural meaning no severances are permitted. 

Lewis wanted council to include a portion of the land on the west side in the settlement zoning.

As Otis pointed out to council, “what you do on one side of the road you should do on the other, if it’s a similar situation.” 

Mariatown

According to Otis, Mariatown was “never recognized as a settlement area.”

He explained, “what we’re doing is taking the boundary and expanding to County Road 2 and over to Morrisburg’s west boundary and east to Coyle.”

“At this point it’d be a rural settlement,” said Lewis. He suggested that it might be possible to include a clause that allowed for a change if the opportunity for development arose.

Councillor Archie Mellan wanted to know how the designation of rural settlement would affect farmer’s taxes. In response, he was told that taxes are “based on use rather than zoning.”

Williamsburg

There were two large areas, one south of Hess Street and one to the northwest, where it was suggested that the land be zoned urban settlement. 

The discussion centered around the possibilities for additional subdivisions. 

Otis told council “the idea is to provide large areas where this can occur. (They) should be provided with this opportunity.”

Glen Becker

Mellan inquired as to why the settlement boundary wasn’t extended to include the truck stop land near Highway 401. 

Otis implied that there may be plans for that area and said, “we’re going to take a closer look at that on our five year review.”

Elma

Most members of council seemed to have a different opinion of where Elma was actually located. Some thought it was around the former school, while others thought it was west of the school at the four corners.

The proposal would connect these two areas along with the land in between. In addition, the land just east of the old school was included in the settlement area due to the several existing houses.

The major concern, however, seemed to revolve around the “land in between,” which is currently designated agricultural, If the land were to be included in the rural settlement area of Elma, it would allow for severances.

To clarify, the study was done to “protect prime agricultural land” from being severed and sold in disjointed parcels as settlement areas, which leads to the fragmentation of farmland. 

The summary report states: “It is a long standing and widely accepted planning principle that the majority of future development in a municipality should be encouraged to take place in the settlement areas as opposed to the countryside in order to protect rural resources such as prime agricultural land/areas and mineral aggregates and natural heritage systems, to promote economic development and maximize existing investment in public infrastructure expenditures.”

This discussion will resume at the November 1st meeting when council is presented with a list of pros and cons.

All Other Areas 

The remaining areas had either minor changes or no changes at all. Most changes simply reflected the actual current boundaries.

In Irena, the South Nation Conservation area was removed from the settlement boundary because, as Lewis pointed out, “that’s probably never going to be sold.”

Likewise, the Henderson farmland was removed from the settlement boundary in Dundela.

In Brinston there was a parcel of land, with two separate residences, being brought back into the settlement boundary to allow for a severance of the lot.

Due to concerns with the proposed settlement boundary for Dixon’s Corners, this will also be re-examined.

On November 1st, South Dundas council had one last opportunity to review and make changes to the study before the November 8th deadline.

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Jim McDonell appointed consumer services critic

 

An October 25th news release from Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s office revealed that SD&SG MPP Jim McDonell has been appointed the PC’s new consumer services critic.

The consumer services critic is, reportedly, “a valuable role on an Ontario PC team that is focused on bringing forward new ideas on job creation and getting the government’s spending under control.”

It was also suggested that  the people of SD&SG trust McDonell “to change the direction Ontario is headed in. Jim McDonell said he was humbled by the appointment, and eager to get to work to deliver the change families have asked for.”

McDonell stated: “This appointment will allow me to address the issues that matter most to the residents of Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry, as well as those of the Province of Ontario.”

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Support our Troops

 

Local Member of Parliament Guy Lauzon announced this week that his office will be offering the popular “Support our Troops” signs at his office again this year.

“This project has been an excellent way for the residents of SD&SG to show their pride and admiration for the work of our military personnel around the world,” said MP Lauzon. 

“While our combat missions in Afghanistan and Libya have come to an end, it is always still important to show that we’re behind our soldiers and their families.”

The red and white ‘Support our Troops’ signs are available at Lauzon’s offices in the riding for the month of November (while quantities last). Signs may be picked up at the main Constituency Office at 621 Pitt Street in Cornwall or the satellite offices in Winchester (North Dundas Township Office) and Morrisburg (South Dundas Chamber of Commerce Office in the Plaza).

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$12,000 in drugs seized

 

On October 29th, SD&G OPP officers had occasion to conduct a traffic stop on Highway 401, South Dundas Township.

The stop resulted in the seizure of approximately two kilograms of suspected marihuana.

The 26 year old male driver, Carl Laurent of Windsor, was arrested and faces a charge of Possession for the Purpose Schedule II.

He is scheduled to appear in Morrisburg court on December 6th.

The street value of the seized drugs is approximately $12,000.

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Sports

Morrisburg Curlers hit the ice

 

The season for the Morrisburg Curling Club is underway again, with several new curlers out. Normally we have a swing and sweep to start the season, nine holes of golf and six ends of curling. This year, with the uncertain weather and other factors, the numbers registering were down, and the executive had to cancel the event. Hopefully, we can get one in next fall.

There’s still room for additional curlers in most leagues. Just check with the coordinators. Several leagues have two draws, including Friday night, with 10 teams. Our Thursday morning mixed group has nine teams now, so a change may have to be made in their future, since there’s only room for six teams on the ice for each draw.

We welcome a number of new folks this year, and while some of our members have had health problems over the summer, most are back for another season.

Thanks to a huge number of volunteers in the executive and the Club’s general population over the summer, the clubhouse has been cleaned, painted, and refurbished, and new lights, using only one third of the electricity of the old ones are in place over the ice. Some of the work done is more subtle: dishes, etc., in the kitchen have been washed, glasses and other items in the bar have been readied, and we have some new carpeting at the entry. 

Also, schedules and bonspiel information are now downstairs, and the decorating committee has additional plans: something attractive for the walls, and perhaps some new carpet for the floors. Can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with!

Some of our curlers have been out to bonspiels already. 

The ladies were in Ottawa at the R.A. Centre last week. Alice Thompson, Betty Locke, Cheryl Thompson and Sharon Van Allen defeated a team from City View in their first match, but dropped a squeaker in their second to another City View team. Their total on the day, though, was good enough to get them to the prize table. On Friday they were off again, this time to Kemptville. The ladies played just one game, there, defeating an all-star team made up of curlers from Carleton Heights and Carleton Place. Congratulations to Alice Thompson, Susan McIntosh, Cheryl Thompson and Betty Locke.

On Sunday, Susan McIntosh held the season’s first of her popular two-person bonspiels. She had a full slate of 24 teams, and thanks toes to all who helped organize the day and look after the details, such as ice maintenance and serving lunch. Special thanks, as usual, to Dave McIntosh, who cooked up his famous chili for lunch all who helped and brought in food items and Donna McGillvary, who added her chili to the menu. 

As usual, the profits after prizes were awarded are returned to the club. Susan and her committee plan a bonspiel at the club every month, so watch the bulletin board in the lounge for information.

For those interested in results of the competition, here we are: in the ‘A’ final, Mahlon and Sam Locke defeated Ted Herriman and Gerry Thompson; in the ‘B’ final, Wally and Joanne Baker won out over Keith Robinson and Fred (Boomer) Langlotz; and in the ‘C’ final, Bill and Sonja Laurin triumphed over Gretta McGann and Sue McIntosh. The day featured good competition and fellowship. –A fine start to the competitive season.

That’s it for now. 

Good curling to all!

 

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Hidden in plain sight: DuPont Provincial Park

 

Have you driven by the forested areas along County Road 2 between Morrisburg and Riverside Heights wondering who owned the land and if it might be okay to take a hike there?

Well, as it turns out, the land in question is the DuPont Provincial Park and, yes, it is okay to hike there.

“Planning for this park has been going on for years but the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) regulated it as a provincial park in June 2011,” reported Jolanta Kowalski, Senior Media Relations Officer for the MNR.

According to the Ontario Parks website, the 614 hectares of land “was acquired by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) from DuPont Canada, through a combination of purchases and donations in 1997 and 1998, in order to establish the site as a nature reserve.”

Kowalski explained that the “NCC owns the land and it is managed in partnership with Ontario Parks.”

Ontario Parks revealed that “nature reserve parks are established to represent and protect the distinctive natural habitats and landforms of the province. These areas are protected for educational and research purposes.”

“Due to the fragility of many of these natural features, only a few nature reserves are accessible to the public.”

The MNR reported that DuPont Park has 1,500 meters of frontage on the St. Lawrence River and it is “home to mature hardwood forest, a coastal wetland and one of the largest heron nesting areas in Eastern Ontario.”

Kowalski told the Leader “this is a non-operating park and there are no designated access points or entrance areas. There are no designated trails.”

Ontario Parks explained: “a non-operating park has no fees or staff on site and only limited facilities.”

DuPont Park “is open to people who want to walk around but it’s not ‘maintained’ (no washrooms, trail grooming, camping, and so on) like some other parks,” said Kowalski.

For those readers who have dogs and love to hike off-trail, she confirmed that “dogs are permitted in all of our Ontario Parks as long as they are kept on a leash no longer than two meters and owners must clean up after them.”

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Powerplays working in Lions/Rebels 3-3 tie

 

Over the last couple of years, the South Dundas Bantam B Lions and the CharLan Rebels have displayed quite the rivalry. Last Monday night, October 24, they were at it again. 

With the two teams evenly matched, their fans have come to expect exciting games from start to finish, and Monday night was no exception as they played to a 3-3 tie.

Both teams have several returning players from last year, and the Lions haven’t forgotten that  it was the Rebels who ousted them from the 2011 playoffs in a sudden death fourth game.

In the first period of last Monday night’s,  Zach ‘Big Z’ Frawley had a shaky start and gave up two quick goals in the first couple of minutes.  

The Rebels, Eric Lamarche nabbed the first one, and Tyler Akins made it 2-0. 

The frustrated Lions found themselves scrambling in their own end, and giving up the puck to the Rebels who had numerous scoring opportunities.  

Finally, with 5:40 remaining in the period, Riley Barry put the Lions on the scoreboard with help from Aaron Smith. 

The penalty free, first period saw the Rebels out shoot the Lions 9-5.

Early in the second period, the Rebels took a hooking penalty to give the Lions their first power-play opportunity of the game.  

The Lions had six great shots on net, but couldn’t put one past Rebels goaltender Jasper Leroux.

At 2:55 of the frame, Andrew Jarvis tied the game 2-2 after he blocked a Rebels shot, carried the puck through the Rebels defence and beat Leroux through the five hole.

Cameron Chayer (from Smith and Evan Mullin) gave the Lions a 3-2 lead on a shot from the slot, which beat Leroux on the glove side.

The Lions gave a better showing in the second period to out shoot the Rebels, 12-4.

In the third, ‘Big Z’ found his groove and was standing tall between the pipes.  

With Riley Black in the penalty box for slashing and Andrew Jarvis sitting out a four minute ‘hit to head’ penalty, the Rebels took charge with a five on three advantage for three minutes and 40 seconds.  

The Lions were doing everything right as they worked their way through the penalty kill, but they couldn’t hold on. 

With 43 seconds remaining in the penalties, CharLan turned the pressure up a notch to finally tie the match 3-3.

The Lions had a couple of good scoring opportunities as the seconds ticked away, but to no avail. The first was from on a face off in the Rebels end and the second, in the dying seconds, was from a Quinn Bennis partial breakaway. 

The Lions are looking for a speedy recovery for Spencer Heldens whose wrist was broken during the game.

 

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