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Green Party joins race for SD&SG’s next MPP

Justin Reist, a Toronto area native entering his third year at Carleton University, is hoping to become Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry’s next MPP.

Reist is joining the race as a member of the Green Party and has chosen this riding because of its close proximity to the Ottawa campus as well as its need for a Green Party candidate.

While Reist will be busy with school, he maintains that he will still be available to the people of his riding via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.

Reist is currently pursuing an Honours degree in Political Science with a minor in Communications.

In a recent e-mail interview, Reist was questioned about his priorities and how they will affect the small towns and communities of SD&SG.

In reply, Reist revealed: “I think my priorities and those of the Green Party of Ontario are ones shared by most Ontarians.”

“I am deeply committed to improving standards of living for all residents in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry in a way that is economically and environmentally sound. I should clarify what I mean when I say the environment is a priority for me.”

“In developing our environmental policies, the Green Party doesn’t just look at traditional environmentalism. We look further than the simple or immediate solution, and work to lessen our environmental impact in a way that boosts the economy and improves residents’ standards of living.”

“By investing in green technology and shifting to a less carbon-intensive economy, we create jobs not just for the next three years, but jobs that will be around for the next 15 or 30 years and contribute to healthy communities.”

Reist had the following to say about SD&SG’s voter priorities: “I believe residents of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry are focused on job creation, improving our health care system, and keeping their communities healthy and vibrant for years to come.”

“I am very much committed to addressing the needs of residents of my riding, and I’m looking forward to speaking with them and finding other areas where I can represent their needs.”

Reinforcing his commitment, he said, “I can really be the voice for the people in my riding. Above all, that is any MPP’s job, and one that I aspire to.”

Finally, Reist, who is 19 years old, addressed the issue of whether voters might think he was too young to be an MPP: “To those voters that may say I’m too young, and I’m sure there are many who think that, I would say that being young is one of the greatest assets I bring to the table.”

“My age gives me a different approach to politics – one that is based on sound policy rather than entrenched ideological views. It gives me the flexibility to learn and grow in this position, and makes me more open to other voices.”

“Even more importantly, being this young means I have much more invested in the future than those older than me. Every issue this province is facing right now is one I will be facing for twice as long.”

In conclusion, “I feel a great sense of duty in making sure that Ontario and Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry have a sound economic and environmental future for myself and the generations after me.”

Will readers vote Green Party on October 6th? We will have to wait and see.

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Will SD&SG’s next MPP be from the Libertarian Party?

Darcy Neal Donnelly of Fournier, Ontario has added his name to the ballot to become Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry’s next MPP.

Donnelly, a member of the Libertarian Party, believes that voters are not being given enough freedom in terms of money, taxes, and politics.

On the topic of money, Donnelly had this to say: “please note that within our MONETARY POLICY, We would grant individuals and corporations the freedom to issue their own currencies. Your money would compete (in a free market) with Canadian Tire money or with Bitcoin or with Canadian government loonies.”

He continued by asking, “Now how would that affect our average voters, non-voters and small towns within our community?”

Donnelly then answered his own question: “They will experience greater economic freedom and have the ability to reduce poverty. Since I have been voting; We get the same policies. We get more and more government regulations, rules and taxes.”

“Businesses are forced to be TAX Collectors. Business is leaving for less fascist government controls. Jobs are disappearing. Poverty is increasing.”

“People who want to reduce poverty believe that government controls are the solutions. Take a look at the government results. Fascist regulations. Endless deficits and growing debts. Countries going bankrupt. Poverty rising everywhere. People revolting. We want another option.”

This is where the Libertarian Party enters the picture. Donnelly claims, “We are offering [voters] another choice. We are the Party of Choice. Our vision is communities  of freedom, harmony and abundance.”

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Church mural gets facelift

It’s hard to drive down County Road #2 through Riverside Heights and not see the grand artwork that is the Church Mural.

The mural is just one of 17 erected between 2001 and 2005. The murals were created “to illustrate South Dundas’s rich heritage and culture.”

The Church Mural, originally created by Mike Kelly in 2003, is a compilation of local churches, past and present.

In 2009, the South Dundas Mural Committee came together in response to the dismantling of the Iroquois Point Mural. The committee’s purpose is to restore murals if necessary and if possible.

According to Jane Cox, spokesperson for South Dundas Murals, “Last year we did lose one mural but by using reserved mural funds, five murals were restored leaving us with 12 that needed some help.”

She went on to say that, “The amount of money needed for immediate art restoration of some of the pieces exceeded the amount budgeted by our local municipality. A community group came  forward in hopes of maintaining these works of art, thus champions of a mural was born.”

Champions are people or groups who are willing to financially back the restoration. This includes artist fees and supplies.

The  South Williamsburg Township Recreation Association (SWTRA) is the original champion of the Church Mural, lobbying for its initial construction. This group is once again lobbying for the mural, but this time for its survival.

Keith and Linda Robinson, members of the SWTRA, reported that it has taken three years of fundraising to secure the funds required for the restoration. Keith estimates that the restoration of the mural will be about $4,500. The final tally will come when the project is complete.

While the Robinson’s and the SWTRA are providing the funds for the restoration project, the South Dundas Mural Committee has been responsible for finding an artist willing to do the restoration.

Here enters John Ellenberger to lend his talent. Ellenberger was the original artist for two of the South Dundas murals. The Memorial Mural for the Iroquois Legion and the History of Agriculture Mural for the Williamsburg IOOF Hall were both completed by Ellenberger in 2003.

When asked why he decided to restore the Church Mural, Ellenberger replied with a smile, “someone’s gotta do it.”

While discussing the work to be done Ellenberger gave credit to Kelly’s use of automotive paints when doing the original. He believes that this is why the mural has “held up pretty good” since its creation.

Ellenberger will be using water-based paints to restore the painting, but promises the changes will flow seamlessly with the original.

While Ellenberger will need to do work on the mural at its location on County Road #2, he has taken down two pieces from the lower  right side of the mural.

He is working diligently on redoing these two sections completely as they were the most affected by water damage. Ellenberger is working out of the Robinson’s garage at their home in Riverside Heights.

When asked how they plan to protect the mural going forward, the Robinson’s reported that they will be building a roof over the mural that covers the front and back. The SWTRA is also providing the funds for this part of the project.

As for Ellenberger, he estimates that the work left to do will take just over a week to complete. He will then be driving back to his home in Alberta where he has additional jobs to complete.

In addition to murals, Ellenberger also uses his talent for motorcycles, trucks, cars, helmets, and portraits.

The Church Mural is not the only one with a champion. The New Canadians Mural is being championed by the Kolff Family. The Health Spa Mural is being championed by Mary Steele. The Caldwell Mural is being championed by Magnus Restoration of Iroquois. The WWII Homecoming Mural may have a new champion as well!

According to Cox, the “McIntosh Country Inn & Conference Centre will champion the McIntosh Apple [mural] and, with weather permitting, restoration may start next week.”

Unfortunately, not all the murals can be saved. The Aerial View of Morrisburg Mural is one of those “being allowed to age gracefully” and eventually taken down.

Cox reports that “hard decisions remain for our two remaining murals ‘North Side-Main Street’ on the west side of Giant Tiger and ‘South Side-Main Street’ on Upper Canada Playhouse.”

When asked if there were plans to create new murals, Cox said “There are not any plans for this group to initiate new murals but with the completed restoration and maintenance it does give our community an additional five year window to enjoy this collection.”

“We recognize these murals are not going to be with us forever but until something else comes forward let’s use these pieces of art to showcase our area.”

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Canada Day 2012 celebration a “go”

Members of the recently created Canada Day Committee met at the George Jowett Hall in Riverside Heights on August 30th.

Up for discussion was budget, evaluation of this year’s Canada Day celebration, and planning for next year’s celebration, including fundraising ventures.

This year’s Canada Day celebrations almost didn’t happen. Luckily for the community, this group decided to come together to save the day.

With a $200 starter donation from the Morrisburg and District Lions Club, the group began fundraising for the event with only a month and a half to the July 1st deadline.

With hard work and help from the community, including shop owners, the group was able to create a great day for everyone.

In order to move forward with next year’s plans, the group decided to sift through the events of 2011’s Canada Day festivities: what worked, what didn’t work, and what could be done differently for 2012.

Keith Robinson estimated that there were 3,500 to 4,000 people at this year’s Canada Day fireworks display. The turnout for all the events was phenomenal.

The agility games for dogs, the Bingo, the music, the barbecue – all the activities were reported to be successful and popular with the crowd.

What could have been done differently?

One member of the group reported hearing complaints of there not being rides for older children.

Linda Robinson addressed this concern pointing out that due to the late notice they were unable to secure the larger rides for 2011.  The supplier had already committed the rides for another location on that day.

She went on to report that the 2012 Canada Day festivities will include rides for everyone.

Kim Casselman pointed out that many in the community felt the fireworks display to have been too short; they were good, but short.

This observation seemed unanimous and it was determined that the  display should be at least 20 minutes long, which will of course increase the cost substantially.

Here enters the money talk. While the Canada Day event of this year did raise some money for next year, there is not enough to cover the costs for 2012’s proposed activities.

After a very fruitful discussion, it was decided that fundraising would begin this fall.

Working together as a community will, no doubt, guarantee the success of next year’s Canada Day celebrations.

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West Nile Virus in our area

Mosquitoes in our area have tested positive for the West Nile virus.  Although there have been no human cases in our region, there have been some reported cases in the province.

“The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has been actively monitoring mosquitoes for West Nile virus” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health. “This finding shows that West Nile virus remains a concern in our area, even as the summer comes to an end.”

The Health Unit would like to remind residents to take precautions against the virus and therefore against mosquitoes by taking the following steps:

Use federally registered personal insect repellents, such as those containing DEET. Use a light coating on exposed skin. Follow label instructions for proper application.

Wear light-coloured clothing, long sleeves, pants and socks when outside.

Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, as mosquitoes are the most active at that time.

Ensure that all containers in or around the yard like tires, pool covers, saucers for flowerpots, wading pools and children’s toys are regularly emptied of standing water.

Ensure that screens, windows and doors are fully sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.  

For more information, please contact the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or at 1 800 267-7120. Ask for Health Line.

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Amphitheatre ends season with highly positive note

Margaret Webb attended her first Brister Group amphitheatre performance on Saturday afternoon in the Waterfront Park. She went away the winner of the grand prize after a well attended per-formance by Easy Pickins’, a local folk style group noted for per-forming their own titles and select covers.

Lead guitarist (acoustic) Claude Plumondon touched the hearts of many in the audience with several of his original compositions, then tugged the heartstrings of all of the mothers inroducing a more personal story about his ailing when he penned the words to “Song For Mom”.It is indeed a beautiful musical story of a family’s love and appreciation for one another.

“In My Heart”,  a song written by band member Jeanne Ward about knowing the love of one’s life is on his way, and “Misery Express”,  another song by Plumondon with bass player Claude Clement singing…about a bus ride on which two people who have been hurt then ponder if they will try another shot at love were just a few of the many tunes this talented foursome delivered.

“We’ve had a good summer,” said amphitheatre marketing volunteer Bill Laurin. “Over the four performances we’ve managed to brighten the Saturday afternoons of about 750 people.”  Laurin said the enormous contribution of The Brister Group and the many businesses (see www.cruickshankamphitheatre.com) that came forward to take part in the promotion is what really worked for the attendance boost this year.“That and the quality of music talent available so close to home make the task relatively easy.”

“South Dundas has to be one of the most positive communities when it comes to working together to get something done!” Laurin said.

“And frankly, I believe this rarely identified, hard working group of committed South Dundas volunteers is going to make a real difference especially in the Waterfront Park area.” Continuing, he explained he was referring to the emerging Let Them Be Kids project which, on September 24th, will construct a huge play-ground here. Everyone in the community is invited to take part. He mentioned the beautiful new Park Pals Dog Park, the popular dock area, the Park Street gardens, Old home Week and the Lions many endeavors held in the park.

“We hope to make improvements in the amphitheatre produc-tion in 2012,” he said, adding “with more strategically selected dates, bands and additions to both the promotional package, the web site and our advertising campaigns.”The amphitheatre committee plans to initiate a full 2011 opera-tional report for the municipality, including a plan for 2012 calen-dar as soon as possible at their next meeting.“

”Now that we have the momentum moving it’s time to kick’er up a notch!” he said, “And we’re going to attempt to keep the web site interesting through our off time, make it a place for people to go and see what’s going on in South Dundas and the area.” At www.cruickshankamphitheatre.com.

The committee hopes to receive feedback from everyone concerning the 2011 production, the web site, the individual bands, suggestions to be presented for 2012, etc. Contact is by email, billsonja@gmail.com.

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Playhouse’s Kitchen Witches cooks up a batch of laughs

The Upper Canada Playhouse has shown it has the recipe for making people laugh, and the last show of the summer season will treat audiences to more of the same rib-tickling hilarity with The Kitchen Witches by Caroline Smith running September 8 through October 2.

The play stars two talented veterans of the Canadian stage, Linda Goranson and Jocelyne Zucco, so the Playhouse folks are getting ready to serve up a fabulous show filled with food, fun and funny, funny entertainment.

The show is directed by Canadian theatre veteran, Walter Learning, who has directed several plays for The Playhouse and most recently appeared with Goranson as Mr. & Mrs. Frencham in this season’s hit comedy, Not Now, Darling.

Rounding out the cast is Parris Greaves who also appeared in Not Now, Darling.       

For The Kitchen Witches, the Playhouse stage will be transformed into a television studio and the audience will become the studio audience of a cable TV cooking show.

It’s chef Dolly Biddle’s final episode before her show is cancelled. Her gimmick is playing an eccentric Ukrainian cook with a love of vodka that she likes to add to her recipes. When Dolly’s program is interrupted by the appearance of her long-time friend and rival, Isobel Lomax, the TV kitchen soon explodes with laughter as Isobel accuses Dolly of stealing her recipes and the cooking divas go at each other.

Recipe foul-ups and wild costumes create chaos for Dolly’s son, Stephen, the show’s producer, who tries to referee the on-camera battle as the ladies duke it out.

But viewers love the ladies’ antics, a new TV show is born and trouble really starts to brew!

As Dolly, Goranson brings a wealth of experience to the show. In addition to several shows at The Playhouse (Christmas Express, Female Odd Couple) she has appeared in over 80 productions in major theatres across the country.

She has been nominated for an ACTRA Best Supporting Actress Award and even appeared on Coronation Street.

Zucco, who plays Isobel, has also had extensive experience at such theatres as Blythe Festival, Theatre Lac Brome, Drayton Festival to name just a few.

She also appeared for two seasons on the TV series Urban Angel and recently shot an episode of the hit CBC series InSecurity.

The Kitchen Witches wraps up a crowd-pleasing summer of comedy at The Playhouse.

Audiences will have plenty more entertainment coming their way October 12-16 when Marshall Button’s Lucien’s Labour Lost hits the stage.

Following that, from November 24-December 18, The Playhouse will stage Norm Foster’s Dear Santa.

The Kitchen Witches runs September 8 – October 2 with shows Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m..

Call 613-543-3713 or uppercanadaplayhouse.com

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Playhouse assists local charities

Upper Canada Playhouse continued its decade-long tradition of assisting local charitable organizations with their valuable community work by do-nating an entire performance of one of their shows.

On Saturday, August 27th, some 18 organizations were giv-en tickets to the matinee perfor-mance of Not Now, Darling. The organizations included: Prescott Anglican Church of Canada, Galop Canal Revitaliza-tion Project, South Dundas Park Pals, South Dundas Chamber of Commerce, Friendly Circle Seniors Club, St. Mary’s/St. Ce-cilia’s CWL, Dalhousie Mills United Church, First Student Canada, SDG Cornwall Shriners Club, Community Living Dundas County, Avonmore Fair, Lake-shore Dr. United Church, Morrisburg Lutheran Church, Happy Face  Nursery School, La Leche League Canada, Dundas County Food Bank, Centretown United Church and MS Society.

Over the past 10 years The Playhouse has been pleased to contribute over $60,000 in tickets in support of the many different charitable organizations who in turn offer a wide variety of ser-vices to the local community.

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School supplies are still needed

Back to school time is here once again and with it the long list of supplies most students need.

The Crayons for Kids program, run by the South Dundas Food Bank, distributes school supplies to families in need.

According to Food Bank Administrator Donna Quesnel, there is still a need for binders, markers, scissors, and calculators.

Donations can be made by contacting the Food Bank at 613-543-0065 or at 613-774-0188.

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Daily shuttle service to Ottawa

Wubs Transit, located on Dawley Drive in Winchester, is considering the development of a Daily Line Route (shuttle bus) from Morrisburg to Ottawa.

Presently the company has a route, which includes multiple stops in both Chesterville, Winchester and, of course, Ottawa. This route will not change.

Due to previous inquiries, Wubs Transit has decided to “see what kind of interest is out there” for a shuttle from Morrisburg to Ottawa, reported Nanda Wubs.

She went on to say that the company would like to “develop a route that works for the largest amount of people.”

Wubs Transit offers monthly passes, single trip tickets, passes for one-way trips, and a book of 10 one-way tickets.

Aside from being the best rate, a monthly pass also includes access to OC Transpo. In fact, the pass itself is an OC Transpo pass that includes the Daily Line Run.

The monthly passes for Chesterville and Winchester are $258 per month and $230 per month, respectively.

The rate for Morrisburg would be comparable, the final number depending on the stops involved.

In order to develop the best route possible, Wubs Transit is looking for feedback from those interested in the shuttle.

What central location would work for pick-ups in Morrisburg?

Are there any pick-up points outside the village of Morrisburg that need to be considered?

What locations in Ottawa are needed?

For those interested in having a shuttle bus from Morrisburg to Ottawa, please phone the Wubs Transit office at 613-774-6618. Or, visit their website at www.wubs.ca and click on “commuter shuttles.” There will be a link on this page for inquiries and/or suggestions for a Morrisburg shuttle bus service.

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