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Taylor Webster last minute pick for Rick Hansen Relay

 

When  16 year old Taylor Webster of Williamsburg received a last minute phone call to participate in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay in Kingston, she knew it was something she had to do.

Taylor has been living with chronic pain for the past year and seven months. Although now on the mend following surgery to her hip to repair a labral tear, the young athlete, who loves to run, spent recovery time in a wheel chair, before progressing to crutches and finally the return to walking on her own.

“I wanted to be part of the relay because of my leg,” says Taylor. “We looked it up and my mom put in the application.”

With some 8,000 Ontarians applying for 2,000 spots, the fact they didn’t hear from their application wasn’t surprising.

But then came the exciting phone call on Thursday, October 27, asking if Taylor would be able to participate in Kingston on Monday, October 31st.

It took a brief family discussion on the organization of it all, to confirm that indeed Taylor would be off to Kingston with her twin sister Jamie, cousin Ryan, her Aunt Nicki and her Grandpa Bill (Devaul).

“We left at five in the morning, and we were the first ones there,” says Taylor. “We met at a high school where we all gathered around in a circle and told the group why we were doing it.”

Following the introductions, the group was the focus of a school assembly.

“We did warm-up exercises and then were taken by bus to our area. I was runner number 15. I carried the medal and passed it to a lady from the Kingston area.” 

The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Medal arrived in Kingston during the afternoon of October 30th.  Its day ended at about 5 p.m. at a ceremony attended by Rick Hansen.

Monday morning, October 31, it was relayed to various Kingston locations until it left the city at noon for Belleville,

Taylor says that her hip problem has made her appreciative of the needs of people with spinal cord injuries.

Her Mom, Shelley Whitteker expresses her pride in Taylor’s battle and her desire to participate in the run. “It takes a lot of courage to do something like that on your own and stand out in a crowd.”

Taylor, who first experienced a “throbbing pain” in her hip in the spring of 2010, is a distance runner. She plays basketball, soccer and baseball and runs cross-country.

The pain intensified, coming and going, until it reached the point, “it didn’t go away.”

A first battery of tests at CHEO did not determine a cause, and Taylor was left to deal with the pain as best she could. When it became so intense, she was bed ridden, another battery of tests at CHEO located the labral tear.

Taylor is now recovering from surgery which required a tendon to be cut to repair the tear, and, says her mom, “she is finally on the road to recovery. Although she is still in pain, she is happy because there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

“She attends physio twice a week, and is finally getting back the physical part of her life. She started riding her bike last week, and hopes to be running cross- country again, very soon.”

Taylor sent out her application for the Rick Hansen Relay to help support and show others that there is hope. 

She wants people to know that “whether you are in a wheel chair, crutches or in pain, you should never give up.” 

 

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Non-profit housing receives tax relief

 

South Dundas council showed that it can be flexible and open to making amendments when necessary.

At the November 1st council meeting, Treasurer Shannon Geraghty, requested that council make an amendment to a previous resolution passed in October of 2007.

The original resolution approved a “grant-in-lieu amount of $153,192 over 20 years to the Affordable Housing Program project on Hess Street in Williamsburg,” which meant that from 2008 to 2027 “the difference between multi-residential and residential to a maximum of $7,659.60 per year” would be granted.

As Geraghty pointed out, “those (actual tax) amounts fluctuate from year to year.”

“This year,” he continued, “the amount we allotted to them doesn’t cover the difference between multi-residential and residential.”

He acknowledge that it’s a “hard number to come up with (and they’ll need to) deal with it year by year in the budget.”

Adding the increase to the rent rates would put “the agreement with the Province for the Affordable Housing Program in contravention.”

South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds admitted that the requested action would “probably cost a few dollars, but (would) keep us in compliance with the province.”

He agreed that the requested amendment would “make the whole idea behind (the resolution) flow better.”

Council unanimously passed the amendment and the resolution now reads: “THAT the Council of the Township of South Dundas provide a payment-in-lieu for the difference in the amount paid between the Multi-Residential versus Residential for the municipal portion only to the Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation for a period of 19 years including the 2011 taxation year.”

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And the contract goes to…

 

A few weeks ago the Leader reported that the South Dundas township had been hit with some unexpected costs in the form of roof-top heating units.

Manager for Recreation Facilities, Don Lewis, updated council at the November 1st meeting as to the status of the tendered bids and the roof-top units.

Lewis reported that the estimated cost to replace or repair the units located at the Justice Building in Morrisburg and the Iroquois Civic Centre was originally $15,000. 

Five tendered bids, each in a sealed envelope, were received at the township office from the following companies: Atel Air Heating & Air Conditioning, Neal’s Heating & Cooling, Morrisburg Plumbing & Heating, Coral Canada Wide, and Climate Works Heating & Cooling. 

Moments after the October 25th deadline, the bids were opened and reviewed by Deputy Mayor Jim Locke, Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald, and Manager of Recreation Facilities, Don Lewis.

“In reviewing the quotations the costs exceeded the initial estimates, but as per the direction given by council to staff, replacing these units are a necessity for the operation of the Justice Building and the Iroquois Civic Centre.”

Atel Air Heating & Air Conditioning won with a bid of $23,950.55, including the HST rebate.

Lewis reported that the installation and repairs to units were already underway.

Councillor Archie Mellan inquired as to the warranty provided for the units. 

Lewis informed council that out of the five bids, only one provided a twenty year warranty. This was due to the stainless steel heat exchanger involved.

Atel Air Heating & Air Conditioning, along with three other companies, gave bids with ten year warranties attached. 

McDonald explained that the “difference in price over ten years was minimal.”

Mayor Steven Byvelds applauded the process taken, making it clear that “everything was done fair and square.”

The proffered bids were as follows: Atel Air Heating & Air Conditioning, $23950.55; Neal’s Heating & Cooling, $26,322.01; Morrisburg Plumbing & Heating, $29,102.88; Coral Canada Wide, $32,614.10; and, Climate Works Heating & Cooling, $32,953.98.

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Lawn-bowling club to share with campsite

 

 “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has not taste,” wrote Charlotte Bronte.

Returning home to 2011, the Iroquois Lawn-Bowling Club (ILBC) has agreed to share their clubhouse with the neighbouring Iroquois Campsite, hopefully to the benefit and happiness of both.

At the November 1st South Dundas council meeting, Clerk Brenda Brunt reported on the current status of the situation saying, “I was asked to meet with the lawn-bowling club. The campsite is right there and they’d like to use it.”

She told council that the ILBC doesn’t “have any problems” with the request. They would, however, “just like something in return.”

Brunt reported that her “only problem with the building is that it’s not wheelchair accessible,” which means that the “washrooms are not accessible.”

As it turns out, the building in question belongs, in fact, to the township. Council quickly decided that the Iroquois Campsite should be authorized to share the space with the ILBC.

As for the requests from ILBC, Mayor Steven Byvelds said they would deal with the financial request in 2012 as they really need to consider how they’re going to move forward with such a large request.

ILBC is asking for monetary help with the upkeep of their greens and floodlights, as well as probable updates to the clubhouse building.

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Roy Wardle shares memories from WWII

 

“As I reached the door there was more machine gunning. At that moment a man left the house opposite running. I saw the bullets strike him across the shoulder, chest and abdomen. He pitched to one side and lay still. There were more explosions and firing, then suddenly everything was very quiet.”

Roy Wardle, a World War Two Veteran, shared his amazing story with the Leader on October 31st at the Hartford Retirement Centre in Morrisburg. The above excerpt was taken from Wardle’s own personal writing on an event during the war titled, “Stuka Attack – Bosnia 1944.”

Wardle joined the Bedforshire and Hertfordshire Regiment on March 13, 1941, when he was just 17 years old. He and a friend, Percy, both had to fib, saying they were 18 in order to join the infantry in England.

Wardle transferred to the Royal Corps of Signals on February 10, 1942, which is when he and Percy parted ways, taking different paths. Wardle decided to train for a radio dispatcher position. This he did in Yorkshire for about eight months. As a matter of interest, radio dispatchers were paid extra.

Following his training, he went into the 56th Welsh Division and was approached to voluntarily join the parachute division.

“I thought that could be interesting,” said Wardle. 

At an information session, Wardle was required to sign a secrecy agreement. This position required working with an officer. The pair would be dropped by parachute into German occupied territory where they were to join with the partisans.

Twelve men attended the information session, but only two agreed to volunteer for the new position. Wardle was one of them.

Eventually, Wardle joined recruits who were making their way to Cairo, Egypt, before heading to Palestine.

Following a radio course in Egypt, he went for paratraining, which would include five training jumps, four in daylight and one in the dark. On one of his jumps he revealed: “I landed not exactly as I should have. I went backward and banged my head. I was out for one to two minutes.”

Then it came time for the night jump: “I was a bit dubious about night jumps because there would be fires on the ground. What if I came down on one?”

As it turned out, however, “it was a lovely moonlit night. I floated down, nowhere near the fires.”

After training, Wardle returned to Cairo and then on to Benghazi in North Africa. “That’s where you went on operations.”

From Benghazi, men were flown to Albania, Greece, Yugoslavia, or Bulgaria. Wardle was flown to Brindisi, Italy.

He was told that “it won’t be normal army, you’ll be looked after” because he was now part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). “We were treated like lords,” he said.

Wardle joined SOE on July 1943, eventually serving with Force-133 (Balkans) and Force-136 (Burma).

The SOE was formed by Winston Churchill for the purpose of encouraging and facilitating espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance behind enemy lines.

Wardle was assigned to Yugoslavia. He was to be teamed with Basil Irwin, an officer. They would be stationed in Brindisi, Italy until they could be flown and dropped into Yugoslavia.

“We were unlucky,” he said. “We had to fly over there five times because they couldn’t see the fires or there were too many clouds. We couldn’t drop.”

“Eventually, we went on the night of April 3rd, 1944. That was the night we dropped into Yugoslavia. We were 25 miles from Germans in Tuzla. I landed in an apple tree.”

Wardle and Irwin “had a Serb” who acted as their interpreter. “The three of us were together all the time. We moved everywhere on foot. We had to get our own food and we relied on the people for food.” At one point, “we went three days without food because we couldn’t find anything.”

“We kept on the move most of the time. The Germans knew we were there so they were looking for us.”

“Hitler had ordered if any of us  were caught, we were to be shot no matter what. People who were captured; there were awful things that happened to them.”

“We did a lot of walking. We got ambushed a couple of times. We were dive bombed.”

Wardle explained the  purpose of his team: “The officer would be involved with the partisan people. He’d make the messages, all in code. I would transmit them with my radio over to Italy.”

“Messages were about all different things and about materials needed by the partisans like grenades, guns, and plastic explosives.” 

They were in Yugoslavia for three months trying to get “up near the Danube oil barges.”

“We were trying to get up there, but we couldn’t. So, a plane flew in to pick us up and drop us where they wanted us to go. They had to make sure the Germans weren’t around.”

This, he said, “was hard to do. The Germans were out on patrols.”

He was “dropped back in nearer to the Danube.” Luckily, this time he and Irwin only had to go in once for the jump as the weather and fires were cooperating. He flew in a “DC3 with just two engines and a hole in the floor.” 

“I went through and reached the ground. I heard some automatic gunfire when I came down. I heard people calling. I saw light coming through the trees. Someone called out Bob.”

Although his name isn’t actually Bob, this is what people called him, so he knew then that “these must be friends.”

“They took me back to the fires where there were three escaped POWs (prisoner of war).” These men were from a jail in Belgrade. The jail had been bombed, which took out an entire wall and allowed the men to escape.”

They shared “a flask of rum and cigarettes,” which as Wardle pointed out, “were issued to us.”

“A few nights later there were Yugoslavian officers coming in behind us. The plane landed and the escaped POWs went out. That was 1944.”

“We never did get to the Danube. Too many Germans in Fruska Gora. We stayed in there for 10 months anyway. Basil figured we had walked 1,500 miles. We walked most nights and sometimes during the day.”

In the 10 months he was there, Wardle said he only took his clothes off twice.

“We eventually left and went back to Italy,” he said. Here they were asking for volunteers for the far east who would be put on islands in the Pacific to report on Japanese shipping.

Wardle volunteered. He was eventually “shipped out, heading for Bombay, India.” He traveled to Delhi and on to Meerut and, finally, “I went to the other side of India to Calcutta.”

“As far as climate, that’s the worst place on the planet. I never want to go there again.” 

“We worked out of the signal office. We had quite a bit of time off.” A favourite place was “the Lighthouse” with “the longest bar I’ve ever seen in my life, 40 feet long at least. There was a cinema in there as well. And, downstairs, a posh restaurant for nice meals.”

“They got fed up with us doing nothing. No more than we did.”

The SOE, Wardle continued, employed women, who were called FANNYS. They deciphered code, drove vans or did whatever tasks necessary.

“There were 24 of them in a big room in front of a radio, receiving messages. I was a signal office superintendent in charge of the room. That was just one thing in Calcutta.”

Then, “they put us in a boat, the worst I’d ever been on, more like a garbage boat. There were six or seven of us going across to Burma.”

“We got to Rangoon,” the headquarters in Burma for SOE Force-136. “We stayed in houses where people had just left their homes, right on the side of Victoria Lake. It was a nice spot.”

“From there I was sent to Pegu with an officer. We were involved with Japanese prisoners and the place where they were interrogated. We used to take them up there.”

Then it was back to headquarters and, “from there we went another 50 miles north to Tongoo, where we lived in a railway station.”

“There was an airstrip near there where we went to work. From there, planes went out and dropped supplies in Burma.”

Then one day, “the Royal Air Force said ‘you’re going back to Rangoon’.”

“I’d been there a few days when I got called into the office. They said, ‘we need somebody who can drive. We have a job for you to go with Major Maddox up to North of Burma. He’ll leave you up there until the commanding officer comes up.’”

“Major Maddox was from Winnipeg. He’d been out with the Americans fighting the Japanese. He could speak fluent Japanese and Burmese.”

“We had a jeep and a trailer. We had a Burmese teen with us to help us. His job was riding with me.”

“When I was a little kid, about six, I used to listen to the ‘The Road to Mandalay.’ I never thought I’d get to see it.”

To reach their destination, they had to make several stops, cross a river, travel with their jeeps via a flat boat, and drive across roads that were basically giant ruts. Once there, the Major “put me in a house and he went back to Rangoon.” 

When the new major and colonel arrived, the group left for Rangoon, which is when Wardle “found out what was in the jeeps. Bags of them – thousands and thousands and thousands of rupees.”

They traveled “all the way through the Shan States.” The rupees went to pay “all the people who had been helping to fight the Japanese. That’s what this trip was all about. I didn’t learn that until the way back.”

On the way back, they traveled down roads with “hair pin curves” around cliffs with thousand foot drops. The drops were barred only by posts spaced about 10 feet apart. 

Wardle quickly discovered that he had no brakes. To make matters worse, he had a moment of panic when the wheel wouldn’t turn. “I hit the post and the thing stopped. I backed up.” 

Surprisingly, he continued down the mountain where he met the colonel and the major. “If you want that jeep to go back to Rangoon, you’re going to drive it yourself,” he told them.

They eventually made it back to Rangoon, just in time for Christmas, 1945.

Following this, “I’d been transferred to Burma command. Once that happened, I was out of the SOE.”

“In the end, that’s where I came home from in 1946.” Wardle explained that people were dispatched from the war in stages. It wasn’t a case of “the war is over today, go home.”

Wardle was discharged from duty on December 6, 1946. 

Wardle made it home to England safely. There he met and married Winnifred, the sister of a soldier he’d met in 1944. 

In 1953, Wardle and his wife came to Canada. “We were married for 50 years. She died 15 years ago.”

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South Dundas Mental Health

 

 South Dundas residents may be unaware that professional help with mental health issues is much nearer than they may have supposed.

In December of 2010, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Champlain East, established a satellite office in the Morrisburg Plaza. The Morrisburg facility is linked to main offices in Cornwall and Hawkesbury. It has been established to directly serve clients in need in the Dundas area.

The Morrisburg office has two case managers, Linda Lloyd and Stéphane Fortin, on site, to help clients dealing with mental health issues. 

“We are not a crisis centre,” Lloyd and Fortin explained. “If a person or loved one is in immediate crisis, the family should contact the crisis line in the phone book. We have dealt with some crisis calls in the past, but we immediately directed these callers to the right response teams.”

Instead, the Morrisburg case managers work on a wholly volunteer basis. A client must agree to referral to a case manager, and must take the “initial step” to seek help. 

Community support services, like the Morrisburg satellite office, offer client-centred services designed to enhance the rehabilitation, adjustment and community integration of those 16 or older living with a severe psychiatric disability. 

“A client has to volunteer for the services we provide,” Fortin explained. “There are no fees and no contracts in our service, but a client has to make a personal choice to continue the program. We don’t prescribe medicines or counselling or therapy. We are strictly case managers. What we do is connect people to the resources and the professionals who can best help and serve them.”

Case managers like Fortin and Lloyd are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and have backgrounds in social work. 

“There is a real diversity of educational backgrounds among the 24 case managers who serve the five counties through our four satellite offices,” Fortin said. “Each case manager comes from a different educational background. We have addiction specialists, probation specialists and psychiatric nurses. As a team, we offer a lot of strengths which can provide help to people.”

The training and experience that individual case managers bring to clients often enhances the help they receive.

“I think we sometimes act as a pair of extra eyes for our clients,” Lloyd said. “We sometimes can see an issue manifesting itself, and can then direct a client to specifically discuss it with the doctor.”

CHMA community support services are flexible and portable. They are designed to facilitate maximum client participation and self-determination. 

Case managers provide individualized support and opportunities to learn and practice essential life skills needed for independent living. Because they improve clients’ ability to access services, they may help reduce the incidence of hospital re-admission.

Despite the great improvements in mental health treatments and options, both Fortin and Lloyd are aware that the stigma attached to mental illness has not disappeared.

“The stigma is out there at every age level,” Fortin said. 

“Sadly, I think a lot of mental illness is still pretty much hidden,” Lloyd said. “From my experience, what I often see is people suffering in silence. I find there is a tendency in rural areas to keep silent, to not admit there is a need and to seek help. A number of factors enter into this: lack of resources, transportation problems, few accessible doctors. These can all act as barriers to someone needing help.”

“Of course, people in large communities can also choose to isolate themselves,” Fortin said. “In this area, Dundas county, the public is most definitely under-served. There is no one actually practising psychiatry in this area. Our cases have to be referred to Ottawa or Cornwall.”

Have there been some positive changes on the mental health scene in the last decade or so?

“Well, we’re here now,” Lloyd said. “I think there is a growing understanding of the real need for community outreach. Workshops and educational venues are far more in evidence. I’m an optimist. I believe the situation is getting better. There are some very good people reaching out to those in need.”

“I think we have better educational programs to create public awareness than 10 years ago,” Fortin added. 

“People with mental health issues go to work, love their children, contribute to society,” Lloyd explained. “People with mental health issues are all around us, not locked up in wards and closets. Help is out there. Recovery is possible.”

Clients can be referred to the CMHA   Morrisburg community support office by doctors, health professionals, clergy, friends, or by contacting the office themselves. Appointments will be set up. 

“A client who wants help can always find help. The community medical resources are out there and we help people to access the ones that will serve them best,” Fortin said. 

Visit the web site at www.cmha-east.on.ca 

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Sports

Halloween Fun for South Dundas Atom C Lions

 

Team members of the Atom C Lions pose for a picture after their 4-2 win over North Dundas at the Morrisburg Arena on Sunday, October 30. In the spirit of Halloween, parents and team officials handed out treats to the players after the game. The Lions are having a good season, showing determination and good sportsmanship. Their record is 3 wins, 3 losses and one tie.  Team members are (in no particular order) Michaela Mustard, Caleb Douma, Trystyn Hummel, Morgan Hummel, Matt MacKay, Jaeden Shaver, Kendrew Byers, Rachel Nicolaassen, Chloe Hart, Devon Swindells, Owen Orendi, Mackenzie McKee Markell and Shelby Martineau.  Team officials are David Byers, Shawn Hummel, Karon Hart and Lori and Steve Martineau.  The Lions encourage spectators to their games.  Come see how the “Lions Rock, Lions Roar and Lions Score, Score, Score!”

 

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Sears Fashion Show Success

 

”What a great day,” said Leslie Disheau, chair of the Seaway District High School parents council on Sunday, November 6, when Sears Iroquois and River Rat Treasures sponsored a fund raising show for Seaway. “The fashion clothing was just stunning and all the models looked amazing.”

The fashion show, which featured vendors as well as several door prizes and a 50/50 draw, earned $1,393 at the door. This amount will be matched through the generosity of the Morrisburg branch of the Scotia Bank, whose employees turned out to help with the event.  “We will probably be close to $3,000,” Disheau said. Monies are still coming in from vendors and expenses are still being determined.

The fashion show was organized and staged by local Iroquois businesswoman, Candace Menges, owner of the Sears outlet, Candy’s Hair Salon and River Rat Treasures. Annually, Menges and Sears Iroquois present fashion shows as a fund raisers for local charities and organizations. This year, she was approached by the Seaway parents council for help.

“Technology in the classroom is our fund raising goal this year,” Disheau explained. “The money we raise will be used for SmartBoards, Elmos and science equipment for Seaway High.”

“This is my first time as a fashion model,” laughed Seaway principal Terry Gardiner, “and I will be mainly concentrating on not tripping. I really appreciate this special fund raiser for our school. It reflects visible community support for our 90 per cent graduation goal.”

Sixteen models of all ages showed school, casual, cruise and party wear from Sears. Guests attending the gala also had the opportunity to do a little early Christmas shopping from area vendors. Vendors also donated eight door prizes for lucky visitors.

The 50/50 draw was won by Heather Black and the Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Machine was won by Lisa Bailey.

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South Dundas well represented at Cornwall Fall Classic

 

Twenty Novice  B House teams met in Cornwall, November 4-6 for the inaugural Fall Classic hockey  tournament where the South Dundas Novice B House Lions 1 and 2 squads proved to be two of the top four teams. The B House 1 Lions finished atop pool B with three straight victories and 11 goals for and just three against.  They then defeated the Brockville Braves, Sunday morning, in quarterfinal action to advance to the semifinals. The South Dundas B2 Lions also finished on top of their pool with a 3-0 record and 21 goals for and just one against. They met the Richmond Royals who they defeated, 5-3, to advance to the semifinals against the West End Wildcats. A 3-0 win put the Lions B2 squad in the finals. Unfortunately, the Cornwall Colts spoiled the opportunity for an all South Dundas final by defeating the B1 squad, 4-1, in semifinal action. The Colts then proved to be too strong for  South Dundas  B2s, taking the final game 6-1. The B2 Lions were awarded silver medals for their second place finish. Pictured above, front l-r they are Kolbey Hamilton, Sarah Backes, Olivia Salmon, Jayden Rowe and Colin Minish. Standing l-r, are Dana Domanko, Jack Connors, Nathen Verhey, Dean Lapier, Brady Smith and Tyler DeDekker. The coaching staff, l-r is Michael Domanko, Jamie Smith, coach David Lapier and Scott Verhey.

 

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Demolition at the Dunbar Recreation Centre

 

The Dunbar Recreation Centre was consumed by fire during the early hours of Saturday, October 8th leaving devastation and charred remains.

At the November 1st South Dundas council meeting, Clerk Brenda Brunt provided council with a brief update on what’s being done to clean-up the site.

“It’s quite a process to deal with an insurance company after a fire,” said Brunt.

She reported to council that the insurance company had wanted the township to send bids for the demolition job to the two companies affiliated with the insurance company.

Brunt and staff, however, insisted on bringing in bids of their own and it was one of these, Lloyd McMillan Equipment Ltd., that won the job with the lowest bid of $7,500 plus HST.

The demolition process includes the removal of debris, trees, and anything else left behind from the fire.

[…]