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Help is out there students learn at Mental Health presentations


 “Imagine driving down a dark road in pouring rain, then discovering your windshield wipers don’t work. That’s how my head feels all the time.”

A year ago, former Seaway student David (“Davi”) Freire took his own life. He had struggled with bipolar disorder for most of his youth. In the end, the darkness won.

On Tuesday, October 14, David’s mother, Augusta Waddell, joined Angele D’Alessio of the Canadian Mental Health Association, to make two presentations to the students and teachers at Seaway District High School in Iroquois. 

Both D’Alessio and Waddell firmly believe that fostering good mental health, and offering treatments and understanding to young people coping with mental illness, are essential – the sooner, the better. As Augusta Waddell pointed out, the first signs of her son’s debilitating mental illness appeared when he was barely six years old. 

“One in five people are affected by mental illness,” D’Alessio told the students. “The problem is far more widespread than many people realize. Illnesses which often specifically target young people include anxiety, stress and depression.  Over 40 per cent of  mental health workers’ case loads involve youth.”

The October 18 presentations to the grades 7-8 intermediate school and to grades 9-12, were interactive, lively and involving. Again and again, D’Alessio emphasized the message, “Get help. Mental illness is treatable. Recovery is possible.”

D’Alessio pointed out that education about mental illnesses is currently desperately lacking in most Ontario schools. 

In 2001, the Upper Canada District School Board agreed to include a mandatory mental health unit of one week in the health component of grade 11. However, unless a student actually takes that particular grade 11 physical education course, there are no other mandatory programs available in schools. 

“We need to expand workshops and presentations so they reach all kids in the high school,” D’Alessio said. “We have to reach into the elementary schools too, to teach children how to deal with stress and anxiety. Coping abilities need to be ingrained at an early age.”

In the meantime, she pointed out that there are places for troubled teens and their families to turn, including Help Lines and mental health units in many villages and towns. 

There is currently a satellite office, tied to the Main office in Cornwall, of the Canadian Mental Health Association right in the Morrisburg mall. Case managers Linda Lloyd and Stephane Fortin are available for  those who need support.

 However, the true realities of ignoring or stigmatizing mental illnesses were strongly brought home to the students of Seaway when Augusta Waddell told the story of her son, David’s,  struggle to cope with his mental illness. 

“By age six, Davi was sad and anxious, finding it hard to sleep. Although for a time he seemed to cope well, smiling and taking part in lots of activities and sports, the down times began to increase,” Waddell told the students. “By grade 10 at Seaway, Davi was avoiding his family, his friends and stopping activities he had always loved.”

David struggled daily with his bipolar illness, trying to hide how he was feeling, trying to keep friends and fellow students from finding out. Like so many young people, he was ashamed of what he was going through. 

Society is neither understanding nor forgiving of mental illness. This, essentially, is part of the problem.

“Hiding mental disorders because of the stigma can be dangerous,” Waddell told students, “as it prevents many people from seeking help. Many are afraid to admit to a mental illness because they see it as a sign of weakness. We need to be open to the pain which most afflicted with mental illness feel.”

It is too late for David, Waddell concluded, but not too late for other young people to get the help they need. And it is never too late for friends and family to reach out and offer support to a person who is going through the trauma.

“There is no health without mental health,” Augusta Waddell assured the Seaway students. “If you are suffering in silence, I urge you to speak to someone, the school counsellor, a teacher, a parent, a friend, and get the help you need, because the help is out there.”



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Septic system inspections to be handed over to SNC


What seemed like a simple matter of transferring a contract from one subcontractor to another, quickly became a controversial topic for discussion at the October 18th South Dundas council meeting.

Don Lewis, Manager of Planning and Enforcement for South Dundas, proposed to council that the township consider entering “into an agreement with South Nation Conservation (SNC) to deliver Part VIII of the Ontario Building Code (OCB) pertaining to the design, construction, and maintenance of sewage systems.”

Lewis outlined the situation and reiterated his recommendation from the written proposal presented.

South Dundas, as well as neighbouring municipalities, received a letter from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) on August 3, 2011 terminating their role as subcontractors for administering Part VIII of the OBC effective January 1, 2012.

Sewage systems became the responsibility of the municipalities in 1997 whereby they were given permission to subcontract to health units or to conservation authorities.

With this new development, a meeting was arranged with the Chief Building Officials of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry on August 11 “to discuss possible options of delivery methods.”

Two options mentioned were contracting SNC or doing the job “in house” whereby the township would hire additional staff specifically for the task.

Lewis believes that “entering into a contractual agreement with SNC would be the most advantageous and create a seamless transition for Municipalities, contractors and landowners.”

“SNC has expressed an interest to administer the program at the same fee structure set out by the EOHU at $650 per new application,” he continued.

Lewis further explained: “When delivering the program the delivering agent must also deal with the complaints pertaining to grey and black water issues as well which are difficult for yearly budget purposes.”

In addition, “SNC currently have staff trained to deliver the Part VIII program.”

Lewis admitted that inspection of new septic systems would be the “easy part,” adding that there “will be the necessity of mandatory inspection of existing sewage systems within the influence areas to be defined by the Source Water Protection Committee.”

“Quite honestly, I’ve had a fairly good working relationship with SNC,” he offered.

In response, Councillor Archie Mellan voiced concern about having SNC showing up on doorsteps unannounced to inspect resident’s septic systems. He wanted to know the specifics behind the mandatory inspection of the existing septic systems in terms of rules, regulations and guidelines.

“I think we (council) should have some say. Who is setting the guidelines?” He continued, saying he doesn’t “want to get into a situation where SNC is calling the shots.”

South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds said, “I do concur with Councillar Mellan” in his concern with a “broad-based mandatory system.” 

Following inquiry about the length of the contract, Byvelds asked Lewis: “Are you going to have a clause to get out” of the contract?

South Dundas Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald told council that, if council agrees, staff would ensure that an “out clause” be put into the contract.

Council was informed that the township of South Stormont has decided to enter into a contract with SNC for one year.

Council decided it would be prudent to look at the original contract with EOHU “to get an idea” of how to proceed in designing a new contract with SNC.

Byvelds suggested adding an extra service to the contract with SNC for the rural taxpayers: “an annual or biannual education program on septic systems (outlining) what they should be doing.”

He said that he felt “people need to be educated” on the proper care and maintenance of septic systems including things like what can and cannot be put into a septic system.

He told council, “I’d feel a little better letting them know what’s going on.”

To clarify the situation, South Dundas Deputy Mayor Jim Locke asked, “are we at the mercy of SNC or the province?”

Byvelds replied: “Provincial guidelines interpreted by SNC,” continuing, “they do have a good reputation, but to be fair, it is their interpretation of the rules.

In the end, council agreed to move forward with the proposal. Once staff has negotiated an agreement with SNC, McDonald reported that they will “be bringing the agreement back to council for approval.”


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New guide is a big success


Are you one of the many South Dundas residents enjoying a new class thanks to reading about it in the South Dundas Recreation Guide?

Ben Macpherson, Recreation Program Coordinator for South Dundas Township, told council in a report that “the response to the Recreation Guide has been very positive. All the programs run through South Dundas Recreation have sold out.”

In fact, “new classes were created to accommodate the larger numbers.”

Macpherson told the Leader “the guide cost $5,682 after tax. This was the first guide ever done for South Dundas so it was done with all the bells and whistles. Future guides likely won’t be full colour, high gloss, from front to back.”

He explained that the opulence of this first issue was done to get people’s attention, “to inform people of what is out there for them do.”

“At this point I plan to put (the guide) out twice a year. Once for Fall/Winter and once for Spring/Summer.”

“If anyone is interested in running a program or have a program going that would fit into the guide then they can contact me directly” at 613-543-2937 or

“I am always open to running new programs, the more programming being offered to South Dundas, I believe makes South Dundas an even better place to live or visit.”

“It’s people in the community that I rely on to provide the instruction of the programs. We have several teachers from the area who are now running cooking classes, art classes, dance classes and basketball programs. I have professionals teaching yoga and kickboxing and boot camps.”

As for programs added for this fall, there are: art classes for kids; yoga with classes for beginner and intermediate levels; senior yoga; adult swing classes; and, boot camp classes.”

Defining his role, he said, “I am here to find the space, coordinate times and do all I can to get the word out to the community about the programs and events.” 

Macpherson reported that “new courses being created are advertised mainly on the South Dundas website ( under Recreation News.”

He also posts the information on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, “any programs involving kids goes out to the schools who distribute the information to students. Fiona Carr of the Ontario Early Years Centre also  helps to get information out through her centre.”

Macpherson shared: “It has been my goal to create or continue to offer programming for people of all ages.”

“When I started in my position, one of the biggest concerns expressed was that nobody knew what was happening. I think the guide addresses that concern.” 

“I want people to get out and be active, whether through sports or other activities in the community.”

“The next guide I will be putting out will be for the end of February.”

Macpherson invites those with programs for the guide or those who wish to advertise with the guide, to contact him for details. 

The South Dundas Recreational Guide goes out “to every household in South Dundas” and it is meant “to help promote active healthy lifestyles.”


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Road sign tampering is definitely a no-no


The SD&G OPP would like to remind all users of the Township and County road’s that damaging or removing “ROAD SIGNS” are criminal offences.

Damaging a sign could result in a charge of mischief, removing one could result in a charge of theft.

Having a (stolen) sign in your possession could result in a charge of possession of stolen property.

More importantly, removing a sign could lead to disastrous consequences. The signs are placed there for the safety of all who use the roads. Removing any sign could lead to an unwanted collision and serious injuries.

SD&G OPP is asking that if anyone observes someone removing or damaging any “ROAD SIGNS” to call their local OPP detachment or Crime Stoppers and report the incident.


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Morrisburg Fire Hall Receives $10,000 Grant


Ken Hall, the Communications Relations Advisor for Enbridge Pipelines Inc. arrived at the Morrisburg Fire Hall on October 20th bringing a sizable donation for the South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services (SDFES). He presented a cheque for $10,000 to Fire Chief Chris McDonough.  The donation will go toward funding a natural gas generator for the fire hall in Morrisburg. SDFES was chosen for the Safe Communities Grant because of its close proximity to an Enbridge pipeline. (Eligibility depends on being within 20 km of a pipeline.) Hall pointed out that there are no “strings attached” and the grant money doesn’t need to be used in relation to the pipeline or Enbridge. The purpose of the generous donation is to ensure that “first repsonders have the supplies they need to keep themselves safe and to keep their communities safe.” This is Enbridge’s way of “giving something back.” 


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Novice B Lions back in win column


The South Dundas “Dodge Caravan Kids” Novice B Lions got back in the win column here Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 win against the Kemptville #2 Panthers. 

After a couple of ties in the last seven days, the Lions took to the ice with one goal in mind, getting a lead and protecting it.

Brendan Shaver, in the Lions cage, continued his strong play, making solid saves against the Panthers attackers and stopping several point blank shots. 

With the score 3-0, and the Panthers pressing to get on the scoreboard, Spencer Barclay made the defensive play of the game when he cut down a Panther attacker as he closed in on Shaver.

Cassidy Bilmer, back on defense after a stint on the wing, and her defense partner Emytt Fetterly got the offense going with some excellent defensive play. 

Unlike previous games when the Lions came out forcing the offense and ended up giving up a goal, the Lions were a little bit on their heels and ended up getting the first goal.

The Lions Owen Fetterly scored first when Joshua Broad and Ben Lapier’s fore checking freed up the puck to create a scoring chance.

The Lions took a 2-0 lead when Nolan Henry moved the puck out of his own zone to Kolby Latulippe who tipped it over to Kayne McCadden who beat a Panther defender and buried a shot.

In the second period, the Lion’s took control and cut down on the opponents’ scoring chances with several back to back, hard fore checking shifts that led to more scoring opportunities.

 Kayne McCadden broke away twice from the Panthers defense only to be caught from behind by a sliding defenseman who dove with his stick to knock the puck away.

The Lion’s opened a three goal lead in the third when Ben Lapier scored midway into the frame. 

Now with the three goal lead could they not only hold but get the shutout. 

Brendan Shaver was tested down the stretch, and he held strong until the final seconds. 

With the Panthers goalie on the bench and the Panthers pressing the Lions defense couldn’t clear a rebound and the Panthers jumped on it to score with 10.3 seconds left.

Earlier in the week, the Lion’s travelled to Kemptville to take on Kemptville #1 and extended their unbeaten streak to six games. The Lion’s goal scorers were Nolan Henry and Ben Lapier in the 2-2 tie. Trent Rae had a strong game on the Lion’s blue line in helping goaltender Brendan Shaver secure the tie.

The South Dundas “Dodge Caravan Kids” Novice B Lions next home game is Sunday, October 30th at 1 p.m. Hockey fans are invited to come on out and cheer on the Lions.


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New economic development officer for South Dundas


Stephen McDonald, Chief Administrative Officer for the Township of South Dundas is pleased to announce that Nicole Sullivan will be joining the staff of the Township as Economic Development Officer on October 31st, 2011. 

Ms. Sullivan’s experience includes serving as the Area Economic Development Coordinator for the Parry Sound Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee and coordinating Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership initiative.      

In making the announcement, Mr. McDonald noted, “I am very pleased to welcome Nicole to the South Dundas staff. She brings a very impressive skill set to the position which will serve the Township well. Her educational background, research and analytical skills, and her interpersonal skills will be a great asset to South Dundas. One of the first things that struck me about Nicole was her energy. I have no doubt she will hit the ground running, continuing the good work that has been done as well as bringing new ideas and initiatives to the table.”

    Ms. Sullivan is looking forward to becoming part of the South Dundas team noting that, “It’s a beautiful community and I’m eager to get to know it! The diversity of the initiatives underway is one of the things that appealed to me. I am excited about contributing to the creation of a favourable environment for the residents and businesses of the Township.” 

Ms. Sullivan currently resides in Ottawa but plans on relocating closer to the area. 


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Maxine Link


A resident of the Long Sault Villa since May of 2006, Maxine Link passed away at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Thursday, October 20, 2011. She was 89.

Maxine was born in Grantley on June 21, 1922, the eldest child of Willam and Velva Merkley (nee Todd). When Maxine was only six years old, her brother Gordon four and her sister Dolores 18 months, their mother died.  Maxine and Gordon were then raised by Grandma and Grandpa Merkley and Dolores was adopted by another family. 

Maxine and Gordon lived with their grandparents until she was 13 and her father re-married Alice Meyers. She and Gordon then went to live with them.  Maxine and Gordon were eventually blessed with seven half brothers from their father’s second marriage.

For three years, the family lived south of Finch on Roy Rupert’s farm. Maxine attended elementary school in Sandtown, and high school in Finch. The family then moved to a Crysler farm east of Morrisburg, for the next three or four years before they moved to Evergreen Hall farm which was owned by Edson Salmon.  Maxine worked for Mrs. Salmon helping to clean rental cabins.  

During that time she met and married Gerald Link on March 20, 1943, and they were blessed with the birth of their daughter Marie in December of 1944. 

After their marriage Maxine and Gerald lived in a home on Church Road owned by Gerald’s brother Russell. They then moved to Gerald’s fathers farm until the Seaway construction began and forced them to move to a home they had built on the north end of the property. They resided there until the early 1970’s, when they sold their home and moved to the bungalow next door. 

Maxine lived in that home in Riverside Heights until May of 2006, when she moved to the Long Sault Villa.  

Maxine was an active member of the Riverside community having served as a member of the Rebekah Lodge, the Riverside Sewing Club, and Women’s Institute.  She was a dedicated member of Lakeshore Drive United Church in Morrisburg, and she also helped quilt with the Lutheran church ladies which was important to her.  Maxine was a hard worker, a good cook and she loved to visit with her family.  

She and Gerald were fortunate to enjoy three winter months in Florida for 17 years prior to Gerald’s passing in 2002.    

Maxine is survived by her daughter Marie (Ralph) Marcellus of Riverside Heights and her siblings Jim (Barbara) Merkley of Morewood, Richard (Bridget) Merkley of Winchester, Howard (Betty) Merkley of Morewood, Francis (Louise) Merkley of Orleans, Doug (Beverly) Merkley of Winchester and David (Carol) Merkley of Courtney, B.C.  

She was predeceased by her husband Gerald, her sister Dolores Moffat and her brothers Gordon and Wallace Merkley.  

Maxine will be fondly remembered by grandchildren Bert (Sandi) Marcellus, Ron Marcellus, Cathy (Jason) St. Pierre and great-grandchildren Austin, Rayanna, Aleisha and Bryce.  She is also survived by nieces and nephews.    

Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Sunday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.  Funeral service was held at the home on Monday, October 24th at 10 a.m., with Rev. Arlyce Schiebout officiating.  Interment followed at Fairview Cemetery, Mariatown.

Pallbearers were Bert Marcellus, Ron Marcellus, Austin Marcellus, Jason St. Pierre, Doug Hartle and Graham Link.  Honorary pallbearers were Cathy St. Pierre, Sandi Marcellus, Rayanna Marcellus, Aleisha St. Pierre and Bryce St. Pierre.  

Donations to Winchester District Memorial Hospital or Lakeshore Drive United Church would be appreciated by the family.



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Bantam Lions collect 6-1 win against Perth


Tied for first place with Cornwall in the East Division, the South Dundas Bantam B Rep Lions added another mark in their win column with a 6-1 victory over Perth here last Monday night.  

Riley Barry and Andrew Jarvis, both had solid nights as they worked out three point performances. 

Drew Minish (from Riley Barry) started the Lions scoring in the first period, when his shot beat Perth goaltender, Scott St. Jean low on the blocker side. 

Minutes later Braeden Smith answered for Perth when left unattended in front of the Lions net. 

Late in the first, the Lions ran into penalty trouble to Randy Fawcett and Toby Mullin which gave Perth a five on three advantage.  

On the penalty kill, however, Andrew Jarvis gained possession of the puck and skated through the opposition for a short-handed goal against St. Jean on blocker side for a 2-1 Lions lead. 

The Lions got a big scare just over five minutes into the second period when a mad scramble in front of  goaltender Zach ‘Big Z’ Frawley resulted in  several scoring chances. However, the Big Z was able to keep his composure and sent them packing.  

At the other end of the ice, the Lions had a lucky break when a weak wrist shot by Josh Black fooled St. Jean on the glove side.  That was followed, with less than a minute remaining in the period, when Riley Barry’s (from Jarvis) snapshot from the blue line beat St. Jean for a 4-1 Lions lead.

The third period was filled with penalties.  

With 2.02 remaining, Jarvis scored his second of the game, assisted by Barry, and then Barry with help from Josh Black and Toby Mullin  finished it off for the 6-1 Lions win.

The game featured excellent performances from Frawley ‘BIG Z’ who was not feeling well, and from Riley Black who played defence for the first time this year.

The Lions have a busy schedule coming up. On Monday, October 24 they were on the road to play Char-Lan and next Wednesday, November 5 they are in Alexandria at 6 p.m. On November 6 they are in Cornwall and on Monday, November 7 they hare back home against Long Sault.

The Lions are tied for first place with Cornwall with eight points.  They have posted 28 goals and given up just eight.



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Hosaic Creek un-‘dam’med


What is the best solution when beaver dams begin to negatively impact the lives of those around them?

Looking back to the October 17th South Dundas Public Meeting, it was requested by local farmers that council give an update as to the status of Hosaic Creek’s beaver overpopulation and the resulting drainage issue for surrounding agricultural interests.

Coincidentally, at the October 18th council meeting, Don Lewis, Manager of Planning and Enforcement for South Dundas, came forward with an update on that very subject.

He reported: “I have gone in and removed quite a few dams.”

He went on to say that doing so “depleted our capital budget for that plan (and he) would like to put more in the budget for 2012, to stay on top of it.” 

Several council members inquired as to the existence of an alternative solution to the drainage issue, specifically the installation of a municipal drain.

Lewis reported that there are many issues with that solution, the most daunting being cost. He reminded council about the South Branch municipal drain, which was constructed in 1992-93 to a cost of about $7 million.

Deputy Mayor Jim Locke pointed out that it “takes a group of land owners to be serious about it.” 

Councillor Archie Mellan asked Lewis if there is “any funding options out there.”

Lewis responded saying that there were possibly some grants and that the South Branch project did, in fact, receive some grant money.

Lewis will be revisiting this issue, giving a more detailed report to council in the near future.