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Warm weather and bicycle riders


Cycling is a fun, healthy activity and an inexpensive way to get around. Before you go out follow these safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride: be equipped, know the rules, watch for hazards, and ride responsibly.

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA) defines the bicycle as a vehicle that belongs on the road. Riding on the road means riding with other traffic. This is only safe when all traffic uses the same rules of the road.

When everyone follows the same rules, actions become more predictable. Drivers can anticipate your moves and plan accordingly. Likewise, you too can anticipate and deal safely with the actions of others.

Because bicycles usually travel at a lower speed, there are two rules of the road to which cyclists must pay special attention: slower traffic stays right and slower traffic must give way to faster traffic when safe and practical.

Accordingly, cyclists should ride one meter from the curb or close to the right hand edge of the road when there is no curb, unless they are turning left, going faster than other vehicles or if the lane is too narrow to share. 

Check for local regulations that affect where you may cycle in your municipality. Bicycles are prohibited on some provincial highways. 

There are several rules of the road when riding a bicycle. Ignorance is not an excuse.

More information about riding your bicycle can be found at Safe riding!


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Behind the scenes at WDMH


Working behind the scenes at Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) is a group of people who really makes things tick. 

Officially, they are known as administrative and health information professionals, but we call them the backbone of the hospital. Both teams are celebrating their annual recognition weeks.

Our health records team brings more than 60 years of combined experience to the job and is responsible for everything related to the patient health record. 

They are graduates of college or university-level health information programs and must maintain professional certification. A key part of their job is the statistical and clinical information analysis that is so important to ensuring the very best care.

Our administrative team of about 35 professionals includes executive assistants, business unit clerks, payroll clerk, scheduling clerk, ward clerks and finance clerks. 

They handle everything from board minutes to financial transactions to scheduling staff to care for our patients. Technology has become an integral tool for this group as their job responsibilities expand. And they are definitely up for the challenge.

“Our health records and administration teams remain the steady pulse of our organization,” noted Cholly Boland, CEO. “Their competent work behind the scenes does not go unnoticed and we want to thank them for their hard work.”


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Celebrating lab week at WDMH


Do you know someone who has survived a heart attack, been diagnosed with diabetes, or received blood? Chances are they are here today because of the results generated in the lab. 

Medical laboratory professionals play an important role in everyone’s health, performing sophisticated tests that help your doctor make the right decision for you.

April 22nd to 28th is National Lab Week and at Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH), our lab team plays a key role on the health care team.

“Our lab staff provides the data that doctors need to make clinical decisions about patient treatments,” noted Cholly Boland, CEO. “Their specialized training is crucial to ensuring the very best care for our patients.”

WDMH’s lab team includes six laboratory technologists and seven laboratory technicians. These professionals collect, test, analyze and interpret results on samples of tissue or fluid. 

WDMH has a full core lab, offering all services to inpatients and outpatients, including transfusion services. Last year, more than 200,000 tests were completed.


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Seeking ‘Big Bike’ teams


The Cornwall office of the Heart and Stroke Foundation is currently recruiting teams to participate in Morrisburg’s annual Big Bike event taking place at the Canadian Tire parking lot on Monday April 30th.

Local organizations are invited to help ‘Take a Seat to Extend a Life’ by getting a team of 29 together to ride a 2km route in their community on Canada’s only 30 seat bike! 

“This fun, team-building event is a great opportunity to increase employee morale and your organization’s visibility in the community!”

“Each participating organization’s name will be prominently displayed on the front of the Big Bike during their head-turning ride. Teams can choose a ride time that works best for their organization, during or after business hours,” said Lynne Groulx, area coordinator of the Cornwall office of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. 

The 15 to 20 minute ride is open to all fitness levels ages 14 and up. Canadian Tire, who has supported this event for the last two years, will once again be our host site. Each rider is asked to raise a minimum pledge of $50 to participate, although most riders collect more to earn great prizes. High school students can help out also and earn volunteer hours.

Lynne Groulx explained that, “while spring may seem far off, we register teams now so that organizations have plenty of time to recruit riders for their team.”

“To register, an organization just needs someone who is willing to be the team captain.” All the necessary promotional materials the captain needs to recruit the 28 other riders will be provided by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Aside from companies, service and fitness clubs, teams can also be made up of family, friends, and neighbours. This is a great way to honour someone you love since heart disease and stroke take one in three Canadians before their time!  

There are only 20 spots still open for our 6:00 p.m. ride. Join the following participating organizations who have already registered: Community Living, Beaver Dental, RBC, Scotia Bank, Canadian Tire.

Every seven minutes a Canadian dies from heart disease or stroke. It remains the leading cause of death in Canada. Events like Big Bike allow the foundation to continue funding world-class heart disease and stroke research, advocacy, and health promotion that is improving the lives of all Canadians. 

Last year, Morrisburg’s Big Bike raised over $6,500. What an incredible contribution to the important work the Heart and Stroke Foundation does! 

Donor dollars have resulted in the placement of 20 life saving Automated External Defibrillators in public spaces throughout Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

Register today to put your organization in the spotlight! 


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Youth risk behaviour results


As part of an ongoing effort to understand and address the risks faced by youth today, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) administered the Youth Risk Behaviour survey to over 3,509 grade 7 to 12 students.

All four school boards in the EOHU jurisdiction were invited to participate. In total, 49 schools participated in the survey from November 2010 to March 2011. Here are some highlights of the results:

• Injury prevention: 60 per cent of students reported rarely or never wearing a helmet when bicycling

• Bullying: 25 per cent of students reported having been bullied on school property, while 18 per cent reported having experienced cyberbullying

• Mental health: 26 per cent of youth reported depressive symptoms and 11 per cent reported seriously considering suicide (suicidal ideation), while 7 per cent reported planning suicide and 4 per cent made a suicide attempt that did not require treatment

• Nutrition: 10 per cent of the students reported never or almost never eating breakfast and 3 per cent of respondents reported that they never or almost never eat lunch

• Physical activity: 40 per cent of respondents reported meeting or exceeding the recommended levels of physical activity set out by Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living 

• Body weight: 24 per cent of students reported being slightly or very overweight 

• Tobacco: 19 per cent of students reported having tried smoking

• Alcohol: 63 per cent of youth reported ever having had an alcoholic drink

• Marijuana and other drugs: 25 per cent of youth reported having tried marijuana before and 16 per cent of them self-identified as regular users

“Based on this information, the EOHU and its community partners will target appropriate interventions and strategies to address the issues that our local youth are currently facing,” explained Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health.  

“We will also continue to collect data to measure the effectiveness of these strategies. This process truly reflects our strategic priorities to invest in children and in youth and to work closely with community partners.”

To view the executive summary of the survey, visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit online at  


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Spring seat belt campaign results


The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has ended its week-long Spring Seat Belt Campaign and the preliminary numbers are in.  

From April 14 to 22, 2012, officers checked vehicles throughout the province and laid a total of 5,585 seat belt related charges.   

The OPP was pleased to see no seat belt related fatalities during the campaign but there were a reported eight people injured in collisions in which seat belt non-compliance was a factor.  

“Despite the fact that seat belt legislation has been around for over 35 years and has saved countless lives, one in four deceased occupants last year (2011) were not properly restrained,” said OPP provincial commander for traffic safety, deputy commissioner Larry Beechey.  

“Not just this week, but every week, motorists can expect a zero tolerance approach to seat belt violations. Buckle up – it takes just a few seconds and one click of your seat belt to significantly reduce your chances of serious injury or death in a crash,” added Beechey. 

In 2011, 71 Ontarians lost their lives in collisions in which seat belt non-compliance was a factor.

Non-use of seat belts remains one of the four major causes of persons killed in fatal motor vehicle collisions along with speeding, impaired driving and driving while distracted.

The motoring public should remain aware that, as part of its Provincial Traffic Safety Program, the OPP will continue to aggressively enforce all traffic safety laws throughout the year, including seat belt legislation.  


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Yearly fastball tournament ‘green lighted’


In a written request to council, Lyle Schell asked for permission to hold the 9th annual ‘Casey at Bat’ fastball tournament.

Requiring no discussion, the request was approved by council during the ‘general consent’ portion of the April 17th South Dundas council meeting.

As Schell pointed out in his email to council, in the past “we have raised over $6,000 which has been donated to a number of causes over the years. For example, Seaway graduating students, the Cancer Society and local hospice care.”

The tournament is to be held the weekend of May 25th, 26th, and 27th and, in addition, Schell optioned the “north side of the recreation building for our refreshment gardens at J.C. Whitteker Park” in Williamsburg.


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Sounds of ‘Harmony’


“We were excited about our ‘Southern Service’ in Williamsburg the first of April,” reported Pastor Bruce North of Harmony Community Church in Winchester.

He was referring to his church’s spring ‘satellite’ services at the Timothy Christian School in Williamsburg, an effort to bring ‘Harmony’ closer to his congregants from South Dundas as well as to those others who might be interested in experiencing Sunday worship with Harmony Community Church.

In an April 17th email to The Leader, North reported that “we had 45 people in Williamsburg and 80 at our home site. We accomplished what we set out to do in this and thus justifying continuing with the project.”

Going forward, North has two more confirmed spring “Southern Services” planned for Timothy Christian School. “The facilities at Timothy Christian School are well suited for our needs. It was a good introduction for many of our people to the ministry of Christian education,” said North.

The next two services in Williamsburg will take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. on the first Sunday in May and on the first Sunday in June. 

According to North, “we look forward to our May ‘split service,’ split meaning split between North and South services. Next time we will have the musical talent of Bonnie Wallace as our worship leader and special music.”

“In our June service we will have the music talent of the Gallagher Family singers,” added North.

In invitation, he offered the following: “We look forward to our next services and hope that some folk who are not actively part of a church in the community will feel comfortable enough to come and ‘check us out’.”


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Surplus tractor to be sold at Rideau Auction


At the April 17th council meeting, South Dundas manager for public works, Hugh Garlough, requested permission to sell a surplus tractor at Rideau Auctions in Winchester.

He pointed out that “the new tractor was delivered in February 2012 so now we have a surplus vehicle.” The new tractor was originally approved for purchase in 2011.

The surplus farm tractor is a Massey 35 1964 model. Council approved Garlough’s request and any money acquired from the purchase will go to the Sale of Asset Reserve Fund.


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Home sweet church: United Church rezoned


On April 17th, the South Dundas council passed a by-law rezoning the Williamsburg United Church property to residential.

The Williamsburg United Church was originally listed for sale in January of this year. In March, Reverend Ralph Taylor confirmed with The Leader that the church’s congregation had accepted an offer from a young couple wishing to turn the church into a home.

During last week’s council meeting, the manager of planning and enforcement, Don Lewis, recommended that council pass the by-law to change the church property’s current designation of ‘Institutional Special Exception’ to that of ‘Residential Hamlet Special Exception 20.’

This, he explained, would “permit the existing church to be used as a residential dwelling.”

A concerned South Dundas resident stood up and inquired as to how many dwellings would be permitted. He indicated concern that the church might be turned into a multi-residential building.

Lewis assured members of the audience as well as members of the council that the zoning change would permit, at most, a maximum of two residences on the property. 

He explained that the new zoning designation would “permit a duplex or a semi,” no more.