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Sod-turning for Iroquois WWT plant


During the April 17th South Dundas council meeting, manager of public works, Hugh Garlough, presented council with an update on where things stand with the Iroquois Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades.

He also informed council that “April 27th is the sod-turning ceremony with the provincial and federal government being there.”

In the original notice to residents, chief administrative officer Stephen McDonald reported that “the work will include upgrading the equipment at the Elizabeth Drive sewage pumping station, clearing and excavating at the existing WWTP for new facilities and modifications to existing facilities and removal and replacement of existing outfall sewer.”

According to Garlough’s report, “everything is progressing quite well.”

The work is being done by J.C. Sulpher Construction Ltd. and overseen by AECOM Canada Ltd.

“They have the outfall just about completed,” said Garlough. “They were testing yesterday (April 16th) to make sure there were no leaks. There’s been excellent dry weather,” he continued, so “no extra pumping.” 

McDonald confirmed that the ceremony is expected to take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 27th.


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Residents ‘wanted for questioning’


As reported in an earlier edition of The Leader, the Iroquois Waterfront committee is working on a questionnaire to determine what residents opinions are on future changes to be made to the Iroquois waterfront.

A follow-up email from the committee was presented at South Dundas council’s April 17th meeting in which the committee requested “that financial support from council be approved to cover the cost of reproduction and mailing of this questionnaire with covering letter to all households in the Iroquois Ward.”

The committee suggested that “collection be achieved by having respondents drop off their completed questionnaires at the Iroquois Public Library or at Iroquois Sears Travel.”

It was also pointed out that the questionnaire had been “reworked” by committee member Keith Poore and subsequently accepted by the committee as a whole. 

Poore, it was revealed, had also created a “web-based version for use by those so inclined” at

In addition to updates and requests concerning the questionnaire, the committee also offered council an “interim report” with suggestions for both the waterfront trail and the public beach.

“General clean up of brush along the shoreline and the installation of more benches with adjoining shade trees” was recommended for the waterfront trail.

The Iroquois beach recommendations included: “clean up of adjoining ditches including removal of hazardous timber bridge; refreshment of sand on the western portion of the beach; drain opening in parking area and addition of parking dividers to restrain joyriding; install flower boxes recycled from the shopping mall; and initiate a water-weed removal program in the enclosed swimming area.”


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Kid Construction Crew works on IPS new playground equipment


With heavy equipment roaring up with the needed crushed stone to make the play site completely safe for children, this hard-working and very professional crew paused for just a moment from the job of erecting a brand new piece of playground equipment at Iroquois Public School on Tuesday, April 17. The new $20,000 upper body climbing device, painted in IPS colours, is the result of over two years of community minded fund raising events by the school students, teachers and parents under the leadership of the IPS Parents Council, which is co-chaired by Linda Sinclair and Joyce Latulippe. The Kid Crew, from the left Sierra Latulippe, Nathen Verhey, Vanessa Latulippe, Braden Verhey, Kolby Latullippe and Duncan Hutt, graciously allowed several parents to assist them with the work Tuesday evening. The generous support of Lloyd McMillan, the Prescott Building Centre, with landscaping by Eric Jansen and Tommy McMillan, meant that the play structure was ready for grades 3-4 to enjoy on Wednesday morning at the school.


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Iroquois Casino in June


On behalf of the Iroquois and District Celebration/Festival Committee, Candace Menges submitted a written request to council for a letter supporting the groups Charity Casino Fundraiser coming up in June.

According to clerk Brenda Brunt at the April 17th council meeting, “we have to do a resolution for the province.”

In order to gain a license for the casino, the committee requires “a letter of support from our township to proceed with the license application” to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), wrote Menges.

She also pointed out that proceeds from the Charity Casino Fundraiser will go toward funding the group’s “Dundas Militia… A Call to Arms… War of 1812” celebration, which they expect to hold on September 15, 2012.

Council agreed to support the casino fundraiser.


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Country Jukebox debuts at Upper Canada Playhouse


– You won’t have to look any farther this spring than Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg to enjoy some of the greatest country music north of Nashville. 

The phenomenal Leisa Way and her Wayward Wind Band are premiering an incredible country music extravaganza, Country Jukebox,  opening May 2, running until May 13.

Artistic director Donnie Bowes  describes this all new production as “packed with fabulous music from everyone’s favourite singers. There’s such a variety of hit songs it’s hard to know where to start.”

I had an opportunity to talk to Leisa Way, now deep into final rehearsals for the show, about Country Jukebox.

“Country music is the most popular music in the world,” Way said, “and there is a very good reason for that. Everyone can relate to the stories and to the emotions that pour out of the songs and the songwriters. The old stereotype, that country is something like “my dog died” or my “man’s bad”, that’s really not the case any more. There’s heart and soul in this music.”

Way, who starred in two previous hit shows at Upper Canada Playhouse, one based on the life and times of Patsy Cline, the other on Dolly Parton, has done a lot of research into the artists represented in her new production. 

“The songs I’ve chosen, from artists like Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Shania Twain, Kris Kristofferson, among a host of others, are strongly focussed on the great duet partnerships that have become a real force in country and western music,” she explained. 

“It was challenging researching into the singers’ lives, looking for what was influencing them, happening to them, when their music was written. As Tammy Wynette once said ‘It’s so much easier to sing a song with heart and soul when you write it yourself.’”

Herself a star of traditional musical theatre, a singer who has performed three times for the British royal family, a much sought after artist at theatres across North America,  Way said that creating Country Jukebox was a “return to my own roots.”

“I love all kinds of music. When I discovered jazz, it became a passion,” she said. (Way is currently writing a show based on the great Peggy Lee). But I was raised on country. And frankly, you just can’t stereotype country. Waylon Jennings put it this way: ‘Country music and the blues are close, close relatives. They’re singing the same song about good and bad times, a woman he’s got, a woman he wants, and one he can’t get rid of’.”

The songs featured in Country Jukebox, many of them duets,  will reflect an extraordinary range of  well known singers.

“We include a section on the Outlaw Cowboys, as they were called, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and of course, Jennings,” Way said.  “They didn’t care what anyone thought about the way they approached country music. They used different instrumentations; they had a very different outlook on what was country. They were often also good timing men with incredible women supporting them, backing them up. These relationships evolved into duets that have lasted. People really relate to them.”

Way will be backed up by some pretty extraordinary talent herself when she comes to the Playhouse.

She will be joined by renowned musicians Bruce Ley, Dave Wilson and Kim Radcliffe. Also playing in the Wayward Wind band, and singing many of the duets with Way will be Aaron Solomon and Randall Kempf.

Solomon, who starred in UCP’s production of Johnny and June “sings like an angel,” Way said. “His voice is beautiful, with a wide range.”

“Randall has a crustier, rich voice, and is fantastic on intricate harmony.”

Why is she debuting Country Jukebox at Upper Canada Playhouse?

“We love Donnie, the Playhouse staff, the incredible audiences that come to this theatre,” Way explained. “Donnie said to me, if you write this show, I will premier it for you,  which was an incredible offer. As performers, when we get a chance to sing before a warm, inviting audience, it’s simply a joy. There is just something incredibly special about Upper Canada Playhouse.”

Tickets for Country Jukebox are available at Upper Canada Playhouse by calling 613-543-3713 or 1-877-550-3650.


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THe Flowers of Courage


…“I’ll never forget you. I hope I make you proud. Keep me in your thoughts, you will always be in mine.”

These are some of the words that are written on a brightly illustrated small package of sunflower seeds.  

They were written by children who lost a parent on September 11, 2001.

When the Twin Towers came down on the sunny, terrible morning of September 11, the entire world changed. Each of us became, in a sense, the long term victims of terrorism. For one group, however, the impact of that cruel day 11 years ago was far more immediate. 

They were the children who saw a father or mother go out on a bright fall day and never come home again.

They are the children born after September 11, who never had the chance to be held by that lost parent. 

They are part of the living legacy of 9/11.

During the 10th anniversary memorial of the attack, Jeff Arsenault, with the Upper Canada District School Board, explained how moved he was and how he thought hard about a way of helping these children to know that people still cared. 

As a gardener, he instinctively turned to nature for inspiration.

“I thought of sunflowers,” Arsenault said. “I thought of these tall, beautiful flowers reaching to the sun, and of how incredibly resilient they are. Sun flowers rise above the harshest environment.” 

He thought that sunflower seeds, prepared and packed by the children of Canada and children in the United States, in honour of the children of 9/11, might remind those families that caring never stops.

The most difficult thing  for Arsenault was to contact families in Canada who had lost a parent in the tragedy. Twenty-four Canadians died that day.

Many families  responded to his idea warmly.

The widowed mother of one particular family took her children to Ground Zero in New York City, where they quietly listened to the names of the lost, including their father’s, and saw the memorials. Those children came up with the idea of the Flowers of Courage.

Other families described how the news of the sunflower project allowed their children to talk about and remember a lost parent. Children were able to share stories about the colours, the flowers, the plants a father once loved.

The Flowers of Courage packet which holds the sunflower seeds was completely designed by the children of 9/11. The message it bears was written by them.

The packets became available Easter Weekend, 2012. A little over a week later some 10,000 have already been sent to schools across North America. 

Teachers and students have eagerly requested them and the seeds to fill them. President Obama and Prime Minister Harper have also been asked to fill a packet.

The Mckenzie Seed Company of Brandon, Manitoba, donated all the seeds, grown in California, and the printer/graphic designer  to fit the pictures done by the children on to the small packets. 

Bill Barclay and Beavers Dental (the Brister Group) paid for the mailing. 

Here in Morrisburg, teacher Nancy Beavers’ class of grade ones at Morrisburg Public School filled some of the special packets.Each child counted out exactly 11 seeds, then carefully sealed the packet for shipping to Jeff Arsenault at Winchester Public School. 

As news of the Flowers of Courage project has spread, it has allowed teachers across North America to touch on the tragedy of 9/11: it has also allowed them to find a positive and gentle way for children to show their support for others.

The filled seed packets are all being returned to Arsenault: he will then divide them into four lots destined for Ground Zero, the Pentagon memorial, the plane crash memorial in Pennsylvania, and the Canadian Memorial at Beechwood. 

On the September 11, 2012, memorial day the sunflowers will be distributed by the children of 9/11. 

This May 16, there will be a formal ceremony held at Arsenault’s home school in Winchester: it will be broadcast by internet to schools all across North America, including  two special schools in Toronto, attended by Canadian children of 9/11. 

The seed packets will be delivered to schools by Brinks Security, Canada, which also lost an employee in the Towers. 

Members of the R.C.M.P., the O.P.P., firefighters, officials from the United States Embassy, Max Keeping, and the families of 9/11 victims including Maureen Basnicki, whose husband Ken was lost, are all coming to the ceremony. Governor General David Johnston and Defense Minister Peter MacKay have been invited. 

“We all feel the losses of 9/11,” Arsenault said. “These flowers are a way to show these children that we still care. We remember them daily. We don’t forget.”


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Council refuses to raise taxes


On April 23rd, South Dundas treasurer Shannon Geraghty confirmed that the April 16th United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry decision to give multi-residential landlords a break would have “no effect on taxpayers.” 

South Dundas taxpayers’ municipal taxes will remain at the already announced 3.5 per cent and the $50,000 needed to satisfy the  Counties will come from the South Dundas working budget.

The issue was first brought to light at the April 17th South Dundas council meeting where South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds told council that “we did set tax ratios and tax rates yesterday” at the Counties council meeting in Cornwall. 

According to Byvelds, during the April 16th Counties council meeting, North Dundas mayor Eric Duncan requested a reduction to the rate for multi-residential landlords.

A significant reduction in the percentage for multi-residential landlords, Byvelds explained means that “all the other classes pay the burden.”

“Now,” said Byvelds, “our residents have to pay more. I’m not sure if that was a fair way of doing it, however it’s done.” 

“We’ll see if it will encourage more developers,” said Byvelds, as this, he informed council, is the reason for the action.

South Dundas, treasurer Shannon Geraghty pointed out that the issue with the decision at the Counties level is that it equates to a residential tax rate increase of 4.57 per cent, rather than the 3.5 per cent already promised.

“I didn’t anticipate any change, but Counties thought a change to multi-residential was necessary,” said Geraghty.

“The biggest assessment block,” he continued, “is residential. So, it’s the biggest hit.”

Byvelds pointed out that “I’m  not picking on mayor  Duncan, but that’s where it started.”

“As much as you’re trying to increase new,” said Byvelds, “landlords are business people.”

“I can live with non-profit housing,” he added.

As for South Dundas municipal taxes, Councillor Jim Graham said, “I’d hate to have to raise it. I think this year I’d like to see it remain where we set it.”

Councillor Evonne Delegarde agreed, saying “I don’t want to see it raised.”

“Well there goes any fleet reserves,” said Councillor Archie Mellan. “We said 3.5… we’re getting the short end of the stick. I don’t like telling them something and then going back on it.”

Ending the discussion for the night, Byvelds said, “what we’ll do with this one… we can defeat this specific by-law and refer it back to staff.”

Staff followed through on council’s wishes and the South Dundas municipal taxes will remain at 3.5 per cent. 


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Art, now Paverpol, Dwight Saunders’ fate


MORRISBURG–Although Dwight Saunders knew at an early age that he wanted to study art…he thought it would be best to follow the advice of his parents.

“My dream in grade eight was to go to art school, but my parents said you couldn’t earn a living in art. I am now trying to prove them wrong in my 50’s.” 

Although his desire to be an artist was always with him, Dwight studied to become a nurse.

“We were three boys with 60 girls in the class in nursing. Back in the 70’s, they would practically pay males to be nurses. It was then that I discovered I could do hair and make up, and that’s what I did to earn extra money.”

Dwight worked as a registered nurse for eight years, but he says, “that was not my fate.”

His fate became anything that required an artistic touch…a makeup artist, a hair dresser, an interior home designer, a  home stager, a sculptor…

He makes jewellery and works with stained glass, mosaic and fused glass. The list goes on and on.

“It’s all interwoven. It’s texture. It’s colour. It’s got to be tactile. That is something that is very important to me. I remember as a kid not being allowed to touch things. I was very tactile as a kid. I wanted to touch the piece, touch the materials.”

Dwight says he also lives in the minute. He is a bit impatient.

“I want everything done today. I want to be able to do things and enjoy them today.”

“The glass jewellery has to go in the kiln, so you have to wait until the next day. Stained glass work takes time and if you are painting, it can take months.”

That’s why his discovery of the Paverpol product two years ago answered all his needs.

Dwight says he found, “a medium I love working in. I have worked with things I liked, but I truly love working with this.”

“I had been working in clay and all that kind of stuff but that takes forever. Paverpol is totally different. I can make a flock of birds in a day.”

Paverpol is a textile hardener that turns natural materials into rock hard objects.

At first glance, people think they are looking at something heavy, that it’s made out of metal.

In fact, the Paverpol sculptures are extremely lightweight and very durable.

“People are also really surprised when you tell them you can complete a project in just a day,” says Dwight.

“Anyone can do this. I have yet to have a piece that anyone has taken home that they didn’t like.”

Once Dwight began working with Paverpol, it wasn’t long before he turned to teaching it.

Now a certified Paverpol Instructor, he says, “the teaching came along because I enjoyed it so much. I wanted to share it with others.”

Dwight and his partner Helder have a hair salon in their  historical Morrisburg home, a former tourist home that operated under the name The Ship’s Mate. When they purchased the Morrisburg property, seven years ago, their home and business was located in Winchester.

Soon after the Morrisburg purchase they sold their Winchester operation. They now work out of a very functional and tastefully decorated salon, Aura Beauty Wellness, at the back of their Morrisburg home.

Two years ago, Dwight and Helder purchased a beautiful home in Cornwall which they run as a bed and breakfast getaway under the name Aura Escapes. 

On the third floor of the Cornwall home, Dwight hosts various workshops including those for Paverpol sculpting. The third floor of the Morrisburg home also has a studio, but it is reserved as Dwight’s personal studio.

Looking to the future Dwight says, “When I retire from some of my professions, I would love to be able to do this full time. That’s why I work my day job now, so I can do my passion.”

“My clients who are retiring are saying they don’t have a hobby…that they won’t have anything to do.”

“Paverpol is a great solution. Anyone can do it, and you can complete a piece in a day.”

In fact, a beginners’ workshop in the Cornwall studio in January, proved just that to six area women.

Mary Errington of Williamsburg was one of the six in the class. “I think it’s simply amazing,” said Errington. “One minute, it was just a blob of tape and the next minute it had personality. I have never done anything quite so free form before.”

Debbie Pagerie of Cornwall first saw Dwight’s Paverpol sculptures at the Old Home Week outdoor market in Morrisburg last summer.

“My husband and Helder made a bet that I couldn’t do it, so here I am. This is my seventh sculpture since the summer. I love it, and I’ve sold one already. That was a big accomplishment.”

For the six women, the day-long Paverpol workshop began with a continental breakfast. The morning portion of the workshop passed quickly as they worked  forming their wire frame, built it up with foil and then covered it with masking tape. 

While this was being done, Helder was busy preparing lunch for the students…all homemade and all absolutely delicious agreed the women.

“There are very few rules,” Dwight told the class as they set about clothing their sculptures during the afternoon session. “It’s a very forgiving art form. You never know what you are going to end up with.” 

He recalled a student who wanted a heavy older person and ended up with a young teenager. “It just seems to take its own form,” said Debbie. “For the last course I brought a feather and ended up with a medicine woman.”

Once the form is completed with the masking tape, it is wrapped in fabric that has been dipped in the Paverpol.

The fabric can be anything from t-shirts, to bed sheets…natural fabric is the best. Lace and doilies often add the final touches.

Pieces range from a hand-held size to life-size figurines. They can be displayed in any home setting or can be a centre-piece for a garden.

“When we start working with the fabric, we want to squeeze it as dry as possible. When it is too wet it droops as opposed to draping it.”

“The magic is in the last hour,” says Dwight. “That is when it happens. And no matter how hard we try, there is never going to be any two pieces alike.”

Once the fabric has dried, color can be dry brushed on. This provides the patina and gives the piece the look of a sculpture.

Dwight currently has two of his large pieces showing in a Cornwall Art Gallery one of which recently won ‘people’s choice’ at the Cornwall Regional Gallery Show.

Last summer, he won third prize at the first Ontario-Quebec Paverpol Contest, and he has sold pieces to people from as far away as Texas.

He is extremely proud to have recently completed a commission for an area home, to artfully fill the overhead space of an open two storey great room. For this he completed three sculptures, two males and one female in a Cirque du Soleil theme.

Aura Escapes with Dwight and Helder offers various getaway weekends at their Cornwall home which sleeps eight (four bedrooms). There are Craft Weekends (Paverpol Sculpting, Bunka, felting, glass fusion, stained glass, floral, etc.), Flea Market Weekends (a visit to antique and flea markets), Fashion Factory Weekends (shopping and fun in Montreal), Gallery and Shopping Weekends (Old Port in Montreal, art galleries and boutiques) and Cooking Weekends (a full day of cooking or baking).

The weekend getaways begin with Friday evening arrivals. Workshops are held on Saturday.

Information can be obtained at or by calling 613-543-4444.

Anyone interested in Paverpol, a workshop or a weekend getaway can visit ‘the guys’, as they like to be called, at their Morrisburg location where Paverpol pieces, the Paverpol product, jewellery and stained glass pieces are displayed.





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Wing Shee


A well known, former restaurateur and resident of Morrisburg, Wing Shee “Kwan” Lee passed away peacefully in Ottawa on Monday, April 16, 2012. He was in his 85th year.

For many years, Kwan was the owner of Lee’s Restaurant in the Morrisburg Shopping Plaza.

Kwan was the beloved husband of the late Seto Han and loving father of Paul (Diane), Jean (Benson), Michael (Mai) and Amie (Robert).

He was cherished grandfather of Liza, Lou-Ann, Alexander, Andrew, Brenden, Jorden, Arielle and Isabelle and dear brother of Joe and the late Yu How Lee.

Friends visited at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair and McGarry at 315 McLeod Street in Ottawa on Friday, April 20, from 2-5 p.m.

The funeral service was held in the chapel on Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m.


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Letter to the Editor


Saving the Woodlot

Dear Editor,

This is in reference to Tyler Mills’ letter April 11, referring to the 400 acre woodlot. I am writing about money saving for SD&G. My origin is Middlesex County, where Lake Huron Pipeline replaced dry wells from a low water table.

One cause of a low water tables is removal of woodlots, bush which act as a reservoir for water. Tree removal is now by permit only. Replanting and wood lot maintenance is ongoing.

Pipeline installations involve millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Plus land owners pay their own installation and for metered water.

Such water pipelines experience shut down, sometimes for day, endangering livestock and personal water use.

In order to pay for maintenance and repairs, metered water increases in price.

SD&G needs rules to stop clear cutting woodlots and thus save the water table by issuing and policing permits for woodlot maintenance only.

To paraphrase the song, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone: clear cut a soy bean plot.

Sincerely, Eileen Webb,

South Mountain.