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South Dundas continues to prepare for emergencies

South Dundas emergency management officials along with those from  North Dundas, South Stormont, North Stormont and the United Counties will be carrying out annual emergency response training together with exercises today (Wednesday, September 21st).

While residents across the country are encouraged to be prepared for an eventual emergency, Ontario municipalities are required to conduct emergency preparedness training and exercises on an annual basis.

South Dundas along with the other three townships and the United Counties follow a five-year program of training and exercises.

The training focuses on functional responsibilities within emergency management organizations, and the exercises reinforce those responsibilities under scenarios based on the priority hazards of the area.

The Province of Ontario is encouraging all emergency response organizations to adopt a common emergency management philosophy called the Incident Management System (IMS) which would provide a standardized organizational structure, functions, processes, and terminology.

These four townships and the United Counties have been leaders in implementing IMS. This year’s training and exercise will continue to build their effectiveness in operating during a potential emergency under IMS.

The United Counties and its six townships have established a Mutual Assistance Agreement to support each other during an emergency.

Working together with training and exercises as is the case on September 21st, the five emergency management organizations will be able to foster the sense of cooperation that will be needed in an emergency incident.

The exercise is funded under the Federal Government’s Joint Emergency Preparedness Program. In Ontario, this program is administered by Emergency Measures Ontario.

This annual training and exercise is just one aspect of the work carried out each year by the five Emergency Management Program Committees.

Following a five-year training and exercise program, the committees ensure that their emergency management program highlights potentially high emergency risks on a continuing basis.

Township committees have been in existence since 1998, when the townships were created through amalgamation. The United Counties followed them a few years later.

The Township of South Dundas is committed to being a disaster-resilient community.


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Apples & Art tour features five local artists

This year’s Apples & Art Studio Tour  run by the Cornwall Regional Art Gallery has five South Dundas artists on the route, plus the Smyth’s Apple Orchard where participants are invited to stop for an Apple treat.

This year’s tour is celebrating 20 years and boasts a total of 16 artists.

In the South Dundas area, tour participants can stop in to the As One Studio at 24 St. James Lane in Morrisburg. There artist Misun Kim-Hunter will have her “mostly acrylic works” on display.

Next stop in South Dundas is Impressionist Artist, Elsie Gallinger at 11869 Lakeshore Drive. Elsie’s preferred medium is oils and she prefers painting landscapes.

Diane Sullivan wat Arabesque Pottery will be on hand at her 4324 Country Road 31 location in Williamsburg. Diane is “inspired by ceramic history for my forms, largely Oriental, Persian and European.”

At 3797 Caughnawaga Road, Williamsburg visitors are invited to stop by the studio of artist Anne Barkley who specializes in abstract compostions.

At Hilltop Wood Design, Peter Morrison will welcome visitors to his studio located at 12660 Garlough Road in Williamsburg.

The tour includes four Long Sault stops and 10 stops in Cornwall.

For more information check out Cornwall Regional Art

The tour runs this Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25.


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Old and new homes for St. Lawrence house tour

Five South Dundas home owners will open their doors to the public this Sunday, September 25 for the Homes on the St. Lawrence House tour in support of the community’s off leash dog park.

Organized by the Park Pals committee, the House tour features five homes, four of which are directly on the St. Lawrence and the fifth with a great view of the Morrisburg dock and waterfront area.

In addition each of the homes will have their front entries or outdoor living spaces decorated by local artists and/or businesses.

Starting at the east end of the tour, the first house featured is the historic home owned by Ian and Cathy MacKay.

The home built in 1894 is located overlooking the Morrisburg dock on the curve where Ottawa Street turns into Lakeshore Drive.

Cathy MacKay says she and her husband are delighted to open their home, the former “Falcon” tourist home to the public.

“We feel the house is part of Morrisburg’s history and welcome people to come and visit it,” says Cathy.

She feels that visitors, like she and her husband, will be delighted with the impressive Victorian hardware, the intricate wooden staircase, imposing sliding doors between the principal main floor rooms and the excellent quality of the original butternut wood working.

The home was built in the late 1800’s by Mr. Gibson for his son. In the 1930’s it was run as The Falcon Tourist Home and accommodated people who came to see Dr. Locke. It was later owned by the Kincaids who operated a monument business on the property.

The MacKays have owned the home for 1.5 years.

With the longtime green shutters now being painted black, Cathy is looking forward to her front entry being decorated by Belle Flower Gifts located on Highway 31, north of Winchester.

Heading west, the next stop is at 12014 Lakeshore Drive at the  attractive, two-year-old, Guildcrest-built home of Marjorie Smith.

The home is totally custom built and features an open concept with nine foot ceilings, a 16 foot cathedral ceiling, three bedrooms and, of course, a fantastic view of the St. Lawrence.

Marjorie, a salesperson with Guildcrest Homes is originally from Winchester. She owned two previous Guildcrest Homes before designing this one for her waterfront property.

Marjorie’s back patio living space will be decorated by Cardinal Flowers and Gift Gallery which has locations in Morrisburg  and Cardinal.
Owned and operated by Michael O’Brien and Frank Fralic, the Cardinal Flower and Gift Galleries are full service retail gift shops specializing in fresh floral tributes for all occasions.

Michael O’Brien who toured the Smith home Sunday, said he several good ideas for the space.

Next up on the tour, is the Gord and Robin Lane home located right next door to the Smiths at 12012 Lakeshore.

The custom built three storey Lane home is seven years old. It is environmentally friendly and was designed by Gordon and Robin.

“As a result it has many personal touches,” says Gord. “It’s a cement house and has real stone on the exterior. Robin and I both went to the University of Saskatchewan and our home has the same stone as the university which came from the foothills of Alberta. It’s our piece of memorabilia.”

Other highlights of the home include the oak floors which came from the Lane’s bush lot in Quebec, the interior and front doors all glass done by a Quebec artisan and a copper ceiling.

Robin has also arranged to feature the art sculpturing of Paverpol Sculptures for the day. “They are going to put a mermaid in the pool, which will be interesting.”

The Lane’s entry will be decorated by local decorator Karen Marshall whose Something Unique: Interior Decorating and Home Staging has been working with homeowners locally for 15 years.

Marshall says she is looking forward to decorating the Lane’s entry and while she won’t give away any secrets, she will be including copper in her design.

“I’m still playing around with some ideas, so I don’t want to show my hand yet,” says Marshall. “It’s definitely going to be a fall theme and something that Gordon and Robin will enjoy.”

Next stop on the tour is the home of Mae Pederson at 5648 Birch Lane. (left turn off Lakeshore Drive, just east of Flagg Creek).

The Pederson home is one of the few farm houses along the St. Lawrence that was not lost to the Seaway.

It consists of the orginal farmhouse built in the late 1700s and an addition added in the 1800s.

Pederson purchased the home eight years ago, “when it was 35 below zero and there was four feet of snow.”

In those eight years she has “tore down all the walls inside to open it up” and the result is her open concept dream home.

Her kitchen occupies the original farmhouse and is wide open to the roofline with original restored wood plank floor.

Handling her entry design for the house tour is Elaine of Canadian Tire in Morrisburg.

Located at the west end of the tour is the home of Claude Lavoie  located at 11158 Gresdale Boulevard.

To reach the two storey, Lavoie home, visitors must travel to County Highway 2 towards Iroquois and turn left onto Saver Road. Travel south on Saver Road and turn left onto Grisdale Boulevard.

The beautiful homes is distinguished by white fencing and offers up some great views of the St. Lawrence.

The home’s entry will be decorat by Eileen Johnston in conjunction with Riley’s Valu-mart in Morrisburg.

The tour will run from 1-4 p.m. and the cost is $20 per person.Tickets can be purchased at Mustard’s Variety in Iroquois or Cardinal Flowers in Morrisburg.

Refreshment will be served at the Lane home.

The event is a fund raiser for the South Dundas Dog Park located in Morrisburg.


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Morrisburg Legion Branch 48 News

This is Legion Week, and it will be a quiet one at Branch #48. It has been a busy year with the celebration of our 85th anniversary and will continue into November with the honours and awards dinner and Remembrance Day.

The last two weeks have seen bingo players number in the 70s. There is good fun and good prizes.

The meat draw on September 18 was for ground beef and was won by Edith Sypes. It is still barbecue weather.
Monday, September 19, the men’s dart league will begin, and on Tuesday the 20th mixed darts will begin.

Our Ladies Auxiliary will cater the Canadian Club on Wednesday, September 21, as the Club’s fall and winter series begins. They will also cater a country supper for the Playhouse on September 23. They still find time to play euchre. Three teams will play district euchre at Branch #297 in Cornwall in October.

Business from the general meeting on September 14 saw a donation of $1,000 going to the Terry Fox Run and $1,500 going to restoration of the mural of the old train station depicted on the wall of Giant Tiger. This restoration is expected to last for 10 years and will hopefully display the Branch #48 logo. It was reported that four bursary applications have been received to date and are being considered.

Friday, September 30, is steak night, so mark your calendar for another great meal and for good music as Fergus Entertainment will play in the pub.

Senior games in Smith’s Falls in August saw several local names appear including Jim and Judy Scott in darts, Monique Patenaude, Nancy Warner, Elise Muir, Joan Findlay in golf and Dale Swerdfeger in golf. We may be seniors, but many are still active.
Last week, in mentioning September, it is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

Until one has loved an animal, part of the soul remains unawakened.


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New generator for Williamsburg?

On September 6th, South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan raised the issue of a back-up generator for the Williamsburg waste treatment plant.

According to Mellan, “the previous council had recognized the need for one and had set up a plan to set aside money over a five year period to purchase one.”

He suggested that council  “should go ahead and finance the generator – sooner rather than later.”

Manager of Public Works, Hugh Garlough, agreed saying he would meet with Treasurer Shannon Geraghty to determine how much money has already been set aside versus how much it will cost to buy one.

Geraghty stated that he believed, but would need to verify, that council had been putting $8,000 aside per year for three years. He went on to estimate the cost being somewhere in the vicinity of $40,000.

Mayor Steven Byvelds ended the discussion saying, “Let’s see if we can find the dollars to do it.”

Mellan informed the Leader later that “council felt it would be better to be proactive on this matter to try and avoid a situation where a power outage could cause a problem for the residents of Williamsburg.”

“It should be noted that Morrisburg’s new waste treatment plant and the water plant have back-up power and Iroquois’s new waste treatment plant will have back-up power when completed.”


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Debate updates

If you missed the candidates debate at the Agape Centre in Cornwall on September 15th, there are still more opportunities remaining to hear the candidates discuss the issues.

The North Dundas Chamber of Commerce with the Dundas Federation of Agriculture is hosting a candidates debate on Thursday, September 22nd from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Winchester Arena.

In addition, there will be a debate on Wednesday, September 28th from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Civic Complex in Cornwall, hosted by the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce.

Attendance for the debates has been a bit unbalanced so far. The candidates for the NDP, Liberal, and PC parties were present for all debates. However, more often than not, the Libertarian and Green party candidates have been conspicuously absent.

The Poverty Free Ontario (PFO) debate at the Agape Centre in Cornwall saw only three of the five candidates.

PFO’s slogan, “Let’s Vote for a Poverty Free Ontario,” was the theme for the debate.

For more information, go to


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Mark MacDonald: “passionate about the job” he wants to do

On September 16th, Liberal candidate Mark A. MacDonald spoke with the Leader to discuss  the upcoming October 6th election.
MacDonald revealed that he has “always  been politically aware.” He believes that “everything is political. Every move that we make from stopping at a stop sign.”

MacDonald says that he “knew something wasn’t right” politically when “at a very early age, dad lost his job” and, subsequently, his father’s “license plate was removed from the car” to identify the change in status.

He adds, as a matter of interest, that “we were one of the first families to live in social housing in Cornwall.”

In terms of what he feels is most important to the constituents in his riding, MacDonald believes that “the economic situation is driving everything at this time.”

He claims that “Ontario is leading the way with our economic policies” and that Ontario’s “education system is ranked fifth in the world.”

MacDonald strongly encourages everyone to “look at the news and judge for yourself. The facts speak for themselves.”

He also claims that in terms of the environment, “Ontario’s policies are getting looked at.” He added that “David Suzuki is backing the liberals.”

In following MacDonald’s plea for self-education, an exploration of the David Suzuki Foundation website reveals: “Besides its platform, a governing party will also be judged on its record, and a fair assessment of both the Liberal platform and record would call them good but mixed.”

The David Suzuki Foundation website blog goes on to discuss  the advantages and disadvantages for each of the parties, but doesn’t appear to come out in favour of one over another.

MacDonald, who believes that the riding is approximately “fifty per cent Cornwall and fifty per cent rural, claims: “I have a sense for rural issues as well.”

In discussing how MacDonald and the Liberal party plan to address poverty, he chose to discuss the Poverty Free Ontario debate at the Agape Centre in Cornwall on September 15th and, more specifically, the Do the Math Challenge where he agreed to take part in the challenge to eat from a food bank hamper for five days.

In support of his claim to good character, MacDonald stated: “Everybody you meet has an issue. I generally find that if I can meet people face to face I can at least steer them in the right direction.”

Prior to the interview, MacDonald held a press conference to discuss municipal uploads.

He told the Leader that he felt compelled to speak out because of certain events at a recent council meeting in Cornwall.

A September 16th press release explained: “A recent decision by Cornwall City Council to postpone discussion to hire a city firefighter, until municipal budget deliberations, illustrates the need for the province to continue its upload of costs from municipalities.”

In the same release MacDonald claimed, “Fortunately, under a Liberal government, municipalities – like Cornwall – can be assured that the province will continue to upload costs from them, which will free up room in their budgets to invest in local priorities, such as hiring a firefighter.”

During the phone interview with the Leader, MacDonald said that this particular issue “strikes at the very heart of the campaign.”

He believes that it is important to “take pressure off municipalities to pay their bills.”

In terms of why he should become this riding’s next MPP: “I’m passionate about the job that I want to do and I want to do the best job I can possibly do and I want to be the best representative that I can possibly be for you and your family.”

In response to an inquiry about whether Premier Dalton McGuinty plans to make an appearance, MacDonald stated: “As of yet we have not received any information in regards to him visiting the riding.”


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Jim McDonell: “dedicated and committed to our community”

Progressive Conservative MPP candidate for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry,  Jim McDonell “enjoys working with people.”

During a phone interview with the Leader on September 16th, McDonell said that he’s “been involved in community for many years (and he’s) talked to a lot of people.” He admitted that it’s “exciting to get out there.”

He went on to reveal, that people are “not asking (government) to do a lot, just for a fair deal.”

McDonell would like to “encourage people to follow basic principles. It’s the whole basis of Canada – work hard, play by the rules.”

He credits the lack of this attitude in government for pushing him into running for MPP.

It “bothers me that I see things misrepresented (and) things that are not good for the community happening.”

McDonell shared that he  comes from a small town and  he sees that what the government has been doing is “not a smart way of doing things.”

Among other issues, he refers to the decreased service in rural areas, the loss of businesses in rural small town areas, and the migration of rural population to bigger cities in the hunt for work.

McDonell believes that  the main issue  in this area of Ontario is “unaffordability.”

He recognizes that “income is much less in this area. Things are a little tougher around here.”

“There’s a higher percentage of seniors  on fixed incomes. The majority have no pensions.”

“Their children and grandchildren are not getting work locally. Schools are closing because there are no kids to put into them.”

McDonell also sees the apprenticeship program’s current restrictions as an issue for voters in this riding. He believes there will be “a huge shortage of labour in the future but (the current government) is not looking at a program that allows (for the need.)”

McDonell said that the ratio for apprenticeships should be   “1:1 instead of 3:1” for craftsmanship jobs such as electricians, plumbers and brick layers.

He maintains that , for example, most brick layers today are around the 65 year age range.

Discussing how he would make things better for the local constituents, McDonell referred to his party’s plan to remove HST from  home heating. He also mentioned the debt retirement charge, lowering income tax, and income splitting for couples.

In addition to these money saving plans, he also stated that his party plans to “remove a lot of the red tape” from government services. He stated that there is a “target of 30 per cent” and if the party doesn’t meet the target, then “ministers will take a cut in pay.”

McDonell wants to “make government less complicated.” He is “committed to making government more open to the public.”

When asked what makes him the right choice for voters in South Dundas, McDonell stated, “I’m dedicated and committed to our community.”
Also, he “has a practical sense on how to do things.” He refers to his farming background and rural roots, saying that he is “someone who can relate back” to the people in the rural areas of his riding as well as those in the urban areas.

McDonell says that he wants to “stop the withdrawal” from the rural small town communities.

When asked about the issue of poverty, he replied  that he would “focus on getting jobs for a good portion of the population.”

When asked about character, in terms of integrity, responsibility, and accountability, McDonell stated: “I don’t make promises I can’t maintain.”

Tim Hudak joined McDonell for a campaign rally on September 19th at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall.


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Elaine MacDonald: “working for change in the community”

The Leader met with NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald on September 16th to discuss  the upcoming election on October 6th.

MacDonald got started in politics through volunteering and getting involved in different issues at work. Initially, many of her accomplishments were in defense of women and worker rights.

She pointed out that “systems evolve and sometimes people get lost in the shuffle.” MacDonald felt drawn to help make things better for those around her.

As a founding member of the Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Coalition for Social Justice, she is a strong advocate for every person’s right to be heard.

In touring Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry and talking to constituents, she discovered that the government programs put into place to help people are, in many situations, causing difficulty with unrealistic expectations coupled with a lack of concrete assistance.

Among the many people she has met, there are those who are working multiple minimum wage jobs trying to pay for essentials. They’re “not just treading water, but falling behind.”

She believes that today’s climate “blames the poor” for being poor when, in fact, that is not the case.

When asked how she planned to address the issue of poverty, MacDonald stated that the NDP “platform hasn’t been released yet.”

However, she did share that her party plans to “ensure more affordable housing” which will, in turn, “equate to more disposable income.”

In addition, upon being elected the NDP intend to “raise minimum wage to $11 per hour right away.” MacDonald claims that the NDP will then, “index it to inflation from here on in” with the “same (being done for) WSIB and ONDSP.”

Continuing the discussion on poverty, the Leader questioned MacDonald about the Poverty Free Ontario debate at the Agape Centre on September 15th where she was condemned for her refusal to participate in the Do the Math Challenge, which challenged candidates to eat from a food bank basket for five days.

MacDonald, who admits that she is “a bit plain spoken” told the Leader that: “I rarely commit to something I don’t think I can do.” She believes that “to do (the challenge) honestly, you have to be able to give it some attention.”

“It’s extremely complicated. You have to watch what you eat.” Logistically, she couldn’t commit to giving the challenge the attention and dedication she believes it deserves.

Moving the discussion back to the main issues for people of this riding, MacDonald focussed on jobs, taxes, healthcare and other public services.

She pointed out that “people rely on public services” and government “has to stop rationing them.”

In addition, she brought attention to the fact that “people are falling through the cracks.”

One example: “66 per cent of complaints from people who didn’t get their full wages (worked for) companies that were actually solvent.”
MacDonald points out that in a lot of cases, individual people are being taxed while the corporations are getting the breaks.

“So many of our policies advocate for people in the counties.” These include policies in healthcare, education, and jobs. For instance, MacDonald’s NDP plan will “reward job creators with up to $5,000 per year.”

When asked what voters need to know most about her, MacDonald stated: “I am a progressive woman who wants to see government move in the direction of the triple bottom line: that is that we base our decisions on environmental and social values as well as financial. That is the way to develop a sustainable economy.”

During the interview with MacDonald, she referred to 211. She later expressed concern that people be made aware of the phone number, which connects Ontarians with information and referrals to community and social services in their province. The website is

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath visited the riding on September 20th at MacDonald’s campaign office in Cornwall.


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Seaway High golfers win SD&G

The Seaway District High School golf team put together a solid team performance at the SD&G tournament held at the Upper Canada Golf Course on Monday, to win the overall golf championship (boys and girls) for 2011.

Leading the Seaway team charge was Dylan Lapier who tied for the low gross of the day with Will Lecky of Char-Lan District High School. The two shot 79s.

For the girls, the individual low gross shooter (nine-holes) was Robyn Campbell of Tagwi with a 49.

It was Seaway’s girls team that led the way in their nine hole play as they posted a three-player team total of 184 on the tough Upper Canada back nine holes.

Jessica Whitteker was the low Seaway shooter with a 51, Vicki VanHoof added a 66 and Megan Van Allen a 67.

Their 184 points put them in first place ahead of La Citadelle, the only other school to field a complete three-player team in the girls category.

For the boys championship, 10 schools were represented. To be eligible, teams had to have a minimum of three players, and the best-three of four 18 hole scores were used for the team totals.

When it was over, it was Char-Lan claiming the win with 241 strokes.

Lecky led the entry with his 79, and Reed Payette and Will Baker were right on his heels with 81s. Team member Ryan Robertson’s score was not used in the total.

Finishing in second spot were the Seaway boys.

Backing Lapier’s low 79 were Jordan St. Louis with an 83 and Brandon St. Louis with an 86 for a 248 team total. Brodie Casselman’s round total was not used.

Third place in the boy’s play went to Tagwi at 276, while Glengarry District High School was fourth with 284.

The top teams/players will now advance to the EOSSAA golf championships being hosted by Napanee District Secondary School at the Loyalist Golf and Country Club on Friday, September 30.