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STOP Program: helping smokers quit smoking

Media Release – Nov 21, 2011

EASTERN ONTARIO – Smokers from across Ontario have the opportunity to enroll in the STOP (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program and receive nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), free of charge to help them in their attempt to quit smoking. 

For many smokers, the cost of nicotine replacement products is a barrier to quitting. The evidence-based STOP Program provides five weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, a practical support for alleviation of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which we know will help them to stop smoking.  

Those interested in participating in the STOP program may do so by attending a STOP workshop, to be held in Cornwall on December 12 and 13, and in Alexandria on December 13. To find out if you are eligible to participate, and to register for the workshop, call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120. Ask for Health Line.

The STOP Program is conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and is funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport as part of its Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy.  

In addition to providing NRT, STOP will offer educational material to encourage the program participants to make broader changes that can improve their health even more, because often smoking does not occur in isolation, but rather accompanies other risk factors for disease, such as poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. 

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s leading addiction and mental health teaching hospital. Integrating clinical care, scientific research, education, policy development and health promotion, CAMH transforms the lives of people impacted by mental health and addiction issues.

Background: The STOP Program

Introduced in 2005 through a partnership between the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, the STOP Program has already provided nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gum and patches, as well as bupropion and varenicline, free of charge, in addition to counseling support to an unprecedented 68,000 people from across Ontario.  

Baseline questionnaires and follow-up surveys, spaced over six months post-treatment will help the STOP Program researchers learn more about the long-term impact of providing nicotine replacement therapy and other smoking cessation aid free of charge to smokers Ontario-wide. To date, results for STOP participants have shown an improvement of at least two times the typical quit rates.  

While smoking rates in Ontario have declined over the past twenty years, 1.6 million Ontarians continue to smoke and 16,000 die each year from the effects of commercial tobacco products. Therefore, provision of smoking cessation support to smokers in Ontario is strongly indicated.

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Dear Santa opening at Upper Canada Playhouse

And you thought you had trouble getting ready for Christmas this year!

In Upper Canada Playhouse’s delightful Christmas production, Dear Santa, Santa is an Elf on the Edge with Christmas eve just around the corner.

His work shop elves are complaining, a pushy sleigh salesman is touting the virtues of rocket power over reindeer, his house keeper is in a tizzy, the chief of staff is in a pickle and the choir cannot sing! To say nothing of a stowaway on the North Pole Express, and a special Christmas wish that Santa desperately wants to fulfill. 

With only three days left until Christmas eve, why it’s enough to turn a man’s beard white! 

Dear Santa, by renowned Canadian playwright, Norm Foster, opens at Upper Canada Playhouse on November 24, with several school matinees and evening shows.  “It’s a show filled with tons of laughs, wonderful live music, a really good story, and lots of Christmas cheer for children and adults alike,” says director Donnie Bowes. 

Bowes has put together a stellar cast of performers for this final production of the 2011 season at the Playhouse. And joining the professional actors on the Playhouse stage will be 30 local elementary students from Morrisburg and Iroquois, who will perform as the choir and take on the roles of four of the elves. 

“We are right in the thick of things getting the show ready,” says Bowes. “It’s working out well having local kids in the cast. We have two separate choirs which means everything has to be rehearsed twice, but the kids are on top of it and enjoying the experience.”

Dear Santa welcomes back some familiar and favourite performers to the Playhouse. 

Doug Tangney is playing Santa Claus in the production and looking forward to the role. 

“Santa has the joy of life in him,” Tangney said at a recent press conference. “But in this play, we also get a chance to see him as vulnerable with all the wonderful chaos going on all around him. He’s a magical person, yet filled with humanity. Santa is forever and I am playing in the spirit of this special being.”

Tangney’s Santa will have a lot to cope with. 

Susan Greenfield, Santa’s housekeeper is suffering from “unrequited love” and it’s seriously disrupting her duties. The object of her affections is Algernon, North Pole Chief of Staff, who “never notices her of course,” says Jamie Williams who plays the harried Algernon. 

Timm Hughes, as Lou Flapdoodle, has landed at the North Pole determined to drag Santa into the 23rd century with a new rocket powered sleigh: Lou simply can’t take no for an answer. 

Richard Bauer, as Bozidar, is a mad cap Russian, whose confusion over English is not helping the elf production lines operate any more efficiently. And even less so now that glue supplies have “dried up.” 

Meredith Zwicker is both Piffle the Elf and musical consultant for this song and dance filled production. “There was music in the play orginally,” Swicker says, “but Liz (Gilroy) and I have added some extra songs, ones we think really highlight the outstanding skills of people in this cast. The music is such a lot of fun.”

Liz Gilroy, besides working on the music, also has the key role of Kitt, a young stowaway, who has come to the North Pole for reasons of her own with a very special letter to deliver to Santa. Her arrival just makes the chaos at Santa’s workshop even worse.

New to the cast and the Playhouse is Travis Seetoo, an accomplished singer, dancer and musician. “It’s great to be in this play as YeGads, a sort of elf wrangler. Foster has created such a wonderful realistic, imaginary world in this play,” says Seetoo, “and music is a big part of it. I am loving it here at Upper Canada Playhouse.”

Audiences will love the energy, the humour, the excitement of this Norm Foster Christmas classic. 

“There is much in this show that demonstrates Norm’s real understanding of kids, of what it is to want to be part of a group, yet also needing to be proud of being different. There is so much variety in Dear Santa,” says Donnie Bowes. 

A bright, imaginative and wondrous set helps bring Santa’s Workshop to life (even to files marked Elves Pensions and Naughty and Nice).  No matter what your age, Dear Santa is guaranteed to bring the joy of the season to your heart. 

Dear Santa runs until December 18 at Upper Canada Playhouse with evening shows and a number of matinees. For ticket information call 613-543-3713 or contact uppercanadaplayhouse.com

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Mischief in Morrisburg

On November 16th, SD&G OPP officers responded to a disturbance at an establishment on Main Street in the Village of Morrisburg. 

Investigation revealed that an intoxicated male had caused damage to two vehicles in the parking area.

Casey Eyegetok, age 19, of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, was arrested and is charged with: Mischief to Property Under $5,000 (2 counts); and, Being Intoxicated in a Public Place.

He is scheduled to appear in Morrisburg court on January 10, 2012.

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Morrisburg Arts and Crafts Show gives back

The annual three day Christmas Show staged by the Morrisburg and District Arts and Crafts Association in the Legion Hall in Morrisburg, Friday, November 18 to Sunday, November 20, saw attendance down this year, but feedback from those who did attend was very encouraging. 

“We thought it was a pretty good show, and a lot of the people who visited thought it was a great show,” says association president Linda Schenck. 

“I had a lot of positive feedback. Our visitors told us they thought we had a great assortment of crafts. Unfortunately, we didn’t have as many people go through as we would have liked. Some of our artists reported good sales while others could have done better.” 

With some 20 plus participants in the show, the Association was once again very pleased to be able to give back to the community with donations to Winchester District Memorial Hospital and the Dundas County Hospice.

 

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No Humbug in this wonderful Christmas Carol

On December 4, at 7:00 p.m., step back in time to the gas lit, snow-covered cobblestone streets of Charles Dickens’ London as Lakeshore Drive United Church, in collaboration with Upper Canada Playhouse, presents a dramatic reading of the wondrous tale, A Christmas Carol.

Bring the entire family out to enjoy again the classic story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the Cratchit family and the Ghosts of Christmases  Past, Present and Future. Five performers in full Victorian costumes will re-tell the much loved Yule tale complete with music and Christmas songs.

Proceeds from the presentation will benefit this community. 

“All the funds raised from this event will go towards the purchase of four cardiac monitors for WDMH’s recovery room (where patients go following surgery),” said Chelsea McIntyre, Fund Development Associate for the WDMH Foundation. “These will be an update to the current cardiac monitors and will benefit the patients who need them greatly, as monitors allow caregivers to more closely watch the healing process during recovery.”

McIntyre was thrilled when Lakeshore Drive United Church, and Gail McCooeye, approached the Foundation with the idea of staging a dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol as a fund raiser. As part of their Third Party Event, the Foundation has helped out with posters, tickets and programs for the fund raiser. 

McIntyre is also delighted that WDMH doctors Wayne Domanko and Paul Coolican have joined the cast of A Christmas Carol. “I think it is wonderful to see our family doctors and hospital staff take part in fund raisers, but,” she added, “I must give Gail credit for getting them involved in this instance.”

“I had heard a dramatic reading of the Christmas Carol done before in a church, and thought it was a wonderful experience,” McCooeye said. “I took the idea to the Lakeshore Drive United Church Outreach Program, and they said they would be glad to host the event. The Church has wanted to become more involved in the community, and this seemed a perfect way.”

McCooeye approached Donnie Bowes, artistic director of Upper Canada Playhouse, and he offered his enthusiastic support. Not only is he going to be one of the readers, but he will rehearse the performers and publicize the event during the run of Dear Santa at the Playhouse. 

“I’m reading the first stave of the adaptation,” Bowes laughed. “I get to be Scrooge at his meanest, venting all my frustrations.”

While Dr. Coolican will act as emcee for the evening, Dr. Domanko and Bowes will be joined on stage as readers by Doug Grenkie, who has been an active and dedicated advocate of the Hospital; by Joan Farlinger, who has just completed a two year term as chair of the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario; and by Wendy Gibb, former drama teacher at Seaway District High School. 

Victorian costumes for the event will come from Upper Canada Playhouse. Diane Crummy, of the Hospital Foundation, will be heading up refreshments, to be served in a 19th century like setting in the church.

A major supporter of the festive fund raiser has been the Scotiabank. 

“Kim Butler, manager of the Morrisburg Scotiabank, has just been an enormous help to me,” said McCooeye.  “Scotiabank branches in Morrisburg, South Mountain and Avonmore have all agreed to sell tickets to the fund raiser. 

And what is so incredible is that Scotiabank has agreed to be our corporate sponsor and to match dollar for dollar every ticket sold at these area bank branches. That is incredibly generous of them and we are very grateful.”

Tickets to this wonderful, one night only, dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol are $15 each and are available at Scotiabank  branches. 

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Don Graham Trail

Don Graham played a key part in resurrecting the hiking trails that are now owned by South Nation Conservation (SNC) and referred to as Two Creeks Trail.

At the November 15th South Dundas council meeting, Mayor Steven Byvelds said, “I think it would certainly be fitting if Don’s name be named on one of the trails.”

Byvelds had already approached Graham on the subject and reported that “he said he’d be honoured with that recognition.”

The mayor also “talked with Josée Brizard (Director of Conservation Programs at SNC) and she thought that would be a great thing to do.”

He told council that he was looking for their approval to pursue the request with SNC.

Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke saw the request as “very fitting” and later referred to Graham as a “very very dedicated man.”

Councillor Jim Graham agreed adding, “over the years Don’s done a lot for the community.”

Byvelds said, “I’d like to call it the Don Graham Trail.”

He pointed out that SNC has a trail in Russel named after James Reid so, “we’re not setting a precedent. It’s been done in the past.”

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Fire Chief retracts statement

The Leader received a letter from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, lawyers for Christie and Walther Communications on November 16, 2011 “with respect to the article ‘Enhanced response time for fire departments in South Dundas.’” 

The letter said: “the statements published in this article with respect to CWC’s quality of services are false.”

The letter requested: “an immediate retraction of same and a formal written apology to our client.”

On November 21, 2011 the Leader received the following media release from the Township of South Dundas: “Fire Chief Chris McDonough today issued the following statement retracting comments he made with regard to the transfer of the Townships’ Fire Dispatch from Christie and Walther Communications to the City of Brockville.”

“‘I would like to retract the comments attributed to me regarding the transfer of the Townships’ Fire Dispatch from Christie and Walther Communications to the City of Brockville. Christie and Walther Communications have provided the Township of South Dundas with quality dispatch services and my comments were in no way intended to be defamatory and/or damaging to them. I apologize for the comments and trust that the professionalism displayed by both parties will continue through the transition.’” 

The Leader offered all parties the opportunity to comment in response to the retraction.

Stephen McDonald, CEO for the Township of South Dundas: “I have no further comment.”

CWC responded via email through their counsel, Alexandra Logvin of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP: “CWC has been alarmed by the Fire Chief’s statements. CWC has proudly served South Dundas’ community and the municipal government for over the last 12 years. Its quality of service has never been questioned. CWC’s employees take great pride in their work, providing the best service to South Dundas’ community. The Fire Chief’s statements are false and damaging to CWC’s business and reputation. CWC finds the occurrence unfortunate, but is pleased to see that the municipality and its fire department took the message and publicly retracted its comments.”

 

OFFICIAL RETRACTION

Fire Chief Chris McDonough today issued the following statement retracting comments he made with regard to the transfer of the Townships’ Fire Dispatch from Christie and Walther Communications to the City of Brockville.

“I would like to retract the comments attributed to me regarding the transfer of the Townships’ Fire Dispatch from Christie and Walther Communications to the City of Brockville. Christie and Walther Communications have provided the Township of South Dundas with quality dispatch services and my comments were in no way intended to be defamatory and/or damaging to them. I apologize for the comments and trust that the professionalism displayed by both parties will continue through the transition.” 

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South Dundas to buy tractor

 

South Dundas Manager for Public Works, Hugh Garlough asked council to allow him the leeway to purchase a “used farm tractor for road side mowing, to an upset limit of $50,000.”

The $50,000 limit was already passed by council for this purpose in the 2011 budget, however, council would, normally, still have to approve the final purchase.

Backing Garlough’s request, Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald explained to council that, “whenever a good used tractor becomes available we don’t have time to go back to council” for additional consent before purchasing it.

In addition, Garlough asked that the money be carried over to the new budget should he fail to find an adequate tractor before 2012.

When asked about the possibility of purchasing a brand new tractor, Garlough explained that it is “impossible to get a new one for that amount,” which means that the purchase will not be tendered.

As for the used tractor, he promised, “I will not go over the $50,000, but if I do it will come back to council.” 

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Getting community involved in helping local hospital

 

Release – November 14, 2011

After having her two children and receiving chemotherapy treatment at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital, Christina Enright has turned her passion for healthy communities into her day job.  

Enright began working at the WDMH Foundation as the Manager of Community Engagement on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and is a welcome addition to the team.  

Foundation Executive Director, Troy Cross stated, “Christina has been working tirelessly for years to support the WDMH Foundation in its mission to serve the needs of the Winchester District Memorial Hospital and its catchment area – and now, she will be able to focus those same energies in a professional capacity.”

The role of Manager, Community Engagement is a very broad position in which Christina will be working closely with key community members and organizations to deepen their relationship with the WDMH Foundation and the Winchester District Memorial Hospital.  

She is also responsible for developing and delivering all events, both those managed by the Foundation (Signature), and community organized events (Third Party). 

Enright is very excited about her recent shift in careers and how it will enable her to continue building relationships and furthering support for local cancer care, and healthy communities in general.  

“We all need a hospital at some point and to have such a precious, high tech and high quality local resource in our backyard is truly a thing to be treasured and cared for.  I plan on supporting community members and organizations in finding creative ways to support our hospital.  We all think of giving in terms of money, but there are lots of ways to give that don’t rely on writing a cheque.”

This positive outlook and creative nature is one of many of Christina’s attributes that qualifies her for this new position at the WDMH Foundation.  Her attitude shares many qualities that the dozens of community What’s Your Story event organizers possess.  

This year, almost two dozen different community members will raise over $30,000 for the WDMH foundation to support programs and services at WDMH.  So many of these dollars are raised by volunteers who work to get donations of goods or services for auctions and door prizes for their events or by local businesses that continue to support the WDMH Foundation by sponsoring these events.  

When communities come together to create a healthy and sustainable future, they are showing that they are making an investment in quality care, close to home.

Troy Cross, the WDMH Foundation Executive Director shared that the “…funds raised for WDMH comprise so many individual efforts, that we are thrilled to have Christina join our team in celebrating those stories and sharing them with the community”. 

To find out more, go online to wdmh.on.ca/foundation or facebook.com/wdmhfoundation.

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Police issue safety reminders

 

On November 4th the SD&G OPP sent out the following reminders:

Road Condition Enquiries

With winter related driving conditions approaching and for your safety, SD&G OPP is reminding the public not to call OPP Communication Centres for road conditions and closures.  These calls tie up emergency lines.

This is a time of year when the weather directly affects driving and road conditions, resulting in a significantly larger volume of callers reporting motor vehicle collisions to the Communication Centres.  These are emergency calls.

At the same time, OPP Communication Centres are being swamped with phone calls from people looking for general road condition information.  OPP Communication Centre call takers have reported that some people are even dialling the 9-1-1 emergency only number to obtain information about road conditions.  The public is reminded that these phone numbers are not intended for this use.

The public is asked to call the Ministry of Transportation province-wide toll-free inquiry line at 1-800-268-4686 to obtain information about road conditions and closures.  You can also visit their website at www.mto.gov.on.ca.

Furthermore, cooler temperatures cause frost to form on vehicle windows. Please ensure your vehicle is fully defrosted (and clear of snow if the case) prior to departure for your destination. Driving while looking through a small opening on the windshield is not only dangerous, it’s against the law (Section 74-Highway Traffic Act-No clear view=$110.00 fine).

Safety on our roadways is everyone’s responsibility…be ready this coming winter!

Drivers: Watch for Wildlife

SD&G OPP wish to remind motorists of the dangers of wildlife on roadways this time of year. More movement in the deer population results in the creatures being near and crossing roadways in rural areas. 

Following simple driving techniques will reduce the chance of being involved in a collision.

Be extra vigilant during morning (dawn) and evening (dusk) commutes as visibility is reduced and wildlife are more active. Reduce your speed accordingly.

Be aware of signage in areas known for deer crossing. Deer seldom run alone, if you see one, chances are there will be more.

When safe to do so, use high beams when driving at night and scan the ditch area.

If you need to avoid deer on roadways, do not swerve, brake firmly and stay in your lane so as not to lose control of your vehicle.

If you are in a collision with a deer, report same to police.

By being a safe and cautious driver, fewer collisions occur, resulting in a reduction of injuries and lives saved.

Hunter Safety

With the hunting season upon us, SD&G OPP, in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) wish to remind those engaged in the popular pastime to exercise caution. 

Proper handling of firearms and ensuring safety should be a main priority. Hunters should follow rules and regulations pertaining to current legislation and be respectful of property owners in getting approval to hunt on their land.

It is everyone’s responsibility to practice safety and report any incidents observed. SD&G OPP and MNR officers will be out conducting joint patrol. 

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