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Having a baby? WDMH is the place to be


 “We provide a service beyond what you expect,” said Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) CEO, Cholly Boland.

On November 17th, WDMH hosted a Coffee and Conversation period with the press to talk about the hospital’s obstetrics program.

Susan Castle, Clinical Manager of Medical/Surgical and Obstetrics at WDMH told reporters: “We’re classified as a Level One hospital. Any really sick moms or babes have to go to Ottawa. To go up a level, we’d need a nursery, which we don’t have.” 

In terms of what WDMH offers, she said, “we have three female obstetricians. We have six midwives. We offer anesthesia service – epidurals. We take the pain situation very seriously here.” 

“We give mom options,” Castle continued. “Patients can choose what they feel comfortable with.”

“We have four birthing rooms and eight postpartum rooms.”

Boland interjected, saying “we have birthing rooms that are home-like, not like a hospital room.”

Continuing, he said, “maternity is right next door to surgery if a cesarean section is required.”

Dr. Ejibonmi Adetola, Chief of Obstetrics at WDMH since March 2011, says the “cesarean section rate is about 22 per cent.”

“You don’t find a lot of Level One hospitals with three obstetricians with a 24 hour service.”

“That’s what draws the women to us. It’s the word of mouth,” continued Dr. Adetola. “It is really nice here. Nurses are really dedicated.”

Castle agreed, saying, “we have a stable non-turnover group of nurses who take pride in their work.”

She explained that the nurses are specially trained to work in the obstetrics unit, adding, “I have nurses coming from Ottawa applying here, which is great because they’re highly experienced.”

“Our postpartum service is open 24/7 as of November 1st,” said Castle. Here, she continued, “RNs are specifically trained to work with mom now that she’s delivered.”

According to Boland, there were approximately 200 births at WDMH in 2006.

Castle said there have been approximately 400 births per year since 2006 and this year, in 2011, the total is approximately 600 births.

According to Dr. Adetola, “patients come from all over Ottawa, from as far as Brockville and Cornwall, as well as all the neighbouring towns. People come from everywhere.” 

Boland emphasized, “we have this expert surgical coverage. People need to understand it can happen in a community this size.”

Having a baby at WDMH is “a safe experience, a comfortable experience, it’s a small town home experience,” said Boland.

According to Castle, “everybody gets a knitted hat,” thanks to volunteers and to the WDMH Foundation,  

The Foundation also offers parents, grandparents, friends or neighbours the opportunity to purchase a “shiny red wooden apple with baby’s picture, name and birth date on it” for a minimum of $60 in celebration of the hospital’s 60th anniversary. The apple is hung on the apple tree wall in the obstetrics unit for one year. On baby’s first birthday the apple is returned home as a keepsake.

Money raised through the apple program “will help the hospital grow, supporting equipment purchases to enhance the excellent care programs for your friends and family.”


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Just in time for Christmas


Ron Patterson of Cardinal was the lucky winner of the $1,000 Christmas Draw sponsored by the Iroquois Matilda Lions Club. The balance of the proceeds will go to the club’s charities, which include the Dundas County Food Bank and the Christmas Exchange. 


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Teens focused on their future


Are high school graduates ready for the next step?

The principals and teachers at Seaway District High School are doing everything they can to ensure the answer to that question is a resounding “yes!”

Seaway is just one of many schools taking part in the new Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program introduced by the Ontario government. Each student graduating from the program will get an SHSM seal on their diploma.

According to Principal Terry Gardiner, SHSM “engages students and gives them a purpose.”

He went on to say, “I feel it’s my job to set  people up to meet their potential and have something meaningful after their high school experience.”

The SHSM program allows students to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests. At the same time, they’re able to meet the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

Students who take part in the SHSM program gain important skills on the job. They also earn industry certifications like standard first aid and CPR.

The SHSM program consists of specialized sectors. Most schools choose one sector of specialty. They are: arts and culture; aviation and aerospace; business; construction; energy; environment; forestry; health and wellness; horticulture and landscaping; hospitality and tourism; information and communications technology; justice, community safety, and emergency services; manufacturing; mining; non-profit; sports; and transportation.

Seaway’s specialized sector is agriculture. There are career options for students choosing a path to apprenticeship; to college; to university; or, straight to the workplace. Regardless of the path chosen, there are many possibilities for a rewarding career.

According to Gardiner, Seaway has “eight students on track to graduate with the seal this year.”

In addition, in September he said there were 18 grade 11 students signing up. He pointed out that the program begins in the 11th grade for those who are interested.

With the SHSM program, students are  “allowed to be part of experiential learning.”

“They do better in school,” he continued. Also, “students with learning disabilities do better.”

Gardiner credits the success of the SHSM program to the fact that students can see the relevance of what they’re doing. They’re engaged and can see a purpose for their hard work.


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Callers ‘love’ 211 helpline


Media Release – Nov 23, 2011

SD&G – 211, the information helpline for Ontario’s community and social services, won a coveted award for highest customer satisfaction from SQM Group. 

With a 92% satisfaction level, 211 achieved the highest ranking for any call centre in the government industry. SQM benchmarks over 450 leading North American call centres.

“This award represents good news for 211 and our callers,” said Bill Morris, Executive Director, Ontario 211 Services Corporation. 

“We’re proud to have been able to maintain our high standards of quality even as we expanded the reach of 211 province-wide. And, we are very pleased 211 was able to help so many callers address their needs with one call.”

211 is currently available to 94% of Ontarians. The goal of reaching all Ontario residents will be met in the coming weeks through launches in Cochrane, Temiskaming, Nipissing, Sudbury, Lambton, Elgin, Prescott and Russell.

“211 represents an exceptional partnership by Ontario’s United Ways, municipalities, community data contributors, the Government of Ontario and Canada to work together,” said Morris. 

“Recently an agency in London secretly tested 211 on behalf of the London Free Press. I really can’t say it better than to quote the editorial headline, “In helping the public, 211 service hits a home run.”

By connecting callers with the right community and social services, 211 prevents problems from spiralling into a crisis. 211’s information and referral specialists answered more than 560,000 calls in 2010. 

They have access to information on more than 56,000 agencies, programs and services across Ontario. 211’s free, anonymous and confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is available in more than 150 languages. 

In the five months that 211 has launched in SD&G and Cornwall the service has received just over 700 calls says Karen Turchetto, executive director of United Way of S.D. & G.

Ontario 211 Services Corporation is a non-profit supported by the Province of Ontario, individual municipalities, local Ontario United Ways, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Dial 211 or search to find the right community and social services.


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Apprenticeship system issues


Media Release – Nov 30, 2011

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario is currently facing the paradox of having high unemployment at the same time as a growing shortage of skilled trades workers. 

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said today that modernizing Ontario’s apprenticeship system is a practical solution that will help fix both problems by creating 200,000 new skilled trades jobs.

Ontario is losing 100 private-sector jobs every hour, contributing to a jobless rate that has remained above the national average for almost five years. 

At the same time, Ontario’s shortage of skilled trades workers – from ironworkers to electricians to plumbers – is reaching an alarming level, and is expected to top one million vacancies within a decade.

The issue is Dalton McGuinty’s refusal to modernize an outdated apprenticeship system that requires businesses to employ three, four or even five journeymen to train a single apprentice – a more restrictive ratio than almost all other provinces in Canada.

Hudak renewed his call today to reduce the ratio of journeymen to apprentices 1-to-1. Reducing the ratio frees up more journeymen to train more apprentices.  Those apprentices eventually become journeymen themselves and train apprentices of their own – creating a job creation cycle that would see 200,000 new skilled tradesmen on the job in just four years.

“Yesterday, over 50 apprenticeship students attended Queen’s Park, relating their problems in completing their programs, due to the 3:1 ratios.  In fact, during the session, every one of them identified a classmate that had to move to Western Canada to finish their program.  We need action now by this Liberal government to fix this ratio issue, address the huge shortage of trades people that is forecasted over the next 5 years and to create 200,000 new, high paying skilled jobs.”

–Jim McDonell, MPP


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Specialized hearing services at WDMH


News Release – Dec 5, 2011

WILLIAMSBURG – Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) is pleased to welcome Robillard Hearing Centre, as one of our newest healthcare partners providing care close to home.

“Patients told us that we should offer a clinic at WDMH,” explains Sophie Robillard, a board-certified hearing aid specialist who leads the clinic. “Hearing needs are increasing and we’re pleased to be here to respond to local communities.”

“We are happy to have Robillard on-site offering specialized hearing services,” adds Cholly Boland, WDMH CEO. “Our goal is to bring together services that our local communities need and hearing support is definitely one of them.”

Robillard Hearing Centres are family owned and operated and have been serving the Eastern Ontario region for more than 50 years. Qualified hearing healthcare professionals evaluate hearing issues and provide remedial recommendations to family doctors for hearing instruments, assistive hearing devices. They can also fill any hearing instrument prescription.

The clinic is offered on Wednesdays and is located in the Dillabough Building. To make an appointment, please call 1-877-498-3301 or visit

If you would like to provide comments or suggestions about hospital services, contact Cholly Boland, President and CEO, Winchester District Memorial Hospital at 613.774.1049 or by email at


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McDonell talks Ontario energy


News Release – Dec 5, 2011

QUEEN’S PARK – “We can no longer afford to ignore the energy crises in Ontario.  This is a self inflicted problem and it is time to listen to the people,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.

In his report, Auditor General Jim McCarter revealed Dalton McGuinty ignored repeated warnings from his own energy advisors that his approach to renewables – such as the FIT program and Samsung deal – is too expensive and would increase energy bills for job creators and families alike. 

The auditor also confirmed that consumers have paid more than enough to cover the $7.8-billion Debt Retirement Charge (DRC), but the government continues to charge it on hydro bills while keeping the remaining debt a secret. 

Finally, over the last six years, Ontario consumers paid $1.8 billion to New York and Quebec to take away the province’s excess energy. 


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McDonell speaks out


News Release – Dec 5, 2011

QUEEN’S PARK – Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry MPP, Jim McDonell blasted the McGuinty government for playing politics with the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) by linking its future to an unknown program for Southwestern Ontario.

Jim McDonell expressed shock that the government has introduced a bill it knows will put the EODF in jeopardy.

To extend the EODF, the government’s bill forces MPPs to also vote for a new program in Southwestern Ontario that’s surrounded in serious questions – including how it will be funded and what accountability measures it will have.

“We don’t need this bill for the EODF program. The program exists already and it has the support of Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak and our caucus,” stressed Jim McDonell.  The fund was created to address the unique challenges of Eastern Ontario, challenges that still need to be addressed. 

“However, we won’t support a bill bundling it with a program that has so many unknowns. The McGuinty government is asking for a blank cheque and we all know that would be a costly disaster for taxpayers.”

In fact, Jim McDonell noted that with an estimated $28 million still left in the fund after more than three years, the EODF could be extended through March of 2013 with no new government spending.

Jim McDonell said the government is using the threat of cancelling the EODF as a tactic to force the Legislature into helping Premier McGuinty keep an election promise to establish the Southwestern Ontario fund.

It’s a promise that comes with an $80-million price tag at a time when the province has a deficit of $16 billion.

“Rather than debate the merits of the new Southwestern Ontario program, they’re pitting regions against each other with this bill,” explained Jim McDonell. “It’s unfortunate that, at a time of economic turmoil in this province, the McGuinty government would choose to play political games instead of focusing on job creation.”

Jim McDonell called on Economic Development and Innovation Minister Brad Duguid to do the right thing and separate the two programs and bring together Eastern Ontario MPPs to review the EODF before it expires in March, 2012.

“Let’s stop playing partisan politics and do what Ontarians expect MPPs to do in this minority legislature, which is to work across party lines to fix the serious challenges facing the province today,” urged Jim McDonell.


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Beware of cold call scam


Several local people are out hundreds of dollars thanks to a recent cold call scam involving non-existent computer viruses.

Recently, local computer technician, Michael Prunner of MP Computer Services reported several incidents to the local police involving clients who had received calls.

In fact, Constable Peter Robertson, Media Relations Officer for the SD&G OPP, said this will be Crime Stoppers “Crime of the Week.”

Prunner said the people calling most often say they are from Microsoft and “they tell you that you have a serious problem with your Windows. One even told the customer that their Windows had expired.”

Here is an example of a typical cold call: “Hello, I’m calling on behalf of Microsoft Support Team. Your computer is sending error messages to us, which tells us that you have viruses and some corrupted files. I can help you fix that now.”

“They sit you down in front of your computer telling you that you have bad stuff on your computer and they need to work on it. Basically, they use all free cleaners and they charge you 10 times more than it’s worth,” informed Prunner.

According to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Kerry Petryshyn, this is what is called “deceptive marketing.”

What this means is that the person calling is from a “legitimate” company of sorts, but has nefarious intentions in terms of charging you for something you could have gotten for free, charging you for something you don’t need, or charging you much more than necessary for something that may or may not be useful.

The best option for dealing with this sort of scammer is to contact the Competition Bureau of Canada. Petryshyn said, “they deal with companies that are deceiving clients.”

As with other “viruses,” the “computer scam virus” has many different strains. Petryshyn said, “there’s a few potential possibilities that can occur as there’s a variety of anti-virus scams coming out.”

According to a release from the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (CAFC), “the virus scam has grown to epidemic proportions in Canada, now accounting for between 70 and 80 per cent of frauds reported daily to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre.”

“This dramatic increase means the scam is working – more and more Canadians are being targeted by the virus scam.”

“Allowing a third party to download software or remotely access your computer carries a number of serious risks.”

“Malicious software can be installed to capture sensitive data such as your online banking user names and passwords, bank account information and your personal identity information.”

“Your computer can also be converted to a bot-net, which means criminals can use it without your knowledge or participation. It can then be used to spam other people, spread viruses to your friends or overload computer networks.”

“Getting your credit card information is the second important part of the virus scam. Once a criminal has that information it can be used to make purchases without your consent.”

The CAFC also warns that “not all virus scams are conducted over the phone. Many CAFC callers report being scammed after responding to internet pop-up ads for anti-virus software.”

As for Microsoft, they do not cold call customers. An employee of Microsoft Ottawa pointed out that it would be almost impossible to do so because of the immense number of users all over the world.

For those who may have already given a scammer access to their computer, Petryshyn has some advice: “If you think somebody’s had access to your computer, I wouldn’t be going back on the Internet until I’ve gotten the problem solved. It’s like opening the door again.”

He advised that anti-virus and anti-spy programs do not check for peer-to-peer applications. For this, “you may need a technician to check your system.”

Peer-to-peer applications are those that give someone else remote access to your computer and files. 

Petryshyn uses a house metaphor to explain the situation more clearly: allowing someone to install peer-to-peer software, giving them remote access to your computer, is basically the same as giving “the bad guy” a key to your back door. They can come in whenever they like, invited or not. 

As for credit cards, Petryshyn advises checking with your bank or credit card company right away.

For questions, or to report a scam incident, contact the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre via email at or via the telephone at 1-888-495-8501.


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Williamsburg gets walkway

November 25th was a day of celebration for the Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation.

The morning’s events began with the unveiling of the Tolley Place sign. The Tolley Place townhomes opened in 2009, offering quality housing to younger seniors.

James Kooistra, Chair of the Board of Directors for the corporation, said, “the idea of this started long ago. I was told it was Trevor (Tolley, former Chair of Board) who had this idea.”

Tolley reminded everyone present that he did not do this alone. He listed all of the people and organizations that worked hard to make Tolley Place a reality.

From the unveiling of the sign, the group moved to one of two new sheds recently erected. Here Kooistra informed everyone that the corporation had received a $15,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which financed the two sheds, two dedication trees, as well as the walkway between Tolley Place and J. W. MacIntosh Seniors Support Centre.

According to a press release from the corporation, due to a 2010 gardening project started by Tolley Place residents, “a garden shed has been placed at Tolley Place and will be available for tool storage. A second shed was placed at the east end of the walkway and will store maintenance equipment.”

As for the trees, Kooistra said, “some years ago the Board said farewell to three board members: Trevor Tolley, Joan Findlay, and Barbara Phifer. They served on the board for many, many years.”

“They were promised that we would plant some trees, one for Trevor and one for the two ladies.”

He then thanked the three again, for their “years of commitment and dedication to the Board.”

A sign dedicating the trees to the three former board members will be affixed to the garden shed.

The walkway, which was completed this fall, finally “links two projects that should always be linked,” said South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds.

As Kooistra pointed out, “the walkway was constructed to provide easier access to the services of the Community Support Centre. These services include exercise classes, hot meal programs, health and wellness clinics and educational presentations. The sidewalk encourages regular walking which is great exercise in itself.”

Jim McDonell, MPP for SD&SG, concurred, saying, “the constructed walkway will provide easy access while promoting a healthier lifestyle.”

“We have a plaque here from the Trillium Foundation to commemorate the volunteers,” who, as he later pointed out, “come out and make a difference.”

Catherine MacLaine, representative for the Ontario Trillium Foundation, said “in October of last year the grant review team was happy to support their efforts with a $15,000 grant.”

She said, “we see a group of dedicated staff and volunteers.”

With that said, Mary Salmon, tenant of Tolley Place, cut the ribbon, officially opening the walkway between Tolley Place and the support centre.

Kooistra then said, “you’re now invited to walk the walk.”

Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation oversees the operation of Tolley Place, Park Drive Villa, County Road 18 Group Home, Schell Street Group Home, as well as the J. W. MacIntosh Seniors Support Centre.

It also provides community support in the way of meals on wheels, adult day services, transportation, respite, foot care, assisted living services, and diners club. 

For more information, contact them at 613-535-2924 or at 613-535-2470. They also have a website: