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Marching to a positive drummer

 “If everybody gave 100 per cent all the time, most of the problems on this planet could be solved. We need to focus that incredible energy at all times. Give the best you can to the world,” said Mitch Dorge, on October 4, 2011, addressing a very enthusiastic audience of grades 7-8 students at Seaway District High School.

Dorge, who is probably much better known to Canadians as the drummer for the band Crash Test Dummies, presented two assemblies to the intermediate and high school students. The thrust of his dynamic and upbeat discussion was to encourage students to find positive and healthy ways to affect the world. 

“If we can stop lies and myths about drugs and alcohol, the door to communications is open,” Dorge said. “I try to tell kids that life is short. Go after your dreams, but make the right choices along the way.”

Dorge made his points through humour and anecdotes tied in to his life as an artist who has performed with the Dummies throughout the world. Personable and outgoing, he brought student volunteers forward, demonstrating the strength of positive energy and a bright outlook on life. 

Mitch Dorge appeared at Seaway under the sponsorship of the Co-operators Insurance.

“Co-operators has small town roots itself,” said Brent McKean, an agent with the company, who came to Seaway with Dorge. “Our company has a real desire to make a difference in communities. Head office saw and heard Mitch speaking and working with students, and knew that his is a powerful message concerning drugs and alcohol. Co-operators has been working with him for four years now. 

His message is very pro-active, encouraging young people to live life positively.”

While Dorge has successfully addressed audiences of up to 2,000 young people, he enjoys working with smaller crowds like those at Seaway.

“I interact a lot with kids directly. I like to get close and talk directly to them,” Dorge said following his presentation. “Energy and joy should be the focus of a young person’s life. I tell kids to be comfortable in their own skins.”


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363 Local Residents Notified of Possible Exposure to Infection

News Release – October 18, 2011

CORNWALL – 363 residents in the five Eastern Counties are among the patients who will be receiving registered letters following the investigation into a private Ottawa-area medical clinic. 

During the investigation, it was discovered that the clinic did not always follow some infection prevention and cleaning protocols. As a precaution, letters are being sent to approximately 6,800 patients who underwent endoscopic procedures at the clinic between April 2002 and June 2011. 

The clinic, operated by Dr. Christiane Farazli, is located at 1081 Carling Avenue, Suite 606.         Dr. Farazli has worked with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) during the investigation and has co-signed the letter to her patients. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has been in regular contact with OPH concerning the matter.

“Even though the risk of getting an infection is very low, patients who receive a letter should contact their physician to discuss testing,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

In fact, the risks of associated infections are believed to be less than 1 in 1 million for Hepatitis B, less than 1 in 50 million for Hepatitis C, and less than 1 in 3 billion for HIV. 

The letters include information for patients who would like to be tested. These are free blood tests and patients will need to go to a laboratory to have blood taken. If a patient would like to be tested they have several options which are outlined in the letter. 

Ottawa Public Health has established a dedicated information line for residents who have questions related to this issue. Any person who underwent endoscopy in the facility during the time period mentioned and who has not received a letter by Tuesday, October 25th should contact Ottawa Public Health.

The OPH dedicated information line’s number is 613-580-2888. 

The phone line will be available between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday). 

For additional information, please visit 

The information line was open until midnight on Tuesday, October 18 and Wednesday, October 19. 

Patients are being advised not to go to a hospital emergency department for blood testing. Hospitals will re-direct patients seeking blood tests for this issue to call OPH. 


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Laurier Drive being looked at

 Are you one of the many people who drive Laurier Drive to County Road 2 on a daily basis?

On October 13th, Hugh Garlough, Manager of Public Works for South Dundas, gave the Leader an update on where things stand with the patch of road at the north end of Laurier in between Beavers Dental and Ultramar.

The piece in question, which is approximately the length of one car, has been quite bad for a good length of time with its pot holes and uneven pavement.

According to Garlough, “the counties own all intersections along any county road and any culvert that crosses an entrance to (a non-county) road.”

This means that the fate of Laurier Drive lies “in the hands of the counties.” Garlough was told that the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry would be doing an investigation before getting back to him on the road’s future.

The Leader followed up with County Engineer Ben De Haan the same day.

De Haan said he had “been out on site” but couldn’t say much about the state of the road as it was “covered in stone dust.” Ironically, the Township of South Dundas has been spreading stone dust in an attempt to make the road drivable.

He also said he “did look at the culvert (and there was) no significant issue with the culvert.”

In terms of the road itself, De Haan did admit there was “pretty deficient asphalt; deterioration of the asphalt.”

As for repairs or replacements? The outlook doesn’t seem likely. “We (Counties) don’t have it on our plan for this year.”

He did, however, say that the Counties are required to keep the road at a minimum code and, “if (there’s) patching to be done, we’ll (Counties) look after that.”

When questioned about the possibility of the road being put on next year’s budget agenda, De Haan didn’t seem optimistic.

He ventured that “it will be looked at (but that it’s) subject to approval.” 

Upon hearing this news, South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds had this to say: “Things are being looked into. Stay tuned.”


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Merchants beware of scam!

Over the past few days, SD&G OPP has received two reports of suspected scams.

The incident consists of a female entering a local store and speaking with the employee at the cash register. After a short time three to four more people come into the store and start asking the employee questions about the merchandise that is for sale.

When the employee is distracted a member of the group goes behind the counter or into a storage area looking for cash or valuables.

SD&G OPP want to remind merchants to be aware of this possible scam and to not to be distracted. If more than one person starts to engage in questions advise them to speak one at a time and be firm as to where they are allowed to go in the store.

If any merchant experiences this type of incident please take note of the description of the criminals and what type of vehicle they are using and call your local police detachment.


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Mustard’s Variety supports Crime Stoppers

Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers had its 50/50 winning ticket picked on October 15th at Jim Mustard’s Variety store in Iroquois. Jim Mustard has been a supporter of the program since its inception in 1992. The winning ticket for the 50/50 was sold at the Williamstown fair this past August; the winner was Denis Tousignant of Greenfield, North Glengarry Township ($1550.00).  The winning ticket was pulled by Nelson Zandbergen in front of Mustard’s Variety store. 


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Ladies night fundraiser is a model for success

What do you think about when you hear Ladies Night Out?

Community Living Dundas County (CLDC) held their third annual Ladies Night Out Fundraiser on October 13 at Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners complete with entertainment, shopping, prizes, refreshments and friendly conversation.

The event began at 6 p.m. with a variety of vendors showcasing their products and services. Their displays were arranged on the walls surrounding the twenty tables set up beautifully for guests.

Matilda Hall had a full house that night with at least 200 guests. 

On entering the hall, ladies were greeted with the sound of Claude Plamondon playing guitar and singing his songs.

Staff from the South Mountain branch of Scotiabank welcomed guests at the door. The bank also volunteered to match whatever proceeds were raised from the entrace fees.

At the entrance of the hall, Amber Rothwell welcomed guests by handing out free reusable CLDC logo bags.

Some of the food for the “ladies tea” was donated by Giant Tiger in Morrisburg, Riley’s Valumart in Morrisburg, Mike Dean’s Superstore in Winchester, and Andy’s Foodland in Winchester.

CLDC Executive Director Debbie Boardman reported, that CLDC “received cash donations and items for the silent auction from numerous businesses and organizations in South Dundas and North Dundas.”

The vendors in attendance “were extremely generous with donations for the door prizes.”

Two of the vendors provided the main entertainment of the evening by way of a fashion show.

Annette Quesnel from Juli Fashion Essentials in Morrisburg  along with  Amy Baker’s Jockey Person to Person from Winchester organized and presented some lovely fashions for the audience.

Quesnel’s volunteer models consisted of Chelsea Bosman, Leeanne Stata, Stephanie Barkley, Mary Roderick, Theresa Robillard, and Florence Oglestone.

Baker’s modelling volunteers were, in order of first appearance, Tracey Porteous, Joanne McCaslin, Wendy Hyndman, Julie McDonald, and Doris Baker. Tracey worked double duty filling in for an absent Juli model.

In addition to the many door prizes, there were also three draws. The first place prize was donated by Aura Escapes with a “girls get-away” package for four people in Cornwall including accommodations and meals. Elaine Whitteker was the winner.

The second place prize consisted of a spa bundle from Lakeshore Massage Therapy. The winner was Jeannie Fox-Dibble.

Agnes van Dodewaard won the third place prize of a Stokefire Gift Certificate.

After the fashion show and prizes, but before the finish of the silent auction, three board members rose to speak: Terry Boyd, Eunice Eldridge, and Marja Smellink.

Boyd began saying “we’re here tonight to share with you why CLDC is so important in so many ways.”

“We (Boyd, Eldridge, and Smellink) are all mothers of a child that has a disability. It’s only when you have a loved one with a disability in your family that you realize how important it is to have an agency like CDLC in your area.”

“They have made a difference for our families and so many others.”

As for CLDC, their website states: “CLDC supports the inclusion of people with an intellectual disability to the same extent that all people are included.”

“The thrust of current services and supports is to shift away from costly services that isolate family and friends, and towards services that include people in their community.”

“All people with an intellectual disability are entitled to be a part of Dundas County – to live, work, be educated and enjoy all that this community offers its citizens.”

The proceeds from the CLDC’s Ladies Night Out Fundraiser will go toward three projects, according to Boardman, first being transportation as there is an accessibility issue “due to lack of public transit and accessible vehicles.”

Another project includes repairs and updates to the Snoezelin Room, which is “open to anyone requiring an environment in which all of our senses may be stimulated.”

The third project earmarked for the fundraiser proceeds is a “new funding initiative, the George Davidson Family Resource Fund.”

Boardman reported: “This fund was created in the memory of George Davidson, a founding pioneer of the community living movement in Dundas County. As a long-standing member of the Board of Directors of our Association, George was an advocate for families as well as his own daughter, Susan. In his memory, his wife Barb has graciously donated money to set up the George Davidson Family Resource Fund.”

“The objective is to provide opportunities for training, resource materials, and communication supports.”

As for the Ladies Night Out event, Smellink had this to say during her speech: “Each and every one of you have been a part of making tonight a success.”

She thanked everyone for coming, saying “I’m grateful to live in a very compassionate and generous region.”

Amount raised was unknown at press time.


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Airplane used in law enforcement

SD&G – Over the Thanksgiving weekend, members of the HSD (Highway Safety Division) as well as SD&G OPP officers took part in a traffic initiative involving the use of the airplane on Highways 138 and 401. 

HSD Sgt. Paul Sabourin stated that “some drivers were surprised when they were stopped and issued a Provincial Offence Notice for speeding; once they were advised to look skyward they realized that they had been observed by the airplane.” 

The long weekend initiative resulted in the following charges: 3 Radar Warning Devices; 11 Stunt Driving; and 148 Speeding. 

SD&G OPP would like to remind the motoring public to time manage and respect all the rules of the road when travelling on our  highways.  


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Commemorating the War of 1812

News Release – October 11, 2011

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE– The Harper Government today launched the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. 

This War helped establish our path toward becoming an independent and free country, united under the Crown with a respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity.

“The heroic efforts of those who fought for our country in the War of 1812 tell the story of the Canada we know today: an independent and free country with a constitutional monarchy and its own distinct parliamentary system,” said James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. 

“The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 is an opportunity for all of us to take pride in our history, and we look forward to taking part in the events and activities that will mark this important anniversary for Canada.”

Over the next four years, the Government will invest to increase Canadians’ awareness of this defining moment in our history. 

This will include support for: a pan-Canadian educational campaign focused on the importance of the War of 1812 to Canada’s history; support for up to 100 historical re-enactments, commemorations, and local events; a permanent 1812 memorial located in the National Capital Region; interactive tours, six exhibits, and improvements to three national historic sites across the country; investments in infrastructure at key 1812 battle sites, such as Fort Mississauga and Fort York, Ontario; celebrating and honouring the links that many of our current militia regiments in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada have to the War of 1812. 

October 2012, will also be designated as a month of commemoration of the heroes and key battles of the War of 1812.

“Had the War of 1812 ended differently, the Canada we know today would not exist. The war laid the foundation for Confederation and the cornerstones of our political institutions,” said Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. 

Details on planned activities will be made available on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 website at


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McDonell quietly takes victory:”It’s great to see the riding go blue”

Well, it’s official, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry has shed the red and embraced the blue.

Jim McDonell secured an impressive and tremendous win for the Progressive Conservative party.

The October 6th election left the new MPP with a colossal 21,615 votes equalling 54 per cent of the vote.

While his competitors were left in the dust, it is noteworthy that NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald gave Liberal candidate Mark A. MacDonald a run for his money. 

The Liberals came in second with 22 per cent of the vote (8,483 votes) with the NDP following closely with 21 per cent of the vote (8,078 votes).

The Green Party’s Justin Reist held the fourth spot with two per cent of the vote (553 votes) followed by Libertarian Darcy Neal Donnelly with one per cent of the vote (400 votes).

As if the PC’s landslide victory and the NDP’s substantial increase in vote percentages wasn’t enough in terms of noteworthy election tales, it appears that this provincial election had its lowest voter turnout in years.

More than 50 per cent of eligible voters chose not to vote in this election. Elections Ontario, on October 7th, said that “preliminary and unofficial results currently indicate that 49.02 per cent of eligible voters in the province cast their ballot.”

For those who did vote and for those interested in the outcome of the election, McDonell’s victory party took place at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall. Accompanied by wife Margie, he entered the room to the welcoming sound of the Scottish bagpipes.

Also by  his side were daughters Marion and Chelsea and, unexpectedly home from Calgary was McDonell’s son Bernie there to offer his support as well.

He began his short acceptance speech saying, “it’s great to see the riding go blue!” 

The bulk of his speech, however, was spent thanking the people who helped him achieve his victory: “I can’t stress the help I got from all the volunteers. (It’s) all about the volunteers and the people that came out; they make the difference.”

He went on to say that “over the four years they will hear us.”

In response to the overwhelming votes in his favour, McDonell confessed that he was “somewhat shocked” but, at the same time, he and his volunteers “heard the same thing” when they were out campaigning and talking to people: “People were upset” with the way things were being done.

He finished his short speech with a thank you and an invitation to the crowd “to have some fun.”

Since election night, McDonell has kept busy. This past weekend was spent taking a lot of the election signs down and gearing up for the excitement and challenges coming his way.

In a phone call to the Leader Tuesday morning, he admitted that it has been a “bit of a whirlwind the last few days” and that it’s been “lots of fun.”

He said that he’s expecting “orientation information in the next day or two” about the upcoming “session in Toronto.”

He wants to assure people that he will “continue on with actions of government locally.” 

In fact, he attended a South Stormont council meeting Tuesday night where he officially handed in his resignation as mayor.

When asked if there was anything he’d like to share with the people of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, McDonell replied: “Thanks to all the people who came out and helped.”

He vowed to “be there for all the residents of this riding” because “that’s really our job.”


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Have your say!

Do you have something to say to council or something you’d like to ask council about? Well, if you do, it looks like your opportunity has arrived.

Members of the South Dundas council will be making themselves available to the public on Monday, October 17th at 7 p.m. at the Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners.

At the October 4th council meeting, mayor Steven Byvelds announced the upcoming “round table” where there will be an opportunity for “discussion between council and members of the public.”

The meeting falls during the fourth annual Local Government Week, October 16th to 22nd.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing states: “Local Government Week is an opportunity for Ontario students, educators and municipalities to engage one another on  how their communities work.”

Byvelds told the Leader that as of October 6th no schools had contacted him to speak or meet with their students to talk about municipal politics. He commented that the idea “certainly would be a fit for their Civics class.”