No Picture

Del Barber coming to St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage


The St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage is presenting the second concert in its stellar 2011-12 musical series on Saturday, October 29, 7 p.m., at the Morrisburg Meeting Centre. 

Outstanding artist Del Barber, fresh from winning two Western Canada Music Awards just this week for his latest album Love Songs of the Last Twenty, will be performing one concert only at the St. Lawrence Stage. Audiences won’t want to miss this talented, critically acclaimed performer.

Although his music has been described as folk, folk rock, Americana, country and alt, Barber isn’t really interested in being ‘defined’. 

“I think I am first and foremost a song-writer,” Barber told The Leader. “My goal is to let people describe me in a lot of ways, not to be placed into one genre. Some days, I’m more county, some days more folk. I like audiences to decide for themselves.”

Born in Winnipeg (and a proud Westerner), Del Barber began writing and singing from a very early age. With a growing critical reputation and fan base, he has turned to music full time. “I find now that I have to keep up to my work load,” he laughed. “Last year I did 200 concerts. But I love it. Music is the focus of my life.”

His Western roots keep him anchored and flavour his approach to song writing. 

“I like to write about places,” he said, “about how we are all connected to history, about how history affects us. Home, places, the prairies themselves are strong themes for me. There is also, I think, a strong narrative in my writing because I want my songs to be accessible, understandable to people, familiar to them.

It bothers me when some writers are vague in what they are saying. I believe that musical stories are more moving, and in the end, a better way to make my points. And oh yes,” Barber added, laughing. “I write about hockey too. What Canadian doesn’t write about hockey?” 

The Winnipeg Free Press described Barber as “sincere and heartfelt as the day is long” and wrote that his presence on stage is “electric.” 

There is also an underlying humour to Barber’s music, maybe a little touch of cynicism.

“I think that people often leave my shows laughing. There is a light-heartedness, a bit of nostalgia to my songs,” he said, then added with a laugh, “I don’t want to be a whiner.”

Just turned 28, Barber describes his guitar as “his voice” and is looking forward to the intimacy of the St. Lawrence stage. “As a performer, I like to get a strong sense of my audience and Morrisburg will offer that.”

His reputation as an outstanding artist is steadily growing. In 2010, he was nominated for a Western Canada Music Award. In 2011, he was nominated for a Juno. This October, 2011, Barber won  West Coast Music Awards for roots recording of the year, and independent recording of the year. 

“All my chips are in. Music is my life. There’s risk in that, of course, but I like to be challenged,” Del Barber said.

No stranger to challenge herself, and an artist for whom music and performance is a “life direction”, Carleton Place singer Brea Lawrenson will open for Del Barber on the St. Lawrence Stage on October 29.

“I was so excited to be asked to open for Del,” Lawrenson told The Leader. “He’s an incredible writer and story teller, just a great performer. It is a very significant move for me to meet and work and share with an artist who is really succeeding.”

However, Brea Lawrenson seems on the brink of ‘breaking out’ herself. 

A trained singer with a rich soprano voice, she has performed on the St. Lawrence Stage before in Intimate Acoustics, and has become an audience favourite. She finds her musical home in country, and has recently returned from Nashville where she was able to focus on writing and performing.

“I write from my own experiences,” Lawrenson said. “My music reflects my feelings. I felt unaccepted in high school,  and had to find my own place.” The Red Cross eventually asked her and writing partner Braiden Turner to become  official spokespersons for their anti-bullying campaign, RespectEd, and she was eager to help.

“Music is a strong venue for reaching out to people of all ages,” Lawrenson said. “It really is a universal language. I write about goals, and about pursing dreams, about the ups and downs of finding your way as an artist. On stage,” she added laughing, “I am a full body singer, very passionate, with lots of energy.”

With a new album, Somewhere to Go, produced by Keith Glass of Prairie Oysters, just out, Brea Lawrenson promises to be a memorable opening act for the upcoming concert.

Tickets for the Del Barber concert, October 29, at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, with opening act Brea Lawrenson, are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. They are available at Strung Out Guitars, The Basket Case, at 613-543-2514 or at


No Picture

Lakeshore Drive United Church Fall Bazaar


Lakeshore Drive United Church served up another successful Fall Bazaar, Saturday, with huge crowds sitting down to a luncheon after shopping at the various tables which included a food sale, a silent auction, and a plant sale. All of the items were donated by members of the congregation. Event coordinator, Minnie MacKay was thrilled with the turnout and thankful to everyone who pitched in to help out. “They had a difficult time getting a convenor so I took it on. But, it’s been great. Everyone knows what they are doing.” 


No Picture

New Novel for Morrisburg resident, John Gleed


Have you ever dreamed about a world where you can live wherever you want, without regard to what you can afford? Have you wished that you could go into any store and just take what you wanted no matter what the price sticker said? This is the kind of world in which the subjects in the novel, “Earth’s New Beginning” find themselves…but this freedom came at a great cost!

This new novel by Morrisburg resident, John Gleed, will be available shortly as a paperback from Aventine Press. It is available now as an electronic book (ebook) on Amazon Kindle, Chapters/Indigo Kobo, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony eReader and more.

The story gives an account of how the human race came to an extraordinarily rapid and unexpected near-extinction early in the twenty-first century. No thermonuclear or biological war, pollution catastrophe, or any kind of human created disaster played a part in this downfall of modern man.

A highly infectious contagion kills most of the Earth’s population in less than three months. The Sleeping Death Contagion (SDC) virus causes the death of nearly every infected victim as they sleep, in less than four days. 

The nature of SDC was such that it could have resulted in the extinction of the human race. The high level of infectivity and the short time period to fatality had catastrophic results. Only a rare and random genetic immunity to the fatal effects of the virus prevented the total extinction. However, it leaves less than one in a hundred thousand survivors (0.001 per cent) – less than three thousand in North America.

The story follows the experiences of four different survivors in Canada (in the Morrisburg area), England, Kenya and the United States through the rapid spreading of the infection around the world.

It then follows their individual survival stories for the first nine months after the disease strikes.

John Gleed is a retired high-tech executive living in Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada on the Canadian shores of the St. Lawrence River, bordering New York State. He has always been interested in apocalyptic fiction about what might happen if a worldwide catastrophic disaster occurred. 

“Day of the Triffids” by John Wyndham, “No Blade of Grass” by John Christopher,“On the Beach” by Neville Shute and “The Stand” by Stephen King are among his favorite novels.

He was born and grew up in the small village of Dishforth in rural North Yorkshire, England. He emigrated to Canada in 1969. He spent most of his high tech career in Ottawa, Canada with Nortel and Systemhouse and he was a founder of the Canadian software company, JetForm Corporation. He retired in 2002, when the company was taken over by Adobe.

For more information, see 


No Picture

Help is out there students learn at Mental Health presentations


 “Imagine driving down a dark road in pouring rain, then discovering your windshield wipers don’t work. That’s how my head feels all the time.”

A year ago, former Seaway student David (“Davi”) Freire took his own life. He had struggled with bipolar disorder for most of his youth. In the end, the darkness won.

On Tuesday, October 14, David’s mother, Augusta Waddell, joined Angele D’Alessio of the Canadian Mental Health Association, to make two presentations to the students and teachers at Seaway District High School in Iroquois. 

Both D’Alessio and Waddell firmly believe that fostering good mental health, and offering treatments and understanding to young people coping with mental illness, are essential – the sooner, the better. As Augusta Waddell pointed out, the first signs of her son’s debilitating mental illness appeared when he was barely six years old. 

“One in five people are affected by mental illness,” D’Alessio told the students. “The problem is far more widespread than many people realize. Illnesses which often specifically target young people include anxiety, stress and depression.  Over 40 per cent of  mental health workers’ case loads involve youth.”

The October 18 presentations to the grades 7-8 intermediate school and to grades 9-12, were interactive, lively and involving. Again and again, D’Alessio emphasized the message, “Get help. Mental illness is treatable. Recovery is possible.”

D’Alessio pointed out that education about mental illnesses is currently desperately lacking in most Ontario schools. 

In 2001, the Upper Canada District School Board agreed to include a mandatory mental health unit of one week in the health component of grade 11. However, unless a student actually takes that particular grade 11 physical education course, there are no other mandatory programs available in schools. 

“We need to expand workshops and presentations so they reach all kids in the high school,” D’Alessio said. “We have to reach into the elementary schools too, to teach children how to deal with stress and anxiety. Coping abilities need to be ingrained at an early age.”

In the meantime, she pointed out that there are places for troubled teens and their families to turn, including Help Lines and mental health units in many villages and towns. 

There is currently a satellite office, tied to the Main office in Cornwall, of the Canadian Mental Health Association right in the Morrisburg mall. Case managers Linda Lloyd and Stephane Fortin are available for  those who need support.

 However, the true realities of ignoring or stigmatizing mental illnesses were strongly brought home to the students of Seaway when Augusta Waddell told the story of her son, David’s,  struggle to cope with his mental illness. 

“By age six, Davi was sad and anxious, finding it hard to sleep. Although for a time he seemed to cope well, smiling and taking part in lots of activities and sports, the down times began to increase,” Waddell told the students. “By grade 10 at Seaway, Davi was avoiding his family, his friends and stopping activities he had always loved.”

David struggled daily with his bipolar illness, trying to hide how he was feeling, trying to keep friends and fellow students from finding out. Like so many young people, he was ashamed of what he was going through. 

Society is neither understanding nor forgiving of mental illness. This, essentially, is part of the problem.

“Hiding mental disorders because of the stigma can be dangerous,” Waddell told students, “as it prevents many people from seeking help. Many are afraid to admit to a mental illness because they see it as a sign of weakness. We need to be open to the pain which most afflicted with mental illness feel.”

It is too late for David, Waddell concluded, but not too late for other young people to get the help they need. And it is never too late for friends and family to reach out and offer support to a person who is going through the trauma.

“There is no health without mental health,” Augusta Waddell assured the Seaway students. “If you are suffering in silence, I urge you to speak to someone, the school counsellor, a teacher, a parent, a friend, and get the help you need, because the help is out there.”



No Picture

Septic system inspections to be handed over to SNC


What seemed like a simple matter of transferring a contract from one subcontractor to another, quickly became a controversial topic for discussion at the October 18th South Dundas council meeting.

Don Lewis, Manager of Planning and Enforcement for South Dundas, proposed to council that the township consider entering “into an agreement with South Nation Conservation (SNC) to deliver Part VIII of the Ontario Building Code (OCB) pertaining to the design, construction, and maintenance of sewage systems.”

Lewis outlined the situation and reiterated his recommendation from the written proposal presented.

South Dundas, as well as neighbouring municipalities, received a letter from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) on August 3, 2011 terminating their role as subcontractors for administering Part VIII of the OBC effective January 1, 2012.

Sewage systems became the responsibility of the municipalities in 1997 whereby they were given permission to subcontract to health units or to conservation authorities.

With this new development, a meeting was arranged with the Chief Building Officials of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry on August 11 “to discuss possible options of delivery methods.”

Two options mentioned were contracting SNC or doing the job “in house” whereby the township would hire additional staff specifically for the task.

Lewis believes that “entering into a contractual agreement with SNC would be the most advantageous and create a seamless transition for Municipalities, contractors and landowners.”

“SNC has expressed an interest to administer the program at the same fee structure set out by the EOHU at $650 per new application,” he continued.

Lewis further explained: “When delivering the program the delivering agent must also deal with the complaints pertaining to grey and black water issues as well which are difficult for yearly budget purposes.”

In addition, “SNC currently have staff trained to deliver the Part VIII program.”

Lewis admitted that inspection of new septic systems would be the “easy part,” adding that there “will be the necessity of mandatory inspection of existing sewage systems within the influence areas to be defined by the Source Water Protection Committee.”

“Quite honestly, I’ve had a fairly good working relationship with SNC,” he offered.

In response, Councillor Archie Mellan voiced concern about having SNC showing up on doorsteps unannounced to inspect resident’s septic systems. He wanted to know the specifics behind the mandatory inspection of the existing septic systems in terms of rules, regulations and guidelines.

“I think we (council) should have some say. Who is setting the guidelines?” He continued, saying he doesn’t “want to get into a situation where SNC is calling the shots.”

South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds said, “I do concur with Councillar Mellan” in his concern with a “broad-based mandatory system.” 

Following inquiry about the length of the contract, Byvelds asked Lewis: “Are you going to have a clause to get out” of the contract?

South Dundas Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald told council that, if council agrees, staff would ensure that an “out clause” be put into the contract.

Council was informed that the township of South Stormont has decided to enter into a contract with SNC for one year.

Council decided it would be prudent to look at the original contract with EOHU “to get an idea” of how to proceed in designing a new contract with SNC.

Byvelds suggested adding an extra service to the contract with SNC for the rural taxpayers: “an annual or biannual education program on septic systems (outlining) what they should be doing.”

He said that he felt “people need to be educated” on the proper care and maintenance of septic systems including things like what can and cannot be put into a septic system.

He told council, “I’d feel a little better letting them know what’s going on.”

To clarify the situation, South Dundas Deputy Mayor Jim Locke asked, “are we at the mercy of SNC or the province?”

Byvelds replied: “Provincial guidelines interpreted by SNC,” continuing, “they do have a good reputation, but to be fair, it is their interpretation of the rules.

In the end, council agreed to move forward with the proposal. Once staff has negotiated an agreement with SNC, McDonald reported that they will “be bringing the agreement back to council for approval.”


No Picture

New guide is a big success


Are you one of the many South Dundas residents enjoying a new class thanks to reading about it in the South Dundas Recreation Guide?

Ben Macpherson, Recreation Program Coordinator for South Dundas Township, told council in a report that “the response to the Recreation Guide has been very positive. All the programs run through South Dundas Recreation have sold out.”

In fact, “new classes were created to accommodate the larger numbers.”

Macpherson told the Leader “the guide cost $5,682 after tax. This was the first guide ever done for South Dundas so it was done with all the bells and whistles. Future guides likely won’t be full colour, high gloss, from front to back.”

He explained that the opulence of this first issue was done to get people’s attention, “to inform people of what is out there for them do.”

“At this point I plan to put (the guide) out twice a year. Once for Fall/Winter and once for Spring/Summer.”

“If anyone is interested in running a program or have a program going that would fit into the guide then they can contact me directly” at 613-543-2937 or

“I am always open to running new programs, the more programming being offered to South Dundas, I believe makes South Dundas an even better place to live or visit.”

“It’s people in the community that I rely on to provide the instruction of the programs. We have several teachers from the area who are now running cooking classes, art classes, dance classes and basketball programs. I have professionals teaching yoga and kickboxing and boot camps.”

As for programs added for this fall, there are: art classes for kids; yoga with classes for beginner and intermediate levels; senior yoga; adult swing classes; and, boot camp classes.”

Defining his role, he said, “I am here to find the space, coordinate times and do all I can to get the word out to the community about the programs and events.” 

Macpherson reported that “new courses being created are advertised mainly on the South Dundas website ( under Recreation News.”

He also posts the information on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, “any programs involving kids goes out to the schools who distribute the information to students. Fiona Carr of the Ontario Early Years Centre also  helps to get information out through her centre.”

Macpherson shared: “It has been my goal to create or continue to offer programming for people of all ages.”

“When I started in my position, one of the biggest concerns expressed was that nobody knew what was happening. I think the guide addresses that concern.” 

“I want people to get out and be active, whether through sports or other activities in the community.”

“The next guide I will be putting out will be for the end of February.”

Macpherson invites those with programs for the guide or those who wish to advertise with the guide, to contact him for details. 

The South Dundas Recreational Guide goes out “to every household in South Dundas” and it is meant “to help promote active healthy lifestyles.”


No Picture

Road sign tampering is definitely a no-no


The SD&G OPP would like to remind all users of the Township and County road’s that damaging or removing “ROAD SIGNS” are criminal offences.

Damaging a sign could result in a charge of mischief, removing one could result in a charge of theft.

Having a (stolen) sign in your possession could result in a charge of possession of stolen property.

More importantly, removing a sign could lead to disastrous consequences. The signs are placed there for the safety of all who use the roads. Removing any sign could lead to an unwanted collision and serious injuries.

SD&G OPP is asking that if anyone observes someone removing or damaging any “ROAD SIGNS” to call their local OPP detachment or Crime Stoppers and report the incident.


No Picture

Morrisburg Fire Hall Receives $10,000 Grant


Ken Hall, the Communications Relations Advisor for Enbridge Pipelines Inc. arrived at the Morrisburg Fire Hall on October 20th bringing a sizable donation for the South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services (SDFES). He presented a cheque for $10,000 to Fire Chief Chris McDonough.  The donation will go toward funding a natural gas generator for the fire hall in Morrisburg. SDFES was chosen for the Safe Communities Grant because of its close proximity to an Enbridge pipeline. (Eligibility depends on being within 20 km of a pipeline.) Hall pointed out that there are no “strings attached” and the grant money doesn’t need to be used in relation to the pipeline or Enbridge. The purpose of the generous donation is to ensure that “first repsonders have the supplies they need to keep themselves safe and to keep their communities safe.” This is Enbridge’s way of “giving something back.” 


No Picture

Novice B Lions back in win column


The South Dundas “Dodge Caravan Kids” Novice B Lions got back in the win column here Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 win against the Kemptville #2 Panthers. 

After a couple of ties in the last seven days, the Lions took to the ice with one goal in mind, getting a lead and protecting it.

Brendan Shaver, in the Lions cage, continued his strong play, making solid saves against the Panthers attackers and stopping several point blank shots. 

With the score 3-0, and the Panthers pressing to get on the scoreboard, Spencer Barclay made the defensive play of the game when he cut down a Panther attacker as he closed in on Shaver.

Cassidy Bilmer, back on defense after a stint on the wing, and her defense partner Emytt Fetterly got the offense going with some excellent defensive play. 

Unlike previous games when the Lions came out forcing the offense and ended up giving up a goal, the Lions were a little bit on their heels and ended up getting the first goal.

The Lions Owen Fetterly scored first when Joshua Broad and Ben Lapier’s fore checking freed up the puck to create a scoring chance.

The Lions took a 2-0 lead when Nolan Henry moved the puck out of his own zone to Kolby Latulippe who tipped it over to Kayne McCadden who beat a Panther defender and buried a shot.

In the second period, the Lion’s took control and cut down on the opponents’ scoring chances with several back to back, hard fore checking shifts that led to more scoring opportunities.

 Kayne McCadden broke away twice from the Panthers defense only to be caught from behind by a sliding defenseman who dove with his stick to knock the puck away.

The Lion’s opened a three goal lead in the third when Ben Lapier scored midway into the frame. 

Now with the three goal lead could they not only hold but get the shutout. 

Brendan Shaver was tested down the stretch, and he held strong until the final seconds. 

With the Panthers goalie on the bench and the Panthers pressing the Lions defense couldn’t clear a rebound and the Panthers jumped on it to score with 10.3 seconds left.

Earlier in the week, the Lion’s travelled to Kemptville to take on Kemptville #1 and extended their unbeaten streak to six games. The Lion’s goal scorers were Nolan Henry and Ben Lapier in the 2-2 tie. Trent Rae had a strong game on the Lion’s blue line in helping goaltender Brendan Shaver secure the tie.

The South Dundas “Dodge Caravan Kids” Novice B Lions next home game is Sunday, October 30th at 1 p.m. Hockey fans are invited to come on out and cheer on the Lions.


No Picture

New economic development officer for South Dundas


Stephen McDonald, Chief Administrative Officer for the Township of South Dundas is pleased to announce that Nicole Sullivan will be joining the staff of the Township as Economic Development Officer on October 31st, 2011. 

Ms. Sullivan’s experience includes serving as the Area Economic Development Coordinator for the Parry Sound Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee and coordinating Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership initiative.      

In making the announcement, Mr. McDonald noted, “I am very pleased to welcome Nicole to the South Dundas staff. She brings a very impressive skill set to the position which will serve the Township well. Her educational background, research and analytical skills, and her interpersonal skills will be a great asset to South Dundas. One of the first things that struck me about Nicole was her energy. I have no doubt she will hit the ground running, continuing the good work that has been done as well as bringing new ideas and initiatives to the table.”

    Ms. Sullivan is looking forward to becoming part of the South Dundas team noting that, “It’s a beautiful community and I’m eager to get to know it! The diversity of the initiatives underway is one of the things that appealed to me. I am excited about contributing to the creation of a favourable environment for the residents and businesses of the Township.” 

Ms. Sullivan currently resides in Ottawa but plans on relocating closer to the area.