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Township recognized for grant allocations

Going forward, grants approved in the $ for $ program will now require the recipient to acknowledge the township’s contribution.

At the November 15th South Dundas council meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald presented council with the amendment to the program’s guidelines.

The additional clause reads: “The recipient agrees to recognize the contribution of the Township of South Dundas through the installation of a plaque, signage or other suitable means satisfactory to the Township. Generally the nature of the project and the involvement of the Township and the recipient shall be identified.”

The issue was first raised at the November 1st council meeting by Councillor Evonne Delegarde.


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Fencing enforced at Matilda Landfill site

“The Ministry of Environment has notified us that we need to wrap a fence around the Matilda Landfill Site so no other farming work is done on our landfill site,” Hugh Garlough, South Dundas Manager of Public Works, informed council members at the November 15th meeting.

He recommended that council hire Burchell Fencing. 

According to Garlough, “three local companies were notified and two submitted prices.”

Burchell Fencing’s quote amounted to $16,027.21 after taxes, while D&H Fencing’s quote came in at $19,741.45 after taxes.

Garlough explained “the biggest thing with this is to keep the landowners from spreading any manure or waste” on the landfill site, which might, in turn, result in negative test results.

In answer to council members inquiries into the amount of fencing required, Garlough replied, “I hope the ministry stands by their word and we only have to fence the agricultural land.”

The point is “to keep the agricultural community out of our property,” he reiterated.

As for a deadline date for the erection of the fence, Garlough told council that 2011 is the deadline, “but it’s been negotiated and deferred a little bit.”

If Burchell Fencing is able to complete the project this year, “a budget amendment to deficit finance the project would be required,” he continued.

Garlough told council that if Burchell is unable to complete the job before the end of 2011, “they’d get it done in the spring.”

Should that happen, “it will  be included in the 2012 budget.”


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Bringing it home to the township

At the November 15th South Dundas council meeting, Clerk Brenda Brunt recommended that council “authorize the transfer of the Care and Maintenance Funds from the Public Trustee and act as the Trustee of that fund for the Williamsburg Community Cemetery Board (WCCB).”

Councillor Archie Mellan who confirmed that he sits on the WCCB said, “it’s something they’ve been looking at for a number of years. They thought it would be beneficial to bring it home to the township.”

According to Brunt, “the principal and interest earned through investments are a separated entity of the Township and has no budget implications to the Township.”

“The Township is acting as a Public Trustee to the fund to maintain the requirements under the Cemetery Act and provide financial guidance to allow the fund to continually grow.”


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Fashion Show donates to Seaway


Students at Seaway District High School in Iroquois are the big winners as River Rat Treasures, Sears and Scotiabank hand over $1,403 to the Seaway Parents Council, the proceeds from a Fashion Show fund raiser held on Sunday, November 6. Funds raised at the event were matched through the generosity of Scotiabank. The money will be put to good use for technology in the classroom. “A huge thank you to Scotiabank Morrisburg branch, and  the community support of Seaway,” said chair of the Parents Council Leslie Disheau. “Candy, Carol and Evonne did another amazing fashion show for us. We are very thankful.” Pictured at the cheque presentation are (l-r) Carol Merkley, Sears Travel, Evonne Delegarde, River Rat Treasures, Candace Menges, owner River Rat Treasures and Sears, Iroquois, Leslie Disheau, Carol Ann Sage, and Diana O’Neil of Scotiabank.  


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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.”



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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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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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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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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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


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Buoy oh Buoy

 Iroquois has a jaunty new nautical look these days. On Tuesday, November 15, the community welcomed two completely refurbished Canadian Coast Guard Channel Markers to their new home just in front of the shopping plaza. 

“These markers recognize Iroquois’ long connection to the Seaway with the locks here, the Galop Canal, the Marina and our extensive boating areas,” said local businessman, Jeff Beaupre. 

“These brightly painted buoys will draw attention to tourism and also to boating safety.”

Several community organ-izations and businesses assisted in the project including the township of South Dundas, the Iroquois-Matilda Lions, Frank Ault Excavating, Swank Construction, the Iroquois District Business Group and the Coast Guard through Bill Mullin.

The twin buoys should soon become landmarks in the South Dundas region.