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Poverty forum to look at better ‘rural’ future


The Friday, November 18, Sustainable Dundas Community Forum to be held at the Christian Reformed Church in Williamsburg is fast approaching. 

The forum will provide the community the  opportunity to add its voice to the initiative to create a better future for our rural communities. 

The forum is sponsored by the House of Lazarus, Linking Hands Project and local municipal councils. Social service agencies will be at the table, along with representatives from local churches concerned about increasing poverty in rural Dundas. 

Local business owners, members of  service clubs or community organizations, and concerned residents, are all invited to attend this very important forum. 

The Forum will take place on Friday, November 18 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Christian Reformed Church in Williamsburg. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. 

Registration forms are available at the Township offices in North Dundas and South Dundas and from the House of Lazarus, or online from Call 613-989-3830 for more information. 

The House of Lazarus Linking Hands Project is sponsoring the Community Forum in Dundas County in partnership with municipal councils, local churches, social service agencies, businesses, and community groups to develop some community-based sustainable strategies to make our communities more resilient to increasing rural poverty,” says Nanda Wubs who is a co-chair of Linking Hands with Pauline Pratt.

“Working groups created at the Forum will begin some community projects to address the specific rural issues and gaps in service we are facing in Dundas County.” 

Some areas of concern are: economic and entrepreneurial development and training; transportation and access to jobs and services; access to nutritious and local food; geared-to-income housing for families; emergency shelter; literacy, including financial and digital literacy; community awareness of and access to services, community health and wellness.


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Ice booms going in on the St. Lawrence


Ontario Power Generation advises hunters, anglers and recreational boaters on the St. Lawrence River that ice booms will be installed in narrow stretches of the river starting Monday, November 14, 2011. 

These booms, which will be placed in the river off Galop Island, in the North Channel, near Johnstown and at Prescott, are chain-and-wood devices used to assist the build-up of ice during the winter. 

They ensure an even ice formation on the river, helping to improve power generation during the winter months.

All users of the river should take extra care in the narrow reaches where the work is being undertaken to install the booms.

Ice booms are placed in the same narrow reaches of the St. Lawrence River each November before the river freezes over and removed in the Spring when the ice has melted, before the St. Lawrence Seaway shipping season commences.

Ontario Power Generation would like to remind boaters to take every precaution around its dams and generating stations, and to practice safety on Ontario’s waterways.



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Shearing to speak on Hoople’s Creek Battle


On November 10, 2013 a most important commemoration will be observed along the shores of Hoople’s Creek in South Stormont, that being the Bicentennial of the Battle of Hoople’s Creek.  

American Forces under General Wilkinson had moved by boat from Sackets’s Harbour in Upper New York State to just above Cornwall, which at that time was a major military stores location.  

It is a documented fact that a wagon train of 150 commandeered wagons began taking the all important stores north from Cornwall to St. Andrews, to Martintown and thence to Coteau de Lac. 

In order to keep the Americans at bay during the removal of stores, British Regulars, Stormont and Glengarry militiamen were sent to the Hoople’s Creek area where they engaged the enemy at what is now referred to as “The Battle of Hoople’s Creek”.  

This military engagement also served to provide General Morrison, at his headquarters on the farm of John Crysler just east of Morrisburg, time to plan the battle which was to occur the next day on the Crysler, Hanes, Fetterly and neighbouring farms. 

On Tuesday, November 15th, retired SD&G Highlanders Colonel William Shearing will speak to the Chesterville & District Historical Society at their regular meeting about the Battle of Hoople’s Creek as well as his successful endeavour to have signage as near as possible to the actual site of the battle erected.  

The meeting will be held at the Chesterville Heritage Centre at 14 Victoria Street in Chesterville. It is open to the public and will begin at 7:30 p.m. with Col. Shearing speaking soon thereafter.


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Glens visit Playground


Serving members of the SD&G Highlanders stopped off in Morrisburg November 5 to see the new South Dundas Community Playground named in their honour by the Playground committee in September. On hand to greet the soldiers and to share something about the construction of the Playground were committee members Rosemary Laurin and Mike Domanko. The Glens had also spent some time at the memorial honouring the Battles of Crysler’s Farm and Hoople Creek with former honorary colonel, Bill Shearing. “You have a beautiful park here,” said Lieutenant Alain Grenier. “We wanted to learn more about our regiment’s history as part of our professional development. It is important to stay in tune with our past.” “I hope these visitors spread the message about what a group from South Dundas can do and how they honoured the Highlanders,” said Shearing. Left to right, at the Playground, are Shearing, 2nd Lieutenant Matthew Eamer, Captain Jean Tessier, Major Jim Mills, padre Captain Andrea Harrison, Lieutenant Grenier and Rosemany Laurin. 


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Over $200,000 in drugs siezed


On November 05th, an SD&G OPP officer had the occasion to stop a vehicle for speeding on Highway 401, South Dundas Township. 

The stop resulted in officers locating and seizing approximately 21 pounds of suspected marihuana packaged in plastic bags. The value is estimated at $190,000.00.

Officers also confiscated approximately one kilo (in bricks) of suspected Hashish with an estimated value of $20,000.00.

The driver, Corey Amaral, and passenger, Monteiro Alexander, were arrested and charged with: Possession of a Controlled Substance (2 counts); and, Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (2 counts).

The 20 year old Toronto residents were released and are scheduled to appear in Cornwall court on December 06, 2011.


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Rick Hansen 25th anniversary relay an awesome experience-Tayler Pilon


It was an absolutely wonderful experience says 13 year old Tayler Pilon of Morrisburg who participated in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Man in Motion Relay at Smiths Falls on Saturday, October 29. 

“It was awesome,” says Tayler who was accompanied by her mom Laury, her grandmother Inez Bilmer and a large number of family members to Smiths Falls where she ran in memory of her beloved ‘poppy’ Les Bilmer, who was left a quadriplegic from a spinal cord injury suffered in 2000.

Les passed away in May of 2004.

Tayler was one of seven participants in the Smiths Falls segment of the relay, “three wheelers and four runners”. It was a great experience. I met a lot of nice people.”

When Tayler learned she was one of 2,000 Ontarians selected for the relay, she and her mom Laury set a goal to raise $1,000. As of last week, they raised $2,020. 

“That is way more than I ever expected. I want to thank all the people who donated. It is going to a great cause.” 

Both Tayler and her mom were impressed with the day, the organization, the coordination and the wonderful spirit of all those working in the relay.

“They made it so much fun,” said Laury. 

“You clapped people off the bus, and they played music all the way along the route,” says Tayler. “Everything was laid out and ready to go. Everyone was so willing to help and there was always a person around if you had a question.”

Tayler says it was an honour to carry the commemorative Rick Hansen Difference Maker Medal (produced by the Royal Canadian Mint) which was passed to her by Amanda Lawson of Brockville. She then  carried it to a waiting Marshal Hogan of Smiths Falls who was the community ‘medal bearer of the day’.

As a participant Tayler received a replica of the medal and will keep her “Man in Motion’ Nike track suit.

Major sponsors for the 25th anniversary relay are Nike and McDonald’s Restaurants.

Twenty-five years ago, Rick Hansen wheeled through 34 countries in 26 months to complete his now-famous Man in Motion World Tour. He raised millions of dollars and invaluable awareness for people with spinal cord injuries and related disabilities.

The 25th anniversary relay started in Newfoundland in August and will end May 22, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Pictured: Above Taylor is passed the Relay Medal by Amanda Lawson of Brockville. Below she is pictured with Marshal Hogan of Smiths Falls who was that community’s ‘medal bearer of the day’.  In the background of the bottom photo (far right) is her grandmother Inez Bilmer.


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Taylor Webster last minute pick for Rick Hansen Relay


When  16 year old Taylor Webster of Williamsburg received a last minute phone call to participate in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay in Kingston, she knew it was something she had to do.

Taylor has been living with chronic pain for the past year and seven months. Although now on the mend following surgery to her hip to repair a labral tear, the young athlete, who loves to run, spent recovery time in a wheel chair, before progressing to crutches and finally the return to walking on her own.

“I wanted to be part of the relay because of my leg,” says Taylor. “We looked it up and my mom put in the application.”

With some 8,000 Ontarians applying for 2,000 spots, the fact they didn’t hear from their application wasn’t surprising.

But then came the exciting phone call on Thursday, October 27, asking if Taylor would be able to participate in Kingston on Monday, October 31st.

It took a brief family discussion on the organization of it all, to confirm that indeed Taylor would be off to Kingston with her twin sister Jamie, cousin Ryan, her Aunt Nicki and her Grandpa Bill (Devaul).

“We left at five in the morning, and we were the first ones there,” says Taylor. “We met at a high school where we all gathered around in a circle and told the group why we were doing it.”

Following the introductions, the group was the focus of a school assembly.

“We did warm-up exercises and then were taken by bus to our area. I was runner number 15. I carried the medal and passed it to a lady from the Kingston area.” 

The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Medal arrived in Kingston during the afternoon of October 30th.  Its day ended at about 5 p.m. at a ceremony attended by Rick Hansen.

Monday morning, October 31, it was relayed to various Kingston locations until it left the city at noon for Belleville,

Taylor says that her hip problem has made her appreciative of the needs of people with spinal cord injuries.

Her Mom, Shelley Whitteker expresses her pride in Taylor’s battle and her desire to participate in the run. “It takes a lot of courage to do something like that on your own and stand out in a crowd.”

Taylor, who first experienced a “throbbing pain” in her hip in the spring of 2010, is a distance runner. She plays basketball, soccer and baseball and runs cross-country.

The pain intensified, coming and going, until it reached the point, “it didn’t go away.”

A first battery of tests at CHEO did not determine a cause, and Taylor was left to deal with the pain as best she could. When it became so intense, she was bed ridden, another battery of tests at CHEO located the labral tear.

Taylor is now recovering from surgery which required a tendon to be cut to repair the tear, and, says her mom, “she is finally on the road to recovery. Although she is still in pain, she is happy because there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

“She attends physio twice a week, and is finally getting back the physical part of her life. She started riding her bike last week, and hopes to be running cross- country again, very soon.”

Taylor sent out her application for the Rick Hansen Relay to help support and show others that there is hope. 

She wants people to know that “whether you are in a wheel chair, crutches or in pain, you should never give up.” 



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Non-profit housing receives tax relief


South Dundas council showed that it can be flexible and open to making amendments when necessary.

At the November 1st council meeting, Treasurer Shannon Geraghty, requested that council make an amendment to a previous resolution passed in October of 2007.

The original resolution approved a “grant-in-lieu amount of $153,192 over 20 years to the Affordable Housing Program project on Hess Street in Williamsburg,” which meant that from 2008 to 2027 “the difference between multi-residential and residential to a maximum of $7,659.60 per year” would be granted.

As Geraghty pointed out, “those (actual tax) amounts fluctuate from year to year.”

“This year,” he continued, “the amount we allotted to them doesn’t cover the difference between multi-residential and residential.”

He acknowledge that it’s a “hard number to come up with (and they’ll need to) deal with it year by year in the budget.”

Adding the increase to the rent rates would put “the agreement with the Province for the Affordable Housing Program in contravention.”

South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds admitted that the requested action would “probably cost a few dollars, but (would) keep us in compliance with the province.”

He agreed that the requested amendment would “make the whole idea behind (the resolution) flow better.”

Council unanimously passed the amendment and the resolution now reads: “THAT the Council of the Township of South Dundas provide a payment-in-lieu for the difference in the amount paid between the Multi-Residential versus Residential for the municipal portion only to the Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation for a period of 19 years including the 2011 taxation year.”


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And the contract goes to…


A few weeks ago the Leader reported that the South Dundas township had been hit with some unexpected costs in the form of roof-top heating units.

Manager for Recreation Facilities, Don Lewis, updated council at the November 1st meeting as to the status of the tendered bids and the roof-top units.

Lewis reported that the estimated cost to replace or repair the units located at the Justice Building in Morrisburg and the Iroquois Civic Centre was originally $15,000. 

Five tendered bids, each in a sealed envelope, were received at the township office from the following companies: Atel Air Heating & Air Conditioning, Neal’s Heating & Cooling, Morrisburg Plumbing & Heating, Coral Canada Wide, and Climate Works Heating & Cooling. 

Moments after the October 25th deadline, the bids were opened and reviewed by Deputy Mayor Jim Locke, Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald, and Manager of Recreation Facilities, Don Lewis.

“In reviewing the quotations the costs exceeded the initial estimates, but as per the direction given by council to staff, replacing these units are a necessity for the operation of the Justice Building and the Iroquois Civic Centre.”

Atel Air Heating & Air Conditioning won with a bid of $23,950.55, including the HST rebate.

Lewis reported that the installation and repairs to units were already underway.

Councillor Archie Mellan inquired as to the warranty provided for the units. 

Lewis informed council that out of the five bids, only one provided a twenty year warranty. This was due to the stainless steel heat exchanger involved.

Atel Air Heating & Air Conditioning, along with three other companies, gave bids with ten year warranties attached. 

McDonald explained that the “difference in price over ten years was minimal.”

Mayor Steven Byvelds applauded the process taken, making it clear that “everything was done fair and square.”

The proffered bids were as follows: Atel Air Heating & Air Conditioning, $23950.55; Neal’s Heating & Cooling, $26,322.01; Morrisburg Plumbing & Heating, $29,102.88; Coral Canada Wide, $32,614.10; and, Climate Works Heating & Cooling, $32,953.98.


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Lawn-bowling club to share with campsite


 “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has not taste,” wrote Charlotte Bronte.

Returning home to 2011, the Iroquois Lawn-Bowling Club (ILBC) has agreed to share their clubhouse with the neighbouring Iroquois Campsite, hopefully to the benefit and happiness of both.

At the November 1st South Dundas council meeting, Clerk Brenda Brunt reported on the current status of the situation saying, “I was asked to meet with the lawn-bowling club. The campsite is right there and they’d like to use it.”

She told council that the ILBC doesn’t “have any problems” with the request. They would, however, “just like something in return.”

Brunt reported that her “only problem with the building is that it’s not wheelchair accessible,” which means that the “washrooms are not accessible.”

As it turns out, the building in question belongs, in fact, to the township. Council quickly decided that the Iroquois Campsite should be authorized to share the space with the ILBC.

As for the requests from ILBC, Mayor Steven Byvelds said they would deal with the financial request in 2012 as they really need to consider how they’re going to move forward with such a large request.

ILBC is asking for monetary help with the upkeep of their greens and floodlights, as well as probable updates to the clubhouse building.