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2022-03-18

Local reps visit Ontario’s capital to discuss Green Act

Mayors and staff from The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands visited Queen’s Park last week to make a presentation to the government standing committee on the Green Energy Act. The Act, through two readings and in the review process, proposes that any project falling under the standards for a renewable energy project, not be subject to municipal bylaws or process, and instead be a provincial matter. Mayor Ellen Anderson of The Blue Mountains was part of the delegation at Queen’s Park on Wednesday, April 8. "I think we were really successful in expressing that municipalities are very capable in working with natural energy projects," she said. "We were very adamant that we need to have a hand in it." While admitting that she understands the pressure on the province to move quickly with projects, especially of an environmental nature, she expressed concern that the decision might be made too quickly. "I’m pleased that we went," she said. "It was really worthwhile. I got the feeling that the review committee was really listening to our concerns." Grey Highlands municipal planner, Lorelie Spencer also made a presentation during the delegation. Grey Highlands Mayor Brian Mullin said he felt the presentation to the committee was successful. "I think we had a good presentation that was well received by the members. We listened to a few other delegations and I thought our presentation went over well," said Mayor Mullin. The Municipality of Grey Highlands spent in excess of $70,000 developing alternative energy policies for its Official Plan and is concerned its money and efforts will be wasted if the government passes the Green Energy Act. "The members of the committee had some knowledge of our policies. I think by the time (the government) roles out the regulations we will have influenced (the Bill)," Mullin said. Her report recommended that the bill not remove power from the local municipality, conservation authority and Niagara Escarpment Commission, that the existing Planning Act still apply to smaller renewable energy projects, that the requirement for a Conservation and Demand Management Plan mandated in the existing bill be modified to ease the cost for smaller municipalities and that the clause requiring a mandatory home energy audit for all Ontario homes prior to being sold be reviewed and an alternative, lower cost option chosen to ease the burden on tax payers.

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2021-03-26

Webers lend support to CLH campaign

Two longtime supporters of Midland-area charities have been named honorary patrons of Community Living Huronia’s 2009 Dreams to Reality campaign. Alexandra and Reinhart Weber are well-known for their support of CLH and many other causes and community organizations, including the Huronia Players and the Midland Public Library. The Dreams to Reality campaign officially kicks off May 26. Its goal is to raise $130,000. Every year, funds generated through the campaign support CLH’s volunteer program, early childhood readiness programs and the summer teen camp. This year, campaign proceeds will also go toward the purchase and modification of two passenger vans needed for many physically challenged CLH clients. The vans will have special seats that turn, allowing passengers to enter and exit with greater ease.

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2021-03-17

SCI students pick up education awards

Aaron Bourbonnais, Chris Greer and Tori Iceton, Grade 12 students at Stayner Collegiate Institute (SCI), received Excellence in Education awards last week. The awards were handed out during the Simcoe County District School Board’s Evening of Excellence on Tues., May 5 at the board office in Midhurst. Students that received an award were recognized for success in such areas as academics, extra-curricular activities and community involvement. Teachers nominated students that received awards, said SCI teacher John Limoges, who oversaw the local process. Bourbonnais, 20, who lives in Avening, said it was an honour to be recognized. He received the award for excellent grades and a positive in-class attitude. A member of SCI’s robotics team, he was also recognized for being a solid role model for younger team members and for his overall dedication to the team, which each year builds a robot from scratch and then enters it in a provincial competition. Bourbonnais said the award was somewhat of a pay-off after a rocky start in high school. He said his first year in high school his attendance was sketchy. He said school didn’t interest him and so he dropped out. Unable to find decent work, Bourbonnais said he attended the board’s Adult Learning Centre and began earning credits. He returned to SCI for Grade 12 and will graduate in June. “I never thought I’d get to Grade 12. I just thought high school was a bunch of hype,” he said. “I learned the hard way what you need.” Bourbonnais said he’s not sure what he wants to do after graduation. Greer, 17, who lives in Creemore, also said it was an honour to be recognized by the board. He was singled out for his involvement with many of SCI’s sports teams. Greer has played on soccer teams, basketball teams, badminton teams and hockey teams and according to the teachers that nominated him has shown solid leadership skills. “I like the release I get from sports – getting away from that pent up energy you get from sitting at a desk,” he said when pressed about what draws him to sports. Greer was also honoured for his academic success. He’s maintained a near 100 per cent average in school – he’s made the Honour Roll every year – excelling at such diverse subjects as accounting, chemistry, biology, English, history and physical education. Why such drive? “I recognize the importance of it [high school] determining my future,” he said. “If I do well, hopefully it pays off down the road. I’m trying to think ahead.” Greer said he’s not sure what he’ll do after high school. “I might take a year off. I enjoy traveling so I might do a bit of that.” He said when he does settle on post-secondary school he’d like to attend Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. He toured the campus recently and said he’s struck by its aesthetically pleasing layout and the small feel of the place. Iceton was recognized for her academic and community involvement achievements. She explained her hard work effort is because she wants to someday be a doctor. “Post-secondary is a big goal for me. I want to be a doctor and to get there I have to do well here,” she said. Iceton has made the Honour Roll at SCI each year and nabbed several subject awards for her success in such areas as French, English and math. Her community involvement for which she was recognized includes helping at Teddy Bears Picnic, a daycare in Creemore. Iceton said she volunteered there in Grade 9, 10 and for part of Grade 11. She also helped clean up sections of area roadways by volunteering through the Creemore Lions Club, when it was operational. She said she got involved through her mother, who was a member. That connection with the club also lead her to help with Santa Claus parades and Canada Day celebrations each year. Iceton is the current student council president at SCI and as a result has helped organize food drives at Thanksgiving and Christmas – with the donations being handed over to the Clearview-Stayner Food Bank.

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