The federal and provincial government will each provide up to $181,333 to Clearview Township – money that will go towards upgrades at the Creemore sewage treatment plant. Simcoe-Grey MP Helena Guergis made the funding announcement on Wednesday. “The government of Canada is committed to rebuilding infrastructure and stimulating the economy,” Guergis said in a statement. “I know how important this project is to Clearview Township and the residents of Creemore.” Ken Ferguson, the township’s mayor, said he was pleased with the funding news. “This funding will offset capital costs which will benefit all taxpayers,” Ferguson said. “I can only hope the commitment from both upper tier governments to invest in our economy and our municipal infrastructure will continue.” The upgrades at the plant are estimated to cost $543,999, with Clearview contributing the balance. An exact amount won’t be known until the project is tendered and a contract awarded, something that won’t happen until after the township’s budget is approved in March. Richard Spraggs, the township’s director of public works, said Clearview applied for the money in November through the Building Canada Fund. He said the cash will help pay for what’s called an equalization tank at the sewage treatment plant. “What it does is take in high flows and store them and later puts them into the system when the level flowing into the plant slows down. So basically it’s a big storage tank,” Spraggs said. In total, the tank will be able to hold about 1,000 cubic metres of water, he added. The township estimates the tank will cost roughly $500,000. High flows have been a problem at the plant, particularly in the spring. The suspicion among municipal officials is that people are using their sump pumps to transfer water into the system – a practice that’s illegal. They also suspect water could be infiltrating the system along the lines to the plant. Last spring, the high volume of water coming into the plant resulted in officials having to truck sewage water to Stayner’s plant, where it was subsequently processed. The funds from Ottawa will also help pay for what’s called a programmable logic controller – what Spraggs described as a computer system to operate the plant. “There’s one there now – this is a back up,” he said. “The main one we had became inoperable in the summer last year and we had to switch to the back-up. It was just wear-and-tear.” The township estimates the system will cost $43,000. “All in all though we’re pretty happy to have this money,” Spraggs said. He said the work at the 10-year-old plant will begin in September.
An area snowmobiler put himself in harm’s way for the sake of a little “fun” on Tuesday. Just before 2 p.m., Southern Georgian Bay OPP officers responded to a report that a snowmobile had gone through the ice in the Hog Bay area between Port McNicoll and Victoria Harbour. “The snowmobiler readily admitted to police that he was ‘puddle jumping,’” Const. Peter Leon stated in a press release, “and that he would continue to do so after he got the sled out of the water.” However, the boat the man employed to fetch his sled was not equipped with lifejackets, so police charged the 20-year-old Midland resident under the small-vessel regulations of the Canada Shipping Act. The OPP also echoed its warning to stay off the ice.
Carly Bartoletti and Kyra Potter attach business cards to the ribbon used in the ribbon cutting ceremony that officially marked the opening of the third annual Wasaga Beach Business Show Sunday, hosted by the Wasaga Beach Women’s Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce. Bartoletti and Potter greeted attendees at the door and gave each family a cloth bag promoting the Shop Local campaign, an effort by the Chamber of Commerce to get people to buy what they can from local business owners before making purchases in larger centres outside of Wasaga Beach.
New Soccer Pitches Ready The soccer fields outside the Adjala-Tosorontio municipal building are ready for use this summer. The park outside the building has been under construction since last year, and is now ready for use. The township said people have been anxious to use them, and there have been a lot of inquiries from various groups. The township is now waiting for the weather to turn nicer before opening them up. Boil Water Orders Just Precautionary The five boil-water advisories in Adjala-Tosorontio in 2008 were all precautionary measures caused by false readings and scheduled system upgrades, said the annual report on the water system. The township received a perfect score from the Ministry of the Environment for its Inspection Report Rating Record, the summary report said. Three boil-water advisories in July – in Everett, Loretto, and Rosement – were issued by false positives in the testing procedure, the report said. Two other advisories in October, one in Loretto and another in Rosemont, were issued during upgrades to water systems in those communities, the report said. The report was provided to council March 2, and is also available to the public. It is available at the township office, and will be on the township’s website, in the public works section.
The Meaford Tim Hortons is getting a facelift. If local residents hadn’t already noticed, there is major work going on at the Meaford Tim Hortons. The store was closed a couple weeks ago with customers (both walk-in and drive-thru) being served by a small trailer that has been located next to the store. The inside of the store is under going a complete re-make and overhaul. When the project is finished in April the Meaford location will be fully updated and will look similar to the store in Thornbury. "They’ve pretty much gutted the whole store and they’re on the anticipated schedule of 4-6 weeks. I think it’s going to be more like four weeks," storeowner Cheryl Fewster said in an interview last week. Fewster explained that Tim Horton’s storeowners are contractually obligated to renovate their stores every ten years. It’s been 13 years since the Meaford location had an update. "Our store is in such good shape that we’ve been able to wait 13 years," she explained. "The store will have a nicer, fresher look. The tables won’t be fixed anymore. In Meaford we have a lot of sit down customers. Now our people will be able to push their tables together. So far it’s really going smoothly," she said. Fewster said contractors working on the project expected to have the tiling at the store finished this weekend. The new equipment for the store will arrive next week. She said she the renovated store is going to be a great change for both customers and her staff. "It’s going to be more staff friendly. They’re all excited about that. I have a lot of long-term staff and I think when the store is all fresh and new it really gives them a lift," she said, adding that everybody is looking forward to getting out of the trailer that is on site now. "The trailer has been a challenge for everybody. My staff have held up wonderfully. I want to thank all of our customers for sticking with us. In the trailer we can’t carry all the products customers are used to. I think it will be all worth it at the end," she said.
The Bradford Rattlers are out of the Greater Metro Junior Hockey League playoffs, but it’s not because they lost. After the Rattlers tied their second-round series with the Deseronto Storm at two with a 5-1 win Tuesday night, the Storm filed a protest. Deseronto management pointed out the Rattlers had nine 20-year-old players on their roster, when league rules state the maximum is eight. As a result, league president Bob Russell disqualified the Rattlers from the playoffs. Bradford and Deseronto were scheduled to face off last night in Bradford. The Rattlers had the illegal roster since the league’s Jan. 10 signing deadline, but nobody pointed it out until this week, Mr. Russell said in a statement on the league’s website. Mr. Russell is also the owner of the Rattlers. Watch www.thetopic.ca for updates on this story
Local physicians and health-care providers have proved a slowing economy is no impediment to generosity. Kim Buckley, an intensive-care nurse and nurse educator at the North Simcoe Hospital Alliance’s Huronia District Hospital site, will be heading to the Dominican Republic later this month on a medical mission with Dr. Marty McNamara. The pair wrote to local physicians and approached various hospital departments asking for assistance in collecting medical supplies for the trip. The outpouring, said Buckley, left her in awe. “It’s just been completely outstanding, and I am in awe of the people that work at the hospital,” she said. “There are good things going on (at the hospital) and good things going on in our community. “People are coming up and offering supplies,” she continued. “All I had to do was mention it and people bent over backwards…. Every department in our facility has dug into their pockets.” The pharmacy donated medications; the central dispatch department pulled together a variety of old surgical instruments no longer being used in the hospital; linen supply offered old bed sheets and patient gowns. Local pharmacies and physician offices have also stepped up to provide boxes of materials and medications. “It’s a great community outpouring,” Buckley said. “We’re able to see beyond what’s going on in our own town.” Buckley and McNamara, along with other volunteers, were at Georgian College in Barrie on April 5 packing up donated supplies. They leave for the trip April 28. [email protected]
John Tory’s defeat in an Ontario byelection last week has left the provincial Conservatives the challenge of finding a new leader to guide the party into the 2011 election. Tory announced his resignation on Friday, saying he would stay on for a couple of weeks while an interim leader is picked to serve until a convention can be held, likely in June. “All I know is that I tried my best,” Tory told reporters when asked about losing to Liberal Rick Johnson in the rural riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, northeast of Peterborough. “Whether it was me or the party or some combination thereof will be for (the media) to decide when they write up the history.” Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop told The Mirror he was not surprised by Tory’s defeat. “It was a very difficult job for John to win that riding,” he said. “There was certainly a resentment that he was an outsider coming in to represent a riding that had been represented for decades by people who were born and raised locally, so I think that was against him from Day 1.” Despite that, Dunlop said he knows Tory worked hard in the riding and did the best he could. Dunlop added Rick Johnson is someone he will likely be working with quite a bit due to the two ridings’ shared border. The likely reason Tory failed to win the seat, noted Dunlop, is that people wanted to be represented by someone from the community. “I would assume most people would want (their MPP to be a local). In rural ridings … if you represent a riding, you live there,” he said. “Usually, the voters know what’s right and they’ll make a decision in the best interest of the riding.” – With files from Torstar News Services [email protected]
Summer vacation could have been cut short this year. A calendar anomaly has Labour Day falling on September 7 this year, which forces school boards to begin the school year before the long weekend that characteristically marks the end of summer vacation. However, the Bluewater board has come up with a solution to save the final days of freedom, at least for students in the district. In following the rules of the Education Act, school boards across the province are required to begin the 2009 – 2010 school year prior to Labour Day. The Bluewater board decided to use some of the allowable professional activity (PA) days at the beginning of the year so that students will not have to attend classes until September 8. The school year for staff will begin on September 2. The schedule, which has students in class until June 29 will be submitted to the Ministry of Education for approval on May 1, 2009.
Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop is throwing his support to Tim Hudak in the race to replace John Tory as leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives. “I gave my commitment to Tim on the first ballot,” he told The Mirror, noting Hudak was his original seatmate at Queen’s Park when he was first elected in 1999. “He is a young man and is in his fourth term. He’s ambitious, bright, a hard worker – and he really wants the job.” The party has been without a leader since Tory resigned March 5. The leadership vote is scheduled for June 27 in Markham. To date, four candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for the chance to lead the party into the 2011 provincial election. In addition to Hudak, MPP for Niagara West-Glanbrook, others seeking the party’s top job are: Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees; Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington MPP Randy Hillier; and Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliot. Though he supports Hudak, Dunlop said he wouldn’t be disappointed should Elliot walk away the victor. “For me, the top two are Tim Hudak and Christine Elliot. I’ve worked closely with both of them, and they’ve become pretty good friends,” he said. “Christine … is very bright, easygoing and conscientious.” Dunlop added he made his commitment to Hudak before Elliot entered the race. “I didn’t know she was interested in it. She is a really exceptional person, so I am hoping one of those two people will get it. It would be an honour to work with either of them.” As to whether Dunlop has given any consideration to making a bid at the job, he said while he has been approached by his constituents about the idea, he would rather take a bit of a back seat. “I never really had the network, and I would rather help someone else with the leadership and, hopefully, down the road, get on cabinet myself.” Dunlop said he believes, with so many things happening at a provincial level, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty is becoming vulnerable – leaving an opening for the Conservatives to make a comeback in 2011. “This latest tax harmonization hasn’t gone over well for them, and the economy lost those jobs. With the right leader and the right team, we’d have a pretty good chance of doing a lot better in 2011 than we have in the past.” No matter which of the four hopefuls takes the prize, the party will have a leader sitting in the legislature for the first time in almost two years; Tory failed to win a seat in his Toronto riding in 2007. The party had hoped a Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock byelection earlier this year would change that, but Liberal Rick Johnson beat Tory, who then stepped down as leader. MPP Bob Runciman is the interim leader of the party. At the leadership convention, anyone over 14 years of age can buy a PC membership for $10. To vote for leader, a membership must be bought or renewed before May 14. [email protected]