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2022-04-25

Haines Dam in Clarksburg has major issues

The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority Board of Directors received good news and bad news about its dams in Clarksburg at its regular meeting last Wednesday. The Haines Dam in Clarksburg is in very poor shape and may have to be removed by the Conservation Authority in the near future. On the other hand the Clendenan Dam is in strong shape and has no immediate major repairs required. The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority Board of Directors received a full report about all of the Dams it owns and operates throughout the watershed at last Wednesday’s regular meeting. Water Management Director of Operations Doug Hill delivered the report at the meeting. The report detailed purpose and current state of repair of each dam the Authority owns and operates. The Board of Directors discussed the report in significant detail at the meeting (see related story in this issue). The Haines Dam in Clarksburg warranted particular attention in the report because it is in very poor condition and serves very little purpose. Hill said the Haines Dam is in excess of 100 years old. In the 1980s the Authority considered removing the Dam, but significant local opposition to that idea prevented that from happening. At the time a significant investment was made into the structure using provincial funds. "There are still some issues with this dam," Hill told the Board at the meeting. He said the dam in reality serves no useful purpose. The structure is approximately three metres in height and the reservoir behind it is completely filled with sediment. "This is a significant liability for us. The dam has no current purpose or use and if it breaks we will have a serious environmental issue on our hands," said Hill. He said water is currently seeping through the north embankment of the dam resulting in erosion and the risk of the bank eventually failing and releasing the built up sediment behind the dam. Hill said the Authority faces a significant cost with the Haines Dam regardless of how it chooses to proceed in the future. "The dam has no recreational benefit, no wildlife habitat benefit and no flood control benefit. It’s more of a liability," said Hill. In order to remove the dam the Authority would have to incur significant costs to remove the built up sediment in the reservoir. "There’s a significant cost to maintain this dam and there’s significant costs to take it out. Either way, down the road it will require significant costs," he said. The authority built the Clendenan Dam in 1975 immediately upstream of Clarksburg. It cost approximately $1 million and estimated to be worth $5 million now. It is the largest dam the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority owns. Hill said Clendenan Dam is in generally good condition and doesn’t require major repairs. The Authority is monitoring a slight problem with settlement of the earthen berm over the fish way. "The dam has functioned very well in terms of capturing ice during break ups," said Hill. Authority Chair Dick Hibma said eventually the Board of Directors would have to make a decision about the Haines Dam and begin preparing for the financial implications of what will need to be done. He said he leaned towards supporting the removal of the Dam and said that decision will have to be made upfront in order to communicate to member municipalities the financial requirements the maintenance of all the Authority’s dams will require.

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2021-11-16

Canadian general calling on SCI

Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson of the Canadian Armed Forces will visit Stayner Collegiate Institute on Mon., March 23 as part of a public outreach tour he is conducting. He will be at the school from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., giving a talk about the role of Canada’s Armed Forces in Afghanistan. From May 2008 to February 2009, Thompson was commander of the Canadian joint task force in Afghanistan. The visit to Stayner Collegiate is a coming home of sorts for Thompson, who attended the high school in the 1970s after graduating from New Lowell Central Public School. Pam Jeffrey, a teacher-librarian at SCI, invited Thompson to the school. “How it all happened is kind of a funny story,” she said in an interview Monday. Jeffrey said her husband, Dayn Leyshon, went to high school with Thompson but the two had lost touch. She said in May 2008, her husband read a newspaper story about Thompson and thought it might be the same guy he knew from high school. She said he compared a current photograph of Thompson with an old yearbook picture and determined it was indeed the same person. In February of this year, Jeffrey said she sent an e-mail to the Canadian Armed Forces, trying to reach Thompson. She said she was thinking he or a designate might be able to do some type of web-cam presentation on Afghanistan that would be of interest to students. Four days after she sent the e-mail, Thompson personally replied and through e-mail the two were able to arrange his visit to the high school. Jeffrey said the entire student body will be on hand to hear Thompson’s presentation, plus Grade 8 students from public schools in Clearview Township. Jeffrey said the public is invited as well, but she asks that people contact the school ahead of time to arrange a seat. To contact the school, call 428-2639.

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2021-10-14

McKay drops in for some training

National Defense Minister Peter McKay flew into town Saturday morning to do some training at Land Force Central Area training Centre (LFCATC) Meaford. McKay arrived via a Griffin helicopter on Saturday morning for an impromptu visit at the Meaford military training centre. McKay was looking forward to getting out in the field with the troops training in Meaford. “I understand they have a rigorous program planned for me today,” said McKay after he exited his helicopter and met with top brass from the base and MP Larry Miller. “It’s all part of a process I have undertaken to visit as many bases as possible and spend time with the troops and their families to express our appreciation,” he said. It was a very busy morning for McKay at LFCATC Meaford. Staff at the training centre planned to show McKay as much of the facility as possible during his four-hour stay. Capt. Jason Geroux said the timing of the Minister’s visit was perfect. “There are a lot of troops here right now and lots of vehicles. He will see the range and do some rappelling. There’s all kinds of training going on out there right now,” said Geroux, noting that the training centre had eight units consisting of more than 250 primary reserve troops from all over Ontario at the centre on Saturday. “We’ll show him the facilities. He will fire some weapons and have lunch with the troops,” said Capt. Geroux. McKay said the current government has made it a priority to modernize and update the Canadian military. He said as Defense Minister it’s very important to get out and visit Canadian forces to see the affects of the changes the government has introduced. “It’s important to demonstrate in tangible ways the value we place on the work our troops do,” said McKay. MP Larry Miller said he invited McKay to LFCATC Meaford immediately after he became defense minister in 2007. “It was a surprise when I got the phone call. It’s good to have him here to see our young men and women training in Meaford,” said Miller. “It’s very important for him to visit like this. He’s going to do some training. He will enjoy that, he’s a heck of a rugby player,” Miller added.

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2021-03-25

Fresh look for Tim’s

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.

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2021-03-10

History buffs ‘enrich communities’

Three local residents are among more than 200 volunteers honoured recently by the Ontario Heritage Trust. Tiny Township resident T. Philip Adams, Midland’s Dennis Brabant and Tay Township’s Ray DesChenes were honoured through the Heritage Community Recognition Program for significant contributions to built, cultural and natural heritage preservation.     “Through their work to conserve Ontario’s heritage, these volunteers have enriched our communities, and we are grateful for their efforts,” David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, stated in a news release. “I am pleased that they are being celebrated for their tremendous accomplishments.” Wes Crown, Midland’s director of planning and development, said Brabant was nominated because of his commitment to maintaining the cultural heritage of the downtown. “He was the chair of the BIA, and it was during his tenure that the murals went up. He was instrumental in launching and supporting the historic mural program,” said Crown, adding Brabant was also critical in the celebration of the 125th-anniversary celebration for the post office and landing grants for tourism operators. “He was a big booster of downtown Midland and promoting everything (to do with) heritage.” Brabant has also served on the Huronia Museum board of directors, helping modernize the museum to better tell the story of its collection and the native history of the region. Tay’s Ray DesChenes is an artist and illustrator by trade, but became an avid conservator working on projects both in his community and overseas, Mara Burton, director of planning and development for the township, told The Mirror. “He aided in the restoration in two of the township’s heritage buildings … most notably the hardware store in Victoria Harbour, and he also works on the old municipal office,” she said. DesChenes, who was nominated by the heritage committee, was one of the original members of the local architectural conservation advisory committee (now known as the heritage committee) in 1979, noted Burton, who works with DesChenes on the committee. “He is the nicest man. He’s gentle, passionate, caring…. He’s a fantastic man (and) a very valuable resource to us because of his knowledge.” Described as the man who formed the backbone of the Township of Tiny historical and heritage committee for more than five years, Adams in known for his love of local history and his enthusiasm to promote, preserve and protect it. Adams, who has served as chair of the committee, is described as a driving force in preserving the heritage of the community. He is also the author of two books on the history of the township. “He is very dedicated to heritage in his township,” said Coun. André Claire. “He is a very knowledgeable person, too.” The annual Heritage Community Recognition Program helps communities recognize volunteers for their work to preserve, protect and promote Ontario’s heritage. [email protected]

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2021-03-09

Elderly driver crashes at oulet mall

Three vehicles were damaged at the Cookstown Outlet Mall on Thursday, April 3 when a 77-year-old woman from Alliston lost control of her car. She was backing up into a parking space when she struck a stationary vehicle. She then stepped on the gas and hit two more vehicles, pushing one of them into the building, causing minor damage to the building. The woman was taken to hospital as a precaution and later released. Police are continuing their investigation. Woman assaulted in car South Simcoe Police responded to a call for help on April 3 concerning an assault. A couple started arguing in a car and the male driver pulled over to the side of the road. Police allege the man grabbed the woman by the wrist and hit her twice in the arm. They resumed their journey home. Upon entering their home, the argument started again and police were called. As a result, a 24-year-old Innisfil man was arrested for assault and held for a bail hearing. Burglar caught Police were called to a business on County Rd. 27 north of Cookstown shortly after 10 p.m. on Friday, April 3 when the owner of the business returned and saw a light on inside. The intruder left the premises and fled. The South Simcoe Police Canine Unit was dispatched to the scene and tracked down the suspect. A 41-year-old man from Perth was arrested and charged with break and enter with intent. He was also treated for some minor injuries. Nothing was taken from the business and only minimal damage was caused to gain entry to the building. The man has a May court date in Bradford.

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2021-02-19

Clever students present Idiot’s Guide

Some students from Georgian Bay Secondary School have decided to share their wealth of knowledge in their presentation of the play The Idiot’s Guide to High School, which starts today at Meaford Hall. This is the first large-scale production from the GBSS drama department in several years, but hopefully it will become an annual event, because the kids are hilarious. The story follows Earl the idiot, played by Dylan Smith, as he ventures to prepare a special presentation based on his own expertise. He enlists the help of Shirley, also called Shirl, played by Meagan Van Capelle and she brings along her extensive friends’ list to aid in Earl’s presentation. The Guide shapes up nicely in the first act, with Earl explaining the true purpose of high school, which is, of course, a cheap lunch and having a good time. However, when it comes time to explain the art of the perfect excuse, things between Earl and Shirl start to fall apart. The characters are exaggerated the perfect amount to elicit hilarious satire. Smith and Capelle develop naturally awkward characters with some great chemistry. Larry, played by Adrian Leischnig, is a jester among clowns with his portrayal of the sleepy, offbeat friend with a trench coat full of handy information. Also, keep an eye out for the over enthusiastic Dean, played by Zach Thompson and the living tribute to 80s fashion, Mindy, played by Sarah Lowe. The students obviously have fun in their roles, and enjoy the stage at the Meaford Hall. It’s a worthwhile outing sure to garner laughs. I highly recommend the sound, more like silly, advice presented by the students of GBSS in The Idiot’s Guide to High School. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday April 15, Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students, available at the Maaford Hall box office.

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2021-01-25

Dunlop says Tory faced long odds as ‘outsider’

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]

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