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Drop-in centre being considered PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Sunday, 06 April 2014 23:10

More than 20 people attended an information meeting at Heritage United Church (Colborne) on April 3 to discuss the creation of a Colborne drop-in centre for seniors. What they discovered is that it may be more difficult that they anticipated.

For many years, seniors gathered at the VBJ Centre on Victoria Square. But it was closed when its board had difficulty paying the mortgage, and ownership was transferred to Cramahe Township for a purchase price of under $50,000. The township sold it on to Dr. ToVi Luong in the fall of 2012 for $95,000. Since then, seniors have used the Keeler Centre for many of their activities. But with its distance from the downtown and no dedicated space or equipment, it is not ideal. Colborne Community Care has downtown space for meetings but it is limited. There is no other seniors centre in Cramahe Township.

Council set aside $37,000 in 2013 for renovations to the former club house of the Colborne Lawn Bowling Club, thinking that building might be suitable for some activities run by and for seniors. The work has not yet been done and there is some thought that the Elgin Street club house might not be suitable or repairable.

Thinking and hoping that the $37,000 might be available for a multi-use centre, a few residents called a meeting to consider the options. The one option at the forefront of discussions on April 3 was the former Colborne United Church building.

They were quickly told by Cramahe Township Councillor Pat Westrope that the $37,000 would not readily be handed over. When asked if the township might contribute financially to the set up or operations of a centre, Ms. Westrope said the township might. She then went on to list some requirements she felt would govern any township contribution.

Before any money was provided, the township would want to know there was a governing board and a mission statement for the group. The board would need to have a strong business plan. And the organization shouldn't expect the township to pay specific bills. Even if the group did all that, Ms. Westrope says she doesn't know what council would decide. It is unlikely the township would make a substantial contribution to start-up costs.

Various fundraising ideas and grant opportunities were discussed. Each time it came back to the need to have an organization, with a vision and a mission statement. In some cases grants are not available until a group is in existence a year.

The situation is complicated because the 154-year-old building is owned by the United Church. Renting space might affect the church's tax-free status. There is also the question of repairs to the building and maintenance. The church was part of an amalgamation of congregations and was not kept as the place of worship, partly due to maintenance costs. 

As the meeting continued, Mandy Martin advised that the group should make an assessment of the building's capabilities - is the wiring adequate, are the washrooms acessible, are all fire code regulations being met, etc..

Following that line of thinking, David Yohane proposed that when a governing group is established it should find a location that will meet the needs of the seniors in this area.

With various people proposing actions they felt needed to be taken, they were reminded once again to put the structure in place first, develop a plan and then act - a process which might take as long as two years. 

Seven people agreed to sit on a board to begin the process. Anyone interested in helping or in need of information can call Don Perry at 905 355 2323. 


Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 00:06
Cramahe is not going to the dogs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Sunday, 06 April 2014 21:36

On March 6, Cramahe Township Treasurer Mora Chatterson presented a proposal to council that appeared to offer a significant upgrade in dog and cat control. If council was willing to increase the annual fee from about $10,000 to about $30,000, and pay a one-time charge of $14,675 for capital costs, the Shelter of Hope would collect all dogs whether tethered or not. It would also take care of barking dogs and would collect stray cats. Dangerous dog complaints and animal bylaws would be enforced by Shelter staff. Or so it seemed. 


On March 18 council took another look at the proposal, asking some unanswered questions.


Councillor Clinton Breau found fault with the means that staff was using to minimize the effect on the tax levy. He also wondered about paying an outside authority to do a job the township had failed to do effectively itself (enforce animal bylaws).


Councillors Pat Westrope and Ed Van Egmond wondered whether the Shelter would actually deal with barking dogs, with Mr. Van Egmond scoffing at the suggestion and claiming the Shelter would not come. 


But council deferred the idea, taking a suggestion from Ms. Westrope that Shelter of Hope officials who be invited to speak to council on April 1.


Rather than make a presentation, the three representatives from the Shelter of Hope opened the floor for questions.


Mayor Marc Coombs opened the questions, asking if the Shelter staff would deal with barking dogs and dogs at large.


The answer from the Shelter was quite clear. They don't deal with barking dogs unless they are loose and they only pick up dogs which are contained. In situations where a problem is ongoing they may have their truck patrol the area. They don't send their officer out for loose dogs as the dogs are often gone by the time the officer arrives. Collections are done Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. After hours call-outs are for emergencies only - generally on police assists.


Councillor Breau pointed out that the van is doing collections during the hours that most people aren't at home. That seemed illogical. Later in the meeting he cited a recent call he made to the Shelter at 6 p.m.. He had to plead with the representative to pick up a dog he had tied to a tree.


Council dealt quickly with the matter during the budget discussion later in the meeting.


Realizing that they were being asked to pay more for essentially the same service they now get, council rejected the idea. 


Last Updated on Sunday, 06 April 2014 22:32
Drop in at Second Helpings PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Sunday, 06 April 2014 09:33

The Northumberland Big Brothers Big Sisters want to thank the community for supporting the Second Helpings store on Victoria Square in Colborne. They’re having coffee, tea and cake from 12-2 p.m. on April 11 at the store.


Drop in and say hi.


Big Brothers Big Sisters is supported by the United Way.

Ultramar is expanding PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Sunday, 06 April 2014 00:15
The Ultramar self serve gas bar at the corner of Big Apple Drive and Orchard Road is expanding. The company successfully applied to Cramahe Council on March 18 for a zoning bylaw amendment. The amendment will allow Ultramar franchise owner Bobby Bhopal to develop lands which lie behind the convenience store on the west side of the property. The approval will double the size of the usable property and allow the owner to expand the existing commercial uses onto the back of the property. None of the agencies which are normally consulted had any major concerns about the potential change in use. Mr. Bhopal was unavailable when we attempted to contact him. When his plans become public, we will post them.
Last Updated on Sunday, 06 April 2014 00:31
Are you vaccinated for measles? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Eekhof   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 23:54

In the wake of nearly a dozen measles cases being reported elsewhere in Ontario, local health officials want people here to take precautions against a very contagious disease.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is urging local residents to check that their vaccinations against measles are up-to-date. People born in 1970 or later are advised to ensure they have been vaccinated against measles. Individuals born prior to 1970 were likely exposed to measles and are usually considered immune. However, people travelling outside North America, health care workers and military groups may require measles vaccination regardless of age.

The Health Unit’s warning comes as a total of 11 measles cases have been detected recently in southern Ontario. So far in 2014, no confirmed measles cases have been reported to the Health Unit in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

“Measles is relatively rare in Canada thanks to high vaccination rates among people, particularly school children,” says Linda McCarey, the Director of Communicable Disease Control with the HKPR District Health Unit. “However, we still do see measles cases in this country, often related to travel to other countries where measles is more common. This is just a reminder that we need to ensure that our vaccinations are up-to-date. With global travel, the world is becoming a smaller place and diseases have no boundaries.”

Since the start of the year, there have been a higher than usual number of measles cases across Canada. In this province, Public Health Ontario confirms the 11 measles cases reported to date in 2014 are all directly or indirectly linked to travel to Europe and Southeast Asia. Given this fact, travelers to these areas are especially urged to make sure their measles vaccinations are current.

Measles is a serious, highly infectious disease. People can spread measles to others before they develop symptoms of the disease. Measles can cause high fever, cough, rash, runny nose and watery eyes. It can also lead to ear infections and pneumonia, and in rarer cases, encephalitis (an infection of the brain) and even death. Very young children and people with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable to measles. “The good news is that while measles is contagious, the best protection against measles is vaccination with two doses of measles-containing vaccine,” McCarey says.

In Ontario, the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is publicly funded and typically given to children in two doses. The first dose is given soon after a child’s first birthday, while the second is given at 18 months of age (or at four to six years of age in some cases). Vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless there is a valid exemption on file with the Health Unit.If people are uncertain about their vaccination status, McCarey advises they check their records. If still unsure about the vaccines they have received, people should contact their health care provider or the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577.

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 April 2014 00:02
Dance tickets now on sale PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 23:35

The tickets for the Apple Blossom Tyme May 24 dance are now on sale. Advance tickets for the dance which features Sawmill Road can be bought by callling 905 355 3533.  Tickets purchased at the door for this age of majority event will cost $15.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 April 2014 23:38
Lower Trent offers ash borer help PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 23:31

ewaLower Trent Conservation Ecology and Stewardship Specialist Ewa Bednarczuk was at Cramahe Council advising on actions the township can take to reduce the impact of damage caused by the emerald ash borer.


About ten years ago the emerald ash borer arrived from Asia. The deadly beetle has been documented near Roseneath, leading experts to believe it will be found elsewhere in the Lower Trent Conservation jurisdiction.


The ash borer attacks all species of ash trees and is usually fatal.Once the borer is in an area the peak mortality period is three-to-five years later. To reduce the effect, it is recommended that areas be planted ahead, so there are new trees growing when the affected ash trees die. Trees can be innoculated with the pesticide Tree Azin for about $250-$350 every two years. Ms. Bednarczuk suggested Cramahe complete a tree inventory of ash trees on public property. It can then decide which trees are potential hazards and which trees are prized. She offered to have a summer student work with twp. staff to do the survey. Lower Trent does not offer tree innoculation to private landowners with ash trees.


Cramahe will consider her request, following discussions between Councillor Pat Westrope and Lower Trent staff..


The township can determine which trees are infected and prioritize which to save. Diseased trees must be disposed of. But that isn’t simple, and it can be expensive. Northumberland County is now in a regulated area covering most of southern Ontario. Trees cannot be shipped out of the restricted area.


Part of Ms. Bednarczuk’s mandate is to communicate the information about the borer to the public and create greater awareness of the threat. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 23:43
New Building Canada Fund announced PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 01:23

On March 28, Northumberland-Quinte West MP Rick Norlock issued a press release announcing the $53 billion New Building Canada Fund. Before reporting to our readers we sent off a series of questions to Mr. Norlock's office, in the hopes of clarifying the information for our readers. We were disappointed when we did not get a direct response to our questions, but a referral to a government website.


We have listed our questions below and the information we were able to uncover from the Infrastructure Canada website and the Actionplan Canada website -


Question - Is the $53 billion all federal money or does it include the contributions made by other partners (provincial and local)? If so, how much is being contributed by each level of government?
From what we can tell, at least $36 billion is from the federal government. Ten billion appears to be contibuted by provinces and territories, and six billion comes from unidentifeid existing programs. Of the $10 billion, one billion ($100 million each year for ten years) is allocated by the provinces and territories for municipalities with populations under 100,000.
Question - Is the $53 billion all available this year? How much is actually available this year and is it available Canada-wide? If the $53 billion includes contributions by other levels of government, how much will the federal government actually be contributing in 2014?
Most of the money in the fund has already been announced and is spread over ten years. Of the $36 billion that we could identify as federal money, $32 billion is not new money. It comes from the Community Improvement Plan, started in 2013 and spread over ten years. From what we can gather on the actionplan website, Cramahe's share of the $2.9 billion being handed out Canada-wide in 2014-5 is based on its population. Statistics Canada's website states that Canada's population is 35,344,962. In the 2011 census, Cramahe's population was 6,073. Any money received must be used on infrastructure projects.
Question - Is the money allocated by region? If so how much is set aside this year for this region and who is included in our region?
We could find no direct reference to regional allocations. The federal website anounciing the fund does state that $4 billion will be spent over the next ten years on "projects of national significance".
From what we could tell, most of the money will be doled out on a per capita basis, except in the territories.
Question - Does the $53 billion include the other funds mentioned in the March 28 press release ( The $4 billion National Infrastructure Component and the $10 billion Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component, etc.)
Yes it does
Question How much of the $53 billion has not already been announced by the government?
We are probably wrong in our calculation, but we think that all of the federal portion of the announcement has already been announced. Perhaps if staff in Mr. Norlock's office reads our article they will correct our calculations.
Question - How much of the money allocated for 2014 is in the Small Communities Fund and is it open to all municipalities across Canada which have less than 100,000 people?
As we stated above, we think there is $100 million spread across all communities in Canada with populations under 100,000. Municipalities will have to apply for the money and identify the infrastructure projects they plan to complete. There will undoubtedly be an evaluation process which will weed out some projects.
From what we could tell, Cramahe would not qualify for any of the other $900 million in provincial/territorial funding each year as this is to be distributed for projects of national and regional significance.
 We do remind readers that these figures may not be accurate. We would have preferred to have had our questions answered directly by our MP to verify their reliability.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 April 2014 02:10
Alan Frew to headline ParaSport Games opening PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kate Campbell   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 01:16

COBOURG (April 4) – Alan Frew, award-winning lead singer for the Canadian band Glass Tiger, will headline May 30 opening ceremonies at the Ontario ParaSport Games.


"We're thrilled to have a performer of Alan's stature join our salute to parasport athletes when they compete for medals at the Games in Northumberland," Said Games Chair Paul Macklin, announcing the choice. With five Canadian Juno awards and five Canadian Classic awards under his belt, Frew, 57, enjoys an international reputation as a singer-songwriter, actor and public speaker. He once was nominated for a Grammy award.


At a news conference, Macklin said Frew’s tireless support for charitable causes, notably child poverty, has earned the Scottish-born entertainer wide praise and recognition. Last year he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for that work and his service to Canadian arts. Among Frew’s accomplishments as a songwriter is “Free to Be” – the Toronto Maple Leafs’ official song. Another Frew hit -- “I Believe”, written with Stephan Moccio – was the official anthem at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.


In a 2012 National Post interview with Sean Fitz-Gerald, Frew explained his popular Olympic anthem was motivated by the trials of Olympic athletes and their parents. “I wanted the moms and dads all across the nation — and indeed the world — who spent an enormous amount of time and energy and sweat and tears and money at the ice rinks and the gymnasiums and swimming pools at 4 and 5 a.m. day after day, year after year, to relate to these feelings just as much as the athletes themselves,” he said then.


“People who have dedicated their lives towards one all-encompassing moment in time are a special breed. And of course, for many, if not most, it’s just one shot.”


Glass Tiger won’t perform with him at the gig in Cobourg, but Frew is expected to sing one of the band’s biggest hits, “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”. In his lengthy career, the Glass Tiger frontman has sold a total of six million CDs.


“We’re hoping to give a rousing, Northumberland welcome to a group of skilled para-athletes who’ve trained long and hard for a chance to win a medal in a sport they love,” Macklin said. Cameco Corp. is the presenting sponsor for the opening night ceremonies, set for 7 p.m. on Friday, May 30.


“Although opening night is eight weeks from now, we want to get tickets into the hands of people as soon as possible,” said Macklin. “It promises to be a night to remember.”


Priced at $20, tickets for the gala at the Cobourg Community Centre already are available at the reception desk, Northumberland County headquarters, 555 Courthouse Rd. Where cash, debit and credit card payments will be accepted. At other locations, ticket sales are cash-only. Those locations include: the Cobourg Community Centre and Victoria Hall in Cobourg. In Port Hope, they can be picked up at the Capitol Theatre, Jack Burger Sports Complex and town hall. Other cash-only ticket locations include: Grafton municipal office Hamilton Township office, Colborne town hall and Chamber of Commerce offices in Campbellford and Brighton.


The volunteer-driven Games Organizing Committee is putting finishing touches to the opening ceremonies program, but the event will include a parade of athletes and formal recognition of many sponsors who are making the Games possible. Community support for the Games is riding high. Organizers were overwhelmed when their one-month recruitment campaign attracted 355 volunteers, many for two- or three-day assignments.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 April 2014 02:21
Flags fly half-staff to honour Vimy Ridge battle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mandy Martin   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 00:31

COLBORNE — Flags in Cramahe Township will be flying at half-staff on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, to mark the anniversary of the orld War I Battle of Vimy Ridge.


In Colborne, flags at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 187, 92 King S. E., the Cramahe Township municipal office, Toronto Rd., and at the municipal kiosk at Hwy. 401 and Percy St. S. will be lowered.


Many historians and writers consider the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge a defining moment for Canada, when the country proved itself internationally as an entity. It was a victory at a terrible cost with 11,285 killed and wounded. The battle raged from April 9-12, 1917.


In 1922, the French government ceded to Canada in perpetuity Vimy Ridge and the land surrounding it. The white marble sculptures of the Vimy Memorial, unveiled in 1936, stand as a poignant reminder of the Canadian soldiers killed in France who have no known graves.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 April 2014 00:36
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