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Volume 5, No.2 October 2014

• Jim Innes Bad stress Page 4 • Renée Carpenter Fall styles Page 27 • Duncan Watterworth Atheism and beyond Page 30 Also Inside: Be Prepared For Winter Pages 20 – 25 Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Pages 18 and 19

Dan & Darren Reith Provincial honour Cover story: Page 3

You Hurt It... We Help It!!

Successful Concussion Testing and Treatment at Talbot Trail Physiotherapy Chris Streib, owner of Talbot Trail Physiotherapy, is proud to have been working closely with local teams and athletes over the past few years to provide Concussion Impact testing. It is a tool that is used to evaluate an individual prior to and after sustaining a concussion. The information is vital when implementing successful treatment strategies, in order to return the athlete to school and sport.

often can be overlooked and can affect their daily activities of living and may not show up for days/weeks following the concussion. They could have difficulties with vision, balance, memory, attention spans, and physical exertion.” The rehabilitation team at Talbot Trail Physiotherapy has successfully treated patients back to their preconcussion activities. We use a well rounded, multi-disciplinary approach with Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Kinesiologists who work together to provide the best Concussion and Spine Care Treatments that are specifically designed for your injury.

Recently awareness has brought attention to the fact that concussions are not only limited to those who play competitive sports. Talbot Trail Physiotherapy clinics as a whole, have treated an increased number of patients who have had suffered concussions from the result of motor vehicle accidents, “Concussions and the associated workplace injuries, as well as slip and symptoms can vary in terms of treatment falls. between individuals. The severity and “Inthepast,treatmentforaconcussion symptoms of the concussion will was a ‘rest and stay in a dark room’ determine the length and approach. In many instances, it was type of treatments that treated as a passive wait-and-see are required,” says Streib. attitude,” said Chris Streib If you are interested Luckily in the majority of cases, in Baseline Concussion individuals who suffer from concussions Testing for your team, or are make a full recovery. in need of more information “Sometimes a concussion is not taken about what treatment options seriously, and the individual believes we offer, please feel free that the symptoms will resolve by to contact the clinic closest themselves.” Streib said. “Symptoms to you.


St. Thomas (STEGH): 189 Elm St., N5R 5CA T. 519.637.7171 Aylmer: 2-418 Talbot St. W., N5H 1K9 T. 519.773.7400 West Lorne: 146 Munroe St., N0L 2P0 T. 519.768.3998

St. Thomas: 102-460 Wellington St., N5R 6H9 T. 519. 637.1831 London (Peak Mobility): 395 Southdale Rd. E T. 519.850.7321 Blenheim: 110 Talbot St. W., Box 429, N0P 1A0 T. 519.676.1192

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Provincial recognition for Reith & Associates Family business celebrates 100th anniversary by Terry Carroll

lowed the design instincts of the archiDan and Darren Reith, owners of tects from 1927. “It involves outdoors Reith & Associates, are on a journey incoming in, for example with the bank tended to take their 100-year-old family of lights atop rows of windows,” Dan business to the next level and then the says. They enhanced this feeling when next. Their objective? To do the best for they chose the office colours – greens, their clients, their staff and themselves as grays, browns. Train photographs combusiness owners. missioned for the walls reflect the railTheir achievement is receiving provinway history of St. Thomas and the fact cial recognition. Reith & Associates have that original owner Alvin Brown had the distinction of being named one of worked for the railway and jumped on three finalists for Brokerage of the Year the train to see clients 100 years ago. in the 2014 annual Insurance Brokers of And the Reiths have been acquiring Ontario (IBO) Awards of Excellence. Clark McDougall artwork as the ‘icing “To my knowledge, no insurance broon the cake’ for their offices. ker in this area ever made the top three Darren says, “We often deal with peobefore,” says Dan Reith. “The other two ple at a time of distress, whether that’s brokerages in competition are substana house burning down, water flooding tially larger than ourselves. We’ll be findor a death.” Outside grief counsellors ing out October 12 at an Ottawa gala if are brought in to train team members we win.” in empathy and how to deal with loss. Dan Reith is Principal Broker leading Employees also receive training in how the general insurance team at the firm, to listen, and the Reith brothers have and his brother Darren Reith leads the introduced programs like Dress for life insurance and investment services Dan and Darren Reith, hosting the Reith & Associates September 17 St. Success – supplying a sum of money team. Darren is also a proud member Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce Business After Five at the to help employees improve their wardof the Premium Association of Financial St. Thomas Seniors’ Centre. robes – and increases in annual base pay Professionals: The Million Dollar Round for staff who volunteer with approved Table. his brother Darren in 1994. charities. Th e business also supports charities that The brothers decided to avoid the technologiFollowing the family tradition, the Reith brothcally driven, 1-800 route. They care about a fair ers have really focused on an excellent customer reflect the Reiths’ commitment to community, as price for their clients, but they have no interest service experience for their clients. “It comes well as that of their employees, and sometimes, in ‘the price race to the bottom.’ As Dan says, “I down to the processes we have created,” Darren their clients. As a full service insurance business, Reith & truly feel sorry for the person who makes a buying says. They source the information they need from decision based on price alone.” The recent flood- both clients and potential clients, train staff, and Associates isn’t driven by the need of larger coming after heavy rains in St. Thomas points to the empower their employees to make their own deci- panies to pursue quarterly or annual increases at wisdom of this. Because Reith & Associates had sions wherever possible. This approach is designed all costs. “We’re looking at a return in some cases taken the time to assess clients’ needs, and updat- to give the business owners the time to enjoy both that will be 5 years, 10 years or 15 years out,” Dared the information regularly, “we received emails work and home life, and to focus more on the ren says. It’s a philosophy Dan expresses another way that said, ‘Thank you so much for taking care of bigger picture. us,’” Dan says. Staff members work hard to make Their office itself is an important part of the cus- when he says, “We’re not going to go down the sure clients understand what’s covered, and also tomer experience. Ten years ago, the Reiths made road of commoditization.” Instead, they’re buildthat clients with claims are not waiting around for the decision to buy the former TD bank build- ing an organization to last the next 100 years, one an adjuster. ing at Southwick and Talbot Street in St. Thom- they hope to pass along to the next generation of The family business began as the A. M. Brown as, instead of continuing in what was becoming Reiths at the appropriate time. Insurance Agency in Shedden in 1914. Brown’s crowded accommodations where they had been Cover photo courtesy of Philip Bell, cousin Harold Jackson joined in 1961 and Jack- operating on Centre Street. Shutter Studios. son’s son-in-law Dan Reith Sr. came on board in At the new 462 Talbot Street location, they fol1962. Dan Reith Jr. joined the firm in 1992 and Elgin This Month General Manager Terry Carroll Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley Regional Sales Manager Nelson Parreira

Graphic Design / Production Metroland Media Group Sales Representative Greg Minnema

Elgin This Month is a monthly magazine focusing on business and lifestyle issues and includes Business Beat, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce newsletter. The publication is available for pickup at no charge at news stands and other locations around Elgin County, as well as distribution to businesses and selected households.

Published monthly by Metroland Media Group Ltd., 15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V7 519-633-1640 www.theweeklynews.ca/etm October, 2014




Getting emotionally ready for the busy season by Jim Innes

We have now fully entered the often too busy how in our bodies, we feel fatigued and irritable. Aside from the emotional/relational disengageseason of fall. And taking stock of our emotional well being is a must. So here is a simple ment and physical consequence of bad stress, but very important rule. Stress is good ... too there is a self-perpetuating aspect to it. Bad stress feeds itself as we forcibly manage each heavy footmuch stress is bad. Stress is bad when it disengages us from the step; as against our will, we respond to obligation; particulars around us such that all we can per- marching forward with some committed sense ceive are broad generalities. That part of our- of purpose; dragging our backsides through the selves which focuses and concentrates is sev- grind. And often we accommodate this self deered. And we become clumsy in all matters of feating compulsion by telling ourselves we are but the loyal and steadfast servant. everyday interaction. For many, this impulse to over-stress is generally Are you under bad stress? You are if you’re seeing around circumstances and relationships about their relationship to some higher good. It is instead of into them with a certain quality of about some fervent intention to act honourably. care and concern. Being under bad stress dis- In my experience as a counsellor, this intention engages us from the people, places, and events is often an attempt to act righteously for the sake of a work ethic, family comthat we care about; mitment or religious ideal heaviness sets in, and ...we become – some precious paradigm we become emotionclumsy in all worthy of selfless sacrifices. ally alienated. Indeed, there is a noble enDoes this describe matters of everyday ergy around this. But it can you or someone you interaction... too often negate the self; the love? Do you notice self as the container through an impersonal, preocwhich the higher good percupied connection, to things about you? I suppose, if it were you, you petuates itself; dependent, ultimately, upon our may not even be reading this article. It would own well being. be another article in another magazine that Sometimes the solutions become the problem. has, like many others, found its way into your And though overextending ourselves may be in pile of duty and unaccomplished intention. Here is a list of the top 10 stressors: death of service to a higher good, attention must be giva spouse, divorce, marital separation, jail term, en to our threshold for stress. No two of us are death of close family member, illness or injury, alike in that manner. Recognizing ourselves as marriage, fired from a job, marital reconcilia- struggling in bad stress is vital in maintaining a tion, and retirement. Any one of these stresses synchronicity with those ideals we hold in high is enough to push us off our game and, sys- regard. Taking evasive action is imperative to the temically, create a further problem in another health of the community, or workplace, or family that we hold dear. Help is available and it often part of our life. Here is a shorter list of lesser stresses (but takes the ear of our doctor, pastor, or counsellor well worth mentioning): moving, trouble at to regain our perspectives and reignite our posiwork, troubles with in-laws, starting or finish- tive energy. ing school, taking on a mortgage, vacations, and Christmas (or Thanksgiving). Any combiJim Innes is a clinically nation of these stresses can tip the balance in trained therapist and our emotional and physical well being ... quite a priest at St. John’s often noticed in how we relate to one another Anglican Church with hyper sensitivity and indifference and,

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Business & Community LEADERSHIP

Bad hair day(s) … and the lessons offered by Cheryl Lester

I’ve been thinking a lot about hair over the past couple of months … my own mostly. Sometime earlier this year, I decided I wanted to ‘grow it out.’ Now I fully expect that there will be more women than men who can identify with the ups and downs of that process. For men, perhaps the same dreams, urges, and doubts accompany the thoughts of adding or removing facial hair. But what, may you be thinking, does this have to do with the workplace? Well quite a bit actually. I’ve been amazed at how much energy this process of letting my hair grow longer has taken. I feel like I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time debating with myself about the advantages and disadvantages. I’ve labored over which — long or short — is more ‘professional.’ On my bad hair days, I’ve declared emphatically that “That’s it! I’m going short.” I start to question how I ever thought going longer was a good idea. I start to feel ugly, heavier, less competent, less confident and less professional. On good hair days — and I’ve had quite a few — I feel beautiful, energized, confident, professional,

attractive, creative, lighter that so often hides for fear of beand ready to experience my ing wounded, rejected, mocked, next challenge or opportucriticized, disrespected or abused; nity. It’s on those days that “it isn’t about the hair — however, what the world needs I am committed to sticking most is for each of us to bring our not really” with my decision to keep my best stuff to the table. hair long. As I discovered, this wasn’t really After struggling for several weeks … or maybe about long or short hair. It was simply another months … about the length of my hair, I began opportunity the universe offered me to deepen to realize that it isn’t about the hair — not really. my understanding about and act upon my inner At one point or another, almost everyone longing for authenticity. struggles in the quest to be So today — as an organizational leader or themselves. There are so many business owner — what are you struggling with things, people, or experiences because you’re afraid of other people’s opinthat hold us back from truly ions? What is your inner ‘best’ self urging you tapping into our most au- to start doing or stop doing in order to become thentic, and energized self. more authentic and effective? What are you beThere are SO many messages ing invited to learn about yourself and your out there that influence our leadership effectiveness? perceptions of who we should be, how we should show up, what we should do, what we Cheryl Lester, Eagle Tree shouldn’t do, how we should Leadership, is an be clothed, how we should international leadership sound … even down to how coach known for her ability we should wear our hair. to help people improve Being authentic requires us their performance to listen closely to the internal and effectiveness. messages of our heart or soul … that area within each of us

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LIFESTYLE Our Heritage

Historic churches and cemeteries of Elgin County by Katherine Thompson

Churches and cemeteries played an integral role in the settlement of Elgin County and continue to be important places of faith and worship in the community. The historic churches and cemeteries listed here are only a few that can be found in the area. For a full listing of churches and cemeteries, please visit elgintourist.com/heritage.

Port Burwell Trinity Anglican Church and Cemetery This historic church was built in 1836 by Colonel Mahlon Burwell and held its first service on May 22, 1836. The church is known for its warm atmosphere and beautiful stained glass windows and its interior looks very similar to the way it did in the early 1900s. The church still holds weekly services that are open to the public. Many of Port Burwell’s earliest settlers are buried in the cemetery including the Burwell family. The earliest recorded burial was 1818. Many pioneers died during an epidemic that raged through the village in 1878, including many at a tender young age.

The Old St. Thomas Church The Old St. Thomas Church was built in 1824 and was used for regular worship of area pioneers from 1824 to 1877. It is a brick construction typical of early pioneers, with lancet windows and a castellated tower on which sits a spire. The building continues to be used for public worship and tours during the summer months. The church is surrounded by the pioneer cemetery where most of the early St. Thomas settlers and their descendants are buried.

The Quaker Meeting House The Quaker Meeting House built in 1865 was the third meeting house built in the village of Sparta. The first two were built at the Quaker Cemetery, but this colonial style meeting house was built on the current site as many Quakers began settling north of the village.

Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin

St. Peter’s Anglican Church St. Peter’s is one of the oldest churches in Southwestern Ontario. It opened in 1827 and is one of two churches west of Niagara Falls to have been in use for over 175 years. It was erected by the first settlers of Tyrconnell on 10 acres of land donated by Mary Storey. The spire and belfry were added in 1845 by Edward Matthews of London. The church has come a long way from the days when a carpenter’s work bench was used as a pulpit.

The cemetery across the road from the church is the final resting place of Talbot Settlement founder Colonel Thomas Talbot who died on February 5, 1853 at the age of 81.




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Business & Community LEADERSHIP

How to gain greater freedom & fortune by Brian Vine

Your goal as a business owner should be to design a company that is distinct from you and quite candidly, works in your absence. You should create a separate cash flow entity, not merely a job for yourself. It should pay you a healthy salary plus a return on your investment of money, time and effort. Your enterprise should function without you, not because of you. While you can be the brains behind the enterprise, you should not be like Hercules trying to hold up the entire weight of the company. You will be crushed! You must become a strategic business owner. Adopt a CEO mindset. You should document the work of your business so that you can effectively train others to execute the work. You must make yourself replaceable in the tecÚical trenches of your business. Define and document the specific work to be done and then train and delegate. This is how you begin successfully to beat the blues, escape death by details, and gain greater freedom. Your employees should be able to carry on the work of the business while you focus on big picture priorities, or decide to take a break. Your company should run on autopilot status even while you’re on an extended, work-free, guilt-free vacation. If it does, you will have designed and built a business that truly works and is worth a fortune. And you will have gained back a personal life that is fulfilling.


To maintain freedom, independence and fulfillment, as your business grows, so must your leadership effectiveness and operating systems. Stop micromanaging and start leading (macro managing). Become more purposeful and proactive. 1) Step one: stop acting like an employee and start thinking like a CEO. Learn to work on your business, not in your business. Adopt the theory of optimization. Be strategic, not tactical; work less, lead more! 2) Step two: systematize your company by creating, documenting and continually improving all your key processes, procedures and policies. Trust the business system and personnel you put in place and remove yourself from the company’s daily details. Replace yourself with other people. Train others and delegate the work. This operating system is your foundation for freedom. 3) Step three: increase your leadership capabilities. Excel at leadership, not doer-ship. Your business needs a clear vision and strong leader to hold others accountable, not another employee doing

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$17,000 grants are available to start your business! You must be EI eligible or a recent recipient of EI benefits. The Self-Employment Benefit (SEB) program provides funds to qualified individuals while they start their own businesses! For more details on how to access this opportunity call Cindy Hertwig at:

519-633-7597 ext. 335 Info Sessions - October 15 & November 18 @ 9 am at 300 South Edgeware Rd. New SEB Business Start-ups for Elgin include:

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October, 2014


tecÚical work. Help build and direct your team. 4) Step four: develop clarity of direction for your business and employees by creating a simple business plan and an effective implementation process. 5) Step five: learn to effectively manage your people, your greatest asset. 6) Step six: instead of incremental growth, engage the leverage of marketing to achieve substantial, profitable growth. 7) Step seven: learn to let go, delegate, and truly enjoy business ownership, your relationships, and your life. Let me ask you “Are your current paths and strategies working”? If so, you wouldn’t be searching for answers here. If not, I invite you to acknowledge the problems in your business, take responsibility for them, and dare to try new approaches. Bryan Vine is the owner of The Growth Coach in St. Thomas and Southwestern Ontario.

NEED A BUSINESS LOAN? Elgin Business Resource Centre provides loans up to $250,000 for businesses located in Elgin County and St.Thomas. Ask how we can assist you to find loan financing for your business expansion or improvements. Loans are also available for purchasing an existing business or for new business start-ups.

Call Glenn Thorel for information on our loans programs:

519-633-7597 ext. 333


Business & Community Financial Planning

Managing your emotions while investing by Stephanie Farrow

Can you think of one of the greatest challenges an everyday, long term investor has to overcome? Sometimes an investor’s greatest obstacle to success is himself or herself. It’s true. If you know the saying, ‘Sometimes you are your own worst enemy’, well, it can often apply here. Investors panic when markets drop. You can hardly blame them. It’s human nature to avoid the negative and seek the positive, and watching markets drop leaves negative feelings. It can make you feel sick when your hard earned investment goes from $10,000 to $9,000, and this is when the anxiety sets in. While your instinct may be to cut your losses and get out of the market, this is quite won’t last forever. often the very opposite of what you should do, In fact, as counter-intuitive as it might seem on provided you have time on your side. So just be- the onset, sometimes adding another lump sum fore you jump off that ledge,. to your initial investment is one there are a few things to conof the best strategies. In this sider. scenario, you are buying low “before you hit the First of all, it can be helpful to and therefore reducing your look at what history has taught panic button, take a average cost per unit or share us about periods of market voldeep breath” in your investment. Another atility. History tells us that pastrategy to consider is adding tient, long term investors reap a monthly investment to your the rewards. If you can look beplan to continue to get benefits yond the initial loss and remember that time is on from the market downturn by buying your units your side, you can see proof that the down times at a lower price. Both of

A Breast Cancer Fundraiser October 17, 18, 19 All proceeds raised support the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. We invite everyone to get involved; with your support we can have another successful event for a tremendous cause. Ways you can help: • Register a Team and challenge your rivals! • Donate Items for Silent Auction! • Request Our Demolition Derby Car at your Event!

Contact Information:

Call Now to Enter Your Team at Heritage Lanes or Park and Bowl St. Thomas

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these strategies are using the market drop to your advantage. Some people might be surprised to hear that more sophisticated investors get excited during market lows as it might be their opportunity to buy something at an undervalued price. Market volatility is nothing new. If you look at the last 25 years, each market downturn later posted significant recovery and positive

returns in the two-year periods that followed each of these market drops. Investors who stayed the course not only recovered, but came significantly ahead of those who didn’t. Sometimes investors feel they have enough experience or information to jump in and out of the market and do a better job, but this is seldom the case. You need to ride out the lows in order to be sitting in the right place at the right time when the market starts to move up. Missing out on those days can be detrimental, so staying put is usually a good strategy. Invesco Canada Ltd has published a great snapshot to illustrate how missing the 20 best days could cut your return by 10%: If you had hypothetically invested $10,000 in the S&P/TSX Composite Index on January 30, 2004, over 10 years your $10,000 would have grown to $20,922 – an average annual total compound return of 7.66%. But suppose that during that period there were times when you decided to get out of the market and, as a result, you missed the market’s 10 best single-day performances over this 10 year period (remember, this is just 10 out of a total 2,515 business days). In this case, your 7.66% return would have fallen to 1.31%. If you had missed the market’s 20 best days (again, just 20 out of a total of 2,515 business days) that 7.66% return would have dropped to 2.52%. Invesco Canada Ltd., 2014 If you are an investor with time on your side, take these strategies into consideration and keep this in mind when the market fluctuates. Before you hit the panic button, take a deep breath and look at the historical lessons in market volatility. Sometimes we have before us an opportunity in disguise. Stephanie Farrow, B.A., C.F.P., is a Certified Financial Planner and co-owner of Farrow Financial Services Inc., in Belmont

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• October 2014 •

Chamber All Candidates Event St. Thomas - Central Elgin - Southwold Tuesday October 21 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Reith & Associates celebrated 100 years as a family business September 17 at the St. Thomas Seniors’ Centre with a party atmosphere. Fun events included balloon corsages with Dotsy The Clown (top photo) and Adult Pin The Tale on the Donkey. Gorman-Rupp of Canada Ltd. managing director Robert Furneaux was one of three lucky winners from a random draw of front door ticket entries. In October, the Chamber changes it up with an event in which Chamber Members mix with members of the general public.

The Business Sample Show

It does double-duty as our October Business After 5! Wednesday October 22 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. St. Anne’s Centre, Morrison Drive Admission is free Open to the public Great door prizes and much more!

As part of our activities this year during National Small Business Week, the Chamber will proudly host a unique and special event to welcome all candidates in the upcoming (October 27) municipal elections. We’re have invited all Mayoral, Council and School Board candidates who are running for election in the municipalities we serve - the City of St. Thomas, the Municipality of Central Elgin and The Township of Southwold. This event will be held at St. Anne’s Centre on Morrison Drive in St. Thomas with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. In a format similar to our annual Business Sample Show

October, 2014

nesses in the area we serve, and the people within them, but we extend a courteous welcome to all voters in St. Thomas, Central Elgin and Southwold to attend. Our agenda will not include speeches or presentations from the stage. This event is intended to be a “meet-and-greet” mixer for the candidates and an opportunity for local voters to see them, speak with them, and watch them in action. This event is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors, including P. J. Smith & Associates Limited, Appraisers and Property Tax Consultants, and contributions voluntarily made by some of the candidates.

Business Sample Show 2014 It’s free and it’s open to everyone. The Chamber’s annual Business Sample Show does just what its name implies. It lets customers sample what over 50 local businesses have to offer, and it lets the businesses and organizations on display offer samples, prizes and a showcase of their products or services. The 2014 Business Sample Show is at St. Anne’s Centre in St. Thomas on Wednesday October 22. Doors open to the public from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Food, as always, is a big Sample Show favourite, and we’re featuring

Business Beat Table of Contents Call for clarity ........... Page 10 Pita Pit ...................... Page 11 Who has the power? . Page 12 Trip of a lifetime ........ Page 13 Pro Text ..................... Page 14 Safe Communities ..... Page 15 New Members........... Page 16

– which coincidentally happens the following day on Wednesday October 22 – each participating candidate will be provided with complimentary display and exhibit space to meet and speak with all who attend. Candidates will be welcome to display their brochures and campaign materials. Thanks to the generous support of Ascent, we have also arranged for high-capacity wireless internet service at the hall to allow candidates to display their websites and any online presentations. Admission is free and open to the voting public. As with all Chamber of Commerce events, our focus will be primarily toward the busi-

four popular providers with one in each corner of the hall. From muffins to meat balls and pizza to pasta, it’s all in good taste. Tech services and computer/online services will be another highlight of the show this year. St. Thomas’ own Ascent Group Inc. will be showcasing and launching new internet, telecommunications and Information Technology services. Iristel, a fast-growing VoIP telecommunications provider, will showcase costeffective phone and communications

solutions for local commercial and residential clients. Quantum RBS will feature cloud-based data and recovery services, and we’re welcoming several professionals in web-design and tech support.

Take part in our November feature “Farm Business Report” To take advantage of excellent advertising opportunities give me a call at 519-633-1640 (ext. 22) Greg Minnema, Advertising Sales

or email me at gregthismonth@theweeklynews.ca November Edition Advertising Deadline is October 10th



Viewpoint Events and News of Interest to our Members

A new call for clarity

savings needs of Ontarians and Ontario’s economic recovery. …While a majority of OntarDuring the week of September 8, Ontario Chamians are relatively well-prepared for retirement, a ber of Commerce representatives met with Mitzie Hunter, Associate Minister of Finance, to present sizeable minority (1/4 to 1/3 of Ontarians accordher with a letter that calls on the government to ing to varying estimates) are not adequately saving consider how the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan for retirement. Many of these people are middle in(ORPP) will affect the province’s business competi- come-earners, including almost 1.3 million workers in the province who do not have access to a pension tiveness. We know that the business community is con- plan in the workplace. Voluntary individual savings cerned that a new mandatory Ontario pension plan tools are also being underutilized. …Ontario’s population is aging; by 2035, 23 will hurt job creation and the province’s overall competitiveness. Though there are many undeter- percent of Ontarians will be of retirement age, mined details, the ORPP, as it now stands, would compared with 14 percent in 2011. A significant require workers and employers to each contribute increase in the number of retirees, who lack suffi1.9 percent of earnings, up to $90,000, annually to cient income to maintain their standards of living, would have serious implications for the fiscal health the pension plan. Signed by over 50 leaders from Ontario’s Cham- of Ontario. … According to a recent OCC survey, 72 percent ber Network, the letter is prompting the Governof Ontario businesses believe that pension reform ment of Ontario to provide employers with answers should be a priority for government. to crucial outstanding questions. …Ontario’s economy is in transition. The econSpace availability prevents us from reproducing omy is projected to grow slowly for the foreseeable the full letter here, but we can share key points: future. Ontario’s Ministry of Finance projects the province’s real annual GDP growth for the next Dear Associate Minister Hunter, As your government moves forward with the twenty years to be 2.1 percent, down from 2.6 perOntario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), we are cent during the previous twenty years. Employers writing to urge you to consider how this new pen- are facing rising costs, including soaring electricity sion scheme will affect the province’s immediate prices and high WSIB premiums, which risk stifling and long-term growth. We request a meeting with investment in Ontario. In this context, businesses you to discuss how we can work together to secure a are wary of policies that will add to their costs. In our recent report in partnership with the Certipension future that will support both the retirement fied General Accountants of Ontario (now the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario), we aggregated the results of consultations with employers on Ontario’s pension future. From these consultations, it is clear that businesses in the province prefer a well-targeted pension exclusively for members of the solution that provides flexibility for employers St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and employees, and does not increase their costs unnecessarily. Employers are overwhelmingly in favour of Pooled Registered Pen-


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Helping to Drive Business Success

Key questions from businesses: - What will be the impact of a fully-implemented ORPP? - How will the government treat businesses who cannot afford to match mandatory contributions under the ORPP? - Will there be exemptions for small businesses? - Will small businesses be directed or mandated to offer another plan (PRPP or Group RRSP) as an alternative? - What types of workplace pension plans will be considered “comparable” to the ORPP? - Will a mandatory ORPP scheme provide a desirable level of diversification for Ontarians’ sources of retirement income, and would the relative balance of the retirement savings system be impacted? - How will you address worker mobility issues? - What happens to the ORPP contributions of employers and employees if employees are required to move out of the province, or if they transfer to workplaces in Ontario that already offer a registered workplace plan (or PRPP)? - Will this increase the already significant red tape burden for businesses? - How will the ORPP impact the self-employed? Self-employed individuals often face a greater degree of income variability. While savings vehicles like the PRPP provide flexibility in terms of employer contributions, it is not clear that the ORPP would do the same. At deadline time for this edition, the initial response from Queen’s Park was agreement to meet with Chamber representatives from across Ontario in a teleconference. We pledge to share additional info as it becomes available.

Business Beat Published by Metroland Media Group Ltd., and delivered to businesses in St. Thomas and Elgin Country For complete information on the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce, reach us at: 115-300 South Edgeware Rd., St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 4L1 Telephone: 519-631-1981 Fax: 519-631-0466 E-Mail: mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca Website: www.stthomaschamber.on.ca President & CEO Bob Hammersley Accounting Coordinator Susan Munday Member Services Breah Talan

For complete details, contact the Chamber

115 - 300 South Edgeware Road, St. Thomas Phone: 519-631-1981 Fax: 519-631-0466 Email: mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca www.stthomaschamber.on.ca

October, 2014

sion Plans (PRPPs) and as such, we applaud your government’s intention to implement PRPPs. At the same time, employers are wary of a standalone provincial pension plan. Apart from increased costs, the following concerns regarding the ORPP were outlined by Ontario businesses: - Unnecessary bureaucracy - Fragmentation of the pension landscape - National commitments to Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs). Why should Ontario move in a different direction, while other provinces are already moving toward PRPPs?


St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce 2014 Board of Directors Chair: Laura Woermke St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre Vice-Chair: Ross Fair Fanshawe College Vice-Chair: Dan Kelly Dowler-Karn Ltd. Treasurer: Mark Lassam CPA, CA Lassam & Co. Past Chair: Jason White Steelway Building Systems Director: Sean Dyke

St. Thomas Economic Development Corp. Director: Monty Fordham Fordham Brightling & Associates Lawyers Director: Brian Helmer Reith & Associates Insurance & Financial Director: Jeff Kohler City of St. Thomas Director: Phil Mauer Phil Mauer & Associates Inc. Director: Ginette Minor Alexelle Slipcovers & Décor Director: Rob Mise myFM 94.1 Director: Allan Weatherall Elgin Military Museum – Project Ojibwa


Member News Events and News of Interest to our Members

Pita Pit – It’s a hit!!

There’s an old saying that says, “If the world hands you lemons, make lemonade.” In Shannon Helmer’s case, she’s making pita sandwiches. Shannon is the franchise operator of St. Thomas’ new Pita Pit location that marked its Grand Opening September 20 following a busy ‘soft’ opening over the preceding weeks and set amazing sales numbers like serving 625 customers on her first day. Ask her why she chose to invest in a Pita Pit location, and you get a quick answer: “Because I ate at one!” The whole story has a bit more colour, and is a

great reflection on St. Thomas. Since 1999, Shannon had been working in London for a large firm as a Marketing Analyst. When the company closed up shop in London and moved to Brantford, she did the daily commute from St. Thomas, choosing not to relocate because of husband Tom’s ownership of another local business, Helmer’s Mini-Excavating. $500 per month gasoline bills, scary winter roads, quickly worn-out vehicles and all those to/ from hours driving meant it wasn’t long before Shannon decided to explore investing in her own business. After 18 months of research into what could be a fit, she settled on a Pita Pit franchise and had two choices: London or St. Thomas. The new plaza at 877 Talbot was evaluated as an ideal site. Shannon admits the 14-hour days have been long, but the enthusiasm she shares makes it all worth it. It also means she has added 14 new full-time and part-time jobs to the local market. Founded in 1995 in Kingston near Queen's University, Pita Pit was a restaurant with a new and unique approach. The goal was to offer quality, healthy, fresh food fast. After seeing great success, franchising began Pita Pit franchise owner Shannon Helmer

198 9

4 201

Celebr ating 25 Years

The new Pita Pit storefront on Talbot Street in St. Thomas. across Canada in 1997 and in 1999, the brand expanded to the United States. With more than 500 stores across North America and an additional 70 stores internationally, Pita Pit connects healthy food with people seeking alternatives to the typical fast food choices. Pita Pit's motto is "fresh thinking - healthy eating," and features a menu based on the customer's choice of grilled meats, fresh vegetables, zesty sauces and a pita rolled into a unique and convenient package

Commitment to Excellence

Find out why our Residents say…

“Metcalfe Gardens is the Next Best Place to Home” Call today

Business Plans • Management Consulting Small Business Services • Bookkeeping Services Estate and Trust Returns Business Succession Planning Our Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff have the experience and training to help you with all your accounting and taxation needs

to find out the details of our

Anniversary Specials

45 Metcalfe Street, St. Thomas 519.631.9393 Fax: 519.631.2563

Mark Lassam, CPA, CA 115 Curtis Street, St. Thomas 519-631-1631 mark@lassam.ca


October, 2014



Legal Business Events and News of Interest to our Members

You’ve got the power will, and, in fact, cease to have legal In Ontario, we may assign the effect upon the right to make decisions on our death of the indibehalf with respect to property vidual. or personal care to other perAs in the case of sons pursuant to a document a person’s last will known as a Power of Attorney Monty Fordham and testament, to drawn under the provisions of give a power of The Substitute Decisions Act (SDA). However, attorney, a person Powers of Attorney with respect to property are must possess the quite different from those for personal care, in legal and mental substance, form and context. Granting of Pow- capacity to do so. ers of Attorney to named individuals is generally Of course, as with seen as a preferred alternative to the involvement any such docuof the Public Guardian and Trustee, especially for ment, it cannot a loved one whose ability to care for themselves be signed under or their assets has been diminished, either by ill duress or undue health or the simple passage of time. influence by third A Power of Attorney for property is effective parties. The perfrom the date it is signed by the person giving it, son to whom the Power of Attorney is given is unless it states otherwise. It may extend and be often referred to as a substitute decision-maker, legally enforceable during mental incapacity of particularly in the case of Powers of Attorney for the individual. A Power of Attorney for Personal personal care. care, on the other hand, does not kick in until the I have noticed of late, in my own practice, person giving it lacks the capacity to give instruc- a growing incidence of conflict among family tions with regard to his or her own personal care. members with respect to the conduct of the perAlthough many people prepare and sign Powers son or persons to whom these Powers of Attorof Attorney (POA) coincident with their wills, ney are given. This leads us to the question: “In POAs are separate and apart from the individual’s the absence of a spouse, who do I appoint as my attorney for either property or personal care?” Family? Friends? Professional associates? Do the attorneys have to be the same for both? The answers will, of course, vary greatly from indi• Lets your wishes be known. vidual to individual, but here are some general • Reduces stress for friends and family observations, which I at an already emotional time. hope are helpful. In the case of families • Saves money (Guarantees your family will never have to pay where there is only one more for your funeral, no matter what happens with inflation.) child, the process is arguably simpler than in a “Brady Bunch” type We invite you to discuss Funeral Preplanning with any situation, of combined of our qualified Funeral Directors families. Children can make the process easier if they can demonstrate a reasonable level of cooperation with their siblings. Brotherly love is not required; only a David Gifford Allan Hughson Gary Hughson Owen Boughner Craig Harwood Licensed Owner/Funeral Director Owner/Funeral Director Licensed Licensed modicum of civility. In Funeral Director Funeral Director Funeral Director the clear absence of this (and it isn’t always clear), I would usually recommend going outside the family circle. But where? In the case of a Power of Attorney for property, the foundation of the document is trust. Nothing fosters trust more than a system of checks by Monty Fordham

Prearranging Funerals gives You and Your Family Peace of Mind

45 Elgin Street, St. Thomas (519) 631-0850

October, 2014


and balances. Whether you opt for a professional or a lay person (or both), there is probably nothing wrong with two out of three signatures required on all documents, along with regular accounting to family members. The outsiders will no doubt charge for the service according to the fee schedule of the Substitute Decisions Act. However, the elimination of the inane bickering among children which otherwise often ensues is well worth it. In the case of the Power of Attorney for personal care, the choice is even less clear-cut. Whereas the attorney for property can often seek guidance from the very person who granted it, the attorney for personal care has no such luxury. He or she must make profound decisions, literally of life or death. Complex medical procedures may have to be consented to (or not); protocols of medication may have to be understood. In the case of medical decisions, the provisions of the Health Care Consent Act must be observed as well. This is no place for the faint of heart or the bully child. Yet, the choice must almost always be a family member. Time for serious family discussions. In the case of children, your choice of which child acts should be made clear and unequivocal to the other children. The Law Commission of Ontario has undertaken a project to review the issues of legal capacity, decision-making and Guardians, with a view to improving the process of appointing decision makers, determining capacity and resolving disputes. Input has been sought until October 17, 2014. With our aging population, it is absolutely essential that this process be understood by all parties concerned. I will update you when the final report of the Commission is available. Lawyer Monty Fordham prepares this monthly column for the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and our Members. Monty is also a volunteer serving on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Questions, comments and suggestions for future columns are welcomed by Monty at his office: Fordham & Brightling Associates – Lawyers, 4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas. Telephone 519-633-4000, FAX 519-633-1371 or e-mail: montyfordham@4elgin.ca 12

Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members

Countdown to China … Bon voyage! commodation awaits at the exceptional Crowne Plaza Xanadu Resort along with spectacular sights that include the Lingyin Temple with a 64-foot high camphor-wood carved Buddha. On Day 9, the tour heads for a morning excursion to the Longjing Green Tea Plantation, then, after lunch, returns by highway coach to Shanghai. They will experience incredible scenery at The Bund, Shanghai’s famous waterfront park. Day 10 brings a visit to Yu Garden, then free time exploring the huge old-town bazaar with a fascinating mix of vendors and shops. Day 11 it’s back to the airport and, thanks to the international date line, our group can depart Beijing at 1:55 p.m. and arrive back at Toronto’s Pearson airport at 3:10 p.m. the same day.

You’ve Got Boots to Fill. One of many beautiful views in the Beijing area of China at Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill. October 22, while many of us busy ourselves at the Chamber’s annual Business Sample Show, a group of 28 area people will mark National Small Business Week by starting a truly incredible journey. In co-operation with the Strathroy & District Chamber of Commerce, our 2014 China Tour sees our local passengers depart Toronto’s Pearson airport for a non-stop flight to Beijing. Their 12½ hour flight will be aboard either a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner or a gigantic Airbus A380 with China’s Hainan Airlines, a carrier consistently rated in the top 10 around the globe. Over 11 days, our tour group will enjoy 5-star hospitality in some of the most beautiful hotels in the world. The group’s itinerary includes stops at all of the sites you’d expect such as the Great Wall, Tian An Men Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and much, much more. They will dine on Peking Roast Duck and experience food service extends far beyond traditional Canadian and American fare. Days 2, 3, 4 & 5 of the tour see our travelers in and around Beijing, population 21.2 million. The weather they will experience in the Beijing region should be slightly milder that ours at this time of year. On Monday October 27, Day 6 for our group, they take a 2-hour flight south to Shanghai, the largest city in China and the largest city in the world with population currently estimated at 24 million. From this point forward in the trip, palm trees and warmer temps will be on the agenda. Following arrival in Shanghai they travel by bus to Suzhou for some time in a silk factory, at Jinji Lake, and at the centuries old Lingering Garden. Day 7 sees our group move to another part of Suzhou then on to Hangzhou. More top-level ac-



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Pro Text Events and News of Interest to our Members

Not all insurance providers are the same by Crystal Underhil

You received your insurance renewal and have decided to shop around to compare the prices – but may not be sure where to start. With home and auto insurance, there are different ways you can get an indication of premium. The first thing you want to do is select what distribution channel is best for you. There are three main channels. The first is a direct writing insurer. These are typically online or a centralized 1-800 number in a call centre environment that you call and speak to a company representative in regards to obtaining a quote. Often when you call into speak to someone in regards to your policies, you speak to a different person each time. The second option is an insurance agent – intermediaries who often act solely as a representative of a single insurer. Your third option is an insurance broker. Insurance brokers are independent business people who arrange insurance by looking for the coverage that best suits your needs. They usually have contracts with multiple insurance companies and act as an intermediary between the client and the insurer; they work for the clients that they serve. A broker provides choice the others cannot. After you choose the distribution method that you feel is best for your needs, and you speak to

247-450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas, ON 519-637-0181 x204 1-888-877-2119 www.ArcBenefits.ca

October, 2014

a representative from the source, he or she will start asking you questions. There are standard questions such as date of birth, type of car you drive, where you live. Do you commute for work? Do you have any accidents or tickets? How old is your home? What kind of updates have you made, etc.? You want to make sure that your representative really understands you and the coverage that you need. All too often, I hear: “My old insurance provider never asked me that.” To which I respond “I’m sorry to hear that, as I’m not sure how they could possibly pro-

Stability & Predictability for Small Businesses

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vide you with the right policy if they don’t know your needs.” A good example is jewellery coverage – did you know that most policies have a special limit for theft or mysterious disappearance of jewellery? Do you know what that limit is on your policy? Is it adequate to cover all jewellery in the house? Do you travel outside of Ontario? Often times you can add travel insurance onto your current policy. A very important item of concern is the limit of coverage on your buildings. Your home needs to be insured to the value that it would cost to rebuild it, not the value you may sell it for or the assessed value for taxes. With older homes, the purchase costs are relatively lower than new homes yet the cost to rebuild them keeps going up. If you only insure to the amount you paid for the home, and you have a loss, you could be left significantly under-in-


... claims don’t only happen between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday to Friday... sured and have a large issue at the time of a claim. Without your provider asking the right questions, these are things that you may never know until it is too late, and a claim has already happened. Another key point is answering the question, “What do you do in the event of a claim?” Who do you call? Does your provider have an internal after hours claim line? It is always nice to deal with a provider who is there any time of the day because, as we all know, claims don’t only happen between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. As you consider the price of your current renewals, remember that, sometimes, the best price might not be the right choice or best coverage available. Be sure to know what you are getting and that you have the right coverage. Paying for insurance that does not respond properly to a claim does not give you any benefit and defeats the savings you may have had prior to your unfortunate event. This column appears regularly in Business Beat and has been submitted by Crystal Underhill, RIB (ON),CIP, New Business Development Broker/ Advisor with Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited, 462 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Questions and comments on this column are welcomed by the writer at 519-631-3862 or via e-mail: info@reithandassociates.com 14

CHAMBER NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members

Will you know how to help? A sad fact, but very real. One in three Canadians will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. The last few years have seen dramatic change and improvements in awareness, reaction and prevention. In co-operation with The Chamber and the Canadian Mental Health Association, our community health and safety affiliate, the St. Thomas Elgin Safe Communi-

ties Coalition, is proud to offer everyone in our community a new option. It’s a program called Mental Health First Aid and, just as the more traditional first aid programs for physical injuries and illnesses have proven worthwhile, this program adds new tools that have strong value. What is “Mental Health First Aid”? Our MHFA program is a 12-hour training course that teaches participants how to help someone who is showing signs of a mental health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis. MFHA Canada is an evidence-based program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Who should attend? Our focus is primarily small and medium-size employers, health service providers, emergency workers, HR professionals and teachers, but the program is open for participation by anyone in our community. When and where… and how much? Our first community offering of this program is for a maximum of 25 people. Delivery dates are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, November 25 & 26 and December 2 & 3, 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Our program leaders will be certified trainers from

the Canadian Mental Health Association. $130 per person includes texts and materials. Our session will all be held in the main boardroom at the Elgin Business Resource Centre on South Edgeware Road. What’s covered? This is a basic level interactive course that teaches practical skills using a model that is easy to remember and apply in real life settings. It is appropriate for any adult with limited or no knowledge of mental health concerns. - Signs and symptoms of mental health problems and crisis situations - A basic model to provide Mental Health First Aid - Information about how to help in a crisis and how to help prevent a crisis from arising - Encouraging a person to identify options for help. One of our Safe Communities volunteers, Pam Buys, has taken the course and is assisting us with registrations. Pam is the Coordinator of Client Services & Community Support Services with VON Middlesex-Elgin. She will answer questions and welcomes your calls or emails. Reach Pam by phone during office hours at 519-637-6408, Extension 223 or email: pam.buys@von.ca Registration and basic program details may also be viewed in the Events section on the Chamber’s website.

Full range oF sprinkler systems at impact Fire protection ltd. Large sprinkler systems or small, at Impact Fire Protection Ltd., they sell and service them all. There’s plenty of experience at this company in the industrial park area of St. Thomas. Dan Schleihauf has been working with sprinkler systems for 11 years, including his 5 year apprenticeship where he earned his Certificate of Qualification. Dan made “the life choice that I wanted to start my own company,” he says. “That decision was made easier when my dad was able to join me.” His father is Mark Schleihauf, who has over 40 years in the sprinkler trade, working his way up to sales and management.

Over the years, Mark was involved in three previous startup companies. He owned and operated Talbot Fire Protection Ltd., located in St. Thomas, for almost nine years. As Dan says, “Between us, we have the experience to service your sprinkler equipment.” They specialize in Retrofit Installations and inspect, sell and service all types of sprinkler systems, including wet, dry, deluge, pre-action and others. “We service, repair, inspect and install fire pumps, hydrants and sandpipe systems, among others. Impact Fire Protection Ltd. services many different sectors, ranging from residential and commercial

to educational and industrial.” The range of services is impressive, including 24-hour emergency repair, testing, inspections, installations, retrofits, replacement, maintenance, training and design. For a FREE quote on your

in Specializing ts c je ro P Retrofit

sprinkler system, whether it’s so new that it’s still on the drawing board, or established and in need of some professional attention, contact Dan or Mark at Impact Fire Protection Ltd.

on your FREE Quotes ystem Sprinkler S

2-49 Progress Drive, St. Thomas N5P 4G4, (519) 631-6111 • 1-844-467-2289 (844-IMPACT9) www.impactfire.ca • 24 Hour Emergency Service October, 2014



Member NEWS Events and News of Interest to our Members

New Members The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce proudly welcomes the following businesses and individuals as our newest Members. Those listed below were accepted as registered Members August 16 to September 15, 2014. Once an organization registers with the Chamber, all personnel (owners/managers/staff) within the organization have full access to all Chamber programs, projects, events and services.

vide personal care and assistance to people of all ages. In addition to the new London/St. Thomas franchise, there are Homewatch locations and personnel across Canada and the US, and in Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica. Senior Home Care, Dementia Care, After Surgery Home Care, 24-hour Elder Care, and specialized care for those with chronic medical conditions are some of the in-homes services provided.

Homewatch CareGivers of London & St. Thomas 219 Consortium Court London, ON N6E 2S8 Phone: 226-680-0130 Fax: 226-680-0134 Email: lryckman@homewatchcaregivers.com Website: www.homewatchcaregivers.com/london-on Contact: Lesley Ryckman, Owner/Operator Buyers Guide Categories: Health Care Services Products & Services: Homewatch CareGivers is a growing network of professionals who pro-

Impact Fire Protection Ltd. 49 Progress drive, Unit 2 St. Thomas, ON N5P 4G4 Phone: 519-207-1311 Email: dan@impactfire.ca Web: www.impactfire.ca Contact: Dan Schleihauf, President Buyers Guide Category: Fire Protection Equipment – Sales & Service Products & Services: Impact Fire Protection works with businesses, industries, municipalities and all types of environments that require complete design, installation, repair, testing,

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October, 2014


inspecting, and servicing of entire sprinkler systems. They offer 24 Hour Emergency Service and have fully trained personnel to work on all systems from wet, dry, pre-action, and deluge to fire pumps, hydrants, standpipes and everything in between. London International Airport 1750 Crumlin Road London, ON N5V 3B6 Phone: 519-452-4042 Email: info@flylondon.ca or brice@flylondon.ca Web: www.flylondon.ca Contact: Brad Rice, Manager – Business Development Buyers Guide Categories: Transportation Services Products & Services: The London International Airport is operated by the Greater London International Airport Authority (GLIAA) and currently handles nearly 500,000 passengers annually with flights to Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Chicago, vacation charters to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Florida, and cruise connections to Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Effective October 26, daily flights will be added to offer direct jet service to and from New York/New Jersey. Renovations in 2009 expanded the airport's capacity to handle over one million passengers. Air Canada, United Airlines, WestJet, Sunwing Vacations, Transat Vacations, and Celebrity Cruises all offer flights from London. Close to 50 flights depart and arrive at the London International Airport daily.

Service to All MAkeS Natural Gas and Dishwasher Hookups

4th Generation Business Since 1962 7 Hydro Road, St. Thomas ON www.mudgesappliances.com



Participate in our 2014 Bail or Jail October 16th and 17th at Geerlinks Home Hardware

Be a “Detainee” (or persuade someone to be a “Detainee”) and the release from “Jail” will be determined by money collected previously by “Bail Pledges” or by phoning friends and relatives for bail money while you in jail. We will be Rewarding the “Detainee” who brings in the highest amount of collected pledges on the day they go to “Jail” with a very special prize. Call Constable Heather White at (519) 631-1224, ext 153 to get involved.

1-800-222-TIPS (8477) www.stthomascrimestoppers.ca

We Couldn’t do it without the support of the Community Proud Supporter of Crime Stoppers

Locke Insurance Brokers Est. 1929

St. Thomas’ Oldest Family-Owned Insurance Brokerage Serving the Family-Owned Community forInsurance over 80 years St. Thomas’ Oldest Brokerage ------------------------------------------

496 Talbot Street St.Thomas, ON N5P 1C2 (519) 631-2782 info@lockeinsurancebrokers.ca www.lockeinsurancebrokers.ca

Proudly Fuelling Crime StoPPerS For over 10 yearS!!

lynhurst eSSo & variety

members SAVE 3.5¢ PER LITRE when you sign up for Esso’s Direct Billing Program.

Wellington Road at St. George St., St Thomas, Ontario

Proud to Support Crime Stoppers

open 7 days a week (519) 633-0002

The St.Thomas Police Services Board & Members of the St.Thomas Police Service are Proud Community Partners with Crime Stoppers. St. thomaS Police 30 St. Catharine Street St.Thomas, ON N5P 2V8 519-631-1364 www.stps.on.ca

Local Community News everyday on our website at www.theweeklynews.ca

Supporting Our Community

Break open tickets on sale now. All Proceeds from the tickets go to Crime Stoppers

St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce

Supplying Vehicles to Crime Stoppers for Over 10 Years!!

www.dowlerkarn.com October, 2014



Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce

Used car dealership keeps hometown feel Goodwill’s Used Cars in Aylmer has seen amazing growth since its inception in 1974. Red Hooghiem who owns and operates the business with his brother, Al, attributes their growth and success to a few key factors. They buy good quality cars for resale. “Knowing how to do that is important,” Red says. “We don’t chintz out on cars. We recondition them to a T.” They offer a wide range of quality vehicles at a variety of price points. And they look after people following the sale, paying a lot of attention to after-sales service, so, of course, people come back. “If we don’t have it, we’ll get it for you,” Red says, and Goodwill’s offers all types of extended warranties as well as bank or in-house financing. Goodwill’s Used Cars was started by Al and Red’s father who began with a small gas station and two repair bays across the road from their current location at 420 Talbot Street E. in Aylmer. Red and Al began as gas pump boys in high school and went on to get their mechanic’s licenses. Originally, they ran the shop while their dad sold cars, but as the two sons did more and more selling, they hired other mechanics to do the repairs. Moving to the new location in 2002 gave them the capacity to triple capacity from 70 to 80 vehicles on the lot to 225 cars and trucks. In addition to owners Red and Al, Goodwill’s employs a manager, five licensed mechanics, two in reconditioning and two full-time in the office.

While they sell vehicles to people as far away as Ottawa, their main sales area is Aylmer, St. Thomas and London. “We’re not pushy. It’s still a small town atmosphere,” Red says. Members of the Aylmer and Area Chamber of Commerce are invited to experience that atmosphere at the Business After Business at Goodwill’s Used Cars on Wednesday, October 29, 5:00pm-6:30pm.


Al and Red Hooghiem in the Goodwill’s office.

See our flyer for Excellent weekly specials Customer and everyday Service low, low prices

We Work to help you protect What you can’t afford to lose

ray Jenken – agent 150 John St. N., Aylmer

(519) 773-5555

rjenken@westelgin.com Monday-Friday 8-9, Saturday 8-7, Sunday 9-6 John Str N. Aylmer October, 2014

Wishing You a happY Thanksgiving



Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce

Annual General Meeting Oct. 15 at the Saxonia

One of the Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce’s most popular events is happening on Wednesday, October 15 at the Saxonia Hall in Aylmer. The Annual General Meeting & Dinner is always a great opportunity for members to meet and have conversation over dinner.  It’s not very often our members get to speak with other businesses in the area for casual conversation for periods longer than a few minutes. Over 120 guests enjoy a delicious cabbage roll and chicken dinner prepared by the ladies at the German Canadian Club/Saxonia Hall. After dinner, the Chamber board looks after their annual business as well as presenting the Chamber Community Spirit Award. This year, we are pleased to have Paul Collins, the President & CEO at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital for our guest speaker. In addition, Paul Jenkins, Executive Director at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation will be joining him.  They will be presenting “The Great Expansion of STEGH.” “ The Great expansion will…     •    Help us deliver the healthcare that our families and friends deserve during each visit, at every stage of life, and as close to home as possible     •    Empower us to continue to attract top notch medical professionals like the ones already delivering our community’s healthcare     •    Equip our expanded Hospital with the advanced medical equipment and design innovation of 21st century care” We hope you will join us to meet other business members in the area, network and learn more about the Great Expansion at the STEGH.  It’s Our Hospital! If you are interested in attending and this will be your first time, email us as we are happy to connect you with others you may know that are attending.

Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce

Business After Business Social

Goodwill's Used Cars Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 5:00pm-6:30pm Everyone welcome!

HA Kebbel Funeral Home Limited Serving Aylmer since 1961

Elgin County’s Largest Selection Of Used Vehicles

Over 200 used vehicles to choose from

Financing comPlete auto available service

Paint & collision centre


420 Talbot St. E., Aylmer 519-765-1047

119 Talbot Street East Aylmer kebbel@eastlink.ca

(519) 773-8400

www.kebbelfuneralhome.com October, 2014

www.goodwillsusedcars.com ELGIN THIS MONTH


Be Ready For Winter Are you making the grade on energy efficiency? (NC) Do you see yourself as an energy efficient homeowner? Probably not is the conclusion of a report card recently released by Direct Energy. The report found that many Ontario homeowners are not making the grade in key areas associated with efficient home heating, which may result in higher energy bills this winter. Nearly all (84 per cent) of homeowners have a programmable thermostat earning them an “A” grade, but they fail when it comes to: • setting the most energy efficient temperature • knowing how often to change furnace filter • scheduling a fall furnace maintenance “It’s not surprising to see most homeowners have installed programmable thermostats because there’s been a lot of awareness generated about their benefits in the past few years,” says Dave Walton, the director of home ideas for Direct Energy. “However, there’s much more to heating your home efficiently. Improving your overall

knowledge about your home, making some sim- months is easy to do and helps your furnace run ple, inexpensive changes and adopting energy ef- more efficiently.” ficient practices can help homeowners save money Additional tips to improve energy efficiency this in the long run.” winter include: Homeowners across the province received a fail• Check for leaks around windows and doors ing grade on their intention to get their furnace and seal them up before the cold weather sets in. maintained this fall, with only 38 per cent plan• Set ceiling fans to turn clockwise to push warm ning to schedule an inspection. Direct Energy air down in to the room. advises that it should be done professionally by • Use a humidifier to add warm moisture to dry a licensed technician every year before winter be- air, which helps make you feel more comfortable. gins to ensure the furnace is in proper working Additional tips and ideas can be found at www. order. This routine will also help you avoid costly DavesCorner.ca. repairs. www.newscanada.com Just over half (58 per cent) of those surveyed say they change the furnace filters at least every three months, a number Walton would like to see increase. “Changing or cleaning fur(NC) – No matter where you gency kit, there are a number of nace filters every three drive, you never know when some- things that Goossens suggests you thing could go wrong. It could be a need. These items include: flat tire, getting stuck in traffic, an • A cell phone (if you don't carry accident, a car break down, or slid- one with you) The MICHELIN X-ICE Xi3 tire stops up to 10% shorter on ice ing into a ditch on a less travelled • A first aid kit and lasts up to two times longer road. This is why it is important to • Bottled water and snacks than leading competitors' tires. always be prepared and part of being • A blanket, gloves, and additional WINTER prepared involves having an emer- warm clothing for the winter months gency kit. • Flashlight and batteries Having an emergency kit in your • Tire gauge and jumper cables car can be very helpful when you are • A small tool kit in a bind. While some people overThis is a minimum. Depending look its importance because they rely on your specific situation, you may on road side assistance, the reality is include other items based on your that you never know how long it will driving frequency and the climate take for help to arrive. where you drive. “Even if you have road side assisRegardless of how often and where tance coverage you may have to wait you drive, having an emergency kit a while for help to arrive, especially is common sense. If you don't have in poor weather conditions,” says one already, investing in one is not Achiel Goossens, the senior manager only important, it could be a lifeMichelinCanada of auto claims with Aviva Canada. saver. More detailed information is “An emergency kit can help make available from your insurance broker things more comfortable while you or at AvivaCanada.com. are waiting for help to arrive.” www.newscanada.com While there is no limit to what MAIL-IN REBATE items you can include in your emer® WHEN YOU BUY 4 MICHELIN TIRES ON PASSENGER OR LIGHT TRUCK TIRES ONLY





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1, 2

October 6 to December 15, 2014. See claim form for details.

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Be Ready For Winter

How to protect your family from the silent killer NC) – Ontario's new law that requires homeowners (and landlords) to install at least one working carbon monoxide (CO) alarm outside sleeping areas (if there is any risk of CO exposure) has many health and safety officials breathing a sigh of relief. Many homeowners though, might be scratching their heads.

alarm choices are: models that have battery backup and continuous (not push-button) digital displays that show you if low levels of the gas are present, allowing you to take corrective action before an emergency can happen; and, CO alarms that have sealed lithium batteries lasting 10 years from activation.

While smoke alarms have had more than 25 years to become part of any safe home, carbon monoxide alarms are a relatively new entry. Take a look at some valuable tips for protecting your family, since humans cannot see, smell, or taste this silent killer:

New models also feature a builtin “end of life” signal that tells you when 10 years are up and it is time to replace the entire unit.

• Carbon monoxide gas has almost the same density as air. That means it mixes freely with it, rather than rising above it (like hot air) or falling below it (like cold air). • Since carbon monoxide mixes with air, it means that a CO alarm can be installed anywhere: on the ceiling alone or as a combination

smoke/CO alarm (battery powered or hardwired); down near floor-level (plug-in); or on a bookcase or shelf (battery power only). • If you choose a plug-in or hardwired model, be sure it also has a battery backup. A power outage is not a good time to be unprotected.

exposure include feelings similar to the flu, without the fever. Another telltale sign that you may have carbon monoxide in your home is that you feel lethargic, nauseous and achy in the house but quickly feel better when you go out. Then, when you return, the flu-like symptoms return.

• Symptoms of carbon monoxide

• Two of today's most popular CO


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“When you do the math, a homeowner can save about $40 during the 10-year lifespan of their alarm by switching to a worry-free model with a sealed lithium battery,” says Carol Heller, a home safety expert with alarm manufacturer Kidde Canada. “And since most homes have at least two smoke alarms and one CO alarm, the savings can really add up. On top of that, the freedom of never having to change batteries again is a real hit with homeowners.” www.newscanada.com

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Be Ready For Winter

Simple tips to feel good and look your best (NC) Feeling good about yourself goes beyond having a great hair day, the right outfit, or the latest handbag—it's something that starts on the inside. When we learn to live a healthier lifestyle, we can begin to reap the benefits of more energy, improved vitality and elevated spirits. Follow these simple and realistic steps to feel your best and increase your overall wellbeing: Bright ideas for your daily diet A nutritious, balanced diet helps keep your skin glowing and your body looking its best. Having the right tools will make your new vitality focus even easier. Consider items such as a spiralizer for making quick and easy veggie "noodles" for pasta dishes, stir-fries and salads, and use a food steamer to cook foods without having to add oil. Invest in a quality blender, as it offers a convenient and tasty way to consume several servings of fruits and vegetables at once. Very popular right

now, for example, is the new Vitamix S30. The manufacturer points out that it's a high-performance personal blender with unmatched power and versatility. The S30 is compact, portable, and for people on the go it easily creates healthy and delicious smoothies, soups, sauces, frozen desserts and nut butters. Toss in whole fruits, vegetables, or a combination of both, for a simple, yet nutrient-packed breakfast

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smoothie w h e n you're heading out the door. Or, instead of eating lunch at your desk, blend up a healthy smoothie and bring it on a lunchtime walk. Count those steps Incorporating exercise into a daily routine is important for your wellbeing. Simply increasing the number of steps you take each day can help. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) recommends adults engage in  150 minutes of moderate activity per week, such as brisk walking. To this


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recommendation, take at least 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day. Other easy ways to increase your steps include parking farther away from a store or work entrance, opting for the stairs instead of elevators and escalators, and taking a sunset stroll. Exercising in the evening can also help you unwind from the day's stresses. Create a rest routine Getting enough shut-eye is vital to looking and feeling your best. Skipping out on your sleep can have serious physical and mental impact. For a more restful night, The National Sleep Foundation of Canada recommends going to bed at the same time each evening and rising at the same time each morning. Don't eat or drink within an hour of trying to sleep and avoid electronic screens for 30 minutes before retiring for the evening. You might enjoy a light activity, such as reading a book, to help clear your mind. Lastly, ensure that you continue to make rest a priority, even as your schedule becomes busier. Ample, quality sleep will be the building block for more energy, better focus and even improved digestion throughout the day. With a few simple adjustments to your daily routine, you can look forward to feeling your best. Take care of yourself on the inside and out, and enjoy life from a fresh perspective.


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Flu shot 101: How to avoid the flu this year NC) Let's face it: being sick with the flu can be awful. And if you or a family member have other health issues, it can be a serious threat. The smartest thing you can do this flu season is avoid getting sick. According to Ontario's Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robin Williams, the following tips will help make sure your family stays as healthy as possible this season. 1. The flu shot is the best way to avoid the flu: Getting the flu shot is the most effective way of avoiding the virus because it helps your body build the defenses it needs to fight the flu. Dr. Williams says the flu shot is a safe way to keep you and your family from getting influenza. Getting the shot for everyone over 6 months of age will also protect babies younger than 6 months who are too young to get the vaccine and are at high risk of developing serious complications from the flu. 2. Get the flu shot early: While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October,

during most seasons, influenza activity peaks in January or later. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to fully protect, so it's best to get the flu shot early in mid-October so you are protected before influenza begins spreading in your community.

3. Incorporate the flu shot into your overall health plan: Even if you've received your flu shot, proper hygiene is an important way to guard against and limit the spread of illness. Consider these facts: a. Viruses, like the flu, can live on your hands for up to five minutes and on hard surfaces that you touch with your hands – like countertops and telephones – for 48 hours. b. If you don't have a tissue, coughing into your upper sleeve is best. c. The flu virus usually enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth. In fact, a simple sneeze can spread the flu up to six feet. For more information about the flu, or to locate the nearest flu shot clinic to you, visit www.ontario.ca/flu. www.newscanada.com


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Be Ready For Winter What's new on the home décor front this fall (NC) Revamping our personal environment can not only add beauty, but makes us feel better emotionally, as well as physically, preparing us for the seasonal turn and all that comes with it. “The market is overflowing with new and exciting introductions,” says Sally Morse, director of creative services for Hunter Douglas, a leading name in Canadian window fashions. “The new designs are enough to make a big difference both in your home's look and mood without requiring a major overhaul.” Here are some of her favorite ways to update any home: Très Glam Touches A highly original wallcovering, light fixtures, or a gamut of accessories – a few glamorous touches go a long way. Try papering the foyer in a textured metallic material or add a shimmering glow to the den with linear LED lights hidden within the ceiling cove. Updated Classics Hunter Douglas Pirouette window shadings are reminiscent of classically hobbled Roman shades, but feature an innovative design of soft, horizontal fabric vanes attached to a single sheer backing. The vanes open and close for variable light control and reduced glare. New Alustra Pirouette shadings enhance these

qualities with a luscious new fabric, Charmeuse, which has the essence of raw silk with a refined texture in eight colours. A tinted back sheer is standard for a colour-coordinated look. They can be motorized and operated with the Hunter Douglas Platinum App and integrated into home automation systems. Fashion-forward and so easy to manage. Safety and Style Hunter Douglas offers the widest variety of product operating systems that eliminate or substantially reduce access to lift cords. The designs are well-suited for homes with young children. With the LiteRise cordless lifting system simply use your fingers to raise or lower the window treatment. Even better, it's now offered on the company's roller shades. Gold and Brass Touches Try table lamps with brass or gold-leafed bases or a wood desk with brass-plated legs. Finish with the bronzed gold Charmeuse featured in the new Alustra Pirouette shadings.

“Search out the new introductions in the world of interiors even if you haven't anything specific in mind,” counsels Morse. “One small purchase could mean a stunning change in your home, and in your lifestyle.” More information is available online at www. hunterdouglas.ca. www.newscanada.com

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Be Ready For Winter Why new car technology has changed vehicle maintenance (NC) It’s always a thrill to drive off the lot in a brand new car. The vehicle looks good, feels good, and the odometer reading is next to zero. With this brand new start, many of us make a pledge to be a bit more devoted to vehicle maintenance. New vehicle technology, however, has changed how to maintain your vehicle properly, and keep the engine running well.

a whole new level,” says Colin Dilley, director of technology at Prestone Products Corporation, a leading name in this field. “In fact, for almost 20 years we didn’t have to make any changes to our formula, which protected all makes and model of cars and light duty trucks. But to meet the needs of today’s vehicles we have added a new inhibitor package called Cor-Guard to prevent corrosion”.

To meet consumer demands for lower pricing and improved gas mileage, car manufacturers are changing the way they make engines. Many are using  thinner, lighter materials and this change has placed increased demand on antifreeze/coolant  to protect the cooling system from freezing, from boiling over – and from corrosion.

“So many dissimilar metals and alternative lightweight materials are combined in new engines today,” Dilley continues, “including cast iron, steel, cast aluminum, and aluminum alloys, so a whole new fluid was needed to inhibit corrosion. If you have a new car especially, always make sure that the antifreeze/coolant has the proper combination of high quality inhibitors.”

“If you want to get years and years of reliable life from your new car, antifreeze must perform at

What would happen without it?

Two main problems could arise, he said. First, an improperly protected cooling system can result in perforation of the engine block at a hot spot due to cavitation corrosion, and if coolant seeps through to the combustion chamber, it can destroy an engine within minutes. This also contributes to poor heat transfer, higher coolant temperature and higher oil-and-engine head temperatures, which can lead to overheating and increased engine wear. “For all makes, models, and fluid colours,” Dilley points out, “a specialized anti-corrosion agent in your antifreeze/coolant prevents corrosion and provides longer engine life, letting you enjoy that new car feeling for longer. www.newscanada.com

Your furnace needs an annual checkup too (NC) A dormant furnace during the summer is likely collecting hazardous dust, dirt and debris within the blowers and electrical components. Over time, this buildup becomes hazardous to a homeowner's health and wallet, but it can be prevented easily with an annual visit from a licensed heating technician. These costs are modest and are well worth the benefits, most homeowners say. In fact, we can minimize the expense by taking on some of the work ourselves, like replacing filters seasonally. But proper furnace cleaning and tune up should be done by a licensed technician, who will quickly and conveniently inspect and clean your heating system, ensuring it is safe and ready for the coming winter months. Inspections performed should include the following: • A safety test for carbon monoxide; • Checking for hazardous debris in the chimney and flue; • Cleaning of air filters and re-installing;

• Checking operation of thermostat and safety control • Checking gas pilot safety system and cleaning as required; • Cleaning the motor and fan; • Checking the blower operation; • Checking condition, tension and alignment of fan belt, and performing required adjustments (on older systems); • Cleaning burners and setting for proper combustion and ignition; • Checking the gas piping to furnace. Yearly cleaning extends the life of a furnace, prevents the risk of expensive emergency repairs, and improves air quality, leading to a reduction of allergies, asthma and other illness. A well maintained heating system can also deliver greater furnace efficiency, which prevents energy waste. To make sure your heating system is up to handling another Canadian winter, book a checkup


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Dining & Entertainment Food & Wine

Sideways – ten years later by Jamie Quai

In October of 2004 Fox Searchlight Pictures, in limited theatres, released a film that would have a profound effect on the world of wine. It became one of the most influential wine and food movies to ever hit the mainstream: Sideways. I’m going to talk a little about what the movie is about (for those who haven’t seen it), what happens in the movie that has an effect on the wine world, the fallout ten years later, and then a little bit of trivia for wine and food geeks. Sideways is a relatively small budget film that is based on the book by Rex Pickett of the same name. The screenplay was adapted by the film’s director, Alexander Payne. The story follows two characters, Miles and Jack, who head to Santa Barbara wine country in California for a week to celebrate Jack’s upcoming nuptials. Jack is an over-the-hill actor and voice-over artist who has trouble with relationship fidelity, and Miles is a bitter, failed novelist, whose passion for good wine

...the movie was partially responsible for a shift in alcohol consumption to wine...


moves the story forward. Their adventures in wine country involve meeting Maya and Stephanie, two wine industry locals who add passion, complexity and levity to the story. The visuals are amazing, the wineries are all real locations, and winemakers themselves have cameos in the film. The movie was a critical and commercial success. It made hundreds of ‘ten best’ lists, it eventually was given wider release, won several awards for the production, direction, acting and even an Oscar for adapted screenplay. The characters were praised for their authenticity, the story was smart, and from the wine industry’s perspective, the wine details were correct. The films popularity is directly responsible for a real-world wine phenomenon known as the Sideways Effect. Like a lot of wine geeks, Miles is obsessed with the elegant beauty of Pinot Noir. He believes that other red wines are profoundly flawed and are not worth wasting his energy on. He described Cabernet Franc as tasting “like the back of an LA school bus” and famously declares in a tantrum that he “is not drinking any [expletive] Merlot.” By Christmas of 2004, the Sideways effect had begun to take shape. Merlot sales levelled off and eventually went into decline (a trend that still continues to this day). Pinot Noir sales skyrocketed. Pinot Noir volume sales were up over 20% from Christmas 2003. The movie was partially responsible for a shift in alcohol consumption to wine in North America and Europe. The rate of increasing Pinot Noir sales has smoothed off somewhat but the effect is still present. Wine tourism in Santa Barbara and the Russian River Valley (where some of the best California Pinots are made) exploded. Sideways was by and large embraced by the difference. wine industry (There are some iconic Merlot

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producers who didn’t like it). It was well made. It captured the beauty and fun of wine tourism, and very smartly had layers of detail that would be lost to the general public, but would make a wine geek smile. One of the hardest things for a winemaker to convey is the passion it takes to make great wine – Miles and Maya convey it beautifully. All of the characters are flawed, but their aspiration to find or experience the perfect Pinot Noir is a proxy for their own journey to overcome their faults and seek their personal perfection. Finally, on a very deep level (and this is total wine geek): in several film and novel dissections, it turns out that the characters of Miles and Jack are anthropomorphised adaptations of the Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines they describe (unlikeable and shallow). They both want to be something they are not. And despite the obsession for Pinot Noir, the final layer to the analogy that closes the story involves a depressed Miles drinking his most prized bottle of wine – an equal blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The novel is incredibly written and faithfully adapted. I highly recommend going back to the film ten years after its release and rediscovering it. A final note: if you can’t get enough of the characters, Pickett wrote a sequel in 2011 called Vertical. Jamie Quai is head winemaker at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County


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Fall décor to last all season by Renée Carpenter

Celebrate the season’s unparalleled beauty by inviting the outdoors in. Leverage colourful fall leaves, pumpkins, berries, corn, and more as you

12th Annual

create fall décor that will last you into November. Here are just a few ideas for various lifestyles ... Showcase miniature pumpkins in an elegant fashion with a bell jar or cloche. The pumpkins create the homey, fall look, but a sleek glass dome adds a touch of class and formality. Add colourful details around the dome, such as leaves, flowers, or other fall favorites, to complete the arrangement. Cut a hole in the top of a pumpkin, scoop out the insides, and place a candle inside the cavity to create a warm fall light. Try different sizes of pumpkins and surround them with gourds and other pumpkins to complete the arrangement. Autumn is a season full of colours other than just reds, oranges, and yellows. Deep colours, like purple, green, or navy work, as well. Arrange artichokes, heads of lettuce, and lotus pods in similar coloured vases, or use dry split peas as a vase filler. Transition your pumpkins into late fall by adding pinecones to your displays. For a late-fall centerpiece, place a large pumpkin in a shallow base and surround the base with pinecones. A fall combo arrangement is as simple as getting the right materials and tossing them together. The combination of fruits, pinecones, leaves, gourds, vines and more provides a variety of colours, shapes and textures that instantly make the arrangement

look complete. Ornamental grasses dress up lots of things including a plain staircase for fall. Simply bundle bunches of the grasses together, secure with a rubber band, and tie to every other baluster on your staircase with raffia. Set a festive table piled high with rich fall colours of pumpkins, gourds, and bittersweet. Raid the cupboard for display ideas such as bowls or cake plates to create an elegant centerpiece. Cylindrical vases and other containers of different sizes can be used to stack gourds in varying amounts. Add a length of fresh pumpkin vine from the garden, pulling the vine out at the root and rinsing off the dirt. Place it in the vase with a bit of water to give each display a vibrant touch. White pumpkins double as vases and make for an artful, natural fall display. Tuck leaves, orange flowers, and cattails into a vase hidden inside the hollowed-out pumpkins. Hollow out several tall squashes or gourds that stand upright and use them as vases for your favorite fall blossoms. Spray-paint a mix of small gourds shimmery gold and stack them on a glass cake plate to create an elegant display. A decorative arrangement of cattails, pheasant feathers, and Purple Majesty ornamental millet will last all season and doesn’t require water. Place chicken wire or floral netting inside an urn to create structure within the vase. Mold the wire into a ball to fit the bottom of the vase and stick the stems into the holes to complete the arrangement.

Renée Carpenter owns Jennings Furniture & Design & Stage It With Jennings in St. Thomas.

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HealtHy living EvEryday HEaltH

Pack it light, wear it right

Choose the right backpack to avoid injury by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.

Now that we are nicely back into the school routine, it seems like a good time to review the proper use of backpacks. Backpacks have become the most common school accessory to help in the transportation of the plethora of supplies and personal belongings that our children lug back and forth to school each and every day. Backpacks are the most efficient way to transport heavy materials over moderate distances while maintaining the safety of the spine which is why students should be encouraged to carry their gear in a backpack. If, however, they don’t have an appropriately fitted and loaded backpack, these all-important accessories can lead to back and neck pain. In fact, wearing a poorly designed or overloaded backpack may have serious and long lasting conse-

quences for a growing and developing spine. A heavy backpack carried on one shoulder forces the muscles and the spine to compensate for the uneven weight. This will place stress on the mid and lower back creating pain in the short term and perhaps increasing the likelihood of back problems later in life. More than 50 percent of young people experience at least one episode of lower back pain by their teenage years. Research indicates that this could be the result, to a great extent, of improper use of backpacks. A 2002 study at Queen’s University found that choosing the right backpack and taking care to distribute the weight evenly can make a big difference in avoiding injuries and being pain free. Here are a few pointers to help your school age children choose an appropriate backpack and load it properly. Choosing the right backpack 1. Choose a backpack proportionate to body size and not larger than what is needed. The top of the backpack should not extend higher than the top of the shoulder and the bottom half should not fall below the top of the hipbone. 2. Select a backpack made of lightweight material ( vinyl or canvas instead of leather). 3. The shoulder straps should be at least two inches wide, adjustable and padded. Ensure that they do not cut into, or fit too snugly, around the arms and arm pits. Poorly designed shoulder straps can dig into the muscles and compress nerves. 4. Look for a padded back for added protection and comfort. 5. A hip strap or waist belt helps to effectively redistribute as much as 50 to 70 percent of the weight off the shoulders and spine into the pelvis, equalizing the strain

on the skeleton and muscles. 6. Choose a backpack that has several individual pockets instead of one large compartment. This will help to distribute the weight evenly and keep the contents from shifting. Packing a backpack properly 1. Backpacks should never exceed 15 percent of a student’s body weight. For elementary school students that maximum should not exceed 10 percent. 2. Ensure that the weight is evenly distributed in the backpack 3. Pack the heaviest items closest to the body, reducing the strain the load may create 4. Only carry essential items. Putting on and lifting the backpack It is a good idea to help young children with this the first few times. Put the pack on a flat surface at waist height. Slip the pack on one shoulder at a time. Adjust the straps to fit comfortably. Remember to lift with the legs. If your child does complain of back pain, neck pain or headaches seek the advice of a qualified health professional. A chiropractor would be a great place to start. The above recommendations are great tips for adults as well. Whether you are off on a backpacking adventure or just heading to the gym, remember to pack it light and wear it right. Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor and partner in Family Health Options Treatment & Resources Centre in St.Thomas





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October, 2014




I am not perfect by Anouschka Van den Bosch

On my drive home Friday afternoons, I stop at an Amish farm where I pick up my box of organic fruits and vegetables. In the note left in the communication book, the owners will often write about some of the events happening at their farm. A note this week asks us to help ourselves to some cucumbers rejected by the grocery store that buys their vegetables because they are imperfect. I look at the cucumbers and back at the note. The cucumbers look different but not necessarily imperfect. How interesting that consumers want to buy local organic produce … that looks perfect. As I continue my drive home, I look around the countryside. I see imperfect barns, garages, sheds and they all just fit perfectly in the landscape. They belong there, perfectly imperfect. For years, I wanted to be the perfect daughter, sister, wife, friend etc. I tried so hard, but it seems I was always disappointing someone, and, more often than not, myself. At work, I strove hard to be the perfect employee, getting upset with myself when I was not perfect. I never saw myself as a perfectionist but maybe I was. It took a while, but I began to see the importance of changing my perspective from the need to have perfect produce, perfect skin, a perfect garden, a perfectly completed project and a perfect article for Elgin this Month … to a more simple thought process, just accepting what I can offer as the best there is even if that may look flawed in someone else’s eyes. Since I am human, I really can’t be perfect. There needs to be some part of me that makes mistakes so that I can make another person feel perfect (insert smiley face). At work, there were times that my spelling or grammar was not perfect in a report, and I would be devastated. Writing my monthly articles for Elgin this Month was a huge step as the whole world (okay, Elgin County) would be able to see my mistakes if my editor did not catch them before going to press. But I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried on something new and scary. So far, no grammar police officer has stopped at my door. In the past I would say yes to every volunteer job at work, yes to committees, yes to staying late and yes to baking cookies for an event even if I don’t bake. By saying yes all the time, I overextended myself, thus taking us back to my first point of letting people down. Today, I have no problem saying no if something does not align with what I want to do, have time for or feel competent to do. My family knows I will not be bringing my famous potato crunch something or other to the October, 2014

potluck dinner. However, ask me to bring cheese and crackers, and I will bring you the best selection the grocery story has to offer. If a deadline is not possible for me, I will be happy to discuss an alternative. I’m putting time aside for myself when my schedule gets hectic, and know when to put my family before another volunteer committee. My suggestions of accepting that you are human, stepping out of your comfort zone, saying no, and prioritizing what is important to you are simple steps toward creating what perfect looks like to you. And the best suggestion I can leave you with is this: Learn to laugh at your imperfec-


tions; you are human! And so after reviewing this article one more time, I will hit the send button, accepting that it may not be perfect, and that is okay by me. Anouschka Van den Bosch is a Human Resources Professional and Certified Life and Career Coach.


LIFESTYLE Time On my Hands

Choosing between two worlds, or more With enough mystery for a lifetime by Duncan Watterworth

“I’m a Secular Buddhist,” or so I told the Jehovah’s Witness at my door a couple of weeks ago. I had only read about Secular Buddhism on the internet the day before, but it sounded okay. Take Buddhism, I told him, and strip away the unlikely stuff like reincarnation and all the Buddhist gods that sprang up after Buddha died. What’s left may not be a religion, and certainly isn’t a faith, but might be a workable guide for living a life here on earth. Reincarnation or not, it seems like lifetimes ago that I sometimes rang the bell in the Baptist church in Aylmer. It was actually my grandfather’s job, but we pulled the heavy rope down together, and when he let go, I flew up toward heaven, if only for a while. Then off to Sunday school, and singing in the junior choir. So I grew up with that worldview, the picture Christians must believe: God’s creation, my original sin, t h e

virgin birth, Jesus dying to save me, his rising from the dead. Jesus as the only way to the Truth. But I also grew up with another worldview. I have an analytical mind, and I liked math and science. I love the perspective of astronomy and geology. And this clashed with the Christian picture. In my high school days, the world seemed to blithely straddle these incompatible views. But I couldn’t. I kept thinking: they can’t both be right. As I got older, the Christian version of reality seemed more and more nonsensical. The Christian god became as unlikely and peculiar as Thor or Zeus. When it came time to be baptized and formally join the church, I went AWOL.

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I had become a teenaged atheist. Or, as I sometimes said, a born-again heathen. The Jehovah’s Witness at my door couldn’t wait to start quoting Bible verses. But I have learned to be quick to say, “Why should we think there is any divine authority in that book?” This one’s reply was that the Bible contains many scientific facts that the writers wouldn’t have known thousands of years ago, and that proves that God had his hand in it. “Are you really going to start with that?” I said, truly surprised. “Science isn’t the Bible’s strong suit.”


As religions go, Christianity has bound itself very tightly to a narrative of earthly events, and the literal truth of a collection of ancient writings. This is why it has been getting tripped up by scientific and archeological advances since 1633, when Pope Urban VIII punished Galileo for proclaiming, contrary to scripture, that the earth was not the centre of the universe. One wonders if Christians wouldn’t be wise to strip away the unlikely stuff, and focus on the Bible’s allegorical and spiritual message.

...a teenaged atheist, or, as I sometimes said, a born-again heathen... Although it was troubling to grow up with two conflicting worldviews, perhaps it was a blessing. A person raised and immersed in a single worldview, no matter how crazy, may find it impossible to imagine any other. Becoming an atheist is not the end of the story. It’s more like the beginning. It’s like a police investigator eliminating one suspect among many. The realization that there is no Christian-type god does not automatically answer the big questions. Neither does science. So there remained the search for the true nature of the universe, what our lives mean in it, how we should live our lives. And how in the meantime to live, maybe even flourish, in the mystery. Duncan Watterworth is a lifelong resident of Elgin County, and a retired lawyer.


A Super action hero, in my own mind


by Elizabeth VanHooren

I think most moms expect to be taken for grant- easily launched the Ironman kite into the breeze ed, at least for some of our mundane every day high above our yard. It was one of those idyllic duties. These are the things that are integral to a moments – until a downdraft caught my son off smoothly operated household, but not important guard, and the kite veered and then dropped into enough to elicit praise from our children and sig- a row of large pine trees. nificant others. My husband worked for a couple of minutes For example, I have never once been sincerely maneuvering around the trees and tugging on the thanked for installing a new roll of toilet paper. line trying to unhook the kite. My sons sat and Fresh socks and underwear are just a given when watched, lamenting the end of the fun. my boys open their dresser drawers every mornIn an attempt to help, I hauled out the tallest ing. Suppers are served promptly at six in time for ladder we have and a rake to see if, with the two them to refuel before their favourite TV episode, combined, I might reach high enough to help unand their lunches are miraculously packed ready tangle the kite from the treetops. to go in their backpacks every morning. And “You’re not tall enough,” said my husband. ‘”If yes, the lunch helpers are “so cool” for giving my the tree was bigger I could climb to the top …” sons milk every day at lunch. No thanks to dear His voice trailed off providing an appropriate opold mom for making sure the order portunity for me to volunform was in on time with the approteer. priate payment. that’s how this mom “around fourteen feet – And All that, after all, is just being a who is afraid of heights – up, I reached the kite” very carefully ventured up good mom. What hurts are those occasions the prickly, sticky pine tree when, in my opinion, I have risen to retrieve her son’s favorabove the mundane and well … become a Super ite kite. I gingerly placed my feet on each branch Mom. That’s when I expect a little applause, a closest to the trunk of the tree – fearing with each little recognition for my talents. step closer to the top that the branches might give One such occasion happened earlier this fall way. when my sons and husband headed to the front But they didn’t. Around fourteen feet up, I yard to fly a kite. The wind was perfect, and they reached the kite. With one hand holding tight to

the trunk, I used my other to bend the limbs just enough until the kite was free. My hair was thick with pine needles, my arms were scratched, and I had pine sap all over my clothes. But the kite was liberated, all thanks to me … a Super Mom moment if there ever was one. As I descended the tree, I heard my sons clap and let out a couple whoops of delight! Here was my applause. Here was my recognition. And that’s when I heard my sons chime in unison. “Thanks for getting our kite out of the tree, Dad. You’re the best!” There’s Superman, there’s even Wonder Woman, but there’ll never be a Super Mom action movie, will there? Something about toilet paper, supper on time and lunch orders doesn’t fit into a boy’s heroic narrative.

Elizabeth VanHooren is General Manager of Kettle Creek Conservation Authority

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Alvin Brown

1914 1917

The A.M. Brown Insurance Agency relocates to #2 Southwick St., St.Thomas


Harold Jackson, cousin of Alvin Brown, joins the agency

Harold Jackson

1 1973 1987 19

George S. McLachlan Insurance is acquired, the brokerage name is changed to Reith & Associates Insurance Brokers Limited

19 1992 1994 19

Dan Reith Jr. joins the brokerage Darren Reith joins the brokerage The brokerage name is changed to Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited

Dan & Darren Reith assume 2000 Brothers 2 ownership with the passing of their father


Darren Reith

Dan Reith Sr., son-in-law of Harold Jackson, joins the agency acquiring the practice and forming Reith & Jackson Insurance Agency Limited Harold Jackson retires, Jerry Beavis merges his practice forming Reith & Beavis Insurance Agency Limited

1999 Dan Reith Jr.


The A.M. Brown Insurance Agency -Alvin Brown begins his practice in Shedden Ontario as a purveyor of Accident & Sickness policies to area farmers

196 62

Dan Reith Sr.


Dan is the Principal Broker; leading the general insurance team. Darren leads the life insurance and investment services team. He is also a proud member of the Premium Association of Financial Professionals: The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)

The family business has changed since our founding. Yet the constant, is our dedication to providing an exceptional client experience with affordable solutions to protect the people and property that matter most to you.

519.631.3862 October, 2014



Reith &



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