Demand for Barrhaven Food Cupboard up 45% over last yearBy Charlie SenaCk
The Barrhaven Food Cupboard expects to hand out over 500 Christmas hampers this holiday season after rising costs force more people to look for help.
The local food proving agency, which moved into its current headquarters in the Walter Baker Centre, first saw a rise in calls for service after the COVID-19 pandemic left many people jobless.
While the height of the pandemic is behind us, they are now being faced with an affordability crisis driven by the high costs of food and living.
“Over the last eight months or so, we have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for food from clients that exist and new clients that come to us,” said Barrhaven Food Cupboard president George MacDonald. “From this point last year to this point this year, it’s increased by 45 per cent.”
That demand has meant the food cupboard is purchasing more food than ever before and is relying on a bigger team of volunteers to feed families. The facilities hours have also needed to be extended.
“It’s almost totally a result of the inflation we have seen over the last year,” said MacDonald. “The people that we serve are often those who are living on the edge financially. With an increase in food costs of over 11 per cent, it’s made many people reach the point where they need to come to us.”
Food costs in Canada are rising at the highest rate seen in 41 years, and it showing no signs of slowing down. Fresh fruit has gone up 11.9 per cent; fresh vegetables have gone up 11.8 per cent; baked goods have gone up 14.8 per cent; the cost of meat has risen 7.6 per cent.
Every year the Barrhaven Food Cupboard creates Christ-
mas hampers to give to families needing support during the holiday season. Over the past two years, gift cards were distributed in their place because of the pandemic.
Physical hampers will be distributed again this year, with families also receiving a gift card. In total, each hamper will be worth around $125.
“It’s an opportunity for any family — regardless of whether it’s Christmas for them or not — to enjoy a little bit extra during the holiday season,” said MacDonald.
“A couple of years ago we had 200 hampers, two years ago we had 300 hampers, and last year we had 340 hampers,” he added. “This year we are predicting as many as perhaps 500 hampers.”
The Barrhaven Food Cupboard is asking for community support to get them through the bush holiday season. MacDonald is urging people to drop off food in their bins located in-
side many of the community’s grocery stores. He also said money donations can be done through their website: Barrhavenfoodcupboard.ca.
MacDonald is also urging anyone who needs help to contact them.
“We are pretty well known, but it’s always important to
reinforce to the public that we exist,” he said. ‘We are here for a reason, and that’s to help those in the community that need food assistance.”
OCDSBBy Barrhaven Independent Staff
Before the first of two Nov. 22 Ottawa Carleton District School Board meetings special meetings regarding a motion to mandate mask wearing by students, BarrhavenKnoxdale-Merivale Trustee Donna Blackburn warned that the topic was divisive. She told City News that the motion “was not a good look for the board,” and that the motion put forward by rookie trustee Dr. Niki Kaplan-Myrth was “just political grandstanding.”
While Kaplan-Myrth’s motion failed in a 6-6 tie vote, the issue was a political lightning rod in a meeting which extended over two evenings. Trustees who voted in favour of the mandate were Alysha Aziz, Justine Bell, Cathryne Milburn, Amanda Presley, Lyra Evans, and KaplanMyrth. Trustees who opposed the mandate were Donna Blackburn, Donna Dickson, Jennifer Jennekens, Matthew Lee, Suzanne Nash and Lynn Scott.
Among the reasons that Blackburn opposed the mask mandate may have been the most fundamental reason. According to the Ontario Ministry of Health, the school board does not have the authority to mandate masks in schools. The directive would have to come from Ontario’s top doctor, Dr. Kieran Moore, or by Ottawa’s top doctor, Dr. Vera Etches. Moore recently strongly recom-
mended the wearing of masks in indoor settings, but did not impose a mandate.
In an interview with the Barrahven Independent before the meeting, Blackburn said that the meeting “was going to get a lot of people upset for no reason.” Blackburn added that the board could give a strong recommendation to wear masks, which the province is recommending, without the disruption and upset of a divisive public meeting.
During the first evening of the meeting, OCDSB Chair Lyra Evans had to repeatedly ask members in the audience to stop yelling and cheering. She eventually had to have some disrupters removed from the meeting by security. At the end of the meeting, Ottawa Police had to clear the room.
In an interview with CBC, Evans said she had legal opinions that disputed the province’s authority and that the board does have the legal authority to implement a mask mandate.
The meeting had presentations from six different parties – three in favour of the mandate and three opposed. The speakers from both sides made concise and clear points. Those opposing the masks were concerned for the mental health of the students, while those in favour of the masks were concerned for their physical health.
The first to speak was
Wade Shanley, a father of three children in the board. Shanley referenced a Nov. 15 interview on the Rob Snow Show in which a trustee stated that it was not a debate, as the motion already had enough support to pass and that the mandate would happen. Shanley said he hoped this was not true and asked that the trustees be open minded and listen to their constituents.
“It’s quite clear that your constituents, in the polling, have shown that they do not support this,” he said. “Less than 10 per cent of students are wearing masks. That is parents and students telling you they do not support mandatory masking.”
Shanley added that it is not the board’s jurisdiction to make health policies in place of Dr. Moore and Dr. Etches.
Another father, Blake Maguire, echoed Shanley’s comments.
“I’d like to remind you all that you are elected officials by the people right here,” Maguire told the trustees, pointing at the gallery filled with parents mostly opposed to the mandate. “Their voice is being heard right now, and they’re saying ‘no’ to masks. That’s the strongest message you can hear right now. It’s a democracy.”
Maguire told trustees that he noticed anxiety, depression, and lower marks in all four of his children.
“They aren’t good for kids,” he said. “They’re
going to harm kids. I’m literally begging not to do this. You think you’re doing the right thing but you’re not. They make kids afraid of each other.”
Lawyer and parent Adam Saunders stated that there is an urgent need for a mask mandate in schools because of the lack of safe air in schools. He also discussed the longterm impacts of COVID. Saunders spoke about the need for air purification and filtration systems in schools, but noted that this was not a reasonable, overnight fix.
Dr. Lindy Samson, Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Officer at CHEO, made a thorough presentation on what CHEO has seen and about viral transmission.
“We believe that keeping kids in school is imperative to their health and well-being,” she said.
Samson said that the wait time in the emergency
department reached 13 hours Nov. 21. CHEO’s pediatric ICU was at 200 per cent capacity.
“What we’re seeing in Ottawa right now is a unique surge in kids with viral respiratory infections,” she said. “These are mainly RSV, influenza and COVID, but also include others. They are all here and spreading amongst our kids at the same time.”
Samson said that there are three things different during this viral trifecta. The first is that this has already been going on for a month, and that modelling suggests it will go on for four to six more weeks.
The second is that there are more children than ever before who are sicker and are coming to CHEO for care and are required to be admitted into hospital.
The third is that every children’s hospital in Canada is experiencing the same
surge, at the same time.
“Never in the 25 years that I’ve been at CHEO have so many patients required intensive care for viral-related breathing difficulties,” Samson said.
Samson’s presentation was not subject to the twominute limit. Evans had to interrupt Dr. Samson’s presentation several times to warn spectators not to heckle or interrupt.
Samson said the recommendation that children wear masks at school and in crowded places “is not intended to be political or polarizing. It’s about what we can all do as a community to help each other and help our kids.”
The meeting continued Nov. 24, and continued virtually to avoid disruptions from the audience.
ocdsb continues from page 4
Aside from the points made by the trustees, most of the meeting was spent going over the syntax of the mandate, with words and phrases being added, subtracted and reworded.
While trustees, parents and experts were divided, the board’s two student trustees were not. While their votes do not officially count, both Tabarak Al-Dalaimi and Antong Hou were firmly opposed to the mask mandate. Hou presented results from a survey that noted 70 per cent of students were against mask mandates.
Al-Dalaimi called the mandate a strong recommendation that will cause confusion and conflict. She said that the motion was vague and misleading.
“Should this motion be passed, we would be telling students and staff that they are required ted to wear a mask, but have the option to opt out of it,” she said. “We would also be telling staff that they would be required to ensure
that their students are wearing masks, but they don’t have the right to take any action to enforce this.”
Hou said the student senate was against the mask mandate, and added the every survey taken showed that students across the board strongly opposed the mask mandate.
“It’s clear that a majority of students are against the motion,” he said. “A commonly cited reason is the divide caused by a weak mandate.
“This motion has divided our board, it has divided our community, and it will divide our students. As the motion sits, when students go to class, not all will have masks on. During lunch, an entire grade will sit unmasked in the cafeteria. Before and after school, students will sit maskless on the bus. During school sports and other activities, masks will be off. It begs the question if this mandate will give students a false sense of security. Because a mandate with a myriad of exceptions is hardly a mandate.”
CBC is a government monster gobbling up tax dollars
It’s time to defund the CBC.
While many Canadians suffered from lockdowns, job losses and pay cuts, the CBC was handing out pay raises and bonuses.
Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation show the CBC spent more than $51 million in bonuses and pay raises during the years 2020 and 2021.
In Budget 2021, the Trudeau government gave the CBC an extra $21 million to “en sure its stability during the pandemic.”
This extra money is on top of the annual funding the corporation already gets from the government.
Taxpayers pay about $1.2 billion per year for the CBC, an amount that could instead pay the salaries of more than 13,000 nurses or cover the grocery bills for 100,000 families.
The CBC’s original mandate in the 1930s was to air Canadian news and entertainment over the radio waves. Comedy and drama shows were broadcast to compete with the popular American programming.
It also told farmers the weather and aired Hockey Night in Canada.
Times have changed.
Farmers check the satellite images of stormfronts on apps like World Weather Inc. Par ents put their kids in snow pants based on what their smartphone recommends. We watch our shows on commercial TV, YouTube and Netflix.
Hockey? That stuff’s like coffee; you can get it anywhere nowadays.
But today, the CBC is a big government monster that’s gobbling up tax dollars like it’s at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
CBC President and CEO Catherine Tait is paid between $422,600 and $497,100 per year and is entitled to a performance bonus of up to 28 per cent.
The scuttlebutt in Canada’s newsrooms has long been that for every one journalist working in a regular news outlet, the CBC had about four managers. That reputation was made real when the CBC replaced Peter Mansbridge with four different anchors to desk the National.
The independent news site, CANADALAND, dug up documents it says show Mans bridge was paid more than $800,000 per year.
Meanwhile, Canadians are tuning out of the CBC.
When the CBC says it is essential because it provides Indigenous languages services, it’s worth double-checking the facts.
The CBC spent $18.3 million on its Indigenous language television, radio and online services from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2021. Over that same period, it spent more than $21 million on the salaries and benefits for its eight senior executives.
The CBC has 143 directors. Each of these directors receives an average salary of $130,906, costing the taxpayer $18.7 million per year.
This is not normal.
Private media companies don’t have 143 directors pulling in salaries north of $130,000. The CBC has outgrown its taxpayer-funded mandate, and Canadians can’t afford it.
Kris Sims is the Alberta Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and a former member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
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Saving our children one poem at a time
I won’t say I remember that day at Churchill Public School as if it was yes terday.
It was about 50 years ago, and, well, it seems like it was about 50 years ago.
from the other side
I was playing by myself in the snow bank in front of the school, when I saw and heard some thing that drew my attention to the little, square boys’ room door that was, for some rea son, slightly ajar. I could hear the song “Sweet City Woman” blaring from a transistor radio, and I could smell cigarette smoke.
Times were different then. Churchill only had four classrooms – one was a li brary and three were used for classes – and a gym. It was as rural as rural could be. And even though the school only went up to Grade 5, some of the “big kids” smoked.
I always wondered why those kids thought it was so cool to smoke. But then I figured it out.
I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that Santa smoked. A few years ago, Can adian publisher Pamela McColl joine3d the cancel culture saved generations of children from the fate of those big, tough kids from Churchill by editing the nearly 200-year-old classic poem by Clement Moore. She removed the two lines that had St. Nick having a pipe between his teeth and the smoke encircling his head like a wreath.
“Wouldn’t it be sad if we saw a poem that’s so incredibly influential in our cele bration of Christmas cast aside because we didn’t make a simple edit and took out a simple verse that’s offensive to modern children?” McColl told the National Post.
McColl’s book, Twas the Night Before Christmas, was then released by publishers Grafton and Scratch of Vancouver, where, based on what I saw and smelled living on the west coast, Santa would more than likely be putting something other than to bacco in his pipe and would be asking kids to leave Cheetohs and Red Bull instead of cookies and milk. According to McColl, the book has been picked up by Indigo. In the book’s listing on Indigo, the subtitle reads “edited for the benefit of 21st cen tury children.”
While McColl may see her contribution to literature as noble, the rest of the literary world is not quite on board.
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy dir ector of the American Library Associa tion’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, told the National Post that she is not a fan of censorship.
“So much of censorship is motivated on the grounds that we’re protecting children from concepts someone finds distasteful. But there’s many assumptions behind that — that one point is the correct viewpoint, that all parents buy into the same ideas.
The bottom line is we’re denying access to the author’s original voice, denying the opportunity for the author’s voice to be heard.”
The question we have to ask now is, of course, what’s next?
The term “Christmas” has been treated as of fensive by many public school boards and muni cipalities. But, somehow, I just can’t imagine Mc Coll going a step further and ending her next book, “Twas the Night Before the Random Winter Solstice Holi day” with St. Nick calling out, “Seasons Greetings to all, and to all a good night!”
Maybe children nestled in their beds with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads will be replaced. Men are ar rested daily in this country for having im ages of children nestled in their beds saved on their hard drives and shared on the in ternet. As for the visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, well, that sounds like an edible you can get at one of the many local weed stores.
In today’s obesity epidemic, it’s prob ably insensitive to talk about St. Nick be ing chubby and plump and referencing his girth. McColl may want to have a lean and healthy Santa who does hot yoga and has a personal trainer and has a Peleoton. Since Santa would be on a 30-day cleanse, he would be left Fairlife Shakes.
St. Nick, in the poem, is wearing fur. McColl has two options here for a change. She can either have Pamela Anderson pop ping out of nowhere and attacking him with spray paint, or Santa can get a new outfit from Under Armour or maybe the Lulu Lemon collection for men.
As for the “eight tiny reindeer” expected to fly through the air and pull him, McColl may want to head over to the Humane So ciety to review St. Nick’s cruelty and abu sive behaviour toward his animals.
The entering through the chimney of each home probably needs to be looked at as well. I mean, really. Since the poem made all those kids at Churchill smoke, I would guess that any legal problems re garding break-ins with these kids can cer tainly be tied back to this poem.
As the Chirstmas season approaches us in just a handful of weeks, I’m sure there will be discussions about Ms. McColl and what she has done to a classic, especially to those who are unaware of the edits and have a ‘hey, wait a minute’ moment.
Is she saving children from something offensive?
Or is she ruining a classic?
To me, the answer isn’t that complex. What she has done is simply another sign that the apocalypse is upon us.
And by the way, I think the four horse men in the Book of Revelation had packs of DuMauriers tucked under their sleeves.
World Cup enthusiasm shows cultural mosaic of BarrhavenBy Barrhaven Independent Staff
If there was ever an indi cator of the global fabric and culture that exists in Barrhaven, the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been exactly that.
Canada made its first appearance in the World Cup since 1986, and only its second appearance ever. Canada has still not won a World Cup game after los ing all three of its games this year, but they did at least score a pair of goals after being shut out in all of their games in 1986. The Canadian team also brought a lot of attention and excite ment to the World Cup, and to soccer.
“It has been exciting and it has brought a lot of people out to our res taurant, especially people who have never been here or who have not been here for a long time,” said Russ Arthurs, owner of Boston Pizza in Barrhaven.
Boston Pizza and other local establishments such as the Heart and Crown, Broadway, and the Royal Oak have had soccer fans frequenting their restau rants since the tournament began. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has extended the hours of liquor sales in restaurants showing World Cup games, with service beginning at 7 a.m. There is an eight-hour time zone dif
ference between Barrhaven and World Cup host country Qatar. The games beginning at 7:45 a.m. local time are being played at 3:45 p.m. Qatar time. The other start times for games have been 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time.
“Obviously, we were packed for Canada’s three games,” said Arthurs. “But we have had people com ing in for all of the games. The one thing that is amaz ing is that there have been supporters for all 32 coun tries in the World Cup from right here in Barrhaven. It doesn’t matter who is play ing. We have had groups of Barrhaven residents who are Brazilian, or origin ally from Poland, Croatia, Spain, Japan, Germany, France, Cameroon – lit erally everywhere. We were really busy for the England vs. Wales game. We always get a good crowd for the England games. And they are all local. The World Cup has shown us exactly the kind of cultural mosaic that we have right here in Bar rhaven.”
Arthurs said that the World Cup has brought a lot of people back out to experience the social part of being a fan and supporting their country.
“People love going to sports events, and going to a place like Boston Pizza or one of the other sports bars is that they get a sta dium experience,” he said.
“Obviously it’s on a much smaller scale than the real thing, but they get to come out and watch the game with the volume up, and they cheer, and they chant, and they sing songs from their respective countries. It’s a really great atmos phere.”
Many of the people com ing out are not necessarily sports fans. They are just coming out to cheer on the country of their roots and to feel like a part of something exciting.
Arthurs said that some of the casual fans are turn ing into soccer fans since
getting a taste of the World Cup. Barrhaven is becom ing more and more of a soc cer hotbed in the province. Ottawa South United is one of the premier youth soccer programs in the province, and many of Atletico Ot tawa’s growing number of supporters are from Bar rhaven.
“People are watching and following soccer more and more,” he said. “There are a lot of soccer fans here, but there are a lot of people just getting into it who maybe started follow ing it last year when Can ada was going through the
qualifying process. They are the casual fans who are going to pay attention to the Women’s World Cup next year, as well as the Euros and the some of the other qualifying tournaments. There will be a lot of soc cer for them to watch in the next couple of years.”
Big event at St. Joseph
While Boston Pizza had a big crowd for the last Can ada game, it was nothing compared to the massive viewing party for the game at St. Joseph High School.
A crowd of more than 600 students and teach
ers were in the gymnasium at St. Joseph to watch the Canada-Morocco game last Thursday.
“It inspires the youth and it’s just a great experience and it’s amazing to see them at this stage,” said Grade 11 student Mario Frangione in a CTV Ottawa interview. “I think now that they’re in it anything is possible.”
Despite the loss, Can ada’s goal late in the first half and a great scoring op portunity in the second half brought students to their feet with loud cheers.
The World Cup con tinues through Dec. 18.
Pederson calls Miss World Canada pageant an ‘incredible experience’
Children’s mental health is the big winner in local woman’s journey as Miss OttawaBy Barrhaven Independent Staff
It will take a while for Lauren Pederson to catch up on her sleep and get back into a routine.
“I’m completely exhausted,” she said of competing as Miss Ottawa in the Miss World Canada pageant. “It was a real eye opener. I had never been exposed to anything like this. It was difficult, but it was an incredible experience.”
Pederson had never been in a pageant and knew very little about them before entering the Miss World On-
tario pageant earlier this year. She had done some modelling in the past, but had never even thought of entering a pageant. She was intrigued by the Miss World “Beauty with a purpose” agenda, and the prize money that could become available for charity work or organizations.
“I am really not a pageant purpose, and at the Miss World Ontario pageant there were times when I didn’t fit in,” she said. “A photographer suggested I do this, and because I am raising money for a children’s mental health program at CHEO, it
became an opportunity.”
Pederson is a child youth councillor, and helping kids with mental health issues at CHEO is a cause that is very close to her heart. She has been hosting trivia nights at the Mill Tavern in Manotick to raise money for her program, which purchases supplies for CHEO’s patients struggling with mental health. Despite never having been in a pageant in her life, she placed fifth at the Miss World Ontario Pageant and earned a spot in the Miss World Canada Pageant, which took place in Toronto in November.
Competing against some of Canada’s top pageant veterans, Pederson placed in the top half of the event. She won the fitness category, and she was among the top three in all speaking
challenges. She was also second in Miss Congeniality.
“I had a real shot,” she said, laughing. “We had a walk on the Friday evening and I messed up a few tow points. It knocked me down to 22nd. I think that’s where not being experienced in the pageant world really showed for me.”
To say the week was grueling is an understatement. Pederson said she averaged about three hours of sleep per night, and the days were long. There were, however, some positives came with the challenge of the long, hard days and nights.
“By trying to become the best versions of ourselves, we made some amazing bonds,” Pederson said. “Everyone was ex-
hausted, and I think we all felt a little vulnerable because of it. But we all got to know each other for who we are beyond the pageant. I was able to connect with so many people.”
While the Miss World Canada adventure is behind her, Pederson will still be active fulfilling her duties as Miss World Ottawa until April. There will be appearances at different events and she will continue to advocate for children’s mental health.
“I will continue to do
what I am doing, and focus on getting my second degree,” Pederson said. “Being Miss World Ottawa will give me a platform to make a difference in the lives of some children who are struggling with mental health problems.”
As she represents Ottawa locally and provincially and crusades for the cause that is close to her heart, Pederson vows to put her best foot forward.
And you know her toes will be pointing the right way.
Innovative software will help QCH reduce wait times for surgeries
The Ontario government is funding the implementation of a new, innovative software across hospitals in Eastern Ontario that will help reduce surgical backlogs in the region.
This innovative firstin-Ontario surgical waitlist HUB, built by Novari Health, consolidates patients waiting for surgery into a real-time regional wait list system using interactive mapping and analytics tools. The HUB, which will improve the coordination of surgical services between hospitals in Eastern Ontario, means patients may be able to receive their surgery sooner at a different hospital. In addition to this regional HUB, technology built by Ontario Health will also improve waitlist management across the province.
“Integrating this madein-Ontario software in hospitals across Eastern Ontario will mean shorter wait times for patients awaiting surgery and a more efficient use of hospital resources,” said Sylvia
Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This is an excellent example of the innovation we are calling for, all with the goal of improving our health system and creating a better experience for the patient.”
The software, in collaboration with hospitals across the region – will integrate with existing hospital IT systems to gain an overall picture of backlogs, speed up wait times and help identify bottlenecks at various stages of the surgical process.
“QCH took a lead in this project because we recognize how important it is to create a complete, real-time view of surgical demand – and capacity – across the region,” said Dr. Andrew Falconer, President & CEO, Queensway Carleton Hospital.
“By working together and using real-time data, we can improve patients’ access to surgeries and procedures. Surgical backlogs grew during the pandemic, so we need to look towards new tools and processes to
tackle the challenge.”
All region hospitals that perform adult surgeries will be included in the Champlain Centralized Regional Surgical Waitlist Management “HUB” initiative. Hospitals and their individual surgical wait lists are being onboarded in phases. The initial phase included Hôpital Montfort, Queensway Carleton Hospital and Cornwall Community Hospital.
“This innovative new HUB created in Ontario will help people in my community receive lifesaving surgeries faster. Today’s announcement is great news for the people of Nepean and the entire Ottawa region,” said Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod.
Neighbouring Progressive Conservative MPP Goldie Ghamari, who riding includes Riverside South and Findlay Creek in the Barrhaven Independent’s readership area, echoed MacLeod’s sentiments.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for
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our community, as this innovative made-in-Ontario solution will help people from Carleton and the Ottawa region get the surgeries they need sooner,” she said.
Through the provincial Centralized Waitlist Management (CWM) program, Ontario has provided funding to hospitals across the Ottawa region since 202021 to support a complex, multiyear transformation initiative aimed at establishing a regional central intake, with an initial focus on endoscopy. The region’s implementation of the Novari platform is one component of that broader regional initiative.
The CWM program was established in 2020-21 as part of provincial surgical recovery efforts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) is always thinking about the advancement
of health care and how to improve patient care,” said Suzanne Madore, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive, The Ottawa Hospital. “We are committed to providing each patient with the care, service and compassion they would want for their loved ones, and are always looking for opportunities to collaborate with regional health partners.
The Centralized Regional Surgical Wait List Management HUB will allow
us to deliver surgical services to patients and address ongoing pandemic pressures. This system of partnerships will facilitate seamless communication between hospitals while we continue to deliver highquality patient care.”
Ontario is investing over $300 million in 2022–23 as part of the province’s surgical recovery strategy, bringing the total investment to approximately $880 million over the last three fiscal years.
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Origins of Christmas caroling go back a millennium
The festive nature of the holiday season makes it an ideal time to sing, especially in groups. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that caroling, a tradition that dates back many centuries, ultimately collided with Christmas.
Caroling and Christmas caroling are two different things. According to History.org,
the origins of modern Christmas caroling can be traced to wassailing, a term that has evolved for more than a millenium. What started as a simple greeting gradually became part of a toast made during ritualized drinking. Time magazine notes that the word “wassail,” which appeared in English literature as early as the eighth century,
eventually came to mean the wishing of good fortune on one’s neighbors, though no one can say for certain when this particular development occurred.
During medieval times, farmers in certain parts of Britain would drink a beverage to toast the health of their crops and encourage the fertility of their animals. By
1600, farmers in some parts of Britain were still engaging in this ritual, and some were by now taking a wassail bowl filled with a toasting beverage around the streets. These wassailers would stop by neighboring homes and offer a warm drink, all the while wishing good fortune on their neighbors.
During this period,
wassailing had nothing to do with Christmas, but that began to change in Victorian England, when Christmas became more commercialized and popular. It was during this time when publishers began circulating carols, forever linking the tradition of wassailing with Christmas.
Christmas caroling as Victorian Englanders
knew it might have fallen by the wayside. But while carolers may no longer go door-to-door singing Christmas songs and wishing their neighbors good fortune, those intent on seeing the modern manifestation of this tradition that dates back more than a millenium may be able to find some carolers at their local mall or church.
The holiday season is a great time to make any home a bit more merry and bright. Most individuals let their personalities show through their home decor, and holiday decorating is just as personal as decorating throughout the rest of the year.
The main living areas of a home get the most decorating attention, with a Christmas tree or menorah taking a prominent position in the front window. Garlands, candles and other accoutrements also may dress up spaces. However, when it comes to holiday hosting, attention also should be given to the dining table - which can benefit from a festive centerpiece.
Premade centerpieces are undeniably attractive,
8 easy holiday centerpiece ideas
but adding a homespun touch can be a fun creative pursuit and become a family tradition. Explore these eight simple ideas to dress up your holiday table.
1. Frosted pine cones: Take advantage of a crisp winter’s day to venture into a forest or park that is rich with evergreen trees. Gather pine cones from the forest floor and, if possible, a few evergreen boughs. Give the pine cones a touch of winter whimsy with a little faux snow in a can or even white paint. Nestle the boughs and pine cones into a wide-mouthed vase or bowl in the center of the table. Individual pine cones can later be turned into place cards for seating guests.
2. Holiday thanks: Cut many strips of paper roughly 6 inches in length from various colored pieces of paper to match the holiday theme. When guests arrive, ask them to write a favorite holiday memory or two, or what they’re thankful for. Twirl the paper strips around a pencil to curl them, and then place the curlicues into a decorative bowl in the center of the table. Later in the evening, the host or hostess can read some of the sentiments.
3. Magical forest: Use green and silver conical party hats to turn a table or sideboard into a veritable evergreen forest. Arrange them on a blanket of faux snow or white confetti.
4. Freshly cut: Select attractive flowers in vi-
brant holiday hues from a florist or even the supermarket floral section. Cut the stems and place them into an unusual display container, such as holiday themed mugs or a punch bowl.
5. Glass baubles: Who says ornaments should be exclusive to the tree? A crystal or glass cake stand can be transformed into an icy delight when topped with silver and clear glass ornaments.
6. Birch wood: The crisp white coloring of birch bark is right at home with holiday decor. Go stark with pieces of the cut wood in varying heights intermingled with white candles that mimic the shapes and scale of the wood.
7. Fruit and vegetables:
If guests are coming over and the race is on for a fast centerpiece, look no further than the kitchen. Lemons, artichokes, pears, or pomegranates look festive in a bowl interspersed with some greenery and baby’s breath.
8. Cornucopia: The horn of plenty can be customized to any holiday. Purchase a horn in
wicker or woven grapevine and fill with flowers, fruit and greenery, or even painted gourds or miniature pumpkins.
Holiday hosts and hostesses should not neglect the dining table when they decorate. Festive centerpieces can be handmade without much effort on the part of hosts.
Hundreds lined Strandherd Drive for the annual Barrhaven Santa Claus Parade which was back after a pandemic-induced hiatus.
With wind chills making it feel below -16 on Nov. 20, a smaller than usual crowd came out to watch. About 30 floats and vehicles made up the parade route, which lasted about 20 minutes.
It was the first time in two years a Santa Claus Parade was held in Barrhaven. While organizers hoped to organize a drive by event last year, high insurance costs prevented that from happening. But with no COVID-19 restrictions in place, the long-standing community tradition was able to return.
“We were so excited to bring the parade back this year. It has always been a huge family event,” said Barrhaven Santa Claus Parade co-chair Dawn Lilly. “It was a year in the making for us. We took a lot of what we were planning for last year and brought it forward for this year.”
Lilly said many Barrhaven residents kick start their Christmas season by attending the parade. This year donations were collected for the Barrhaven Food Cupboard.
“It’s the start of the giving season,” she said. “The parade fostered the feeling of community for a lot of people and it brought people together again. It was nice for people to see their neighbors again.”
This year the parade relied on donations from the com-
munity to cover the costs. While it went off without a hitch, Lilly said their GoFundMe page raised only about
$1,100 of their $18,000 goal.
The annual Christmas event is often sponsored by businesses in the community, but organizers decided to explore a different route this year because of rising costs and inflation.
“The last few years have been hard on them. Even coming out of COVID, it’s still not easy with rising costs and labor shortages,” said Lilly.
“I believe there’s a lot of misconception about how
events like this are put together and funded. People think corporate sponsors should fund this, but it’s not that easy,” she added. “We have asked (places like) Costco, Canadian Tire, and Loblaws. It goes up to the head office and it goes nowhere. They have places they donate to and a local parade is not one of them.”
The $18,000 budget for the parade is to cover insurance, fencing, and security, all services which cannot be donated.
This year’s parade was funded by local businesses who stepped in to help after the Barrhaven Santa Claus Parade put out a call for help on social media.”
The night capped off with Santa Claus giving a wave to onlookers from his newlybuilt sleigh, pulled by eight reindeer.
Plans are already in the works for next year’s parade, which Lilly hopes will be bigger and better than ever.
Barrhaven teen winsSpecial to the Bar rhaven independent
For a kid growing up in Barrhaven, winning a gold medal for Canada would be the thrill of a lifetime.
Sara Hyami got to win a gold medal at the 2022 World Ringette Championships in Finland in November. And even though it wasn’t in a Team Canada jersey, it was still an incredible experience.
Hyami, a 16-year-old Grade 12 student at Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School, took a couple weeks off last month to play for the United States women’s team at the world ringette championships. She qualified to play for the U.S. because her mom is from Virginia Beach, Virginia.
“Three years ago, there was a local player who went and played for the United States, and her mom talked to my mom about how I would be eligible to play for the US team,” Hyami said. “We found out about the tryouts in Michigan and there was also a tournament in Ottawa. The US is trying to rebuild their program and they are recruiting a lot of Canadian player who have US eligibility to go down and play for them. It’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Hyami thought about what it would be like to put a USA jersey on and play against Canada, but that scenario never played out. Canada and Finland are the two elite teams in world ringette, and they were alone as the only two teams in the tournament’s top tier. The United States was in the second tier, and they won gold. Hyami won an award as the Game MVP in the Americans’ win over Czechia.
“It was really exciting to go somewhere with your team and visit another country and experience everything,” she said. “Finland is a beautiful country. I loved how they had pastries at breakfast and the ice coffee was incredible.”
Hyami has been playing ringette in the Nepean Ravens program since she was six
gold for US at World Ringette
years old. She currently plays for the Ravens U-19 AAA ringette team. Playing in the world women’s championships was big jump for her.
“It was a great experience to play ringette at that level and speed,” she said. “I know that I improved a lot as a player because of the experience.”
A generation ago, there were very few opportunities for girls and women to play hockey. Ringette was an alternative. Now, with girls and women’s hockey programs growing, ringette has taken a bit of a back seat.
“I never played hockey, but a lot of players play both
hockey and ringette,” Hyami said. “In the US especially, a lot of their ringette players are hockey players as well. They are different games. Ringette is faster, and you can focus on speed because there is no stickhandling.”
While winning gold was a dream come true for Hyami, it was back to reality as soon as she returned to Barrhaven.
“I missed two weeks of school, so I spent the first three days back doing nothing but school work,” she said. “It took a while to get caught up.”
Hyami is hoping to go to Carleton University next year and will continue play-
Sara Hyami of Barrhaven skates past a Swedich defender while playing for the United States women’s ringette team at last month’s world championships in Finland.
ing for the Nepean U19 AAA team. She is also playing for Ringette Ontario in the Ontario Games. She is also looking for another opportunity to play for the United
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bit different to play for the US at the very beginning, but that feeling went away very quickly once the games started. We are a team, and I am all in.” ORLÉANS 1777 Tenth Line Road
Raiders beat Rockland 5-3 at home before losing to powerful GradsBy Romano Di FRanco
The Nepean Raiders faced the Rockland Nationals in the back-half of a home-andhome series Central Canada Junior A Hockey League between the two teams. Rockland skated away with a 3-1 victory two nights earlier and take a 2-0 lead in the season series.
Ben Grahame (3-2, 3.56 GAA, 0.881 SV%) got the start between the pipes for Rockland while Nepean recalled Jordan Provost (0-0, 0.00 GAA, 0.000 SV%) from the Ottawa West Golden Knights to defend the net for the Raiders.
Nepean has been pretty successful this year scoring first having done it in 11 of their first 19 games so far this season. Luke Posthumus improved that record to 12in-20. Brayden Potin’s pass deflected off of Harris Hilfiker’s skate right to Posthumus who made no mistake
with a wrist shot that eluded Grahame.
Shane Moodie gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead on a blast from the point that deflected off the stick of Rockland defenceman Yan Gaudreau and found the back of the net. Owen Hardy and Luke Posthumus had the helpers.
Rockland battled back with a pair of goals just 73 seconds apart at the midway point of the second to erase the Raiders lead as tied the game at 2-2.
Tyler Melvin got his eighth goal of the season on the PowerPlay after Bradley Leblanc went off for Hooking. Melvin circled with the puck to the blue line and threw the puck on goal as both Joshua Reid and Jordan Graham were parked in front of the net completely screening Ben Grahame. The harmless looking shot from the point bulged the twine to restore the lead for Nepean at 3-2.
Former Raider Samuel Beaulne tied the game once again for Rockland at 3-3 but it was Jordan Graham scoring the game winner on his first of the season one-timing a pass by Anthony Rivard from Gretzky’s office. Tyler Melvin had the other assist.
Tyler Melvin added an empty-netter to take the team lead in goals at 9 on the season. Coleman Bennett got the helper on the insurance goal.
The final was 5-3 for the Raiders who were outshot 49-39 in the game.
Grads beat Raiders
The Nepean Raiders closed out their November schedule as they hosted the Navan Grads on Wednesday night.
Braedyn McIntosh (134-1-1, 2.48 GAA, 0.912 SV %) got the start between the pipes for Navan while Luca Sandu (3-5, 4.26 GAA, 0.898 SV%) was in goal for Nepean.
Nepean got off to a quick start opening the scoring at the 2:46 mark of the first after Braden Potvin scored on a wrap-around goal after taking a pass from Shane Moodie in his own zone. Jacob Dupont got the other helper.
They would add another less than a minute later. It was Owen Hardy taking a 100 foot pass from Nicholas Larkin and taking the puck from the right side to the front of the net before tucking it past McIntosh for his
third of the season.
Owen Parsons would get one back for Navan beating Sandu through the five-hole on a breakaway.
Navan took it to Nepean in the second period scoring three-straight goals to go ahead 4-2.
This time is was Nepean who were back on their heels but responded after Anthony Rivard pocketed his first of the season. The goal came on a play that started in the Nepean zone with Harris Hilfi-
ker going D-to-D to Coleman Bennett. Bennett took the puck coast to coast and went around the net before finding Rivard on the far post. Rivard took a couple of swipes at the puck and deposited the second attempt into the vacated left side.
The Grads scored twice and skated away with a 6-3 win that was a lot closer than the score would indicate. The Grads ended the month of November with a perfect 9-0 record.
Save with FREE home energy upgrades
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