NewsNow E-Edition March 11 2021

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> Invoice re security breach shows mayor’s initial call cost $246 /Pg 3 > Region sets locations for vaccine clinics Pg 5 > Author exposes undercover life Pg 8 > GBF rolls out wellness kit program Pg 10 Thursday, March 11, 2021 Vol. 9 Issue 47 100% Niagara owned & operated.

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Grimsby ‘rights the ship’ with 1.81% tax increase By Mike Williscraft NewsNow Despite a hiccup on the communications end of things, Grimsby council is happy with its 1.81 per cent 2021 tax increase approved at the March 1 council meeting. The increase translates to $21 more in property taxes on a home with an average assessed value of $444,000, plus the additional $10 special West Lincoln Memorial Hospital levy. The overall blended tax increase - including Niagara Region and school board levies is 1.75 per cent. The 1.81 per cent is purely from increases on operations spending as capital spending is budgeted to be level with 2020. The $10 WLMH portion adds 0.83 per cent

to the 2021 levy. When the budget process was initially discussed in January, there was to be two presentations to council with a public input session. When the budget was presented at the Feb. 23 Committee of the Whole meeting no public notice of the meeting had been issued other than social media and a posting on the Town’s website. By approving the budget first time past the post, there was no other opportunity for the public to provide any input prior to it getting council approval six days later. “Overall, I was quite pleased with this year’s budget. Staff did a great job in this difficult year,” said Mayor Jeff Jordan this week. See BUDGET, Page 2

Remediation complete, WNSS site build ready By Mike Williscraft NewsNow The site on Hwy. 8 for the new super secondary school is fully remediated and ready for construction, according to the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN). The project has been fraught with financial issues in its early stages with remediation

going well over its initial $5.2 million budget to his $17.4 million. As well, plans for a theatre component have been temporarily set aside due to shortfalls on financing and fundraising for the $6.3 million feature. Many concerns about the school site’s history as a brick yard See 2022, Page 4

The proposed redevelopment of the Casablanca Winery Inn was back for another round of public discussions on Monday night with a revamped design and enhanced parking but many concerns were raised that more parking is still needed. Above is the proposed view along Winston Road.

Lots of love for Casablanca plan, but parking remains key concern By Mike Williscraft NewsNow In real estate, the mantra is location, location, location, but Monday night - with regard to the redevelopment of Casablanca Winery Inn - it was parking, parking, parking. The high-profile project and the developer, The Rosseau Group, was back before town council as part of another public meeting on Monday night. Major revisions have been made to the plans again. Initially, in 2017 the proposal maintained the existing Casablanca Winery and Inn and developed the eastern portion of the site for a 17-storey tower and 14-storey tower atop a 5-storey podium; for a total height of a 22-storey and 19-storey towers.

The revised 2019 proposal considered a comprehensive, phased redevelopment of the site for a 19-storey building and a 12-storey building. The interior is proposed to include 420 condo units, 72 hotel rooms, 1,800 sq m of retail space, 1,500 sq m outdoor amenity space and 4,200 sq m amenity area. The consensus among council and the handful of public who were on the Zoom meeting was there are a lot of great things about the overall design and concept, but....parking. One delegate, who said he also spoke for two condo associations in addition to being a neighbouring resident, requested the developer far exceed the site’s own parking requirement in

an effort to fix the serious parking shortfall problem in the Winston Road area. “Personally, I support it. I love it,” said Liam Killeen, noting he lives right across the street. “I was happy to see the number has risen...I’m concerned that it is still not enough. As it stands right now, in our corporation, we are at 85 shared visitor parking spaces for 144 residences, 19 businesses and that is in addition to the 45 public parking spots available on Winston right now.” “We’re only at about 50 per cent occupancy for our businesses and parking has already been stretched. This is off-season as well, so this doesn’t deal with beach season and the improvements being made to the lake PARKING, Page 7

Page 2 • NewsNow • Thursday, March 11, 2021


From Page 1 “I think the biggest disappointment is that we missed the deadline to inform the public about the budget meeting in the newspaper. The number one citizen survey result highlighted that residents want to see greater accountability and transparency.” Coun. Dorothy Bothwell echoed some of the mayor’s sentiments, but noted communications with public needs to be heightened not just for the budget, but other areas in which the Town conducts business as well. “We need to continue to encourage innovative ways that allow the community to be effectively engaged in how we are meeting their needs and identify areas that may need extra attention,” said Bothwell this week. “Community feedback in the budget process is essential to ensure we maintain our focus and continue to respect taxpayer funds.” During his presentation Feb. 23, town director of finance, Steven Gruninger did note what was done to get 2021 budget information in front of the public. An online budget survey was set up online from Jan. 21-Feb. 16, which generated 249 total visits with 129 surveys completed. It was available through Twitter, Facebook and the Town’s website. TABLE RESET CAO Harry Schlange said council has not accomplished much of the heavy lifting needed to reset the Town’s course from several negative planning markers from 2018. “You set a bold and courageous direction in 2020. You invested in the future. This provided a lot of momentum,” Schlange told council to kick off the budget rollout. Schlange noted foundations for several items listed in a set of strategic priorities established in March 2020 have been set, including West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Funding, the Town’s first comprehensive transit system and heritage planning for Grimsby Beach. “We’re bending the curve upward. When this council took over in 2018, we were in an operation deficit position and over the last two years, with some slight surpluses, we’re really moving forward on advancing our reserves,” said Schlange, noting reserves are up 41 per cent to $4.2 million. Grimsby posted a $1.1 million surplus in 2019 and another $330,000 in 2020 Getting the funding for WLMH in place was a major goal achieved, said Coun. Dave Sharpe this week.

“After decades of fighting for a new hospital, previous town councils never planned how to pay for the hospital. Residents donated money, and that is still safely in the WLMH Foundation. But in 2020, council implemented a plan to pay for the hospital by gradually adding to the levy over four years,” said Sharpe. “The special hospital levy added $10 to the average tax bill this year and by the end of the four-year plan in 2024 we will have enough in the budget to cover Grimsby’s contribution to the hospital via a debenture (loan) over 20-30 years. That is something I’m really proud to have accomplished in the last few years on council.” At the Feb. 23 presentation, Gruninger noted that when staff initiated the budget process, the goal was wrangling all with an eye to keeping any increase down for 2021. “The CAO and I decided that, in order to keep this budget under control, there had to be no increase in capital spending,” said Gruninger, noting that was achieved. Even with the 1.83 per cent increase - considerably down from major increases in the last two years, Jordan would have liked to see an even sharper pencil. “I am concerned that we may be budgeting with a surplus in mind. We are still in a pandemic but our budget numbers don’t reflect that. I would be happier if we brought forward a lower increase to minimize a potential surplus as we move forward. I would also like to have seen a greater detail of distribution paths of our provincial COVID-19 relief,” said Jordan, adding he was pleased to see heritage getting some recognition “but needs to go further.” There are many key initiatives on the table for 2021, some of the highlights include: INITIATIVES • Casablanca/QEW Interchange signalization of on/off ramps, four-land cross section with centre median, multi-use pedestrian pathway to enhance public safety and improved traffic flow; • Downtown Grimsby Secondary School Land Use Study • Downtown Reimagined BUSINESS ATTRACTION/ GROWTH & RETENTION • RED Grant: Business Retention & Expansion • Value Proposition, marketing and capacity building • Employment land inventory and analysis • Initiate long-term economic development strategy

ACCOUNTABILITY/ TRANSPARENCY • Ward boundary, council composition review • Customer service excellence • Shared services • Develop Bang The Table as a communications tool Regarding the environment, Gruninger said there will be “Further advancing the Town shoreline protection, tree planting and the Carolinian forest. We’re looking at implementing a climate action framework and looking at some facility energy audits for Peach King Centre, Town Hall and the library.” Shoreline protection will be enhanced at the Whittaker Park and pumphouse, Coronation Park along the 40 Mile Creek along 6th-9th Street in Grimsby Beach. “I am pleased that we are presenting a budget with a reasonable tax increase. However, I’ve asked that more money be directed from within the budget to support the Carolinian tree initiative because of the incredible response I’ve received from the community,” said Coun. Lianne Vardy, who brought forward the idea to council of developing Grimsby to be the Carolinian Capital of Canada last month. Community amenities will either be created or updated with replacement of the Gibson Street bridge, start of the Casablanca Beach Park build, and a new pickle ball court being built. “This (the latter) got a lot of attention in the Grimsby budget survey,” noted Gruninger. Main Street East, which has been the subject of a great deal of debate in recent months will also be getting some major attention. A comprehensive strategy to include a demolition control bylaw, Part IV designations, Heritage Conservation District Study and various planning instruments “as appropriate” - with a projected cost of $300,000 will be part of the 2021 mix. Grimsby Beach’s planning process will continue with community engagement, a land use planning study and implementation plan – with a projected cost of $140,000. Neither will have any levy impact, however, as they will be paid for from reserves and development charges. DOWNTOWN REIMAGINED The planning process which will steer a revitalization process for Grimsby’s downtown core will also get underway. “We’ll look at holding strong vision-

ing exercise with the whole community to shape the future of Grimsby’s downtown, which includes a priority of a pedestrian square, which was brought up in council’s strategic priorities,” said Gruninger. “The exercise will also integrate concurrent projects like the downtown watermain replacement, Century Condos and the continuation of the patio program.” This aspect was also part of the strategic priorities set by council about one year ago. “The 2021 budget supports council’s strategic priorities. This budget reflects the hard work of Town staff to balance COVID-19 impacts while delivering on our community’s expectations,” said Bothwell this week. “Moving forward with initiatives such as the downtown visioning for a pedestrian square, a safe cycling infrastructure and enhancement of the Casablanca Road overpass will energize vital connections and bring residents together from across town.” For Coun. Reg Freake, there was a lot of good teed up for 2021, but like Jordan, some concerns with patterns remain. “I’m relatively happy with the budget in general, however, a couple of concerns were: the increase in budgeted administration costs which was up by 15 per cent over last year and planning costs up by 75 per cent whereas our Heritage/Cultural and Parks/Rec was down by 11 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectfully,” said Freake this week. “One of the smaller but concerning new items on the revenue line items in 2020 was related to Freedom Of Information where the revenue was budgeted at $50 but the actual revenue was $3,989. In the 2021 budget this was increased to $2,500, which reflects the concerns of the community. I would like to see a more wholesome review of the process and justifications related to how the town deals with surplus - ie. underspent budgets going forward.” Coun. Dave Kadwell said the 2021 budget is nothing but upside. “In my opinion, the 2021 budget is financially responsible, I am very pleased that it was unanimously approved by council. We have covered the Town’s responsibility to WLMH and also moving forward with the Heritage Study, and other initiatives to move Grimsby forward in a very positive way,” said Kadwell. All members of council were asked to submit comments regarding the 2021 budget. Councillors Kevin Ritchie, John Dunstall and Randy Vaine did not offer any input.

News Now • Thursday, March 11, 2021 • Page 3

Much ado about $264 from mayor’s security breach query By Mike Williscraft NewsNow When five members of Grimsby council voted Feb. 16 to have Mayor Jeff Jordan pay a $1,300 invoice after he made an inquiry regarding a security breach, they did so without all the details in front of them. At the March 1 Committee of The Whole meeting the invoice in question was presented. It showed the mayor’s initial calls – after emails from Jordan to “the individual” somehow showed up at the home of Coun. Kevin Ritchie – were billed at $264. The matter arose after the emails were discussed in a closed session of council in July 2020. A subsequent Integrity Commissioner complaint filed

by Coun. Randy Vaine – due to the mayor mentioning an item discussed in a closed session – was found that the action was “trivial” and “of no consequence” by IC Charles Harnick, a past solicitor general of the Province of Ontario. Regardless, Ritchie, Vaine, Coun. John Dunstall, Coun. Dave Kadwell and Coun. Dave Sharpe voted to have the mayor pay for the full amount of the invoice for the initial calls as well as any of the subsequent follow up which resulted from that action. The IC complaint cost the Town of Grimsby in excess of $8,000 on its own, with the tab from complaints filed in 2020 hitting about $40,000 in total. The vast majority of those

The invoice in question, from “the individual” to the Town for Mayor Jeff Jordan’s security breach inquiry, noted above, was $264 plus tax.The remainder of the bill unfolded from the initial inquiry. came from one coun- othy Bothwell noted at the lengthy and tumul- good faith towards the cillor filing a complaint the March 1 meeting. tuous Feb. 16 debate, Town of Grimsby and against another. Mayor Jordan has when he said, “When I have always acted in Under the Municipal commented very little I recited my oath on the best interests of the Act, the actions of the on the matter other Dec. 3, 2018, I promised Town and I will continfive councillors is with- than to make a brief to do my fiduciary duty ue to do so. And I will out merit, as Coun. Dor- statement at the end of and to always act in leave it at that.”

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“About the time I emailed the trustee there was what From Page 1 looked like a black membrane and years of taking unknown put down on the east slope fill to level the land have of the excavation. It has now persisted, but Kim Sweeney, been covered by gravel. That DSBN’s chief communications would be an unusual step.” officer said the site is ready to Sweeney said the memgo. brane is a prevention step. “As per the Ministry of The black membrane you Environment, Conservation have noticed at the West Niand Park’s approved work agara Secondary School site plan with the District School is called a geotextile memBoard of Niagara, during the brane separation process,” 18-month remediation project well over 200 samples of soil said Sweeney. “It ensures no contaminants material were collected, anawill leach back on to the West lyzed, and at various stages, Niagara Secondary School reported to the Ministry for site from the adjacent propertheir review and comment,” ties.” said Sweeney as part of an onThompson questioned why going email dialogue. such a precaution would be “In addition, over 20 samnecessary. If ground water ples of ground water were colcontamination and no liquid lected and analyzed -- we can impacts from fill were found, confirm there were no impacts why would a membrane of to the local ground water.” any sort be required at all? Sweeney noted that the ACQUISITION majority of material cleared There has been misinforfrom the site was construction mation or no information cirremnants. culating on the site itself and “The contaminants reported what was acquired by DSBN were shredded LE IS MY BUSINESS” YOUR SMIconstruction/ “ in January 2019. demolition debris, consisting DSBN bought the land - at of 80 per cent wood fibre,” 18.509 acres - at 4670 Dursaid Sweeney, who added the ham Road from Angie Sgamenvironmental consultant on belluri for $1.465 million. The the job was WSP Group land had an assessed value The ground water is a conof $763,000 based on Jan. 1, cern for Lincoln resident Bob 2016’s assessment. As well, a Thompson, among others, 20.095-acre lot fronting on who noted the site has an unusual feature for land which Hwy. 8 was also purchased has no impacts on ground wa- for $3.534 million. This land had a 2016 assessed value of ter. Thompson added that he $1,724,000. The sales were completed has been waiting weeks for anon Jan. 30, 2019. swers to a series of inquiries. THEATRE “I am still waiting for any A 750-seat theatre which was answers from one superintenplanned to be part of the build dent and a response to anothfrom the outset has been deer email to my trustee,” said layed pending a renewed funThompson.

draising program. At its meeting on March 1, Lincoln’s Committee of the Whole endorsed a longterm, multi-year contribution to the theatre committing $200,000. In return the Town, through a service agreement, will get defined and specific access to recreation and cultural amenities in partnership with the DSBN, as well as a commitment to work together on the future of the Beamsville District Secondary School site. The future West Niagara Secondary School principal has been making the rounds to municipal councils promoting the new facility and the theatre fundraising program. DSBN needs to raise $2.4 million to make the theatre happen. Initially, the entire $6.8 million cost was going to fundraised for both the theatre and a greenhouse feature with interior and exterior classrooms. This was revised down to $2.4 for the theatre with use of DSBN’s accumulated surplus to support the remainder of costs. “The 750-seat theatre will have great benefits for students and the community. We already have letters of support from community members outlining their views on the benefits to them,” said Sweeney. “Our WNSS Theatre Fundraising Committee has started working on this project, and we feel very positive that the theatre will be approved by the Ministry of Education. The rest of the build remains unchanged from original plans.

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on Park Rd. South. He purchased 28 acres, and planned to make the house the showpiece for a development of similar homes. The eight-room house boasted 1800 square feet, and was constructed of concrete panels. Electrical wiring for heating was built into the floors. Morton’s plans for more houses did not materialize, but the one house he did build has endured. It is still there, on the first bench. There were many other innovators in Grimsby as well. In fact, many citizens known for ventures rather than inventions received patents for their ideas. Beverly Robinson Nelles, a well-known farmer and developer, patented a coat rack.

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Edward Bowslaugh received three patents, two on window blinds and one on a land drainage system. William Kitchen received four patents on such diverse topics as farm fences, churns and calendars. Grimsby has long been proud of John Grout, agricultural machinery genius, who invented up-to-date versions of the reaping machine, the harvest binder, the disc harrower and the sulky plough. But who knew that John Duval of South Grimsby invented a corn planter, and John Grant received a patent on a mowing and reaping machine? Even John Hewitt patented four fluting irons and an improved fluting plate. Grimsby has always had plenty of creative thinkers. We should remember and celebrate them!

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You might think that 100, 150 years ago, the people of Grimsby were a placid, uninteresting lot. Perhaps some of them were, but there were others who set the world (or at least Grimsby) on fire. Between 1870 and 1913, 41 patents were applied for and received. For example, Robert Kemp found a way to make a cement wall, something that had previously not been achieved. As a result, Grimsby became the centre for early cement buildings. There were two companies involved, Grimsby Cement Block and Tile Works opened in 1919, and Grimsby Concrete Company in 1947. It might seem impossible to build a house entirely of concrete, but it wasn’t. In 1947 Don Morton decided to build a cement home


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News Now • Thursday, March 11, 2021 • Page 7 From Page 1 area. This doesn’t deal with more retail, the Odyssey building going in, etc. I would love to formally see if it is even possible to add another layer of parking to what you already have existing.” That theme of parking issues in the area popped up at several points after project consultant, Martin Quarcoopome, noted the current proposal bumps up parking to 20 more than Town bylaws require at 909 spaces, with those 20 created for public access. With that, though, many questions still arose regarding parking. Resident Adam Mottershead made another delegation noting some discrepancies in the documentation as to what was included in the square footage calculation for parking

requirements. His questions were to be answered at a subsequent meeting. Quarcoopome said the developers have “done our best to provide more than required,” and that a fourth level of underground parking would be cost prohibitive. From council’s perspective, many were just as excited about the proposal as the developers. “This is a spectacular project and I’m thrilled the hotel coming back,” said Coun. Reg Freake, but he noted he also has concerns on the parking front. “I would like to encourage you to look at the parking again.” And while one resident who questioned if the added strain on local roads was manageable was told current infrastructure fits all requirements, Freake noted the current problems

will continue. “I know we are going to have a traffic problem there,” said Freake, suggesting the only solution may be to add more parking and reducing the overall units. Other comments from the public, while roundly lauding the proposal, noted items such as the project was just too population dense and another noted the developer should plan appropriate spacing within the units. Anna Jureczek, who noted she was of Polish dissent and moved to town because of her history with Place Polonaise growing up, said her experience with condos showed 24-inch appliances are “ornamental” due to lack of functionality and she hoped appropriate space was allotted for layouts for full-size appliances. “Discussing these aspects before these

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New book sheds light into the undercover world By Tristan Marks NewsNow “There may be no more dangerous job in the world these days than being an undercover.” This quote is as true today as it was when NBC reporter Tom Brokaw said it on-air in 1990. Undercover, a new book from Criminology professor, true crime columnist and Grimsby resident Stephen Metelsky demonstrates this by sharing the stories of undercover cops (UCs) in their own words. These accounts come from around the world, some even detailing undercover operations that took place right here in Niagara and across Southern Ontario. Metelsky said he wanted his book to give the average person a glimpse into the lives of these men and women who put their lives on the line by going undercover into dangerous operations. “These people don’t do this for extra pay, they do it because they volunteer for it,” Metelsky said. “Many times these operators are leaving behind their families, their kids for months.” Metelsky writes from experience in this. Although today he teaches at Mohawk College and Queens Uni-

versity, Metelsky a UC. has been part of In the 1980s, undercover opMoffatt infiltraterations in the ed the Paradise past, both as a Riders outlaw UC and as a hanbiker gang as dler whose job part of an operawas to keep option for the OPP. eratives safe. In the midst “I relayed some of this operaof my experienction, one of the es, but this book STEPHEN gang’s bikers isn’t about me,” METELSKY was found murhe explained. “My career dered in a burning stawas a little like a hockey tion wagon on the QEW, farm team, but the folks an escalation in a violent I talk about in my book turf war. were definitely in the big Originally Moffatt’s leagues.” handlers wanted her Using connections pulled out for her safety, from his past life in law but decided to keep her enforcement, Metelsky in with orders to gather was able to reach out to leads and information on veteran UCs to get their the murder. story in their own words. She had to stay underMetelsky said that cover with no wires in an readers may recog- era before cell phones. nize some names and “If they even suspected cases that he featured she was a cop, she would in his book, such as Jay be dead,” Metelsky said. Dobyns. He explained that the Dobyns infiltrated the decision to send Moffatt Hell’s Angels biker gang into her mission without as part of US Bureau of a wire, ironically, saved Alcohol, Tobacco and her life. Firearms back in the ear“When she first went ly 2000s. to the Paradise Riders’ His story has been fea- clubhouse she noticed tured in a number of doc- that there was a large umentary series. antenna on its roof,” MeOther stories, as Me- telsky said. telsky put it “have never This antenna, as it graced the pages of a turned out, was designed newspaper of television. to detect outgoing sigKaren Moffatt has one nals and would have defof these stories. She was initely picked up a wire. one of the first women in “She said her heart Ontario to be trained as dropped when she

learned this,” Metelsky said. “If she had a wire going into the club house, there was no way she would have come back out .” This theme of everpresent danger threads throughout the book. In stories like Moffatt’s and Dobyns’ the danger doesn’t just end after their op ends. Sometimes UCs don’t make it out. Metelsky dedicated an entire chapter to William McIntyre, an Oakville officer who was murdered undercover on April 1, 1991. Thirty years later, his case remains unsolved and there is still a $100,000 reward for information on his murder, although this will expire April 1 of this year. “For UCs, the paranoia is real. Violence is always around the corner,” Metelsky said. For more information on Undercover, including a link to purchase a physical copy online visit Stephen Metelsky’s website Visitors can also find links to his Cold Case column, featured in the online publication, Blue Line Magazine. Additionally, Metelsky will be part of the Grimsby Public Library’s online authors talk on April 26 at 7 p.m.

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Page 10 • News Now • Thursday, March 11, 2021

GBF sends out ‘Wellness Kits’ for new community pilot program By Tristan Marks NewsNow One hundred individuals around Grimsby will be receiving a special care package from GBF, filled with a vari-

ety of items all included to help promote wellness. These care packages are part of a community wellness pilot program, sorted and dis-

tributed from the GBF Wellness Hub on Elm Street. This comes as GBF has expanded its purpose to not only care for the basic needs of

Volunteers were busy last week at the GBF Wellness Centre on Elm St. filling the 100 wellness kits that will be going out this month. Sorting the items here are (L to R) Anne McCloskey, Linda Rowlison and Jamie Stevens. Marks - Photo

residents of Grimsby, but also the wellness of the wider community. “This is all about promoting wellness in the community,” said GBF president Irene Podolak. “Each item in the care kit is there to help promote physical, mental, environmental and social wellness.” The list of items, which include things like toothbrushes, pencils, water bottles and even stuffed animals among much more can be categorized into one of those four types of wellness Podolak mentioned. GBF has identified a need for promoting: • Physical wellness, which includes exercise and healthy eating; • Mental wellness, which includes mindfulness, self-reflection

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and keeping the mind engaged with positive things; • Social wellness, which is about maintaining and forging new social connections to friends and family; and • Environmental wellness, which refers to keeping one’s home, room and living environment clean and orderly. The 100 individuals who will take part in this pilot project include some existing GBF clients, residents of Grimsby’s longterm care homes and others. The care kits will go out within the next two weeks and after a period of time, GBF volunteers will follow-up with the participants to collect feedback on how the kits helped. If GBF’s board judg-

es that the pilot was a success, the Wellness Hub will then scale up the program and have it available for individuals even beyond Grimsby. “We’ve always taken care of individuals who’ve struggled, but we want to now show our care for the wellness of the whole community,” said GBF executive director Stacy Elia. “This also means that if someone reached out to us from outside of Grimsby we won’t tell them no.” Along with this program, GBF has also distributed “Wellness Bingo” cards, which list a number of goals and activities for each of the four wellness categories. Those who fill out the bingo card by completing those activities can redeem it at GBF for a prize.

NRP food drive for WLCC The Niagara Regional Police (NRP) will be collecting food items for West Lincoln Community Care (WLCC) at Foodland in Smithville on March 17 as part of their region-wide NRP Spring Food Drive. NRP officers will be out in front of the grocery store from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All COVID safety guidelines will be in effect. Cash and food item donations will be accepted. WLCC foodbank manager Sharlene Volpatti said her organization especially needs donations of canned meat and fish, canned fruit, pasta and rice side dishes, canned stew/chili, and baking goods among other non-perishable items.

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By Tristan Marks NewsNow Readers of the past two editions of NewsNow will have known that CTV aired a very special episode of Holmes Family Effect last Sunday. Those who watched the episode saw how Smithville’s very own FORT site was transformed thanks to the efforts of Mike Holmes and his children Sherry and Mike Jr. “Working with Mike Holmes, Sherry Holmes, and Mike Holmes Jr. was an incredible experience,” said FORT executive director Beth Shaw. However, few know the story behind the renovation, and the long wait before FORT’s youth and employees could reveal the finished site to the public. “We were so honored and literally shocked that we were selected for this opportunity,” Shaw said. “Our student Aaron Buitenwerf saw the op-

portunity and took a chance by submitting an application. By some miracle the Holmes family found our little charity worthy of this amazing transformation!” Unfortunately, there was a setback. The renovation viewers saw on the weekend was actually finished and waiting for its big reveal since even before last year. “We filmed this back in December 2019, and three months later coronavirus hit and shut the world down,” Shaw said. Filming for the rest of that season of Holmes Family Effect went into hiatus along with much of the global entertainment industry. “As a result we have been unable to share this amazing transformation until now,” Shaw said. However, Shaw said that the FORT kids loved the experience being able to meet and work with the Holmes family. “They were so genu-

ine and patient with our youth,” she said. “They actually took the time to teach them how to work with tools and flooring.” Unfortunately, COVID affected more than just the reveal timing for FORT. “This past year the FORT has lost all opportunities to fundraise. Everything we

had planned, including a big 20th anniversary celebration, had to be cancelled,” Shaw said. She added that she hopes exposure from the episode might drive support from the community, which is what FORT relies on to keep its doors open. To support FORT, visit


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Page 12 • News Now • Thursday, March 11 2021 obituarIES

SMIT, Hilbertus (Bert)

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Nancy Neill Edit anything you wish. February 11, 2021 at 4:48 PM Mary Ellen Logan


LOGAN, William (Bill) Harold 1922-2021

It is with great sadness that the Logan family announces the passing of William (Bill) Harold It is with great sadness, th the”Logan” family announces the passing of William Harold Logan, in his 99 year Logan (Bill), in his 99 th year of life. of life. A dear husband to Helen Logan of 62 years. A father to Nancy and Mary Ellen. A brother to Dorothy, June, Muriel and Horace Logan. A grandfather to Sara, Michael, Moira, Olivia and Jessica. A great grandfather to Logan and Declan. He was a man of great integrity, loyalty and honesty. He instilled this value into everyone in his life. He was an aeronautical, mechanical and electrical professional engineer, earning his degree at the University of Michigan. He was very proud of that. He achieved a great accomplishment by adding his knowledge to the creation of the Avro Arrow, an infamous part of Canadian history. He continued his career as project manager for other large companies. He will be truly missed by his family and all of those who knew him. Rest In Peace, Bill. A cremation will ensue, followed by an intimate family gathering. No flowers, please. Donations to a charity of your choice.

June 8, 1928 - March 8, 2021 Peacefully at home, our beloved husband and father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Hilbertus (Bert) Smit, passed away and went to be with his Lord in his 93rd year. Bert was born in Westerbork (Drenthe), Netherlands and died in Grimsby (Ontario), Canada. Predeceased by his parents, his s i s t e r and brothers, several brothers- and sistersin-law, he is survived by his wife of almost 65 years, Jenny Smit (nee Mijnheer). Bert was the very proud father of Patricia (Herman) Vanderkooy, Margaret (Richard) Vandezande and Jack (Pauline Vanderlugt) Smit. He was blessed with seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren: Jen (James; Spencer, Hannah) Bryson, Anna Vanderkooy (Ibrahima Kassé; Sophie), Helen Vanderkooy (Danny McCormack; Caleb), Robert (Michelle Zandstra) Smit, Melanie (Samuel; Winston) Priddle, Julia (David) Scholman, Elana Smit. Also survived by many nephews and nieces in the Netherlands and in Canada. Bert was a multi-talented, hard working man of tall stature and a big heart - our Dad and Grandpa was always there for us. Thank you to the many friends at Evergreen Terrace and beyond, for your support and care. With much appreciation for services within our community, our family acknowledges the work of many health care providers in these past few months and the kindness of Dr. I. Moore, our family doctor. On Friday, March 12, there will be public visitation beginning at 9 am and a funeral service at 11 am at Mountainview Christian Reformed Church, 290 Main Street East, Grimsby with Pastor Fred Vanderberg officiating. Private burial is by invitation at Grimsby Mountain Cemetery. In accordance with provincial regulations, there is a limit to the number of visitors who may attend events at one time. Please RSVP in advance for the visitation and funeral on Bert’s tribute page at or by calling the Funeral Home. All visitors are asked to please follow COVID restrictions in place and remain at a safe social distance from others. For those who wish to view the Funeral Service from home via livestream, please visit the church’s website at www.mountainviewcrc. org. If desired, memorial contributions to the charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. Arrangements entrusted to Stonehouse-Whitcomb Funeral Home, Grimsby (905-945-2755).

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In Memory of Peter Reilly Peter Reilly sadly passed away last week in a fight against prostate cancer. A veteran firefighter of over 30 years, Peter served as a Captain in the Burlington Fire Service since 2009. The family of the late Peter Reilly would like to thank everyone for their support and outpouring of love received this past week with the passing of dear Father of Shaughn, Kyra (Zac), Quinn, Kael and husband of Laura Masur-Reilly.

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News Now • Thursday, March 11, 2021 • Page 13 BIRTHDAY

Happy Birthday Garth Dittrick! On your 90th Birthday may you only know the joy, peace and health that comes with a life well lived.

COMMUNITY NOTICE ANNUAL VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM Every year, CN is required to clear its right-of-way of any vegetation that may pose a safety hazard. Vegetation on railway right-of-way, if left uncontrolled, can contribute

With great love and affection to our Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Uncle and Cousin from Mom, Anwar, Bronwyn, Brock and all the kids. ANNIVERSARY

Happy 60th Anniversary Ross & Barb Pyett Married March 17, 1961 St. Philips by the Lake Church, Grimsby.

to trackside fires and impair proper inspection of track infrastructure. For safe railway operations, CN will conduct its annual vegetation control program on its rail lines in the province of Ontario. A certified professional will be applying herbicides on wand around the railway tracks (primarily along the 16 feet graveled

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100% Niagara owned & operated Our Team: Publisher - Mike Williscraft 289-442-4244 General Manager - Catherine Bratton Reporter - Tristan Marks Sales Consultant - Erica Huisman, Rose Bayer Graphics - Donna Wisnoski NewsNow is owned & operated by 1602207 Ontario Ltd. Office Locations Grimsby Office Beamsville Office 1 Mountain Street, P.O Box 614 Grimsby, ON, L3M 3J6 Beamsville, ON, L0R 1B0 Ph: 289-235-9500 Ph: 289-235-7848 NewsNow is published EVERY Thursday delivered to homes in West Niagara & Winona, 26,529.

Cashing in for CCWN

Community Care of West Niagara (CCWN) received a donation of more than $8,800 in Sobeys gift card from the Beamsville branch of the grocery store chain. This money was gathered from generous customers at the check-out counters. On hand for the presentation were (L-R) CCWN manager of community engagemennt Lynda O’Donnell, Beamsville Sobeys customer service manager Connie Wolf and Sobeys employee Lorna Keller-Cassano who raised more than $2,000 of the $8,800 total. Marks - Photo

Gofundme for Grimsby invoice A point needs to be made clear - and the person who initiated a gofundme to raise $1,300 to pay the invoice which five members of council are asking the mayor to do - the demand for payment is a non-starter. It is not permitted under the Municipal Act. It was really just a stunt, of sort, but to what end, who knows. Many noted about doing a gofundme to support the mayor. Now, an account has been started, and it notes very clearly any funds raised, which do NOT go to pay off this invoice, will be donated to the Grimsby Fund under the Niagara Community Foundation - a great cause. This venture will be followed up and when funds are donated, it will be covered. It is important to make this clear for all, so something bad does not come from something which was well-intentioned. M.W.

Wood not water soluble, is it? This week is a bit of a “corner turner” if you will on a few fronts. With the new super school site for West Niagara Secondary the latest – and likely the most complete information the public is likely to see – is compiled in this week’s story. I will be filing an FOI inquiry to get the results of the ground water and soil testing...just haven’t gotten around to that yet. Heck, I have not even had my arbitration hearing for my request for Grimsby’s third party investigation into CAO issues last summer yet. So, I suspect it will take close to the end of the year to get anything done on a water/ soil inquiry, which is fine, just not very relevant to the immediate issue. Also included in the story is land sale information. This was done mainly because I was cc’d on an inquiry from a Smithville resident who asked West Lincoln/Wainfleet Trustee Doug Newton what the purchase price was for the new school’s land. The taxpayer was told, “All land transactions are matter of public record at the land registry office.” Not exactly responsive representation there. It took a while to get the information, but it is there. The actual cost of the land is really not a question for me. It really is about the misdirection, shall we say, which District School Board of Niagara employed as they ran up the bill for remediating the site. Information eventually came out that Ministry of the Environment was aware of all. Which proved true. It also proved true that the ministry which pays the freight for DSBN, name that of the education variety, was not. Now, I am no expert, but I am pretty sure anyone out there reading this informa-

MIKE WILLISCRAFT tion was a kid at one time. I don’t think there is a child alive who did not play the divide and conquer game with their parents at a very early age. For me, I was five years old when I figured it out. I would tell my mom that Dad said it was ok if I slept over at my next-door neighbour Chuck Mady’s house. My Dad was always the hard one to get, so when I played that card with my mom: A) My parents never questioned the other’s judgment, and B) Mom was the softy, so she always went along. Mady’s always had Cheezies, my fave at the time....but I digress. So, some hairs were split there to say the Province knew. I am sure any official at MoE would assume all pertinent parties were up to speed on the serious situation there, but they assumed wrong if they did. The reason I will be seeking the water/soil study results is this mammoth black membrane I saw at the bottom of the pit before it was filled back in. As I worked back through the dozens of people who were contacting me for information on this issue over 4-6 weeks the question came up time and time again – if there was no ground water impact and all the test results were hunkydory, why would a membrane bigger than a football

field (at least that is how it appeared from the road) be necessary at all? Simply, it wouldn’t. If the main culprit of contaminants was really construction materials, wood, and such as purported, those materials are not exactly water soluble. So, there’s that. And believe me, I have more than enough fires to chase, I don’t want to keep going back to that one, but if I don’t nobody else will. It’s hard to believe other area media have looked right past these unapproved expenditures but that is the difference between a news sources and PR agencies. And with that, we turn to Grimsby Council. Nothing tragic on that front this week, likely because only a public meeting for the Casablanca Winery Inn site was the only meeting on the menu. Regardless, I’ll take it. But it was budget time last week and I’ll admit right here in print, I totally missed it. I saw the minutes of the budget committee off the whole meeting approved, but it didn’t occur me the Town would pass a one-and-done budget with NO public notice and precious little input. When the process was first talked about in January, there was supposed to be two passes at council. Great it was simple and could be done in one, but if that was the case, there absolutely should have been a delay to allow for public notice. The financial question to ask, coming off a $1.1 million surplus is, why was there not a rollback. A small increase is nice, and reserves are solid, so how does this year not end up as a surplus as well, unless you are looking to fill out ways to spend money - which is exactly what you don’t want.

News Now • Thursday, March 11, 2021 • Page 15

End clique politics: reader Still waiting for answers Dear Editor, In light of articles published in NewsNow over the last two years and recent comments from Grimsby residents concerning the conduct of the Grimsby 5 and their obstructionist disruptive actions, it may be time for Grimsby residents to consider implementing a “recall” initiative mechanism PRIOR to the next election. With this, anyone running for elected office in Town would pledge, by signed declaration, to support a bylaw providing residents the ability of removing any ward representatives for unprofessional behavior inconsistent with their pre-election commitments to their ward residents and oath of office as elected officials. The conduct of the Grimsby 5, in my opinion, has been unproductive, obstructionist, deliberately disruptive and costly, intentionally meant from day one, to undermine Mayor Jordan for the aspiration/agenda/ political career ambitions of someone within that group. Who’s Machiavellian hand does it benefit? Who has eyes on the Mayor’s job? Who wants control of Town council and why?

LETTERS The recent orchestrated unwarranted bullying attack on Mayor Jordan can’t be shrugged off as mere inexperienced chaotic incompetence. There’s no reasonable logical explanation for their persistent attempts at blocking each and all productive and considered motions from The Grown-Up 4 who are acting in good faith, but are powerless to protect residents from the Petulant 5’s clownish behavior. Recall Option – 500 hard signatures collected door to door from ward residents – or 2,000 from Town at large collected door to door for the

mayor – presented to Town council (without VETO) would trigger an automatic electronic confidential vote on Town of Grimsby website, naming the individual and the reason(s) for the recall motion. A 50%-plus 1 count of voters who participated in the past election from THAT ward, would determine the outcome of that recall. It’s time to put an end to the decades old clique tyranny. Town residents can no longer afford to be held hostage every four years by individuals making promises before the election only to abdicate their responsibility, oath of office and backbone to unelected agendas. Claude Marcotte Grimsby

from DSBN re WNSS site

Dear Editor, After the revelations of going $12 million over budget and the question of what trustees were told, it appears that the response by the DSBN is a PR campaign to say how great the new high school will be. The principal, Mr. Miller, has made presentations to Grimsby and Lincoln Councils, and an email was sent out to parents. The Board has also erected an even bigger and more splendid sign on the site to let people know about the splendid new edifice. Any pertinent questions from the taxpayers remain unanswered. My trustee has declined to answer any further questions and directed me to contact Ms. Helen McGregor, a superintendent, so that I “... get the facts correct ...”. This seems strange considering the

DSBN has both a Chief Communications Officer and a Chief Information Officer. After two weeks, nothing. A follow-up email asking if Ms. McGregor received my email and some further questions requiring only a yes or no response has also not been answered. The Board and the Administration appear to have adopted the silent approach, hoping it all goes away. Yet it is not just past issues that are the only concern, but the rest of the project. Anyone buying building materials knows that costs have greatly increased. One of my questions is “Has the Administration brought forward revised estimates for the build?” Or is it going to be that it is too late now so we must proceed no matter what the cost? Robert Thompson

Letters To The Editor Welcome Got an opinion? NewsNow welcomes all submissions. Just include your name, address and phone number Email:

Writer clarifies paramedic terminology Dear Editor, I wanted to write this email to educate you and your staff on the correct terminology for Ontario’s emergency medical personnel. In Ontario, the correct terminology to use is PARAMEDICS, not EMS workers. Although one could argue that your use of the term EMS workers is “technically” correct, it is actually quite a derogatory term that paramedics do not appreciate being called. Paramedics are highly trained, highly skilled professionals and deserve to be

referred to correctly. Paramedics did not go to school and dedicate their lives to this career to be referred to as EMS workers. You would not refer to a firefighter as a firehose holder or a police officer as a police car driver; you would use the correct terminology out of respect for the profession, so why would you not do the same for paramedics? It is troubling to me that the gentleman who wrote the letter to the editor referred to the individuals who assisted him correctly as paramedics, yet you


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1 kg.





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Daylight Savings Time Begins March 14


(Highland & Tapleytown Rd.)






9 lb

Page 16 • News Now • Thursday, March 11, 2021






$ 79