Seniors' Month ceremony at Lookout page 5 Farewell Elaine page 8 Outsourcing centre cleanup page 11 EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
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Wednesday, June 13 2018
Oosterhoff easily wins Niagara West Conservative MPP handily fends off challengers
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Bookended Maybe the past is a dreamer best left sleeping
BY VOICE STAFF Incumbent Progressive Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff handily won reelection last Thursday in Niagara West, winning nearly 53 percent of the vote to return to Queen’s Park, where he will serve in a majority PC government. NDP candidate Curtis Fric finished second with 30 percent, while Liberal nominee Joe Kanee received just under 11 percent of the total 46,194 ballots cast. The Green Party’s Jessica Tillmanns garnered about five-and-a-half percent. Libertarian Stefanos Karatopis received about a single percent of the vote, and Multicultural Party of Ontario nominee around a quarter. Last week’s election had a turnout of 64 percent in Niagara West, somewhat higher than the provincial rate of 58 percent. On Friday morning, the day after the election, Oosterhoff sent a letter to PC leader and incoming Premier Doug Ford, highlighting his priorities for the coming term for Niagara West, which included maintenance of the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital and GO Train service.
Larry “BILKO” Bilkszto
BY COLIN BREZICKI
Special to the VOICE
DeVries Fruit Farm's Denyse Stoop shows off strawberries fresh from the field.
DAVE BURKET PHOTO
Eighth annual DeVries Strawberry Social fundraiser DeVries Fruit Farm will hold its eighth annual strawberries and ice cream fundraiser this Saturday, June 16, raising money for Pelham Cares. “We started off donating to Pelham Cares for the first five years of the event,” said Dan DeVries, the second generation of the family to
BY VOICE STAFF operate the farm in Fenwick. “Two years ago we put the money towards the family of Jed Seehagel, who had a lawnmower accident.” Seehagel was just two years old when the accident occurred, and the
strawberry social raised $5000. “Last year, we put the money towards James Eliopolous, a local boy who had Lyme Disease,” said DeVries. “This year, we’re back to Pelham Cares. People from Pelham See DEVRIES Page 3
IME AND MEMORY go in opposite directions, it’s said, and that can make things awkward. With time it’s simple enough. We’re joined at the hip and have no choice but to make the most of our ride. Memory is more complicated—there are certain places we’d rather not revisit. If time tells us where we’re heading, memory tells us where we’ve been. It can also show us who we once were, something we don’t always want to be reminded of. Many years ago, my 11-year-old daughter chose as her class project to interview a celebrated Canadian novelist who was also a close family friend. She had read some of Richard Wright’s books and was understandably nervous about the meeting, so her mother and I assured her that he was a kind man who would quickly put her at ease. In the end she loved doing the interview and was pleased to share the audio See COLUMN SIX back page
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
IN THE NEWS
PUBLISHER’S CORNER by Dave Burket
As the Crowe flies: A tip of the hat to Ken Crowe, who stopped in last week to renew his membership and leave kind comments behind. Thank you!… Blue skies, as predicted: MPP Sam Oosterhoff easily won reelection last week, surprising no one. He also managed to win with an actual majority, which his party leader did not. Interesting times ahead… Getting baked: Indulgence Bakery, in Fonthill, is looking for some part-time help in the kitchen. See their classified on page 12… Everything in moderation: Last week saw the 50th anniversary of Bobby Kennedy’s assassination in Los Angeles. You may have seen one of the news reports that included footage shot from the funeral train as it rolled through the US northeast. Thousands of onlookers gathered to bear witness. The most striking impression—aside from the melting pot-mix of people? How not overweight we all were in 1968. Not a morbidly obese figure to be seen… Healthier food: There’s no shortage of strawberries on offer later this week. First, it’s Lookout retirement home’s Strawberry Social, tomorrow, Thursday, at 2 PM, with live music. Then come Saturday it’s the annual DeVries Strawberry Social (plus ice cream), at the DeVries Fruit Farm in Fenwick, starting at 10 AM. Along with the wagon rides, this year sees the addition of a bouncy castle—maybe save the ice cream until after the bouncing… Then head for the bargains: There’s also no shortage of garage sales to take in, with the season well underway. Fenwick offers up some deals this weekend—see the Classifieds… Two farewell parties in two weeks: The first is for the Pelham Library’s Elaine Anderson, retiring after nearly 16 years. Elaine has helped us with various research and other requests over the last couple of years, most memorably on a walking tour of a certain decayed resort property. That story is still in the works! Join Elaine and her colleagues next Monday, June 18, at the Library to wish her well, story on page 8… Let him eat cake: The second farewell shindig is for our own Samuel Piccolo, who later this summer will head to Indiana to pursue a PhD in political science. Join us next Wednesday, June 20, at Mossimo’s in (Lord help us) “Uptown” Fonthill, starting at 6 PM and going to whenever. There will be free cake, a cash bar, and Mossimo’s usual menu. This is Sam’s last official week on the full-time payroll, but you’ll continue to see his byline for awhile given the number of his stories I’ve been squirreling away on the shelf. See you there!
Today's forgotten business stopped advertising yesterday
NRPS impaired driving charges
Two more Pelham Town staff to depart
Just as the Voice went to press, word came that Director of Planning and Public Works, Andrea Clemencio, and Jesse Bedard, Supervisor Facilities and Beautification, apparently gave notice that they were leaving their positions. While Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Marc MacDonald was not at work on Monday and unable to comment, the intended departures of Clemencio and Bedard were confirmed by multiple current and exstaff who did not wish to be named. Calls for comment left with both employees were not immediately returned.
RAINBOW AT TOWN HALL International symbol of Gay pride, the rainbow flag, was raised at Pelham Town Hall to celebrate Niagara Pride Week, June 4 to 9. VOICE PHOTO
Arena property sale moves forward
Last Monday, Town Council passed a resolution declaring the Pelham Arena and the property it sits on as “surplus to the needs of the Town of Pelham,” and authorized Town staff to proceed with selling the land. The Town Clerk was directed to prepare the required bylaw, to be considered by Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting, to occur on June 18.
May real estate sales down
Niagara buyers continue to “take their time to finalize property transactions,” according to a Niagara AssoSee IN THE NEWS Page 14
Voice on vacation!
PELHAM ARENA SALE Town Council has authorized the sale of the Pelham Arena and the land it sits on. Residents near the site at Haist St. and Welland Rd. have opposed converting the property to residential use. TOWN OF PELHAM GRAPHIC
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Growing up British
NIAGARA’S BEST-READ WEEKLY SINCE 1997
Wednesday October 12, 2016
Apple Day comes to Fonthill
BY JULIE MANNELL
Special to the VOICE
BALLOONING INTEREST Grade 6 student Jinja Shepherd explains her experiment on static electricity at the Glynn A. Green Public School's annual science fair last Friday. See story, page 3. NATE SMELLE PHOTO
Public meeting tonight on school issues BY VOICE STAFF As questions continue to mount regarding an email that Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn quietly sent to a District School Board of Niagara trustee last summer, Augustyn has agreed to address the issue at a public meeting scheduled for this evening, Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Fenwick. Nancy Beamer, speaking for “Names Matter,” a Pelham citizens group lobbying the DSBN to reverse its decision to rename a local public school, conﬁrms that the meeting will be held at Fire Station #2, known locally as the Fenwick Fire Hall, starting at 7:00 PM. While the Mayor has agreed to ap-
Under pressure, Mayor to address email revelation, other E. W. Farr matters pear, says Beamer, DSBN oﬃcials associated with the school-naming process have either declined to attend or have not yet responded to the group’s invitation. DSBN Chair, Dale Robinson, to whom Augustyn’s email was addressed last June, has declined to appear, says Beamer, asserting that she would be
“on holidays.” The Voice was unable to independently conﬁrm Robinsion’s intentions. She did not respond to repeated requests for comment on E.W. Farr-related matters before presstime. Beamer, whose group maintains an email list of some 580 residents, says that all members of the public are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting. “We would especially welcome parents and children who are unhappy with the name change,” she says, referring to the contentious decision by the DSBN to consolidate two Pelham See MEETING back page
HEN I WAS young, my father and I would go for long drives along the rural routes of Pelham. We’d blast George Thurgood and roll down the windows because we loved the smell of the breeze, the sensation of crisp Niagara wind beating our cheeks and tangling our hair against our summer-kissed skin. My father was not a sentimental man. He worked in factories and had a Gordon Lightfoot mustache and never shed tears over injuries. Yet something about the Pelham landscape, the hilly backdrop to his childhood and the childhoods of our ancestors, drew him in. He’d stop by a farm or a gathering of woods and, surrendering his manly veneer, tell me a story about the town. This place is precious. This is the earth that granted us life. Here is the place where we happened upon love or here is a site of devastation. On one particular drive sometime in the late ‘90s we stopped at a tree with a plaque. “This tree looks dead,” I said to my father. “It sure is getting there, Julie.” The Comfort Maple is supposedly Canada’s oldest See COLUMN SIX Page 14
Part 2 of 2: Coronation to embarkation
BY VOICE STAFF
A construction error was discovered following the opening of a traﬃc calming chicane on Haist Street north of Hwy 20 last Monday that prevented large vehicles from passing through. One resident living in the neighbourhood said he contacted the Town after seeing a small schoolbus get stuck as it tried to get through the new traﬃc calming measure. Later that day while driving behind a cement truck, he said that he became concerned for the public’s safety when the truck had to turn around because it couldn’t get through. “If a small school bus and a cement truck can’t make it through what about a ﬁre
BY HEATHER McLAREN ROHRER
Special to the VOICE
Repair measures underway last week to correct a construction error in the chicane. truck or an ambulance?” he said. While waiting for the contractor to return to ﬁx
the mistake, the Town has taken measures to temporarily allow passage for vehicles through the neigh-
bourhood in the short-term. Manager of Public Works Ryan Cook said that after discovering the issue with
the chicane the morning it ﬁrst opened, the Town See CHICANE Page 5
Petition-inspired changes coming to 2017 Summerfest BY NATE SMELLE
Representatives from the Pelham Summerfest committee Candy Ashbee and Bill Gibson presented council with a ﬁnal report on the 2016 Summerfest at the Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 21. Prompted by a story in the Voice in August about a merchant petition to move Summerfest from Pelham Street, in September Town staﬀ met with various stakeholders to hear their complaints, promising at the time that changes in the way Summerfest was mounted would be con-
sidered. The main concerns identiﬁed during the community engagement process were security, parking, ensuring customer can access all businesses in town, and liability for damages. How to get all Pelham Street businesses to participate and ﬁnding ways to make it beneﬁcial for them to set up a booth were also determined to be of high priority for the committee as they plan for next year’s event. Gibson told Council that the committee is addressing these concerns in a variety of ways. To improve parking, they intend to create bet-
ter signage for out-of-town visitors to designated parking areas and shuttle services. To make participation in Summerfest more enticing to local businesses, they plan to implement a tiered-charge for booths. Under the new system, Pelham Street business owners will be charged the least, other local businesses will pay a slightly higher fee, and vendors from outside Pelham will pay the most. In response to more speciﬁc issues for individual businesses, they will also slightly alter the footprint of the event and make adjustments to security. Another way the committee plans
to improve the 2017 Summerfest is by sponsoring and working with the organizers of the Thursday Night Bandshell Concert series to select the artist performing on the ﬁrst night of Summefest. They also intend to make more use of the smartphone app they launched in 2016. "We are really going to push it this year," Ashbee said. “It really helps to get people to see what events there are so they can plan out where they are going. We will be able to actually help the merchants and local businesses adSee CHANGES Page 5
FTER LUNCH ON Saturday, Mum and Dad had my afternoon cut out for me. Mum had more brass than anyone I knew, and it had to be cleaned. In addition there was the set of silver ﬁsh-knives and forks which were never used, but which had to be cleaned and put back in their velvetlined box. Next was a walk to the newsagents to pay for the daily delivery of the Daily Mirror. As I said, Dad was a printer, but when he was 37 he had been rejected for a job, as being too old, by the printers of the Beano. For that reason, my favourite comic was not allowed in the house, but while I was paying the papers, the newsagent let me have a 'shoofty' at the Beano. I'd explained my predicament and he understood completely. Sundays were diﬀerent again. Dad would play golf on summer mornings and billiards in winter. Then he'd stop for a 'refresher' at the local and would pick up the prawns, cockles, winkles or whelks we'd be having for tea later. Meanwhile, Mum was roasting the 'joint' and potatoes. I got to make the Yorkshire pud, and mint
See COLUMN SIX Page 14
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BY VOICE STAFF
While shopping in Fonthill between Friday and Sunday, keep an eye out for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts in front of local stores with bushels of apples. As part of the annual Apple Day campaign, Scouting youth of all ages will be trading apples for donations. The yearly fundraising drive is an important way for young Scouts to connect with the communities they are serving, says Leah Marie of Scouts Canada. “The Apple Day campaign holds a great tradition of being able to have youth interacting within the communities they live in,” she says. “All of the Apple Day donations stay directly within the group that re-
The goal is to have these youth develop into confident and well-rounded individuals
ceives them, enabling youth to have experiences that build character, challenge them, and allow them to try new things. The goal is to have these youth develop into conﬁdent and wellrounded individuals, better prepared for success. Apple Day helps to achieve that.”
“Any money raised during Apple Day goes towards improving the Scouting program by providing more outdoor adventures for youth, camping equipment, canoes and paddles, training and many other endeavours that the youth want to experience,” says Marie. Scouts Canada has some 100,000 members across Canada, and carries out programs for boys, girls
walk/trail is slated to be built between the south side of the road from Timmsdale Crescent to the high school. Because of the large volume of motor vehicle trafﬁc travelling at high speeds through this area, and because of the necessity for students to tread this path on a daily basis, many residents would like to see the sidewalk go in sooner than later. After delivering to Council a petition containing
Many residents would like to see the sidewalk go in sooner than later the names of 450 students calling for a safer walk to school, Simpson handed the
podium over to Loewen and Williams to plead their case. Loewen told Council that because there are a lot of students who have work placements and coop placements during the school year, this is the only route for many of them to travel. As one of the students facing this predicament, Williams said she has had no other option but to walk along the dangerous highway.
H EATHER AND P ENNY L ANE S ALES R EPRESENTATIVES
BY JOHN SWART
and youth ages 5-25. This year the 3rd Fonthill Group, which includes Beavers to Ventures (youth ages 5- 25) will be hitting the streets to drum-up support. Over the weekend, Scouts will be set up in Fonthill outside Sobeys, Tim Hortons, Target Gas station, Fonthill Shopping Plaza and the Pioneer Gas station at the corner of Hwys 20 and 24.
Town Council approves sidewalk to serve E. L. Crossley BY NATE SMELLE
Joining their principal, Karen Simpson, at the Sept. 19 Council meeting as part of a delegation from EL Crossley Secondary School, students Abby Loewen and Neenah Williams presented Council with a list of reasons that they should immediately approve the construction of the new sidewalk proposed along Hwy. 20. The asphalt side-
Second year Beaver with the 3rd Fonthill Group, Russell Letford offers a fresh apple to shoppers SUPPLIED PHOTO in Pelham during the 2015 Apple Day campaign. A longtime Canadian tradition, Apple Day began in 1932 in Saint John, New Brunswick, when Scouts handed out 21,000 apples as a way to say thank you to the community. In return for their generosity, many people oﬀered them donations. From then on Scouts have reached out through Apple Day to raise funds for their programs.
Column Six It doesn’t get better than Autumn
Longtime Scouting tradition dates to 1932
Request made of community still peeved at name change
See DSBN Page 9
Food 111Health Hwy. 20 E., Unit Store 5, Fonthill
Mon-Wed 9:30-6:00pm • Thur-Fri 9:30-7:00pm • Sat 9:30-5:00pm
BY VOICE STAFF The District School Board of Niagara is requesting that the Town of Pelham cede a portion of Cherry Ridge Park for use as a soccer ﬁeld to serve the students of the new Wellington Heights Public School, formerly the E. W. Farr Memorial Public School, in Fenwick. Currently under renovation and expansion, the new school will combine students and staﬀ from the previous school and Pelham Centre, where classes are being held while construction continues. Two letters, containing virtually identical text but signed by diﬀerent authorities, were sent last week to nearby residents of the park, as well as to parents of Pelham Centre students. “The DSBN is currently building onto Wellington Heights Public School on Alsop Drive,” states the letter. “The size of the school's addition means the existing small soccer ﬁeld will be eliminated. The Town and the Board have been discussing the possibility of working together to create a ﬁeld for both the school and the
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The Niagara Regional Police Service is committed to reducing impaired driving offences through education and the apprehension of offenders through enforcement programs like RIDE. Impaired driving is still the leading cause of criminal deaths in Canada and destroys thousands of lives every year.
Owen Chaplin and family enjoyed snorkeling with sea turtles on the Mayan Riviera!
In an effort to bring further attention and deterrence to driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, the Niagara Regional Police Service reports the names of those people who are charged with an alleged criminal impaired driving offence in the Region. None of the following charges have been proved in court. In addition to being charged, these individuals are also bound by a Ministry of Transportation 90-Day Administrative Driver’s License Suspension and are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle on a roadway. The public is encouraged to contact the Niagara Regional Police Service Traffic Safety Hotline or Crime Stoppers to report those who are driving in contravention of the suspension. The following individuals have been charged criminally with impaired driving by alcohol or drugs, driving with a blood alcohol concentration above 80 mgs of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, or refusing to provide a breath / blood sample. Rajeev K. TEOTIA, 39, Brampton Tyler V. T. BARRON, 25, Niagara Falls Sean D. FIANDER, 56, Fort Erie Paul R. FINO, 41, Lackawanna NY Christopher A. SMITH, 29, Fort Erie Joshua LEBLANC, 24, Welland Kell SCHONEWILLE, 41, St. Catharines Jason M. GILLESPIE, 34, Niagara Falls Casey ATTARD, 22, Niagara Falls
“I start work at 2:30 PM and school lets out at 2:15 PM so I can’t take any other route,” Williams explained. “I have had friends, family, teachers and other community members reach out to me in the past about how this is unsafe and how there should be another alternative for us.” Looking ahead to winter, when she will need to walk this path three or four times See SIDEWALK Page 2
HERE IS NO BETTER time to cycle than Fall. It matters not whether you’re new to the sport, a seasoned recreational cyclist, racer, touring rider or mountain biker; we all have reason to look forward to autumn. Summer’s heat has faded, and the streams of sweat that ran from soggy helmets into our eyes are now just slight perspiration. Fitness is peaking from lots of saddle time, making those tough climbs of Spring a breeze in Autumn. It’s hard to beat the feeling of beginning a crisp, cool Fall ride with a slight shiver, knowing your eﬀorts will soon warm you perfectly. The hues of Autumn are outstanding. A Pelham route as simple as following our southern boundary is one that would make most Toronto cyclists jealous, especially when our forests and ﬁelds are ablaze with colour. Begin from Harold Black Park, and zig-zag south along Eﬃngham Rd toward the Welland River. If you’re new to cycling, it’s important to know south is the direction away from any hills. If you avoid the morning and evening weekday rush hours caused by those travelling through Pelham between Wainﬂeet See AUTUMN Page 3
Indulgence Bakery Mossimo’s Pelham Street Grille Sobeys Fonthill Peter Piper’s Pubhouse DeVries Fruit Farm Beamer’s Hardware & TV Fonthill Library Bob’s Boys Antiques RBC Bank Fenwick Family Health Pharmacy Fonthill Fitness Fenwick Pie Company McDonald’s Fonthill Legion Semenuk’s Gas Bar Shoppers Drug Mart Tim Horton’s Giant Tiger Fonthill LCBO Zee Lube Express Care Food Basics Minor Bros Stores Avondale Stores A-1 Market Pharmasave Sobeys South Pelham Grill on Canboro Maple Acre Library Ridge Berry Farm Circle-K
The winning candidate on election night, speaking to supporters. SUPPLIED PHOTO
OOSTERHOFF continued from Page 1 “These are the issues that came up again and again while I was campaigning in the riding, and I wanted to bring them to Doug’s attention again,” said Oosterhoff. Oosterhoff, who is 20, first won the seat, previously known as Niagara West - Glanbrook, in a by-election in November 2016, following the resignation of longtime PC MPP Tim Hudak. The PC nomination during that election was expected to go to a more experienced party member, such as former St. Catharines MP Rick Dysktra, and Oosterhoff’s resounding win surprised many. He went on to win the seat in the by-election, receiving 54 percent of the vote. Months later, Oosterhoff’s PC candidacy for the 2018 election was challenged by Grimsby Regional Councillor Tony Quirk, who argued that the riding needed a more experienced representative. Oosterhoff handily defeated Quirk in the nomination challenge. Last week’s victory, he said, was considerably different than his first by-election win. “There was so much local focus during that campaign, and so much provincial
The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018 and national attention,” he said. “We had a party at the Legion in Smithville last week, and there were sixty or seventy people there, and a few local media—not like last time. It was kind of a relief to be focusing on the province and seeing the majority numbers coming in.” With the PC caucus jumping from just 28 to 74 members when parliament resumes, Oosterhoff said that there will be an interesting dynamic with so many newcomers. “I’m going to try to use my experience in the legislature to help out people who have even less than I do, and to help them find the bathrooms,” said Oosterhoff. All of the other three districts in Niagara were carried by the NDP last week, with Wayne Gates reelected in Niagara Falls, Jeff Burch taking over Cindy Forster’s seat in Niagara Centre, and Jenni Stevens winning St. Catharines. Stevens’ victory ended the tenure of Liberal MPP Jim Bradley, who was first elected in 1977 and served continuously for 40 years. During election coverage, TVOntario’s Steve Paikin said that Bradley had not wanted to run for reelection but had been convinced to do so by the Liberal party. “I haven’t had the chance to speak to him yet, but I intend to,” said Oosterhoff of Bradley, whom he has credited for helping him despite party lines during his first months at Queen’s Park. “He deserves a great deal of a respect for his service to Niagara—he deserves a rest in his post-political life,” said Oosterhoff. Curtis Fric said that, despite his defeat, he thought the election went well. “Yes, we didn’t win. But we increased our share of the vote by eight percent from the 2014 election. And to boot, this is with a border change that heavily disadvantages the NDP, so we are extremely happy we pulled off 30 percent of the vote,” he said. “The election experience was amazing. It was a major learning experience for me as an individual and I'm glad I ran to represent the people of Niagara West. Plus, how many university students can go back to school in the fall and tell their classes, ‘I won about fourteen thousand votes in the provincial election?’”
WHO SAID SISTERS CAN’T GET ALONG E. L. Crossley student Christine Kim and Glynn A. Green student Elizabeth Kim have won the Jim Newman Memorial Scholarship Award at the 2018 Kiwanis Music Festival in St. Catharines. The award is given to the most promising brass and woodwind student(s) at the festival. In addition, Christine will be competing at the 2018 Ontario Music Festival, which will take place in Hamilton. SUPPLIED PHOTO
DEVRIES continued from Page 1 Cares will be on hand to help serve the strawberries and ice cream. They came the last two years, too, even though we weren’t raising money for them those years. It’s important for the community to get involved in groups like this.” “There are always a lot of people in need, but this year there isn’t one individual person that we’re raising money for,” he said. DeVries added that there will be wagon
rides and other activities for kids at the event, which will run from 10 AM to 2 PM. Attendees will also be able to pick their own berries. “There will be lots of parking on site,” said DeVries of the farm, which is located at 825 Canboro Road, just past downtown Fenwick. “We have just about every type of fruit that you can imagine. Peaches, pears, plums, sweet cherries, apples,” said DeVries. “But it’s strawberry season right now.”
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
The opinions expressed in submitted commentary and letters to the editor are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Voice of Pelham.
The Voice of Pelham is a 1211858 Ontario Limited publication David Burket, Publisher 2-1428 Pelham St., P.O. Box 1489, Fonthill, ON L0S1E0
COMMENTARY / OP-ED Larry Coté Time for FORE! again
ELL, IT’S TH AT time of year when you can hear loud cheers from across the Region to accompany the opening of the area golf courses. The loudest of those cheers and the most enthusiastic fist pumping doesn’t come from the golfing crowd but rather from their partners at home. The spouse’s covert comment over the back fence to her like-minded neighbour goes something like this: “Agnes, thank all that is good for small blessings. Finally, Harold will be out from under foot and off the couch for a few blessed hours a couple of times a week. That’s why I have been praying for good weather the last couple of weeks. My prayers have been answered. There will be peace in our house for at least a few hours a couple of times a week. More, if I’m lucky.” The neighbor, Agnes, is of similar thought and the two do an enthusiastic fist bump over the back fence and dance around the garden as if they were Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders celebrating a winning touchdown in overtime. Meanwhile, their golfing
husbands are out front in the garage polishing their new set of irons. They also take a few practice swings with their brand new, state-ofthe-art “slant-faced” driver that costs about the same as their wife’s compact car. That mind-bound swing felt like a 275-yard drive, with just a touch of a fade, down the center cut of the longest par five on the course. In your wildest dreams! There is no doubt about it. Golfers are a funny breed. Not in the humorous sense but in the way they think about this so-called sport. It really is a stretch to call it a sport. Most true sports require a level of athleticism to be in the game. Just look at the physique of the typical foursome on the first tee and the word “athlete” likely won’t come to mind. Think about the dad trying to explain to his little toddler that he is off to a beautifully manicured lawn called a fairway and hitting this little ball with long sticks called a driver, an iron (no, no, not like mommy’s steam iron), a wedge, and a putter, to put the little ball in a little hole not much larger than a coffee mug. Hopefully, he hopes to
NEED HELP? MAKE THE CALL Distress Centre For depression, distress, and crisis. 24 hour help line: 905-688-3711 ￼ ￼ Mental Health and Addictions Access 1-866-550-5205 (Toll Free) Gambler’s Anonymous 905-351-1616
Kids Help Phone Service for youth. 416-586-5437 800-668-6868 (Crisis Line) www.kidshelpphone. ca Assaulted Women’s Helpline Mobile calls to: #SAFE (#7233) 1-866-863-0511 (Toll Free)
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get a birdie. No, no, no! He quickly explains to the little gaffer, Daddy’s not going to kill a little birdie. He wants to avoid shooting a bogey. B-o-g-e-y! Not a bogeyman. In closing, and in the interests of full disclosure, this old duffer is off to join up with a much-loved bunch of reprobate seniors at the Port Colborne Golf and Country Club. Firstly, I admit to harboring all of the abnormalities to which a golfer can succumb. Secondly, the prestigious image the name of that beautiful golf course conjures up might be dispelled if you were to see this contingent making their circuitous way around the course. In all seriousness, one will rarely meet a better group of oldsters who never ever admit to being past their prime. Any one of these funloving guys will gladly boast about the time they almost broke 80. More likely on a birthday card than a score card. F-O-R-E ! Larry Coté is a retired professor of business. He was awarded the Governor General’s Medal for his contributions to the community.
Letters Remember to PLAYSAFE I lost my right leg above the knee when I was four years old in a boating accident. I was standing up in a dinghy when it hit a big wave. I fell overboard and the motor injured my leg. As a member of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, I’m spreading the safety message and sharing my story in a new video, PLAYSAFE: Don’t Let It Happen to You. With the help of seven other young amputees, I warn kids to spot the dan-
ger before they play and to be aware of “mean machines” like lawn mowers, trains, boats, cars and farm equipment. Whether you’re near, in or on the water, it’s good to stay alert. Accidents happen when you least expect it. As the weather warms up and kids spend more time outside, I encourage parents, teachers and community group leaders to help me pass on the PLAYSAFE message. Please take some time to watch or download
Accidents happen when you least expect it the video free-of-charge online at waramps.ca/playsafe. Rebecca Mideros, 13 Ontario
CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS Member of Federal Parliament
Electoral District: Niagara West
Dean Allison, MP 4994 King Street Beamsville, ON L0R 1B0 Dean.Allison@parl.gc.ca 877-563-7900
Mayor of Pelham David Augustyn email@example.com 905-892-2607 Ext 317 Members of Pelham Town Council
Member of Provincial Parliament
Ward 1 Councillor Richard Rybiak firstname.lastname@example.org 905-892-2105
Sam Oosterhoff, MPP 4961 King St. East, Unit M1 Beamsville, ON L0R 1B0 email@example.com 905-563-1755
Councillor James Lane firstname.lastname@example.org 905-892-2607
Electoral District: Niagara West-Glanbrook
Members of Niagara Regional Council Councillor David Augustyn email@example.com 905-892-2607 Ext 317 Councillor Brian Baty firstname.lastname@example.org 905-892-5317 Town of Pelham 20 Pelham Town Square P.O. Box 400 Fonthill, ON L0S 1E0 905-892-2607
Ward 2 Councillor Catherine King email@example.com 905-658-8599
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Councillor Gary Accursi firstname.lastname@example.org 905-892-5528 Ward 3 Councillor John Durley email@example.com 905-892-5388 Councillor Peter Papp firstname.lastname@example.org 905-328-6008
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
Soupy appreciation from Fenwick Lioness Club The Fenwick Lioness Club would like to thank the community and their friends for another successful year of attending our soup lunches! All proceeds will be given back to community projects and our guide dog program. We look forward to your continued support and seeing you for soup again on October 21, 2018. Thank you! Heather Soares Fenwick Lionness Club
Tariffs catch Trudeau unprepared The recently-implemented U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products are unacceptable, and a serious blow to the workers who rely on these industries for their livelihoods. Two months ago, Justin Trudeau promised Canadian workers that he had resolved the tariff threat from the U.S. on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada. After the recent U.S. announcement, it is clear that his promise wasn’t kept. Canada’s Conservatives warned Justin Trudeau that he was unprepared for this development, but his recent budget did not include any measures to support the steel and alumi-
num industry. This threat has been looming for a year already, bringing massive instability and a turbulent investment climate. This is yet another blow to our economy, which has lost billions in investment, and seen critical energy projects such as Northern Gateway and Energy East fail at the hands of the Trudeau government. Canada’s Conservatives will always put Canadian workers first. We condemn these American tariffs, and stand with the men and women of our steel and aluminum industries. Dean Allison, MP Shadow Minister for International Trade
Open letter to Premier-elect Ford from Farmers Union Congratulations on your election. As you take office, we hope you’ll keep farmers in mind. As some of the biggest economic contributors in our province, the ones who feed your family, and the stewards of the environment, farmers play an integral role in the health of our economy and province as a whole. Farmers, like you, are businesspeople. You know how important a good succession plan is for a family business. We know that 75% of farmers hope to retire in the next 10 years, but only 8% of them have written succession plans. That’s because there are significant economic and policy barriers for new farmers and the continuance of many viable farm
businesses. Without farmer-friendly public policy, small and medium-sized farmers will continue to be driven out of business, and farmland will be bought at record pace by land speculators and foreign investors. This is a threat to Ontario’s ability to feed itself. Ontario farmers need a level playing field to thrive, or farmland prices will be pushed beyond what the land and yields can sustain. Without farmland, we can’t grow food. We advise you to implement an intelligent, balanced farmland protection plan (in the Greenbelt and elsewhere) which can meet Ontarians’ needs while also preserving our valuable farmland, moraines, and significant
green spaces. Environmental sustainability is fundamental to the future of agriculture— for farming families and farming businesses. But previous governments have dictated standards without providing resources, so private business incur all of the costs with no way to recover these compulsory expenses. Regulation without support is just as bad as spending without a plan. Meanwhile, farmers have struggled with a lack of investment in rural community infrastructure. Rural infrastructure has been igSee FARMERS next page
Lookout Ridge general manager Cheryl Bilodeau serves cake to retired Niagara College president Jacqueline Robarts. DON RICKERS PHOTO
Seniors' Month kicks off at Lookout Seniors encouraged to share their wisdom with the community BY DON RICKERS
Special to the VOICE
A packed audience in the chapel at The Community of Lookout Ridge retirement residence was treated to speeches and cake last Friday during the local kickoff last week of Seniors Month in Ontario, now in its 34th year. Regional politicians and civic leaders praised those in attendance for their community contributions to service clubs, churches, businesses, and charities, noting that the collective historical memory of seniors was important to Pelham. And the message was clearly that they still have much to offer.
Town Councillor Gary Accursi reminded listeners that 40% of Pelham residents are over age 55, and almost 30% have eclipsed 65. He noted the good work done by the Pelham Seniors Advisory Committee, and Pelham Cares (which provides food bank services, a youth subsidy, and medical appointment car rides for seniors). Accursi encouraged use of Pelham Transit’s on–demand bus service for seniors, and spoke of the opportunities at the new Meridian Centre. Many spaces for seniors will be availSee SENIORS Page 11
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NEWSFLASH Tell us your story! Column Six presents tales of personal triumph, adventure, strange-but-true stories, life-changing events, and looks-back at our past. Did you conquer Everest or kick a bad habit? Did you meet your spouse-to-be in jail or on an African safari? Do you know where Hoffa’s buried? Write it down, send it in: email@example.com (You won’t get rich, but you will get paid.)
The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
WE'RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BUS Largest team at E. L.Crossley ever to qualify for OFSAA Track and Field, held last week at York University. Front row Brock Deba in Senior Boys 400m and 800m, Derian Free in Open Boys 2000m Steeplechase, Adrian Papez in Senior Boys Pole Vault, Cate Gualtieri in Open Girls 4x400, Sofia Labricciosa in Open Girls 4x400m, Carter Teal in Junior Boys 200m and Long Jump, Ross Michalko in Senior Boys Pole Vault, Jonathan
Hooker in Midget Boys Pole Vault, Tommy Leavens in Midget Boys Shot Put and Discus, and Parker Triano in Midget Boys Pole Vault. Back row from left: Hailey Bronn in Senior Girls Pole Vault, Audrey Morrison in Senior Girls Triple Jump, Kate Knafelc in Senior Girls 3000m, Open Girls 1500m Steeplechase and 4x400m, Aidan Clarke in Senior Boys Pole Vault, Sommer Newton in Junior Girls Long Jump, Gwen Cudmore in Midget Girls High Jump, Tessa Jeffery in Midget Girls 1500m and
3000m, Jayden Pelletier in Midget Girls Pole Vault, Alison O'Connor in Midget Girls 4x100m, Jessie Fennell in Senior Girls 800m, 1500m and 4x400m, Norah Burns Midget Girls 4x100m, Taryn Mitchell Midget Girls 4x100m, Molly Hildebrandt Midget Girls Pole Vault, Kylie Ring Midget Girls Pole Vault and William Hamilton Midget Boys Pole Vault. (Missing: Mya Newton Midget Girls 4x100m.). SUPPLIED PHOTO
ing supports match the dictates from Queen’s Park. We want to make sure rural residents have fair access to services, just like our urban neighbours. Rural infrastructure and services need equal support from government. Continuing with the level playing field – food producers in Ontario are forced to compete against other jurisdictions – some on a price-taker public market exchange and some on a supply/demand roller
it’s also something more than that. Farming is a public service, and society (through government) needs to support farmers in making choices for the public good. Good public policy shouldn’t drive small and medium-sized farmers out of business. Instead, it must support the farmers who feed everyone and add to the economy without destroying our environment. As you settle in to your new position, take some
continued from previous page nored for too long here in Ontario. We get it – there are lots of people in our urban centres, but rural community infrastructure is a necessary and critical component to a thriving food system for Ontario residents. Government neglect and/or regulations can accelerate this loss of infrastructure. For example: • imposing near federal
standards onto provincial small-scale abattoirs where compliance costs are unrealistic and unfair for the business model to survive, • failing to assist rural communities in replacing secondary employers that support existing local infrastructure, and • imposing ever-increasing standards for municipal infrastructure projects and services, such as road construction, fire services, and policing, while failing to ensure that fund-
coaster. Regardless of food sector, Ontario farmers assume politically determined costs of production such as hydro, compliance costs, taxation, etc. Given the political cost of doing business, can you ensure Ontario food producers are able to remain competitive against out of jurisdiction products while maintaining our edge as environmental and social leaders? Finally, food production is a business, yes, but
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time to think ahead. What does Ontario food production look like in 50 years? Who owns the land; who are the people farming it; who controls the offerings for food choice; and what changes need to take place immediately to bring about a thriving agricultural system? If you’ve got questions on farming issues, come talk to us, the farmers. The National Farmers Union – Ontario provides valuable insight into agriculture and represents thousands of farmers across the province, and we can work with you to create better solutions. Once you have your new Cabinet in place, we’d like to meet with your Minister of Agriculture. We’re smart businesspeople who can provide valuable insight into the agricultural business. Emery Huszka National Farmers Union – Ontario President
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
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2018 Silverado 1500 Double Cab Custom 4WD: $12,000 Total Value Limited time offer available to qualified retail customers in Canada. $12,000 Total Value is a combined total credit for finance purchases on select new 2018 Silverado 1500 Double Cab Custom Edition 4WD; includes: $4,370 manufacturer to dealer cash credit (tax exclusive), $1,000 stackable CDA credit, $4,080 non-stackable manufacturer-to-dealer cash credit (tax exclusive), $1,000 GM card application bonus (this offer applies to individuals who have applied for the Scotiabank® GM® Visa* Card [GM card] and to current Scotiabank® GM® Visa* Cardholders) (taxes included). $1,600 manufacturer-to-dealer Truck Nation credit (tax exclusive) towards the finance of an eligible new towards the finance of an eligible new 2018 Silverado 1500 Double Cab Custom Edition 4WD at participating dealers. 2018 Silverado 1500 Double Cab Custom 4WD - 0/72 Finance (excluding Quebec): Offer available to qualified retail customers in Canada from June 1 to July 3, 2018. 0% purchase financing (1.87% APR) offered on approved credit by TD Auto Finance Services, Scotiabank® or RBC Royal Bank for 72 months on eligible 2018 Chevrolet models: 2018 Silverado Double Cab Custom Edition 4x4. 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Limited time offer which may not be combined with certain other offers. General Motors of Canada Company may modify, extend or terminate offers in whole or in part at any time without notice. Conditions and limitations apply. See dealer for details. ®Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. $9,970 Total Value Limited time only. Offer available to qualified retail customers in Canada. $9,970 Total Value is a combined total credit for finance purchases on select new 2018 Silverado 1500 Double Cab Custom Edition trucks; includes: $4,370 manufacturer-to-dealer cash credit (tax exclusive), $1,000 stackable CDA credit, $1,500 finance cash, $1,600 manufacturer-to-dealer Truck Month Credit (tax exclusive), $2,000 manufacturer-to-dealer finance cash (tax exclusive), $1,000 GM Card Application Bonus (offer applies to individuals who apply for a Scotiabank GM Visa Card [GM Card] or current GM Card cardholders) (tax inclusive) towards the finance of an eligible new 2018 Silverado Double Cab Custom Edition 4x4 at participating dealers. 2018 Colorado Extended Cab Custom 4WD: Lease based on suggested retail price of $38,125, includes $1,250 CDA, $500 Lease Cash, $1,500 Truck Bonus and $750 GM card application bonus (this offer applies to individuals who have applied for the Scotiabank® GM® Visa* Card [GM card] and to current Scotiabank® GM® Visa* Cardholders) (taxes inclusive) towards the lease of an eligible new 2018 Colorado Extended Cab Custom 4WD. Bi-weekly payment is $145 for 48 months at 1.90% lease rate on approved credit to qualified retail customers by GM Financial. Annual kilometer limit of 20,000 km, $0.16 per excess kilometer. $4,100 down payment required. Payment may vary depending on down payment trade. Total obligation is $18,302. Taxes, license, insurance, registration and applicable fees, levies, duties and, except in Quebec, dealer fees (all of which may vary by dealer and region) are extra. Option to purchase at lease end is $17,156. See dealer for details. Discounts vary by model. Dealer may sell for less. Limited time offer, which may not be combined with certain other offers. General Motors of Canada Company may modify, extend or terminate offers in whole or in part at any time without notice. Conditions and limitations apply. Offers may not be redeemed for cash and may not be combined with certain other consumer incentives. ®Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia. 2018 Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab LTZ 4x4 Standard Box Diesel - 0/72 Finance (excluding Quebec): Offer available to qualified retail customers in Canada from June 1 and July 3, 2018. 0% purchase financing (0.21% APR) offered on approved credit by TD Auto Finance Services, Scotiabank® or RBC Royal Bank for 72 months on eligible 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD models. Other trims may have effective rates higher than 0%. Participating lenders are subject to change. Rates from other lenders will vary. Down payment, trade and/or security deposit may be required. Monthly payment and cost of borrowing will vary depending on amount borrowed and down payment/trade. Example: $78,288 financed at 0% nominal rate (0.21% APR) equals $1,087.33 monthly for 72 months. Total Value consists of $4,272 manufacturer-to-dealer cash credit (tax exclusive), $1,000 GM Card Application Bonus (offer applies to individuals who apply for a Scotiabank GM Visa Card [GM Card] or current GM Card cardholders) (tax inclusive) and $500 manufacturer-to-dealer finance cash (tax exclusive). Cost of borrowing is $0, for a total obligation of $76,163. Freight and air charge ($100, if applicable) included. License, insurance, registration, PPSA, applicable taxes and dealer fees not included. Dealers are free to set individual prices. Limited time offer which may not be combined with certain other offers. General Motors of Canada Company may modify, extend or terminate offers in whole or in part at any time without notice. Conditions and limitations apply. See dealer for details. ®Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. ± Requires Double Cab LTZ 2WD or Crew Cab Short Box LTZ 2WD with available 6.2L V8 engine and Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow. º Comparison based on WardsAuto.com 2017 Large Pickup segment and latest competitive information available at time of printing. Excludes other GM models _ Requires 1500 Double Cab 2WD with available 5.3L V8 engine and Max Trailering Package. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the Vehicle Loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver door jamb. With available 3.6L V6 engine. Based on WardsAuto.com 2018 Small Pickup segment and latest competitive information available at time of posting. Excludes other GM vehicles. _ Based on WardsAuto.com 2018 Small Pickup segment and latest competitive information available at time of posting. Excludes other GM vehicles. Colorado 2WD with available Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel 4-cylinder engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow. 2018 Colorado 2WD with available Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel fuel consumption rating is 7.9 L/100 km highway and 10.8 L/100 km city. Fuel consumption ratings are based on GM testing in accordance with Government of Canada approved test methods. Refer to vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca for details. Your actual fuel consumption may vary. ¥ Visit onstar.ca for vehicle availability, details and system limitations. Services and connectivity vary by model and conditions as well as geographical and technical restrictions. Requires active connected vehicle services and data plan. Data plans provided by AT&T or its local service provider. Accessory Power must be active to use the Wi-Fi hotspot. 0\†910 lb.-ft. @1600 rpm with available Duramax 6.6L V8 Turbo-Diesel. ** The 2-Year Scheduled LOF Maintenance Program provides eligible customers in Canada who have purchased, leased or financed a new eligible 2017 MY Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle (excluding Bolt EV) with an ACDelco oil and filter change, in accordance with the Oil Life Monitoring System and the Owner’s Manual, for 2 years or 48,000 km, whichever occurs first, with a limit of four Lube-Oil-Filter services in total, performed at participating GM dealers. Fluid top-offs, inspections, tire rotations, wheel alignments and balancing, etc., are not covered. This offer may not be redeemed for cash and may not be combined with certain other consumer incentives available on GM vehicles. General Motors of Canada Limited reserves the right to amend or terminate this offer, in whole or in part, at any time without prior notice. Additional conditions and limitations apply. See dealer for details. +The Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Silverado and Chevrolet Malibu received the lowest number of problems per 100 vehicles in their respective segments in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, based on 36,896 total responses, measuring problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners, surveyed October-December 2017. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com/cars.
The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
TOWN COUNCIL NEWS Tenders, Poth Street repairs, River Road addresses BY SAMUEL PICCOLO
Nearly four months after the Voice first asked for ten-
der documents pertaining to millions of dollars of construction work in East Fonthill, on May 30 the Town of Pelham fulfilled part of the
newspaper’s Freedom of Information (FOI) request. At Council last week, Councillor Gary Accursi asked Clerk Nancy Bozzato
WALKING FOR A CAUSE In support of ALS Canada, Redecan participated in the Walk for ALS, Niagara Region, on Saturday at Grantham Lion’s Club in St. Catharines. Raising some $9000 dollars for the cause, the Redecan team walked the 5 KM route to help raise awareness of the disease and the work of the ALS Society of Canada. ALS is a terminal disease that takes away people’s ability to walk, talk, and eventually breathe. “Redecan is a family-owned and operated business, so supporting the Walk for ALS as well as other community causes in our neighbourhood is important to us,” said Rick Redekop, Co-Founder of the company. “We hope our fundraising efforts help drive progress in creating a better reality for Canadians with ALS, and we will continue to support our community partners across Canada.” SUPPLIED PHOTO
whether the matter of tenders in East Fonthill has been addressed fully. “That particular request was released,” responded Bozzato, saying that the request had taken such a long time because the Town was working with “third parties and Upper Canada Consultants.” Though the Town has provided the Voice with some tender documents, it still has not provided corresponding resolutions from Council approving the successful bids. These resolutions are required under the original contract between the Town, UCC, and Fonthill Gardens, an East Fonthill developer. In addition, the Town provided a duplicate copy of a bid for one project, and no copy of a bid for the another. After the oversight was brought to Bozzato's attention, she provided an amended version of the Town's FOI response just before the newspaper went to press on Monday. The Voice continues to review the documentation that was provided by the Town with construction experts. “It’s unfortunate to see that our clerk is spending a
significant amount of time dealing not only with the original FOIs but having to deal with the appeals,” said Accursi at Council. If an FOI request is denied, applicants have the option to appeal the decision to the Ontario Privacy Commission. “If we’re successful at the appeal, is there any recourse for us to recover the cost, anything to prevent the frivolous appeal?” asked Accursi of Bozzato. Bozzato said that the Town does not have such an option. Accursi’s comments drew the attention of Voice publisher Dave Burket. “It is troubling that Councillor Accursi seems to think that it’s ‘unfortunate’ that Town staff have to spend time on FOI requests,” said Burket. “Freedom of information is one of the hallmarks of democracy. The fact that government has to provide it to citizens—and the media—isn’t a shame, it’s the law.”
Step forward on Poth
Town Council approved a detailed design plan for repairing the Poth Street culverts last week, a step forward in reopening a road
that has been closed since April 2017. The Town spent some $50,000 dollars on studies from consultant GM BluePlan last year, which concluded that deep pilings were needed to support a replacement pipe and that a fix would cost at least $1 million dollars. But on May 7, council heard a report from a different consultant, Spriet Associated Ltd., which said that the repair was likely in the $350,000 range. “We think there is a solution,” said John Spriet. “It’s called digging a hole, uncovering the old pipes [and putting new ones in].” Steve Burt, a subcontractor who presented with Spriet, said, “I’ve never heard of a deep foundation supporting a pipe. To put a pipe in the ground you just need a granular base there, and make sure you’ve got granular backfill around it properly compacted.” On May 21, council discussed using funds approved for the now-deferred Pelham Street reconstruction for a Poth repair. Last week, Director of Public Works Andrea Clemencio provided an See COUNCIL NEWS Page 10
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Warning – this article may contain boastful statements about Library staff. I make no apologies. If you have enjoyed your experiences at the Pelham Public Library, you have one or more of our first rate staff to thank for that. As CEO, I often hear positive comments about Library staff. Our staff team is exceptional at what they do and they do a lot! Staff carefully select all of the materials available for borrowing. Their knowledge of titles, authors, and subject areas that will be of interest to the local community is impressive. They are friendly, greeting people of all ages as they come through the doors. Our staff help people with all kinds of questions on an infinite number of topics. They help you find that book about flowers with the red cover for which you just cannot recall the title or the author. They help you with the challenges you are having with your computer, as well with online searches for your school project, job search, or next travel destination. Library staff are also excellent at
delivering programs and activities for all ages. A great deal of creative thought goes into coming up with just the right mix of fun and learning in the children’s programming that we offer. Much of this creative activity takes place in the depths of our basement in Fonthill. Our staff also keep their ear to the ground to identify issues and topics of importance to the
adults in our community. This allows for the rich blend and balance of educational and informational programs that we offer. I could go on listing the attributes of staff, but space is limited. So why all of the gushing? Aside from the fact that it is important to show appreciation for the work of staff, there is an additional reason behind the timing of this article. Our Adult Services Coordinator, Elaine Anderson, has recently decided to retire from the Library. Elaine has devoted almost 16 years of service to the Pelham Public Library. She began in a contract position and her role has evolved to include programming, marketing, social media, and a host of other activities over the years. Thinking about how and who will take on all of the work she does reminded me of the need to show our appreciation for Library staff. We want to thank Elaine for all of her dedicated service and wish her well in the next chapter of her life. We invite members of the community to do the same at an open house scheduled for Monday, June 18, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Festival Room at the Fonthill branch.
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
COUNCIL NEWS continued from Page 8 updated timeline, saying that the challenge was aligning the plans received from Spriet with council meetings. “A challenge appears to be a narrower road allowance than previously thought, and making sure that we’re not getting into a custom-length pipe. This kind of thing would take it from a June to July date. Once the design is done with a revised construction estimate, we could come for the approval of funds,” said Clemencio last week. “Tendering takes about four weeks at least. At the same time we could start applying for the fish permit. Once that comes together, the construction length time is anywhere from four to six weeks… [A repair] is possible this summer.” Though councillors expressed their satisfaction that finally progress was being made on Poth, Councillor John Durley made mention of the substantial delay. “This has gone on a long time. Maybe we need a ‘How Might We’ so that this doesn’t happen again,” he said, referring to the “creative problem-solving process” the Town uses. “There’s no reason to go from $1.5 million to $350,000. We were looking at information that was incomplete, it was a big waste of time, and a long time not having the road open for residents.” Last August, when Director of Public Works Andrea Clemencio asked council to approve a further $5,000 to $10,000 for soil testing, there was some pushback against the idea that such work was needed. Then-Councillor Marvin Junkin was the most forceful at the time.
“I’m a little puzzled,” he said. “Why [do] we have to spend more money on a geotechnical investigation…the reason those culverts failed didn’t have anything to do with twisting or leaning. The fact of the matter is that after forty years they rusted out, their life was done.” Clemencio told Junkin and the rest of Council that bedrock needed to be found that could support provincially legislated loads. “I’ve lived out in the country, I’ve been a farmer my whole life,” responded Junkin. “You have something that lasted for forty years—and I’m sure they didn’t do geotechnical studies at that time. They probably just went down to what they thought was solid ground, put two feet of gravel, and put in these culverts. It just blows my mind that something that was done forty years ago without all these surveys…lasted its lifetime.” Despite the initial protestations of Junkin and others on council, Clemencio received the extra money for testing. In November, Council heard a report from GMBluePlan Engineering on the project, and Clemencio recommended that $1.2 million in the 2018 budget be considered to cover the cost of replacing the structure. The cheapest proposed solution, said Clemencio, was a steel bridge, plate-box culvert on footings and piles. Council ultimately elected not to fund the project in the 2018 budget. The delays have also frustrated Poth Street residents. A windstorm in December felled a tree across the road a ways down from the culvert, temporarily blocking-in some residents. The next day one of these residents, Bruno Villalta, who is 75, went to Town Hall to speak with staff about the issue. “I talked to [Director of Public
Works] Andrea Clemencio and the CAO [Darren Ottaway],” says Villalta. “And I was told that there wasn’t any money, and that it wouldn’t be done until 2019.” Villalta says that he asked the two what he was supposed to do, explaining that his wife is in a wheelchair and that he has a heart condition. A fallen tree or heavy snowfall could mean that an ambulance couldn’t reach them. “And the CAO told me, ‘Well, you could sell your house and move.’” Ottaway did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Pelham’s Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, Marc Macdonald, confirmed that Ottaway and Villalta spoke, but that the CAO asserted he did not tell Villalta that he could sell his house if he was unhappy. But despite Ottaway’s denial, he expressed a similar lack of interest in a Poth repair on other occasions. In written comments to Council, Ottaway asked, “Is this repair going to create wealth? Do the nine parcels generate wealth?” In an audio recording of a meeting with several Pelham residents in January, Ottaway is heard to say, “Even if we had fifty billion in the bank, I’d be hard pressed to recommend that project to Council at this point. It doesn’t make any practical sense, whatsoever…Sulphur Springs is not a priority for us right now, and neither is Poth.” Ottaway said that residents of Poth need only turn the other way out of their driveways. “In order to meet the regulation, we’ve got to spend a million bucks.” Ottaway said that he was just posing a question: “Is it a responsible use of taxpayers’ money to replace a culvert for one person because they chose to live in an area that is in a rural setting?” Ottaway asserted that he was only asking the question, not re-
sponding to it. But in the same meeting, he seemed to give an answer. “They’ve exercised their constitutional right to live wherever they want, and yet now their expectation is that everyone else has to pay for that,” he said. “I don’t think that’s fair.” Ottaway called a home in the area a “bad investment.” “You chose to live there,” he said, addressing a hypothetical Poth resident. “That’s your problem. I’m sorry, that may sound harsh.” Ottaway said that residents in rural areas are subsidized by Fonthill residents, since the taxes paid by rural residents aren’t even enough to cover the cost of plowing snow on their streets. Villalta has routinely attended Council meetings where a repair of his street has been discussed, and was in the audience last week. “Finally it looks like they are going to do something,” he said.
River Road residents want new addresses
Council heard a petition last week from residents of River Road, who want the Town to amplify their request to Canada Post to change their mailing addresses to align with their civic addresses. “We were unfairly given a mailing address different from where we live,” Jennifer Hadrevi, a resident of the road, told Council. To demonstrate, she explained that her civic address is on River Road in Fenwick, with a Fenwick postal code, but that her mailing address is just “River” in Welland, with a Welland postal code. “This disparity causes numerous issues and safety concerns,” she said, describing how there is a River Road in Welland 15 kilometres away that results in confusion.
“There was a break-in at a house on the street and it took four hours for police to find it,” said Hadrevi. “There was a fire on the road in 2007 and in the confusion fire trucks were dispatched to both.” She said that government institutions use the Canada Post database, and that residents of the road have had issues with Elections Canada too, which registers them to vote in the incorrect riding and forces them to seek a manual override. “We pay Pelham taxes. We’re located in Pelham. We would like to have the same privilege as others,” she said. Hadrevi said that one resident of the street has three children, two of which were permitted to attend schools in Pelham but one who was required to go to a Welland school. “Your house insurance and car insurance are determined by the postal code on your driver’s license,” she said, further detailing issues with signing up for rewards cards, and utility service calls. “Clearly we can do better. It’s not rocket science. It’s a mailing address. It’s where you live, not where Canada Post assigns you,” she said. Hadrevi also presented to council the results of a survey completed among 42 addresses along River Road. Voting in favour of the address change were 62 percent, voting against 21 percent, with 17 percent not responding. Those who voted in favour, Hadrevi said, cited concerns about emergencies in which emergency services may be incorrectly dispatched. Among the residents who voted against requesting such a change, the justifications ranged from the inconvenience and cost of notifying the necessary bodies of a See COUNCIL NEWS Page 13
Niagara Region is developing a new Council strategic plan for 2019-2022.
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
Council votes to outsource community centre cleaning Custodial services to be provided by contractor, not Town staff BY VOICE STAFF
Councillor John Durley, with Councillor Richard Rybiak, voted against hiring an outside vendor for community centre janitorial services. VOICE PHOTO “We have an opportunity to save some $30,000, and we’ll only inflate that when these employees are longer term and exceed 700 hours. Now’s the time to put money in the bank. Some time down the road the variances in the pro forma may not be in our favour,” he said. Rybiak responded by reiterating his previous points. “I understand and believe fully that Councillor Accursi’s description of me as presumptuous was not personal,” said Rybiak. Accursi confirmed this belief. “Everything going on is why we have [the centre], but the venue itself is the business of [public works]… the building itself needs to be maintained in a particular way,” he said.
agara College four decades ago in a 12-year tenure). “I’m chasing happiness these days, and on a mission to continue helping people,” said the cheerful 88-year-old. “My three years at Lookout Ridge have been wonderful.”
Cozy e lac Firep
ER PIPER S ET
able, and Accursi asserted that a dedicated staffer will be hired to direct such seniors-focused activities as card games, pickle ball, and ballroom dancing. The Town has also worked hard with local developers to target affordable seniors’ housing and medical resources in Eeast Fonthill, along with a 190-bed, longterm care facility, a $60 million expenditure by the Town’s reckoning. Lookout Ridge board chair Todd ShoatsShoalts spoke of his late father Lester’s investment in Niagara retirement communities, and in particular his construction of the ten-year old Lookout Ridge. Of the 75 dedicated staff at the facility, Shoalts stressed, “Yyou don’t live in our building, we work in your home.” Lookout Ridge is home to190 residents. men and women . Dean Allison, Member of Parliament for Niagara West – Glanbrook, and his provincial counterpart, MPP Sam Oosterhoff, brought greetings from their respective levels of government. Oosterhoff, despite his youth, appeared to be a veteran campaigner, presenting all seniors present with his flyer for the upcoming election, and greeting them warmly like surrogate grandparents. Shannon Douglas, Lookout Ridge’s recreation manager, announced a long
list of impending activities, including the annual Car Show and Strawberry Social. Lookout Ridge resident Jacqueline Robarts was honoured as the first female president of an Ontario community college (she served at the helm of Ni-
IPERS P RP
continued from Page 5
learnable. The work is not temporary or intermittent or peripheral to principal objective. I would say that the central business is the presentation of this facility.” Rybiak argued that while the face cost was lower for contractors, he doubted that the Town would get value for its money, with contract employees making lower wages after the contractor’s administration took its cut. “We worked hard to create the best facility we can afford, we would not want to operate facility with any less sense of quality,” said Rybiak. Councillor Gary Accursi strongly rejected Rybiak’s line of reasoning. “Central to operation of the facility has clearly little to do with custodial services,” he said. “Recreation services are the primary focus, with custodial services being important as an ancillary service,” he said. “The implications of some of [Councillor Rybiak’s] statements imply that the custodial services provided by the contractor will somehow be less successful and less professional than those delivered by in-house staff.” Accursi said that the selected firm went through a rigorous screening process and was subject to reference checks.
Town Council voted to contract out the custodial work of the community centre at its meeting last week, with the aim of realizing an expected savings of $30,000. Council had previously requested staff investigate the possibility of contracting the services. While the expected cost of having Town employees complete the work was $211,000 annually, the highest contract proposal was $182,000. The approach for the centre is to have one custodian present during the day, none during evening hours, and a team of two to four cleaning overnight. “Public Works would prefer to keep custodial services internal to staff, to ensure control, allow flexibility and to establish clear levels of service. However, as the financials indicate an annual savings by outsourcing this work, it is recommended to award this work to an external contractor,” read a staff report given to council. Councillor Richard Rybiak voted against the contracting, speaking at length to his his position. “Contracting out may often be the best way, and has its place,” said Rybiak. “This is not the place. The work is regular, full time work, seven days a week. The skills are generally available or
Councillor John Durley said that he was caught “between a rock and hard place,” conceding that the possibility of saving money was attractive, but saying that Town employees would be more likely to feel a sense of ownership for the building and make a more conscientious effort to maintain the building. “I’m torn on this one,” said Councillor Jim Lane. “I know that before I spoke against contracting out—we have to make a presentation that the public can be proud of. At the same time, dollars and cents come into any picture. I would like to see the possibility of contracting
out for a six-month period to see how it would perform. I wouldn’t be in favour of signing a long-term contract.” Town CAO Darren Ottaway informed council that the proposed contract was for one year, with an option to renew for an additional three years. Before the vote, Mayor Dave Augustyn spoke in favour of contracting out the services. The proposal passed, with all Councillors but Durley and Rybiak voting in favour of the contract. Council also heard an update on Town staff’s efforts to get a handle on the odour emitting from the marijuana production facility on Foss Road, about which residents have been complaining for months. Mayor Augustyn described a conference call that the Town had with Health Canada, which is supposed to be responsible for monitoring the facilities. “The number of complaints appears to be increasing,” said Augustyn. “I indicated to [Health Canada] that residents are sick and tired of this, and want some action, especially now that windows are being opened and people are out and about more.” According to Health Canada, Augustyn said, the facility is required to have a system that prevents the escape of pollen from the marijuana
plants. “Obviously something is not functioning properly,” said Augustyn. “I suggested very strongly that
Central to operation of the facility has clearly little to do with custodial services Health Canada consider doing something. Perhaps we should direct staff to put together a resolution that we would encourage [Health Canada] to act on this particular facility.” Councillors Papp and Rybiak expressed support for the idea, while Durley expressed his frustration with the facility. “I’m really concerned about paragraph two [of the report], where it says that the facility has been cooperating, and has tried different scents for odour control. We want to get rid of it. It sounds like they’re putting lipstick on a pig—there's no possible way to be masking this. They tried bubble gum. There’s no excuse for this,” said Durley.
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
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OBITUARY BENNER, Jerry (Jerome) Christopher Passed away at the Welland Hospital on Tuesday June 5, 2018 in his 87th year. Loving husband to Claudia. Dear father of Kathy Benner Macleod (Derek) and Laurie Benner. Beloved Grandfather of Julia Macleod. Jerry taught at Pelham High School and various others. He was a member of Niagara Woodcarvers and Probus and also a member of Phoenix Lodge #535 A.F. & A.M. Respecting Jerry’s wishes cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to LAMPMAN FUNERAL HOME 724 Canboro Road, Fenwick.
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Places of Worship and Events Bethany Christian Reformed Church 1040 Balfour St., Fenwick
First Presbyterian Church 602 Metler Rd., North Pelham
Glad Tidings Church of God 1 Pancake Lane, Fonthill
Pelham Evangelical Friends Church 940 Haist St., Fonthill
Concordia Lutheran Church 105 Welland Rd., Fonthill
Fonthill Baptist Church 1414 Pelham St., Fonthill
Holy Trinity Anglican Church 1557 Pelham Street, Fonthill
Ridgeville Bible Chapel 418 Canboro Rd., Ridgeville
Fenwick Church of Christ 765 Welland Rd., Fenwick
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses 1369 Rice Rd., Fonthill
Kirk on the Hill Presbyterian Church 1344 Haist St., Fonthill
St. Alexander’s Roman Catholic Church 50 Pelham Town Sq., Fonthill
Fenwick United Church 1050 Church St., Fenwick
Fonthill United Church 42 Church Hill, Fonthill
Pelham Community Church 461 Canboro Rd., Fenwick
St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church 834 Canboro Rd., Fenwick
on a resolution, Mayor Augustyn spoke at length to the matter, saying that he had discussed possible address changes with a representative of Canada Post at a conference the previous weekend. “He indicated a couple things,” said Augustyn. “This is not unique, and they’ve recently helped some other communities in re-jigging the mailing addresses.” Augustyn men-
tioned specifically the towns of Puslinch, near Cambridge, and LaSalle, near Windsor. “The goal, according to [the Canada Post employee], is to have all addresses within the civic boundary. These are hangovers from the rural route days,” said Augustyn, who said he was told that Canada Post offers change of address free for a year if residents follow a specific process.
COUNCIL NEWS continued from Page 10 change in address. “They were concerned about the cost of mail forwarding for a year, and a basic resistance to change,” said Hadrevi. “Many have already made accommodations—they mail things to their work address or rent a PO box in town.” Though council did not vote
“I give that for information when staff are formulating a report on this,” said Augustyn. Councillor John Durley cautioned residents that the end result of their request may not be what they desire. “Canada Post is trying to get away from door-to-door delivery,” he said. “You might get a super mailbox in the middle of the river.”
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
IN THE NEWS
activity that 2017 delivered.”
continued from Page 2 ciation of REALTORS (NAR) news release. NAR reported 768 property sales processed through the NAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system in May. This represents an 18.6% decrease in sales compared to May of last year. The average days on market increased 72.2% from 18 to 31 in the residential freehold market and increased 94.4% from 18 to 35 in the condominium market. The residential average sale price of $407,693 had a marginal increase of 0.38% versus last May while the number of residential property listings were 1,271 versus 1,288 in May 2017. The list price to sell price ratio is 98.1% v.s. 100.9% in May 2017. Year to date, residential property transactions total 2,620 v.s. 3,497 in May 2017. This represents a decrease of 25.1%. The year to date residential average price however increased 2.4% versus a year ago. The dollar value of all homes sold in May of 288.6 million fell 17.7% from the same month a year ago. Active residential listings of 2,288 by the end of May is 51.8% higher than this time last year. The sales to new listings ratio is 55.4% for residential properties. “The story with these numbers is that our region continues to find balance vs the fast-paced market of 2017,” said Stephen Oliver, NAR President. “While the percentages are significant vs a year ago, we need to bear in mind the remarkable
Historic sexual assault charges
A 62-year-old Welland man is facing a number of charges following an investigation by the NRPS Sexual Assault Unit into historic sexual assault allegations. In late 2017, the Niagara Regional Police Service was contacted in regards to incidents which took place between 1974 and 1976. Police say that last Friday, 62-year-old William Swayze, of Welland, turned himself in and was subsequently charged with the following alleged offences: Indecent Assault on a Female, contrary to Section 149(1) of the Criminal Code; Gross Indecency, contrary to Section 157 of the Criminal Code; Indecent Assault on a Male, contrary to Section 156 of the Criminal Code; Gross Indecency, contrary to Section 157 of the Criminal Code. Swayze was remanded into custody following a bail hearing on Saturday. Investigators have reason to believe there are more victims connected to this suspect. They are asking anyone with information to come forward and contact Detective Constable Brandon Southcott at (905) 688-4111, ext. 9358.
Niagara’s worst road
Drummond Road in Niagara Falls, for the first time, has earned the title of Niagara’s Worst Road, according to voters in CAA’s 15th Worst Roads Campaign. The road has also landed on the Ontario’s Worst Road list, as the
sixth worst road in the province. Niagara voting in the four-week campaign rose more than 50 percent over last year, according to the CAA. Ninety- four percent of Niagara voters reported “potholes and crumbling pavement” as the reason for selecting a road. There was also a 10 percent rise in votes from cyclists and pedestrians citing lack of sidewalk and cycling infrastructure. “We believe our imaginative serious of lighthearted social media videos helped stimulate the rise in voter engagement,” said CAA Niagara’s Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations, Rick Mauro. “We had some fun focusing on a serious matter and that seemed to work.” “We also saw a significant change in the mix and makeup of voters this year with more voters identifying themselves as cyclists and pedestrians. This campaign isn’t just for motorists, it’s about giving everyone in the community a voice. I hope to see these votes increase next year.” New to Niagara’s top ten list are Sider Road in Fort Erie, Brunswick Avenue in Crystal Beach and Merritt Street in St. Catharines. Last year, Queenston Street in St. Catharines topped the Niagara charts and was the fifth worst road in Ontario. After a major overhaul in 2017, Queenston Street is nowhere to be seen on the lists. Niagara’s Top 10 Worst Roads for 2018 are: Drummond Road, Niagara Falls;
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On Saturday, members of the Niagara Regional Police Services Traffic Enforcement Unit conducted sobriety spot checks at various locations in Welland and St. Catharines. Throughout the course of the evening and early morning hours, approximately 450 vehicles were stopped and drivers were questioned with regards to alcohol consumption and drug use prior to the operation of their motor vehicles. As a result, police say that 11 drivers were asked to provide a sample of their breath for analysis. Two of these drivers were issued a 3-day license suspension for driving with more than 50 mg of alcohol in their system. Two additional drivers were arrested throughout the evening, the first for possession of a controlled substance and the second for driving while suspended. In addition to the alcohol and drug related incidents, officers issued 14 provincial offense notices for various Highway Traffic Act violations, ranging from driving with no licence, driving with no insurances, driving with an expired permit, and failing to stop for a red light. In an effort to reduce the number of personal injuries and deaths on our roadways, the Niagara Regional Police Service would like to remind everyone to drink responsibly and have a plan to arrive home safely. Consider having a designated driver, calling for a taxi or using public transit. Police say that motorists need to remember they are required by law to slow down and proceed cautiously when approaching a R.I.D.E. checkpoint or any emergency vehicle stopped on the roadway.
NRPS join fight against cancer
The impact of cancer on the life of a child and their family is devastating. To support those in the community touched by the disease, the Niagara Regional
www.thevoiceofpelham.ca Police Service, Hamilton Niagara Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Niagara Emergency Medical Services (EMS) announce that they are partnering with the Canadian Cancer Society for the inaugural Cops for Cancer Tour de Golden Horseshoe. The Tour de Golden Horseshoe is a fundraising event through which law enforcement and emergency services personnel will cycle 400 km across the Niagara Region from September 18 -21 to engage communities en route in raising money for childhood cancer research and support services at the Canadian Cancer Society. Cops for Cancer first began in 1994, when Sergeant Gary Goulet of the Edmonton Police Service met Lyle Jorgenson, a then 5-year-old boy who had cancer. Goulet requested the meeting after learning that Lyle was being ridiculed at school because of his hair loss due to chemotherapy. Goulet was so moved by the boy’s story, he rallied his colleagues to shave their heads in solidarity. The Cops for Cancer movement was born when Goulet contacted the Canadian Cancer Society to hold a head-shaving fundraiser. The event concept spread and evolved to neighbouring police forces and eventually across the country raising millions of dollars for childhood cancer research and support services. Today, hundreds of law enforcement and emergency services personnel have raised millions of dollars through Cops for Cancer events. “We as a Service are committed to both the well-being of our members and supporting them and their families in our communities,” says Niagara Regional Police Service Chief Bryan MacCulloch. “This is an amazing opportunity to connect with youth in our community while also giving back and helping children living with cancer.” Funds raised through the tour will support research that is helping to save and improve the lives of children locally and across the country in addition to support services such as Wheels of Hope, which helps patients and their families get to cancer treatment appointments. To learn more, pledge a rider or make a donation visit copsforcancer.ca.
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Two men are facing charges in connection with a human trafficking investigation in the City of Niagara Falls, say police. On Sunday, May 27, a female attended the 2 District (Niagara Falls) front desk to report that she had been brought to the Niagara Region for trafficking purposes. Detectives with the Niagara Regional Police Service Morality Unit, along with 2 District Uniform officers, subsequently launched an investigation that found the female had been transported to the Niagara Region from Barrie and allegedly forced into the sex trade. On May 28, police arrested and charged 43-year-old Jason David Wallace of Barrie with the alleged offences of Trafficking in Persons, Material Benefit From Sexual Services, Advertising Sexual Services, Obtaining Sexual Services For Consideration, and Procuring - Exercising Control. Wallace was remanded in custody following a bail hearing. Further investigation led to the arrest of 28-year-old Marcus Andrea Johnson of Toronto on June 5, for the alleged charges of Material Benefit From Sexual Services, and Advertising Sexual Services. Johnson was also remanded in custody following a bail hearing. Investigators have reason to believe there are more victims connected to these suspects, and are asking anyone with information to come forward and contact police at (905) 688-4111, Badge 9048.
$15,000 in Welland funding available
The Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC) is launching a new program that has the ability to allocate a total of $15,000 in stipend funds to local non-profit community groups. The WIFC is giving back to local community groups in exchange for volunteer hours. Each shift worked will earn stipend funds that will be directed to the non-profit sport or community group of the volunteer’s choice For volunteer opportunities at the WIFC and to participate in the Volunteer Stipend Program sign-up at www.wifc.ca/site/volunteer. For more information on the Volunteer Stipend Program email email@example.com
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The Voice of Pelham, June 13 2018
COLUMN SIX continued from Page 1 recording with us. Richard told me afterwards how much he had enjoyed talking with her. She asked challenging questions, he said. It was a proud moment for her, and for us. Time and memory have gone their separate ways since that day, 20 years ago, and everything’s different now. Richard, and his wife, Phyllis, passed away a year ago, and our family is no longer together. Recently, my ex mentioned she had found our daughter’s recorded interview and downloaded it onto a device. Would I care to lis-
ten to it? My answer, an unpremeditated no thanks, surprised me. It was out before I had time to think. For whatever reason I wasn’t ready for this, and it puzzled me. Why was I unwilling to revisit a moment in our daughter’s early life that meant so much to her and to us? That interview with Richard Wright was something of a life-changer for her. She lives now immersed in books, having more than a thousand hardbacks arranged in bookcases and on shelves in her one-bedroom apartment. She works in a bookstore. She’s a qualified editor.
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But the kicker is she didn’t want to listen to the recording either. Not just yet, she told her mother. But thanks for asking. I wanted to ask her why, but already sensing this was a private matter, I let it go. Again, I was puzzled. A friend recently found an old VHS tape of her daughter’s wedding, 20 years ago, and offered to send it to her. But the daughter, still married and with two teenage children of her own now, politely declined. “Thanks, Mom, but that’s okay. I don’t think I’m ready to see that yet.” Another acquaintance, a man in his early 20s, recently confessed that he can’t bring himself to watch home movies taken when he was just learning to walk. “It’s too much of a jolt. Too many dimensions at once,” he said. “I’m not ready to see the difference between who I was then and who I’ve become.” Too many dimensions at once seemed a viable explanation of even a young person’s reluctance to revisit a past he’s not ready for. A video, a recorded voice, even a photograph can be a jolt, an unwelcome, in-your-face reminder of changes unnoticed along the way.
A scene in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye finds the adolescent Holden Caulfield suddenly frozen at the entrance to a natural history museum he knew as a child. It’s the dead of winter, but he’s immobilized by fear and not the cold. He remembers the museum as a place where everything stayed the same, no matter how often he visited it. The only thing that would be different would be you, he says. Now, nearing adulthood, he stands outside the entrance, unable to go in. I used to think he was afraid that those familiar exhibits might have been replaced in his absence over the years, though I think now maybe he feared the opposite, that the exhibits had remained exactly the same—but a reminder to him now of who he’d become in the interim. Paul Simon, in his song, “Bookends,” tells us to preserve our memories. They’re all that’s left us, he says. I was an adolescent when the album came out, and I remember how nostalgic the song made me feel then. Now that I have so much more to be nostalgic about, it resonates even more. He mentions having a photograph of a long time
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Were we ever conscious of innocence at the time? ago. It was a time of innocence, he says. And there’s the rub, I believe. Innocence. Were we ever conscious of innocence at the time? I don’t believe I ever was. Innocence somehow managed to find its way into my past when I wasn’t looking, being too busy dealing with life to notice what I’d left behind. And so, when I have occasion to look back, I think how untroubled those days were, how free of irritation and distress they appear in retrospect. Now in her early 30s, my daughter has experienced many of life’s vicissitudes and reversals, its random and often unmerited assaults, its setbacks and disappointments. Along with the joys, she has known times of sadness and loss that no parent would wish for their child, even as they know those times must come. So, do I really want to hear her sweet voice at age 11, before life took over? What else will I hear in that recording?
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Will I ever be ready to hear my writer friend’s voice again as he engaged her in conversation, now that he’s gone? Preserving memories is a delicate process best managed on our own, perhaps, as we struggle to absorb and make sense of the past at our own pace. An unexpected photograph can disrupt the equilibrium, a sudden voice from another era can shatter the stillness. Maybe a time will come when I’ll feel like listening to that interview, and that middle-aged mother will want to see her own wedding film, and my young friend will be ready to look back at himself taking his first steps. Maybe the time will come when memories really are all that’s left us. Until then, I suspect we’d all prefer to crack on and deal with what lies ahead. And we know, ultimately, what lies ahead. I will show you fear in a handful of dust, wrote T.S. Eliot. And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. I think I finally understand F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final line in The Great Gatsby. I get it. And I’m getting there. ◆
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Saturday June 16th from 1-4pm 1502 Pelham St, Fonthill
905-892-5717 2601 Hwy 20 E, Fonthill
It’s Time for a SPRING Tune-up!
MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY
ratures Tempe ing!! are ris
Financing & Rebates AVAILABLE!
Spring has arrived ...
Whether it’s new windows and doors or siding, soffit, fascia and eavestrough; it’s a great time to buy. North Star energy-efficient windows will save you money in the long term by keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter. Call or visit our showroom today for a FREE ESTIMATE on your home! FINANCING AVALABLE (OAC)
High efficiency Gas Furnace and Air Conditioning packages at GREAT PRICING!
FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED
Heating & Air Conditioning RESIDENTIAL - COMMERCIAL
DUNNVILLE VETERINARY CLINIC Est. 1952 Closer than you think! Same-day appointments
- Same-day test results, most while you wait - Large, well-established practice
ASK ABOUT OUR
3435 King Street Vineland WINDOWS & SIDING SINce 1966 • WWW.lOuWeS.ca
WELLNESS PACKAGE 110 Ramsey Dr., Dunnville, ON N1A 1K8 Phone: (905) 774-7642 1-800-263-6496 email@example.com Mon - Fri: 8 AM to 6 PM • Sat: 8 AM to 2 PM • Closed Sunday