Page 1

Crossley Cyclones take it all page 3 Town survey results say sell page 13 Flying the dream at 21 page 17 EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

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Adamson celebrated as Citizen of the Year

Column Six

Notes on time Family history lives again

BY DEREK SWARTZ

Special to the VOICE

Frank Adamson learned a valuable lesson at a young age. His Boy Scout troop was performing the ageold rite of spring—selling apples. He was doing fine, hitting folks up for nickels and handing them freshly polished apples. All was unfolding according to plan until one gentleman the youngster approached asked him if he was going to buy an apple too. Young Frank replied he was selling apples, not buying them. Unfazed, the man asked the boy why should he buy an apple if Frank wasn’t prepared to buy one too. This caused him to think. He had his allowance, a quarter. Would spending a nickel for an apple be worth it, even if it meant selling another apple to help out his Boy Scout troop? He had something of a sidewalk epiphany and bought an apple for himself. “I learned early on you have to be prepared to support the cause if you’re going to ask people for their support. So you better believe in it and be passionate about it,” he said. Adamson has taken those words to heart, and over the decades he has raised money for hospital equipment,

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I Frank Adamson and his wife of 46 years, Judy, show their fingers. As part of his acceptance speech, Adamson asked the audience to donate toward the Rotary Club’s polio eradication effort. Children dip their index fingers in purple ink after being vaccinated against the crippling disease. Likewise, audience members dipped their fingers after contributing. DEREK SWARTZ PHOTO for organizations such as the United Way, and for facilities like the Meridian Community Centre, among other causes too numerous to list. He was honoured by the Fonthill and District Kinsmen on March 5 as Pelham’s 2018 Citizen of the Year. The award, now in its 21st year, is bestowed on a Pelham resident, or someone who works in Pelham, who volunteers their time and effort to make the town a better place to live. Adamson praised the Kinsmen Club for having the See AWARD Page 14

Past recipients of the Pelham Citizen of the Year award join 2018 recipient Frank Adamson following the ceremony. DEREK SWARTZ PHOTO

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A M PROUD TO SAY I have kept my New Year’s resolution…and it’s only the second week of March! Okay, so maybe I haven’t fully completed it, but I am well on my way to put this baby to bed before the calls of gardens and golf courses beckon. Time is moving quickly! After both of my parents died, I ended up with two bins that held pieces of my father’s life. He was 89 years old when he died in 1997. The blue plastic bins had been stored in the basement of my home since my mom died in 2004. They travelled with me ten years later, unexplored, when we moved to Pelham, and quickly found their way to a corner of the “new” basement. I have periodically shuffled them around these past five years to facilitate reaching other storage containers for Christmas decorations, seasonal clothing, etc., vowing each time to get through their contents one day. January 1, 2019 was the See COLUMN SIX back page


Page 2

The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

NRPS impaired driving charges

THE VOICE POLL RESULTS Grant Leviathan an exemption? No.

PUBLISHER’S CORNER by Dave Burket

Chilling words: While delivering bundles of the newspaper during the recent high winds, I pulled up to a regular stop, an apartment building, where one of the retiree residents waited in the foyer to receive the delivery. He asked how the weather was, and I replied that it wasn’t all that cold, but the wind made it worse. “Ah,” he said, “A lazy wind.” He pointed at my chest. “It’s too lazy to go around, so it goes right through you.” How’s that for a memorable phrase, eh? It was a new one on me. The oldest usage I could find in a quick online search was by the English writer James Herriot, in his book called “Dog Stories,” apparently first published in 1970, referring to winds on the Yorkshire moors. In 2017, a landscape and nature writer mentioned the phrase on Twitter, drawing dozens of comments to the effect that parents and uncles—mostly British, some Aussie—had used it back in the day. Replied one reader, “Otherwise known as a ‘Tory Wind.’” Brr. Caution: Brexit Ahead...Fancy a change of scenery? The Pelham Library is looking for a new CEO. I’d apply, but I’m spectacularly unqualified. See their ad on page 11...Off-kilter: Full marks to Anastasia Huminilowycz for her creatively framed Voice on Vacation shot, below. Now that’s some award-winning composition! I do worry that vertically framed cellphone photos and video will soon come to define what we think of as proper photographic composition. Are vertical televisions far behind? For the love of all that is holy, just turn the phone sideways, kids...We’ve sprung forward: The change to Daylight Saving Time crept up on us again this year—even though March was added way back in 2007. (Port Arthur, Ontario has the dubious distinction of being the first municipality in the world to use DST, in 1908.) Spring technically follows a week from now. We’re not seeing a whole lot of daffodils quite yet… Get the garden planned: See Mori’s flyer insert this week for inspiration…Another sign of spring: Join the North Pelham Youth Association this coming Saturday for their annual spring dinner. The event runs 5 to 7 PM at their hall on Maple Street, north of Tice, with proceeds to benefit the building and specifically a newly installed water system. Adults, $15; kids 5-12, $5…Piccolo is back in the house: Out of the blue a few days ago came this week’s commentary from Sam Piccolo, our former reporter who moved on to grad studies at Notre Dame University last autumn. It seems he’s kept an interest in Pelham goings-on, and offers his assessment of, among other things, How Marv Is Doing (page 4). More, please. Anything. Transcribe the South Bend phone directory, old bud… Speaking of which: It’s a resounding no to would-be bud producer Leviathan Cannabis and its request for an exemption to Pelham’s Interim Control Bylaw, at least if Voice poll respondents get their way. Results on this page. If only a lazy wind would come along and blow away that skunky odour from the rest of the grow-ops...

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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.   Krzysztof HLIWA, 53, Niagara Falls Brian D. GRAHAM, 58, Niagara Falls Troy A. CARDINALE, 38, Thorold Deborah S. BAUER, 56, Niagara Falls Richard N. PHILLIPS, 41, Scarborough Ralph ALBANO, 69, Welland Bryon W. JOHNSTON, 56, St. Catharines Robert A. J. VILLENEUVE, 62, Powell River BC Robert J. DOERR, 50, Niagara Falls Jesse L. H. LORD, 43, St. Mary's

Leviathan Cannabis, a Toronto-based company, is seeking an exemption to Pelham's "Interim Control Bylaw," passed last autumn to put a pause on the establishment of new cannabis grow operations in the municipality. Last week we asked readers whether they supported or opposed granting Leviathan its requested exemption. By an overwhelming margin, respondents said no, they did not support granting the company's exemption request. A total of 153 qualified responses were tabulated.

Should the Town of Pelham grant Leviathan Cannabis the bylaw exemption it seeks?

YES: 23%

NO: 76%

DON'T KNOW: 1%

Respondents' place of residence:

FENWICK: 27%

FONTHILL: 54%

RIDGEVILLE: 8%

ELSEWHERE IN PELHAM: 4%

NIAGARA: 5%

OUTSIDE NIAGARA: 2%

ADVISORY: While safeguards are in place to eliminate multiple votes, this is a self-selected poll, meaning it has no scientific validity compared to a formal random survey undertaken by a professional polling firm.

Voice on vacation!

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.

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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

Page 3

Cyclones good as gold BY BERNIE PUCHALSKI

BPSPORTSNIAGARA.CA

The E. L. Crossley Cyclones are golden. The Cyclones senior girls brought home the first volleyball gold in school history last Wednesday with a dramatic win at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) AA championships in Amhurstburg. The Cyclones, ranked No. 5, topped Widdifield Secondary School of North Bay 20-25, 25-20, 25-21,14-25, 16-14 in the championship final. Crossley head coach Michelle Gibson admitted the final point and celebration afterward were a bit of a blur. “We don’t remember! We need to go back and watch the tape to see what actually happened,” she joked. Crossley assistant coach Jessica Kropac had a little clearer memory of the first minutes of celebration. “It was amazing for the school. All the girls were in tears, tears of joy,” she said. Kropac said the support the team received from the school was overwhelming. “We’ve been trying really hard for the last three years to build school culture and during the entire game, teachers and students were sending us messages and photos of them watching the game,” Kropac said. “I don’t think these girls have ever felt more supported and supported from their com-

munity. It was really amazing for the girls and really amazing for our school to have something to work for together.” The final was no easy task, as Widdifield, who

We always said we're going one point at a time and one game at a time

were ranked No. 2, pushed the Cyclones to the limit, coming within one point of the championship in the fifth and final set. “You could tell at one point, when it was at 14, some of the girls were on the court crying because they thought it was over, but we said to them you have to have grit,” Gibson said. “[We told them] this is why you get up at 6 AM and practice. Put it together and play your game.” Gibson and Kropac placed a great deal of importance on team chemistry this season. “We have an amazing

E. L. Crossley's Cyclones volleyball team celebrates their win. talent pool of really great players, but we spend a lot of time focusing on team bonding and trusting each other to do their job and working together as a team,” Gibson said. “We always said we’re going one point at a time and one game at a time. We just kept our sights on our final goal and they were able to do it.”

Kropac also gave props to the fans and parents who made the trek to support the team in person. “A lot of parents came down and supported us. They brought food for the girls and we couldn’t have done it without them. It was an overall awesome experience.” The Cyclones placed first

in their pool with a perfect 3-0 record, then topped No. 4 ranked St. Joseph’s of Mississauga 25-20, 2517, 25-17 in the quarter-finals, before defeating No. 3 ranked Franco-Cite of Ottawa 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 25-16 in the semifinals. Now that it’s over, Gibson can finally relax. “I don’t think I’ve slept all

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season, so I’m going to get a good sleep for sure!” Members of the Cyclones are: Emma Brownlees, Mya Newton, Taylor Dellemonache, Hannah Nicholls, Sydney Grummett, Emma Hilts, Jessica Konkle, Katherine Konkle, Pooja Senthil, Kaileigh Smith, Maddy Smith, Grace Teal and Emma Wintle.

Creative artistry benefits autism fundraising BY GLORIA J. KATCH

Special to the VOICE

Stenciling poetic phrases in fancy calligraphy is the latest fundraising endeavour by The Fonthill and District Kinette Club. In addition to having fun, the artistic event held at Peter Piper's Pub last Thursday evening is one they now know they can bank on. Somewhat similar to the painting-party craze in the last few years, this is the first time the Kinettes held a stenciling event to raise money in support of autistic children's art programming at Bethesda Services Inc. Ariana Demol, an instructor-therapist with the Autistic Intervention Program for Children, said she really appreciates having the Kinettes pay for the art supplies for Bethesda, since it provides a great deal of art therapy, which has an important "sensory and touch" component that allows children with autism to feel a sense of calm. Provincial changes to the funding model of autism education and services goes into effect April 1. Demol said Bethesda has sent out a letter to its many clients. With the proposed changes, funding will no longer be allocated to the agencies, but directly to the families, she said. The amount of money will be determined on a "sliding scale," according to age and the family's income. Currently, many agencies that service autism-related disorders are in a transition period, she noted. As the agencies attempt to

manage the upcoming change, she said "we're having to give [parents] a lot of direction and guidance." The controversial provincial cutbacks are causing families to "feel overwhelmed," she said. Creating the stenciling artwork with an enthusiastic group of co-workers turned out to be, "so much fun." "It's great to have local things to support and local art. I love this kind of stuff," exclaimed Demol. The Kinettes have chosen a different charity each year, since its inception five years ago. The local group has raised $14,000 in total, donated to organizations such as Pelham Cares, Meals on Wheels, Women's Place, and the Volunteer Firefighters Toy Drive. The Kinettes fall under the umbrella of the Kinsmen Club The goal for this event was to attract 40 people, and they received 39 within one week of announcing the stenciling party. "For us to sell out this quickly, it shows support for the people struggling with children with autism, especially with the government cuts coming up. This shows that we're supportive, and you are not alone," said Betty Twomey, one of 13 Kinettes, who helped organize the fundraiser. Twomey said several of the Kinettes did a tour of Bethesda at Schmon Parkway in Thorold to see the facility, and how its services helps persons with this cognitive

Bethesda colleagues share their time and artwork together at the Kinettes' stenciling party at Peter Piper's last Thursday. GLORIA J KATCH PHOTO disability. The saying "what goes around comes around" worked to the benefit of Janine Costello, the painting instructor for this event, who wanted to give back to the Kinettes. Costello is a recipient of a Kinette Club scholarship, which she used to continue her post-secondary education at Brock University and become a therapist. It took her two days to design stencils of sentimental notations in flowing print for 40 people. Her husband built the frames, she added. The process last Thursday involved painting over the stencil, and then carefully pulling the paint off once it dried. The stenciling can be done in a two-hour session, which makes it perfect for a get-together. Compared to the painting-parties, stenciling is "fool proof" and much easier to do. Everyone is guaranteed to come away with a product they can proudly hang on their walls,

she said, adding, "We'll make an artist out of you." Costello has led stenciling events in retirement homes as a part of the recreational programming, which she believes gives seniors a sense of fulfillment. "I make it, so it makes them feel successful that they can still do something. And they feel joy afterwards, and are so proud of it," she said. Twomey said if Peter Moore, the owner of Peter Piper's, is willing to donate the downstairs room again, she would consider hosting another event there. Kinette Sue Holmes-Wink noted Moore is "very supportive of the community," and they wanted to contribute to his efforts as an entrepreneur in the restaurant business. Holmes-Wink commented on how craft and artistic events are becoming so popular now. "We'd thought we'd utilize that popularity to raise money," she

said. Despite the Kinettes having just 13 members, she remarked, “We're doing well for a small club,” adding that they are interested in attracting new members. As a part of the upcoming Home Show at the community centre, the Kinettes are hosting a Pamper Me Sweet! event on April 6, from 10 AM to 4 PM. There will be some 30 vendors, a Penny Sale, a Silent Auction, and they are hoping the public will be drawn to their many spa-type services, such as mini-massages, Reiki and other experiences that are both, beautifying and comforting. The Kinettes are still looking for vendors. Interested persons should contact: Lola Bronn at (905) 650-5233. The event is destined to capture a sizable crowd to raise money for Bethesda's Adult Services Treatment Centre. What's the sweetest at Pamper Me Sweet? The event is free!


Page 4

The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

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OPINION

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 Samuel Piccolo Reflections, perceptions, projections

I

T’S SPR ING BR E A K at Notre Dame. Last October, over fall break, I wrote an explicitly political commentary for the Voice—an endorsement of the now-current mayor, and an un-endorsement of the now-former mayor. While I was working as a reporter, such political commentary would have been inappropriate, of course, but even since my departure I’ve been hesitant to express much in the way of personal opinion. This must seem in some ways strange—I am studying to be a political theorist after all, and offering thoughts on politics is the currency of the business. But my disinclination is rooted in two concerns. The first is my caution over causing offence. Pelham is a small town, and taking strong stands is a surefire method of upsetting people you know—and who know your family. The second is that putting opinions on the page provides them with a permanence that makes it all the more embarrassing if you turn out to be wrong. “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk” is

a fancy-pants way of saying that we can only know what’s been going on after it’s over, and trying to force that flight at noon rather than in the evening is a good way to fall on your face.

My disinclination is rooted in two concerns

As for causing offence, I know I did at least a little of that in October. A welcome majority of responses to the editor were positive, thankfully, but there were ones that took issue with both my points and tone. I don’t regret anything that I wrote, though I’ll repeat that my commentary applied solely to the public actions of those mentioned, and reflected no private animosity towards anyone. It was comforting to find,

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www.thevoiceofpelham.ca PUBLISHER & EDITOR Dave Burket publisher@thevoiceofpelham.ca ADMINISTRATION Lori Gretsinger office@thevoiceofpelham.ca CONTRIBUTORS Mike Balsom Jane Bedard, Carolyn Botari, Colin Brezicki, Rosemary Chambers, John Chick, Larry Coté, Gloria J. Katch, Samuel Piccolo, Bernie Puchalski John Swart, Sarah Whitaker NEWS INQUIRIES & TIPS editor@thevoiceofpelham.ca LETTERS TO THE EDITOR letters@thevoiceofpelham.ca ADVERTISING INQUIRIES advertising@thevoiceofpelham.ca

a week after the election, that my sentiments were shared by a large majority of voters. While covering Town Hall, it was never clear whether the news we were reporting was making an impression beyond a consistent core of vocal readers that would speak to us directly. Certainly previous councillors convinced themselves that the disgruntled were few. The week that Marvin Junkin resigned, in November 2017, I genuinely thought it possible that some of the others would follow, having realized that there was little point in maintaining the charade of a mandate. But still, six of the seven sought to return to elected office. Many, including myself, thought them delusional to think that re-election was possible. But I imagine they thought the disgruntled were delusional too, that most residents considered the leadership sensible and ignored “a local newspaper,” as Gary Accursi was fond of dismissing the Voice. (While Accursi’s conduct as councillor was…interesting, I never doubted his commitment to his vision of the See OP-ED next page

Letters Don't cry for cherry trees This article [Residents object to removal of cherry orchard by CannTrust, March 6, p. 9] makes me laugh as do [some Facebook comments about it]. First of all, they bought the land and can do whatever they want to it. Second of all, to all the people who think this is such a travesty that the orchards were pulled, try making a living as a cherry grower. It is a business that is barely breaking even these days. This farm belonged to a family that had grown for generations and finally had the opportunity to cash out and retire. Another cherry farmer could have bought the land, but didn't. Want to know why? Because the business is fading. It is VERY hard to make

a profit with this. Please stop crying about lost orchards when you are simply someone who drives by and admires the blossoms for one week in May. The fact is that cannabis IS an agricultural product that is providing a very large amount of year round jobs in Pelham. How would people feel if this was a winery that went in and pulled the trees and planted vineyards? Same thing, different habit. Oh, it's the smell? How about a chicken farm? Ever smell one of those? We all eat chicken…. Jim Casson Via Facebook

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 Marvin Junkin mjunkin@pelham.ca 289-929-2681 Members of Pelham Town Council

Member of Provincial Parliament

Ward 1 Councillor Mike Ciolfi mciolfi@pelham.ca 905-892-0077

Sam Oosterhoff, MPP 4961 King St. East, Unit M1 Beamsville, ON L0R 1B0 sam.oosterhoffco@pc.ola.org 905-563-1755

Councillor Marianne Stewart mstewart@pelham.ca 289-821-0840

Electoral District: Niagara West

Members of Niagara Regional Council Councillor Marvin Junkin mjunkin@pelham.ca 289-929-2681 Councillor Diana Huson diana.huson@niagararegion.ca 905-324-3094 Town of Pelham 20 Pelham Town Square P.O. Box 400 Fonthill, ON L0S 1E0 905-892-2607

Ward 2 Councillor Ron Kore rkore@pelham.ca 905-933-3805

The man who stops advertising to save money

is like the man who stops the clock to save time. Thomas Jefferson

Councillor John Wink jwink@pelham.ca 905-892-4475

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Ward 3 Councillor Lisa Haun lhaun@pelham.ca 905-892-2607 Councillor Bob Hildebrandt bhildebrandt@pelham.ca 905-892-5647

Jill C. Anthony Law Office

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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

Page 5

OPINION Take your 420 back up the 401

Anyone spare a dime?

Some of us are sick and tired of outsiders coming and telling us what we MUST accommodate in our town. Pot is a problem. Stink is a problem. Hundreds of thousands of square feet of no-taxpaying, profit-factories using up space is a problem. The product that causes serious psycho-emotional, developmental, and social problems, is a problem. Most of us don't want it here, and we're being told

to shut up and put up with it. No. We won't. Take the cannabis somewhere that we have not invested our hard-earned livings and our families' well-being—far, far away—and stop trying to tell us what we have to accept in our own neighbourhoods. Go back to Toronto, and Newmarket and Langley with your pot plant. We don't want it. Aimee Sauve Via Facebook

Around the corner from the first six months of our new mayor and council, there is a sense amongst the community that Mayor Junkin is fulfilling his promise, and with his knee-high stable boots on he is wading through the muck left by the former cabal. The former regime’s approach included keeping residents in the dark, moving quickly, using all the financial reserves in secrecy, and creating reports that were skewed and misleading, in order to achieve their goals. As we should, we believed in our Town Hall. We trusted our elected officials. However, that trust was abused. Our new council has the difficult

OP-ED

in terms of “making,” with political bodies there so that things can be brought into existence, rather than existing things sensibly managed. Before the election, I thought that Marv’s approach to being mayor would be one of “acting,” not making—by this I mean that his temperament and character are his most notable attributes, not a particular concrete vision. Such an approach is particularly appropriate at the municipal level in our weak mayor system, where the executive has little more formal power than any councillor. A prime minister or premier, as leader of a party, needs to keep the party’s puppies in the box to implement the party’s vision. A mayor needs to keep the councillor puppies in the box to maintain a political sphere where visions and ideas can be talked about. I think Marv’s done a good job of this so far. I don’t imagine it’s easy. Difficult choices tend to accrue

as a term lengthens, especially in the tense times this new council finds itself in. But one characteristic of

continued from previous page Town’s well-being, which included his very generous personal support of the new community centre.) Up until Election Day, it remained unclear whose understanding would prove the fantasy, and whose the reality. How is Marv doing as mayor? I’ve been impressed, watching from afar. One of the reasons I had confidence in him before the election was that I didn’t think that he’d treat politics as a means to an end—neither for his own ends (publicity or higher office), nor for any particular material ends in the town itself. So often candidates are judged by the specific contents of their platforms. What buildings are they going to build? What programs will be implemented? What tangible changes will be made? It’s not that these things aren’t important. But focussing on them, I think, leads us to think of politics

challenge of earning a new trust, and that can only be done by genuine openness and transparency. Regular informal Town Hall meetings for the residents would be a great start. Now, having learned that there was a four-year string of lies, misrepresentations, misleading information, illegitimate business transactions, and reckless spending, it is unconscionable to think that certain elements inside Town Hall were not complicit and did not take part in activities unseen by residents, thereby leading the Town treasury to breach our financial safety limits. In November 2017, Treasurer Quin-

the approach of politics as acting, not making, is that there are no fixed ends. Without fixed ends, there

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lan stood before a packed house at E. L. Crossley and, in a garbled manner, committed to the residents that the Town treasury was in good order. When asked questions, she refused to answer. Resigned Councillor Marvin Junkin had earlier reported that Treasurer Quinlan made a secretive report to council that the Town was in very bad financial shape, and when Marv made that statement public, Quinlan would not confirm its truth. Other members of staff present at closed door council meetings also

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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: publisher@thevoiceofpelham.ca (You won’t get rich, but you will get paid.)


Page 6

The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

Frank Adamson, in his own words Remarks given by 2018's Citizen of the Year at his award dinner BY FRANK ADAMSON

Special to the VOICE

Thank you Kin Past President, Larry Iggulden, M.P. Dean Alison, and Mayor Marvin for your kind words and recognition. It is much appreciated. Past President Larry, members of the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs of Fonthill and District, Citizen of the Year alumni, fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary, Rotary Immediate Past District Governor Reg Madison and Loretta, Pelham Council members and mayors present and past, Regional Councillor Diana Huson, friends and neighbours, and Lindsay Mills, pianist—thank you for braving the elements and attending this dinner tonight. It is wonderful to see so many familiar faces. I am honoured and humbled to have been nominated and selected as the 2018 Citizen of the Year recipient, knowing that many of you are just as deserving as me. I join the ranks of some very remarkable people who have gone the extra mile to make Pelham just a little better than it was, not to gain fame or fortune, or public recognition, but to serve. I believe that I am the third Rotarian to have received this award, and that three Lions Club members have also been so honoured. It is a testament to the Kinsmen that they see fit to recognize fellow service club members for doing good in the community and we sincerely thank you for having the fore-

sight to create this award some two decades ago. I want to first and foremost thank my wife of 46 years for her support and encouragement and agreement to financially support many worthwhile charities and organizations. I could not have done it without her. She is my rock, my pillar of strength, my confident, my life partner. A gentleman by the name of Hal Rogers, a Canadian WW I army veteran, survived the horrors of Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Lens, Ypre and Passchendaele, was wounded and gassed. He returned to his hometown of Hamilton in 1919 with a desire to give back some more to his community. He was employed by his father, who ran a successful plumbing business and who happened to be a member of the Rotary Club of Hamilton. Hal, seeing the good work they were doing, sought membership in the club. But to his surprise he was rejected due to a classification system, which forbade two members from the same classification. Undaunted, Hal gathered together army buddies, his Kin, and established an all-Canadian service club, The Kinsmen Club, on February 20, 1920. This grew to become the Association of Kinsmens Clubs of Canada. Hal took some pleasure in telling this story over

the years. So, our loss became your gain. Had Hal been admitted we would not have a Kinsmen Club. I can assure you that times have changed and Hal would be welcomed with open arms today. In the New Testament, in the book of Luke 12:48, we read, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required.” And in the much quoted words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in his inaugural address, “So my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Service above Self, the motto of Rotary; We Serve, the Motto of Lions International; Serving the Communities Greatest Needs, the motto of the Kinsmen—all are reflective of the work we do both locally and internationally as we strive to improve the lives of our fellow citizens. We are the fabric of the community. We strive to make things better. Everyone has three gifts that we can bestow on our community: Time, Talent and Treasure. We can all find some time to do good — to join a service club, to support a fundraising initiative, to mentor a student, to participate in Pelham Cares’ annual food drive, to sit on the Library Board, to donate blood at the Legion, to volunteer at Niagara Health, the food bank, Wellspring Niagara, to coach a sports team at the MCC. The list is endless. The need is great. We can all carve out a little bit of time to make a difference in our community. We all possess talents unique to ourselves. Volunteer organizations need members from all walks of life, from all vocations. Lawyers, bankers, accountants, medical and nursing professionals, construction workers, educators, business leaders, public relations professionals—the list is endless. Our community needs more talented people to step up and to

serve non-profit organizations. Lastly, Treasure. We are blessed to live in a very prosperous community. Every one of us can give something monetarily to support vital services and programs not funded or funded sufficiently from the public purse. The United Way has raised millions of dollars every year, not through million-dollar gifts but through millions donating through small payroll deductions. Kinsmen raise money through toll gates at the Fonthill Plaza, raising thousands of dollars for the charity of their choice, Cystic Fibrosis. VFF’s do a yearly boot drive to purchase fireworks for Canada Day. Others are able and willing to support brick and mortar projects like the Meridian Community Centre, Wellspring Niagara, Rose City Kids, Pelham Cares, the Isaac Riehl Memorial Skate Park, the Steve Bauer Trail, the Town Square Bandshell. Service Clubs have played a large role in many of these projects, which would not be here without the generous support of the public. Over $100,000 was donated by three service clubs to the new community centre. So for all of you that have given of your time, talent and treasure, thank you for making a difference in this community where we work, live and play. You are the microcosm of our community. I have before me a captive audience. I have been a professional, i.e. paid fundraiser and a volunteer fundraiser from the time I was a cub scout selling apples door to door. I learned early on that you are unlikely to receive a donation no matter how worthy the cause if you don’t ask. We all have causes near and dear to our hearts. One of my many is the elimination of polio from this world, an incurable,

The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time. Thomas Jefferson

www.thevoiceofpelham.ca crippling disease primarily affecting children. In 1979, Rotary decided to immunize every child in the Philippines, a daunting task. They successfully raised the funds, bought the vaccines and immunized every child. Buoyed by the success of this initiative they approached the United Nations World Health Organization in 1985 and informed them that they intended to eradicate polio from the world. This was met by much skepticism as the only other contagious disease ever eradicated was smallpox. In 1985, polio was endemic in 125 countries with 1,000 new cases every year. Through the efforts of Rotary, WHO, CDC, USAID, many national governments, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation we are this close to ending polio forever. Last year there were only three countries left with polio—Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, and only 33 cases. Nigeria saw no new cases and will be declared polio-free this August after three years of being polio-free. The cost so far: $15 billion, of which $3 billion has come from the Gates Foundation and $1.8 billion from Rotary. It will take at least another billion to finish the job. I was in Atlanta, Georgia two years ago at the 100th Anniversary of the creation of the Rotary Foundation. Their goal was to raise 1 billion dollars for polio eradication over three years and they were successful. Rotary committed to raising $150 million and Bill Gates committed to doubling that amount for a total of $450 million. Many governments committed to millions more, Canada committed to $75 million. So, I am asking each and every one of you to join my Rotary Club and me to raise $6,000 tonight. You heard me right. $6,000. To achieve this, I am asking everyone to open your wallets

and pull out $10. There are about 100 people here, so that comes to $1,000. Like the parable of the five loaves and two fishes feeding 4,000 people at the Sermon on the Mount, your $1,000 will turn into $6,000. First, it will be matched by the Canadian government, bringing it to $2,000. And that $2,000 will be doubled by the Gates Foundation at $4,000, for a total of $6,000. This will immunize 12,000 children! When children are immunized, they have their index finger dyed purple so that we know they have received the oral vaccine. I’m asking each donor to take the bingo marker and do the same thing. And then we’ll get a group picture. Every dollar raised over $1,000 will go to the Kinsmen Club to be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to fund research into that debilitating disease. Kinsmen have exceeded $1 million dollars a year, every year since 1964, making them the largest donor. So, lets pass the jars. I will end—thankfully, says Judy—with a poem from John Donne, the British author, poet and Anglican priest, which is framed and has hung on my office wall for 50 years, and which continues to inspire me every day: No Man is an Island Entire of itself; Every Man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the Main; If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, As well as if a Promontory were, As well as if a manor of thy friends, or thine own were; Any Man’s death diminishes me Because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. Thank you.


www.thevoiceofpelham.ca

The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

Page 7

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a celebration all weekend at Peter Pipers with great live music!

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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

www.thevoiceofpelham.ca

TOWN COUNCIL NEWS Previous inaction becomes drain on Town finances Budget recommends water and wastewater bills rise 42% over next five years BY JOHN CHICK

Special to the VOICE

Pelham has long enjoyed the lowest water and wastewater rates in the Niagara Region, but inaction to raise them relative to inflation is about to come flooding back. The Town’s water rates are set to rise 8.4 percent each year over the next five years, after Interim CAO Teresa Quinlin agreed with an outside firm’s conclusion that Pelham’s previous council allowed rates to remain unchanged, while not putting enough money into reserves to cover infrastructure replacement and growth. The findings by BMA Management Consulting were presented before the March 4 meeting of Town Council, and recommended the billing increase through 2024. Between now and then, it is forecast that Pelham will need to spend around $12.1 million on water infrastructure —either replacing things like aging pipes, or bringing new ones online to accommodate growth. The problem is that currently the Town only has $2.5 million in water reserves, and $2 million in wastewater reserves. BMA’s Jim Bruzzese spoke before council, saying that the Town has been transferring just $200,000 a year into water reserves. “ There has traditionally been low

Letters

contributions to reserves,” he said. “That’s not sustainable on a go-forward basis. You want to build that reserve.” The average Pelham household currently pays $748 per year for water and wastewater services. Based on this, and the presentation by BMA, Quinlin recommended an average household water rate hike of $62.76. This breaks down to a 7.5 percent increase in water, and 9.5 percent increase in wastewater. The present rates have not changed in four years. Compounding matters, however, will be the necessity for the Town to issue debentures—in other words, take on more debt— to the tune of $5.37 million dollars, in order to address the needs. Ward 2 Councillor Ron Kore took aim at the previous council, asking Bruzzese whether, if that body had been more “wise,” there would now be any need to go into debt over the matter. While Bruzzese didn’t think it would have resulted in an entirely debt-free scenario, he conceded that the amount the Town needs to borrow could have been “substantially reduced.” Kore, still perplexed by the previous council’s actions, asked

Members of the Pelham Fire Department were celebrated at the regular meeting of Pelham Town Council on Monday, March 4, receiving medals for service milestones of 20, 30, and 35 years. Front row, from left, Lieutenant Yvon Audette (30 years), Firefighter Les Hildebrand (30 years), Firefighter Bruce Girard (35 years), Firefighter Brian Zanuttini (20 years), Captain Frank Lehmann (35 years), Firefighter George Popko (30 years), Retired District Chief Owen Simmonds, Fire Chief Bob Lymburner. Centre row, from left, Firefighter Mike Woods (20 years), Captain Phil Toffolo (20 years). Back row, from left, District Chief Ben Gutenberg, District Chief Adam Arbour. SUPPLIED PHOTO Quinlin why they wouldn’t incrementally raise rates or put more cash into reserves. “I wasn’t here,” Quinlin said, pointing to the fact she’s in an interim role following the dismissal of former CAO Darren Ottaway. The good news for Pelham is that even with the rate hikes, the community will still have some of the lowest water and wastewater bills in Niagara, where the average household pays $1,105 per year. Overall consumption in Pelham remains well below the regional

and provincial average. “You’d still be really competitive in terms of the other Niagara municipalities,” Bruzzese told council in spite of the proposed increases.

Arenas, old and new

Council had a proposal on the docket to immediately remove hydro, water and gas service to the old arena at 1120 Haist Street. However, because the adjacent racquet club, basketball courts, and parking lot are still in service,

the proposal was amended to keep the hydro on. A minimum amount of security lighting for the old arena is also still required. As such, council passed a motion to immediately decommission gas and water to the 43-year-old structure. The property has been assessed at a value between $2.7 million and $3 million. Meanwhile, Kore provided a notice of motion for the next council meeting on March 18 that asks to See COUNCIL Page 14

continued

Health, environment, and cannabis production On February 25, my wife and I, among many others, attended the special meeting of council to deal with the issue of an exemption to the cannabis bylaw sought Leviathan Cannabis. Sitting up front and observing the reactions of residents, Pelham council and staff, and Martin Doane, Leviathan’s CEO, one item in particular led me to write this letter. The Town planner stated that there is no "site plan requirement" necessary for

cannabis greenhouse operators, and therefore the conclusion seems to be that these industrial/commercial investment groups can seemingly build what they want, knowing full well that Health Canada regulators don't seem to have very strict rules or enforcement on emissions at this time. It would seem that the federal government needs more now than ever to step up testing and enforcement, regulating this new industry, as it is using the

tax loophole of agricultural zoning. The need to set minimum set-back and distance requirements from people's homes—not just schools and playgrounds—is even more urgent as we learn more about what the compounds are (VOCs, terpenes, benzenes) that may be causing the odours, and the effects of agents being used to mask the odours. Not all essential oils are healthy and some are carcinogenic. I agree that Leviathan's

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plan is a lot more airtight, in theory, than what we have experienced with CannTrust and Redecan, but it seems that while Mr. Doane is asking for a bylaw exemption, and is willing to build from a site plan which is a sealed environment, that somehow CanTrust was able to have their expansion permit granted just prior to the former town council passing the interim by-law, not only giving them the opportunity to build and expand, on the former adjacent farm, but all without a site plan? This seems too coincidental, as CannTrust seemed to quietly come in to Fenwick, build what they wanted, and now further expand, all with the bless-

ing of Health Canada as well as the past mayor and council, who cut the ribbon, and the staff who issued the permits. In the case of CannTrust and Redecan, I don't recall any input being asked of residents by the former council or staff on how these two operations would impact our life, health, and environment in Fenwick and Pelham in general. It was brought up by a resident that the property with agricultural zoning just east of Redecan may have been purchased by them, or in the process of, at 158 Foss? What's next? So what has precipitated this environmental turmoil in Pelham? In my opinion, first, the federal government's rush

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to licence investor groups as cannabis producers, using loopholes in agricultural zoning of greenhouses, and allowing a non-food crop to be "grandfathered" into production. Second, the former mayor and council of Pelham, who, along with staff, allowed these investor groups issuing letters of intent/ guarantees, that they could build or renovate, all without site plans. This has left residents and the new council in a precarious position. Third, none of these greenhouse operators are family farm-based any longer—they are shareholder-based, out-of-town investors, located in Toronto and elsewhere. I do believe that one particular investor in Redecan may be a large shareholder in a cigarette factory. Where is the preservation of the family farm and food production in all this? It sure isn't in Pelham. My point is that federal and municipal governments have made bad decisions on the switch from food and flower production to cannabis production, and how the proximity of these greenhouses, with their rapid expansion, will impact the health (both human and animal) and the environment (air, water, See ENVIRONMENT Page 10


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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

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continued from Page 8 and light) of Pelham. While there is a rush by investors to push and ramp-up these facilities, it is prudent for the new mayor and council to take their time, especially in light of CannTrust's and Redecan's expansion. It seems awfully ironic to me that the Prime Minister wants to impose a "carbon tax" on all Canadians, while at the same time allows the new cannabis industry, as users of large amounts of hydro, sewage, and water, to not have its own set of strict rules to curb their carbon footprint. One of the next steps for cannabis is outside crop growth. According to the "McCarthy Report," as an outside crop cannabis consumes 22 liters of water per plant per day, as compared to grapes at 12 liters of water per plant per day. What will be the impact on our water table with cannabis as an irrigated crop? This is only one example. I urge you to read "Spotlight on Cannabis—Environmental Costs,” found at https:// www.mccarthy.ca.  Very recently, the federal government has had a cabinet shuffle, due to the SNC

Lavalin case, so there is a new Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Marie Claude Bibeau, who represents an area of Quebec heavy with dairy production, and I would hope she understands food production.

Health Canada needs to respond to complaints and initiate stricter standards The Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor is the Minister of Health, from New Brunswick, whose responsibility includes cannabis. Lastly, the Minister of the Environment, the Hon. Catherine McKenna, who grew up in Hamilton, stated in the March 1 issue of the Hamilton Spectator, when responding to provincial reduction in environmental regulations in industrialized Hamilton, and I quote, “It's always important to

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understand why you have environmental regulations. It is to protect people's health. You need regulations because pollution has an impact on human health, the health of animals and the health of water and air quality.” It is imperative that our elected officials, on behalf of the residents of Pelham, send letters of concern to the Minister of Environment, Minister of Health, and Minister of Agriculture, allowing municipalities, on behalf of their residents, to tighten the rules on cannabis production, both indoor and outdoor, so that as Mayor Junkin was quoted as saying, “a good corporate neighbour is one you don't know is there.” Health Canada needs to respond to complaints and initiate stricter standards retroactively that will protect human health and preserve our environment, making Redecan, CannTrust and any others eliminate pollution of any kind. I did appreciate Mr. Doane's concept for a sealed environment, as I and many others are tired of smelling the odours coming from CannTrust and Redecan. Should Leviathan be granted an exemption, then the other producers in Pelham should be required to also retrofit to a sealed environment standard, if it works, or face heavy fines or closure. Voice your concerns about cannabis production in populated areas—it is an election year. Rick and Michelle Kavanagh Fenwick


www.thevoiceofpelham.ca

TRUST

continued from Page 5 heard the bad news and were aware there were many risky financial decisions and actions, yet they maintained secrecy and loyalty to the former mayor. Was their loyalty due to the fact that the former mayor and former CAO effectively bought their silence by rewarding them, in some cases, with large salary raises? Did some staff then became complicit and join the breach of trust against the residents? Town Clerk Nancy Bozzato ($128,501), Planner Barb Wiens ($137,256), Manager of Beautification Kim Holland ($101,504), Recreation Director Vicky vanRavenswaay ($118,953), Fire Chief Robert Lymburner ($143,113), ex-CAO Darren Ottaway ($173,794)—was this club paid for their silence? They must be replaced by new people with fresh ideas, with an understanding of the trust we place upon them to work in our best interest and not in the interests of elected legacy builders. This council is on the right track, and hopefully will address all the concerns of residents that were voiced at their doors during the election. We trust the council has a plan, a wide-eyed plan of substance that sets down priorities and timelines. ■ Number one on everyone’s mind: a deep forensic audit. As residents, our only demand was that the audit be done right away and include at least one member of the general public as our overseer. No decisions on any budgets can be made until we understand exactly our financial position. We cannot make any decisions on liquidation of any lands or buildings until we know our financial position. ■ Begin the process of replacing the complicit staff. ■ Conduct a full Official Plan, which is required by the Municipal Affairs Act. This gives us a complete picture of the inventory of lands and buildings we hold and how they should be used. NOTE: the sale of the Haist Street arena property was never in any official plans.

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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019 ■ Town Hall presently needs improvements, and it won’t be long before we have outgrown the space. Perhaps the Haist Street arena property and building can be repurposed to become a Town Centre, where all town departments can be centralized. Having been in the field of design and planning for a good deal of my career, I am extremely confident that the steelframed arch building can be easily repurposed and save the taxpayer a great deal of money. The report presented by the former mayor on the condition of the building was, in my opinion, an illegitimate report and filled with lies in order to support council’s plan to sell off publicly owned green space to their builder friends. ■ A consideration...and only a consideration: Move Town Hall to Haist and create a centralized municipal building for all departments. The portion of Pelham Town Square where the former wooden arches stood can be sold as prime downtown commercial infill space. The site of the current Town Hall could be sold or developed into a green space and enhanced public venue /market / bandshell. ■ Have we received all the community and business donations? ■ Residents are waiting to have a full report on the new community centre. ■ Its total finished cost. ■ An interim financial report on profit and loss. ■ With several months of

operation in hand, what are the projected annual operating costs (remembering that council passed a by-law to cap the maximum operating expenses at $200,000). ■ Now the facility is operating, what are the potential financial risks? ■ Is the second arena showing its value and is the revenue from the Junior B team carrying the costs of operation? ■ Residents are waiting to hear the full stories on the great land / development deals that Town Hall orchestrated. Why do we still see for sale signs on east Fonthill parcels? ■ Do we have a further obligations to the Allen Group? ■ The GLASS WALL. For those of us managers who have had large staffs and have provided customer service, we know glass walls are not friendly. Glass walls are generally created for the more unobvious reasons, staff behaviour. In the case of Pelham, the longstanding complaints of residents are that they seldom get anyone to answer the phones and the online portal is awkward, time consuming and hard to manage. Staff who say they have a fear of the public may want to consider that is it their own demeanour which may have caused tension or frustration. Maybe the residents are afraid of the Town staff. This takes us back to that special council meeting on April 25, 2016, at the Old Town Hall, when council and staff all

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lined up at the head table with grimacing long faces and a look of total disinterest or respect for residents’ concerns over the decision to proceed on the new $64 million dollar debt and twin arena. A glass wall only heightens that anxiety. Let’s assign a people-friendly skilled greeter. Our Town Hall should be a place where we show we are friendly and courteous, open for business, and able to maintain our neighbourly small town atmosphere. Take down the WALL, Mr. Trump. During the closing statements of the former mayor, he mentioned that he and his complicit team had in place a number of activities and commitments that must be fulfilled. Those are commitments of debt. He knew any new council would knee-jerk decisions aimed at paying the debts, and among those he hoped the fire sale of Haist Street would go forward and the remaining East Fonthill lands would also be on the block to get ready cash. We need cool heads, restraint, and a well-considered and publicly vetted plan. Mayor Junkin, keep up the good work. Save our dimes. Curt Harley Fonthill Editor's note: By way of reminder, assertions and opinions presented in all letters to the editor are those of the letter writer alone, and are not verified for accuracy or appropriateness by editorial staff.

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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

www.thevoiceofpelham.ca

Focus on the future of children's programming BY GLORIA J. KATCH

Special to the VOICE

While funding is a definite concern, it's clear that many participants attending last Tuesday’s focus group session at the Central United Church in Fenwick regard the EarlyON centre as priceless. Despite the frigid temperatures and blustery winds, many turned out to discuss and deliver information on why this was the best location for a local drop-in centre and children's programming. This session was facilitated by Regional staff, and it's just one piece of a bigger picture the Region is drawing in support of future services and programming for children. "This is the only community centre in the area. Just having my kids socialize with kids that they will be going to school with, and develop those relationships is important. It's not just an opportunity for kids, it's an opportunity for moms to interact with other moms. It's the mental health element for the moms," said Tracey Rinaldo, who frequents EarlyON, and was one of the participants in the focus group. This informal information session featured tables covered with large cardboard sheets marked with questions asking about preferred choices on delivering children's services. Participants would mill about, discuss issues and make suggestions on sticky notes, which they attached to the sheets. A facilitator told the Voice that all of the information would be collected and synthesized at the end of the session. Philip Johnson, one of the trustees for Fenwick United Church, reiterated Rinaldo's sentiments,

saying, "In rural areas people tend to get lonely, and they are more isolated," which is one of many reasons the church has offered this "outreach service" for more than two decades to the community. Family and Children’s Services Niagara (FACS) also offers seminars on issues like car seats for children and other parenting topics, Johnson noted. Looking through a binder, he indicated the Region has a lengthy plan titled: Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres, which identifies communities with EarlyONs. He noted that on this plan's map, many areas are highly populated, and he is pleased the Region and FACS were attempting to consider the rural locations, as well. While Fenwick may currently be considered a rural area, local resident Gary Chambers, dubbed the unofficial “Mayor of Fenwick,” told the Voice that in the Town's Official Plan, east Fenwick is designated for a significant amount of expansion in the near future. Ward 1 Councillor Marianne Stewart confirmed that the development is scheduled from Welland Road to Memorial Drive. There is also a senior's home slated for development near Baxter and Welland Roads. Chambers said many residents bring their grandchildren to the centre. In addition to the designated subdivisions and semi-independent-living facilities being added, Chambers said, "There is a lot of infill going on," as well. He believes community services like the EarlyON centre need to remain in place as the population increases. According to statistics compiled

In rural areas people tend to get lonely, and they are more isolated

by FACS, a total of 217 families visited the Fenwick site. Approximately 29% were from Fenwick, 26% reside in Pelham and Fonthill, while a significant remainder of families attend from other communities. The Fenwick site sees an average of 12 children per day. According to Darlene Edgar, Director of Children's Services for the Niagara Region, focus groups will be held in five locations across Niagara over the next few weeks to gather information that will be specific to the "unique needs in the community, and what that looks like in smaller, rural communities.” Besides Fenwick, focus groups are scheduled in Smithville, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Thorold and Fort Erie. Factors like transportation availability, parking, building accessibility, rental costs and location size are all important, and will be included in determining the best location for these sites, she noted. When the lack of transportation in rural Fenwick was mentioned, Edgar said, "That happens across the Region. Centres are set up where there are bus services. This

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Ward 1 Councillor Marianne Stewart, foreground, attending last week's EarlyON focus group at Central United Church in Fenwick. GLORIA J KATCH PHOTO is not unique to Pelham.” However, she said travel time to different locations and bus routes are all aspects the Region has been examining already. Tracey Rinaldo said she would not want to drive a half hour to get the same services she could have received in Fenwick. Resident Paul Bryant recalled the marketing guru Tom Vu’s mantra, which has become a real estate and traffic-driven sales cliche: "Location, location, location.” "This is where everything blossoms and grows,” said Bryant. "We know all of our neighbours. It's safe, and there are so many pluses to this center.” By comparison, resident Jennifer Ziraldo, who has visited the EarlyON site in Welland, on the corner of Young and King Streets, noted that it wasn't a good alternative for them, because of the

distance from Fenwick, and the lack of available parking, especially during inclement weather and winter conditions. "If you have to push your stroller all the way down the street, then you have to rely on all the people shoveling off their sidewalks," she said. She described the interior of the Welland site as "too congested” and "compartmentalized.” The interior of the Fenwick EarlyON contains large rooms, allowing parents to watch their children from all points in the room. While the Region is considering supervision, safety and child-friendly environments, officials are also considering consolidating services like a "hub model,” said Darlene Edgar. In Fort Erie, for example, OntarSee EARLY ON next page

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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

EARLY ON

continued from previous page io Works is combined with other services. "It's like making one stop, and I can do five things," she said, about connecting services like health, speech providers and educators for children and youth. The Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres’ report outlines topics such as integrating and transforming services, and new frameworks for funding, which will change the game in some areas. How this plays out for Pelham remains to be seen. Once all the information is gathered, a team will put together a concept for the procurement process, which will have to be approved by the Committee of Health and Social Services, and Regional Council. Edgar expects a report on the procurement process to go to the committee in April, but noted there are often changes, additions and delays during this process. Once the procurement is approved, the Region will announce it will be accepting submissions and bids from community providers throughout the Region. Advertisements will also be placed in various communities to ensure there are enough qualified applicants, she noted. The service provider has to be a "non-profit organization," but no other criteria was offered at this time. While there is currently no definitive timeline on the project, Edgar hopes to have decisions on EarlyON providers determined by November. "We are taking our time, and we want to make sure we get it right," she said. At this point, FACS is not stating whether they will bid to continue operating the EarlyON in Fenwick. Ann Godfrey, recently retired as Director of Development and Public Relations with FACS, stated there are 27 EarlyON centres in the Region, and many are operated through organizations like the YMCA and Port Cares. Currently, FACS

The only time rural communities get anywhere is when groups get together and fight for it

operates an EarlyON through the Central United Church in Welland, and a centre in Grimsby. However, Godfrey noted the program's rent and staffing costs continue to rise, "due to binding pay equity obligations and health and safety requirements.” Adrian McKenzie, Senior Manager of the Family Counselling Centre, stated that funding for EarlyON programming has remained frozen since 2002. "As a publicly funded organization, FACS recognizes our obligation to both quality service and fiscal responsibility—whether providing critical child protection services or valuable community programming such as our EarlyON programs,” said McKenzie. “In accordance with our fiscal obligation, we are not permitted to redirect child welfare dollars to community programming, or to incur a deficit budget." However, FACS has already incurred debt. According to its 2017-2018 Financial Report, FACS spent 7%, or $4,048,000, of its annual budget of $54,090,000, on community programs, which includes EarlyON. Expenditures exceeded revenue, and community programming ran a deficit of $247,000 during this time period. At the focus session, McKenzie wouldn't get into specifics about the deficit, but said FACS receives "sector funding,” which covered Welland's programming, and then FACS decided to include Fenwick.

When asked if any additional funding could be obtained for the Fenwick site through Trillium Ontario or another funder, McKenzie was contemplative. "There are different models, and I can look at what we're allowed to do." However, at this point, he said he couldn't consider any options until he reviewed the requirements of the procurement agreement. McKenzie said the Region has allocated funding to FACS for EarlyON until the procurement process. At that time, McKenzie said they "will review the requirements to determine future actions." Church trustee Philip Johnson confirmed that the $8,000 annual rent they receive from FACS hasn't changed in 15 years, and believes if FACS discontinues the EarlyON program in Fenwick, the church wouldn't bid to replace it, due to being unable to meet staffing requirements. He mentioned there is children's programming at the Fonthill Pre-School Montessori site and Glynn A. Green school, which might be plausible alternatives, although the sense of community would not be the same, he noted. Johnson chooses to remain positive that the EarlyOn will continue there, and said he would even like to see its programming extended to include Saturday mornings, as it is in other bigger cities. "We haven't discussed that yet," he added, and believes that time slot would be well utilized, especially for mothers who work throughout the week. “The only time rural communities get anywhere is when groups get together and fight for it. From the politicians’ point of view, if you don't make a fuss, then there is no real need for it." When told that the Region wouldn't be making any decisions until fall, Jennifer Ziraldo said she fears when EarlyON closes at the end of June for the summer, it will remain closed, and the powers that be may try to make the issue, "silently go away."

Page 13

Survey says: Sell Little surprise as Town poll shows residents favoring sale of old arena BY JOHN CHICK

Special to the VOICE

No surprises here. Results from the Town of Pelham’s public survey on whether the Town should sell or retain a portion of the old arena property came in last week, and just over 85% of respondents favour selling the land. The results correspond with sentiments expressed by Voice readers in the paper’s poll, which was extended to match the Town’s March 4 ending date. Some 71% of readers supported the sale of the arena lands. Just under 15% of respondents to the Town poll voted for retaining portions of the land for municipal use. Twelve percent favoured a similar idea in the Voice poll. Voters in the Town poll were required to provide their addresses in Pelham. “I believe that the poll results indicate that the vast majority of residents realize the seriousness of our Town’s financial situation,” Mayor Marvin Junkin said. “And that the only responsible action going forward is to sell the land.” The previous mayor and council were in the process of selling the property before being voted out of office

en masse last fall. Current councilors wanted to revisit the issue and get public input first. The old arena became redundant following the opening of the new community centre. While selling land after a new facility opens nearby may seem like a no-brainer to some, municipalities are historically hesitant to do so given the optics of selling public property. In Pelham’s case however, the financial crunch the Town is in leaves little alternative in the minds of many. “It’s sad that we have been put in this position and that we need to sell one of the prime pieces of property in our community,” Ward 2 Councillor Ron Kore said. “If we were not in a debt crisis, would we be selling this property?” The cost to Pelham for demolishing the 43-yearold arena structure and performing subsequent soil remediation could be approximately $1 million, according to Town estimates. This would require an additional 3.9% increase in See SELL IT Page 18

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The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

OBITUARY PINNER, Debra (nee Gilbert) Debra Pinner (nee Gilbert) was called home to her Lord on February 17, 2019. She was born on December 5, 1958 in Welland, Ontario, Canada. In August of 1977 she moved to Searcy, Ark. to attend Harding College, never dreaming this decision would change the course of her life. There she met Jim Pinner, who she married on May 23, 1980. He was the love of her life and he is left behind to cherish her memory. Debbie is survived by her daughter Christina Pinner, her son Christopher (Samantha) and grandchildren Lyric, Parker, Paxtin, and Kinsleigh; one stepdaughter, Elizabeth Stevenson (Shawn); and stepgrandchildren Alax Pruitt, Izreal Roberson and Liberty Pinner. She is also survived by her father Ross Gilbert, three brothers: Gary, Bob and Bruce Gilbert (Sarah). She also leaves behind her life-long friend Cynthia Cole. The rest of her family consists of three in-laws: Evelyn Stringer (Jim), Walter Pinner (LeaAnn) and Paula Sue Kisling; five nieces, three nephews, and many great nieces and nephews. She loved her family and would never leave them or forsake them except for a call home from her LORD.She lived with cancer for five plus years, but never say she lost her battle. She lived to show God’s love and glory. When her earthly body wore out, God in his mercy, took her home. She wanted to live long enough to forge a special bond with each of her grandchildren, who she loved so much. The celebration of her life was at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the College Church of Christ in Searcy, Ark.

COUNCIL

continued from Page 8 see full operational costs of the new community centre. Kore wants to see revenues from ice fees, rentals, concessions and more. “We...need to understand what contracts we have with Junior B and minor hockey,” he said. “I’d like to see all salaries of employees working at facility. If we don’t understand what this building is costing us...this facility could drain us.” Quinlin said all of the information is included in a report as part of the 2019 budget.

Frustration with Leviathan’s challenge to ICB

After the regular meeting, council met in Committee of the Whole to discuss Leviathan Cannabis’ application for an exemption to the Interim Control Bylaw putting a hold on the establishment of new cannabis farms until at least this com-

AWARD

continued from Page 1 foresight to start the award, and for its graciousness for recognizing the efforts of other service club members when awarding it. He is the third Rotarian to be honoured with the award, and a similar number of Lions have also been recognized over the years. “It’s humbling. I’m in really good company. There are a lot of people that have been honoured with this award and it’s an honour to be in the same company as them—they’ve done so much for the community,” he said before the ceremony.

ing October. Ward 1 Councillor Mike Ciolfi lamented the added work the cannabis company’s application has created for the Town as it prepares a report that council will then vote on. “I think it’s cut and dry,” Ciolfi said. “We either give them an exemption or we don’t. Those concerns can be addressed when the new [cannabis producer] bylaw comes into effect in October … the ICB was put in place to allow the Town and staff at least year to see what kind of effects this would do to the community. We’re not even in this thing three or four months.” While Mayor Marvin Junkin agreed with the spirit of Ciolfi’s thoughts, he said the Town is essentially hamstrung by bureaucratic process. “In order to make an educated decision, it is appropriate that staff bring forth a well-rounded factual document from both sides,” Junkin said, adding that Leviathan has the right to challenge the ICB.

The Kinsmen have been recognizing a citizen of the year since 1998, and about a dozen past recipients attended. The ceremony began with a moment of silence to remember 2005 Citizen of the Year Gerry Berkhout, who passed away in December. The dinner at Old Town Hall included speeches from Niagara West MP Dean Allison, Mayor Marv Junkin, and Brian Iggulden. Iggulden, the club’s Citizen of the Year chair, says there is a perception that Pelham is a well-to-do bedroom community, while in fact there are also people in need in the town. Without volunteers like Adamson, those needs would go un-

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Town staff was scheduled to meet with Leviathan last Tuesday to hear the company’s potential solutions to concerns raised at the February 25 public meeting. Ward 3 councilor Lisa Haun asked Director of Community Planning and Development Barb Wiens if the Town’s legal counsel would be slated to attend the March 5 meeting. Wiens said no.

equates to approximately a one percent tax reduction.” Town Public Works Director Jason Marr sees no problem with the idea, saying he would, “welcome any outside opinions that could help out.” That report will be presented at the next council meeting on March 18.

Hydro committee proposal

Prior to the council meeting, Chief Bob Lymburner presented medals to eight members of the Pelham Fire Department for a combined 220 years of service. That includes 35 years of service by Bruce Girard, who is retiring. Junkin presented Ward 2 Councillor and Summerfest committee chair John Wink with a plaque from Festivals Ontario, a commercial trade organization that represents the interests of festival promoters and suppliers, in recognition of their including Summerfest in their list of the province’s top 100 festivals.

Council passed a motion put forward by councillors Kore and Ciolfi for a report on an ad-hoc utilities sustainability committee. The idea is to find efficiencies in reducing the Town’s hydro bill, which was $1.25 million in 2018. The ad-hoc group would be comprised of five or six technical professionals who would in turn provide advice to staff. “I have a vision that we have a goal of reducing [the Town’s hydro] costs by a minimum of 10 percent from April 1, 2019, to April 1, 2020,” said Ward 3 Councillor Bob Hildebrandt. “If we can maintain that, that

met. “If there weren’t people like Frank there would be kids in Pelham that wouldn’t get to play baseball or play basketball or learn to swim or play other sports. Pelham needs a lot more Frank Adamsons,” Iggulden said. During his acceptance speech, Adamson said there was a second lesson he learned that day selling apples, and he put it to use that night: you have to ask people directly for their support. Adamson then asked the audience to support the Rotary Club’s campaign to end polio. Rotarians worldwide have been collecting for decades to vaccinate children around the world. The disease has been eradicated from every country on the

face of the earth, except for Afghanistan and Pakistan, with Nigeria on the brink of being declared polio-free. In the field, medical teams have the children dip their fingers in purple ink to show they have been vaccinated. So Adamson passed around bingo dabbers and asked for contributions from the 100 or so guests. By marking their own fingers they could indicate their support for children they will never know or meet, but who will also never contract the crippling disease. Just $10 from each would raise about $1,000, he said. With matching funds from various governments and from organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation a $1,000 pledge would result in $12,000 towards polio vaccinations.

Odds and ends

The efforts are paying off. Thirty years ago there were about 350,000 new polio cases annually in the world. Only 22 were reported in 2017. Nominations for the 2019 Pelham Citizen of the Year will be accepted beginning in December. Iggulden encourages people to nominate candidates they may have nominated in past years because the club considers each application with fresh eyes every year. Every year there are always more qualified candidates than there are awards to give. “The club makes the decision, but we agonize over it. It’s a tough one,” he said. The text of Frank Adamson's acceptance speech may be found on page 6.

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Bethany Christian Reformed Church 1040 Balfour St., Fenwick

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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

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Page 17

Flying the dream Brock student is also full-time WestJet pilot BY MIKE BALSOM

Niagara Independent News Association He’s heard the comments. He’s seen the looks. First, it was the flight attendant. Her eyes gave it away. “You’re 21?” she asked, incredulously. Then there was the passenger on the WestJet Encore flight. As he was disembarking, he stopped, looked, and asked “Are you sure you’re old enough to fly this thing?” “This thing” is a Bombardier Q-400 Turboprop. It boasts a 93-foot wingspan and cruises at a top speed of 667 kph at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet. Bombardier bills it as the “fastest and most advanced turboprop aircraft” around. As First Officer, 21-yearold Tyler Hill, of Virgil, is one of two pilots responsible for the safety of the 78 passengers on board. And yes, he is indeed old enough to fly “this thing.” Hill moved to Calgary last March to begin his career as a commercial pilot with WestJet, following a sixmonth vetting process with the carrier. He began talks with them in October 2017, but was short on some flight hours. Once he earned those hours, flying out of the Niagara District Airport, Hill was able to write his exams for his Airline Transport Pilot Licence. Then it was on to an interview with a WestJet pilot, a technical exam, and finally, a job offer in February 2018. Of course, the process also included a six-week ground school, orienting himself with company policies and learning the ropes on the Q-400 via a flight simulator. Since then, he’s been

based in Calgary, flying mostly short-haul flights (under three hours) to Grand Prairie, Vancouver, Nanaimo, and other west coast and prairie destinations. He’s also flown many times into Toronto, out to Moncton, and to WestJet Encore destinations in Boston, Nashville, Myrtle Beach and Portland. The pilots get to bid on their schedules, and Hill tries to ensure that his 60 to 70 hours each month include a chance to have some downtime back home in Virgil with his parents, Rob and Tracy. The Hills moved to Virgil from England when Tyler was about seven years old. From as far back as Tyler can remember, he has always wanted to be a pilot. “Whenever we went on vacation, the most exciting thing for me was being on the plane. I even loved the airports.” He remembers drawing airplanes in Grade 7, and when, as a Grade 12 student at Eden High, in St. Catharines, his class was asked to complete a project on their passions, Tyler, of course, completed his on flying. By then, he had begun flying at Niagara District Airport, and as part of the project, he first took his mother for a short flight. Then his English teacher, Heather Lailey, who had assigned the project, was invited to soar with her student above Niagara. Lailey remembers that flight clearly. Once they were off the ground, Tyler told her that he had been working on what to do if the engine cuts out. So, upon

First Officer Tyler Hill and his magically levitating aircraft (the wheels are under the wings).

her go-ahead, that’s what he did —he cut the engine. The plane went silent. As it began to nose dive, Lailey gripped the door with one hand and the instrument panel with the other, holding her breath until he turned the engine back on and levelled the plane. Hill credits the St. Catharines Flying Club and its staff for his early success in the field. “I have seen other flight schools, even ones at colleges and universities, and this one is the best. I got to know all of the instructors. With their experience, and their knowledge, they are the best in Canada by far.”

With the airport so close to home, Hill was able to get a job working at the desk for the Flying Club, paying off his lessons by working there. He had earned his private pilot license by the time he had graduated from Eden, and decided that to continue to progress, the best option for him was to stay right here in Niagara. He enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program with a major in Geography at Brock University, and is currently just one elective credit short of his degree. In the meantime, he became a flight instructor with the Flying Club, earning the money he needed to continue to work

toward his next license. Moving to Calgary for the WestJet Encore job was a big step for a young man at 20 years old. Rob and Tracy were sad to see him move so far away. But their excitement to watch their young son realize his dream of becoming a commercial pilot took precedence. Working alongside a captain in the two-person crew, Hill continues to learn from each flight. In the cockpit, he sees his role as pretty straightforward: “To get the passengers and crew from A to B safely and efficiently.” Hill knows he is very fortunate to be with a company

SUPPLIED PHOTO

like WestJet at only 21 years old. “They are a great company. The planes, their level of care, their focus on safety, it’s fantastic.” Hill would like to progress up the WestJet hierarchy, moving on from the Q-400 to its fleet of Boeing jets. Eventually, he sees himself working for an international carrier overseas, specializing in transatlantic flights. He encourages young people to consider a career as a pilot. “There’s never been a better time to be a pilot, with so many opportunities out there.” Clearly, for Tyler Hill, the sky’s the limit.

OSPCA to drop enforcement of animal cruelty laws BY JOHN CHICK

Special to the VOICE

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ decision last week to end its century-old enforcement of animal cruelty laws has left the province with a major question mark. Who will respond to complaints, investigate, and enforce laws designed to protect pets and livestock from abuse? Brock University professor Kendra Coulter says the OSPCA’s decision “will have an unprecedented impact on animal well-being in the province.” The OSPCA —not to be confused with municipal humane societies, many of which get funding by way of the OSPCA — effectively pulled the plug on enforcement because, as a charitable organization, they’ve become less and less equipped to act as what is essentially a police force for our four-legged friends. The Lincoln County Humane Society’s Kevin Strooband told the St. Catharines Standard that funding for his enforcement needs from the OSPCA was minimal. “That trickled down to Lincoln

County at $57,000 a year, and we have four officers here that investigate cruelty to animals,” Strooband said. “That dollar figure doesn't cover their wages.” OSPCA CEO Kate MacDonald said the organization will now shift into a support role, while providing animal shelter and veterinary services. The OSPCA’s decision to pull out of enforcement also came after the Ontario Superior Court ruled it unconstitutional for the province to enact legislation that permits a private charity to have policing powers without government oversight. “There are many very skilled and dedicated people working in the OSPCA but the leadership of the organization has decided that as a charity they should be focusing on animal care…and that law enforcement is best done by experts in law enforcement,” Coulter told CBC. “The era of charity-based law enforcement is over. We will be moving to public enforcement. The question is what will it look like?” The governing Conservatives are appealing the superior court decision, but the OSCPA

A shelter dog. has bailed out either way. Plus, there isn’t much time. The OSPCA’s current contract expires in less than three weeks, on April 1, although they have offered the

MASARIK PHOTO

province a transitional phase until June 28. Given that most cases of animal abuse fall under the criminal code, the natural assumption

is that individual police departments can take on the task of enforcement. However, the idea of adding to cops’ workload is sure to invite resistance, including in terms of sometimes-contentious law enforcement budgets. In Toronto for instance, the police budget for 2019 is over $1 billion. Coulter points to other jurisdictions where police handle or collaborate on enforcement — including a project in New York City between the NYPD and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Still, she says the time to act in Ontario is now. Delaying a decision will, by this summer, create an environment where no animal abuse laws are being enforced. “I understand that [Premier Doug Ford] is an animal lover,” Coulter told CBC. “What we haven’t seen yet is a plan, is leadership. We want to see high-level conversations so we can get a plan in place and transparency. I would encourage everyone listening or reading to contact their MPP.” Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s office can be contacted at 905-563-1755 or via email at sam. oosterhoffco@pc.ola.org


Page 18

The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019

www.thevoiceofpelham.ca

Allison says its time to separate federal A.G., Justice Minister Niagara West MP asserts SNCLavalin case exposes flaws in system BY JOHN CHICK

Special to the VOICE

The SNC-Lavalin affair rocking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party highlights the need to separate the roles of Attorney General and federal Justice Minister, Niagara West MP Dean Allison says. “I think that’s the next step,” Allison told the Voice last week amid the scandal mushrooming around Ottawa. “I think [the government will] always appoint those regardless. That will always be the purview of the prime minister of the day. Where

SELL IT

continued from Page 13 property taxes for 10 years, over and above any other increases to the tax levy, as one means to pay for it. In the Voice poll, just 11% of respondents were in favour of a tax hike of five percent or more in order to retain the land, while 85% of respondents were unwilling to spend a single extra dollar in taxes to do so. Council unanimously voted on March 4 to decommission water and gas service to the property at 1120 Haist Street. "The results of the online poll regarding the sale of the old arena lands are very similar to the majority of emails I have received from constituents," said Ward 3 Councillor Lisa Haun. "I don’t think many residents, including myself, truly realized that selling a portion of this land does not mean losing the soccer field, platform tennis courts or playground. Additionally, I think a strong motivating factor for those that voted to sell the land is the recognition that our Town finances are in worse shape than many of us thought." The Town asserts that the value of the land has been assessed at between $2.7 million and $3 million dollars. The Town could also pocket another $500,000 in development charge fees as houses are built. Interim CAO Teresa Quinlin told the Voice last month, also to no one’s surprise, that the Town needs an infusion of cash. “It’s not only for the cash flow, but also it’s to avoid additional costs and expenses that the Town would incur if they kept the property,” she said at the time. Still, that doesn’t make the idea of parting with prime real estate any easier to some. “I hope in five years time when we are in a better financial situation, that we don’t regret selling this property,” Kore said. There is currently no proposed change to the existing parkland on the site, which includes the racquet club, a soccer field and a playground.

we can probably get something different is separating those roles.” Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said last week that, if elected, he was open to looking at the change in the wake of former AG/MOJ Jody Wilson-Raybould’s explosive testimony, in which she said she was pressured by the Trudeau government to grant a plea deal to Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin over corruption charges. “I’d certainly be open to looking at it as we start to

clean up the mess that the Liberals have created on this file,” Scheer told CTV News. “For many, many years the system worked. It’s only when Liberals are in power that we start to have these types of questions.” Allison said it is cut and dry the Liberals were involved in wrongdoing, and that they reassigned Wilson-Raybould to another cabinet position when it became clear she wouldn’t show partiality to them as Attorney General. “The challenge is we look at the Attorney General’s position — which is supposed to be totally independent and arm’s length. You’ve got a criminal prosecution going on, and you’ve got an independent attorney general, and you’ve got sustained and coordinated

pressure,” Allison said. “I don’t think there’s anybody in Canada who doesn’t believe Jody Wilson-Raybould was fired for making that decision.” The fiasco led Wilson-Raybould to resign from Trudeau’s cabinet after being shuffled to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Treasury Board President Jane Philpott and Trudeau’s top aide and close friend Gerald Butts have also resigned from their positions. The roles of Attorney General and Justice Minister have been combined since confederation in 1867. While Canadian bureaucratic change usually moves at a glacial pace, there is precedent for separating the positions. Former Prime Minister Paul

It's only when Liberals are in power that we start to have these types of questions Martin split the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in two in 2003. In Britain —the parliamentary system on which the Canadian government is based — the Justice Minister and Attorney General have always been separated.

Allison says the current infrastructure was the perfect breeding ground for the Liberals’ latest scandal — almost a decade after the provincial gas plant debacle and nearly two decades after the federal sponsorship scandal. “It’s kind of this crony capitalism,” Allison said of the Liberals. “I think sometimes it’s around self-preservation. It’s almost like the party wants to take care of itself before the greater good.” He also doesn’t buy the Liberals’ defense that they were trying to protect jobs by mitigating criminal penalties against the firm. “These jobs are important, [but] there’s a whole bunch of engineering firms in Canada that can do the work.”

Mixed results in Niagara's job numbers More full-time work added, but unemployment higher

BY JOHN CHICK

Special to the VOICE

Niagara added 4,000 full-time jobs in February compared to the same month last year, according to data provided by the Niagara Workforce Planning Board. While that number is significant, full-time employment in February was actually down from a peak of 155,400 jobs in December. The numbers would indicate that the region’s workforce is growing somewhat. The Niagara labour force was listed at 212,200 for February, 3,500 more than last February.

That is likely one reason why the unemployment rate rose to seven percent (6.8 percent seasonally-adjusted) last month, up from 5.6 percent in February 2018. Making matters worse, St. Catharines-Niagara had the second-highest unemployment rate among Canadian metropolitan areas — behind St. John’s, N.L. Another factor at play is that Ni-

agara’s labour market participation rate dropped 0.3 percentage points from January to February. In an ideal scenario, there would be decreases in unemployment and increases in participation. Niagara’s unemployment rate has historically been higher than the national average, and that’s no different now. The Canadian jobless rate sat at 5.8 percent in February,

unchanged from a year ago. Unemployment in Ontario came in at 5.7 percent, with 59,000 full-time jobs added last month. The positive year-over-year growth in Niagara full-time employment also came at the expense of less part-time work. Regional part-time employment clocked in at 44,100 jobs in February, down from 47,500 a year ago. Youth unemployment — which remains a national concern — also lagged in Niagara. Joblessness among 15-to-24-year-olds came in at 11.2 percent last month, compared to 10.8 percent across the country.

Drama teacher receives award BY LAUREN NUCCITELLI

Special to the VOICE

On Wednesday, February 20, Carousel Players presented to E. L. Crossley’s drama program their production of “Whole World,” written by Sean Dixon. “Whole World” is described as “a comedy with an emotional punch,” that shows the struggle of immigrants speaking English as a second language and encourages the audience to be critical of their own perceptions and “reach an understanding with their peers.” The story is based around Omar, a refugee, newly arrived in Canada. He’s trying to feel at home in his new school, but his efforts keep getting lost in translation.

The theme of the play is about bullying and how to approach and resolve the conflicted issue. Carousel Players have been performing all over Niagara for the past three weeks. Crossley Visual Arts teacher Sherry Wilkinson said, “The show was presented in a playful yet effective way.” In conjunction to with the play, Crossley’s drama teacher Jennifer Benson received the 2019 Norah Morgan award, presented by Carousel Players. This award recognizes teachers who have made a strong contribution to the art in the Niagara region. It is named in honour of Norah Morgan (1918– 2004). Morgan originally resided in Pelham, and is known internationally as a pioneer of the arts as well as a renowned educator for over 50 years.

Jennifer Benson receives the 2019 Norah Morgan award. ROY SMITH PHOTO

TOP OF THEIR CLASS The latest guide dog to be sponsored by the Fenwick Lions—Fluer, the Black Lab—graduated from her training last Thursday, and has been placed with Fenwick resident Nicole Kisser. After a year of basic training for Fleur in the canine vision program, Nicole and Fleur underwent an intensive three-week training program at the Lions Foundation of Canada School in Oakville, learning various commands and bonding. Now the pair “begin their journey together as a team,” says Fenwick Lions President Ken Suthons, “the beginning of a loving relationship and increased safety and independence for Nicole.” From left, Lion Al Beamer, Nicole Kisser with Fleur, and Ken Suthons. SUPPLIED PHOTO


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COLUMN SIX

continued from Page 1 day! I announced to my husband and siblings that this was the year I was going to tackle the bins. Before I started to explore the contents, I suspected that most of what they held were papers related to Dad’s research as he compiled his family history, dating back to the early 1800s. I was stalling because I didn’t know what to do with those notes—his book was finished and published. I did some preliminary web-surfing for ideas and found resources and contacts for genealogy associations that might assist me in either cataloguing or posting information. I was surprised when I began the job of sorting through bundled envelopes of letters and papers. I didn’t expect to find all the greeting cards Dad had kept — cards from us kids (there are five) wishing him a happy Father’s Day or happy birthday. There were completed income tax forms dating back to 1944, one of which contained a handwritten question to the Canadian government of the day, in 1974, as to how much jail time he would have to serve for tax evasion as they “discriminate against working people while Harold Ballard won’t be prosecuted or income tax evasion.” I have found the birth notice of my grandmother,

The Voice of Pelham, March 13 2019 Daisy, dated May 1888 in Missouri, and the subsequent marriage certificate of Daisy and Sam, who was born in North Dakota, but later came to Manitoba to farm. How did these two individuals meet, and what brought them to Niagara, I wondered? I have discovered a Victory Loan application for bonds for the Dominion of Canada dated October 1945. Among all the notes related to the search for familial links, there is a copy of the military certificate of a distant great grandfather who fought in the battle of Chippawa during the war of 1812. The examination of the variety of notes, photographs and personal papers has prompted me to focus on times past. It has caused me to recall the times I spent listening to both my parents while I was at home with them, as they spoke about their youth and growing up. Conversations I wish I had been more attentive to, and which have left me trying to find their content in the caves of my memory. It has left me in awe of the passage of time, and, more so, led me to think about the concept of time and timelessness. The feature of time we are most familiar with is that it passes, flowing over us like water over the rocks in Niagara. Like that flow of water, we have no control of time. We are born, we grow,

and learn, build relationships and eventually we die. This aspect of time's flow is so deeply ingrained in our perception that it is not even questioned, despite many of us feeling that there is not enough of it, and some of us feeling that the days are too long. Time is linked to change, whether it be as night becomes another day, or a calculated new year opens the gateway to another. Eckhart Tolle, the non-denominational spiritual teacher, notes that time is, “like a criminal, that leaves evidence everywhere.” We see the evidence in ourselves, as hair changes colour and physical stamina diminishes. We see the evidence in our surroundings— what we perceived in days gone by has gradually melded into something different today. Society has developed a variety of methods and means to measure time and to segment it into blocks, thereby facilitating how we manage time and become efficient time managers. Our economy depends on productivity within these devised frames of time. Tolle comments that although we speak of the past and future, and frequently live in those domains, there is only the present that is our concern. Despite that claim, it has been intriguing for me to explore the itemized expenses my grandmother paid out in the 1960s, to

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The author's father, age and date unknown. SUPPLIED PHOTO

wonder what prompted a young Irishman to join the British military and end up fighting in a battle so close to the area I grew up in. I am amazed that these historical notations are now in my possession, after so much time has passed. Carl Jung was of the opinion that time is relative, and to appreciate the whole of our life experiences we must reach beyond ideas of cause and effect and beyond imposed time frames to develop an approach that allows for exploration of coincidental experiences. The thought that so many serendipitous events, over hundreds of years, has led me,

in 2019, to explore not only tangible evidence of past life events but also attempt to make sense of their connectedness is confounding. I have, in the process of fulfilling my New Year’s resolution, developed a higher appreciation of the concept of time. It has left me with the feeling that perhaps each of us represents but a granule of sand in time that will soon be washed over with water. Maybe Tolle is

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