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December 2016

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! By Ellen Cohen The spirit of Christmas is contagious. Fabulous displays of lights, music everywhere you go. So many gatherings and meals with family, friends and colleagues. People feeling light and happy. Christmas is the most recognized and most widely celebrated holiday in Canada. It’s not surprising because approximately 22 million people in our country identify with the Christian faith. A little more than half of those identify as Catholic, while just about 10 million identify as Protestant. There are dozens of sects within the Catholic faith, and thousands within the Protestant. Each of those have what could be described as Orthodox, Conservative and Reform sects i.e. very strict, strict, and progressive.

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Regardless how many of the 22 million Christians are actually church-going, and regardless of the denomination or sect or any relatively small differences each of those has, Christians don’t come together in spirit at Christmas because of their common interest in slugging through crowded shops. They don’t feel a brotherhood because of the fabulous outfits they buy or the extraordinary parties they throw. They come together because of a common belief in their Saviour, Jesus Christ. It’s inspiring and it’s heartwarming to see this every year. Also in December, about 14,000,000 other Canadians, non-Christians will come

Over the past couple of years, there have been citizen articles in print publications as well as posts on social media suggesting that it is disrespectful to say ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’. Some say it is political correctness gone wrong. Perhaps we could consider that Canada is roughly 61% Christian and 39% other. Therefore, if we say ‘Merry Christmas’ to everyone, we’ll be mistaken quite often. If we could consider this: if we know for sure what holiday someone celebrates, we can give them greetings accordingly? Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, whatever is appropriate. If we aren’t sure, could we say ‘Happy Holidays’? After all, when almost all Canadians come together at this time of year to celebrate or observe important and sacred events, ‘Happy Holidays’ is a generic and polite greeting that is meant to be respectful and inclusive. I know of nobody who means this greeting as disrespectful to Christians any more than it is meant to disrespect Buddhists, First Nations people, Muslims or Jews? Think of it! In December 36,000,000 Canadians are celebrating something, I can only think that we are all incredibly lucky to be receiving so many greetings of love, goodwill, comfort and cheer.

Continued on page 12

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Hallelujah! Full Orillia Library services now available to all Severn residents. The ‘hallelujah’ in the heading for this story is a direct quote from Gay Guthrie, chair of the Orillia Library Board, when asked by The Villager how she felt about the agreement between the Orillia library board and Severn library Board. “We are thrilled to have the agreement completed. It was a long, protracted agreement….but we all had the same goal of affording easy access for all residents in Severn Township,” she said. The board of the Orillia Library presented a proposal that closely matched the agreement Orillia currently has in place with the township of Oro-Medonte. In addition to the terms of that agreement, Gay Guthrie said her board also agreed to provide additional data to the Severn Library Board, specific data that shows information about the Severn Township residents’ usage of the Orillia facility. The newly minted agreement is effective January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017. All Severn Township residents, once providing proof of residency to Orillia library staff, will become full-use members. The township will pay Orillia $40 for each of those memberships. Severn residents who have already paid for a membership term that carries over into 2017 will be given a prorated refund. Each of the Ward 3, 4 and 5 councillors praised the service the library in Coldwater provides to residents in that area but there has been unanimous agreement among

them that residents in their wards live too far away from Coldwater to consider memberships at that facility. The agreement with the Orillia Library Board is welcome news and they thank the two library boards for finalizing the new contract. John Betsworth, Ward 3 said: “It’s a delight that this agreement is done, very welcome news. It was a long process but residents are very happy. All Ward 3 residents now have complete access to a terrific facility only a few minutes from where they live.” Ron Stevens, Ward 4: “On behalf of the residents in Ward 4, I can say we are extremely pleased. In fact, all of Severn Township will be the benefactors of this library agreement. For those who live closer to Orillia than Coldwater, for those who are eager to have full service at a large library, this is great news.” Donald Westcott, Ward 5: “I was pleased to learn that this agreement was finalized. Ward 5 residents have been waiting anxiously for an agreement that would give them library access once again. Ward 5 is just too far from Coldwater to be a reasonable library option and the feedback

© Can Stock Photo / scanrail

By Ellen Cohen

regarding the new agreement has been very positive.” Although the agreement is only for one year, there is a sense among the parties involved that it would end up being renewed for a second year at which time there will be a new council and the opportunity to negotiate a longer term contract. All Severn residents are also eligible to become members of the library in Coldwater, both for full service usage or to gain access to almost 50,000 eBooks through the Ontario Library system, another 7,900 eBooks through the county service and 13,000+ eAudio books. For eLibrary services or full membership in Coldwater call 705-686-3601 or visit coldwater.library.ca. The library in Orillia website is orilliapubliclibrary.ca. Note: Adah Silk is the chair of the Severn Library Board. She was not available for comment at time of publication.

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Ellen Cohen Publisher thevillagerpress@rogers.com 705-717-0322 The Villager, a Severn Township community news magazine, is an independently owned and operated publication delivered to households and businesses on or before the first day of every month. It is mailed through Canada Post north from the Severn Township/Orillia border to Severn Bridge and includes parts of Ramara Township. In addition to Canada Post delivery, The Villager is distributed each month through high traffic locations along the Highway 11 corridor and in many other select locations in Orillia. For a complete list of locations email thevillagerpress@rogers.com. Editorial and advertising material is protected by copyright. Reproduction of any article, photograph or graphic is forbidden without the express permission of the publisher. The sentiments of our columnists do not necessarily reflect those of The Villager. The Villager’s liability to advertisers for errors is limited to the portion of the advertisement in which an error occurs and only if the error is the fault of The Villager. Community event submissions and prearranged editorial contributions must be received by the 10th of each month for the following month’s publication. Advertising space must be booked by the 10th of each month in order to appear in the following month’s publication, with 5 business days thereafter to complete the advertising artwork and proof approval process.

The Villager P.O. Box 5 Washago, ON L0K 2B0

Art director: Cathy Cleary, www.cathycleary.tel

As winter sets in, this may be the last I’ll see of the Great Blue Heron until the spring. From the Publisher:

Hope rules. People who regularly read The Villager have gathered that I lean towards socially progressive thinking, so it will be no surprise to you that the result of the U.S. election has left me feeling more than a little anxious. This anxiety I’ve been feeling is not simply because Trump won the election. It’s because of the past 18 months of nonstop rhetoric and the resulting raw hate and anger in the U.S. that has, to some degree, spilled across the Canadian border. Unfortunately, I watched for months as one side was bitterly pitted against the other. Post-election, every day I read multiple newspaper reports about terrible hate crimes. We all heard minorities speak about their growing fear and insecurity, particularly the Mexican and Muslim communities. Although I never got to a point where I believed we were at the end of the world as we know it, I seemed to have lost hope. I thought about so many generations who had worked so hard and paid so dearly for freedoms and rights, some only recently gained. Could it be that progress was slipping away before my eyes? After all, Canada and the U.S., countries admired by much of the world, have a reputation for being relatively peaceful, comfortable and progressive. On November 9th, the day after the election, I felt goodness and kindness were truly in peril. Then I thought about my best friend who always says ‘hope rules’. Through all life’s challenges and changes, whether chosen

or forced, good or bad or even tragic, she says everyone must have hope. She is a very smart woman and I love and admire her greatly, so a few days ago when I saw the words “hope rules” as part of her signature on an email, I took her words, her mantra, to heart. How will I find the hope my friend talks about? I will re-focus and re-group, and I will live the way I’ve always tried to live. I will surround myself with hopeful people - my friends and family, people who are always kind and generous, who believe all people are equal. I will associate only with those who support and love their family and friends, who work hard in their jobs or in their community, and who have respect for all opinions from anyone - as long as those opinions are not dark or hurtful or exclusionary. Lastly, I will not be silent and I will challenge those who demean, use hatespeak, or make ‘jokes’ about a person or an entire race, religion or orientation. I see now that my obsession with the election in the United States was not just me having a keen interest in politics. What happened was I absorbed, was infused by, so much hurt and hate and despicable rhetoric, I lost myself for a while. How could I have forgotten that I’ve always been an optimist, even criticized at times for wearing rose-coloured glasses? So thanks to my dear friend, I have once again embraced hope and may I never lose it again!

Letters to the publisher are welcome and may be emailed to thevillagerpress@rogers.com. Letters may be edited.


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By Ellen Cohen On July 1 next year, Severn Township’s Ward 5 residents and visitors from nearby will be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in style. The celebration committee, a local resident group, have now met three times and have completed a preliminary outline of festivities. The proposed plan includes activities in multiple venues including Muskoka Street in Washago, the Washago Community Centre, the Washago Lions Hall and Centennial Park. Of course, the plan also includes a budget. The final program will depend on how much money the committee can raise. However, the township has committed to an initial $5,000.00 for each ward, guaranteeing a program with some interesting activities. Moving forward with the plans, one of the most important responsibilities of the committee will be to ensure that the overall Canada 150th program will complement, not replace, the traditional Canada Day celebrations in Washago. For example, the Canada Day parade will still be the highlight of the day. It will take place earlier in the day, likely at 1:00 p.m. to allow for a full program in the park. The Lions Club will still

host their very popular pancake breakfast as well as their wellattended daytime and evening beer tent with live music. Preliminary plans include activities taking place at the community centre in the morning and Centennial Park will be the place to gather after the parade. Proposals for activities and features for this venue include games for children and adults, numerous children’s activities, prizes, displays, music, vendors and food. The event’s success will most certainly depend on volunteers. As of the last meeting on November 15th, each of the committee members has taken on specific responsibilities such as children’s activities, entertainment, infrastructure, transportation, park utilities and other township requirements, vendors and marketing. Now more volunteers are needed, both to help the organizers in the months before the event, and to help on July 1, 2017. Please consider donating some of your time to the Canada 150 celebration and email thevillagerpress@rogers.com for more information.

Canada’s First Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald Our first Prime Minister, who spent nearly 50 years in politics, was a colourful character. Had he been around in today’s world of instant news, Facebook and Twitter would be rife with stories about his personal life and his adventures in parliament. In fact, regardless of what sources you find to research Sir John A., it’s likely some of the first things you’ll learn about him is that he drank heavily and that his party took bribes from a businessman who was looking to land a contract to build the Pacific Railway. As a young boy, John A. Macdonald moved with his family from Scotland to Kingston in the colony of Upper Canada. Eventually he became a high-profile lawyer and quickly became a prominent figure in Kingston and beyond. In 1844 he attained his first political position, a seat in the legislature in what was then the colonial United Province of Canada. By 1857 he was premier. A larger than life political figure, Macdonald figured

© Can Stock Photo / shadowmac

Canada’s 150th birthday to be celebrated in style

Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Kingston, ON. largely in a coalition that sought to form a new nation. On July 1, 1867 Canada was born, with Sir John A. firmly ensconced as first Prime Minister, a position he held for 19 years. In spite of some of his personal failings, there is no doubt, however, that he and his Conservative Party’s greatest achievements were forming a successful national government for the new Dominion of Canada and the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, opening up our vast country for exploration and settlement. Sir John A. Macdonald died in 1891 at the age of 76.

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Moonlight Dancers By Ron Reid after birth. Finally, hares feed on the bark of woody twigs for much of their winter diet, while rabbits depend on softer grasses. Not all hares turn white in winter; that is a special adaptation by the Snowshoe Hare. There is good reason for that trait, for the list of predators that feed on this species is lengthy – from Lynx and Bobcats to wolves and weasels, not to mention hawks and owls. In the boreal forest, Snowshoe Hares are such an important food item for Lynxes that population levels of this predator fluctuate in harmony with the hares.

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One of my favourite memories from my teenage years on the farm is a moonlight ski across snowy fields to an old orchard. A handful of apple trees from the pioneer era still remained – MacIntosh and Snows, Alexanders and Talman Sweets (that we knew as Tom’n Sweets). Among the gnarled trunks, a pair of white rabbits weaved back and forth, more visible by their shadows than their bodies. The criss-crossed tracks of these moonlight dancers would trace their course the next day, but in the night, their dance seemed almost magical. Even now, I can never hear the classic Jefferson Airplane tune White Rabbit without thinking of that experience. But it turns out the moonlight dancers were not rabbits at all, but rather a close cousin called Varying or Snowshoe Hare. During the warmer parts of the year, this species has brownish fur, but in winter, their coat changes to pure white except for a fringe of black hairs along the ears. A Varying Hare reacts to danger by freezing in place, perfectly camouflaged against the snow. We do have one species of rabbit in our area. The Eastern Cottontail prefers grassy areas with lots of shrubs to escape into when a hawk or fox appears on the horizon. This species expanded its range into southern Ontario as land was cleared for agriculture, but is close to the northern edge of its habitat in our area. An introduced species of hare, the European Hare (erroneously known as Jack Rabbit), was also common in southern Ontario from about 1950 to the 1970s. Its numbers then began to drop quickly, perhaps related to predation by coyotes or some unknown disease, and it is now rarely seen. At a glance, rabbits and hares in the summer look very similar, so what are the key differences? To begin, hares are somewhat larger, have longer ears, and have stronger back legs and feet. But the big difference shows up in their young. Rabbits are born blind and naked, and have to spend time in their grassy nest until they are ready to venture out into the world. Hares can see when they are born, and have a downy coat of fur, so they can travel soon

The Varying, or Snowshoe Hare reacts to danger by freezing in place, perfectly camouflaged against the snow. Snowshoe Hares are true creatures of the North, with a range extending from Newfoundland to Alaska across the great swath of boreal forest. It is superbly adapted to this habitat, not only by its seasonal colours, but also with large furry feet to stay atop the snow. So if you see a “rabbit” dancing in the moonlight this winter, give a tip of the toque to this successful species. A regular contributor to The Villager, Ron Reid is a natural heritage consultant and the co-founder and former executive director of The Couchiching Conservancy. He has written more than 30 magazine articles and co-authored three books. He lives in Washago with his wife, Janet Grand.

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Reflecting on 2016 and looking forward to the New Year • th

By Patrick Brown, Simcoe North MPP and Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario December marks the end of a busy year, and the start of an exciting new one. It’s a time for reflection on the year’s events, and an opportunity to look ahead to the year to come. I want to begin by saying what an honour and a privilege it has been to serve at Queen’s Park as your representative for the past year and a bit. My predecessor and good friend, Garfield Dunlop left behind some big shoes to fill, and I have done my best to carry on his legacy of dedication and service to the people of Simcoe North. As Leader of the Official Opposition, I have the opportunity to hold the government accountable and question the Premier on important issues in the Legislature. By doing so, I’ve been able to bring Simcoe County issues to the forefront of debate at Queen’s Park. I’ve had the opportunity to ask about local cuts to health care services and to share personal stories of constituents. Some highlights from the past year include presenting a petition in the Legislature to

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PLEASE NOTE: stop cuts to the Georgian Bay see everyone out and about in The Villager will not publish General Hospital in Midland, Simcoe North sometime soon! an issue in January 2017. working with affected families Merry Christmas and Happy We’ll see you February 1st. to restore cuts to life-changing New Year! autism therapy for children, and working with the two other political parties to pass legislation to provide better access to treatment to first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder. While in many ways it was a successful year, a lot of work still needs to be done to make life easier and more affordable for all Ontarians. LAKE SIMCOE, ORILLIA Moving forward into 2017, I Rare Half-acre+ hope to continue to raise issues on Shannon Bay at Queen’s Park, the issues that Asking $795,000 are important to my constituents - skyrocketing electricity prices, Picturesque 115’ waterfront property. Custom built Florida-style 2,876 sq. ft. local cuts to health care services, ranch bungalow. 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths. Sunken living room has brick fireplace and exorbitant fees and taxes. with wall-to-wall hearth. Open concept kitchen, built-in oven and Jenn-air stovetop system. Dining room & breakfast room with walk-out to 30’x19’ I hope to continue to meet sundeck. Spacious master bedroom suite with sitting area, 6pc ensuite, walkout with and help as many of my to deck. Attached double car garage with extra storage area. Fenced dog run. constituents as possible. Finally, MLS#586810058. Visit at www.135shannonst.com. I hope to continue holding the government’s feet the fire. If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, Leah C. Cavanaugh Sales Representative or if my office can be of any B.J. Roth Realty Ltd., Brokerage* *Independently Owned and Operated 705-325-1366 assistance, please don’t hesitate 1-800-498-8775 to give us a shout at patrick. www.century21.ca/leah.cavanaugh brownco@pc.ola.org. leah.cavanaugh@century21.ca In the meantime, I hope to

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What Culture and Recreation does for Severn residents By Pat Harwood Culture and Recreation comes under the umbrella of Public Works. We organize programs and assist with events and activities. In fact, recreation programming is a key function of this portion of Public Works. Our first step in organizing programs is to determine what programs we will offer. Based on residents’ interest, we arrange for instructors to deliver those programs. There are always the favourites as well as new programs to arrange. Facilities and instructors are organized and time tables juggled to make everything fit. And as residents have witnessed, things do happen as planned! We are also responsible for parks and sports fields and we regularly manage replacement programs for all playgrounds, including any necessary replacement of swings and bleachers. As well, accessibility continues to be addressed through new accessible pathways. Parkland development is always ongoing throughout the Township. For 2017, improved ball diamond maintenance is key and soccer pitches for the ‘Little Kickers’ are important, managed under our programs. Our work also includes the skate park in the Coldwater Fairgrounds and the dog park in Washago Centennial Park. The Uhthoff Trail is an important asset to the Township of Severn. The County of Simcoe’s “Trails Connecting Communities Program” has assisted our township in a significant way for improvements to the trail bed, signage, and bridge work. We hope this program will continue in 2017. Docks also play an important part in Severn Township’s tourism. The Township has begun the replacement/maintenance program to ensure the docks are in good shape for residents and visitors alike. The Centennial Park dock replacement is complete. Partnerships with groups and organizations are also key and we never forget the importance of community volunteers. Check out the Township of Severn website for all your culture and recreation needs at: www.townshipofsevern.com!


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Brain health, veterans, politics and dancing! By Marylynne White, Past-president At our last meeting in October, our speaker was Nicole Loughran from the VON. Her discussion was about “Brain Health.” She talked about stress and demonstrated methods of relaxation. The VON provides a “Healthy Aging Education Series.” Healthy eating, exercise, mental stimulation and a good social network aids to maintain a healthy brain. In November, we honoured our club veterans. Each veteran told of an experience they had during their time in service. Their stories had humour along with great poignancy. A YouTube presentation was also shown called Remembrance Day, Canada. In Flanders Field was read and then we observed two minutes of silence. Afterward, a sing-a-long was led by Doreen Philip. There were three songs from World War 2, which involved everyone singing. We continue our tradition during our meetings to get up and move to an upbeat

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Continued from page11

musical selection. We have some really great movers. Keep on moving is part of our “Forever Young” motto! On November 16th, a representation from a group formed to share information on electoral reform. The group was made up of members of several political parties. The discussion involved their preferential way to create fairness within the electoral system. They also delved into the idea of a referendum on the issue. On November 30th some of our members attended the musical” Matilda” at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto. All our club trips are planned by Hamilton Tours Ltd. This company does a terrific job in providing great trips for us. A very Merry Christmas to all.

together to be with those who have a common faith or culture. They’ll have their own version of light displays and parties and feasts. First Nation communities and others will celebrate the winter solstice on December 21; Jews will observe Hanukah for eight nights from December 24 – 31; Buddhists will recognize the Festival of Lights on December 23; and many Islamic sects will celebrate the birth of their prophet on December 17. It is a wonderful time of the year! Whatever you are celebrating in December, on behalf of everyone who works so hard to make sure The Villager reaches your home or business every month, I wish you good health and happiness during your festivities and throughout 2017.

The Villager’s next issue will be published in February, 2017. ADVERTISERS: Please book your February advertising space by January 10, 2017. If you have an event in February, please contact us through email by January 10th thevillagerpress@rogers.com

Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays As you prepare your home for the holidays, please keep your pets in mind: • Tinsel, edible decorations, electrical cords, breakable/broken ornaments are all tempting to your pets - and dangerous. Be mindful of these dangers and please keep them out of reach. • Don’t forget - holly, mistletoe and poinsettia are all poisonous to both dogs and cats. • Burning candles can be dangerous around your dog’s wagging tail.

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13

Performing Arts program at WCC Men, women and children are invited to register for the new performing arts program at the Washago Community Centre. The program, teaching singing, dancing and acting, will be available to adults on Friday mornings. The children’s program, ages 8-14, will be held Saturday mornings. Julia Brown, owner of Express Yourself Performing Arts, will be leading the program. Julia is a graduate of the Rudolph Academy in Toronto. She is trained in as what is known as a triple threat performer – singing, dance and acting. Julia’s husband’s work led them to this area. They purchased a house in the Cumberland Beach area in 2015 and have set down firm community roots. “I love to teach and see people succeed. That’s my joy,” says Julia. The opportunity to transfer her knowledge to people in her new community is exciting, she added. Everyone who enrolls and completes the new performing arts program at the

Washago Community Centre Mark this on your calendar: LINE DANCING every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. $2.00. No pre-registration required. Join the group of participants who are having a great time under the direction of Anne Sixsmith. MEN WELCOME. We are presently working on some new additions to our programming schedule for January. Please watch our web site and The Villager for a list of the programs.

Julia Brown of Express Yourself Performing Thank-you to all the volunteers who helped Arts, will lead a new singing, dancing and with our annual Christmas Craft Sale and acting program in Washago. Santa Claus Parade. We can’t do it without community centre will have the opportunity the great volunteers of Washago and area. to perform in a production to be presented For all of your rental and catering needs, in June. please call the Community Centre at To register, contact the Washago 705-689-6424. Community Centre, 705-689-6424.

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Do unto others… By Christopher Carman, Past President

At Rotary, we like to shake things up from time to time. Sometimes it’s something trivial like running a meeting in reverse order, and sometimes it’s something more powerful like having a Past President, who brings different experiences, chair one of our meetings. This month, President Candy Potter decided to forgo the

reciting of our 4-way test (of things we think, say or do) at the beginning of the meetings and instead delved deeper into its original intent: 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Upon reflection at the District Rotary Conference, President Candy considered that our 4-way test was represented in

many cultures and religions throughout the world and is very similar to what many of us know as the Golden Rule. So, instead of reciting the test each week, we learned about historical interpretations of the rule. For example, Confucius said “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.” Jesus summarized the Torah with “Do unto others what you want them to do to you”. And Buddhism teaches “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.” On a different note, we are

entering the Christmas season and are excited to continue our Christmas Ham Fundraiser. Hams are available from your local Washago Rotarians for $25. Proceeds go to our Rotary projects and you get a delicious ham. If you are not a ham person please remember our local food banks as a way to double up on your generosity i.e. buy a Rotary Ham and drop it off at food bank. As always, you can find complete information on our Facebook page Rotary Club of Washago and Area Centennial.

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15

Success in 2016 Among hundreds of budget items listed in the 2016 document, some of the stand outs include the new recreation facility, road work, hamlet & village enhancement, and library services. Outside of the budget was the board of education’s investment in a new school. NEW RECREATION FACILITY After 6 years of pre-building work such as acquiring the site, getting public input, deciding on what the building would include, and hiring the architect, Ward 4 residents can look forward to the shovels going in the ground in the spring of 2017. The new recreation facility provides an opportunity for this neighbourhood to create a central gathering place, a hub for the community. VILLAGE & HAMLET ENHANCEMENTS The township continued to enhance the villages and hamlets throughout the township. These small communities in a geographically large area provide

Public Schools into a much-improved building has been exciting for both students and parents. “High quality schools are an important inducement to families relocating to Severn. This school also confirms the Simcoe Board of Education’s faith in Severn Township as ROADS Road work is always high on the priority an investment,” said Mayor Burkett. of the township and the largest single infrastructure expense item in the budget, LIBRARY SERVICES (See page 3) Mayor Mike Burkett is proud of what the township has accomplished and continues Message from the Mayor: to move forward in this area. On behalf of all councillors and township “Well-maintained roads are very staff, I can say that we are extremely proud important to our residents. We’ve assigned of the work that was carried out in 2016. $4 million to road work in the 2017 budget, A cohesive council and a dedicated staff $1 million of that is allocated to complete allowed us to work hard for all of Severn the re-paving of Division Road while the Township’s residents. Thank-you to all staff who work so hard rest will go to ongoing, some long-awaited and to residents who are so involved in our work.” community. You’ve helped to make sure Severn is a great place to live and work. NEW SCHOOL We wish everyone a safe and happy The new Severn Shores elementary school in Ward 4 is necessary and welcome. holiday. All the best in the New Year! The integration of Ardtrea and Cumberland recreation and services to both tourists and nearby residents. Enhancements such as way signs and decorative flower boxes improve both the look and utility of those centres.

FRESH CHRISTMAS TREES Choose from balsam or Fraser fir. Ask our sales associates to help you choose the perfect gift for the handyperson on your list.

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16

It feels good - so do it! A tax receipt is a good incentive to those who donate to charity, but mostly people make donations because it feels good. Even if you have only a little to give, it’s good to know you have enough to share with those who have even less. Here are some local organizations to consider: Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions (Formerly Children’s Aid) protects abused or neglected children; offer guidance and counselling and referral services; and arrange treatment services for children in their care. Unwrapped gifts, new clothing, grocery and gift certificates are needed at Christmas. 1-800-461-4235. Website: familyconnexions.ca

as a drop-in centre. In a separate part of the facility, The Lighthouse shelter for men is drug-free, alcohol -free shelter for men. A list of needed items and food is on their website. Cash donations: orillialighthouse.ca/donate.

Inventory Clearance Sale Now On!

The Green Haven Shelter for Women shelters women who are fleeing violence or other untenable life situations. Often women with children, they are given a secure refuge, confidential support and crisis counselling; financial, legal and housing information; and emergency transportation. Christmas is a particularly difficult and busy time for the shelter. Donation information at: greenhavenshelter.com. The Sharing Place Food Bank serves Orillia and the surrounding townships. With over 15,000 visits each year, a year-round challenge for The Sharing Place is to meet the needs of all those in need. Christmas, of course, poses a bigger challenge for those with little money. Food donations at 22 West St. S., Orillia. Cash donations can be made at thesharingplace.org or call 705-327-4273. The Salvation Army, known widely for its Christmas Kettle Drive, provides 100’s of families with food, clothing and emergency housing throughout the year. At this time of year, their resources are mightily stretched. Cash donations go a long way to protect the many services they provide. They also collect mountain of toys for local children at Christmas. Call 705-326-3284 for more information. The Lighthouse Soup Kitchen and Shelter, at 48 Peter St. South in Orillia, provides 3 hot meals a day, 7 days a week for men, women and children. Outside of meal times, the centre operates

Dressing the Lady ‘better than 35’ 3363 Muskoka St., Washago 705-689-6603 www.simplyspecialoriginals.com OPEN TUESDAY-SATURDAY, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closing for the season December 22nd. Reopening March 10, 2017.

Merry Christmas to our great customers in Severn and Orillia. Thank you for your support, we really appreciate it. We hope you and your families enjoy the holidays. Best Wishes from Bill Brown & the Staff at Leon’s Orillia

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17

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Lab created diamonds are optically, physically and chemically identical to mined diamonds, composed of 100% carbon with the same chemical composition, hardness, density, refractive index and dispersion factor. They are identical in brilliance, sparkle, fire and scintillation. Renaissance Created Diamonds developed a patented process of heat and pressure found deep in the earth. The results are stunning diamond-roughs that are chemically, physically, and optically identical to the diamonds found deep in the earth.

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Come to Richard’s for a beautiful selection of diamond jewelry designed with both lab-made and natural diamonds and see for yourself. For more details call or visit our website.

51 Colborne St. E., Orillia 705–327–1616 www.richardsjewelrydesigns.com Repairs While You Wait  Free Cleaning & Inspection

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Made in Canada, eco-friendly for children For parents and grandparents interested in finding toys and clothing that are eco-friendly and, as a bonus, made in Canada, Jack and Maddy A Kids’ Store on Mississaga St. E. in downtown Orillia is a good option. They have some toys and games made in Canada and a very good selection of eco-friendly products. If you can’t find what you want at Jack and Maddy’s, and rather than traveling out of the area, shopping online is relatively painless. Just remember to start soon in order to allow for delivery.

Look in Your Mailbox for Our Weekly Flyer

The 100-Mile Child - local, ethical and safe products for kids. Arts & crafts, toys, books, clothing, music and décor. Order from their website: 100milechild.ca.

at competitive prices every day in every department!

Ekobear –natural, organic and eco-friendly products. Arts & crafts, bags & accessories, bath time, bikes, ride-ons and rockers, blocks, stacking toys, books, puzzles, dolls & dollhouses, dress-up and pretend play, games and more. Website: ekobear.ca.

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Cate & Levi Collection - a studio based in Toronto. Puppets and puppet making kits; and stuffed animals. One-of-a-kind reclaimed wool finished products; DIY wool crafting kits; polar fleece finished products. Visit their website at cateandlevi.com. Baby Joy - an online retailer of premier organic and natural baby products. Clothing, toys, bedding & furniture, personal care, carriers, bouncers, boosters, etc. Baby Joy carries only natural, nontoxic, chemical-free and eco-friendly products. Order online at babyjoy.ca.


18

Local Santa’s helpers Bayou Park Marine | From an excellent selection of ATV’s to a host of smaller gifts in their accessory and retail store. Competitive prices. 705-689-5533. The Bird House Nature Company | Simcoe County’s bird experts with a huge selection of feeders, houses, books, garden art, bird baths, home décor, nature wall art and more. 705-329-3939. Canoe Fresh Foods | Everything you need for Christmas entertaining and baking needs. Spreads, dips, specialty teas and coffee. Bakery on site. 705-514-5000. Dapper Depot | Set your wardrobe apart for business or a night on the town. Suits, blazers, outerwear, shirts, ties. All the must have men’s accessories. 705-326-9900. Fashion Therapy | Casual elegance for women where 80% of clothing lines are Canadian. Women come to Fashion Therapy for a personal shopping experience. 705-259-9100. Fern Forest Garden Centre | This local greenhouse and garden centre has gift certificates available for the gardener on your list. Call 705-689-8230 or email fernforest@rogers.com. Home Hardware Washago | Fill up those Christmas stockings for the handyperson on your list. Massive inventory of gadgets and hardware items. Kitchenware, giftware, decorations. 705-689-2611.

Jax Bootery | Decades of experience shows in the selection of high quality boots, shoes and slippers for men and women. Check out his vintage shoes. 705-279-3668. Leon’s Orillia | Furniture, sleep sets, appliances, electronics, home décor. Everything you want for sprucing up your home or special gift giving. 705-326-3505. OTD Building Supplies | Everything you need for the handy person in your home. Huge selection of both hand and power tools, garden tools, generators and more. 705-329-1084. Richard’s Goldsmithing | Creative designs, custom and unique pieces of jewellery. Fabulous lab created and mined diamonds. Lifetime warranty on all original pieces. 705-327-1616. Simply Special Originals | Dressing up for a special occasion? Looking for quality business attire or for casual wear? Shop in comfort in this vintage village women’s fashion shop. 705-689-6603. Sunshine Carpet & Flooring | An extensive selection of floor coverings in a 10,000 sq. ft. showroom. Hardwood, laminate, ceramics, vinyl. Professional, personal service. 705-329-0202. The Vacuum Centre | If a central vac system is on your list, this is the region’s specialist. Excellent selection of canister or upright vacuums. 100’s of beautiful lamp shades. 705-326-5070 Washago Timber Mart | Visit their beautiful kitchen, bath, flooring, lighting and tile displays and get ready for the holiday season. Pellet stoves. 100’s of gift ideas. 705-689-2626.

Get into the Spirit of Christmas at the

Orillia Farmers’ Market

inside the Orillia Public Library, Downtown Orillia, Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

December 3, 10, 17, 24

This 40-vendor farmers’ market expands to include extra vendors specializing in seasonal items – creative gifts for all ages, stocking stuffers and decorations plus baking, chocolates, and gourmet foods.

Special Christmas Market

One day only: Wednesday, December 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market will be closed on December 31 for vendor vacation.

Like us on

www.OrilliaFarmersMarket.on.ca


19

Review of federal economic statement By Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton

On November 1st, the Trudeau government delivered their Fall Economic Statement. It revealed considerable deterioration in the government’s financial projections from those that were made in Budget 2016 last March. In response, the government has decided to increase the investments it will make in infrastructure from $120 billion over 10 years to $186 billion over the next 11 years. Unfortunately, much of the new funding is back-end loaded, with a majority of the funding coming after 2021. The slower Canadian economy means the federal government no longer expects to balance the budget during its term in office. The Economic Statement indicates that the next five years will result in an additional $31.8 billion in debt, on top of the $118.6 billion that were previously projected.

The new spending items from the Statement other levels of government to borrow include: money for infrastructure projects at the borrowing rate of the federal government. Infrastructure: As noted above, the government has Invest in Canada Hub: outlined an ambitious infrastructure The government is also making a program over the next 11 years. It will focus concerted effort to attract foreign on five main categories: Public Transit, Green investments, and this will include creating Infrastructure, Social Infrastructure, Getting an ‘Invest in Canada’ sales team to promote Canadian Products to Global Markets, and Canada to foreign investors and businesses Rural and Northern Communities. looking to expand their operations. Part of their efforts to attract foreign investment includes raising the threshold Canada Infrastructure Bank: The government will introduce legislation over which a review is triggered under the to create the Bank in Budget 2017, but they Investment Canada Act from $600 million did provide some general information on to $1 billion. how it will operate. The Bank will receive $15 billion in government funding and will The Statement also included a attempt to leverage up to $20 billion from commitment to implement a two-week private investors. The government funding standard processing time for visas and will be used to support projects that would work-permits with low-risk, high-skilled worker for companies that can demonstrate not be attractive to private investors. The idea behind the Bank is that it labour market benefits, such as increasing will both leverage private funding for infrastructure projects, and will also allow Continued on page 20

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20

Review of federal economic statement Continued from page 19 investments, knowledge transfer and Canadian job creation, and that are making large investments, relocating to Canada, establishing new production or expanding production, and creating new Canadian jobs. Additionally, they will introduce a new work permit exemption for shortduration work terms. The short-duration work permit exemption will apply for work terms of fewer than 30 days in a year—or for brief academic stays—and will be used to facilitate short-term, inter-company work exchanges, study exchanges, or the entrance of temporary expertise. You can review the full Fall Economic Statement at www.budget.gc.ca

The Army Navy & Air Force Veterans in Canada – Unit 400, has donated $7,000 to the Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation. $5,000 has been designated towards EMR and Equipment and $2,000 will go towards Pastoral Care as part of an ongoing commitment. Pictured from left are Nicole Kraftscik, Development Officer, Major Gifts, OSMH; Jack Dillard, President Army Navy Air Force, Unit 400; Don Mackenzie, Army Veteran, 27 years RC6; Lenard Thorn, Sergeant at Arms, Army Navy Air Force; and Reta Keelar, Veterans Liaison, Army Navy Air Force.

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21

A forgotten genius By Mark Bisset We tell ourselves stories about the world. There are stories about all sorts of things, and they guide our actions, for good and ill. Right now in the United States, a particular narrative has taken hold to power Donald Trump to the White House. Twenty years ago, the writers for the animated comedy The Simpsons picked Trump as a future President to fuel a time-travel episode. They picked him because they couldn’t think of anyone more absurd in that role. Today he is picking his staff to help him run the most powerful country on earth and he believes climate change is a hoax. Stories matter. Western civilization told itself a story of nature that placed humans at the centre, lords over every living creature on earth. It was all ours to use. No less a source than the Holy Bible hammered that narrative home. Some, like Trump, are still hammering. But Alexander Von Humboldt introduced a new story. I’d like to pretend that I knew about him all along, but despite having been a life-long environmentalist, I only just met the man. I was introduced to him through the outstanding book, The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf. Not knowing about Humboldt is not uncommon, it appears. The most famous scientist on earth in an era before they coined the term “scientist”, Humboldt has pretty much disappeared from the public consciousness. But he was a guiding star for Charles Darwin; he helped Henry David Thoreau forge his journals into Walden; he provided the shoulders upon which scientists, naturalists, revolutionaries and reformers stood. Even Jules Verne’s fictional Captain Nemo had Humboldt’s books on the shelves of the Nautilus. Humboldt gave us the story that made The Couchiching Conservancy possible, along with national and provincial park systems, conservation authorities and other human endeavours established to protect wild spaces. An intellectual whirlwind, he saw nature as it had never been seen before -- as a global whole. He articulated with great clarity the interconnection of all species and systems. He saw the “perpetual interrelationship” between winds, ocean currents, vegetation and geological features. He connected the dots. Well over a century before the idea of human-induced climate change began to penetrate the public consciousness, Humboldt observed the impact human activity was having on ecosystems, and he foresaw the consequences. “Humboldt had said that the natural world was linked to the ‘political and moral history of humanity’, from imperial ambitions that exploited colonial crops to the migration of plants along the paths of ancient civilizations,” Wulf writes in this outstanding book. “Greed shaped societies and nature.” More than 160 years after Humboldt’s death, that story is still struggling to gain ground, and time is increasingly against us. Mark Bisset is the executive director of The Couchiching Conservancy, a non-profit land trust dedicated to protecting natural spaces for future generations. For more information on the Conservancy, go to www.couchichingconserv.ca

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22

Worry free fire safety for the holidays By Dianne Kyle, Fire Prevention Officer, Severn Township Have you planned for fire safety for the holidays? The first item on your list should be home fire escape planning. With overnight visitors, it is important that you have a home fire escape plan. Let your visitors know how to get out and where to meet. Reviewing the plan with your own family will enable them to assist the visitors if necessary. Keep exit paths clear of snow. Next, make sure your smoke alarms and your carbon monoxide alarms are working. Clean them by lightly vacuuming around the vents which are around the side of the alarm. This removes any dust particles from the sensors inside the alarm that may have built up over time, making the alarm less effective. Test the alarms to ensure

they work. Make sure Christmas decorations are safe to use by checking the cords looking for frayed or damaged areas. My suggestion is to use LED lights. The cost is minimal and they last longer using less hydro. Try to eliminate the use extension cords by utilizing surge protected power bars ensuring all items have been labelled by a recognized testing laboratory. Candles should be in a secure holder and remember to extinguish it before leaving the room or going to bed. I highly recommend the flameless candles which have a timer and look amazingly real. Christmas tree fires can be devastating. If you are using a real tree, water it often and stand it at least three feet away from any

heat source such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or table lights. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit. It is important to get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles because driedout trees are a fire danger. Last but not least, give a fire-safe Christmas to someone you love by buying them a smoke alarm or a carbon monoxide alarm. On behalf of Severn Fire & Emergency Services I would like to wish everyone a safe holiday and the very best of the season. If you have any questions about a fire safety product or fire safety around the home, please call the Fire Prevention Division at 705-325-9131, ext. 248.

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23

Support for kids with diabetes By Sandra Crawford, Past President At the Monday, November 14th, 2016 meeting, the Washago & District Lions Club members greeted special guest Governor Len Day of the Barrie South Lions Club. He was accompanied by his son, Lion Zak Day. At this meeting we also welcomed Aaron Rogers, son of James Rogers, to his first Lions meeting. Aaron is soon to become a member of our club. In celebration and recognition of the Lions Club worldwide 100th anniversary in 2017, Governor Day came to share his wish to make Camp Huronia his special project. This camp is where children with diabetes attend. Attending the camp gives these special kids the opportunity to have fun together while learning how to cope with their diabetes. To help with this special project, the Washago Lions presented the governor with a donation. It was a great evening enjoyed by all.

A busy season By Lioness Estelle Ness

Our Xmas Bazaar is a highlight of our year. The November bazaar included a unique draw on a ‘certificate tree’, sponsored by great corporate citizens, from both the Orillia and Washago area. As of The Villager deadline, it looks like our tree will probably exceed a value $500.00. Proceeds from this draw are given to various groups to be used at Christmas to help those less fortunate. At busy times like this, the Washago Lioness begin to ask where have all the volunteers gone? We are all getting on in age and each and every one of us has an ailment or two. When November rolls around we seem to have more to do and less hands to make light of the work. If you can offer some help during the year, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Club membership is not necessary. In spite of few volunteers, we also go out to help other organizations raise funds for Washago Lion, President Jim Rice presents Xmas. This year you will find us at Walmart Governor Len Day with a donation for Camp ringing the bells for the Salvation Army. Huronia, a special camp for children living We wish you and yours a happy holiday with diabetes. season.


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December 2 – January 29 OMAH’s ‘This is Tomorrow’ annual high school art exhibition. A collaboration of across the region art by high school students. Details at orilliamuseum.org or call 705326-2159. December 3 Coldwater Candlelight Parade, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. A fun evening to celebrate the season. Children carry candles and light the way for Santa. 4-5 p.m. free skate at the arena. 5:30 p.m. Santa Claus and candlelight parade. Meet Santa at the Mill at 6:00 p.m., treasure hunt, cookie decorating. December 3/10/17 Fairgrounds Christmas Markets, 70 vendors will be on hand with excellent choices for gift giving and for your own table. 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ODAS Park, 4500 Fairgrounds Rd., fairgroundsfarmersmarket.ca, 1-877-216-4664. December 3/10/17 Horse & Wagon rides in Downtown Orillia. Shop and take in historic

downtown Orillia on a wonderfully festive wagon ride. Wagon stops at major intersections. 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. December 4 Christmas at Wye Marsh. Celebrate the gifts of nature. Naturalist craft table, make your own pine cone bird feeder, birds of prey show, scenic trails, trumpeter swan viewing. Bannock roasting 10-11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. Call 705-526-7809 or visit wyemarsh.com. December 5 Chicken Pot Pie Lunch, including beverage and dessert. Prepared by the Severn Bridge Women’s Institute. 12 Noon. $8. Severn Bridge Community Hall, 1035 Southwood Rd. Severn Bridge. For information call Fern at 705-687-4462. December 9 Merchant Madness in Coldwater Village, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Shops will be open and offer super deals. December 10 “Soup with Santa”, Heritage United Church in Washago. $5/ adult includes pot luck lunch with

beverage and desert; $5/child includes pot luck lunch and a sameday photo with Santa. For more information call 705-329-1352. 10:00 – 1:30 December 17 Christmas Party!! Children 0-13 are welcome to attend. Dress in your best red and green. See if you can impress the Grinch! Games, sing songs, read a story and make a craft. Registration required. Ramara Township Public Library, 5482 Highway 12 South, 705-325-5776. December 18 Free Holiday Skate! From 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. at Rotary Place, University Ave., Orillia. Donations of new, unwrapped toys gratefully accepted. Free skate sponsored by Leah C. Cavanaugh, sales representative, Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty Ltd., Brokerage, Orillia. December 20 Passport to Nature: Kids Bird Count. Discover the great outdoors though the Couchiching Conservancy. Make this your new family Christmas

tradition. Details for this free event, including time and registration at couchichingconserv.ca. December 31 Coldwater, New Year’s Fireworks. The Coldwater Lions Club is once again hosting this free event at the Coldwater Community Centre. Bring your family and friends out for a free family skate, 6:30-9:30 p.m. followed by the fireworks. December 31 Orillia celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017. Kick off the celebrations with a free family event from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. with skating, face painting, rock climbing and crafts. Carnival games and strolling magic. West Orillia Complex, 100 University Ave. Details at orillia.ca or call 705-3254530. December 31 ODAS Park Annual New Year’s Eve dance featuring the Dr. Krane Band. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Midnight buffet. $30 per person. Call 705325-0353 or visit odaspark.com.

Free Annual

Sunday, December 18th 2-3:30 pm at Rotary Place Donations of NEW UNWRAPPED TOYS gratefully accepted

All toys will be distributed through the Orillia Salvation Army.

Free

colate!

Hot Cho

Sponsored by

LEAH C. CAVANAUGH Sales Representative

Century 21 B. J. Roth Realty Ltd., Brokerage*

*Independently Owned and Operated

Leah C. Cavanaugh Sales Representative

705-325-1366 1-800-498-8775

B.J. Roth Realty Ltd., Brokerage* *Independently Owned and Operated

www.century21.ca/leah.cavanaugh leah.cavanaugh@century21.ca


Wonderful selection of

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The Villager 2016 December