Friday, Nov. 27th - The holidays will look a little different this year due to COVID-19. To support Ontarians as they begin to safely plan their Christmas season, the Ontario government, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and input from the Public Health Measures Table, is providing preliminary guidance on how to safely celebrate this year.
Details were provided today by Ontario's Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.
"I know there are many people looking forward to their traditional family celebrations at this time of year, but to keep your loved ones safe, traditions will have to be adjusted," said Premier Ford. "We're asking everyone to please stick to your own household when celebrating. Avoid big holiday parties or large family dinners to help us stop the spread of this deadly virus. By following this public health advice, we can all have a safe and fun holiday season."
Local MPP, Jim McDonell urges everyone from S~D&SG riding to follow the guidelines: "No matter where you live in the province, the safest way to spend the holidays this year is by only celebrating in person with the people you live with and celebrating virtually with everyone else. If you live alone, consider exclusively celebrating with one additional household as a safe way to spend the holidays."
Over the past week or so we've ended up with some loose hockey photos from a variety of teams loitering on our desktop and in several other folders. We've just posted them, have a look, capture what you like for keepsakes . . .
We are long time admirer’s of a great plate of chicken. In an ever-growing wide variety of recipes. We have gone so far as to order chicken roasted over an open, hearth flame at the famed La Tupina while in Bordeaux; we always, always order the General Tao chicken at Ben Ben’s in Ottawa; one of our favourite ‘left-over’ meals is with a generous number of slices of chicken on quality bread, crisp iceberg lettuce, s&p, a slathering of Hellman’s mayo sided by left over, pan fried potatoes. Chicken quarters braised in milk and cream while touring through Champagne-Ardenne in France was superb. And home roasted, thyme and lemon stuffed chicken is a regular at our table.
Recently we have been cooking with local farm-sourced products. Several area producers have great chickens. And all are so much more flavourful than the corn fed, life-long cage captive, too-much-fat bearing, mass produced birds available in grocery stores.
In our search to sample great tasting farm-sourced chicken we just may have hit the mother-lode. Right next door.
Following posts on this web page concerning this most recent search, prepare and consume adventure, we received several emails and face-to-face suggestions that we should try so-and-so’s chickens. All were described as excellent.
One of those suggestions came from Ellen Biemond, who along with husband Josh owns Upper Canada Creamery at 11575 Waddell Rd, Iroquois, ON. The Biemonds creamery is a relatively new operation although the family has been farming and producing milk, meat birds, cheese, eggs, and so on for many years. Pieter and Marie (the senior) Biemonds sold the family operation to their children about five years past, and those children have expanded both agricultural operations and dairy product lines. So it was there we went for chicken.
Ellen Biemond happened to be minding the store on the day we visited and while handing over two hefty 7-pound, recently dressed creatures she informed us that we would have to speak to her father-in-law for chicken raising information.
“He and Marie raise the chickens and they know all about them.”
On returning home we called the senior Biemonds.
“First let me say I make about 10-cents an hour raising meat birds,” announced Pieter Biemond when we asked him for the particulars on his poultry choice, then more seriously added, “They are just white meat birds we buy as chicks at the local co-op in Brinston.” Pieter says they are, in fact, the same birds that the big producers raise. But the difference is in “how” they are raised.
“We operate an open door policy with the chickens,” Pieter says on a morning when everyone in the area awoke to a 5-inch blanket of newly fallen snow.
“When I went out this morning and opened the door, the chickens all looked out and said no thanks boss, we’re staying inside today!” Biemond laughs, like an agriculture comedian. His kids raise their eye brows on hearing his jokes.
Pieter says raising free range chickens at his location most importantly means allowing them out to peck bugs, worms, scraps and grass.
“Grass has the highest amount of nutrients of all vegetations,” Biemond says, pointing out that a comparative nutrient count between grass and corn (reportedly fed to the caged meat chickens) is 80 nutrients in grass versus 12 in corn.
“And grass is high in Omega 3’s (fatty acids that can reduce the risk heart disease and cancers) and low in Omega 6’s (which produce high blood pressure and cholesteral),” he points out.
Biemond says the truly free-range birds exercise constantly, enjoy sunshine, are healthier and develop more meat and muscle tissue in a non-stressed environment. He says the mass-produced birds get no sunshine or grass. That they can be heavier than free range birds does little to enhance flavour or tenderness.
We thanked Pieter Biemond for his explanations and turned to the preparation of dinner. We had chosen a recipe from one of Saveur’s hard-cover collections, (the Normandy region of France), ‘Chicken with Calvados and Cream’. We changed up the ‘poussins’ for one 7-pound chicken and we were more than generous with the onions, using the Cipollini variety and pearl onions. And we created a larger portion of sauce more comparative with the quantity of the chicken meat.
We can report the resulting dish produced unquestionably the best chicken we have ever tasted. Anywhere, any time.
The meat was beautifully flavoured as the prepared dish, the unbelievably juicy breast meat was perfect in sliced chicken sandwiches, and the left-overs of the original preparation reheated and tasted just as good as they did the first time around. Served with a Louis Jadot 2018 Bourgogne Chardonnay, it was absolutely delicious. All was followed with a slice of Almond and caramelized Pear cake with a dollop of whipped cream.
When we talked to Pieter Biemond again and reported our opinion as to just how good his chicken tastes, he was quick to report, “Well that’s the best news I’ve heard this week. I was just getting ready to quit raising them, but now that there’s an opportunity to maybe get my return up around 20-cents and hour, I think I’m going to stick with it!”
Note: Upper Canada Creamery offers numerous dairy products including a “cream-topped” milk, cheeses and yogurt. They offer chicken, beef, and most recently, just in time for Christmas, they have brought an all new Egg Nog product to their shelves. During the summer months the outlet adds a variety of frozen yogurts to their line.
Tuesday, Nov. 24th - South Dundas' U-11 Lions Tier 2 squads hit the ice for a friendly scrimmage and the end to end action kept the handful of parents on the edge of their seats for more than an hour. Players raced up and down the ice, goaltenders stretched and flopped, stopped and almost stopped shot after shot. And in the end some 28 reddened faces exited the ice sporting huge, satisfied smiles. They had enjoyed a great hour of good fun . . . - More photos can be found here . . .
In Ontario's Eastern Counties, more than 11.5 per cent of the population is living with diabetes. At Winchester District Memorial Hospital, the Diabetes Education Team is working to help local residents manage this chronic condition – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A key part of that care is patient education.
“This pandemic has presented some new challenges for our team to best serve people living with diabetes in the area. Diabetes doesn’t go away in a pandemic. For some people, the resulting changes in lifestyle has made it more difficult to live with diabetes,” notes Deirdre Cooke, Registered Dietitian and founder of the WDMH program.
The WDMH program is embracing technology to meet patient needs. Patients are being reached through phone calls or virtual visits through the Ontario Telemedicine or Zoom. The team has just completed a patient survey of past patients at the WDMH program.
“The results are encouraging and show that 82.6 % of people who responded were interested to some degree in attending virtual classes,” adds Deirdre.
WDMH’s Diabetes Education Program was created in 1998 and is free of charge. The team includes a registered nurse, two registered dietitians, and an administrative clerk. An endocrinologist is on site three times a month. The program provides education to people living with both type 2 and type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, as well as people on insulin pumps or diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
Having pre-diabetes, newly diagnosed with diabetes, or living with diabetes for years, WDMH has an education program that will fit everyone's needs. Physician referrals are not required to participate in the program. Questions, please call 613-774-2420, ext. 6765 or email email@example.com
Diabetes Awareness Month is a time when communities across Canada team up to bring awareness, and urge action to tackle the diabetes epidemic. Today, one in three Canadians has diabetes or prediabetes, and those at age 20 now face a 50 per cent chance of developing the disease.
Saturday, Nov. 21st - Damon Julien 9above) snapped a blistering wrist shot into the Team NHL net, beating goaltender Owen Conlin and leading his Team Black to victory in the second of a series of U13 South Dundas Minor Hockey tournaments. The coaching staffs of the age group are working hard to keep the fun in the (non) season games and the players are responding with some great hockey. In particular, the goaltending in all of the games was spectacular, and there appears to be strong indication that some of these puck stoppers will be noticed in the coming months. The semi-final and final games on Saturday had to be settled with shootouts and Julien settled the tournament with his effort . . .
Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry - On Saturday, Nov. 14th, members of the SD&G OPP Auxiliary Unit held their annual "Stuff the cruiser with Food Drive" for the Local Food Share/Banks. The SD&G Auxiliary unit was excited to be part of another generous day in the Communities of SD&G as they pulled together to help people in need. From all the members of the OPP Auxiliary Unit and the SD&G OPP, we thank everyone as the Food Drive was a huge success.
Dundas: Community Food Share . . .
Foodland - Winchester
Laura's Valu-Mart - Morrisburg
Mike Dean's - Chesterville
Monetary Donations = $2139.88
Food Items Collected =4028 lbs
Glengarry: Alexandria, Saint Vincent de Paul . . .
Chartrand Your Independant Grocer - Alexandria
Monetary Donations = $ 3013.56
Food Items Collected = 695 lbs
Stormont: Ingleside - Agape Centre . . .
Foodland - Inglesdie
Monetary Donations = $996.65
Food Items Collected = 1783 lbs
Total Monetary Donations
Total Food Items
Approx. 6506 lbs
Tuesday, Nov. 24th - The Ontario government is announcing the creation of the Ministers' COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, building on the steps the government has been taking to prepare for the delivery of a vaccine. The task force will advise the province's development and implementation of an immunization program, including the ethical, timely and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario.
Rick Hillier, former Chief of Defence Staff for the Canadian Forces and Commander of the NATO-led forces during the War in Afghanistan, has been named Chair of this new task force, leading the largest vaccine rollout in a generation. His extensive leadership experience in providing governance, strategic and public policy advice, and leading multiple national and international endeavours will help lead Ontario in the successful implementation of the COVID-19 immunization program.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
"The fact that we are setting up this task force is a sign that we are making progress in the fight against COVID-19," said Premier Ford. "We still have a long way to go, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That's why I have asked General Hillier to lead this effort, because we need the best of the best for the monumental task at hand. I am confident he will bring the same disciplined leadership and military precision needed to execute one of the largest logistical undertakings our province has ever faced."
The COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force members will include cross-government and external representation with diverse expertise in operations and logistics, federal-provincial relations, health and clinical domains, public health and immunization, ethics, and information technology and data. The task force will provide advice and recommendations on the timely and efficient execution of Ontario's COVID-19 immunization program. It will ensure the province can immunize people as quickly and safely as possible, as the various vaccines in development become available. The task force will advise on:
• Delivery, storage and distribution of the vaccines;
• Support for health care system partners to deliver a phased vaccination program that initially prioritizes vulnerable populations and follows with mass immunization;
• Clinical guidance on vaccine administration and surveillance of vaccine uptake;
• Data,reporting, and technology to provide timely, relevant and accurate information to clinicians conducting vaccine administration, decision-makers, and the public; and
• Implementation of a broad and sustained public education and community outreach effort to encourage vaccination.
Other members of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force will be announced in the coming days.
"We are on the verge of a critical new phase in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, and General Hillier's track record of leadership and compassion makes him the right person to lead our task force," said Minister Elliott. "In the meantime, it's important to keep in mind that a vaccine is still months away, so I'm urging everyone to continue following public health advice in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe."
The province is planning the early rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine program with vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna. Planning is already underway with federal and provincial partners to prepare for the receipt and rollout of the vaccine. Confirmed allocations of the number of doses and schedules for delivery to Ontario is expected shortly. The government will provide updates as more details are available.
"Having always believed that 'duty calls', the safe, secure and successful delivery of COVID-19 vaccines is a critical mission I'm honoured to accept for the people of Ontario," said General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the province's COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. "Having to plan with so much uncertainty, including not yet knowing the full extent of what vaccines will be approved and when, this will be no easy task. However, this task force will bring to bear an unprecedented depth and breadth of experience as we plan for the end of this pandemic."
"Our government continues to take all measures necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 while planning for the availability of a safe and effective vaccine once it is ready," said Solicitor General Jones. "This task force will help chart a vital path forward in the development of an immunization plan that protects communities and keeps Ontarians safe."
As promises of a major weather change highlight the digital highways of interest around Eastern Ontario
we thought the time for posting this item couldn't be better. Our friend Jim Jordan, Morrisburg’s historian extraordinaire, dropped these interesting works off several weeks ago, and we've been awaiting the right time of the season to post them.
The painting above is a work by C. Walsh who was commissioned by Mr. Jordan to produce the piece. The origins of the photograph used as a guide (below) are unknown, but the photographer’s location when they snapped the picture is from the rink ice-surface on Mariatown Bay (pre 1957) in front of what is known today as Arlor Haven’s summer camping park.
The ice surface in those days was actually confined within the Williamsburg Canals, where constant water levels were somewhat protected from fluctuation, the wind and weather, making flat ice perfectly possible. The home and summer cottages in the background belonged to a Mr. and Mrs. Elgar and Ella May Dillabough, parents of Denzil and Pat (O’Shaughnessy) Dillabough and Denzil's sister Pauline (Hunter), and grand parents of Deanna (Dillabough) Bouchard, Cameron and Phillip Dillabough. Elgar Dillabough was employed at CN, says grandson Phillip, while Grandma Ella May took care of the home business. All of the buildings were destroyed through the development of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
"Today the idea of keeping an ice surface on the St. Lawrence River around this location would be an impossible task to accomplish," Jim Jordan says, adding, "With the constantly shifting water levels, the disappearance of the south wall of the canal and the abundant flow of drainage run-off it's just impossible."
From the annual freeze-up through to the ice melts in the spring Mariatown Bay had a rink maintained by the players and parents
of the day. When the ice surface was blanketed with a particularly heavy snow fall, a nearby farmer, John Zeron, would harness his horse team and attend the clearing of
Thursday, Nov. 26th - "Impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death and injury on Ontario's roads, and these dangers remain a threat to our communities as we continue to face COVID-19 this holiday season. We all want a safe and happy holiday season, and it is important to remind our friends and family to plan ahead and make alternative arrangements to get home safely. The decision to get behind the wheel impaired can be a matter of life and death." points out Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
Between robust mandatory alcohol screening laws, vigilant citizens and dedicated officers, the Ontario Provincial Police reminds drivers they'll have plenty to worry about if they choose to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs over the holidays.
The OPP's Festive R.I.D.E. campaign kicks off this week and runs until January 3, 2021.
With more than 21,800 calls to the OPP to report suspected impaired drivers so far this year (2020), the OPP is praising these proactive citizens for doing their part to help keep these dangerous drivers off our roads. Close to 3,300 such calls were placed during the 2019/20 Festive R.I.D.E. campaign and reflect the 'zero tolerance' attitude the OPP encourages everyone to adopt every day.
Motorists are reminded that officers regularly conduct Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS) with drivers who are lawfully pulled over and they will be ramping up this investigative measure, including at R.I.D.E. stops, throughout the campaign.
Now heading into its third year, under the MAS law, an officer with an approved alcohol screening device can demand a breath sample from any driver without having reasonable suspicion that they have alcohol in their body.
Drug screening equipment that detects cannabis (and cocaine) in a driver's saliva is another important resource officers have at their disposal. These devices are used to enforce the provincial "zero tolerance" sanctions that apply to young, novice and commercial drivers who are suspected of having the presence of drugs in their body.
Under impaired driving laws, the OPP can also demand that a driver submit to a Standardized Field Sobriety Test and a Drug Recognition Expert Evaluation. SFST-trained officers and DREs have the expertise to detect impairment by alcohol, drugs or both in a driver.
"As Ontarians celebrate this physically distanced holiday season, an important part of staying safe is ensuring you have a solid plan that prevents you and your family from driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The OPP encourages citizens to continue reporting impaired drivers to police. Combined with the dedication of our frontline officers, our collective efforts can significantly help keep you and your loved ones safe on our roads during the holidays and throughout the year." says Thomas Carrique, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner
Drivers and passengers are reminded to adhere to strictly-enforced laws relating to the https://www.ontario.ca/page/cannabis-and-driving#section-4 in a motor vehicle.
Forty two (42) people have died on OPP-patrolled roads so far this year (2020) in collisions that involved an alcohol/drug-impaired driver. OPP officers conducted more than 8,800 R.I.D.E. stops, charging 605 motorists with impaired driving during the 2019/20 Festive R.I.D.E. campaign. The OPP Festive RIDE Campaign runs from November 26, 2020 to January 3, 2021.
Have a look for yourself: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/impaired-driving.shtml#penalties
There are many locations to capture the big boats passing our waterfront every day. We are fortunate to see them go by our front yard, to shoot from the many public locations along Lakeshore Drive and the Iroquois Lock. We are constantly watching, waiting the right time of day and the right lighting. And we've shot from this location above many, many times. But this one above, we think, we finally got it right. The ship is the RF Stella, a 9-year-old oil/chemical tanker sailing under the flag of Malta. She was docked in Hamilton, ON, at the time of this posting . . .
Monday, Nov. 23rd - Here's a shout-out to the Morrisburg and District Lions Club's Linda Robinson, who was at the exit door for the end of every team minor hockey practice on Saturday, Nov. 21st. Linda was handing out refreshments to each and every player on each and every team. No charge!! This is the ultimate example of community spirit. Individuals and organizations jumping in to make an effort, all to have the continued enjoyment of the arena season experienced by as many of the community youth and future volunteers as is possible.
A sincere vote of support to the Morrisburg and District Lions, and to Linda in particular. A great move, and more importantly, a smart, smart community move.
Tuesday, Nov. 24th - Great news! Everyone's favourite magical winter event returns for the 2020 season at Upper Canada Village. Every winter, this historic site is transformed into an enchanted winter wonderland, with over one million coloured Christmas lights. This year, Alight at Night is getting ready to captivate guests, officially opening on Friday, Nov. 27th, and will operate on select nights until Saturday, Jan. 2nd, 2021.
While the holiday season will look different this year, Upper Canada Village is continuing its annual tradition with the assistance of public health to ensure safety is a priority. Alight at Night tickets will be pre-booked and time-specific so that guests can enjoy a more private experience while maintaining physical distancing protocols.
New this year! Our Victorian Saint Nick will be in his winter workshop preparing for Christmas as he greets guests and hears their holiday wishes from afar; a great photo opportunity for the whole family. To continue the holiday spirit, guests will also get to see Santa in his relaxed mode from December 26th onwards – a sight not to be missed as even his holiday travel plans have been postponed.
As one of Ontario’s largest outdoor light festival that is full of excitement, cheer, and classic family fun, this year brings required changes to Alight at Night. These include curtailing the life-size toy train rides, visits to the bakery, horse-drawn wagon rides, and old-fashioned carol singing at Christ Church. In their place, several returning and new activities will be featured including the popular Sound and Light Show at Crysler Hall, enhanced visual storytelling illuminations displayed at the Village Cheese Factory and at Christ Church, along with holiday tunes.
Alight at Night opens Friday, Nov. 27th, running through to Saturday, Jan. 2nd, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Initially, Nov. 22nd to Dec. 13th, the Christmas showcase runs Thursdays to Sundays. As of Thursday, Dec. 17th through Saturday, Jan. 2nd Alight at Night will be open seven days a week, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Tickets go on sale in a staggered approach starting November 23rd and will be available exclusively online at www.AlightatNight.ca.
Wednesday, Nov. 18th - Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, was on hand with other dignitaries and stakeholders to break ground and to kick-off the construction of a redevelopment project at Woodland Villa.
The Ministry of Long-Term Care is providing funding to increase the number of long-term beds by 17-units at Woodland Villa, which means an increased footprint of 32,800 square feet, near doubling the floor space.
“The Ontario government is following through with its commitment to build 15,000 new long-term beds and redevelop 15,000 existing beds over five years,” MPP McDonell said. “I am happy to see that a deserving community like South Stormont is getting the needed support to ensure the township can offer high-quality care to residents close to home.”
Newer homes will also offer wider hallways, smaller resident home areas, more storage and quieter, more home-like dining and lounge spaces. Privacy for residents will be improved by eliminating three- and four-bed wards.
“We are very excited to be moving forward with expanding OMNI Health Care – Woodland Villa,” said Woodland Villa administrator Janna Sabourin. “Many residents and staff have been at Woodland Villa for a number of years and we are looking forward to being a part of the expansion process and even more thrilled to see the final product.”
The new redevelopment at Woodland Villa follows other projects in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry: Parisien Manor in Cornwall is building a new facility to add 95 beds, scheduled to finish in 2022, Heartwood in Cornwall is adding 10 beds and upgrading 118 spaces, and Dundas Manor in Winchester is increasing by 30 beds and is redeveloping the existing 98 beds.
“Our riding prides itself as a seniors-friendly place, where these facilities will offer state-of-the-art care,” MPP McDonell said.
As these projects develop, the province is increasing funding to employ additional support staff in long-term care homes.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18th the Upper Canada District School Board signed a lease agreement with the Kemptville Campus Education and Community Centre. The agreement is an important foundational step towards establishing the Level 1 Commercial Vehicle Apprenticeship Program, The Upper Canada District School Board Chair, John McAllister (seated, left), signs a lease agreement with North Grenville Mayor Nancy Peckford. Supporting the signing are UCDSB Superintendent of Schools Susan Rutters, UCDSB Director of Education Stephen Sliwa, North Grenville Project Manager Patricia Rémillard, and TR Leger Principal Sandy McInnes. - See details here . . .
A transport full of new Fords is parked on the right side of Morrisburg's Main Street in what appears to be 1955 0r '56 in the above photo. The home at the right of the vehicle transport carrier was approximately where the entrance to the Morrisburg dock is today. Unfortunately, we ran into a problem completing the coloring of this black and white photo. There is a large, tightly grouped series of what appear to be scratches to the left of the Pladium sign which has deleted the image. We can't make out what was originally in the photo there.
Stay posted, we'll have more of them . . .
Ever wonder what Morrisburg's, pre-St. Lawrence Seaway, Main Street really looked like? Or the appearance of many of the villages nestled along the north bank of the St. Lawrence River in the early 1950's. This is how we remember it. We walked the sidewalks many times through this stretch, on the way from Augusta Street to Lock Street, and we knew most of the store owners/business operators of the day. Where the nickel pop machines were, or where you might pilfer a hand out for an errand accomplished. - See more here . . .