Province expanding closed-circuit watch . . .

$6 million investment will give Police more tools to fight crime . . .

Monday, Aug. 10th - The Ontario government is looking to partner with police services across the province to expand the coverage of closed-circuit television systems, a key tool in the fight against guns and gangs and other criminal activity. 

The investment of $6 million over three years will be made available through the Ontario CCTV Grant, a new program designed to further support police services in their efforts to enhance public safety and hold offenders accountable as part of Ontario's Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy. 

         "In light of recent episodes of violence, it's absolutely critical that we give our police the tools and resources they need to keep people safe and ensure businesses and communities can recover from the impacts of COVID-19 without fear of crime," Premier Ford said, adding,  "This investment will help keep our streets safe, bring violent criminals to justice, and ensure people can rebuild their lives in peace." 

         Starting today, all municipal and First Nations police services, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police, will be able to apply for funding for the first year of the CCTV Grant cycle. 

         "Surveillance systems are an important part of our partnership with police services to combat gun and gang violence. We are confident this investment will help municipalities expand their CCTV capacity and ramp up the local fight against crime," pointed out Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "Criminals are always finding new ways of covering their tracks, but our government is determined to ensure municipalities and police services have the tools and resources they need to detect criminal activity and keep Ontarians safe." 

         The grant builds on the province's approximate $106 million investment to combat gun and gang violence, with the support of the federal government, through Ontario's Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy. The program also complements the $14 million the province invested last December through the provincial priorities stream of the new Community Safety and Policing Grant, which addresses provincewide issues that include gun and gang violence, sexual violence and harassment, and human trafficking. 

         “The program will help with the purchase of CCTV cameras, associated supplies and software as well as installation costs,” said MPP Jim McDonell, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. 


Celebrating birthday worthy flavours . . .

Thomas Keller's award winning cookbook . . .
Thomas Keller's award winning cookbook . . .

The single practice that has remained a constant in our lives over many years is the celebration of birthdays in our home. The annual occasions are to this day highlighted by a birthday meal, and the ingredients are the choice of the person celebrating their birthday.

        When the boys were young they chose steak and lobster every year. And until they started investigating eateries on their own, their birthday choice never did change.

        To our own good fortune, we enjoyed the opportunity to travel through our lives and in doing so we not only experienced interesting cultures, but through each we sampled and experienced flavours and techniques we attempt to practice in our home today. 

        We've been playing in the kitchen longer than we can remember. And we've learned to love creating good dishes. Deeply satisfying flavours that warm a soul. And with the help of a number of folks who have sat at our table over the years, we've built a wonderful collection in a cookbook or two, some becoming well used reference guides, dog-eared and sauce stained, proving their value.

        About 20 years ago, (it's actually 19 years at Christmas), a young lady we had befriended on moving to Victoria was one of several young guests attending dinner at our home on Christmas day. Included were Sonja and I, Sarah )the young lady),  a couple from Winnipeg, Nic and Kurt, young man from Lloydminster, Paul, a turkey and a ham and all the Christmas fixings. None of us were from, as they say, "the Island." But Sarah was at least from BC so it brought a sense of familiarity.

        Sarah had brought along a wonderful cookbook she presented to us that Christmas and I clearly recall leafing through it, thinking the workings of this chef, Thomas Keller, appeared magical in the accompanying photos, and indeed unbelievably time-consuming. Keller of course is the owner of The French Laundry, the restaurant the New York Times claims is the "most exciting place to dine in the United States." The cookbook shares the same name as the restaurant and unlike many cookbooks, this one is actually a great read.

        It was decided shortly after receiving this book that it would be perfect as a reference guide and that way it would own a place among the cookbooks in our active collection (and hopefully that would make Sarah happy). In fact, today, two more Keller publications are regularly used in our home.

        All of that was until last week. Sonja was celebrating a birthday, I happened to be leafing through Sarah's long-ago Christmas gift, and it was decided we should attempt a few of the recipes served at Napa Valley's Michelin Star winning eatery. And we were off!

We started by organizing a list of ingredients that soon demanded a trip(s) to Ottawa, calls to friends who enjoy good food seeking addresses for purveyors of more exotic products, a drive to Plantagenet, a last minute find of Black Figs right here in South Dundas, Parmigiano-Reggiano and anchovies at Ottawa's Nicastros, foie gras from Mariposa Farm in Plantaganet, lobsters from the Fish Market and more.

       And on Sunday afternoon the birthday girl opened her celebratory dinner with the French Laundry's take on a Caesar Salad. Of course if one is going to mimic a dish as popular as a Caesar Salad one must adopt a fitting name. And Keller did. His salad is titled Parmigiano-Reggiano Custards with Romaine Lettuce, Anchovy Dressing and Parmesan Crisps.

       This dish requires a pool of the anchovy dressing in the centre of the plate, placing a crouton in the pool we topped it with a 2-inch by half-inch thick round of Parmigiano-Reggiano custard, then placed the very lightly dresses ribbons of "only the tiny center leaves" of the Romain lettuce. Accompanied by a flute of crisp, very clean white wine, the choice was delicious beyond imagination.

        For the main, Sonja chose a Five Spiced Roasted Maine Lobster with Port-Poached Figs and Sautéed Moulard Duck Foie Gras. We poached 10 figs in a good port for a few hours, then puréed six of them along with the poaching liquid, some finely ground coffee and shavings of good quality, bitter-sweet chocolate to create a silky sauce.  So smooth and silky in fact that we opened a diner wine and sampled this sauce with it just to make sure we weren't dreaming.

 

        Again we carefully arranged a pool of sauce on the plate, placed a disc-shaped, squashed fig at it's centre, added , and a butter roasted lobster tail and a single claw over the fig and completed the dish with a slice of foie gras. Remarkable all the way through. From the presentation to the finish with a near uncontrollable desire to lick the plate, we can honestly say we've tasted a very few dishes that would top this one.

        To close, chocolate is not only a girl's best friend, it's a constant choice for this birthday girl. And what could be a better closer than authentic Pots au Chocolate topped with fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate, and decorated with a few fresh raspberries. 

        And a happy birthday toast with a snifter of 30-year old Armanac. Happy Birthday Sweetness . . .


Ford Gov't adds support for services to children’s needs, stages of development . . .

Wednesday, Aug 5th - Ontario is providing families in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) with services to support their child's ongoing learning and development. Foundational family services such as family and peer mentoring, caregiver workshops and coaching will be tailored to the unique regional and cultural needs in different communities. These services will build on existing virtual and remote options introduced during the COVID-19 outbreak. The first phase of foundational family services is part of the ongoing implementation of the new needs-based, sustainable and family-centred OAP.

        "Feedback received through public consultations and the OAP Advisory Panel highlighted the importance of having ongoing capacity-building supports available to families," said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. "That's why family supports that put children at the centre of care are a key element of our new needs-based Ontario Autism Program. We know having virtual services as an option during this challenging time has become critical to families and service providers."

        “It is imperative Ontario gets this right and continues to support children and youth during the transition,” urged Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “The end result will be a program that will see more children receiving support than ever before in Ontario.”

        The first phase of foundational family services is launching August 7, 2020. Services will be offered at no cost in a variety of formats with individual and group supports and virtual and in-person sessions. Options may vary during the first phase of implementation as providers continue to expand their services and as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. For example, families may participate in an online group workshop to learn strategies to help toilet train their child and then receive one-on-one clinical follow-up afterward, or they may access coaching sessions to help with managing challenging behaviours. The services are based on a family's changing needs over time and their child's needs, strengths and developmental stage.

        "In these unprecedented times, the needs of children and youth on the autism spectrum and their families are greater than ever," added Marg Spoelstra, co-chair, OAP Advisory Panel. "It is encouraging to see the new foundational family services being implemented province-wide as recommended by the panel and now through the sustained efforts of the OAP Implementation Working Group."

        Families can contact select Ontario Autism Program service providers to learn more about the types of supports currently available in their community.

        "Ontario's publicly supported providers are ready to increase their offerings for this essential component of the new OAP," said Jennifer Churchill, CEO of Empowered Kids Ontario - Enfants Avenir Ontario. "Building on the system that is in place aligns with the recommendations of the OAP Advisory Panel. The government is responding and that's good news."

Since announcing the new needs-based Ontario Autism Program in December 2019, the ministry has launched a variety of interim early years supports focused on younger children on the waitlist to help build skills in social communication, engagement, speech and language and emotional regulation. These supports have made it easier for families to receive funding by streamlining and reducing administrative steps.

 

Also see: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ontario-government-to-reverse-direction-on-autism-program-and-provide/


Improving farm animal health, agricultural productivity  . . .

Building safe management practices . . .

Tuesday, Aug. 4th - The Ontario Government is investing $2.35 million in advanced animal research related to livestock health and well-being while also focusing on increasing productivity and competitiveness in the livestock sector. The findings will provide farmers with the latest knowledge and on-farm solutions for safely managing livestock so they can continue to be world leaders in the agriculture sector. 

        This research is funded through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario government and the University of Guelph to support growth and innovation in the province's agri-food and rural sectors. 

"The research we're investing in will provide farmers with some of the latest knowledge and tools they need to keep farm animals and food safe," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "This is one of the many ways we're supporting the growth, productivity and competitiveness of Ontario's livestock sector." 

        “The work at the University of Guelph will give local livestock farmers the latest tools in how to best manage their herds,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. 

 

        Through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, the Province is funding livestock research projects to investigate innovative methods, practices and products that will help the sector better understand and support livestock health and welfare, including: 

       •  Identifying genetic markers to reduce disease and infections

           in sheep and cows 

       •  Improving access to veterinary services and support in rural

           and remote areas 

       •  Developing a surveillance program for milk tanks on dairy farms 

       •  Examining newborn milk in the development of neonatal dairy calves 

       •  Evaluating novel methods to prevent bovine respiratory disease 

       •  Identifying disease-causing pathogens in sheep and goats 

       •  Validating the use of probiotics to support the health of multiple livestock species 

       •  Investigating alternative control measures for E. coli diarrhea in pigs 

        "The University of Guelph is delighted to build on our powerful partnership with OMAFRA to advance livestock health, welfare, and productivity," said Malcolm Campbell, Vice-President (Research). "This research, undertaken by our world-class researchers, will create real-world solutions that support the competitiveness of our livestock industry; that ensure continued production of safe, sustainable, and nutritious food; and that fuel innovation that has positive, global impact." 

        All projects are designed to ensure Ontario's agri-food sector can quickly benefit from the new knowledge, technologies and solutions developed through provincially funded research. 

        The $2.35 million earmarked for new livestock health, welfare and productivity projects is part of the province’s Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance annual investment of $8.65 million, which supports research at the University of Guelph. The Alliance funds research in areas of environmental sustainability, animal and plant health and production, as well as agri-food and bio-product development. 

        Ontario’s livestock sector (beef, hog, sheep, dairy, poultry and egg) contributes approximately $16.4 billion to the GDP and supports more than 323,000 direct jobs. 


OPP charge Petawawa individual . . .

Charges laid, victim identified . . .

Wednesday, Aug. 5th - Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Child Sexual Exploitation Unit, assisted by Digital Forensics, along with members of the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP Detachment have arrested and charged a Petawawa, Ontario resident following an online child sexual exploitation investigation.  

        On August 5th, 2020, police executed a search warrant at a residence in Petawawa, seizing several electronic exhibits for further examination. As a result of this investigation, Conrad Clarence WELK, 59-years-old, was arrested and charged with two counts of Possession of Child Pornography, one count of Making Available Child Pornography and one count of Accessing Child Pornography.

        The accused is next scheduled to appear on September 22, 2020, at the Ontario Court of Justice in Pembroke, Ontario.

        Anyone wanting to make a difference is encouraged to go to www.protectchildren.ca to download the "Child Sexual Abuse-It Is Your Business" brochure from the Canadian Center for Child Protection. This is an important first step that can save a child.

        Parents are reminded to take a proactive approach to help protect their children from online sexual exploitation by speaking with their children regarding internet safety. Parents and anyone interested in protecting children can find resources to assist them at www.cybertip.ca.

  Police are asking anyone who may have information regarding this investigation or if you have information regarding internet child exploitation, please contact the OPP at wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers at (TIPS) or 1-800-222-8477, or www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca.  Reporting information may also be made on the internet through www.cybertip.ca. 1-888-310-1122 

Enthusiasts stage fun recognition of anniversary that lost to Covid-19 . . .

Faux Tubie Race leaves 50th winner open . . .

Sunday, August 2nd - A group of Tubie enthusiasts got together on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the Tubie's 50th Year, although Covid-19 had already determined there would be no winner this year. The marketing ploy managed to draw widespread fan appreciation along South Dundas' Morrisburg waterfront as it has for five decades, with the participants receiving supportive cheers and applause along the race route. Earlier this week, Chief Tubie organizer Jeff Barclay announced the Half-Century of Tubies celebration would be held on the 1st Sunday in August, 2021, and that the event would be a bang-up phantasmagoria, bigger and crazier fun than any previous Tubie year. And hopefully, we'll all be there to take part. Enjoy the photos from today . . .


Made-in-Ontario app notifies of potential exposure to COVID-19 . . .

Alert app for COVID-19 now available . . .

Sunday, August 2nd - As Ontarians continue to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores. This app, which is available beginning today, lets users know if they may have been exposed to the virus. It is free, easy and safe to use. The more people who download the app, the more effective it will be in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

        Work on COVID Alert was initiated in Ontario by the Ontario Digital Service and volunteers at Shopify, and was the foundation of the work by the Government of Canada. The app was developed in consultation with the Privacy Commissioners of Canada and Ontario to ensure the highest level of privacy for everyone using it.

        "This important, made-in-Ontario COVID Alert app will be a critical part of our case and contact management strategy as more regions in Ontario enter Stage 3 today," said Premier Doug Ford.

              "This innovative tool was developed by some of the best and brightest minds in our province, working in partnership with Ottawa. As businesses open their doors and schools prepare for September, we need to help stop the spread and keep others safe by downloading this COVID Alert app."

        The COVID Alert app uses Bluetooth technology to detect when users are near each other. If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they can choose to let other users know without sharing any personal information. Ontarians who receive an exposure alert can then get tested and take action to help keep themselves, their families, and their friends from spreading COVID-19 throughout the community. The app does not collect personal information or health data, and does not know or track the location, name, address, or contacts of any user.

        "Built with a privacy-first approach, COVID Alert is a safe and easy-to-use tool that Ontarians can download to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community from COVID-19," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "This Ontario-made app keeps people informed about being potentially exposed to the virus and allows them to act quickly to stop the spread of the virus. It is a key tool in our case and contact management strategy. I encourage all Ontarians to download the app, as early detection of cases will be important as we continue to carefully reopen more of the province."

 

        If an app user receives a message from COVID Alert that they may have been exposed to the virus, they should follow the public health advice given on the app and get tested. To notify other people if an app user has tested positive for COVID-19, they can enter their one-time key from Ontario's test results website (Ontario.ca/covidresults) into the app. A message will then be sent to other app users who have been within two metres of them for at least 15 minutes within the past 14 days, without sending any information that identifies the user, or the time and place of exposure.

        “ To stay safe as more of the province reopens, Ontarians should continue to follow public health guidelines including physical distancing with people not in their social circle, wearing a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and if anyone thinks they have COVID-19, get tested,” said MPP Jim McDonell.

        More from SD&SG MPP Jim McDonell here . . .


Providing the needs to be safe and successful . . .

New, focused, five pillar strategy . . .

Wednesday, July 29th - The Ontario government released its plan today to modernize the child welfare system. The strategy focuses on strengthening families and communities through prevention, early intervention and seeking more permanent homes for children and youth in care when they cannot stay in their own homes or communities.

        “Children and youth in care experience significantly worse outcomes than those in a family setting, such as lower graduation rates, a higher risk of homelessness and more involvement with the justice system,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues.

        “That is why we are transforming the child welfare system, to ensure more families stay together and children and youth in care have the supports they need to be safe, succeed and thrive as they transition from care to adulthood.”

        The strategy to redesign the child welfare system has five pillars that focus on:

       •  Strengthening family well-being through community-based prevention services that keep children safe in

           family-based settings;

       •  Improving the quality of residential care provided to children and youth;

       •  Promoting the development of stable and lifelong connections and supports for youth, with a focus on education

           and employment opportunities;

       •  Improving the adoption experience and focusing on family-based options over group care where appropriate; and

       •  Creating a more efficient and effective child welfare system that is financially sustainable.

        “This redesign reveals a holistic vision to work better across government ministries and sectors to support the safety, well-being, and prosperity of children and families across Ontario,” said Dr. Jeff Schiffer, executive director of the Native Child & Family Services of Toronto. “I'm particularly heartened by the distinct approach to co-develop services with First Nations, Inuit, Metis and urban Indigenous partners to make this vision a reality and reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the child welfare system.”

MPP Jim McDonell
MPP Jim McDonell

        The new child welfare strategy was developed with input from youth, families, caregivers, First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, lawyers, community organizations, frontline workers and child welfare sector leaders. They participated in over 100 engagement sessions over the past year and provided over 3,000 responses to an online survey.

        “I am confident the input of our provincial consultations on modernizing our child welfare system will prove to be of great benefit to our children and families,” said MPP Jim McDonell.

        “Redesigning the child welfare system is a significant undertaking. It will take time and continued partnership with the child welfare sector, Indigenous communities and other health and social services partners to be successful,” added Minister Dunlop. “We are committed to taking the time to get this right and keep children and youth at the heart of everything we do. Their safety, well-being and future success is of utmost importance.”

     •  More than 12,000 children and youth are in the care of children’s aid societies in Ontario. This includes children

          and youth in kinship care, foster care and group care placements.

     •  In addition to children and youth in care, those in need of protection may be placed with a family member or

          community caregiver, without coming into the care of a society. This is known as kinship service.

     •  The Ontario government invested $5 million this year to enhance access to prevention-focused customary care for

          Indigenous children and youth. Customary care is the culturally-specific care and supervision of a First Nations,

          Inuit or Métis child by a person who is not the child’s parent. Customary care allows children and youth to remain

          closely connected to their culture and community.



Foto Flashback to the mid 1950's . . .

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 . . . 


Playhouse cancels 2020 season . . .

Thursday, July 9th - Morrisburg’s Upper Canada Playhouse continues to abide by this tried and true advice in cancelling, earlier than planned, its Fall productions of 20-20 Rear Vision and The Highwaymen.  

                          - See more here . . .


Swank's Dutch Meadows ready to go . . .

Imagine, when this project is completed?  - Up to 200 more interesting families will be joining our community . . . and that's good news all the way around . . . Congratulations Swank's. Onward and upward . . .


Main Street, Morrisburg, shot mid-1950's . . .

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 . . .