Friday, Jan. 15th - We awoke a bit early on Saturday morning last week, to an opportunity to walk along Lakeshore Drive in reasonably temperate weather. As we approached the west side of Stewart's Creek the rising sun splashed a mix of colouring across the sky, casting brilliant reflections on the water. For at least several minutes we enjoyed the morning's color show. These magical productions are open to all who reside in our community, although their fleeting production is staged around precise clockwork which any tardiness in attending can cause one to miss the entire show. They last only minutes . . .
Wednesday, Jan. 20th - Ontario has reached a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19, completing the first round of vaccinations ahead of schedule in all long-term care homes in Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex, the four regions with the highest COVID-19 transmission rates. The first round of vaccinations has also been administered at all long-term care homes in the Ottawa Public Health Region, Durham Region and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.
"This is the first of many victories to come against this deadly and ruthless enemy we face," said Premier Doug Ford. "We are making steady progress, but we will not rest until the residents and staff of every long-term care home and all Ontarians have had the opportunity to get a vaccine."
To date, more than 40 percent of all long-term care homes across the province have had an opportunity to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 83,000 long-term care residents, staff and essential caregivers have been vaccinated.
"Meeting this milestone is an important step towards keeping our most vulnerable and those who care for them safe," pointed out Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "While we continue to vaccinate our loved ones, we must remember that our long-term care homes are still at risk from community spread. It's important that all of us continue to stay home as much as possible and follow the public health measures so we can stay safe and save lives."
Progress continues to be made with the goal of administering vaccines in all long-term care homes across the province by February 15, 2021. As part of Phase One of its vaccine implementation plan, Ontario will continue to focus on vaccinating vulnerable populations, and those who care for them, as more supply becomes available. On January 15, the province was alerted by the federal government that due to work to expand its European manufacturing facility, production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine will be impacted and Canada's allocations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the remainder of January and early February will be reduced.
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health offered "To have the first round of vaccinations completed at long-term care homes in these hard-hit regions is a significant achievement, and I'd like to recognize all those who contributed to this effort, and together with our partners we continue to expand our capacity and we are ready to administer more doses as soon as we receive them."
To respond to this change in supply of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided updated direction on the administration of second doses:
• Long-term care and high-risk retirement home residents and their essential caregivers, who have received their first
dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, will receive their second dose in 21 to 27 days.
• Staff who were vaccinated within the homes at the same time as the residents will also follow the same schedule.
• All other recipients of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine must receive their second dose after 21 days and before 42 days.
• For individuals who received the Moderna vaccine, the dose schedule of 28 days will remain.
"The remarkable first stages of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine rollout demonstrate how much we can accomplish when Ontarians work together to protect our most vulnerable citizens and frontline essential workers," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "We will build on these promising first steps as we continue our distribution of both first and second doses of vaccines. Though there is much to be hopeful for, we urge everyone to continue to follow public health guidelines and stay home, stay safe and save lives."
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario has invested $1.38 billion to ensure that long-term care homes have the resources they need to battle this virus. The government has also taken action to address urgent staffing shortages, including issuing management orders, enabling the deployment of hospital staff to long-term care homes and the use of infection prevention and control teams.
Wednesday, Jan. 20th - Respecting the "stay at home order" ruling by the Ontario government seems to have finally taken hold. Streets are empty save a few walkers, malls and business sectors are near dead quiet, and schools, arenas, gyms and the like may as well be boarded up.
So we have taken this opportunity to present a mini-photo visit to the St. Lawrence Parks Migratory Bird Sanctuary after a very quiet walk through on a bright afternoon, during which the birds, squirrels and sunshine were most cooperative . . . we hope you enjoy it . . .
Two fatal snowmobile incidents over the past weekend have the Ontario Provincial Police warning snowmobilers to stay off frozen waterways, while the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs urges them to stay off closed OFSC trails.
With Snowmobile Safety Week (January 16-24, 2021) now underway, the OPP is reporting that six people have lost their lives in snowmobile incidents so far this season. On Sunday, January 17, 2021, three people died in two separate incidents after their snowmobiles broke through the ice on Georgian Bay.
"These latest incidents are a tragic reminder of the serious risks associated with snowmobiling on frozen waterways. Approximately 40 per cent of OPP-investigated fatal snowmobile incidents in the last 10 years have occurred on lakes and rivers. Excessive speed, driving too fast for the conditions and alcohol/drugs are other top contributing factors in snowmobile deaths. OPP data speaks loud and clear about the behaviours and unsafe riding conditions snowmobilers need to avoid to make it through the season safely." pointed out Chief Superintendent Rohan THOMPSON, Provincial Commander, Highway Safety Division.
During the campaign and throughout the snowmobile season, OPP officers will be visible conducting enforcement throughout the province, focusing their attention on safety violations and impaired driving investigations. Snowmobilers are reminded that Mandatory Alcohol Screening authorizes officers to demand a breath test from snowmobile operators without requiring suspicion that they have consumed alcohol.
"Our mild winter makes it particularly important for snowmobilers to regularly check the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide to get information about trail openings and closures. Snowmobilers are reminded that it is unlawful and unsafe to ride on closed OFSC trails and are encouraged to visit the OFSC website for other important information about what they need to do to enjoy a safe riding season." adds Lisa Stackhouse , Director, Marketing & Communications, OFSC
Snowmobile Safety Week supports the OPP's commitment to saving lives on Ontario highways, waterways and trails.
Helpful hints . . .
Monday, Jan. 18th - The Iroquois-Matilda Lions Club and the Morrisburg & District Lions Club once again combined their efforts to honour our South Dundas seniors over the Christmas season. Covid-19 concerns and restrictions necessitated significant changes to the annual Seniors Christmas Celebration sponsored by South Dundas' two local lions clubs.
Despite scaling back, the efforts of Iroquois-Matilda Lions and Morrisburg and District Lions involved almost twice as many seniors in this year's festivity. Through a seven week effort by a combined committee, seniors received token goodie bags and were treated to a special Christmas music radio broadcast in recognition of their support of both clubs.
On behalf of both clubs, Lions members then presented tokens of appreciation and thanks to Ruth Speers (photo unavailable), Mustard's Variety Store, Gilmer's Pharmacy and Prescott's Moose FM Radio, all of who provided generous support for the 2020 version of the South Dundas Seniors’ Christmas Celebration.
A sincere thank you, on behalf of the organization, goes to club members and community members for their donations, and to Meals on Wheels, J. W. McIntosh Centre, churches and seniors residents for their assistance in the distribution of the token bags.
Friday, Jan. 15th - The Ontario government has opened applications for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant, first announced in December, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown. The tightened restrictions were put in place to help stop the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Ontario.
“This grant is another one of the great ways our provincial government is supporting many businesses that have coped with the challenges of the pandemic,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “I encourage business owners to also apply for additional supports, such as property tax and energy bills.”
"As Ontario's employers do their part to defeat COVID-19, they are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of this global pandemic," pointed out Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board.
Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for a one-time grant and use this funding in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business needs. For example, some businesses could need support paying employee wages, while others could need support with their rent.
Eligible small businesses include those that were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the Ontario effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26; have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level; have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019. New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.
"Small businesses are the heart of Ontario's economy," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "The Ontario Small Business Support Grant will help thousands of small businesses get through this difficult time, while strengthening our province's economic recovery."
"As the son of two small business owners, I understand what small businesses mean to the families, employees, and local communities they support," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "Our hardworking businesses can be encouraged that the government's new Ontario Small Business Support Grant offers yet another helping hand that will give them the boost they need to meet the challenges of today and prepare for a brighter tomorrow."
These rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions. More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and other rebates is available on Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport.
Friday, Jan. 15th - The Ontario Provincial Police is requesting that Ontarians voluntarily comply with the new Stay-at-Home Order to limit mobility outside their homes, except for essential reasons, to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
OPP officers will enforce the Stay-at-Home Order, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA), and the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) by focusing on non-compliance in businesses and restaurants, complaints from the public and outdoor gatherings of more than five (5) people. Officers can disperse and ticket individuals found to be non-compliance with the Acts.
Fines are $750 for failing to comply with an order and/or $1,000 for preventing others (including individuals, employees or other workers) from following an order. Maximum fines for individuals are up $100,000 and $10 million for a corporation. Failure to follow the rules can result in prosecution or jail time.
As a reminder, in the absence of a complaint or other grounds, officers will not arbitrarily stop an individual or a vehicle or enter a dwelling for the singular purpose of checking compliance with the order. Individuals are not expected to provide proof of essential work. Officers can ask an individual to identify themselves if they have reasonable grounds to believe the individual is violating an Act.
The OPP asks that 9-1-1 be used for emergency purposes only. If you have questions about the Stay-At-Home order please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions. To learn more about COVID-19 support services, visit https://www.211oncovid19.ca/ or call the hotline at 211 for assistance. 211 is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and service is available in 150 languages.
For non-emergencies - including allegations of non-compliance - contact your police service of jurisdiction at 1-888-310-1122 (toll free in Ontario). In an emergency, always call 9-1-1.
Saturday, Jan. 16th - The old line about "a little birdie told us" has been worn extra thin but this little guy came and sat on the bench with us at the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and just wouldn't stop yacking about the Kin Club's Catch the Ace game going on in Russell. Catch the Ace is also available thru the Iroquois Legion and the Morrisburg and District Lions Club . . . check it out!!!!
Friday, Jan . 15th - The Kin Club of Russell has announced that Catch the Ace is suspended due to the latest provincial COVID-19 stay-at-home order. But it will be back as soon as it is safe to do so – hopefully on February 28th!
There are now 15 envelopes left and the jackpot is more than $180,000. The next weekly win will be more than $10,000. To date, the Kin Club of Russell has raised $250,000 to give back to local charities, including the WDMH Foundation.
Both online and paper tickets sales are still permitted, but no pickup or delivery of paper tickets is allowed. All tickets that have been purchased since last Sunday, and those purchased between now and February 28th, will be valid for the next draw on February 28th. Please be sure to select the WDMH Foundation as the charity of choice.
“This is a very exciting event and taking this short break will help to keep everyone safe,” notes Cindy Ault Peters, the Foundation’s Manager of Direct Mail and Events. “We want to thank the Kin Club of Russell and everyone who is trying to Catch the Ace. The excitement will continue as soon as it is safe to do so!”
Friday, Jan. 15th - Starting on Monday, Nov. 30th thru Wednesday, Dec. 9th, 2020, the Upper Canada District School Board surveyed UCDSB parents and guardians seeking feedback regarding the school year, specifically regarding the student program experience and COVID-19 precautions in place within our schools.
The survey received feedback from 5,170 parents/guardians from across all UCDSB schools and learning models, providing representation of 20% of UCDBS students.
Overall, the majority of respondents, across all learning models, are supportive and appreciative of staff efforts in both the classroom and online. Seventy-nine per cent of respondents with students in the in-person & synchronous models (K-12) agree/strongly agree their child is getting what they need to be successful, while 63 per cent in the asynchronous digital and 67 per cent of those in the asynchronous non-digital models reported the same.
Respondents also had the opportunity to provide feedback about improving the student experience. Common suggestions include: more access to school staff for remote learners, improved communication between parents/guardians and teachers/school, increased supports for student well-being, as well as more virtual field trips and school spirit days.
Other key survey findings include:
• 80 per cent of respondents agree/strongly agree their school has taken appropriate precautions to prevent or limit
possible exposures to COVID-19.
• 75 per cent of respondents say their child enjoys school or is interested/excited about school most of the time.
• 30 per cent of respondents with students in the asynchronous digital model and 27 per cent asynchronous non-digital
disagree/strongly disagree their child is getting what they need to be successful.
“The feedback we received from our families is truly valued as it gives us insight into what we are doing well and where we can improve. The fact that the majority of respondents felt that their child is receiving what they need to be successful is positive and motivating news for our entire school district. We recognize there are areas that need our attention and we have already turned our attention to seeing where we can improve the learning experience for our students,” says Stephen Sliwa, Director of Education.
The UCDSB is assessing feedback from respondents with students in the asynchronous learning model – a form of independent study - to determine how the learning experience can be improved, including providing clarity on delivery of instruction and improved materials. In addition, the UCDSB is working with staff to find ways to further connect with students who are learning remotely and encourage more interaction between synchronous students and their peers. Staff will continue to check-in on student well-being and assist students and parents with managing expectations and workloads.
Additionally, the school board, in partnership with the Student Senate, will conduct a secondary student survey by the end of February for direct student feedback.
Friday, Jan. 15th - During the COVID-19 pandemic, Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) welcomed a new staff member. Heather Houlahan is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RT) and brings new expertise and experience to the team.
“We wanted to ensure we had the best team available to support any COVID-19 patients at WDMH as well as other patients with respiratory concerns,” explains Nathalie Boudreau, Vice President, Clinical Services. “Heather provides crucial, specialized knowledge and is a great addition to WDMH.”
Respiratory Therapists specialize in critical care and cardio-pulmonary medicine. They are often involved in crisis situations, supporting patients suffering from acute critical conditions, cardiac and lung disease. They often work closely with anesthetists to provide patient respiratory care.
"Having a respiratory therapist, especially someone with Heather's skill and experience allows us to offer much better support to patients with all sorts of breathing issues,” notes Dr. Patricia Moussette, Chief of Anesthesia. “From testing outpatients to treating patients with infections or heart failure, Heather has helped us do more for our community."
Heather has been an RT for 25 years and says she is no stranger to crisis situations: “My father was a pilot who flew Medivac ambulances and he introduced me to his respiratory therapy colleagues. Plus, I have 7 siblings, so I’ve grown up in a lot of chaos!”
Since arriving at WDMH, Heather has secured new equipment, created new policies and procedures, and provided training to staff, particularly related to intubating a patient and using ventilators.
“It’s all about the team,” says Heather. “When you are in a crisis situation, everyone has a role, and you know your role. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the team at WDMH.”
Plans are underway to further develop WDMH’s services for patients with respiratory issues such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.
Nearing 65 years ago Rev. George Smith snapped this photo of one of the last tankers, the Eastern Shell, heading up the Williamsburg Canal. Mr. Smith was shooting black and white photos at the time, and exercised the foresight to make sure many of his photos capturing Morrisburg's history, would be seen by many, many people. We've added the color to this one, and a few further down this page.
We suspect Mr. Smith captured this picture using a vantage point at the foot of Augusta Street, where the current water pump house sits today. Ahead of the boat one can see the "government ship yards" and two homes on the left, and just above the ship's cabin on the right are the guard posts along the Stewart's Creek causeway.
A collection of what we pointed our camera at through a year of restrictions. And with the intention to bring a little joy into our community we kept clicking. Great smiles, great food, some grand hockey until that too was shut down, and some lost friends. Have a peek, feel free to drop us a note, feel free to copy your favourites. Happy New Year to all . . .
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 . . .