Email: southdundasinbox@gmail.com


National Capital Junior Hockey lining up playoff schedule . . .

Junior Lions host Jets here Sat., Feb. 5th . . .

Lions' Dean Lapier moves the puck out of harm's way on this scoring attempt by the St. Isidore Eagles . . . 

                                         - file photo

Monday, Jan. 24th - The Morrisburg Junior C Lions will be returning to live game action at Morrisburg Arena as the National Capital Junior Hockey League announces their “Return to Hockey" plan. The league has divided the nine competing teams into three groupings as per the current standings. Each team will play a home and away round-robin type of series with each of the three teams in their specific grouping. The top seven teams will advance to the playoffs.

        An eighth playoff entry, the winner of yet another home and home series between teams holding the eighth and ninth spot in league standings, will fill out the playoff roster.

        "The consensus and opinions from the teams was that they would support whatever solution was on the table to get the kids back playing hockey for as long as possible," pointed out the Lion's team President and General Manager Kevin Casselman, adding, "We are focused on what we have and what we can offer which might be eight weeks of ice availability . It would be unfair to teams that may not have ice available have to forfeit their home play-off games."

        "We are looking forward to getting our team back on ice, with a focus on playing post season hockey this season." Casselman said.


Good morning South Dundas . . .

The colors of cold stand out as the sun moves toward her date with the horizon,

and three fishermen stand their ground against the falling temperatures,

awaiting that elusive late-day bite . . .

Another cold week is upon us . . .


Committee lobbies Ministry of Health . . .

Monday, Jan. 24th- At an afternoon meeting today, the South Dundas and South Stormont Joint Doctor Recruitment Committee met with the Ministry of Health. The meeting was held during the annual Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference. 

        Since 2020 the Joint Committee has been working to bring more physicians to South Dundas and South Stormont. Since it’s inception the Committee’s efforts have gained two physicians. However, retirement  and an ever-growing need requires additional support from higher levels of government. The Committee championed the need for robust and accessible mental health services, family practitioners and healthcare beyond traditional physician recruitment. 

        “Access to healthcare has long been an issue in our region, and as our communities continue to grow, we must make strides toward improving the healthcare services our residents receive,” said South Stormont Mayor, Bryan McGillis. “In order to effectively do that, we need further support from all levels of government.” 

        It is the Committee’s hope that the province will show their support and commit to becoming a stakeholder in rural physician recruitment and the improvement of rural healthcare. Committee members include three representatives from each municipality.


CDSBEO selects new Director of Education . . .

Laurie Corrigan selected to fill role . . .

Laurie Corrigan, Director of Education
Laurie Corrigan, Director of Education

Thursday, Jan. 20th  – The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario is pleased to announce that Laurie Corrigan, Superintendent of Learning/Special Education Services has been selected as the new Director of Education, effective February 21, 2022. Director Corrigan will take over the position from John Cameron, who announced his retirement in September, after serving in the position since January 2018.

        “I look forward to serving the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario with a full heart and in accompaniment. I am privileged and humbled to be joining such a remarkable community.” the incoming director said, adding,  "I look forward to other opportunities that this position offers."

       “We live in a historic and challenging time to be sure, but also a time filled with promise. I hope to work toward a path forward, lived together in faith and hope, where we all belong and are open to hearing all voices who need us to listen and learn.”

        “Her dedication and level of experience in Catholic education is exceptional, and the Board of Trustees feel blessed to have found such an outstanding candidate." announced Board Chair Todd Lalonde, " She has demonstrated her passion as an educator both through a rich and extensive career, as well as through her own commitment to lifelong learning. She is a strong advocate for our beliefs and values, and I, and the Board of Trustees, look forward to working closely with her in this new role.”

        “Our Board will benefit greatly from Laurie’s wealth of education experience, and through her past professional involvement in planning for the needs of students. I know that she will bring the same level of passion for education to her new position, which will benefit our entire Board and Catholic education,” noted retiring Director John Cameron.

        Director Corrigan brings a wealth of education experience to the CDSBEO, having held past positions in education. She holds a Master of Education in Digital Technologies and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Justice Education through the University of Toronto. She has published academic research in numerous professional journals since 2015, including the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, the International Journal for e-Learning Security, and the International Journal for Digital Security, with a focus on technology in education, restorative practices, cyberbullying, education policy, and safe schools.

        The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario operates 39 elementary and 10 secondary schools across eight counties. The CDSBEO offers excellence in Catholic education through provincial-leading programs to approximately 13,200 students.


Anglers & Scientists - Free Virtual Discussion - Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022 | 7:00PM

                                       - hosted by Lawrence Gunther, Blue Fish Radio

 

Can you inform scientific research as an angler?

Are there ways anglers, tournament organizers and researchers can work

       together to protect the fish habitats they value and care for?   

 

        On Wednesday, Jan. 26th at 7pm, the River Rapport, Blue Fish Canada and the Canadian Fishing Network will co-host a panel discussion on the use of My Catch, a Canadian founded fishing app, and its use in informing scientific research by engaging anglers both directly and indirectly through virtual fishing tournaments. 

        Panelists will include Sean Simmons (Founder and President of My Catch and Angler’s Atlas), Christopher Sommers (Professor of Biology from the University of Regina), Trevor Avery (Marine Biologist from Acadia University), Jeff Wilson (co-founder of Miramichi Striper Cup) and Scottie Martin (Host of the Canadian Fishing Network)

        The event will be co-hosted by Lawrence Gunther, Blue Fish Canada, and Yanik Rozon, St. Lawrence River Institute. 

        This panelist discussion can be watched live through the St. Lawrence River Institute’s Facebook page, the Canadian Fishing Network Facebook page, Blue Fish Canada’s Youtube channel, and will be released later as a podcast on The Blue Fish Radio Show.  A question period the viewing audience will be included following the discussion.


One of the shows in a summer series we helped organize

at the Cruickshank Amphitheatre, October 2011 . . .

Jake and Jagger are cousins. One of them plays in Long Sault and one in South Dundas.

On Sunday past, they played at Morrisburg Arena - we snapped photos . . .  -o7-01-2019

Public Speaking line-up at Morrisburg Public School on Friday afternoon.

The winners will be performing at Iroquois Public School On Tuesday. . . - April 2019


Signature holiday event enjoys pre-pandemic visitation levels . . .

Generates $5M in visitor spending . . .

Tuesday, Jan. 18th - “We are pleased to have been able to contribute to strong year-end economic activity levels in Eastern Ontario, at a high-priority point in the business cycle of local businesses in the region,” announced St. Lawrence Parks Commission Chair, Hon. Bob Runciman in regard to the most recent Alight At Night event staged at South Dundas' Upper Canada Village.

        Staff at Upper Canada Village estimate there are one-million lights that go into making Alight At Night. With an estimated $5.3 million in regional economic impact, this means each of those lights is generating approximately $5 in economic revenue.

The 2021 holiday season shone brightly this year, as the St Lawrence Parks Commission’s popular Alight At Night saw visitor numbers that rivalled pre-pandemic levels, with the third best attendance in the event’s 21-year history.

        With a 29-night run between November 26 and Jan 1, Upper Canada Village welcomed more than 46,000 guests to the celebration of light, up from 10,000 guests in 2020. Using the Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model, developed by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism  and Culture Industries, this number represents an estimated $5.3 million of visitor spending the region.

        “Our mission is to drive economic prosperity in Eastern Ontario while also providing unique cultural and recreational experiences for visitors. Both of these goals have proven to have heightened significance as the pandemic continues. Alight At Night delivered on them both.” Runciman pointed out.

Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program . . .

Applications now open for support . . .

Wednesday, Jan. 19th - Eligible businesses required to close or reduce capacity due to the current public health measures put in place to blunt the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 can apply for the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program starting today. Through the new program, the government will provide eligible businesses with a rebate payment of up to 100 per cent for property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these restrictions.

        “We recognize that these necessary public health measures are impacting businesses, and as we have been since the beginning of the pandemic, we are there to support them,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario's Minister of Finance.      

        “With the opening of applications for this new rebate program, our government is putting money directly into the hands of impacted businesses during this critical time.” Bethlenfalvy explained.

        Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs. Those required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs.

        Businesses will be required to submit proof of costs associated with property tax and energy bills as part of the application process. All eligible businesses must submit an application to be considered, including those that received previous COVID-19 support payments.

        “We recognize that these are challenging times for Ontario’s businesses,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy, “And we are committed to supporting businesses most impacted by the public health measures and this rebate program will provide them with the much needed support on their energy bills.”

        The government is also introducing a new COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant, giving businesses subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, a $10,000 grant. Eligible businesses will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and may need to provide some additional information.

        “Since the first day of the pandemic, the government has provided unprecedented levels of support to protect people, jobs and our economy,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “I encourage all eligible businesses to apply.”


Queen's Park update . . .

MPP Jim McDonell . . .
MPP Jim McDonell . . .

                          Compiled from the desk of MPP Jim McDonell  

 

 Friday, Jan. 21st - Last month, experts predicted that the new Omicron variant would rapidly increase cases and overwhelm our health care system if we did not take measures. As a result, our Government instituted new restrictions to blunt or slow the spread of this virus. Hospitalizations quickly rose four-fold to over 4,100 patients in the province earlier this week. With key public health care indicators starting to show signs of improvement, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, released details of its plan to cautiously and gradually ease public health measures. Effective January 31, indoor public settings will be increased to 50 percent for many indoor public settings, including restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities, gyms, cinemas, museums, and religious services. Spectator areas for sporting events, concert venues, and theatres will be allowed to operate at 50 percent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less. Enhanced proof of vaccination and other requirements will continue to apply in existing settings. Complete details, including the next steps planned for February 21 and March 14, are available at www.Ontario.ca/.

 

Students were welcomed back this week to in-person learning, with the Government pulling together resources to ensure schools are safe as possible. Among our measures, we have sent more than 3.9 million rapid antigen tests (RAT) to school boards to help protect students and staff. Unfortunately, these tests are being rationed to our highest priority groups since only six million of our January 64 million commitment has been received from the Federal Government. We have also completed the delivery of 9.1 million non-fitted N95 masks for staff and over four million three-ply masks for students. My website provides more information: https://jimmcdonellmpp.ca/  under the January 17th latest news.

 

The Government is reaching out to hear from the public as Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy prepares the 2022 Ontario Budget. I invite anyone with ideas for our budget to attend a virtual consultation meeting on Wednesday, January 26, at 10:15 a.m. Please register by emailing Marilyn.mcmahon@pc.ola.org by January 22, and include your complete contact information and topic of presentation.

 

With many businesses required to close or reduce capacity due to the latest public health measures, our Government launched several assistance programs. The Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will provide eligible businesses with a rebate payment of up to 100 percent of property tax and energy costs they incurred while subject to these restrictions. Applications for the program opened on January 18, 2022, and details are available at https://www.app.grants.gov.on.ca/obcrp/#/. It also established a new COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant to give businesses subject to closure a $10,000 grant. In February, the money will flow to eligible companies, with applications opening soon. The Government is also improving cash flows by making up to $7.5 billion available through a six-month interest- and penalty-free period for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This penalty and interest-free period started on January 1, 2022, to support businesses now and provide the flexibility they will need for long-term planning.

 

Many people have had to stay home during this partial lockdown, requiring more electricity and heating fuels. Therefore, effective Tuesday, January 18, the Government lowered electricity rates for families, small businesses, and farms to the off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for 21 days. The reduced rate will be automatic and not require any action from customers.

 

Remember to follow public health guidelines, get vaccinated if you have not done so, and stay safe.

 

                Regards,

                Jim McDonell

                     MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry


Ontario launching school-based vaccine clinics, deploying Rapid Tests . . .

Students return to in-person learning . . .

By Jim McDonell,

MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry 

Monday, Jan. 17th  - In-person learning is critical for the mental health, development, and academic achievement of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry children. Parents, educators and children have all demonstrated incredible resilience and adaptability since the start of the pandemic, but our kids deserve to be in school, where they can learn alongside their friends and teachers. That’s why elementary and secondary students across Ontario are returning to in-person learning on January 17.  

        The return to in-person learning is supported by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Children’s Health Coalition. It is supported by more than $1.6 billion in resources to protect against COVID-19, including money for mental health, improved ventilation in classrooms, technology and the hiring of over 2,350 additional staff.  

Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, recently announced additional enhanced measures, such as the provision of millions of rapid antigen tests for symptomatic students and staff in public elementary and secondary schools, along with children and staff in child care settings, as well as the launch of a province-wide vaccine campaign within schools to increase uptake.  

        Vaccines remain our best defence, and vaccination rates among children 12 to 17 are encouraging, with more than 82 per cent having received two doses, while nearly 50 per cent of children aged 5-11 have received their first dose. To better support access to vaccines for students and staff, we are launching school-based clinics that can help more Ontarians get vaccinated.  

Our plan for improving access to vaccines and providing more rapid antigen tests builds on the other layers of protection we have put in place for schools, including:  

        Providing access to more than 10 million non-fit-tested N95 masks to all education and child care staff, along with more than four million three-ply cloth masks for students;  

Improving ventilation by deploying an additional 3,000 standalone HEPA filter units to learning environments, building on the more than 70,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices that have already been provided, and the $600 million we have invested in ventilation improvement measures and mechanical ventilation upgrades;  

    •  Updating and tightening screening requirements for students and staff;  

    •  Introducing new time-limited cohorting protocols to limit direct and indirect contacts in schools, and enhancing cleaning requirements; and  

    •  Delivering resources to hire additional staff, including educators, custodians and mental health workers, in addition to access to retired educators.  

        Ontario is the only province that is delivering N95 masks to its educators. We are going above and beyond the health and safety expectations of other provinces so that we can keep kids learning in-person and help limit the spread of COVID-19.  

These investments are delivering real results here in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. For local families, our government has provided the following: 

    •  For the Upper Canada District School Board with $14.56 million in COVID-19 resources and $5,963,359 for ventilation improvements. Supports include $3.89 million to hire additional staff and 2,046 HEPA units in schools, 156,400 non-fit-tested N95s for educators, 7,500 cloth masks for students, and 44,340 rapid antigen tests for symptomatic students and staff. 

    •  For the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario, with $10.21 million in COVID-19 resources and $$3,842,263 for ventilation improvements. We have provided $2.78 million to hire additional staff and thanks to our investments, the board now has 401 HEPA units in schools, 114,000 non-fit-tested N95s for educators, 37,310 cloth masks for students, and 35,698 rapid antigen tests for symptomatic students and staff. 

         For the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, with $8.29 million in COVID-19 resources and $5,199,804 for ventilation improvements. Supports include $2.32 million to hire additional staff and 236 HEPA units in schools, 105,600 non-fit-tested N95s for educators, 29,520 cloth masks for students, and 23,022 rapid antigen tests for symptomatic students and staff. 

         For the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'Est ontarien, with $6.96 million in COVID-19 resources and $5,823,738 for ventilation improvements. Supports include $1.93 million to hire additional staff and 1,109 HEPA units in schools, 19,200 non-fit-tested N95s for educators, 22,940 cloth masks for students, and 21,046 rapid antigen tests for symptomatic students and staff. 

         Thanks to our government’s investments, every kindergarten class has a HEPA unit within it. We have also ensured that for schools that do not have a mechanical ventilation system that all classrooms and learning spaces have a stand-alone HEPA unit. All mechanical ventilation systems within publicly funded schools have been assessed and ventilation improvement measures taken — deploying the highest quality filters (often MERV-13), along with increasing fresh air intake, running HVAC systems two hours before and after school, and changing filters more frequently. All school boards have publicly posted standardized ventilation measure reports with this information. 

         Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry children and youth deserve the opportunity to finish out their school year with their peers and educators, and our government is taking action to ensure they receive that opportunity. Kids belong in school. 


$40-million investment supports innovation and growth . . .

Program for advanced manufacturing. . .

Monday, Jan. 17th - Today, the Ontario government launched the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness program to help companies get the tools, technology and talent they need to grow, compete and innovate in an increasingly competitive global market. As part of the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, AMIC is a new stream of the Regional Development Program. The two-year, $40 million plan will support advanced manufacturing businesses to invest in the equipment, advanced technologies and skilled workforce needed to improve competitiveness and growth. 

        “As our province recovers from the impacts of the pandemic, the AMIC will go a long way in creating and keeping good jobs,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. It will address the need to restore the essential supply chains that are supporting Ontario’s economic recovery.” 

         Beginning today, eligible businesses can apply for the new program. Eligibility requirements include: 

            •  minimum of 10 employees 

            •  three or more years of financial statements, and 

            •  minimum of $500,000 in eligible project costs. 

The first round of applications will be open until February 10, 2022. 

        “Since Day 1, our government has endeavored to make Ontario a more attractive investment destination, but we know there is more work to do,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “With increased international competition for investment, our government wants to help Ontario’s advanced manufacturers continue to thrive and be global leaders in innovation. This program will create the right conditions for our businesses and job creators to invest, grow and attract investment all across Ontario.” 

        AMIC will support the advanced manufacturing sector in capital-intensive industries such as automotive, aerospace, life sciences, information technology, steel, and chemical by ensuring they have the necessary funds to invest in new technology and innovative equipment. 

        “Manufacturing is critical to Ontario’s prosperity; it provides high-quality, well-paying jobs and is an important contributor to strong economic growth in the province,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “The new Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness Stream under the Regional Development Program will contribute to long-term growth, productivity and competitiveness of Ontario's manufacturing sector, which is undergoing significant change.” 

        The Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness program will build on Ontario’s successful RDP. In 2019, Ontario launched the RDP to help eligible businesses, municipalities and economic development organizations create jobs and opportunities in Eastern and Southwestern Ontario. 

        “Manufacturing is the cornerstone of Ontario's economy. It drives economic recovery and prosperity throughout Ontario and across Canada. This government has made it clear that it wants our sector to be global leaders in innovation,” said Mathew Wilson, Senior Vice President, Policy, Government Relations & Ontario Division, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). “To accomplish this, CME has been clear that the government must help companies invest in new technologies, new processes, and their people. For Ontario's manufacturers, this fund will be a valuable tool to support their investments, to help them scale up, and to improve their competitiveness."