2016 Year in Review: May

January 13, 2017   ·   0 Comments

Welcome to part two of the Orangeville Citizen’s 2016 Year in Review. Following on from last week’s issue, where we took a trip down memory lane to review the biggest and best headlines  between January and April of 2016, we’ll be reminiscing over the beautiful summer months of the year that was.

With plenty of sports, news and community events packed into the months of May, June, July and August, there’s something for everyone included in part two of the Citizen’s Year in Review.

May 5, 2016

  A local parental group went public with their dissatisfaction over a recent decision by the Upper Grand District School Board to discontinue its busing service in the Purple Hill area of Orangeville.

More than 200 students were affected by the decision, which UGDSB communications officer Heather Loney said was made following a “routine re-assessment” carried out by bus service provider Wellington-Dufferin Student Transportation Services (STWDSTS) in early 2016.  As a result of the cancellation, students were forced to either make alternative travel arrangements or make the roughly three kilometre walk from their Purple Hill area homes to Orangeville District Secondary School, located on Faulkner Street. In walking, students would be forced to navigate across a busy intersection of Highway 10.

Parents protested the move at a demonstration at the intersection on May 6.

  A whole lot of experience went out the door on April 29 when Jean-Paul (JP) Marchildon left the Town of Orangeville’s Operations Centre.

It was June 19, 1967 when 17-year-old JP first got a part-time position in the Town’s Public Works Department. Now, almost 50 years on, Mr. Marchildon is begrudgingly ready to call time on his lengthy career serving the municipality.

“Working with hard-working and knowledgeable support staff has made it an enjoyable and rewarding work experience for me and one that I hate to give up.”

May 12, 2016

  Orangeville Mayor Jeremy Williams temporarily stepped down from his position as chair of the Orangeville Police Services Board this month.

His move follows confirmation of the fact that his use of a Town of Orangeville credit card was under investigation by Peel Regional Police. Mayor Williams was not charged with any crime and was later cleared of any wrongdoing following a formal six-month long police investigation.

  Construction began in May on the Headwaters Health Care Centre’s expansion and renovation project, signaling a significant step forward in increasing access to important health care services for the growing community.

The addition of the new space is the first major expansion of the hospital since it opened at its current location in 1997. A new, 8,200 square-foot extension will be home to much-needed clinics, services and programs like chemotherapy, minor procedures, orthopedics and telemedicine.

• The Wellington-Dufferin Student Transportation Services (STWDSTS) decided to continue its bus service for students in the Rolling Hills and Purple Hill subdivisions in Orangeville for at least another year.

The move comes following a demonstration from a local parental group earlier this month that opposed the plans to cancel the service.

• An Orangeville resident used his Facebook group to gather donations throughout southern Ontario for the victims of the Fort McMurray wildfire.

James Hope, 22, created the Facebook truck enthusiast group 519TRUCKS, with a membership of 24,000 across southern Ontario. For three days we traveled to various towns and cities in Ontario such as London, Owen Sound and Fergus, accepting donations for those affected by the fire. His efforts and those of others who pitched in resulted in two transport trucks full of various items ranging from diapers and toiletries to food, water and clothes making their way out west.

  Ron Morden was named as the Fire Chief for the Town of Orangeville on May 11. With more than 30 years of emergency services experience, including the last 15 as the municipality’s Deputy Fire Chief, Morden was delighted to assume the role following the announcement that long-time chief Andy MacIntosh would be retiring back in February.

“I am looking forward to continuing to support the Town of Orangeville and its residents as Fire Chief,” Mr. Morden said. “It is an honour to lead an incredible group of fire service professionals within the Orangeville Fire Department.”

• The Orangevile Ice Crushers announced that Scott Sutton has been hired as the new head coach and assistant general manager for the team’s 2016/17 season.

A former Orangeville police officer, Mr. Sutton takes the position following ten years of experience coaching multiple Jr. B and Sr. A hockey outfits in the region.

• The Orangeville A’s 2015/16 season came to a close on May 6 after losing their best of five playoff series to the London Lightning in just three games.

The team finished with a 14-26 record in their first year at the Athlete Institute and provided the fans with an exciting season.

May 19, 2016

  A draft bylaw relating to open-air burning in Orangeville brought more than 60 local residents to council on May 16 with the municipality seeking public input on how it should regulate outdoor fires.

An outdoor burning committee, headed by local councillor Sylvia Bradley, has been meeting since October of 2015 to try to come to a consensus regarding a new municipal burning bylaw.

“Is it more important to have a backyard fire or is it more important for people to breathe?” Coun. Bradley asked.

The new Open Air Burning bylaw proposed by the committee would prescribe the type of fires, time during which fires may be set and the precautions to be observed by the person(s) setting fires in the open air. There would also be new fees and requirements for those seeking to obtain fire permits.

  Theatre Orangeville was the recipient of a generous $102,000 Trillium Foundation grant back in the summer, with much of the money going towards lighting upgrades at the Orangeville Town Hall Opera House.

Theatre Orangeville purchased a new console board, new dimmers and 14 brand new energy efficient LED lights with the money. Theatre staff said the “much needed” upgrades would help Theatre Orangeville produce the most technically advanced productions to ever be seen at the Opera House.

• Orangeville was represented well at the 2016 Eastern Canadian trampoline championships, held in Laval, Quebec from May 6 to 8, with local athlete Meg Tural placing second overall in her individual trampoline category.

May 26, 2016

  Dan LaCute, principal of Orangeville’s St. Andrew Elementary School, announced he would be riding 100 kilometres, starting at the Brampton Fairgrounds in Caledon, on June 26 for the 12th annual Healing Cycle Ride.

The ride supports hospice palliative care in Ontario. Maureen Riedler, executive director of Hospice Dufferin, says the organization helps patients and families deal with life-limiting illnesses through various support programs.

Mr. LaCute is part of Team HD (Hospice Dufferin), one of several teams to pledge donations and commit to the ride. Ms. Riedler says Mr. LaCute is an example for his students to give back to the community.

“I think as a principal and as a community member, Dan teaches his kids about giving to the community. I don’t think he recognizes that because is so much part of who he is and his life.”

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