2018 Year in Review – December

January 7, 2019   ·   0 Comments

December 6

• Approximately 150 local residents were on hand to welcome a “new era of cooperation and collaboration” to Orangeville on Monday evening as the town’s new council was officially inaugurated. 

Mayor Sandy Brown, Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh and Councillors Joe Andrews, Grant Peters, Lisa Post, Debbie Sherwood and Todd Taylor were front and centre at the Orangeville Opera House as they were sworn into office by Ontario Court Justice Richard Schwarzl. Kicking off proceedings, Justice Schwarzl, a long-time resident of Orangeville, shared a few words of wisdom with those in attendance, speaking of the importance of municipal governance.

• Orangeville lost one of its last remaining Second World War heroes when Sir Fred Heber, a gunner with the 12th Field Regiment, passed away on Monday due to complications with prostate cancer. 

A popular figure at the local legion in town, Mr. Heber, 96 at the time of his death, served as an inspiration to many, having spent more than four years in Europe fighting for his country and defending its allies against the Nazi regime.

It was believed that Sir Fred was the last man standing in the 12th Field Artillery Regiment, however another survivor who served in the troop has recently come forward. 

December 13

• Orangeville’s new council stayed true to its pre-election word Monday (Dec. 10), officially requesting a new costing proposal from the OPP and asking Town staff to investigate how much it would cost to hire a third-party consultant to analyze the numbers. 

In passing the motion, introduced by Mayor Sandy Brown and supported unanimously by the rest of Council, Orangeville has reopened the can of worms that plagued the majority of the last four-year term. With a self-proclaimed cohesive Council now in place, Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh said a final decision would be made, one way or another, this term over whether or not the Town opts for a contract with OPP or sticks with the Orangeville Police Service.

During the previous OPP costing process, Town Treasurer Marc Villeneuve and CAO Ed Brennan carried out much of the analytical work on the provincial proposal, eventually estimating the Town would save in the region of $4.3 million per year if they disbanded OPS and embraced the OPP.

• Area residents will have the opportunity to purchase cannabis legally in Orangeville, Town Council having opted in Monday to the provincial government’s scheme to roll out privatized storefront retail sites in the new year. 

The legalization of marijuana has been long debated in Canada. Having promised legalization during the 2015 election campaign, the federal government announced plants to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis on April 13, 2017. The Cannabis Act states the federal government would regulate production and basic over-arching rules for possession, access and enforcement, while the responsibility for distribution and retail sales would fall to the provincial governments. Cannabis was officially legalized on Oct. 17. 

“We are not here tonight to debate if cannabis is good or bad. The federal government has decided that for us,” said Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh. 

The AGCO has announced that the first recreational cannabis retail stores would be permitted to open and operate on April 1. In the meantime, Ontario residents are still able to order cannabis legally from the online Ontario Cannabis Store.

December 20

• Melancthon Mayor Darren White was acclaimed as Dufferin County’s 142nd Warden for 2019, looking to head an almost brand new council.

After the swearing in of the new council last Thursday, Dec. 13, Mono Mayor Laura Ryan nominated Mayor White for the position as warden. After no one else sought the nomination, he was acclaimed. He was previously a warden in 2017.

• A former Caledon mayoralty candidate has become the first woman to enter the race to represent Dufferin-Caledon Conservatives in next October’s federal election.

Barb Shaughnessy, the former regional councillor for Ward 1 says she has filed her documents and will be available for an interview in the new year.

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