2018 Year in Review – February

January 7, 2019   ·   0 Comments

February 1

• Humber College reaffirmed its commitment to Orangeville this week, signing a new three-year lease with an option for a further three years which, if exercised, would see it  continue operations at Alder Recreation Centre until at least 2024.

The post-secondary institution marked its 10th anniversary in Orangeville last year and Campus Director Joe Andrews was on hand at Town Council on Monday (Jan. 29) to celebrate a “wonderful” decade in the community. 

“We are extremely proud to be a member of this community and we are proud to be associated and partnered with the Town of Orangeville,” Mr. Andrews said.

Humber College offers six core programs in the community: Design Foundation, Early Childhood Education, General Arts & Science College Transfer, General Arts & Science University Transfer, Police Foundations and Social Services Worker. Since 2007, the school has seen more than 1,150 students graduate from its programs, with 52 percent achieving honours.

• A number of local residents have become disillusioned with the way the Town of Orangeville is conducting its Heritage Conservation District study, calling on the municipality to “leave them alone” when it comes to preserving their historical homes.

Close to 30 homeowners clamoured to Town Hall this past Monday (Jan. 29) to voice their concerns about what a potential Heritage designation could mean to them. The basis of their argument centred around  “ridiculous” restrictions that come hand in hand with the Heritage label, most notably the fact owners would need approval to make any changes to the front exterior of their home.

More than 238 homes were included in the Heritage Conservation District study, which Council endorsed in May of last year. The study focused on two older residential neighbourhoods, which listed properties on Broadway, Zina Street, York Street, Bythia Street, First Street and First Avenue. The area was first identified as a possible Heritage zone by Town Council back in 2003.

• Teams from around the province arrived in Orangeville over the weekend for the annual Sweetheart Tournament hosted by the Orangeville Girls Hockey Association.

The tournament is so large the schedule featured games at four venues – the Alder Street arena, Tony Rose arena, Teen Ranch in Caledon, and even at the Erin arena.

Around 80 teams took part in this year’s event coming from as far away as Sudbury.

February 8

• There has been a changing of the guard at the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County as the local non-profit organization welcomed a new executive director at the turn of the month.

Lindsay Butcher has been brought in from the society’s sister organization in Peel, where she served as a day program coordinator for eight years. She is replacing Tracey Koskamp-Bergeron, who will be relocating to Timmins to run the Alzheimer Society of Timmins-Porcupine District.

February 15

• Although Orangeville Council voted Monday against a proposal that could potentially lead to regionalization of local fire, police and library services, Mayor Jeremy Williams says he plans to meet with Shelburne Mayor Ken Bennington “in the coming days” to discuss the possibility of amalgamating the Orangeville and Shelburne police services.

• In a series of public information sessions the Government of Ontario is reaching out to people in in the ‘outer ring’ area of the Provincial Greenbelt area to garner input on a proposed increase in the size of the current Greenbelt area. 

The plan got a mixed reaction at the public session held at Tony Rose arena in Orangeville last Thursday, February 8.

The current Greenbelt was created in 2005 and covers an area from the Niagara Peninsula wrapping north of Toronto to Lake Simcoe and east to north of the Cobourg area. 

Orangeville is located within the protected Greenbelt area on the northwest end of the current zone. 

• An Orangeville teacher has been found not guilty of assault by an Ontario Court judge after a trial in which the teacher had been accused of assaulting a five-year-old student in the classroom.

In April of 2017, a parent contacted Orangeville police to report that his son had complained of being assaulted by a teacher in a classroom at St. Benedict Elementary School. 

After a police investigation, Jennifer Peltier, of Inglewood, was charged with assault. 

Ms. Peltier plead not guilty to the charges.

During the trial, the Crown argued that Ms. Peltier had used ‘excessive force’ against the child after the child refused to follow instructions in the classroom.

The teacher testified that she did not use an unreasonable or unjustified amount of force. 

Last Friday, February 9, Ontario Court Justice Richard Schwarzl found her not guilty of the charges.

The Court found that it was the behaviour of the child that caused Ms. Peltier to use force, citing the school board’s policy that permits a teacher to restrain a student as ‘last resort’ when all other attempts have failed. The judge ruled that Ms. Peltier conducted herself as expected under that policy.

February 22

• Crews are searching the Grand River south of Waldemar near Grand Valley for missing three-year-old Kaden Young after a minivan driven by the child’s mother was swept into the river’s raging waters early Wednesday morning (Feb. 21).

Const. Paul Nancekivell, spokesman for the Dufferin OPP Detachment, said that just before 1 a.m. the car was on the 10th Line of Amaranth heading towards Waldemar. The driver, Michelle Hanson, passed a sign indicating the road was closed due to flooding.  Several feet of water covered the road at the time of the incident.

“The driver tried to back up, turned her wheels, and the wheels acted like rudders and dragged the vehicle into the water,” Nancekivell said. 

The driver managed to get the three-year-old child from the vehicle but the child was swept out of her arms by the force of the river.

• Having recently celebrated her first anniversary in the community, Stacey Daub believes she has finally found a home here in the Headwaters region.

It has been a busy 12 months for the CAO and President of Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC). As well as overseeing important projects such as the construction and subsequent opening of the new ambulatory care unit, and the ongoing renovations to create a third operating room, Ms. Daub has been working hard to put what she described as “necessary” steps in place to  improve and streamline services at the hospital.

• A week on from the release of its long-awaited aboriginal needs assessment report and the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle (DCCRC) is committed to driving positive change in the local community.

Titled ‘Mino Bima Diziwin’, the 44-page document tackles numerous tough topics, but centres on a defined three-year plan – an important step for an organization still in relative infancy following its incorporation in 2014. 

• Cando Rail Services Ltd. will cease its industrial and tourist operations of the Orangeville Brampton Railway (OBRY), after 18 years of operation.

Cando recently announced that it would end freight operations on June 30, while the Credit Valley Explorer’s final trip under Cando’s management, a major tourist attraction for the town, will be this Saturday, Feb. 24.

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