2018 Year in Review – June

January 7, 2019   ·   0 Comments

June 7

• After a messy summer going back and forth over whether or not to allow a local business to have a piano outside its Broadway store, Orangeville Council has acted quickly this year, passing a new bylaw that regulates piano usage in the downtown core.

At its May 28 meeting, Council voted in favour of allowing downtown merchants to place pianos on Broadway providing they meet a lengthy list of requirements.

The bylaw allows for a maximum of three pianos to be placed in specific locations on Broadway during the summer months – on the south side of Broadway, in the 82 to 114 Broadway vicinity, either side of Broadway west of First Street and east of John Street and, again, either side of Broadway west of Second Street and east of First Street. Piano placement proposals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis as required by location and shall be at the discretion of Town staff.

Pianos are now permitted in the downtown core from June 15 to September 15 annually. They may be made available to the public between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily, with owners being responsible for ensuring that pianos are uncovered in the morning and covered and secured in the evening.

June 14

• There were few surprises in Dufferin-Caledon riding last week as long-time Progressive Conservative MPP Sylvia Jones was voted in for a fourth successive term at Queen’s Park. 

In truth, it was something of a cruise for Ms. Jones, who accumulated a whopping 29,701 votes last Thursday (June 7), good enough for 53 percent of the local vote. It was by far her strongest showing in a riding renowned for waving the blue flag come election time.

What perhaps did come as a surprise was the overwhelming support that the PCs, led by the polarizing Doug Ford, received across the province. Not only will the Tories form government for the first time in 14 years, they will do so with a huge majority, having claimed 76 seats in the June 7 vote. To put that into perspective, the PCs won just 28 seats under Tim Hudak in the 2014 provincial election.

Addressing a crowd of approximately 50 people at the Orangeville Curling Club on election night, Ms. Jones was triumphant, thanking local voters for once again placing their faith in the PC party. A member of the Ontario legislature since 2007, she will for the first time be serving as a member of the government.

June 21

• The Orangeville Police Service (OPS) is not currently in negotiations to expand its services into neighbouring municipalities, says Ken Krakar, Orangeville Police Services Board (OPSB) chair.

Following up on a query by Councillor Sylvia Bradley at a recent meeting of Orangeville Council, the Citizen asked Mr. Krakar if there were any truth to rumours that negotiations between Orangeville and both Shelburne and Amaranth were ongoing. While he answered with a resounding “No” regarding official negotiations, he admitted tentative conversations had taken place with Shelburne officials.

“I can confirm that the Board is not in open discussions with any municipality regarding amalgamation,” Mr. Krakar said. “I have had a conversation with the Chair of the Shelburne Police Services Board to discuss if there is any appetite for future partnerships.”

With the Town of Shelburne currently embroiled in an OPP costing proposal, Mayor Ken Bennington has indicated discussions relating to a potential regional police force will have to wait until that process has concluded. 

• The Town of Orangeville has hired the eight new full-time firefighters that local Fire Chief Ron Morden has stated were needed to bring the department’s overnight response times up to provincial standards.

News broke on Tuesday that the Town had extended offers to eight individuals following an intensive two-month recruitment process. In total, the Town received 867 applications from across the country.

The new staff started their positions on Friday (June 15) and are currently undergoing two weeks of training. The department will now operate with four platoons ensuring Orangeville is covered by full-time firefighters 24 hours a day. Each platoon will boast a captain and four full-time firefighters. In total, the local service now consists of 20 full-time firefighters, a chief, a deputy chief, a training officer, fire prevention staff and an administrative assistant. In this year’s the budget, the fire department was slated to cost taxpayers just over $4 million.

• David Brown and Emanoil (Mike) Kopoulos of Orangeville are celebrating after winning $20,481,125.50 in the March 21 LOTTO 6/49 draw.

Mr. Kopoulos, a metal recycler, checked their ticket following the draw. “I started screaming when I saw our numbers come up,” he said. “I was shaking!” 

The father of two decided to surprise his friend of many years with the news of their big win. “I called David and made up a story that he had to come meet me because I had some work for him. When he arrived, I told him that we won and he started screaming!”  

“I took a picture of the ticket. I was overwhelmed,” noted Mr. Brown, a self-employed father of three.

When it was determined that Mr. Kopoulos’ sister works for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission (OLG), he fit into the definition of an ‘insider win,’ and the prize was put on hold until an investigation was completed.

The winners say they plan to help family and friends, pay off their mortgages, travel and buy new gear for their businesses. They both also plan to pay their win forward by supporting their community and their favourite charities.  

The winning ticket was purchased at Petro Canada on Broadway in Orangeville.

• That’s it for Junior A hockey in Orangeville, at least for now.

The Orangeville Junior A Flyers are packing it in and moving the franchise to Brampton.

The team has been re-branded as the Brampton Admirals.

June 28

• Orangeville Mayor Jeremy Williams is in for a fight this fall after local realtor Sandy Brown, who ran unsuccessfully for deputy mayor in 2014, today signaled his intent to run for mayor in October’s municipal election.

It’s been a big six months for Mr. Brown as he contemplated whether to make another run for public office. Convinced that the municipality needs a change of leadership, Sandy promises to get the community “back on track” should he be elected in the October 22 vote.

• Close to 100 local residents helped to light up the night on June 15 as Dufferin Relay for Life enjoyed another successful year at Orangeville District Secondary School. 

The event took over the local high school’s sports field for a second straight year, with event organizer Karen Beaulieu informing the Citizen that 78 participants had banded together to raise more than $30,700 in 2018.

• Orangeville Council did its part for the environment on Monday, agreeing to stop offering plastic straws at municipal facilities and encouraging local businesses to follow suit. 

Coun. Don Kidd told Council that reducing the use of plastic straws is paramount as much of the country seeks to become more environmentally responsible.

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