2018 Year in Review – May

January 7, 2019   ·   0 Comments

May 3

• Having led the Conservative Party of Canada now for 12 months, Andrew Scheer is hoping to do the same thing on a national scale come October 2019.

Approaching his first anniversary as Conservative leader, Mr. Scheer spent time in Orangeville last Saturday (April 28) speaking to local residents about some of the issues they feel are most important heading into the election.

• After a six-month investigation by Orangeville’s integrity commissioner, Mayor Jeremy Williams has been cleared of wrongdoing following complaints by a Town staff member regarding the mayor’s conduct in two separate incidents last year.

In a 46-page document submitted to Council, Guy Giorno found the mayor innocent in 11 different alleged Municipal Code of Conduct violations, while reserving judgment on a 12th complaint due to lack of evidence and inconsistent reports submitted by the affected parties.

The report brings an end to months of speculation over the investigation. It was first revealed last October that a Town staffer had complained about a member of Council, formally asking the integrity commissioner to investigate the member’s conduct. At the time, no details were given regarding the staff member’s identity, the council member’s identity or the issue at hand.

The Citizen can now confirm that the complaint was made by Town Clerk Susan Greatrix against Mayor Williams. Ms. Greatrix felt Mayor Williams’ behaviour on social media last summer, where she felt he disrespected and, to a point, bullied, or did nothing to prevent the bullying of a municipal bylaw officer at the height of the downtown piano debacle.

May 10

• It has been another record-breaking year for the Headwaters Health Care Foundation (HHCF) as the dust begins to settle on their spectacular 21st annual ‘Headwaters Goes Hollywood’ hospital gala.

Last Saturday evening (May 5), no fewer than 402 guests crammed their way into Hockley Valley Resort as HHCF – the main fundraising arm of Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) – welcomed individuals from across the community for an unforgettable evening of glitz and glamour. While entertainment was plentiful and a good time was had by all, when it came down to it everyone in attendance remembered the real reason they were there that night. And they remembered it in a big way.

“Although we do not yet have our final net results for the event, I can confidently share that we have not only met, but we have exceeded last year’s total, where we brought in $308,000 for the hospital,” HHCF’s Annual Giving Manager Nicole Hand shared with the Citizen. “It has been another big year for the hospital and a big year for the foundation.”

May 17

• Only one week after the successful launch of the digital platform Defining Moments Canada, built on Dufferin’s  award-winning Digital History Project (DHP) model, word circulated that the DHP had been cancelled by the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB.)

Created by retired Centre Dufferin District High School teacher Neil Orford, winner of both the Governor General’s and Ontario Premier’s Award for History Teaching, the Digital History Project won the 2015 Government of Canada History Award. Since 2014, DHP brought senior history students together with the Dufferin County Museum and Archives (DCMA) for a semester of deep historical research, developing real-world statistical analytical skills.

Despite the national acclaim, Heather Loney, Communications and Community Engagement Officer for UGDSB, says the program was cancelled due to low enrolment.

• After a busy 12 months at the hospital, Headwaters Health Care Centre’s President and CAO, Stacey Daub, was at Orangeville  Council on May 7 to provide an update on the facility’s workings in the Dufferin-Caledon community and to discuss its plans for the future.

One of 24 designated medium-sized hospitals in Ontario, HHCC is on the cusp of breaking through that classification with the local hospital busier now than it has ever been before. In her report to Council, Ms. Daub noted that 16,000 residents from Orangeville alone accessed HHCC services in the last year, numbers she notes are much higher than she had expected.

A significant portion of that growth can be attributed to the opening of the hospital’s new ambulatory care wing, which Ms. Daub noted has been a big success. Visits to that department have grown by 58 percent since 2014. Emergency room visits are also on the rise in the community, but not at the rate of other areas.

May 24

• The wheels on Orangeville’s municipal transit system just keep spinning.

Last Wednesday (May 16), representatives from Orangeville Council and the Orangeville Transit Committee gathered to celebrate the arrival of the Town’s third 30-foot, low-floor Vicinity bus. The new $400,000 vehicle went into operation this week, marking the completion of a multi-year municipal initiative to completely revamp its transit system.

Following similar purchases over the past two years, Orangeville now has a new bus for each of its three current bus routes. A fourth bus will be bought within the next year when the transit service adds a fourth route.

May 31

• The final Dufferin Board of Trade candidates’ forum saw a wide variety of topics discussed at Orangeville District Secondary School last Thursday (May 24), from issues affecting the area directly to those throughout the province. 

The five candidates – incumbent MPP Sylvia Jones (Progressive Conservative), Bob Gordanier (Liberal), Laura Campbell (Green Party), Andrea Mullarkey (New Democratic Party), and Jeff Harris (Libertarian) – tookthe opportunity to state their ideas and their parties’ platforms, along with answering several questions submitted on-line by the public. 

• This past winter was one for the record books, with extreme cold and warm temperatures that seemed to happen on the fly, which for beekeepers in Ontario proved to be a real stinger, experiencing severe losses in honey bees. 

A recent study from the Ontario Beekeepers Association (OBA) indicates that about 70 per cent of beekeepers in the province suffered “unsustainable losses” over the winter. A survey of 900 beekeepers indicates that almost one in three, or 32 per cent of beekeepers reported colony losses of 70 per cent or more. 

“I’ve been getting calls from beekeepers around the province,” reports Jim Coneybeare, OBA president. “The number of dead or weak colonies is astounding. These could be the worst winter losses on record.” 

• The Orangeville Police Service (OPS) 2018 Cops for Cancer successfully raised over $10,000 for the special event, where again the community came together to donate to a worthy cause.

With the beautiful, warm, and sunny weather, the event took place outside Orangeville Town Hall on Saturday (May 26). 14 officers, including Police Chief Wayne Kalinski, had their heads and beloved mustaches shaved by Councillor Nick Garisto and one of his daughters, Nella Robidoux, to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

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