2022 Year in Review 2/2

January 12, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Attention Readers!

For our first two editions of the Orangeville Citizen in 2023, we’re taking our readers through all the highs and lows of 2022 for our annual Year in Review.

The first half of our 2022 Year in Review, which highlighted significant stories from Jan. 6 to June 30, was published last week in the Jan. 5 edition of the newspaper. This week we’re publishing the second half of the 2022 Year in Review, from July 7 to Dec. 22.

Now, without any further ado, here’s a look at the year that was!

July 7

  • The Summer Arts Festival, which is the first of its kind for Dufferin, is bringing live music, stand-up comedy, theatre, drag performances and visual arts to Mount Alverno Luxury Resorts from August 10 to 14. 

“It’s a little bit of everything,” said Lisa Lahue, Theatre Orangeville (TOV) technical director and event organizer. “It’s a five-day event that ropes in the Toronto Fringe Festival, children’s programming, aspects of our Young Company Shows. We have Drag Queen Bingo with some performances and local musicians.” 

Visual art will be on display throughout Mount Alverno’s property, which is located on 100 acres of natural wilderness, six kilometres east of downtown Orangeville. TOV partnered with Mount Alverno last summer for their annual Young Company program and from the partnership, the idea for a Summer Arts Festival was born.

  • Orangeville Council has approved an $11.29 Million redevelopment plan, in principle, for Rotary Park, with the end goal of making it a destination for the entire community. In a unanimous vote during Council’s June 27 meeting, they directed town staff to bring back plan recommendations and a report during 2023 budget deliberations to assess the project’s final layout and budget impacts, which are subject to change. After approvals, park upgrades and additions will begin in 2023 and are expected to be fully completed by 2026. The redevelopment plans have been developed in partnership with the Orangeville Rotary Club and they’ll continue to provide input as the project progresses.
  • There’s been a slight delay in opening a permanent affordable housing building in Orangeville. Coun. Joe Andrews, who sits on Orangeville’s Men’s Homelessness Committee, provided a brief update to council on the progress at 236 First Street, which is a former motel being renovated to accommodate affordable housing, under the management of Services and Housing in the Province (SHIP). SHIP is a non-profit health service and housing support provider in Ontario. 

The completion of the affordable housing project, featuring 27 studio and two-bedroom apartments, is being pushed a few months, Coun. Andrews noted. “The target was to in fact have occupancy of this facility by the end of this calendar year,” he said. “Due to supply chain issues, it looks as though that it will be in the first quarter of 2023.” Coun. Andrews added the project’s design will likely be presented to Orangeville Council in 30 to 60 days.

  • A celebration marking National Indigenous Peoples Day was held by the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle (DCCRC) at the Alder Recreation Centre Playing Fields on June 25. Renee Meshake, Mama D, Larry Kurtz, and the Eagleheart Drummers and Singers, who had two jingle dress dancers interacting with the audience, took to the stage, with live music and traditional stories. 

Storytelling and a talking stick craft was led by the Orangeville Public Library, while Community Elder Karen Vandenberg provided teachings and tours at the Mino Kamik Medicine Wheel Garden. The only Ojibwe pony in Ontario made an appearance at the event and a bouncy castle was set up for children to play in. DCCRC board chair, Debbie Egerton said the goal with National Indigenous Peoples Day or any of the organization’s events is to create a safe space to learn about or celebrate Indigenous traditions and history

  • Costs to run schools under the umbrella of the Upper Grand District School Board increased 5.45 per cent over last year. The school board released details in its 2022-2023 spending blueprint. Board trustees approved an operating budget of $432,285,649 and a capital budget of $52,485,533. The increase to non-staff costs in school operations was necessary to keep in line with increasing commodity prices such as electricity, natural gas, facility insurance and other expenses

July 14

  • Five NHL stars are coming to Teen Ranch next month, bringing high-speed hockey action to Dufferin and Caledon residents in support of a good cause. On August 10, local NHL talent Brett Ritchie and Nick Ritchie will lead Team Dufferin against Team Caledon, led by Taylor Raddysh, Darren Raddysh, and Andrew Mangiapane for the first ever Hockey Night in Dufferin–Caledon fundraiser. It will be a competitive match between NHL and other high-level hockey players, with the end goal of raising $100,000 for Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC).
  • The distinctive flavour of authentic southern BBQ sauce, sourced from some of the best small-batch producers within the United States, is now available across Canada. New Orangeville business, BBQ Sauce Nation, is sourcing award-winning sauces and rubs from the very best sauce producers in the United States and distributing them locally. But the family-run company’s small-batch BBQ sauces aren’t available in stores, the only way to get a hold of them is by visiting
  • Orangeville’s Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 233’s Canada Day festivities on July 1 became especially memorable this year for Comrade Barry Kimber when he received a special honour. Kimber had the Royal Canadian Legion Life Membership was conferred upon him, which is among the highest honours for Legion members and is awarded to members of long-standing, consistent and outstanding service to the Legion. In Comrade Kimber’s case, he has been a member of the local Col. Fitzgerald Branch (#233) for 35 years. 

July 21

  • Thanks to Orangeville’s love for music, a free concert featuring Juno Award-winning band Walk off the Earth is coming to the community this fall. Orangeville achieved the top spot in the SiriusXM Music Town contest for Ontario, after hundreds of nominations came in, sharing passionate stories from residents. It was shortlisted with Belleville, Timmins, and Uxbridge before public voting commenced last month, which Orangeville won. 
  • Bingo players across the region have lots to be happy about. Following the success of the Orangeville Lions Club’s introduction of Radio Bingo, which ran from December 2021 to May 2022, they’re launching TV Bingo and expanding it to Hillsburgh, Erin, Garafaxa Woods, Grand Valley, and all of Caledon, for September 13. It’s going to be broadcasted by Rogers, free of charge, and the Lions will be doling out roughly $100,000 to $150,000 in prize money over the next year. It will be $3,000 in prize money per regular game and $5,000 on special holidays. 
  • Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) temporarily closed its emergency department overnight this past weekend in response to a staffing shortage. The local hospital issued a notice on Saturday (July 16) saying it made the “difficult decision” to redirect all non-life-threatening situations at the emergency department to surrounding hospitals from 7 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. Kim Delahunt, president and CEO of Headwaters Hospital, said the redirect was due to an unprecedented shortage of nursing staff and sick calls from staff members in the emergency department. 
  • The official ribbon cutting to mark the acquisition of the old Orangeville Brampton Railway was held last Friday at the train tracks in Peel. Peel, Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga purchased the 51-kilometre rail line on July 14 for $5.8 million, which will be split between those municipalities.
  • Following the death of an 11-year-old boy, whose body was found in the Scugog River last month, Orangeville council is endorsing changes to the province’s Amber Alert System. Draven Graham, who has autism, was pulled from the river on June 13, less than 24 hours after he went missing, sparking an online petition that has 90,000 signatures, to start the “Draven Alert”. On July 11 Coun. Lisa Post brought forward the motion requesting the province and OPP to change the Amber Alert system to enact “Draven Alert”, which would be used when vulnerable children go missing. Currently, the Amber Alert system is only triggered when an abduction of a child takes place.
  • Users of Orangeville’s transit system can soon leave their wallets at home. A two-year pilot project for free transit rides, starting January 1, 2023, was approved by Orangeville council in a 6-1 vote last Monday (July 11). The estimated loss in revenue from bus fares is $265,000 per year or $530,000 throughout the two-year pilot.
  • Rogers Communications will bring high-speed Internet to more than 1,600 homes in Mono. Officials from the telecommunications company described to Mono town council on July 19 how it plans to weave fibre optic cable throughout the rural municipality. More than 315 kilometres of fibre will stitch at least 1,609 homes to the world wide web. Mayor John Creelman said underserved homes and businesses will be able to access high-speed Internet by the first quarter of 2023.

July 28

  • A local business that teaches self-defence, karate, and the “art of fighting without fighting” is being recognized with a new annual award at the former Mill Street Mall. Johanis’ Karate School recently received the first Old Mill Hub Award, after a public vote was held, determining which businesses located within the hub most exemplified kindness, generosity and positive community impact. 
  • A newly opened local business made a big splash on its opening day, raising around $7,500 for Family Transition Place (FTP) and completely selling out of baked goods. Cobs Bread Bakery, located at 489 Broadway, marked its opening in Orangeville last Wednesday (July 20) with a charitable effort, donating 100 per cent of all sales to FTP, who supports women and families impacted by domestic violence. By 4 p.m. on Wednesday the bakery, which makes everything fresh daily, was completely sold out except for a couple of loaves of bread, according to the business’s owner, Amber North.

August 4

  • After five years of planning, a new 10 ft. wide monument honouring fallen veterans has been installed at Greenwood Cemetery by the Orangeville Royal Canadian Legion Br. 233. A dedication service and parade are being held Sept. 25, with all 39 Legion branches from District E invited to participate, ranging from Alton to Huntsville. 
  • A local pilot project that’s employing adults with developmental differences recently received a couple of boosts in funding. CommonFare Kitchen, which is run through Branching Out Support Services (5 First Street), was awarded $10,000 in funding last month through the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program. It is being used to upgrade the kitchen’s infrastructure with the purchase and installation of a new commercial-grade sink. It also helped buy stainless steel prep tables and exterior signage for the building. An additional $5,000 grant and 16 weeks of coaching for product development, aimed at promoting a circular economy, has been awarded to CommonFare Kitchen through Innovation Guelph, in partnership with 10C Harvest Impact.
  • A former Caledon resident who’s now living in Ukraine is fundraising to get critical medical supplies to the country’s troops. As Russia continues its illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Kevin Leach is leading Project Volya, a mission to get Ukrainian soldiers life-saving resources to survive their fight against Russia. His Project Volya is bringing Ukrainian soldiers things like hemostatic gauze, which is used to pack into a wound left by projectiles or shrapnel. The gauze helps absorb blood and prevent lethal internal bleeding. Leach moved to Kyiv, Ukraine in 2018. Since the February 2022 Russian invasion, Leach has been working on the ground with local friends to connect incoming medical non-governmental organizations with the resources they need to get established in Ukraine.

August 11

  • The Orangeville Food Bank recently commemorated its 30th anniversary with dignitaries, donors and volunteers, both past and present. A small gathering was held on Monday (Aug. 8) at the food bank’s new facility (3 Commerce Rd) which was occupied on July 1, 2020, featuring speeches and interactive tours of the building.
  • Former Orangeville CAO, Rick Schwarzer has passed away at age 70. Mr. Schwarzer was chief administrative officer at the Town of Orangeville for about 26 years before his retirement in 2015. He started at town hall in 1990 as the director of planning before he took on the role of CAO in 1995. Rob Adams, who was Orangeville’s mayor from 1997 until 2000 and again from 2006 to 2014, said Mr. Schwarzer was at the helm during many major developments in town.

August 18

  • A communications review for emergency services in Orangeville and Dufferin County found numerous issues with the current system. Phil Crnko of consultancy company, Black Castle Networks, delivered a presentation of the review to Council last Monday (Aug. 8), with the message that corrective action should be taken immediately to fix concerns around health and safety, 9-1-1 operations, and liability. 

At Headwaters Hospital, the commercial area north of Orangeville, and the industrial area, there have been numerous anecdotes from first responders on communications issues when receiving or making calls, said Crnko. Through Black Castle Networks analysis, they found that changes to radio infrastructure within the town are necessary to remedy concerns of 9-1-1 interoperability, mutual aid, and continuity of operations. 

The solution proposed by Black Castle Networks to modernize and rectify these issues within the current system is a two-site LMR conventional refresh for Orangeville and a land mobile radio core network. This will provide the ability to link other radio sites, within Dufferin County and Caledon, as well as improve operability. 

There are a number of grant funding opportunities for these upgrades that Orangeville is eligible for. During the Aug. 8 council meeting, a motion was unanimously approved that authorizes town staff to pursue grant funding for initiatives related to upgrading local telecommunications systems.

  • Hockey Night in Dufferin-Caledon added a fair chunk of change to the coffers at the Headwaters Health Care Foundation. A group of National Hockey League (NHL) and local players laced skates for a charity game Aug. 10 at the Teen Ranch rink. The effort raised $86,000 for the hospital’s fundraising arm. Players who locked horns on the ice included former NHL stars Brett Ritchie, Nick Ritchie, Taylor Raddysh, Darren Raddysh, and Andrew Mangiapane, as well as other local elite players.  

August 25

  • Over 630 families, businesses, and farms are now connected to fibre optic Internet, thanks to a $538,000 investment from the federal and provincial government. The investment provides the communities of Laurel, Salem and Camilla with high-speed Internet infrastructure, installed by Northern Frontenac Telephone Company (NFTC). The broadband announcement was made at Dufferin Veterinary Services in Laurel last Friday (Aug. 19).
  • The Dufferin Community Foundation (DCF) has provided four local organizations that are helping the community’s most vulnerable residents, with funding through their Dufferin Emergency Support Fund (DESF) grant. The funds from the grant, which totalled $13,000, were given to charities supporting mental health or housing programs in the community. Recipients of the grants are Choices Youth Shelter, Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS), Aging Well in Caledon Dufferin, and Dufferin Community Living.
  • What’s old is new again in Mono’s town council chambers. Mayor John Creelman and Deputy Mayor Fred Nix went unchallenged in their campaign for re-election. As such, they were acclaimed to their municipal government seats when nominations were certified Monday after the period to submit them closed Aug. 19. Creelman was appointed to the job of mayor part-way through the current term after former mayor Laura Ryan quit in September 2021. And that paved the way for Nix to ascend to the deputy mayor seat vacated by Creelman.

September 1

  • Mikayla Evans, 19, woke up her boyfriend Jack Brakel, 21, around midnight last Wednesday, to the smell of smoke and confusion. Once they got to safety outside, they watched as their apartment at 22 Mill St. and everything they own inside burst into flames. 

“The whole roof was on fire; it was just engulfed in flames,” said Brakel, who moved into the apartment in downtown Orangeville with Evans three weeks ago. 

The 22 Mill St. unit was their first apartment, and without tenant insurance, everything they own is now gone. The seven other tenants who lived there are in similar situations, with many also not having insurance, sparking several online fundraisers, generating roughly $18,000 collectively to date. Brakel’s sister, Lauren started a GoFundMe to help replace his belongings and cover first and last month’s rent on a new place. It’s raised $3,620 as of press time. 

The fire itself is one of the largest for downtown Orangeville over the past two decades in terms of recourses. It took almost eight hours to fully extinguish, with roughly 35 firefighters on the scene from Orangeville, Caledon, Shelburne and Grand Valley. The last fire of similar size in Orangeville’s core was at the Mad Hatter in 2003. 

September 8

  • The 168th Orangeville Fall Fair returned over the Labour Day weekend (Sept. 2-4), bringing a much-loved community event back to the region after a two-year pause due to COVID-19. A smaller-scale fair was held this year because of a tight budget and many of the midway rental companies as well as vendors going out of business during the pandemic. Although, Jen Arnold, Orangeville Agriculture Society (OAS) board member, said overall the fair was a success.
  • A fire on Mill Street impacting several people and businesses has been deemed suspicious by the Office of the Fire Marshal. While no people were injured during the fire that took place on Aug. 25 at 22 Mill Street, the apartments of nine people were destroyed, with them losing all their belongings and 18 businesses have had to close or relocate from the Old Mill Hub at 28 Mill Street.

Investigators are canvassing for witnesses of the fire. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dufferin OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

  • An important road for convenient travel throughout Orangeville has reopened after significant improvements. Centennial Rd. runs through the centre of town and has reopened after being closed to traffic from late April of this year until Sept. 2. The closed portion was from Tideman Dr. to Dawson Rd. The road was also closed between C-Line and Tideman Drive from July to November of 2021, when the first phase of the project began. The project entailed a full road reconstruction, with the replacement of water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, the addition of traffic signals at Dawson/Centennial, and widening of the road to a three-lane section for a left turn lane, with a 2.5m multi-use trail on the north side. The remaining work includes placing topsoil, hydroseeding, energizing traffic signals and placing top asphalt, which will be done by June of 2023. 
  • Dufferin County has been selected as the host location for the 104th edition of the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM). This time next year, from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23, the farmers’ fields surrounding Bowling Green and Laurel will be transformed into a tented city with plowing competition venues, parking areas and an RV park. The 2023 IPM is being hosted by the municipalities of Amaranth and Grand Valley.

September 15

  • Fifteen countries, home to roughly 150 million people lost Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Ruling for 70 years as the longest reigning monarch in British history, and the only ruler to reach 96 years of age, she’s become the most familiar face of royalty for most people alive today. Deb Perrie, co-owner of British Pub, Thistle and Rose (171 Broadway), was born in Manchester, England, living there for the first 16 years of her life, and commented on the sadness of the queen’s passing. “For most people, all we’ve ever known is the queen because 70 years, that’s a long time,” said Perrie. “She did a good reign. It’s the end of something we’ll never see again in our lifetime and when you’ve lived with the monarchy the way it’s been your whole entire life, there’s a deep sadness about it.” 
  • Orangeville boxer, Josh Wagner, claimed the IBA Intercontinental Welterweight championship with a win over his opponent, Jorge Perez, Friday night at the CAA Centre in Brampton. Wagner arrived at the arena on Sept. 9 with a 12-0 record. Perez, fighting out of Mexico City, is an experienced boxer with a 13-2 record before the fight, including five knock-outs.
  • Local racer, Ryder White has been awarded the 2002 Sauble Speedway Late Model championship after winning every feature race this season, except one, at the Speedway. His total of race wins this season actually comes in at around 55, however, because “you can’t race at two places at the same time” he settled on Sauble Speedway as his home track and the place where he competed in every race for the year.

September 22

  • In a rare experience for Orangeville residents, popular indie pop rock band Walk Off The Earth rocked the Alder Street Recreation Centre to a crowd of about 1,700 people on Saturday (Sept. 17). After winning the Sirius XM Music Town contest in July, where Orangeville competed against other municipalities across Ontario, the town was selected to have a free Walk Off The Earth concert. The band’s 90-minute set featured several of its biggest hits as well as some of their “B-side” tracks, popular covers, melodies, and mashups.
  • In honour of victims of domestic violence, Heidi’s Walk for Hope returned to Orangeville in person on Sunday (Sept. 18) for the first time since the pandemic started. The 5km walk, held at Island Lake Conservation Area, raised over $30,000 for Family Transition Place’s (FTP) programs and services, taking in more than double what was raised last year. Roughly 200 people attended and heard from a variety of public speakers, shopped at vendors, ate at food trucks, and participated in yoga demonstrations.
  • The Terry Fox Run’s return to Orangeville has been a roaring success, raising more money this year than ever before. The community run, which took place last Sunday (Sept. 18) at Island Lake Conservation Area had a record fundraising total of $24,547.15. A total of 94 people participated in the 5km run, in addition to 12 volunteers who helped ensure the event ran smoothly. 

September 29

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dufferin and District is celebrating a milestone year in 2022, as they mark 50 years of supporting one-on-one mentoring relationships between adults and youth. The local chapter was founded in 1972. To celebrate this banner year, the organization held a 50th-anniversary gala at the Museum of Dufferin on Saturday (Sept. 24) that featured a cocktail hour, dinner, silent auction, and music by local band, The Campfire Poets.
  • Starting next month, travellers entering Canada will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or be required to wear masks on planes and trains, as the federal government announces it will be dropping all COVID-19 entry restrictions. Effective Oct. 1, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to submit public health information through ArriveCAN, provide proof of vaccination, undergo pre or on-arrival testing, or carry out COVID19 related isolation or quarantine. 
  • The 6th Annual Autism Speaks Canada Walk returned to Orangeville over the weekend, raising more than $18,000. Approximately 150 people participated in the walk on Sunday (Sept. 25) at Fendley Park, and it far surpassed the event organizers’ initial goal of raising $13,000.
  • Georgian College students in Orangeville took back the night in a march against sexual and domestic violence. Take Back the Night events were held on Sept. 22 at a number of the college’s campuses throughout Ontario. The event was billed as an important time to stand with survivors of all gender identities and all backgrounds, against sexual violence. More than 50 people took part in the event at the Orangeville campus, said Johanna Magee, one of the organizers and a member of the school’s social worker faculty.
  • The local hospital saw incredible success with its annual gala, generating over $400,000 for the Headwaters Health Care Foundation (HHCF). 

October 6

  • The Orangeville Food Bank is hoping to secure a long-term financial commitment from Orangeville council as an increasing number of people are seeking out support from the not-for-profit organization. Heather Hayes, executive director of the local food bank, delivered a speech to council last Monday (Sept. 26) during its final meeting before the Oct. 24 election. She requested that the Orangeville Food Bank be put in the town’s budget for an annual commitment, noting it’s an essential service for residents that is primarily funded through donors. 

In response to Hayes request, Mayor Sandy Brown said whoever gets elected to council on Oct. 24 will head into budget deliberations shortly thereafter, and consider the addition of the Orangeville Food Bank to the town’s budget at that time. Coun. Todd Taylor said he personally would need to see more details to further understand the issues facing the food bank, but added that he can’t imagine why the town wouldn’t provide support.

  • Orangeville council recently received an update on the missing piece of road and bridge that will connect Hansen Blvd. When the road and bridge are built, the blockade at College Ave. will be removed. General manager of infrastructure services, Tim Kocialek shared that construction on the bridge connecting Hansen Blvd. began in July and is anticipated for completion by the end of this year. He added that the developer has begun the design for the connecting road and is planning to start construction in early 2023. Coun. Todd Taylor asked what the worst-case scenario would be, as the project has been delayed before. Kocialek responded that at the latest it would be completed in the summer of 2024. This would primarily be brought about by further supply chain issues if COVID-19 creates disruptions again,
  • As communities across Canada held events for Orange Shirt Day, a memorial walk for victims and survivors of Indian Residential School took place locally. In its second year, the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle (DCCRC) organized a walk for survivors of residential school on Oct. 1, from the entrance of the Alder Street Recreation Centre, where the DCCRC flag flies, to the Medicine Wheel Garden. It was well attended, and once walkers arrived at the Medicine Wheel Garden, people smudged, drummed, and shared their stories. Community elder for the DCCRC, Karen Vandenberg, spoke about her family being victims of residential school and taken in the Sixties Scoop, where Indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and put into foster care.
  • Doc Gillies has left a wonderful legacy in Orangeville. His death on Sept. 22 at the age of 89 was “the end of an era,” said David Nairn, community member and artistic director of Theatre Orangeville. Mr. Nairn was only one of a long list of people who hold such admiration and even marvel at the talent and determination that Doc Gillies had for improvements to his community of Orangeville. 

October 13

  • Candidates in the upcoming municipal election from across Dufferin County recently had an opportunity to learn about food insecurity, the work of the local bank, and how they can help, if elected. The Orangeville Food Bank invited candidates to a hunger awareness event on Tuesday (Oct. 11) evening, where they learned of the challenges people in the community face concerning transportation, poverty, and getting enough to eat. Heather Hayes, executive director of the Orangeville Food Bank said she’s held similar events leading up to past elections as it’s important for municipal leaders to understand what the organization is all about, the wide range of people accessing it and the struggles it faces.

October 20

  • The Orangeville Community Band (OCB) performs their Thank You in Harmony on Saturday (Oct. 15) at the New Hope Community Church. The concert is a way for the OCB to share their gratitude for a $43,600 grant it received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The funds have been used to purchase percussion new instruments and train new band members
  • MP Kyle Seeback is the Conservative Party of Canada’s new Shadow Minister for International Trade. Seeback was appointed to the cabinet position during the first session of the 44th Parliament on Oct. 12.

October 27

  • Orangeville voters had their say on Monday (Oct. 24) for the 2022 municipal election and a new term of council has been decided, with a very similar composition to the 2018-2022 term. While there’s been a reshuffling of positions, five out of seven councillors who served the past four years have been returned to the council table. Orangeville’s new mayor Lisa Post served as councillor during the last term of council and earned 2,984 of 5,955 votes cast, followed by Jeffrey Patterson with 1,804 votes, Jeremy Williams with 839 and Kim Reid with 277. Also moving up from their councillor seat is Todd Taylor who earned 4,727 votes, while his opponent Trevor Castiglione received 1,023 for the deputy mayor position. Switching places with Taylor is former Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh, who took a step back and ran for councillor, which he was elected to with 3,410 votes. Councillors who were re-elected include Debbie Sherwood with 3,850 votes and Joe Andrews with 3,481. Two new faces to Orangeville Town Council are Tess Prendergast, recipient of 2,968 votes and Rick Stevens, who slid in with 2,330.

November 3

  • Orangeville loves Halloween and to help residents enjoy the most spookily decorated houses in their town, the 3rd Annual Orangeville Halloween Haunt Patrol (OHHP) shortlisted 11 of the scariest local properties. Hundreds of residents on Saturday (Oct. 29) night toured the town, visiting OHHP’s list of houses. Twenty community judges determined the first-place winner to be 170- 172 Lisa Marie Dr., followed by 4-6 Henderson St. for second place, and a tie between 2 Brighton Place and 203 Elizabeth St. for third.
  • A protest was held in Orangeville on Saturday (Oct. 29) along Broadway, shining a light on the struggle that women in Iran face as their government cracks down on them violently for violating rules around wearing a hijab. Iran’s mortality place arrested Mahsa Amini, 22 in Tehran on Sept. 13 for not covering her hair with a hijab or head scarf and she died while in the police’s custody.
  • Over 60 awards were distributed to community champions from Dufferin-Caledon MP Kyle Seeback during a ceremony at the Orangeville Agricultural Society Event Centre on Oct. 28. The awards came in the form of a commemorative Queen’s Platinum Jubilee pin, recognizing their exemplary community service.

November 10

  • Students at Upper Grand District schools began the week certain they’d be learning online again at some point. The school board had informed parents of plans to have secondary students learning by way of online classrooms by Tuesday with elementary school students doing the same by Wednesday. And it seemed to be a sure thing as both the provincial government and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) facet that represents schools’ secretaries, clerks, computer technicians, custodial and maintenance staff, and educational assistants had their heels dug in to hold their respective positions. 

“All along, we made a promise to do whatever it takes to keep kids in class,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “We will keep that promise.” 

But then Premier Doug Ford offered during a press conference Monday to start the wheels going toward repealing Bill 28, the Keeping Students in Class Act. That’s the legislation that was designed and passed the previous week to make the labour disruption illegal. 

“For the sake of Ontario’s two million students, to keep classrooms open, they’ve left us with no choice but to pass the Keeping Students in Class Act,” Lecce had said the previous week. “It’s disappointing that we got here. All along we had hoped to reach an agreement that’s right for students, right for parents, right for workers and right for taxpayers. But CUPE wouldn’t budge. They refused to take a strike off the table.” 

One of the more irksome points of contention was that the government used Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, called the Notwithstanding Clause, in the new legislation. CUPE members walked off the job Nov. 4 in protest of the use of Section 33. 

Workers represented by CUPE 256, the union for custodial and maintenance staff across the Upper Grand District School Board, were out protesting in front of Dufferin–Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones’ office on Nov. 4 and 7. CUPE 256 vice president Mike Bentley spoke with the Citizen at the local protest on Nov. 4 and said the province’s use of the Notwithstanding Clause to protect the government from constitutional challenges when declaring their strike illegal has sent a chill through other unions who negotiate with the government. 

“This is bigger than just the school boards, this is all of Ontario, this is union, labour forces all throughout Canada,” he said. “Everyone’s watching this.” 

Bentley added that CUPE is happy to go back to the table and negotiate to resolve the outstanding issues concerning their contracts, and that started to take place on Tuesday when negotiations resumed. The caveat to the premier’s offer to return to the negotiating table was that Bill 28 would be scrapped if CUPE tore down their picket lines as a sign of good faith. 

Many school boards throughout the province had already returned their students to learning by way of online classroom platforms (Google Classroom, Brightspace, Seesaw). 

  • Remembrance Day poppies have blossomed on the old Orangeville clock tower. It’s part of the local public library’s Poppy Project. Hand-crafted poppies are attached to four panels that adorn the clock tower. More than 3,300 cloth poppies, some crocheted and others knitted, have been used in the project to mark Remembrance Day

November 17

  • The Orangeville District Secondary School Bears junior girls’ basketball team are District 10 champions after a 46-28 win over Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School from Guelph in the championship game held at the University of Guelph on Saturday, Nov. 12. The Bears are having a stellar season and are undefeated after the regular season and playoffs. The champion win gives the ODSS team 12 straight wins for the season. The ODSS juniors went 10-0 for the regular season, scoring a whopping 536 points and averaging 54 points per game while allowing 306 points against.

November 24

  • Education workers and the provincial government agreed to a down-to-the-wire tentative agreement on Nov. 20 that staved off a strike that was to kick off the next day. Details of the tentative agreement are scarce. It’s been reported that the Canadian Union of Public Employees secured a 15 per cent wage increase for its members over the life of the four-year pact. The union is taking the proposed contract to its 55,000 members to vote to accept or refuse the deal.
  • An electronic patient record system used by Dufferin County Paramedic Service and other paramedic services across Ontario was shut down early last week due to a cyber attack. Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) said in a press release issued on Friday (Nov. 18) that they were informed that ESO, the third-party platform used to record patient data, was taken offline in response to “unauthorized access”. Headwaters Health Care Centre said that the service interruption would not affect the paramedic services’ ability to respond to 9-1-1 emergency calls. 
  • Members of the Dufferin Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have located a missing female, deceased in the Town of Orangeville. Sherry MITCHELL, age 41, of Orangeville, was reported missing on Nov. 20 and was subsequently located deceased on Nov. 21. 

December 1

  • Women in the Dufferin County business community shone at the Sparkle Awards Gala after a pandemic-caused shutdown of the in-person event. This year was the 11th edition of the event to recognize the contributions of women to the local community. Hosted by the Dufferin Women in Business organization, award recipients were announced during an evening gala on Nov. 24 at the Monora Park Pavilion. The event was also a means to mark the two-decade anniversary of the Dufferin Women in Business organization.
  • Residents of Dufferin and Caledon came together in protest against the Provincial Government’s Bill 23 last Friday. Despite protests across the Province, the bill was passed Monday, Nov. 28. 

Around 1 p.m. on Nov. 25, people began to gather at Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones’ office in Orangeville with signs that had messages like, “Save the Greenbelt” and “Bill 23, a direct assault on Canadian democracy.” Crowds then demonstrated for a little over an hour on all four corners of Broadway and First Street. The peaceful protest did not block traffic and organizers said its goal was to raise awareness about the impacts Bill 23 will have on Ontario.

December 8

  • Family Transition Place (FTP) paid tribute to the 14 victims of the École Polytechnique Massacre on the 33rd anniversary of the shooting with a vigil calling for action against gender-based violence. Staff, community leaders and residents gathered at the Family Transition Place building in Orangeville, located at 20 Bredin Parkway, on Tuesday (Dec. 6) afternoon for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The École Polytechnique, also known as the Montreal Massacre, took place on Dec. 6, 1989, when a lone gunman separated the men from the women students inside the engineering school before opening fire; killing 14 women and injuring others.
  • The Town of Orangeville has unveiled a new tree sculpture as part of its unique collection of public art on display around the community. The new sculpture, titled Thinker Squirrel, is located on Elizabeth Street across from the Dufferin County Courthouse. The sculpture features a squirrel deep in thought atop a collection of books. This is the fourth sculpture in Orangeville that was created by artist Robbin Wensozki. His other works in town include The Graduate, Mr. Lacrosse, and The Victorian Lady.
  • An Orangeville woman’s fundraising prowess has earned her national recognition. RaDeana Montgomery, the resource development communication coordinator at Hospice Dufferin, was judged to be the Best Individual Fundraising Professional by Charity Village. She got the award during the organization’s annual conference on Nov. 30.

December 15

  • Orangeville council had its first look at the 2023 Budget last week and is currently considering a 3.1 per cent tax levy increase, representing a $1.1 million shortfall. Town treasurer, Nandini Syed noted that the increase is much lower than Canadian inflation, currently trending at 6.9 per cent, when she delivered her budget presentation on Dec. 5.
  • Two health care facilities in Dufferin County are receiving more than $2.1 million in funding from the provincial government to support critical upgrades and repairs. Dufferin-Caledon MPP and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones announced the funding during a news conference at Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) in Orangeville on Dec. 9. 
  • Shelburne Mayor Wade Mills will hold the role of Dufferin County Warden for another term. Mills was acclaimed and sworn in as the 146th Warden of Dufferin County, a role he will hold for the 2023 term, during county council’s inaugural meeting last Thursday (Dec. 8) at Monora Park. 
  • Local boxer, Josh Wagner, has improved his professional record to 14-0 after a third-round TKO in his most recent fight on Nov. 12. The scheduled 8-round welterweight bout took place at the CAA Centre in Brampton and pitted Wagner against Yaser Yueksel, fighting out of Duesseldorf, Germany. Yueksel came to the fight with a 13-5-1 pro record.

December 22

  • Dufferin County residents will soon have access to another diagnostic service at Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC), with new funding helping bring about the hospital’s first-ever MRI machine. Dufferin-Caledon MPP and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones announced on Monday (Dec. 19) that Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) would receive more than $800,000 from the province to operate a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.
  • Caledon and Dufferin residents are mourning the loss of one of the community’s strongest activists. Jennifer (Jenni) Le Forestier passed away on Dec. 9 at the age of 48. A fierce leader in the Dufferin and Caledon community, residents may recognize her from her delegations at Caledon council, or from the many environmental groups she was involved in, such as the Stop the 413 and Stop Sprawl movements, the Coalition for the West Credit River, the Peel Enviro Hub, Gravel Watch Ontario, and more. Le Forestier was also a past president of the Belfountain Community Organization, served on the Town of Caledon Heritage Committee, and was the 2021 Green Party candidate for Dufferin-Caledon.
  • Due to challenges sourcing the specific stainless steel required to complete construction on the two pools located at the Alder Recreation Centre, the renovation has been delayed until the spring of 2023.

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