Hilary Thomson – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:24:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Comfort Inn and Suites announced for Kemptville http://www.ngtimes.ca/comfort-inn-suites-announced-kemptville/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/comfort-inn-suites-announced-kemptville/#comments Wed, 10 Jan 2018 19:57:49 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10459 Kemptville will welcome its first hotel chain to the area this year. Choice Hotels announced last week that it will be building a four-storey, 74-room Comfort Inn and Suites at the intersection of Rideau River Road and County Road 43, right near the off ramp of Highway 416. “We are delighted to announce that a […]

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Kemptville will welcome its first hotel chain to the area this year. Choice Hotels announced last week that it will be building a four-storey, 74-room Comfort Inn and Suites at the intersection of Rideau River Road and County Road 43, right near the off ramp of Highway 416.

“We are delighted to announce that a new Comfort Inn and Suites will be joining the brand’s 147 hotels across Canada,” says Brian Leon, Managing Director of Choice Hotels Canada. “The new build Comfort format has been exceptionally well received by our guests, and the new hotel in Kemptville will be no exception.” The hotel will also include meeting and fitness facilities, as well as an indoor pool.

You may remember a similar promise of a Holiday Inn coming to that same stretch of County Road 43, though that project eventually fell through. According to Choice Hotels Director of Development, Graham Marsh, the scenario for this hotel is quite different. He says that he would like to think the likelihood of the hotel being built is 100 per cent.

“The application for site plan approval is in,” he says. “It’s just a matter of parcelling off a piece of land to build on.”

Although the hotel franchise will be owned by a group based outside the municipality, Graham says the hotel will be staffed by local people, bringing more jobs into the municipality. “We are very excited about it,” he says. “We see it as a huge benefit to the community as it grows.”

The plan is to start construction in May, with an expected opening date in March, 2019. “We look forward to being there when it opens,” Graham says.

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Merrickville-Wolford: A Year in Review http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-wolford-year-review/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-wolford-year-review/#respond Thu, 04 Jan 2018 19:51:45 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10425 As I look through the articles I have written for the Merrickville-Wolford Times in 2017, it is clear that it was quite a busy and exciting year for the Municipality, and not just because of Canada’s 150th birthday. The beginning of the year saw the adoption of the Municipality’s new Strategic Plan, meant to govern […]

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As I look through the articles I have written for the Merrickville-Wolford Times in 2017, it is clear that it was quite a busy and exciting year for the Municipality, and not just because of Canada’s 150th birthday. The beginning of the year saw the adoption of the Municipality’s new Strategic Plan, meant to govern all decisions being made by council until 2025. Its creation was a highly collaborative process, with several public meetings, and could not have been done without the efforts of many dedicated volunteers, council and staff.

The community also welcomed a very successful series of Village Chef dinners at the Mainstreet Restaurant, which raised money for many local charities. One evening in February stands out, when the dinner turned into a fundraiser for not one, but two causes, the second being the Roulston family, who lost their home to a devastating fire. In a matter of minutes, they raised $700 to help get the family back on their feet.

Another successful community fundraising effort came to fruition over the summer, with the building of Merrickville Public School’s (MPS) new play structure. It took three years of hard work and a lot of community support to raise the $45,000 needed to build the new playground which now stands in the MPS yard, ready for climbing, swinging and sliding. It’s yet another example of how incredible the Merrickville-Wolford community is at coming together to support a cause.

Many people also rallied around Wolford Public School, as it fought to stay open during the UCDSB Accommodation Review Process in February and March. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of parents, politicians and community members, the school remained on the closure list and will be closed as of September, 2018.

Public washrooms were also a hot topic last year, when the Lions Club offered to spearhead the building of a public washroom and visitor centre in Merrickville to service the thousands of tourists who visit every year. Although that project never came to fruition, it did lead to the opening and/or signage of washrooms at the rink house and Community Centre for public use, and there are plans to make the necessary upgrades to these washrooms in order to make them accessible and pleasant to use.

On another note, Merrickville became a little more multicultural in May, when they welcomed a Syrian refugee family to the town. The family of six now lives in a house in Merrickville and the children attend North Grenville District High School and Merrickville Public School.

Le Boat officially announced the opening of their North American headquarters in Smiths Falls in May and committed to having self-drive luxury cruise boats on the Rideau Canal by Spring, 2018. This was met with a lot of enthusiasm by local dignitaries and business owners, who see this as a great way to promote the Village on the world stage.

The beautification of the community became extremely important in May as well, in preparation for the Communities in Bloom judges who visited the Village this spring. Although Merrickville-Wolford did not get the top prize, they received the highest honour of five blooms with bronze standing and were just a few points behind the winner. The Village also received an honourable mention for their multigenerational committee.

The summer was full of the typical festivals and celebrations, including Canal Fest, Canada Day, the Merrickville Fair, and the Car Show, all of which brought many visitors to the Village. Merrickville also hosted the Teeny Tiny Summit, with guest speaker Peter Kenyon all the way from Australia. The first ever Harvest Goat Festival came to the fairgrounds and locavores enjoyed the inaugural mid-week farmers market on Wednesdays throughout the growing season.

In the Fall, local teens Peyton and Taylor Horning were honoured for their volunteerism, with Gord Brown and Steve Clark’s Canada 150 medal. The girls were presented the medal at a special ceremony, where they were introduced by Mayor David Nash.

The Village also welcomed some special guests from the South Korean Embassy to the Municipality in November. The Embassy chose Merrickville-Wolford as their small town of choice to visit in 2017 and came to Merrickville to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day. Then, later in the month, they returned to make presentations about South Korea to the school children and local business community. Everyone involved felt it was a wonderful day of networking and getting to know one of Canada’s allies to the east.

Finally, in December, representatives from Tree Canada came to the municipal building to present a cheque to the municipality to fund planting trees and shrubs in Eastons Corners. The grant was part of a Canada 150 program partially funded by the Canadian Government, and the money was used to plant 50 trees and shrubs in the hamlet to replace some that had to be taken out. It was a nice last hurrah to celebrate the end of Canada’s 150th year.

Looking back on the year, it is clear that Merrickville-Wolford is anything but a sleepy rural community. It is busy, vibrant, and full of people making a difference. It is fun to look back on what has happened throughout the year, and to celebrate the successes and acknowledge the difficulties, while looking forward to the year to come. 2018 is Merrickville’s 225th birthday year, and who could forget that the Municipal election is just around the corner? If 2018 is anything like the past year, I think residents can look forward to a fun ride; and I’ll be there along the way, writing about the issues and events that make Merrickville-Wolford a great place to live.

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Local girls to skate in Ottawa Senators competition http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-girls-skate-ottawa-senators-competition/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-girls-skate-ottawa-senators-competition/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 20:00:34 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10319 Two Kemptville girls are getting the chance to play with the Ottawa Senators this holiday season. Eleven-year-old Brooklyn McNeely and eight-year old Lily McNeely are two of fourteen other kids who have been selected to take part in the Ottawa Senators skills competition at the Canadian Tire Centre on New Years Eve. The Senators Junior […]

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Two Kemptville girls are getting the chance to play with the Ottawa Senators this holiday season. Eleven-year-old Brooklyn McNeely and eight-year old Lily McNeely are two of fourteen other kids who have been selected to take part in the Ottawa Senators skills competition at the Canadian Tire Centre on New Years Eve.

The Senators Junior Skill Challenge is open to Novice, Atom, and Peewee minor hockey teams who are registered with Hockey Eastern Ontario, Ottawa District Womens Hockey Association, or Hockey Outaouais. Both girls play for Kemptville Storm, with Brooklyn playing at the Peewee level, and Lily playing on the Novice team.

To qualify, Brooklyn and Lily had to compete against other girls and boys of their age in a skills competition at the Canadian Tire Centre earlier this season. “In order to sign up, all you had to do was buy four tickets for one of the games,” says their father, Pat McNeely. “I thought it would be really cool for them to have the opportunity to play on a big rink.”

At the tryouts, the girls were put to the test with challenges that measured their agility, speed, and accuracy on the ice. Brooklyn says her favourite activity was the agility weave, where she had to handle a puck while skating in between pylons, while Lily preferred the obstacle course. The McNeelys did not expect the girls to make it through the try outs, and when they got the emails that they had both been chosen to skate with the Sens, the whole family was over the moon.  “[The girl’s] feet haven’t touched the ground since they got the news,” says their Grandfather, Gary Blake.

The girls will be competing alongside the Ottawa Senators on December 31, either on Team Karlsson or Team Phaneuf. They will have the opportunity to meet the Sens and sit on the same bench as them, as they wait for their turn to skate. Brooklyn says she hopes to get the chance to meet Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who plays centre, like her. Lily is also hoping to meet her favourite player, Sens Captain, Erik Karlsson.

The whole family is looking forward to what is sure to be a special New Years Eve for all of them. Mother, Terri-Lynn McNeely, says it’s incredible to see her children skating on such a big rink. Brooklyn and Lily also appreciate the fact that they are going to be able to share the experience as sisters, and remember it for years to come. “As Brooklyn has said, it’s a once in a lifetime experience,” Pat says.

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Kemptville Quilters Guild Thank you Tea http://www.ngtimes.ca/kemptville-quilters-guild-thank-tea/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/kemptville-quilters-guild-thank-tea/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 19:55:55 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10291 The Kemptville office of Family and Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville held a thank-you tea for the Kemptville Quilters Guild on Friday December 8 to thank them for donating quilts to give out to families in the community. The Guild has four volunteers who put together kits using donated fabric, which the members […]

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The Kemptville office of Family and Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville held a thank-you tea for the Kemptville Quilters Guild on Friday December 8 to thank them for donating quilts to give out to families in the community.

The Guild has four volunteers who put together kits using donated fabric, which the members take to create quilts for donation. They also have a budget allocated for outreach that helps supply extra materials like batting to help complete the project. “We have 66 members in our group and many of them donate quilts and their time,” says Guild President Carmen Pincott. “Some ladies just donate totally, using their own materials without taking kits.”.

The Guild has donated hundreds of quilts to Family and Children’s Services since they first became involved with the organization in 2005.

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Council cancels meeting http://www.ngtimes.ca/council-cancels-meeting/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/council-cancels-meeting/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 19:00:39 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10354 Council voted to cancel most of the last council meeting, because too many of them were sick. Deputy Mayor Anne Barr and Councillor Victor Suthren each sent their regrets and were not in attendance at the meeting. Mayor David Nash was present at the beginning of the meeting, but announced that he would be leaving […]

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Council voted to cancel most of the last council meeting, because too many of them were sick. Deputy Mayor Anne Barr and Councillor Victor Suthren each sent their regrets and were not in attendance at the meeting. Mayor David Nash was present at the beginning of the meeting, but announced that he would be leaving once anything pressing had been discussed. Even though they had quorum, many did not feel comfortable going ahead with the meeting, specifically since an item on the Agenda was budget discussions, with so much of council being absent.

It was the Mayor’s recommendation that they discuss the budget briefly, and hear a report regarding the Police Services Board, and one about future remuneration for Mayor and Council, about all of which the Mayor had comments to make. The Police Services Board report recommends that the Board meet quarterly, rather than monthly, as per the requirements of the Police Services Act. They wished to save time for staff, and money for the municipality. The report regarding council remuneration suggests that the method by which Mayor and Council is paid be changed, with a base rate given, plus another $50 for every council meeting they attend. Should they attend all meetings, their honorarium would remain the same. It was also suggested that the rate of pay be raised by 2%, to take into consideration the rise in the cost of living. This would leave the Mayor’s honorarium at $12,635.84, with Councillors being paid $9,627.24 each in 2018.

In the end, it was decided that council would only address the in-camera business, and leave the rest, including the discussion about the 2018 operating budget, to another meeting. CAO John Regan says that cancelling most of the meeting means that there will likely be a delay in finalizing the budget. He says staff will continue to work on streamlining the budget, looking for efficiencies and savings, while waiting for further direction from council. Council did meet on Monday, December 18, at a meeting called specifically to continue budget discussions. This meeting was already on the calendar before the previous week’s meeting was cancelled.

It is possible that council will call an extra meeting sometime between now and the next regular council meeting on January 8, to make up for lost time. John says that if a special meeting is not called, the meeting on January 8 will be very heavy, as the budget will be on the agenda, as well as what was not discussed at last week’s meeting. Council cancels meeting

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Dream comes true http://www.ngtimes.ca/dream-comes-true/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/dream-comes-true/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:59:01 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10164 The Kemptville Cancer Support Group capped off their fundraising event in reaching $10,000 to adopt a wish for a child, with a dance Saturday December 2. The group decided to get involved with Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario, to honour Canada’s 150th birthday. They started canvassing on October 10, and were able to raise $4,000 in just […]

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The Kemptville Cancer Support Group capped off their fundraising event in reaching $10,000 to adopt a wish for a child, with a dance Saturday December 2. The group decided to get involved with Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario, to honour Canada’s 150th birthday. They started canvassing on October 10, and were able to raise $4,000 in just a few days, with the generous donations of $2,000 each from Gerald Tallman and Fran Thompson. In nineteen days, the group and friends were able to raise the $10,000 needed to grant a child’s wish.

A lot of anticipation built in the community in the days leading up to the dance. B&H Your Community Grocer in Kemptville had a poster advertising the event, with a running total of how much had been collected, and the local radio station, Juice FM, also played their part in informing the public about the dance and fundraising progress.

The dance itself was a roaring success, thanks to everyone involved. The music was supplied by local musicians, Ron Donnelly and the Marlboreens, and they had everyone up on the dance floor. Norma Fisher, Honorary Member of the Cancer Support Group, (and no mean dancer herself) greeted all guests upon arrival. Norma was also celebrating her 96th upcoming birthday that evening. Lynn Mann, another member of the group, and her husband Rob, collected all the tickets and made sure names were on the back of the tickets for door prizes later.

Robert Carmichael organized a wonderful silent auction, with lots of items donated by individuals and businesses in the community, which raised almost $400 for the cause. Other Cancer Support Group members made over 400 cookies, and member, Sandra Kelly, and her team helped make the sandwiches. To top it all off, volunteer Nancy Wilkinson made tons of homemade fudge.

Another amazing contribution to the evening was a donation of almost 100 angels from a lady in Aylmer. She heard about the event and wanted her angels to go to everyone who participated in making the fundraiser a success in adopting a wish for a child in need. Cancer Support Group member, Theresa Stevason, was given the happy job of handing the angels out at the dance.

Perhaps one of the best parts of the evening was that they were able to share it with the little girl, Abigail, whose Make-A-Wish was granted. She was at the Legion with her Dad, Drew, Mom, Marina, big brother Aiden, and little sister Amelia. Abigail will be 8 years old on December 18. She has been diagnosed with a very rare form of Lymphoma. When she is able to travel, she has three wishes to choose from: a Disney Cruise, a trip to Disney World, or a trip to Jamaica to swim with the turtles. Drew says it was very humbling to walk into the room full of people who were supporting them. “It was amazing” he says. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without their help to look forward to”.

Not only was a cheque for $12,051 given to Make-A-Wish at the dance, Abigail also got a giant card with the names of all the donors, complete with messages of love, strength, courage, prayers, and happiness to help her on her way to recovery. Ron Donnelly also sang a song by Marty Robinson specially for Abigail.

Overall, it was a wonderful evening and a great way to close out the fundraising effort. Make-A-Wish and the family have promised to keep the Kemptville Cancer Support Group updated on Abigail’s journey.

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Kindling for Kids http://www.ngtimes.ca/kindling-for-kids/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/kindling-for-kids/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:49:31 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10239 A local business owner has spearheaded an initiative to raise money for children’s mental health in the area. Craig McCormick, owner of Crackle Pop Kindling, has created Kindling for Kids to raise money for children’s mental health services in North Grenville and the surrounding area. Being a retired OPP officer, Craig has always been an […]

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A local business owner has spearheaded an initiative to raise money for children’s mental health in the area. Craig McCormick, owner of Crackle Pop Kindling, has created Kindling for Kids to raise money for children’s mental health services in North Grenville and the surrounding area. Being a retired OPP officer, Craig has always been an advocate for child mental health wellness, and when he decided he wanted to do something to give back to the community, this idea came to mind.

“We see it in our youth today,” Craig says. “The statistics of children needing help are high, and it’s not something that is just going to go away.”

The initiative came to fruition when Craig approached area businesses to find out if they would be interested in raising monies for the local Child Mental Health Wellness service.

The response to the inquiry was overwhelmingly a positive one. Every business approached were very supportive of the idea and did not hesitate to hop on board for the cause. As Craig says: “Their support is a TRUE indication that small-town caring mentality remains ALIVE!”

What is Kindling For Kids you ask? Every participating location will be supplied with dry, neatly packed, no mess bags of kindling. Each bag will be sold for $5.00 each, taxes included. For every bag sold, a percentage will be donated to the Kemptville service of Child Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville. These monies will be utilized for a variety of programs to better the mental wellness of each participating youth!

“It’s just a good thing to do,” says one of the participants, Shelley Coons of Shelley’s Kitchen in Heckston.

A portion of every sale will go directly towards supporting the programming that the children’s mental health services office offers in each area where the business resides. This is an ongoing initiative and Craig will be making donations to the organization on a quarterly basis.

The businesses who are currently offering Kindling for Kids are: Stinsons (Kemptville), Rooney Feeds ltd. (South Gower Park), Shelley’s Kitchen (Heckston), Pioneer Nursery (Kemptville), Albert’s Meat Shop (Kemptville), RB Heating (Kemptville), The Heat Source (Kemptville), Pure Lotus Wellness Centre (Kemptville), Food Market (Merrickville), Greenham’s General Store (North Augusta), Wings Bait and Tackle (Lyndhurst), Manotick Bait and Tackle, That Hunting Store (Richmond), Bait Casters (Carleton Place), Mike Deans Super Food Stores (Chesterville), MacEwen Petroleum/Bayview Convenience (Johnstown) and The Village Pantry (Spencerville).

If you are a business who would like to participate contact Crackle Pop Kindling at 613-277-1106.

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Plaque presented for tree planting program http://www.ngtimes.ca/plaque-presented-tree-planting-program/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/plaque-presented-tree-planting-program/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:55:47 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10120 The Village of Merrickville-Wolford was presented with a plaque on Friday to commemorate their involvement in Tree Canada’s special Canada 150 project. Tree Canada is the country’s largest not-for-profit tree planting organization. As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, Tree Canada received money from the Canadian Government and CN Rail to fund 150 tree-planting initiatives […]

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The Village of Merrickville-Wolford was presented with a plaque on Friday to commemorate their involvement in Tree Canada’s special Canada 150 project. Tree Canada is the country’s largest not-for-profit tree planting organization. As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, Tree Canada received money from the Canadian Government and CN Rail to fund 150 tree-planting initiatives across the country. At least one town, city, or organization was chosen from each of the provinces and territories.

Program Manager, Megan Quinn, was on hand to present the plaque to the Village, and MP Gord Brown and MPP Steve Clark were also there to offer their congratulations. “Smaller communities like Merrickville-Wolford add a personal touch,” Megan says, explaining why she chose the municipality as one of the successful applicants. “It makes a huge impact, and people will be able to appreciate it in an area that gets used a lot.”

MP Gord Brown congratulated Merrickville-Wolford for being progressive and forward thinking in applying for the grant. “It’s a wonderful community to be a part of the project,” he said.

The approximately 50 trees and shrubs were planted in Eastons Corners, around Centennial Hall, in October. “It looks really nice,” says Manager of Public Works, Dave Powers.

The trees and shrubs which were planted are all native to the area, with one maple representing Canada, another tree representing Ontario, and a third representing the indigenous people of the area, as per Tree Canada guidelines.

The commemorative plaque will be placed on the stone marker at the entrance to the community park to mark the occasion for years to come.

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Oxford on Rideau Tech celebrates its grand opening http://www.ngtimes.ca/oxford-rideau-tech-celebrates-grand-opening/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/oxford-rideau-tech-celebrates-grand-opening/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:50:22 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10134 The gym at Oxford on Rideau Public School was a lively place on Thursday evening, at the grand opening celebration of the Oxford on Rideau Tech Club. The technology-based learning program is the brainchild of Brent and Katie Lekx-Toniolo, who came up with the idea to help Oxford on Rideau stand out and, hopefully, to […]

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The gym at Oxford on Rideau Public School was a lively place on Thursday evening, at the grand opening celebration of the Oxford on Rideau Tech Club. The technology-based learning program is the brainchild of Brent and Katie Lekx-Toniolo, who came up with the idea to help Oxford on Rideau stand out and, hopefully, to save it from closure. Oxford-on-Rideau Public School was on the list of 29 schools slated for closure in the Upper Canada District School Board District that came out in September, 2016. “The UCDSB were in a tight spot, but we were determined to save our school,” it says on the Tech website.

Brent and Katie were inspired to create Oxford on Rideau Tech by their experience with a robot in their own home. They bought a small robot for their girls, and couldn’t help noticing all the educational opportunities that came with it. It was their eldest daughter, Addyson (who was 8 at the time), who suggested they bring “Spark”, the robot, to school, so she could teach the younger kids how to use it. “We ran with it,” Brent says.
On March 2, 2017, Brent and Katie presented their idea to the board and it was very well received. Following their presentation, they held two Hour of Code days at the school in June, and they officially started offering programming to all the students at Oxford-on-Rideau starting in October of this year. “Every child has been through at least three classes this year,” Brent says. “The first official class was October 24.”

With the help of fundraising in the community, they were able to raise almost $2,200 to cover operating costs and buy twelve Sphero SPRK+ robots to be used at the school. The small spherical robots are controlled by an iPad and can help teach everything from shapes and colours to more complex coding. They were even being used at the event to create an art piece to be hung somewhere in the school. “Our goal is to get [the kids] involved in computer science and technology at an early age, so that it becomes second nature to them,” Brent says. “The best part is seeing the kids run with it.”

MPP Steve Clark, Mayor David Gordon, and several school Board Trustees were on hand at the celebration to show their support for this innovative program. “It’s incredible that it has been able to come so far, so fast,” MPP Steve Clark told the crowd. “Ease with technology is the best thing we can give to our children.”

The students are just as enthusiastic as the parents about the program. The kids in attendance were given the opportunity to play with the robots, and it was impossible not to be hit by a colourful robot rolling around the floor, being controlled by an excited kid hopped up on celebratory robot cupcakes. Ashley Devries, the mother of kindergarten student Easton Devries, says he loves the tech classes. “He’s a hands-on learner, so it’s good [for him],” she says. “I think it’s great, considering everything is becoming so robotic.”

With the success of this first phase of the program, Brent says they are looking at bringing even more technology into the school in the coming years. In September, 2018, they hope to acquire a 3D printer, and a NAO Robot that can walk, talk, and interact with the students is on the wish list for 2019.

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Council offers financial contribution to Korea Day http://www.ngtimes.ca/council-offers-financial-contribution-korea-day/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/council-offers-financial-contribution-korea-day/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:48:08 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10118 Merrickville-Wolford council voted last Monday to contribute $600 towards the Korea Day luncheon that happened on November 16. The $600 was a request from the Chamber of Commerce, which had been turned down in a previous meeting. It was brought up again at the last council meeting at the request of the Industry, Economic Development […]

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Merrickville-Wolford council voted last Monday to contribute $600 towards the Korea Day luncheon that happened on November 16. The $600 was a request from the Chamber of Commerce, which had been turned down in a previous meeting. It was brought up again at the last council meeting at the request of the Industry, Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee, which urged the Council to reconsider contributing to the event.

The lunch, which was attended by members of the South Korean Embassy (including the Ambassador), members of council, staff, business people, and retired diplomats who live in the Village, totalled 45 people and cost $2,016. The Chamber of Commerce also spent money on signage and decorating the Village with South Korean flags, which brought the cost up to $2500. Right now, the Chamber of Commerce is prepared to foot the bill, but would still like to see the municipality contribute the $600 to supplement the cost. “We always felt that this was a village to village program,” a Chamber of Commerce representative told council at the meeting. “This was not just a chamber show.”
Councillor Steve Ireland was the first to express his willingness to support the $600 request. “I’m prepared to vote in favour of allocating the $600 as a sign of good will, in hopes of getting better cooperation between the Village and the Chamber,” he said at the meeting.

Other councillors were not so keen, including Deputy Mayor Ann Barr who expressed her concern over the cost of the lunch. “Based on the number of $2,500 for 45 people, that’s a $55.50 lunch per person,” she said. “That’s an expensive lunch.” She went on to say that, if they were going to make a habit of supporting events like this, they needed to put some mechanisms in place to control cost and share the business with more restaurants in the community. Councillor Kim Weedmark also expressed his concern, pointing out that, after going over the 2018 budget earlier in the meeting, there were lots of other areas to consider when choosing where to allocate the funds.

In the end, the resolution came down to a recorded vote, with everyone in attendance voting for contributing the $600, except for Councillor Weedmark and Deputy Mayor Barr. CAO John Regan says that, because this money was not in the budget, it they will likely go over budget in meeting expenses to cover the cost. “Going forward in the operational budget, you will see a new line item that surrounds these types of events,” the CAO said. “It can be discussed in the next budget meeting as to whether you want to allocate money going forward to these types of events.”

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