Hilary Thomson – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:33:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Aleta Karstad honoured with Robert Bateman award http://www.ngtimes.ca/aleta-karstad-honoured-with-robert-bateman-award/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/aleta-karstad-honoured-with-robert-bateman-award/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 19:00:38 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13538 Local artist and naturalist, Aleta Karstad, has won the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s (CWF) Robert Bateman award. Founded by the Ontario-born naturalist and painter, Robert Bateman, in 2013, the award has been given out every year to an individual or group that brings awareness to conservation through an artistic medium. This can be in the form […]

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Local artist and naturalist, Aleta Karstad, has won the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s (CWF) Robert Bateman award. Founded by the Ontario-born naturalist and painter, Robert Bateman, in 2013, the award has been given out every year to an individual or group that brings awareness to conservation through an artistic medium. This can be in the form painting, sculpture, photography, writing, song, or choreography.

Aleta is the first landscape painter to win the award. Through her impressive body of work, she brings the natural world to life, and advocates for conservation. “If you know Aleta’s work, you will know why she was an obvious candidate for this award,” says past President of the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club, Fenja Brodo. “Her exquisite use of pencil, watercolours and oil to depict the natural world, from the microscopic to encapsulating broad landscapes, puts her at least on a par with Robert Bateman himself.”

Aleta says she was very surprised when she got the letter informing her that she would be honoured with the award at the Canadian Wildlife Federation AGM in June. “I had no idea that I had been nominated for it,” she says.

She was flown from a conference she was attending in New Brunswick to the CWF banquet in Regina on June 16, where she accepted the award. In her acceptance speech, she spoke about her beginnings as a naturalist, and about her husband, Dr. Fred Schuler, who continues to inspire her to illustrate the natural world. “Throughout our 45 years together, Fred’s knowledge and passion have inspired and informed my art,” Aleta said in her speech. “It’s an exciting and fulfilling life, but not a secure or easy one.”

Aleta is particularly honoured to receive this award because of the respect she has for its founder. She met Robert Bateman in 1981, when she was invited on a week-long canoe trip with him in the Ogoki-Albani wilderness near Thunder Bay. “Bateman and I became fairly well acquainted, being bowsmen in our canoes,” she remembers. “We talked about choosing subjects, and how we would go about painting them. It was truly inspiring!”

Aleta is currently organizing an art retreat to the Dumoine River, where artists from across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, working in different mediums, will create works of art, share stories and be inspired by the landscape. Each artist who attends will donate one painting to help raise funds for nature conservation.

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Local Scientist given one of Canada’s highest honours http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-scientist-given-one-of-canadas-highest-honours/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-scientist-given-one-of-canadas-highest-honours/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:57:53 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13559 A long-time resident of Merrickville-Wolford has been made a member of the Order of Canada for his work studying reptiles and amphibians across the country. Francis R. Cook was born in Nova Scotia, but moved all over the country with his father’s job. He always had an interest in herpetology (the study of reptiles and […]

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A long-time resident of Merrickville-Wolford has been made a member of the Order of Canada for his work studying reptiles and amphibians across the country. Francis R. Cook was born in Nova Scotia, but moved all over the country with his father’s job. He always had an interest in herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians), but what really solidified his decision to dedicate his life to the field was a conversation with scientist Shelley Logier at the Royal Ontario Museum when he was only ten years old. “He told me how little was known about reptiles and amphibians,” Francis remembers.

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Acadia University, Francis was lucky enough to secure a position as one of the curators in the Zoology section of the Canadian Museum of Nature. “At the time, there were only two jobs in museums in Canada studying herpetology,” Francis says. He worked for the museum, conducting research across the country, for 32 years, with only a short break to get his PhD from the University of Manitoba. “I did my thesis on two different species of toads interbreeding in Manitoba,” he says. “It was great fun.”

Throughout his career at the Museum, Francis also served as the editor of the scientific journal, the Canadian Field-Naturalist. In 2010, he was honored as the Member of the Year of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club for his work on the publication and his “exceptional effort to bring the journal up to date.” In 1984, Francis published his first book, an “Introduction to Canadian amphibians and reptiles”, which is still available on Amazon. A true Canadian at heart, Francis has always focused his research on the reptiles and amphibians that live in Canada. “I feel very strongly about this country,” he says.

After his retirement from the Museum in 1993, Francis continued to work as an associate with the Museum of Nature, and was an honourary Curator Emeritus. He maintains contact with all the leading scientists and researchers in his field, and has been working on a number of books that he hopes to publish, one of which is being illustrated by local artist and naturalist, Aleta Karstad.

Francis says that, when he heard that he was being made a Member of the Order of Canada, he was stunned. “It was the last thing I would have thought,” he said. He attributes his success in his field to all the people he has met throughout his lengthy career. “I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way.”

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Peggy Holloway named Senior of the Year http://www.ngtimes.ca/peggy-holloway-named-senior-of-the-year/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/peggy-holloway-named-senior-of-the-year/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:55:46 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13564 Merrickville-Wolford resident, Peggy Holloway, was honoured on Canada Day with the municipality’s Senior of the Year award. The Ontario Senior of the Year Award is given by a municipality to recognize an outstanding senior who enriches the social, cultural, or civic life of the community. Peggy is a dedicated volunteer and has been a part […]

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Merrickville-Wolford resident, Peggy Holloway, was honoured on Canada Day with the municipality’s Senior of the Year award. The Ontario Senior of the Year Award is given by a municipality to recognize an outstanding senior who enriches the social, cultural, or civic life of the community. Peggy is a dedicated volunteer and has been a part of many organizations and events in Merrickville-Wolford over the years.

A Merrickville native, Peggy left the municipality for a few years to pursue a degree in pharmacy at the University of Toronto, but eventually returned to the Village to continue raising her daughter and be close to her family. Her father was the founder and owner of Grenville Castings, which was the primary employer in the community for many years. She inherited her family home from her parents when they passed away, and now has the pleasure of living in the same house she grew up in. Peggy says her mother paved the way for her community activism, winning the same Senior of the Year award in 1999.

Her lifelong friend, Gail Telford, says Peggy has been involved in many organizations, including the North Grenville Concert Choir, Singin’ Seniors Choir, Fair Board, and Christmas in Merrickville. She and Peggy also started the Beach Buddies, and lobbied council to clean up and take care of Merrickville’s beach, so it could be used by residents. “She always sets really high standards for herself and those that she works with,” Gail says.

Through all her volunteering and involvement in the community, Peggy’s greatest achievement is the Merrickville Jazz Festival. “I was looking for something to do in retirement,” Peggy says about spearheading the Festival. “It was something completely different from what I was doing.” It started in 2011 as a very small festival, drawing about 200 people to the Village for the live jazz. Now, in its 8th year, the Merrickville Jazz Festival draws between 3,000 and 4,000 visitors annually to Merrickville. “It helped put Merrickville on the map for music,” Peggy says.

Gail says Peggy is a community advocate and great friend. “Peggy gets everyone together,” she says. “She keeps up with every friend she has ever had.” Peggy is very modest about her work in the community. “There are so many people that do so much,” she says. “One never does anything on their own.”

That being said, it is clear from the enthusiasm of those around her that Peggy is a true leader and a staple of the Merrickville-Wolford community. “I have the utmost respect for Peggy and whatever she wants to do,” says Merrickville-Wolford resident and friend Wendy Stokes-Earl. “[She] loves the village she was born in, and loves to promote it whenever she can.”

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Local author promotes first book http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-author-promotes-first-book/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-author-promotes-first-book/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:56:45 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13465 A local author is promoting her first novel, which is full of mystery, suspense, self exploration and horses. Originally from Sussex, England, Catherine (CJ) Butler now lives in Kemptville with her 8-year-old daughter. She and her husband emigrated to Canada 8 years ago, looking for adventure and settled in Kemptville because they wanted a small […]

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A local author is promoting her first novel, which is full of mystery, suspense, self exploration and horses.

Originally from Sussex, England, Catherine (CJ) Butler now lives in Kemptville with her 8-year-old daughter. She and her husband emigrated to Canada 8 years ago, looking for adventure and settled in Kemptville because they wanted a small hobby farm and horses. Catherine first started writing her novel, The Japson Club, after she moved to Canada and had her daughter. “I was always very good at English,” Catherine says. “When I had my daughter, I got the urge to write again.”

After trying to sell the book to several large publishers, Catherine decided to self-publish with a group in Vancouver. They designed the layout of the book as well as the cover, which features a cliff on the Sussex coast which is central to the novel. “It’s like they pulled what I wanted out of my brain,” she says.

The book went on the market last fall and since then Catherine says the response to The Japson Club has been incredible. “I had no idea if it was good or not,” she says modestly. “But it has been so well received.”

During the first round of printing, Catherine found out that a whole chapter was missing from the book (much to her horror) but was still able to sell all 30 of the “special editions” with the chapter inserted loosely in it’s rightful place. The book has received many great reviews from friends, family and strangers who have purchased it online through Amazon and Indigo. “Even my boss said he couldn’t put it down,” she says.

Catherine says the book is really a marrying of two stories, one of self discovery for her central character, Anna, and the other of mystery, suspense and foul play surrounding Rosemont, a high brow equestrian club in Sussex. The horse in the book is based on a horse she used to ride in England named Tom who passed away. “He had huge character,” Catherine says.

Catherine would love to make writing her full-time job but, for now, she still works with a project and property management company in Ottawa, writing in her spare time. She is currently working on a sequel to The Japson Club and is enjoying the writing process. “I play meditative music and burn incense,” she says. “I am just about half way through writing the sequel.”

The Japson Club is being sold at The Bodhi Tree Yoga centre in downtown Kemptville. It is also available online on Amazon and Indigo in both e-book and hard copy. Catherine says the caption on the cover of the book says it all about The Japson Club “You’re always a member and there is no checking out.”

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Chamber of Commerce Adopt-A-Bench program http://www.ngtimes.ca/chamber-of-commerce-adopt-a-bench-program/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/chamber-of-commerce-adopt-a-bench-program/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:44:35 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13481 The Merrickville and District Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded a program allowing people to adopt commemorative benches in the Village. The Chamber first approached the municipality last year with the idea of having an Adopt-A-Bench program in the Village. Although it was well received by the municipality at the time, they felt that they did […]

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The Merrickville and District Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded a program allowing people to adopt commemorative benches in the Village.

The Chamber first approached the municipality last year with the idea of having an Adopt-A-Bench program in the Village. Although it was well received by the municipality at the time, they felt that they did not have the resources to run such a program. Therefore, the Chamber offered to run the program if the Village would be willing to be an active participant. “Such programs are very popular and profitable for municipalities,” says Chamber of Commerce President Karl Feige, adding that the Chamber got advice from the program coordinators at the Central Park Adopt-A-Bench program in New York City.

The cost for bench adoption is $2000, up to $500 of which will go to the municipality to help fund upkeep of the benches on municipal property. Council officially received an email from Karl at the last council meeting outlining the program and approved the arrangements made in the report. Karl says they have chosen to use the wording “up to $500” to be given to the municipality in case of unforeseen circumstances where they may need to use some of that money to fund the bench and commemorative plaque. “In most circumstances the Village will receive the full $500,” he says.

The benches are cast-iron or aluminum, with wooden slats, in keeping with the historic look and nature of the Village. Each bench will also have a dedication plaque with the name of the person it is meant to remember. “The adopter will also receive a certificate signed by the mayor,” Karl says.

Karl says that the program has been very well received in it’s short life. Six benches have already been adopted in the Village. “The first bench was placed in the beach area last year,” Karl says. “A bench in honour of Brenda Carter is to go in the bird sanctuary and a third bench near the library is in the works.”

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Municipalities could be quacking for longer this year http://www.ngtimes.ca/municipalities-could-be-quacking-for-longer-this-year/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/municipalities-could-be-quacking-for-longer-this-year/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:41:20 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13440 Municipalities in Ontario are facing what could be an extended period where they are restricted in the decisions they can make. Changes to the Municipal Elections Act, adopted in 2016, constitutes the most significant update to the Act in the past 20 years. One particularly notable change is the change in the nomination period for […]

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Municipalities in Ontario are facing what could be an extended period where they are restricted in the decisions they can make.

Changes to the Municipal Elections Act, adopted in 2016, constitutes the most significant update to the Act in the past 20 years. One particularly notable change is the change in the nomination period for candidates in the upcoming 2018 municipal election. The nomination day deadline is now July 27, 2018 for the October 22, 2018 election rather than the September deadline of previous elections.

This could cause certain municipalities to enter what is called a “lame duck” period where they are restricted as to decisions they can make leading up to an election. A municipality will be forced into a lame duck situation between July 27, 2018 and October 22, 2018 if less than three quarters of the existing council members are not running for municipal council and between October 22, 2018 and November 30, 2018 if less than 75 per cent of the incumbent council members have been elected to serve on the next council.

This earlier nomination deadline could cause some municipalities to operate in a longer lame duck period than in past elections. The Municipal Act 2001 restricts councils in a lame duck situation from: the appointment or removal from office any officer of the municipality, the hiring or dismissal of any employee of the municipality, the disposition of any real or personal property of the municipality which has a value exceeding $50,000 at the time of disposal and making any expenditures or incurring any other liability which exceeds $50,000.

To ensure municipal operations to continue throughout this period a bylaw can be passed to allow the CAO to make the decisions about the above matters. Merrickville-Wolford council agreed to create this by-law to allow their next Interim CAO to be the decision-maker should the municipality be faced with a lame duck situation. North Grenville Clerk Cahl Pominville says he provided a report to council on April 3, explaining the lame duck options they have. “They have not chosen to delegate authority at this time,” he says.

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Founding member of Great Big Sea coming to Merrickville http://www.ngtimes.ca/founding-member-of-great-big-sea-coming-to-merrickville/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/founding-member-of-great-big-sea-coming-to-merrickville/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:35:55 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13436 Séan McCann hopes to “squeeze the hearts of the people of Merrickville” this weekend in an intimate solo performance at the newly minted Merrickville United Arts Centre (MUAC). As one of the founding members of the popular Canadian band Great Big Sea, Séan is no stranger to the stage and playing in front of a […]

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Séan McCann hopes to “squeeze the hearts of the people of Merrickville” this weekend in an intimate solo performance at the newly minted Merrickville United Arts Centre (MUAC).
As one of the founding members of the popular Canadian band Great Big Sea, Séan is no stranger to the stage and playing in front of a live audience. Since leaving the band in 2012, he has focused on playing small venues, connecting with people in a way that wasn’t possible when he was playing big stadiums with jumbotrons and thousands of people. “There is no better version of me than exists in a small hall singing with my friends,” he says.

Finding his best self has been an uphill battle for Séan. Like many in the industry he struggled with alcoholism throughout his time with Great Big Sea, and his desire to stay sober was one of the main reasons he decided to leave the band. “When I first sobered up I instantly lost all my friends and my band,” he says. “I was alone at a very vulnerable time.”

After the first three months of being sober, Séan says he also started having nightmares about his past. Being sober forced him to face the memories of being sexually abused by a catholic priest when he was 15 years old. “It was a priest that gave me my first drink,” Séan remembers.

Through the loneliness and pain of being sober, Séan found solace in his music. With his first guitar, he affectionately calls Old Brown, he wrote songs about recovery and what happened to him as a teenager. “Music was the friend that never left,” he says.

His 2014 solo album called “Help Yourself” was a battle cry and he considers it a line in the sand which announced he was ready to change. It resonated with people more than Séan could have ever imagined and started him on the path of sharing his story and advocacy for mental health and recovery. He is very passionate about connecting with his audience and creating a sense of community and hope in his shows. “My story is one of recovery in capital letters,” he says. “It is hopeful and entertaining.”

Séan has lived in Manotick for 3 years now with his wife and two children. He decided to leave the “party town” of St. Johns, Newfoundland for a quieter life and to protect his recovery. He says he is really enjoying the Ottawa area and has visited Merrickville a few times, enjoying particularly the Rideau Canal in his kayak. “It’s a beautiful little town,” he says.

Séan says the show in Merrickville on July 7 is one of a few small venues he will be playing this year in the small towns surrounding Ottawa. Chaffey’s Lock, Maberly and Almonte are all on the list of towns where Séan will be playing his music and sharing his story. “I really believe in all the halls,” he says. “I hope to lift people’s spirits and light up an old room that hasn’t been lit up in a while.”

The doors open on Saturday at the MUAC at 6 pm with the show starting at 7 pm. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased on the MUAC’s website www.merrickvilleuac.com.

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Steve Clark now Minister for Municipal Affairs http://www.ngtimes.ca/steve-clark-now-minister-for-municipal-affairs/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/steve-clark-now-minister-for-municipal-affairs/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:18:48 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13427 MPP Steve Clark was sworn in on Friday as Ontario’s new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and is one of 21 newly-appointed ministers in Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative cabinet. “We have an all-star team that’s ready right now to give the people of Ontario the kind of leadership and direction they deserve,” the Premier […]

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MPP Steve Clark was sworn in on Friday as Ontario’s new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and is one of 21 newly-appointed ministers in Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative cabinet. “We have an all-star team that’s ready right now to give the people of Ontario the kind of leadership and direction they deserve,” the Premier said in a press release.

Steve says that he is grateful that Premier Ford had the confidence in him to make him a part of his cabinet. “It’s a portfolio that I really like and have a lot of experience in,” he says.

Steve’s political career began decades ago when he was elected as the mayor of Brockville at the age of 22. He served as Canada’s youngest mayor from 1982 to 1991. He was also the President of the Association of the Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in 1989. Steve then went on to a position as an administrative assistant to MPP Bob Runciman, and subsequently became the Chief Administrative Officer of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. He was elected in 2010 as MPP for Leeds, Grenville and the Thousand Islands in a by-election to replace Bob Runciman, who resigned to accept a position in the Canadian Senate, and was re-elected in the 2011, 2014, and 2018 elections.

Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, stands with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario following his swearing in as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing at the Ontario legislature on Friday, June 29.
Copyright Queen’s Printer for Ontario 2018

“I look forward to working with Ontario’s 444 municipalities,” he says. “We have a great cabinet and it’s very exciting.”

Mayor of North Grenville, David Gordon, says Steve’s appointment is wonderful news for the municipality and the United Counties as a whole. “He can relate to our problems, and he will act on them.”

The mayor is hopeful that certain files that the municipality was having trouble getting traction on while the Liberal government was in power will be pushed to the forefront. This includes the widening of County Road 43 through Kemptville, which has been sitting at the top of the Counties’ priority list for years. “Steve and I have talked about this before, and he is a big proponent of it,” David says. “I think we will see it done in the next four years.”

Other MPPs from Eastern Ontario have been appointed to the cabinet. Lisa McLeod, from Ottawa, has been named Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister responsible for Women’s Issues, and John Yakabuski, of Renfrew, is now the Minister of Transportation. A newcomer to the scene, Merrilee Fullerton, also from Ottawa, will be sitting as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, where she’ll likely be responsible for implementing a free speech policy.

Mayor of Merrickville-Wolford, David Nash, says he is also very pleased with the news of Steve’s new position in the government, “I’m absolutely thrilled with this well-deserved appointment and look forward to working with Steve,” he says. “Change is coming folks, with the right man in the job.”

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Unrest continues in Village about CAO investigation http://www.ngtimes.ca/unrest-continues-in-village-about-cao-investigation/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/unrest-continues-in-village-about-cao-investigation/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:16:35 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13503 Even after the resignation of Merrickville-Wolford’s CAO, John Regan, residents still seem to be concerned about the cost and process of the investigation. Resident Terri Hamway was the first to stand up during the second public question period at the council meeting on Monday, June 25, 2018 to ask the municipality to release how much […]

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Even after the resignation of Merrickville-Wolford’s CAO, John Regan, residents still seem to be concerned about the cost and process of the investigation.

Resident Terri Hamway was the first to stand up during the second public question period at the council meeting on Monday, June 25, 2018 to ask the municipality to release how much the investigation has cost in total over the past five months. “Now that the investigation is over do you have a total cost?” she asked.

Interim CAO Arie Hoogenboom says he doesn’t have a total cost yet because there are still some outstanding legal bills to take into account. However, he says he should be able to put a report together for council before his last day with the Municipality on June 29, 2018. “We are looking at in excess of $100,000 with the investigation, legal fees and other associated costs,” he says.

Resident Mike Burley is appalled by the number and feels like council has not been transparent enough throughout the process. “What’s the process here?” he asked council last Monday. “How did we get to the point that we hired a full investigative team?”

Deputy Mayor Anne Barr told him that the process followed is outlined in the municipality’s harassment policy that is governed by provincial legislation. “The process that we followed is outlined in that document and it is a public document,” she said. “[I would] ask you to look at provincial legislation that requires us to have these kinds of processes in place.”

The municipality’s harassment policy is available on the municipal website. It defines harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace environment that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or workplace sexual harassment.” An investigation and confidentiality are both outlined in policy for addressing workplace harassment. “If it involves a more junior staff person it normally stops at the CAO’s table,” Arie said at the meeting. “In this case because it was the CAO it required some outside expertise and that was sought.”

Many of the questions posed by concerned citizens about the cost of the investigation, the process in which the workplace investigator was hired and the length of what seemed to be an open-ended investigation over the past few months have been met with a “can’t comment” reply. This has spurred a group of citizens to publish a letter outlining fifteen different questions that they feel they deserve answers to. “In the spirit of openness, accountability and transparency, all principles which Mayor and Council have indicated they wish to adhere to, and permit this experience to be a learning one for this and future councils, we believe that answers are needed,” the letter states. Resident Yves Grandmaitre says a similar version of this letter was sent directly to council, with the request that it be put on the council meeting agenda. “All of this related to a legal human resource issue and on the advice of solicitors was not formally responded to be council,” Arie said when asked why it was not placed in the council package. Because of this the group felt it was necessary to go to the media with their requests.

The Municipality is now in active search for a new Interim CAO who will fill the position for up to one year. This will allow current and future council to assess their performance and decide whether to hire the person permanently or carry out a full recruitment process. Arie says he hopes this will give council and residents peace of mind that they are not simply jumping blindly into hiring another CAO. “We should have [the interim CAO] in place within a week,” Arie says. The new hire will not be paid the same $120,000 salary as the former CAO as council passed a resolution at the last meeting to lower the salary range for Merrickville-Wolford’s CAO to between $93,000 and $113,000.

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Summer at the Merrickville Public Library http://www.ngtimes.ca/summer-at-the-merrickville-public-library/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/summer-at-the-merrickville-public-library/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:51:05 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13337 The Merrickville Public Library is gearing up for their Summer programs, which promise to be a blast for kids of all ages. As usual, the Library is offering their Summer reading program, where kids receive a ticket for every book they read. The kids can then use the ticket to enter a draw for one […]

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The Merrickville Public Library is gearing up for their Summer programs, which promise to be a blast for kids of all ages. As usual, the Library is offering their Summer reading program, where kids receive a ticket for every book they read. The kids can then use the ticket to enter a draw for one of 70 prizes available this year. “We have a lot of great prizes for the Reading Club,” says Librarian, Mary Kate Laphen.

The theme for the Summer at the Library is “feed your passions.” The Reading Club MakerSpace, on Thursdays at 2pm, will allow school age children to explore crafting, building, growing, magic, music, food and fashion, with a different activity each week. “Come find what you are passionate about,” Mary Kate says.

The Library is also running several clubs over the Summer, including the Tech Club on Saturdays at 10:30am, which focuses on the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math). This club is also for school-age kids, and will include various levels of programming for robots, building with Knex and Lego, and other activities involving technology using iPads. “We have a mouse that you can program to go through mazes,” Mary Kate says. “It all interconnects so [kids] can pick and choose what they like.”

Every Wednesday evening in July at 6:30pm, a French teacher and francophone parent will be running a French Club, where kids can come and practice their French while doing all sorts of fun activities. This club is for children that already have a bit of French in their repertoire, as all the activities will be done en Francais. Artists from the Merrickville Artists Guild will be running the Merrickville Art Club for Youth (MACY) for youth twelve and up over the Summer, sharing their passion for art, photography and jewelry making. This year, the Drama Club is focusing on the big screen by running a movie-making club. Children ten and up will have the chance to write, edit, direct and star in their own short film, to be shown in a small festival at the end of the Summer.

The ever-popular Lego Club and StoryTime will continue to run over the Summer. Both are drop-in, with the Lego Club running on Saturday mornings from 10am-12pm, and StoryTime starting at 10am on Friday mornings.

All Summer activities at the Library are sponsored by the Friends of the Library and are free of charge. To sign up, or find out more about any of these clubs and activities, visit the library’s website, or call Mary Kate at 613-269-3326.

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