Deron Johnston – 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 April Is Chili Weather http://www.ngtimes.ca/april-is-chili-weather/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/april-is-chili-weather/#respond Wed, 02 May 2018 18:31:41 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=12345 This past Friday night, the Anglican Church had their annual Chili Cook-off at the Kemptville Legion. A panel of five judges were asked to judge the chili entries, submitted by the local catering and restaurant community. Yours truly was a last-minute replacement judge representing the North Grenville Times, as Maggie Boyer wasn’t feeling well. Also […]

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This past Friday night, the Anglican Church had their annual Chili Cook-off at the Kemptville Legion. A panel of five judges were asked to judge the chili entries, submitted by the local catering and restaurant community. Yours truly was a last-minute replacement judge representing the North Grenville Times, as Maggie Boyer wasn’t feeling well. Also represented on the judges panel were the North Grenville Fire Service, the local OPP detachment, North Grenville Municipal Council, and the Kemptville Players Theatre Group.

The judges had a very difficult task, as all of the entries were superb. The capacity crowd at the event were able to vote electronically for their favourite and eventually a winner was chosen, with all of the voting being close. The judges made a choice, but the consensus on the judging panel was not necessarily the same as the crowd’s choice of winner, which was the Five Star Restaurant. But, in the end, the real winners were the people who will benefit from the money raised by the church.

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North Grenville Sustainability Fair & Market http://www.ngtimes.ca/north-grenville-sustainability-fair-market/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/north-grenville-sustainability-fair-market/#respond Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:46:44 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=12146 Wandering through this year’s edition of the North Grenville Sustainability Fair and Market, it becomes obvious that this event is growing. A quick glance through the parking lot supplies the evidence. You can see licence plates from Quebec, New York, Maine and other Northern U.S. states. Inside, the double salon room inside the North Grenville […]

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Wandering through this year’s edition of the North Grenville Sustainability Fair and Market, it becomes obvious that this event is growing. A quick glance through the parking lot supplies the evidence. You can see licence plates from Quebec, New York, Maine and other Northern U.S. states. Inside, the double salon room inside the North Grenville Municipal Centre enjoyed a steady stream of curious people. Farmers, scientists, artists, local businesses and community organizations, with a central theme of sustainability, provided visitors with plenty to see, hear, touch and taste. As local resident Kristin Strackerjan said “There is such a great vibe at today’s Sustainability Fair”.

One of the major attractions for the event is the electric car show, which is an event entirely unto itself. As a matter of fact, it’s the largest electric car show between Ottawa and Toronto. There was even a motorcycle and an ATV on display this year for those craving a different electric vehicle experience. For people wanting more information, there was even an area set aside for presentations on the various aspects of electric vehicles. The show completely takes over one of the rinks at the Municipal Centre (minus the ice of course) and has well over twenty vehicles to look at, sit in and even test drive.

Thanks to local community organization Sustainable North Grenville for organizing such an important community event and for giving people a chance to learn more about how to live a more sustainable life.

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It Won’t Hurt http://www.ngtimes.ca/it-wont-hurt/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/it-wont-hurt/#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:18:20 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=12185 by Deron Johnston It was almost time, and the sun was shining (a rarity for sure), so I decided to walk down to Maplewood Park in Oxford Mills to watch the annual Easter Egg Hunt put on by the Oxford Mills Community Association (more accurately, Jim and Nora DeVette, who do all of the work […]

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by Deron Johnston

It was almost time, and the sun was shining (a rarity for sure), so I decided to walk down to Maplewood Park in Oxford Mills to watch the annual Easter Egg Hunt put on by the Oxford Mills Community Association (more accurately, Jim and Nora DeVette, who do all of the work and buy all of the goodies).

As I approached Maplewood Hall on the sidewalk, there was a family of three walking towards me. They seemed to be enjoying the sunshine as well, walking at a leisurely pace. I didn’t recognize them and assumed that they were visiting the area, either for the day, or staying with friends locally. As is my way, I gave them a smile and said “Hi” as I walked past them.

A few paces later, it dawned on me that the daughter among them was probably about ten years old and might enjoy some free chocolate and a little egg hunt fun. So, I thought: “it won’t hurt”, and I turned around and asked the family if they wanted to join us in the park for the egg hunt. I said that we’d love to have them, and they didn’t need to live here to be part of the festivities. They were a little hesitant at first, so I assured them that there was always plenty of chocolate for everyone.

The father commented that his daughter liked chocolate and asked her if she’d like to have a little fun. I told them that the hunt didn’t last very long, so if they had plans, it would only set them back a few minutes. I found out that they simply went out for a drive that afternoon and lived in nearby Kars. They eventually agreed and walked up to the park with me. The father thanked me for my kindness and, after a few brief moments to get their bearings, they began hunting with the others who were crawling like ants over almost every inch of the park.

After about fifteen minutes, the hunt was over, with all of the kids also getting a chocolate Easter Bunny to go with their eggs. Armed with sufficient chocolate for their needs, the family once again thanked me and, after some polite conversation about the two buildings in the park, they walked away, happily chatting about their little unexpected adventure. I turned my attention back to the last remaining people heading for their cars, happy kids in tow.

Three nights later, on a Tuesday, I sat in the audience of a special music night at Geronimo Coffee House. They host a bi-weekly music night that includes a delicious meal and four musicians performing in a half circle. I was excited about this particular night, because I was really looking forward to hearing one of the performers, guitarist Keith Glass, formerly of Prairie Oyster, a well-known Canadian Country/Rock/Roots band. I knew that Keith was going to be one of the performers in the lineup at the upcoming Kemptville Live Music Festival.

There were two sets of music that night, where each of the four artists got to perform, with Keith being the featured artist and therefore playing the entire third and final set solo. His talent and versatility were on display, and it was easy to see why he would be playing at Kemptville Live. After the music was finished, the musicians began packing up their equipment. I decided to take advantage of the small informal environment of the show and walked over to compliment Keith on the show.

Little did I know that he was already, somehow, aware of me. When I walked over, he looked up at me and said “You live in Oxford Mills, right?” I was a bit gob-smacked, thinking frantically of when I could’ve possibly met him before. After a few seconds, I confirmed that I did indeed live there. He said “Do you remember that family that you invited over for the Easter Egg Hunt in the park?”. It slowly dawned on me, as he pressed on “That was me, my wife and my daughter. I want to thank you again for your kindness that day. We really enjoyed it and it made our day. We just went out for a drive that afternoon not knowing where we were going and we ended up in Oxford Mills with a great memory.” “Thanks again for that”. He put his hand on my shoulder and firmly shook my hand. Despite several confused looks on the faces of the people around us, I wasn’t confused at all. I was reminded immediately that treating others with kindness and respect is always the right thing to do and “it won’t hurt”.

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Growing farmers http://www.ngtimes.ca/growing-farmers/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/growing-farmers/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 18:50:12 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=12055 When thinking about agriculture, it’s logical to think about “growing” in terms of crops and livestock. There’s another “growing” concern, and that is the need to grow the number of farmers. According to the Census of Agriculture 2016, there are now 193,492 farmers in Canada, which is down 5.9% from the Census of 2011. By […]

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When thinking about agriculture, it’s logical to think about “growing” in terms of crops and livestock. There’s another “growing” concern, and that is the need to grow the number of farmers. According to the Census of Agriculture 2016, there are now 193,492 farmers in Canada, which is down 5.9% from the Census of 2011. By comparison, in 1961, there were almost 481,000 farmers. The (sort of) good news is that this is the lowest rate of decline in the past twenty years.

According to Stats Can, 92% of farmers have no written succession plan for the future of their farm. In the past, it was just assumed that the next generation would step in and take over the farm, but this is no longer a safe assumption. Instead, farmers have been forced to begin selling off their land, in whole or in parts, to developers or other farms, in order to recover the equity they’ve built up. For anyone looking to get into farming (and even for those who are part of an existing farming family), the cost to buy an existing farm, or even a piece of productive agricultural land, is often well beyond their reach, especially for young people.

On a positive note, there was a slight increase in the number of farmers under age 35, between 2011 and 2016, for the first time since 1991 (up to almost 25,000). This appears to be mostly driven by an increase in the number of young women now operating farms, and millennials who are motivated about small scale organic farming and local food. Though this is a positive development, the average age of a Canadian farmer is 55, and this has risen steadily for decades, with the number of farmers over 70 far exceeding those under 35.

The message appears to be clear: we need more farmers and, further, we need to support and encourage young people to enter farming. Instead of focusing on the general financial viability of farming, it might be time to shift gears and start providing direct support for young farmers. Agriculture and Agri-food Canada states that the federal government does supply some funding and loan support to young farmers for farm transitions in the form of deferred payments and interest-only payments, but it is limited.

One important aspect of providing effective support for young farmers would be the need for education and relevant hands-on training. Even with the financial resources needed to begin farming, not having an appropriate level of knowledge and training is like starting any other business without knowing anything about how to run a business and/or having limited knowledge about your chosen field. In this case, the long-term result will probably not be a positive one.

Maybe it’s time to consider offering an open, free, post-secondary education program in Ontario to potential farmers, one that requires a long-term commitment from participants (for example – participants must agree to operate a full-time agriculture-based business for a specified period). A comprehensive two-year limited entry program that incorporates hands-on training in essential topics like agricultural business finance, marketing for agricultural business, livestock basics, soil science basics, crop planning, agricultural innovations, etc., could prepare graduates for the day-to-day operations involved in farming. There are a number of organizations that offer workshop style programming for farmers throughout Ontario, but an all-in-one program would probably be a more efficient way to deliver the necessary training.

There are some limited programs available in Ontario, like the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training in Southwestern Ontario, which is helping young people to prepare for farming by offering them internships at a network of small-scale organic farms. Unfortunately, some other similar programs that have been offered in the past have disappeared because of the lack of long-term sustainable funding.

By combining these elements: education, hands-on training, and post-program funding support for graduates, this would appear to be the best-case scenario to ensure a steady influx of new farmers that can “hit the ground running” and reduce the rate at which we’re losing farmers. Some would argue that a program like this would be too costly.

Respectfully, from a food security perspective, the more food that we produce locally, the less vulnerable our food supply becomes to negative forces beyond our control and influence. Add to that the sizable local economic benefit generated by buying locally produced food and agri-products, and one could argue that it’s an essential investment in our collective future.

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One Streetlight http://www.ngtimes.ca/one-streetlight/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/one-streetlight/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 18:57:21 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11495 This past summer, there was a tragedy on County Road 43 (CR 43), when a local resident was struck by a vehicle while walking at night. Local resident, Gary Boal 63, died while doing the responsible thing of walking home (instead of driving) after having a few drinks at a social event. The particular section […]

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This past summer, there was a tragedy on County Road 43 (CR 43), when a local resident was struck by a vehicle while walking at night. Local resident, Gary Boal 63, died while doing the responsible thing of walking home (instead of driving) after having a few drinks at a social event. The particular section of road where the tragedy took place has a bridge and is unlit. The bridge has a very narrow sidewalk (that amounts to little more than a ledge) on each side to walk on, in order to cross the bridge.

CR 43 has long been a safety concern for vehicles and, especially, pedestrians and cyclists. The proposed expansion of CR 43 to four lanes has been the subject of a multi-year campaign by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville (UCLG), who are responsible for the maintenance and control of the road. Insisting that they need Provincial and/or Federal Government funding to complete the proposed $30 million expansion, the project remains on the shelf, but “shovel-ready”.

On February 11, the North Grenville Times sent an email to UCLG Public Works Department after a concerned resident pointed out that the sidewalk on the CR 43 bridge was impassable because of the buildup of snow and ice. The resident also identified that a number of people (especially young people) sometimes must walk along sections of CR 43, especially if they work at any of the businesses in the Colonnade development. The resident also wondered why there still wasn’t a light at the bridge to make that section safer at night, especially following the tragedy in the summer at that exact spot.

UCLG Public Works responded: “We will clean up the snow on the bridge tonight and ensure our operators use the plow wing to maintain conditions in the future”. True to their word, the snow was indeed removed that night, but the ice underneath remained, so that it was still not accessible to pedestrians.

Impressively, two nights later, a front-end loader was seen attempting to scrape the ice from the bridge sidewalk; but it was unsuccessful, because it had to put two wheels on the sidewalk in order for the blade to reach up on to it. This meant that the loader itself was tilted and, therefore, the blade couldn’t sit flat enough to scrape off all of the ice. Not long after, mild weather melted the ice and the sidewalk was usable again. However, as of press time, snow was piled up on the sidewalk again.

As far as the lighting of the bridge, the reply from the UCLG to our e-mail simply noted that: “Regarding street lights, we have a design that is proposed as part of the improvements planned for CR 43”. It’s difficult to understand why a simple temporary light of some kind couldn’t be placed at the bridge to make that section safer for everyone until the “planned improvements” could be completed. This does not appear to be an unreasonable request, it’s only a single street light.

Every once in a while, what appears to be an obvious opportunity presents itself for someone to step forward and demonstrate leadership. Rather than fall into a discussion over whose responsibility something is, you hope that someone steps forward, takes on the responsibility and simply does what they need to do to resolve the situation. In this case, it is a matter of public safety,

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The Future of Farming http://www.ngtimes.ca/the-future-of-farming/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/the-future-of-farming/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 18:54:40 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11530 There was a very interesting article published online recently by the Globe and Mail. It was titled, “The future of farming is female”. The author, Trina Moyles, also authored the book “Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism and the Fight to Feed the World”. The author states that women who are involved in agriculture are always […]

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There was a very interesting article published online recently by the Globe and Mail. It was titled, “The future of farming is female”. The author, Trina Moyles, also authored the book “Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism and the Fight to Feed the World”. The author states that women who are involved in agriculture are always assumed to be the farmer’s wife, instead of the farmer themselves. The 2016 Agricultural Census demonstrated why that assumption may still be out there. Only 28% of farms in Canada are operated by women, but that is a 1% improvement from the census in 2011. Greater change appears to be on the horizon, with British Columbia having the highest percentage of female farmers at 37.5%. There is even a growing trend in Atlantic Canada that the number of female farm operators is on the rise.

In post-secondary education, men are still holding the majority of the teaching positions in agriculture. That also appears to be about to change, as women students are outnumbering men in agricultural and natural sciences post-secondary education programs. Even alternative agriculture workshops on subjects like permaculture are now dominated by women.

The census also says that more young people are farming now, which is very good news, because it seemed that more farmland was being sold off because of a lack of interest on behalf of the next generation in taking over the family farm. The number one reason for the decline had been that it was difficult for farms to make money. Rising costs of raw materials, equipment, etc., was outpacing farm revenues, making it harder to build equity and keep debt ratios low on the family farm.

In her article, Trina asserts that, over the past several years, she is witnessing a new generation of young women who are motivated to farm despite the social, economic and psychological odds that are stacked against them. Women in agriculture seem to be relying on innovation, imagination, and a certain amount of risk-taking to be successful. In her book, Trina wanted to look beyond the statistics and document stories of women who were not only fighting gender inequality, but who also want to revolutionize how food is grown in Canada.

One of her subjects was Dawn Boileau, an Alberta farmer who operates a small 12-acre organic vegetable, fruit and edible flower farm in Onoway, Alberta. Dawn and her wife, Kate Hook, take a variety of vegetables to the Strathcona Market in Edmonton every week. The produce may include crops like microgreens, butternut squash, wheatgrass, and Nantes carrots, which are all grown by hand without any machinery. Dawn likes to grow food vertically which, she says, maximizes her yield and requires less land.

Her willingness to experiment has been a key to her success. In 2009, she pivoted away from only growing field crops to delving into indoor cultivation of wheatgrass, other microgreens, radishes, sunflower, and pea shoots. Today, these niche products generate half of her income, but require only a fraction of the labour and space of crops such as carrots and squash.

Dawn believes that “society does not encourage girls to pursue careers that involve heavy work”. “But women can accomplish just as much on the farm as men by working smarter, not necessarily harder.” It appears that, to be a farmer in today’s agricultural world, you need courage, resourcefulness, imagination and inner strength. The future of farming may lie in the hands of women.

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Wynne-powered Nomination http://www.ngtimes.ca/wynne-powered-nomination/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/wynne-powered-nomination/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 18:05:33 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11527 The Brockville Convention Centre was the scene, as Liberals far and wide gathered for the provincial riding association nomination meeting. As reported last week, Brockville Mayor David Henderson was the lone nominee and was acclaimed in front of a packed house and media that included CKWS TV, CTV, Your TV (Cogeco) and all of the […]

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The Brockville Convention Centre was the scene, as Liberals far and wide gathered for the provincial riding association nomination meeting. As reported last week, Brockville Mayor David Henderson was the lone nominee and was acclaimed in front of a packed house and media that included CKWS TV, CTV, Your TV (Cogeco) and all of the regional newspapers.

Originally the meeting was supposed to start at 2 pm, but was delayed until Premier Kathleen Wynne arrived. It was a poorly kept secret that the Premier would be attending the meeting. Already travelling in Eastern Ontario, she said that it was important to stop and welcome David Henderson to the team and support his nomination. Upon arriving, the Premier greeted each person individually and the TV cameras pivoted to catch it all.

As for the nomination itself, riding association President, Greg Best, kicked off the meeting with a welcome to everyone and then handed the meeting over to Kemptville’s own Michaela Rutherford-Blouin, who was the chair of the nomination committee. Michaela introduced Josh Bennett, (who is the Mayor’s campaign manager) who spoke briefly, and then officially nominated him. Michaela then introduced Christine Milks (the candidate from the previous election) who said a few words and seconded the nomination.

The rest of the meeting was comprised of the Premier speaking about the coming election and how lucky the Liberal Party was to have such a high-profile candidate as David Henderson. To wrap up, David spoke about Pharmacare, the minimum wage, and free post-secondary tuition for low income students.

When the meeting ended, the Premier answered a number of media questions before moving on to her next appointment. David stayed to answer all questions before the media scrum broke up and departed. No doubt there will be plenty of questions for the candidate in the coming weeks.

With the recent controversial leadership contest for the Progressive Conservative Party now over, and Doug Ford at the helm as leader, this is turning out to be possibly the most interesting provincial election in a very long time.

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David Henderson seeks Liberal nomination http://www.ngtimes.ca/david-henderson-seeks-liberal-nomination/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/david-henderson-seeks-liberal-nomination/#respond Wed, 14 Mar 2018 18:17:12 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11367 For those who follow provincial politics locally, there’s been one question on everyone’s minds when it comes to the upcoming provincial election on June 7. Who were the Liberals going to nominate in the battle against incumbent Progressive Conservative MPP Steve Clark? Who would dare to run against a two-term sitting MPP, who even some […]

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For those who follow provincial politics locally, there’s been one question on everyone’s minds when it comes to the upcoming provincial election on June 7. Who were the Liberals going to nominate in the battle against incumbent Progressive Conservative MPP Steve Clark? Who would dare to run against a two-term sitting MPP, who even some Liberals think is a good representative for our riding of Leeds Grenville Thousand Islands Rideau Lakes (LGTIRL)? Who would this brave soul be? Well, the answer may have come on Thursday night in Downtown Brockville.

A mysterious email arrived in the inboxes of local media outlets across LGTIRL on Thursday morning, with very little detail. It stated that David Henderson, Mayor of the City of Brockville, would be making a big announcement on Thursday at 5 pm at the Union Jack Pub in Brockville. And so he did. Mayor Henderson announced that he filed nomination papers to become the Liberal candidate in the approaching provincial election. If successful at the Liberal nomination meeting on Thursday March 15 (there were no other nominations as of press time), the Mayor would take a leave of absence from the City of Brockville once the writ drops and begin a 30-day whirlwind campaign.

The announcement itself was conducted at the back of the pub, with about forty supporters and media in attendance. David was introduced by a long-time friend, who joked that the Mayor would now have to change his blue ties to red ones. Having previously run against Steve Clark for the PC nomination, David said that the PC party is no longer as progressive as it used to be. This caused the admitted centrist with “fiscal conservative values” to decide to follow his “socially progressive values” and seek the Liberal nomination.

The potential candidate spoke for about ten minutes, outlining his support for three specific items: the current pharmacare program, free tuition for students from low income families, and the increased minimum wage. David said he believed that everyone should benefit from a strong economy, and that these programs were helping with that. He also shared his concerns that a PC election win would mean big spending cuts that could damage the type of programs that benefit people in the area.

Acknowledging the mountain he must climb, he said that he needed the help of “every Who in Whoville” to be successful. Brockville has long been the deciding factor in both provincial and federal elections for the riding of LGTIRL. With that in mind, it creates an interesting scenario, with David Henderson and Steve Clark potentially going up against each other in their hometown. Steve was the youngest mayor in the history of the City of Brockville, while David is the current, and longest serving, mayor, holding the position for the past twelve years.

Conservatives have long dominated the riding at both the federal and provincial levels, except for a period of sixteen years from 1988-2004, when Jim and Joe Jordan were federal Liberal MPs. That being said, a provincial Liberal candidate has never won a seat at Queen’s Park. Assuming he wins the Liberal nomination, it will be a real battle for David to beat Steve. However, it certainly casts some doubt on whether the PCs can dominate in Brockville, as they have been used to doing. And if Brockville is the key to winning the election, it just might be worth staying up to watch the results come in on June 7.

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Lifetime Achievement for local business owner http://www.ngtimes.ca/lifetime-achievement-local-business-owner/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/lifetime-achievement-local-business-owner/#respond Wed, 14 Mar 2018 18:03:19 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11413 A local businesswoman was honoured at the International Women’s Day Celebration held at Equinelle on Thursday evening. The theme for the evening was #pressforprogress, and it was organized by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre (LGSBEC), with support from Kemptville Women in Business and the Government of Ontario. The evening included a trade show […]

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A local businesswoman was honoured at the International Women’s Day Celebration held at Equinelle on Thursday evening. The theme for the evening was #pressforprogress, and it was organized by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre (LGSBEC), with support from Kemptville Women in Business and the Government of Ontario.

The evening included a trade show of local women in business, cocktail hour, 3-course dinner, and a presentation by Jodi Wright, the National Manager for RBC Global Asset Management as the keynote speaker.

Jodi’s presentation was eye-opening and engaging, as she talked about the reality of women in the Canadian workforce. According to her statistics, the wage gap in Ontario is 27%, higher than many other countries in the world. “Canada is sixth from the top, as far as the gap is concerned,” she said. Although women have made many strides over the years when it comes to breaking into traditionally male roles, only six of the top 100 CEOs in Canada are women.

That being said, Jodi also noted that women are controlling more of the global wealth, starting more businesses, and driving more consumer spending than ever. Companies are realizing that they are having to target women more often, because they are the ones controlling the household finances. Strides are also being made when it comes to equal pay, with pay equity legislation being proposed in the government.

“We need to understand where we are, where we want to go, and how we’re going to get there,” Jodi told the audience, tapping into the evening’s #pressforprogress theme.
Jodi also encouraged the women in the room to get involved in investing and to seek out a financial advisor to help manage their money and plan for their future. “Nine in ten women would rather shop for a bathing suit than meet with a financial planner,” she said. “Confidence builds with knowledge and money, and knowledge is power.”

Jodi’s presentation was a great part of the evening, but the highlight came at the end of the celebration. Every year, the LGSBEC honours one woman in business with a Lifetime Achievement award for their achievements as a business leader in the community.

This year, the honour fell to North Grenville’s Cathy Sheppard, who has been the owner of Sheppard and Associates in Kemptville for the past 34 years. She has grown her business from a home office, to a staff of over thirteen women. Sheppard and Associates manages a roster of around 3,000 clients, which includes corporate, personal, and U.S. businesses.

Cathy supports many local charities, including the Kemptville Youth Centre, the Kemptville Snowmobile Klub, Jumpstart, women’s shelters, and the food drive in North Grenville. She also knits toques and mitts for the Ottawa Mission.

“It is our pleasure to present Cathy with this award,” Wendy Onstein from LGBEC said, as she handed Cathy her trophy. MPP Steve Clark was also there to present Cathy with a certificate and congratulations from himself and MP Gord Brown.

Cathy was clearly overwhelmed, and very thankful for the honour. She got up to accept the award from a table full of her staff from Sheppard and Associates, who were all beaming. “I want to thank everybody,” Cathy said. “I care a lot about this community, and I want to lead you all into equality and success in your careers.”

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Door To Door No More http://www.ngtimes.ca/door-door-no/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/door-door-no/#respond Wed, 07 Mar 2018 19:55:44 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11314 On February 23, the provincial Ministry of Government and Consumer Services announced that, effective March 1, “Ontario will ban unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home”. In order for contracts signed in the consumer’s home to be valid, the homeowner has to have contacted […]

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On February 23, the provincial Ministry of Government and Consumer Services announced that, effective March 1, “Ontario will ban unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home”. In order for contracts signed in the consumer’s home to be valid, the homeowner has to have contacted the business and invited them into their home for the purpose of signing a contract. Any contract that violates these new rules on door-to-door solicitation will be voided and consumers will be able to keep the goods and services with no commitment on their part.

These new rules only apply to: air cleaners, air conditioners, air purifiers, duct cleaning services, furnaces, water filters, water heaters, water purifiers, water softeners, water treatment appliances and bundles of these goods and services. Other goods and services sold at the door may still be legal to sell, except in North Grenville, which requires a Municipality of North Grenville licence to sell anything door-to-door.

The businesses that provide these goods and services must now keep a record of how contact was made, and provide very clear information about the consumer’s rights. Any contracts signed in the home for these goods and services will also have a ten-day window that allows the consumer to cancel the contract for any reason, without penalty. Even if a customer calls for a repair, maintenance, or for any other reason, the business may only leave information about the products and services that they sell. The only exception would be when the business has a written contract in place with the customer and gets their approval in advance of the visit to solicit a contract for these goods and services.
According to the provincial government, door-to-door contracts yield one of the highest number of complaints to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Ontario is now the second province to restrict door-to-door solicitation and contracts. Quite often, seniors are the targets of these aggressive and misleading sales tactics.

North Grenville’s bylaw regarding door-to-door selling requires ALL companies and individuals who want to sell door-to-door to apply and pay for a licence from the Municipality of North Grenville. These individuals and company representatives must be able to provide a copy of this licence at the door. If they cannot, residents are advised to call the Bylaw Officer (613-258-9569 ext. 206 or ext. 204) and report the company and individuals.

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