Regional News – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Triple your gift with Aviva’s match http://www.ngtimes.ca/triple-your-gift-with-avivas-match/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/triple-your-gift-with-avivas-match/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 18:51:54 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11948 Conrad Sauvé, President & CEO, Canadian Red Cross Disasters can hit anywhere and any time, and the impact on Canadians can be life-changing. Large disasters like wildfires or hurricanes can force thousands of Canadians from their homes in a matter of hours. Smaller-scale personal disasters like a flood or house fire can turn a family’s […]

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Conrad Sauvé, President & CEO, Canadian Red Cross

Disasters can hit anywhere and any time, and the impact on Canadians can be life-changing. Large disasters like wildfires or hurricanes can force thousands of Canadians from their homes in a matter of hours. Smaller-scale personal disasters like a flood or house fire can turn a family’s life upside down. When disaster strikes, our disaster response team is there providing care and support.

On average, we respond to over 3,000 disasters each year in Canada, and assist over 100 Canadians every day. We’re now entering spring flooding season and soon we’ll need to ramp up for summer responses as well. Donate today to help us replenish our disaster response supplies and better prepare our Disaster Management volunteers for the many calls they are expecting in the coming months.

One of our top priorities is keeping Canadians safe and secure – this is a goal we share with Aviva Canada, a national partner of the Canadian Red Cross and one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country. Aviva Canada is so committed to this goal that they’re generously providing a triple gift match offer that will significantly boost the impact of your contribution.

Thanks to Aviva Canada, every dollar donated between now and midnight EST April 30, 2018 will actually be worth triple*. Just think, if you make a gift of 100 dollars to the Canadian Red Cross this month, the total gift amount will be 300 dollars.

DON’T MISS THIS CHANCE TO TRIPLE YOUR IMPACT.

*Aviva Canada will match up to a maximum amount of 100,000 dollars in total for donations made on or before April 30, 2018.

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UCDSB notes http://www.ngtimes.ca/ucdsb-notes/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/ucdsb-notes/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 18:21:49 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11962 The Upper Canada District School Board received a financial forecast update at its last meeting, and approved the 2018-19 School Year Calendar. Second Financial Forecast for 2017-2018 Fiscal Year: Superintendent of Business Robert Backstrom presented Trustees with the second financial forecast update for the current fiscal year. At this point in time, Backstrom said the […]

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The Upper Canada District School Board received a financial forecast update at its last meeting, and approved the 2018-19 School Year Calendar.

Second Financial Forecast for 2017-2018 Fiscal Year: Superintendent of Business Robert Backstrom presented Trustees with the second financial forecast update for the current fiscal year. At this point in time, Backstrom said the Board’s overall financial outlook remains stable for the balance of the fiscal year. The forecasted surplus of $508,380 reflects a moderate reduction in the anticipated in-year budget surplus when compared with the first financial forecast update presented in January. Estimated adjustments to Grants for Student Needs funding and the creation of 10 new educational assistant positions contributed to the surplus change. Backstrom added the current forecast maintains the Board’s standing for operating within the compliance levels set by the Ministry of Education while allowing the Board to focus on its key goals of student achievement and student well-being.

2018-19 School Year Calendar: Trustees approved the 2018-19 School Year Calendar, which will now be sent to the Ministry of Education for final approval. The calendar proposes a start date for classes of September 4, 2018 and lists the last day of school as June 28, 2019. Exams will run from January 24-30, 2019 and June 21-27, 2019. Christmas Break has been proposed for December 24, 2018 to January 4, 2019. The March Break has been proposed for March 11-15, 2019.

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Plan ahead to reduce the impacts of extreme weather events http://www.ngtimes.ca/plan-ahead-to-reduce-the-impacts-of-extreme-weather-events/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/plan-ahead-to-reduce-the-impacts-of-extreme-weather-events/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 18:08:45 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11956 by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs With a sharp increase in the frequency of sudden heavy rainfall and flooding events in recent years, Ontario is reminding residents to take steps to help protect their homes from damage caused by overland flooding. The best way to prepare for extreme weather events is by ensuring that you […]

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by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs

With a sharp increase in the frequency of sudden heavy rainfall and flooding events in recent years, Ontario is reminding residents to take steps to help protect their homes from damage caused by overland flooding.

The best way to prepare for extreme weather events is by ensuring that you have the right protections in place. Some ways to minimize the risk of flooding include:
– Installing a backflow prevention valve
– Fixing cracks in the basement
– Making sure downspouts are directed away from the home
– Disconnecting foundation drains from the sewer system and installing a sump pump
– Fixing the grading around the property so that the ground slopes away from the home.

Appropriate insurance coverage can also help protect you from financial losses if you experience flood damage. Insurance companies offer different types and levels of coverage and assess the risks of each property individually.

Ontario is experiencing more extreme weather events due to climate change. The government is taking action to better protect our environment and help residents adapt to a changing climate through the Climate Change Action Plan, and recently redesigned its disaster recovery programs to better help affected residents, businesses and communities to get back on their feet after natural disasters, such as flooding.

Between 2011 and 2016, the province activated its disaster recovery programs in 56 municipalities and provided over $40 million in provincial assistance. Last year alone, Ontario set aside up to $12.5 million to provide disaster assistance to individuals, businesses and municipalities across 37 communities that were affected by flooding.

Through the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program, Ontario provides financial assistance to eligible residents, farms, small business owners and not-for-profit organizations. The program focuses on essentials – such as helping with cleanup costs and replacing necessary items like furnaces and basic appliances. The program does not cover full replacement costs or provide assistance for costs covered by insurance. Many municipalities offer subsidies for homeowners to reduce the risk of flooding. Contact your municipality to find out about local flood prevention programs.

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United Counties passes budget http://www.ngtimes.ca/united-counties-passes-budget/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/united-counties-passes-budget/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:57:24 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11769 Council voted to maintain the 2017 tax rate when passing its 2018 budget at the Counties Council meeting Thursday. The United Counties will collect $38.9 million from property taxpayers this year. The approved budget provides for total expenditures of $100-million. Capital expenditures account for $13.5 million. The total levy increase is 3.49%. “This budget provides […]

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Council voted to maintain the 2017 tax rate when passing its 2018 budget at the Counties Council meeting Thursday. The United Counties will collect $38.9 million from property taxpayers this year. The approved budget provides for total expenditures of $100-million. Capital expenditures account for $13.5 million. The total levy increase is 3.49%.

“This budget provides for the hiring of four full-time paramedics, which will increase the number of staffed ambulances for response on nights from five to six,” said Warden Robin Jones. In addition, the Leeds Grenville Paramedic Service will implement the Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) program with the goal of having five paramedics trained and certified by September 2018.

“The Public Works Division budget provides for some additional operational and management resources to enable the department to focus and enhance its capital program,” Warden Jones said. The Capital Program includes the rehabilitation of four bridges and approximately 35 kilometres of roads, including culverts, guiderails, shoulders and paving.

An average residential property assessment in Leeds and Grenville is approximately $220,000. The average tax increase is $15.00 for the average residential property. However, the impact varies for each taxpayer depending on the phase-in of the assessments over a four-year period. Leeds and Grenville ratepayers could see a small increase or decrease in their taxes depending upon the 2018 phase-in value of their assessments.

Council was able to increase service levels in both Paramedic Service and Public Works. The budget also introduced a dedicated hospital levy of ½ % which amounts to $186,096 for 2018.

A breakdown of the operating budget expenditures shows the largest piece of the pie is for Ontario Works at 22.77%, followed by transportation services costs of 17.17%. Community

Housing budget is 12.68 % and the Paramedic Service budget is 13.61%. Operating expenses are up by 5.31% overall.

The 2018 capital budget of $13.5 million includes $11.3 million for public works projects. The overall capital budget decreased from last year’s total of $12.7 million. Road and infrastructure work accounts for 84.11% of capital expenditures. Paramedic Service take up 4.59%, followed by 4.28% for County Properties, 2.23% for Community Housing, 1.37% for Corporate Services, and 3.31% for Maple View Lodge.

The taxation base includes real growth (new assessment) of $378,085, or an increase of 0.97%. The change in assessment due to the phase-in is $934,244 as property values in the residential, commercial and farm property classes increased. For more information, contact Treasurer, Pat Huffman at 613-342-3840, ext. 2468.

Upcoming meetings: Committee of the Whole Tuesday, April 3; Joint Services Committee Wednesday, April 4, and regular Counties Council on Thursday, April 19. All regular meetings begin at 9 am in the Council Chambers at 25 Central Avenue, Brockville. For more information, contact County Clerk Lesley Todd at 613-342-3840, ext. 2454.

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Parkinson Awareness Month 2018 http://www.ngtimes.ca/parkinson-awareness-month-2018/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/parkinson-awareness-month-2018/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:55:55 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11775 April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and there are more and more events and activities coming to the area to spread the word and support those who live with the disease. Pat Evans was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2006 and is an advocate dedicated to spreading awareness. She says that, over the past few months, […]

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April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and there are more and more events and activities coming to the area to spread the word and support those who live with the disease.

Pat Evans was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2006 and is an advocate dedicated to spreading awareness. She says that, over the past few months, Parkinson Canada has started to invest in bringing programs to rural areas to help those who are living with Parkinson’s to stay engaged without having to travel to cities like Ottawa and Brockville. Last year, she helped organize the first Parkinson SuperWalk in Perth, which raised over $30,000 for Parkinson’s research and advocacy.

In January, a new Parkinson’s support group, facilitated by Pat, started in Smiths Falls, which allows people with Parkinson’s to share their experiences and get information and support. The group runs once a month and supplements other groups out of Perth, Almonte, Kemptville and Brockville. “Thirty-one people showed up to the first group,” Pat says. “That shows there is a need.”

What surprised Pat most about the group was how little information they had about Parkinson’s, even though many had been diagnosed for a while. “People don’t think there is anything they can do,” she says.

That is far from the case. Research is showing that exercise can be integral in slowing down the progression of the disease. Dan Linton, a Smiths Falls resident who first started having Parkinson’s symptoms at 35, says that exercise has played an important part in keeping his symptoms at bay. “It was only when I first started exercising, that I began to have a sense that I could have a good quality of life with this disease,” he says. “It is really why I am doing as well as I am.”

Dan is encouraged by the growing number of programs available for people with Parkinson’s in his area, specifically those that have to do with exercise. In mid-April, a new Parkinson’s- specific exercise program, funded by CPHC, will be offered at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Smiths Falls. This will add to the growing number of exercise programs offered in Lanark North Leeds which could benefit those living with Parkinson’s. This includes water walking classes, dancing, boxing, “Gentlefit” and Tai Chi.

Another important aspect of the treatment of Parkinson’s is early diagnosis. Many people live for years without being diagnosed and therefore don’t get the treatment they need for the symptoms. “It is a very common story of someone experiencing symptoms, but not wanting to talk about it,” Pat says. There is not enough understanding or awareness of the disease in the medical community. “If it is not diagnosed and treated, it will end up costing the government more money.”

To help with this, Parkinson Canada has organized an educational event set for Thursday, April 26, from 10:00 am-1:30 pm in Smiths Falls, with the goal of educating healthcare professionals about signs and symptoms of the disease and evidence-based treatment. The event will be held at the Smiths Falls Hospital, but will be broadcast live to Perth, Lanark, Westport, Portland, Almonte, Carleton Place, Brockville, and Arnprior. Movement disorder specialist, Dr. Michael Schlossmacher, will be leading the conversation, with the help of two neurologic physiotherapists, a social worker, and Pat Evans, who will be speaking as a person living with the disease. “Getting doctors to diagnose is a priority,” she says. “There are so many benefits of early diagnosis.”

More than 25 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every day in Canada, with even more flying under the radar. Michael J. Fox, who lives with Parkinson’s and is the disease’s most famous advocate, has called it a Parkinson’s pandemic. “I call it a Tsunami,” Pat says. While she is pleased with the progress that has been made over the past few months, she wants to see even more evidence-based programs being offered in rural areas. She encourages anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s to reach out and avoid becoming isolated. “Support groups are like family who understand,” she says. “It’s amazing what people with Parkinson’s are doing.”

For more information on any of the programs mentioned above, contact Margaux Wolfe at margaux.wolfe@parkinson.ca, or call 1-800-565-3000 ext. 3425.

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OPP to hold gun amnesty during April http://www.ngtimes.ca/opp-hold-gun-amnesty-april/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/opp-hold-gun-amnesty-april/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:50:10 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11806 Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in collaboration with participating municipal police services are holding a Gun Amnesty during the month of April. The gun amnesty is for any Ontario resident who wishes to voluntarily surrender unwanted or illegally-owned firearms, weapons, accessories or ammunition. The amnesty is a way to provide citizens with a safe way to […]

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Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in collaboration with participating municipal police services are holding a Gun Amnesty during the month of April.

The gun amnesty is for any Ontario resident who wishes to voluntarily surrender unwanted or illegally-owned firearms, weapons, accessories or ammunition. The amnesty is a way to provide citizens with a safe way to surrender weapons and enhance public safety. During the amnesty, police will not recommend weapons-related Criminal Code charges that might otherwise apply to people who are turning in these items. Police note no amnesty is offered for people who turn in weapons that have been used in the commission of a crime. No anonymous submissions will be accepted.

Interested gun owners are strongly urged to call the OPP (or their local police service’s) non-emergency number at 1-888-310-1122 to arrange for officers to attend and safely retrieve the weapons. Gun owners can also use the OPP website button — www.opp.ca/gunamnesty — or the Citizen Self Reporting tool to notify police. Under NO circumstances should anyone deliver guns or ammunition directly to police facilities.

OPP Commissioner J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes explained one of the main reasons for the amnesty:

“Ontario has seen an increase in break-and-enter incidents where firearms are stolen or targeted by criminals. The OPP and our participating police partners are giving people a safe way to dispose of weapons, imitation weapons and related equipment, accessories and ammunition to reduce the number of guns in their communities.”

Remember: Safely surrender weapons and accessories by appointment only.

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Bravo Breakfast Awards recognizes our local students http://www.ngtimes.ca/bravo-breakfast-awards-recognizes-local-students/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/bravo-breakfast-awards-recognizes-local-students/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:30:27 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11747 The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario celebrated the second of four area Bravo Breakfast Awards recently at St. Mary Catholic High School in Brockville, recognizing students from the area schools, including Elizabeth Mainville, Holy Cross Catholic School, Brooke Caicco, St. Michael Catholic High School (Elementary), and Robbie Leach, St. Michael Catholic High School […]

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The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario celebrated the second of four area Bravo Breakfast Awards recently at St. Mary Catholic High School in Brockville, recognizing students from the area schools, including Elizabeth Mainville, Holy Cross Catholic School, Brooke Caicco, St. Michael Catholic High School (Elementary), and Robbie Leach, St. Michael Catholic High School (Secondary), Kemptville .

One student from each elementary and secondary school is chosen to receive this award annually, which acknowledges the unsung heroes within CDSBEO Catholic schools. This is the tenth year the Board has hosted the celebration.

City of Brockville, Town of Smiths Falls and Leeds County Trustee Robin Reil attended the event, along with Grenville County and Elizabethtown-Kitley Township Trustee Brent Laton. Many other dignitaries were also in attendance.

“This award signifies the amazing people you are, and how you have touched those in your school communities through your kind, selfless, and thoughtful actions,” noted Trustee Reil in his address.

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Court house video closer http://www.ngtimes.ca/court-house-video-closer/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/court-house-video-closer/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:22:10 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11764 Four months after he first raised the issue in Question Period, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark welcomed a signal the province is ready to press fast forward on installing video technology at the Brockville Court House. “I’m pleased the government finally recognizes the ability to hold remand hearings by video is important for the safety and […]

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Four months after he first raised the issue in Question Period, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark welcomed a signal the province is ready to press fast forward on installing video technology at the Brockville Court House.

“I’m pleased the government finally recognizes the ability to hold remand hearings by video is important for the safety and security of our police officers and everyone working at the court house,” said Steve, who praised Brockville Police Chief Scott Fraser for being a strong voice in pushing the government to act.

Steve said that he was encouraged by a March 26 letter to Chief Fraser, in which Attorney General, Yasir Naqvi, wrote: “I have asked ministry officials to ensure the completion of a review of the technological and structural requirements for the purchase and installation of a video suite at the Brockville courthouse, which is separate and apart from our current provincial review project.”

Brockville remains one of the only courthouses in Eastern Ontario without video technology, and MPP Clark said he’s pleased the ministry has separated the local review from an ongoing province-wide study.

“It’s good news our situation now has their full attention. However, the review must happen quickly so we can get the video remand system up and running without further delay,” he stressed. “The injuries suffered by an officer during a prisoner transfer earlier this month showed the health and safety concerns I have been raising with the Attorney General on behalf of Chief Fraser are real.”

Steve first pressed Minister Naqvi to install the cameras last November, so prisoners could make brief appearances for remand hearings by video. This would eliminate the need for officers to transfer prisoners around the outside of the building to a holding cell, until they can be called into the courtroom.

The MPP raised the issue in the legislature again last month, taking the government to task for ignoring Brockville’s needs while announcing $7 million for upgrades to existing video technology at a court house in the Attorney General’s riding.

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Homelessness study coming to United Counties http://www.ngtimes.ca/homelessness-study-coming-united-counties/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/homelessness-study-coming-united-counties/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 18:50:41 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11616 As we reported in last week’s Times, the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville [UCLG] is taking part in a province-wide study to document the extent and nature of homelessness in the region. The “Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016″, requires the various levels of municipal government in Ontario to conduct these studies, and the UCLG […]

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As we reported in last week’s Times, the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville [UCLG] is taking part in a province-wide study to document the extent and nature of homelessness in the region. The “Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016″, requires the various levels of municipal government in Ontario to conduct these studies, and the UCLG have now asked themselves the question: how do you survey people who have no home?

The counties-wide survey, which will be done during the week of May 13-19, is a massive co-operative effort by social-service agencies, food banks, soup kitchens, churches, charities and schools to identify and interview the homeless.

“This is quite a significant undertaking,” said Alison Tutak, director of community and social services. “It means a lot of work.”

Alison is very aware that the project will require a great deal of work, as the homeless are often hidden in society. The study needs to include families and individuals who are living in unstable housing situations, such as staying temporarily with friends or couch surfing, in addition to the stereotype of homeless people sleeping outside on a park bench.

Alison Tutak said the counties are relying on their partners to be the eyes and ears of the survey. The UCLG note that: “high school guidance counsellors, for example, might be able to identify students who have left home and are sleeping on a friends’ couch. Such agencies as Brockville’s Interval House would know of women who have fled their homes to escape domestic violence. Ontario Works offices could help identify homeless people who apply for social assistance”.

The Counties have also noted that, sometimes, the homeless are in hospitals and jails, so the counties are reaching out to those agencies to help in the survey. After identifying the homeless, the volunteers will survey them to find such things as names, data on gender, age, ethnicity, veteran status and more. Names of the people surveyed will be kept confidential, said Ms. Tutak, adding that the names and other identifying questions will ensure that the same people are not interviewed multiple times.

The UCLG survey is quite extensive, with a “wide series of questions”, and those who take part will be compensated in small ways, such as a Tim Horton’s card or something similar, Alison said. She also pointed out that there is no homeless shelter in Leeds and Grenville, but the counties have seven apartments that are available on an emergency basis for people in need. The apartments are available for up to 21 days, and they are rarely empty, she said. Interval House also has some residents who are homeless.

The Ontario Housing Ministry has ordered all municipalities to do the homeless survey as part of the provincial government’s pledge to eliminate poverty by 2025, as laid down in the “Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016. The data collected will be used to guide government policies on housing and give a better picture of the face of homelessness in Ontario. For example, it would provide statistic on chronic homelessness as opposed to temporary, and highlight differences among rural and urban municipalities. This is the first time that Leeds and Grenville has surveyed homelessness, but it won’t be the last, according to Ms. Tutak, as the ministry wants the enumeration to be done annually or biannually after this.

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“Strong Business, Strong Community” http://www.ngtimes.ca/strong-business-strong-community/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/strong-business-strong-community/#respond Wed, 28 Mar 2018 18:27:59 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=11669 The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville is launching the largest multi-level Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) program the region has seen. The Counties and the Townships of Augusta, Merrickville-Wolford, and Rideau Lakes have partnered in a project that will see staff and volunteers directly connect with over 300 businesses in the region. The goal […]

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The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville is launching the largest multi-level Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) program the region has seen. The Counties and the Townships of Augusta, Merrickville-Wolford, and Rideau Lakes have partnered in a project that will see staff and volunteers directly connect with over 300 businesses in the region. The goal is to build relationships and assist them in becoming more competitive. As part of the Counties economic strategic focus for 2018, the Economic Development Office will lead this program.

“Businesses in Leeds Grenville are already heavily invested in their communities,” says Ann Weir, Counties Economic Development Manager. “It is recognized that 76-90% of new jobs come from existing businesses and we need to ensure we sustain these jobs and support businesses as they explore new opportunities that could result in more jobs in the region.”

The project coordinator is Krista George, Business Retention Officer for Leeds Grenville. Krista will work with the Municipal Partner Coordinators to provide information, organization and guidance.

“Helping businesses become more competitive increases the chances of those businesses staying in the community,” says Krista. “Existing businesses can be ambassadors in our communities.”

Augusta, Merrickville-Wolford, and Rideau Lakes will launch their municipal projects over the next several weeks. Municipal Coordinators are: Krista Weidenaar, Augusta; Alison Merkley, Rideau Lakes; and Cheri Kemp-Long from Merrickville-Wolford.

The BR+E program is a structured Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) action-oriented approach to business and economic development. The main objective of the BR+E project is to assist existing businesses within the region/community to become self-aware of its strengths and opportunities, to become more competitive, and to identify its economic and community development priorities.

For more information about the program, volunteering or participating as a business please contact Krista George at 613-342-3840 ext. 5368, or krista.george@uclg.on.ca.

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