Camper trailer fire west of Madoc
Expect delays if travelling on Hwy. 7 this afternoon.
Madoc and Centre Hastings fire departments were called to the area of Hwy. 7 and Jarvis Road around 3 p.m. today for a report of a camper trailer on fire.
Centre Hastings firefighters were stood down shortly after the call originally went out.
No other details were available.
A day of celebration at Moira Secondary
The legacy of Moira Secondary School will live on.
That was the message that sounded loud and clear to current and former students and staff.
It was a day of celebrating not only what has gone by, but the memories and moments yet to come.
Current and former students and staff came together Friday morning at Moira Secondary School for a school closing ceremony.
Emcee Saud Haseeb says it wasn’t a day of sadness at the school.
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board Director of Education Mandy Savery-Whiteway told the audience, at the packed school gym, just like the Moira River that flows through town, this school is woven into the fabric of the community.
She says Moira has always embraced arts, athletics, academics and embracing that diversity has led to the legacy the school will leave behind.
Moira is currently home to approximately 570 students.
The school has a storied history thanks to names like Mike Schad and Brian Price.
There was also the day when a jet airplane was delivered for the aerospace program.
Those memories and moments were just a few of the things touched on in the school’s 59 year history at its closing ceremony on Friday morning.
The school has come a long way from the days when it had an experimental farm and tractors for all the farming kids that were bused in.
Bedlleville Councillor Jack Miller spoke on behalf of the City of Belleville and said this school is a big part of the life and community here in Belleville and while it may be the end of the name, it’s not the end of the school.
When Moira Secondary was first considered necessary for the City of Belleville, its location wasn’t even within the city limits.
Emcee Jenny Wu says there is a feeling of excitement in the halls of the school despite the name Moira Secondary coming to an end.
The school will re-open in the fall with a new name, new mascot, new colours and an influx of students from Quinte Secondary School.
Residential Tenancies Act to be dealt with by municipalities
Prince Edward County is expecting their by-law department will be quite busy with the newest set of downloading regulations onto municipalities.
Robert McAuley, the Commission of Engineering, Development and Works presented council with a report to put a new Property Standards by-law in place in the County at their committee of the whole meeting on Thursday afternoon.
As of July 1, the County will be responsible for enforcing the Residential Tenancies Act Standards.
He told councillors there has been no funding put in place to deal with this additional workload.
While the property standards by-law is a complaints driven by-law, he isn’t sure exactly how much time it will take up.
Councillor Kevin Gale said this is a huge task for by-law officers to take on, on top of their regular tasks.
County Road 14 to undergo more rehabilitation work
It’s going to get worse before it gets better for those living along a stretch of County Road 14 in Prince Edward County that is up for rehabilitation work.
On Thursday, Prince Edward County council voted to approve a contract worth almost $1.6 million to Fidelity Engineering and Construction Inc.
Council also had to approve an additional $41,000 to be allocated from the Roads Construction Reserve for this project.
In 2016, approximately three kilometres of road underwent rehabilitation and this work will see three more kilometres of work done.
Prince Edward County to update smoking by-law to prohibit marijuana, vaping
As the July 1st deadline for the legalization of marijuana rapidly approaches, council in Prince Edward County is taking steps to update their smoking by-law.
On Thursday afternoon at their committee of the whole meeting, Prince Edward County councillors voted to approve a new smoking by-law.
It prohibits the use of cannabis, or non-tobacco substances which includes vaping and any/all electronic cigarettes/smoking devices within 25 metres of municipal playgrounds, park facilities, playing fields, and certain public places where smoking and tobacco use is prohibited within nine metres of municipal recreation facilities.
The by-law is up for final approval at the June 12 meeting.
PEC council gets a look at accommodations report
Councillors in Prince Edward County got a look at a report on Thursday that is designed to help developers determine the feasibility of building in their municipality.
The report brought forward by Neil Carbone was commissioned as part of the Community Development Strategic Plan to help bring more roofed hotel accommodations to the County and to help attract developers to the region.
The consultant indicated either a 50-room inn or a 60-room limited service hotel would be the best options for Prince Edward County.
The three areas which were recommended for this development are Picton, Consecon and Wellington.
Prince Edward County to support expansion project by EORN
Staff in Prince Edward County want to make sure they don’t miss out on the latest technology when it becomes available.
CAO James Hepburn presented a report to council on Thursday afternoon recommending they approve a funding request of $40,000 for their share of the EORN Cell Gap and Capacity Expansion Project.
He told those in chambers if they don’t commit then they will not benefit.
The funding will come from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve.
They were also asked to commit between $232,000 and $329,000 for the project, with the funding sources for that to be determined as part of the 2019 budget process.
Council to take a look at planning processes in PEC
Making sure Prince Edward County is on a level playing field is the intent of a report from staff when it comes to the planning process.
Councillor Kevin Gale asked for the report regarding the Planning Department’s Consent Application criteria as he has heard the process has become “cumbersome, expensive for applicants and frustrating”.
He wants to compare the County’s process to neighbouring municipalities and see if they are in line.
Councillor Steve Ferguson agreed saying the process is onerous.
CAO James Hepburn told those around the horseshoe the processes are in place to help mitigate risks to the municipality.
A report will come back to council at a later date.
Salmon Point lighthouse discussed for potential historical designation
A local community group is urging council to designate a lighthouse in the county as historical.
Marc Sequin, the executive director of Save our Lighthouses addressed Prince Edward County Council on Thursday afternoon during their committee of the whole meeting.
He asked council to designate the Salmon Point Lighthouse as historical.
Councillor Steve Ferguson is a member of the Prince Edward Historical Advisory Committee and says this has been ongoing to this committee since at least 2015.
The lighthouse is located on private property.
The owners have been contacted but no response has been sent back to the Save our Lighthouses group or PEHAC.
Sequin says he’s hoping, with council’s recommendation, to designate the property historically significant as it will help provide some protection and preservation for the lighthouse.
He says the Salmon Point Lighthouse was constructed with the first land life-saving station in the area.
Sequin says it’s constructed in a pepper box style with an attached keeper’s residence.
The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1917 and has been in private hands since.
He called the lighthouse a landmark and a link to the area’s marine heritage.
Councillor Gordon Fox wanted to know what the responsibility would be of the property owners if the lighthouse were to be designated historical by council.
Sequin told council the owners would not be able to alter any historical attributes or anything of historical significance without council’s approval and that includes demolition.
A motion was put forth to have the recommendation from the Heritage Advisory Committee in regards to the Salmon Point Lighthouse be brought forward to their next council meeting for consideration.
The motion was approved and will appear at their June 12 meeting.
Hastings, Lennox and Addington candidates square off
The Napanee Golf and Country Club was packed on Wednesday night for an all candidates meeting in the riding of Hastings, Lennox and Addington.
The meeting was hosted by the Napanee and District Chamber of Commerce and questions focused on the economy, education, long term care and health care and agriculture.
The riding sees six people vying to represent the area following the June 7 election.
Present at the meeting were Daryl Kramp for the PC Party, Tim Rigby for the Liberals, Nate Smelle as the NDP candidate and Sari Watson as the Green Party representative.
Absent at the meeting were Trillium Party candidate Lonnie Herrington and Libertarian Greg Schofield.
Liberal candidate Tim Rigby told the crowd he operates under the motto “leave a place better than how you found it” and he feels his party has the best chance to do just that.
While he admitted the Liberals may have hit a few rocks along the way, they are out in the fields doing the work and they have delivered change and will continue to do so if elected.
Nate Smelle is running under the NDP banner and he says people want change and his party presents the best plan to do that.
He says the old way isn’t working and quoted Albert Einstein saying the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Green Party representative Sari Watson wants to unleash the power of the local economy noting that renewable energy is a $3 trillion dollar sector at our fingertips.
She told those in attendance her party wants to do government different and do good in a way that protects the planet.
PC candidate Daryl Kramp stated this is the most important election in years.
He says the government can’t spend their way to prosperity and the way the province has been governed can’t continue.
The candidates were asked how their parties would address the goals of the Ontario Chambers of Commerce to open the discussion. The goals include: strengthening business competitiveness, fostering job creation, building healthy communities and improving government accountability.
Watson says the goals set out by the Ontario Chambers is very similar to her party’s platform and they’ll focus on green energy and green jobs to increase prosperity in the province.
Kramp says he has no issue with any of the objectives set out and said people need to have a decent job to make a contribution back to their community.
Rigby told those in the crowd his party is doing the right things as they have decreased the small business tax which has fostered business growth, but says there is still more work to be done.
Smelle says the current way of doing things, like selling off Hydro One and closing schools hasn’t made for a prosperous province and if elected the NDPs would buy back Hydro One, put a moratorium on school closures and invest in an apprenticeship program to help fill those skilled jobs.
One question posed to the candidates was what they plan to do about youth retention in our area.
Smelle says they want to create more opportunities for young professionals through their Better Ontario Program and the NDP would provide $300 million over three years and will fund not-for-profit sector and community groups that are making communities better places to live.
Watson says young people want a vibrant life, and a thriving community with arts, culture and affordable housing are all necessary to make that happen.
Kramp told the crowd, young people need to be trained for the jobs that are available here and that is what will keep them coming back.
Rigby says this is the technology revolution and they need to take advantage of the new technologies becoming available.
All four candidates found ground when it came to Risk Management Program funding. They all agreed it was necessary and Smelle and Kramp said their parties would raise the funding cap to help mitigate the challenges faced by farmers.
Of course, health care and long-term care questions were asked as Ontario does have a fairly significant aging population.
Watson says her party’s focus is to prevent sickness and offer universal dental and pharmacare plans as well as the expansion of nurse practitioner-led clinics.
Kramp says there is no easy answer to this problem but 30,000 long-term care beds is a good start as it frees up hospitals to do what they need to do.
Rigby cited the work his party has already done like adding long-term care beds and a number of major hospital projects that are underway.
Smelle didn’t hold back and said health care has been underfunded for far too long and says the NDPs will open 40,000 long-term care beds as well as start a find and fix inquiry.
When discussions switched to education, both Smelle and Watson said their parties would eliminate the EQAO testing to save the province money.
Smelle says they would hire more Educational Assistants and establish a Mental Health and Addictions Ministry to help deal with those issues in schools.
Watson says the Green Party would hire 1,000 Early Childhood Educators, cap class sizes and have mental health professionals in schools.
Rigby told the crowd the Liberals are working to make the education system better as funding has increased, but it is something they’ll continue to work on.
Kramp didn’t deny there is a serious problem in schools right now and they need to work with the professionals to come up with a solution as he said young people are the future.
Election day is June 7 and advance polls have already opened.
Incorporation to assist farm ad hoc committee
Prince Edward County is going ahead with incorporating a non-share capital corporation to assist the farm ad hoc committee.
At their meeting on Tuesday night, CAO James Hepburn told council by doing this, it gives the committee flexibility and is reasonable to have for a number of things.
The motion didn’t sit well with Councillor Jamie Forrester who says the committee is heading in a direction he doesn’t agree with and that was his concern from the get go.
Acting Mayor Dianne O’Brien says this is a good thing to incorporate.
Hepburn told those around the horseshoe by doing this it makes sure they don’t run afoul of the Municipal Act.
Councillor David Harrison has also been against the formation of the ad hoc committee and told his fellow councillors this was a a band-aid solution to get farmers through this four year assessment period.
He asked what would happen if assessments shift back in the other direction in 2020.
Many in chambers felt it was a good place to start.
Incorporation will come at a cost between $3,000 and 5,000.
Consecon teen receives Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers
Alannah Burris is a busy girl.
The Grade 12 student at PECI volunteers with the Hillier Women’s Institute, is on the student senate for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, is the events chair for student council and coaches at the County Clippers.
That dedication is what made her one of 10 recipients who went to Queen’s Park last week to receive the 2018 Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers and received a special audience with Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
Prince Edward County Acting Mayor Dianne O’Brien says Burris is committed to helping others where she lives.
The Consecon teen is heading away to university this fall for health sciences and is looking to work towards a career in public health where she can continue to serve others.