Haldimand County Asking Residents To Abide By Forest Conservation By-Law Following Increase In Tree Cutting Complaints

As property owners start to get their land ready for spring there has been an increase in the number of tree cutting complaints in Haldimand County. The Parks, Facilities, Cemeteries and Forestry Division is reminding residents of the Forest Conservation By-law 2204/20 and asking for everyone’s cooperation to ensure that trees within woodlands are not cut without a permit.

Regulation

No person shall cause, permit, allow or perform Injury or Destruction to any Tree located in a Woodlands, unless:

  1. a) exempted under the provisions of the Forest Conservation By-law; or
  2. b) they are in possession of a valid Permit issued pursuant to the provisions of the Forest Conservation By-law

Definitions

Woodlands means land one (1) hectare or more in area with at least:

  1. 1000 Trees of any size, per hectare; or
  2. 750 Trees, measuring over five (5) centimetres at DBH, per hectare; or
  3. 500 Trees, measuring over twelve (12) centimetres at DBH, per hectare; or
  4. 250 Trees, measuring over twenty (20) centimetres at DBH, per hectare.

The definition of Woodlands does not include a Cultivated Fruit or Nut Orchard or a Plantation established for the purpose of producing Christmas trees.

Tree means any species of woody perennial plant, including its root system, which has reached or can reach a height of at least 4.5 metres at physiological maturity, provided that where multiple stems grow from the same root system, the number of Trees shall be the number of stems that can be counted at a point of measure 1.37 metres from the ground.

Penalties

If a person is found guilty of cutting trees in a Woodlands without an exemption or permit they will be charged and may be liable:

  1. on a first conviction, to a maximum fine of $10,000 or $1,000 per Tree, whichever is greater; and
  2. on any subsequent convictions, to a maximum fine of $25,000 or $2,500 per Tree, whichever is greater.

If a corporation is found guilty of cutting trees in a Woodlands without an exemption or permit they will be charged and may be liable:

  1. on a first conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000 or $5,000 per Tree, whichever is greater; and
  2. on any subsequent convictions, to a maximum fine of $100,000 or $10,000 per Tree, whichever is greater.

It takes time and training to accurately identify tree species and make the correct measurements in order to determine if a treed area is regulated under the Forest Conservation By-law. Forestry staff strongly recommend that property owners and contractors contact the Parks, Facilities, Cemeteries and Forestry Division to verify if their work falls under an exemption or if a treed area meets the definition of Woodlands before any trees are cut.

There is no cost to have Parks, Facilities, Cemeteries and Forestry Division staff inspect a treed area prior to cutting. Cooperation from the public will assist the County in preserving woodlands and the health of the local ecosystem.

For more information, visit the Trees and Conservation page on the County website.

 

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Haldimand and Norfolk Counties Commemorate 1 Year Since Declaration of COVID-19 Emergencies

On March 24, 2020, Haldimand and Norfolk counties officially declared emergencies due to COVID-19. To recognize this pivotal day and acknowledge the challenges of the past year, both counties will lower flags at administration facilities for the duration of Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

“It is important to recognize the hard work and dedication that has gone in to the local fight against COVID-19 over the past 12 months, by County staff, the Health Unit, frontline workers and the community as a whole,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “Flags lowered symbolize the extraordinary efforts put forward by the community, the many challenges faced and the hurdles we’ve overcome,” Hewitt noted.

Both mayors acknowledged the tireless work of staff, frontline workers and community members who contributed the local COVID-19 response – by way of planning for and implementing public health strategies, keeping vulnerable community members safe, volunteering, donating supplies and adhering to public health guidelines.

“COVID-19 has affected all of us in different ways. It hasn’t been easy, and we’ve all had to make sacrifices to keep our community safe. Because of these collective efforts, we are in a position today where the light at the end of the tunnel is visible. Our staff and the entire community deserve a huge thanks for stepping up and doing everything possible to keep the virus at bay,” said Norfolk County Mayor/Chair of the Board of Health Kristal Chopp.

Haldimand and Norfolk counties will continue working collaboratively with public health to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and facilitate mass vaccinations in line with the Province’s rollout framework.

For more information on the local response to COVID-19, including community vaccination rollout, visit HNHU.org.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County Public Library offering free income tax filing service for eligible residents

Haldimand County Public Library, in partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency, is offering free income tax filing services by trained volunteers as part of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.

This tax program will be offered as a drop-off only service at the Caledonia, Jarvis, Cayuga, Hagersville and Selkirk branches. The free tax program will run from March 1 to April 9, 2021.

To be eligible for this free tax filing service, participants must be:

  • A single, with an annual income of $30,000 or less;
  • A married couple, with a combined annual income of $40,000 or less;
  • A single adult with dependents, with an annual income of $35,000 or less (plus additional $2,500 per dependent);
  • An individual with less than $1,000 investment income

Anyone interested in this free service is asked to call Haldimand County Public Library at 289-674-0400 or visit one of the branches listed above. Once participants drop off materials and complete necessary forms, all materials will be delivered to a volunteer by library staff. Upon completion of the tax files, participants will be called back to the library to pick up their completed forms. If any questions should arise during the process a volunteer will contact participants by phone.

Individuals seeking further information about tax clinics may contact Katrina Krupicz, Community Outreach Coordinator, Haldimand County Public Library at 905-318-5932 ext. 6552 or kkrupicz@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Haldimand County Emergency Services Advising Residents Of Spring Flood Outlook, Asks Public To Stay Off Ice

Haldimand County Emergency Services is once again asking the public to stay off frozen waterways and cease recreation activities on ice due to unsafe conditions.

Despite the moderate start to winter through January, temperatures fell below the long-term average in February with much of the watershed seeing above average precipitation. These conditions have resulted in a snowpack with higher than average water content and intact, but unsafe, ice conditions on many local water bodies.

“Unstable ice and fast-moving water is a deadly combination. No ice is safe ice, and right now it is particularly dangerous,” said Deputy Fire Chief Rodger Hill. “At this time of the year, the composition of ice can change very quickly and in an instant you could find yourself in a life-threatening situation.”

The Grand River Conservation Authority’s latest Flood Outlook indicates an elevated risk of flooding throughout the Grand River watershed this spring, with the possibility of ice jam flooding.

The public is reminded that daily changes in underwater currents, temperature, wind, and precipitation can rapidly affect ice conditions. Residents typically prone to spring flooding should pay close attention to weather reports and watch for updated flood messages.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County is in black text below, slightly offset from centre.

COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Preparing For Community Vaccination Program In Haldimand, Norfolk Counties

Haldimand and Norfolk’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force is preparing for the vaccination of the general public over the coming months.

As per the Province’s vaccine rollout plan, vaccines are first being distributed to priority groups, such as acute healthcare workers and residents of long-term care and retirement settings.

Vaccination of Haldimand and Norfolk’s long-term care and retirement home residents is complete, while vaccination of healthcare workers continues.

Once the vaccination of healthcare workers is complete, doses will be allocated to community-residing individuals over the age of 80.

Only when all priority groups have had the opportunity to get the vaccine will it be offered to members of the public who wish to receive it.

An announcement will be made when vaccines are available to members of the general public. Updates will be provided to the community on an ongoing basis.

Due to uncertainty regarding vaccine availability and timing, the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force has been actively working to plan and implement community vaccination clinics.

Large amounts of vaccines could be made available at any time for certain segments of the population and in order to respond quickly, facilities must be equipped to administer a high volume of doses.

In Haldimand County, the Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre and Cayuga Memorial Arena will be utilized as community vaccine clinics.

In Norfolk County, the Vittoria and District Community Centre and Norfolk General Hospital will be used as community vaccine clinics.

For security reasons, vaccines will not be stored at these locations.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force – a joint effort of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, Haldimand & Norfolk Counties (including Paramedic & Fire services), Norfolk General Hospital and West Haldimand General Hospital, Haldimand War Memorial Hospital and both counties’ Family Health Teams – will continue working collaboratively until residents in both counties have had the chance to receive the vaccine.

“Thanks to the guidance, hard work and dedication of the COVID-19 task force, our communities will be ready to respond once vaccines become available. With the help of our partners, we’ll be able to provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine safely, widely, and quickly to as many residents as possible – an important step in our collective fight against the virus,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“COVID-19 has impacted every part of our lives, from our health and wellbeing to the local economy,” said Norfolk County Mayor and Chair of the Board of Health Kristal Chopp. “I’m thrilled that we’re starting to see light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel, and look forward to community vaccinations paving the way for a return to a more normal way of living and working.”

More information on vaccine availability and community clinics in Haldimand and Norfolk will be shared with residents as soon as details are confirmed. Residents are encouraged to read up on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine via the Ontario Government or Health Unit website.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County Public Library branches re-open

Haldimand County Public Library branches are now open for in-person service.

A number of health and safety protocols, including the required use of face coverings and social distancing measures, are in place.

Branch hours of operation remain unchanged with one exception: the Caledonia and Dunnville branches remain closed on Sundays. Curbside services are still available upon request.

Meeting rooms are available at some branches for bookings. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local branch for details on room capacity and availability.

Limited public computers are available for maximum 2 hour bookings. Stations around the libraries for WIFI use on personal devices are also available. Patrons are asked to see front desk staff for availability.

For more information, visit your local library branch, follow the library on Facebook and Instagram or visit the library website.

Temporary Repairs Complete On Argyle Street South And McKenzie Road, Both Roads Re-Opened

Both Argyle Street S. and McKenzie Rd. in Caledonia are now open. Crews have completed temporary repairs to both roadways, which will be maintained until spring when permanent repairs can be made.

Affected portions of the roadway are: Argyle St. S between Braemar Ave. & Highway 6 and McKenzie Rd. between Fuller Dr. & York Rd. Haldimand County is asking for the public’s patience as crews work towards final, permanent repairs.

Members of the public are also advised of the closure of Sixth Line for approximately one week starting Monday, February 22. CN requires full access to Sixth Line to complete rail line repairs.

Haldimand County Re-opens in Orange; Plans Underway for Public Access to County Arenas

With the announcement by Premier Doug Ford of Haldimand County’s re-opening in the ‘orange’ or ‘restrict’ stage of the Province’s colour-coded re-opening framework, municipal staff have begun the process to re-open County Arenas.

Beginning the week of February 22, three of Haldimand County’s Arenas (two pads at Caledonia’s HCCC and one each in Dunnville and Hagersville) will re-open for minor sports programming including hockey, figure skating and ringette. The Cayuga Memorial Arena will remain closed for all recreation and the ice removed as the County prepares the facility to become a community vaccination centre in the coming weeks. Preliminary information about community vaccination clinics, including Frequently Asked Questions, is available here.

Residents are encouraged to check the County website regularly for updates about Arena programming, including future public skates and use of the walking tracks.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County Moving Into ‘Orange’ Stage Of Re-Opening Framework; Administration Building To Re-Open February 22

On Friday, February 12, Premier Doug Ford announced that Haldimand County will move into the ‘orange’ or ‘restrict’ stage of the Province’s colour-coded re-opening framework as of February 16, 2021 at 12:01am. As a result of this announcement, the Haldimand County Administration Building will re-open for in-person service on Monday, February 22 with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

Details regarding the opening other municipal facilities such as arenas, museums and libraries will be announced in the near future once confirmed.

There are many changes under ‘orange’ stage rules, including the re-opening of indoor dining, gyms and personal care services with restrictions and capacity limits. More information and sector-specific guidelines for re-opening businesses within the ‘orange’ stage are available on the Province of Ontario’s website.

The re-opening announced today is a positive response to the efforts taken by citizens and businesses to reduce transmission of the virus. Even though the stay-at-home will expire on Tuesday, it is important to recognize that the use of masks, hand washing, social distancing and reducing non-essential travel will continue to be required under provincial safety protocols, particularly as new variants of the COVID-19 virus emerge.

Until the administration building re-opens, staff remain available to assist by phone or email during regular hours (Mon-Fri, 8:30am to 4:30pm). Members of the public are encouraged to call 905-318-5932, use the contact form at HaldimandCounty.ca/connect or e-mail info@haldimandcounty.on.ca for assistance.

A number of municipal services are available online and do not require in-person visit. A list of service impacts and alternate service options is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19.

County staff will continue working closely with public health to monitor and respond to the local COVID-19 situation. Updates related to municipal services will be shared with the community as required and continue to be posted regularly at HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County Celebrates Black History Month With Special Presentation On Canfield’s Ties To Underground Railroad

February is Black History Month, and Haldimand Museums and Heritage Haldimand have partnered to present an online historical telling of black freedom seekers who came to Canfield via the Underground Railroad more than 150 years ago.

The online presentation is researched and narrated by well-known local historian Sylvia Weaver, who has been working to share and recognize this important history for years, including through the installation of a Black Settlement Marker and Memorial Plaque in Canfield Park in 2017.

This rich history explored in the presentation is little known to many but tells the story of the village of Canfield, whose residents welcomed slaves fleeing from the United States through the Underground Railroad and worked with the newcomers to build a vibrant community.

Through photos and historical documents, the presentation focuses on the personal stories of the freedom seekers, the significance of the Underground Railroad, the development of the Black community in Canfield and the lives of its families.

Haldimand Museums staff have also prepared an Education Package with reading materials and resources to encourage educators and learners of all ages to better understand this meaningful local history.

All materials will be available for viewing on February 10, 2021, on Haldimand County Heritage & Culture page: HaldimandCounty.ca/heritage-culture.

For more information about Haldimand County’s heritage programming or support materials, please contact Haldimand Museums.

Pictured below (L to R): Donna Ford, President of the Central Ontario Network for Black History and Sylvia Weaver, historian and member of Heritage Haldimand during the 2017 black settlement market and memorial plaque unveiling.

 

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