Haldimand County, OPP, GRCA Encourage Water Safety

Haldimand County, OPP and the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) encourages all local residents and visitors to the County to take personal responsibility and make water safety for themselves and their children a priority this summer. It is extremely important for everyone to be aware of safe boating and swimming practices while enjoying the waterways in Haldimand County.

On Tuesday June 8, 2021 at 2:53 p.m., OPP responded to the dam area of the Grand River in Caledonia for a report of a dangerous condition. A concerned passerby noticed a group of youths walking along and swimming in the dam area.

Investigation revealed the youths entered a prohibited area, marked by red and white danger signs, and into the water. Fortunately no one was injured and all parties were accounted for. Tragedy can happen very quickly and the danger of the waters should never be underestimated.

Every year, emergency service personnel respond to many marine related calls including stranded boaters, people fishing or swimming in unsafe areas. Many times, misadventure can lead to tragedy.

It can’t be stressed enough that everyone using the waterways understand the importance of not swimming or boating in prohibited areas. The dam areas in Dunnville and Caledonia are often used by individuals but the water conditions are extremely dangerous.

’Run of the river’ dams, like those in Caledonia and Dunnville may not be as visible from upstream and pose a great risk to river users who disregard warning signs. Like larger dams, low-head dams can also create an underwater recirculating current downstream that is nearly impossible to escape. This current can be so strong that it has the ability to pull people under water, even while wearing a lifejacket. Never swim, walk on, fish, or boat near these dams.

GRCA dams are marked by red and white danger signs. There are also fences, buoys and booms warning you to keep out. You should always:

  • Stay a safe distance outside of the marked danger areas when fishing, boating and swimming
  • Stay off all dams. Use only approved walkways or observation areas.

All parents and caregivers are encouraged to speak with their children about water safety and the dangers of prohibited areas.

The prevention of drownings requires law enforcement efforts and public education but most importantly, prevention starts with you.

There is no one single cause that leads to drownings but there are common contributors. Basic safety practices such as learning to swim at an early age; wearing a lifejacket or a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while on a vessel or in water; adult supervision of children while swimming; and not drinking and boating can make the difference between surviving, or not.

OPP is also reminding all boaters to ensure they have all of the required safety equipment on board as well as all the required documents to operate a vessel.

For more information about dam safety, visit the GRCA’s website at www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/safety-around-dams

For more information regarding water safety, visit the Lifesaving Society website at www.lifesavingsociety.com/water-safety

For more information on boating safety, visit the Transport Canada website at www.tc.gc.ca/boatingsafety

Haldimand County Recruiting for New Youth and Seniors Advisory Committees

Haldimand County is launching two new community engagement opportunities for residents who want to get involved: a Youth Advisory Committee and a Seniors Advisory Committee. These Committees will advise Council about issues and policies that impact the quality of life of youth and seniors in the County.

The Youth Advisory Committee is looking for members from ages 16 to 24 years from across the County, while the Seniors Advisory Committee welcomes interested residents 60 years and older. Both Committees will have ten members and will work with staff to establish a vision and work plan with action steps, timelines and outcomes for each term of Council.

Youth Committee members will act as representatives for the County’s youngest residents, advising on ways to enrich and enhance their health and quality of life. Seniors Committee participants will share information about issues impacting seniors while developing recommendations and action plans to build supports for older adults. Both Committee offer opportunities to make new connections, gain knowledge and skills and make a meaningful contribution to Haldimand County.

Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2021. For more information about the committees, application process, terms of reference or the expectations of members, visit www.haldimandcounty.ca/community-partnerships or contact Andrea Moodie at 905-318-5932 Ext. 6119 or amoodie@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Haldimand County Summer Program Registration Opens June 14

Summer is quickly approaching and the Haldimand County Summer Programs Team has been hard at work creating plans for a safe return to day camps and aquatic programs!

This summer will see the return of Camp HaldiFUN, Camp Creative Campers and the Leadership Initiative in a variety of locations: Caledonia, Cayuga, Dunnville, Hagersville and Jarvis.  Fun will be the focus as staff make sure every day at camp is filled with a variety of activities, crafts and games.

If you’re looking to cool off this summer, visit one of the County’s three outdoor pools located in Caledonia, Dunnville and Hagersville for a swim or for some lessons. Watch the Haldimand County website and social media accounts for a pool opening announcement coming soon!

Safety measures related to COVID-19 will be in place to ensure everyone has a safe camp or aquatics experience.

Pre-registration for public and fitness swims will be required again this summer. Residents can book free public/fitness swim slots using the County’s online registration system (link.haldimandcounty.ca) or by calling Haldimand County customer service at (905) 318-5932. Please note there will be an overall reduction in the number of public swim spots available to comply with social distancing requirements, and participants are encouraged to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Registration opens on Monday, June 14 for day camps and aquatic programs; you can register by using the County’s online registration system or in-person at the Haldimand County Administration Building in Cayuga.

For more details regarding the camp and swim programs, contact the Summer Coordinators at (905) 318-5932 ext. 8383.

Make a splash this summer!!

Haldimand County to Raise Pride Flag to Recognize Pride Month

At the June 7, 2021 meeting, Haldimand County Council voted unanimously to fly the Pride Flag at the Haldimand County Administration Building for the remainder of June in recognition of Pride Month.

“Haldimand County stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and supports diversity, equity and inclusivity,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

Council also directed staff to review the existing Flag Protocol Policy, which restricts flags flown at County facilities to the Canadian flag, Provincial and Haldimand County flag, for the potential to allow broader recognition practices for important events and to acknowledge the contributions of community groups in the future.

Haldimand County Expands Fleet with Low Speed Electric Vehicles

Haldimand County has added two low speed electric vehicles to its fleet. The two new vehicles will be used for municipal enforcement and building inspection purposes starting this summer, as well as community events and activities.

The vehicles were purchased using Community Vibrancy Funds, which ensures a 0% impact on the tax levy. Operation of the vehicles will be limited to urban areas where speed limits are 50 km/h or less and to cross roads with a speed limit up to 60 km/h as permitted by a Provincial regulation and a recently enacted Haldimand County By-law.

The new vehicles are quiet, sustainable, exhaust-free and environmentally responsible, requiring a standard 110 volt outlet for charging and a range of 60 km per charge. “The County has acquired two vehicles to demonstrate environmental responsibility and to help reduce our carbon footprint,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

Given the Province’s commitment to new and emerging technologies that can help move people safely, promote transportation modes that are environmentally friendly, reduce air pollution and reliance on conventional fuel, the pilot program will help Haldimand County determine the feasibility of possible future uses.

 

Haldimand County Public Library offering virtual ‘Paws to Read’ program

Haldimand County Public Library, in partnership with Therapeutic Paws of Canada, is offering an exciting literacy program designed to help children who would benefit from extra practice with their reading.

Children can register for a free 15-minute session to read a book of their choice to a certified team. Paws to Read dogs provide undivided attention to the children as they read aloud.

Studies have shown that reading to dogs encourages confidence and boosts self-esteem in children who struggle to read aloud in class, therefore boosting their literacy.

For the month of June this program is being offered virtually on June 2, June 16 and June 30 starting at 4:00pm. Registration is required and spaces are limited.

For more information or to register please contact Katrina Krupicz, Community Outreach Coordinator at kkrupicz@haldimandcounty.on.ca or 905-318-5932 ext. 6552.

Haldimand, Norfolk Counties Lower Flags To Honour Kamloops Residential School Victims

Haldimand and Norfolk counties will be lowering flags at all public facilities to honour the 215 Indigenous children found buried at a former residential school near Kamloops, BC.

Both counties will lower flags across public facilities from Monday, May 31 to Monday, June 8 in one hour increments to symbolize each of the 215 children whose lives were taken.

“Lowering our flags is one way to recognize this abhorrent tragedy and signify that we stand unified with the Indigenous community in mourning the loss of these children,” said Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp.

Chopp was compelled to act after being contacted by a young resident of Norfolk County, Kasey McDonald – a member of the Turtle Clan and Anishinaabe member of Kettle and Stony Point First Nations. “It is inspirational when young individuals get involved in their community and advocate for things that are important to them, especially regarding a matter of this magnitude,” Chopp noted.

“In the spirit of Kasey’s letter, taking small actions to generate awareness and change on a broader level can have an immeasurable impact,” Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt stated. “By recognizing this tragedy, we can only hope to shine a light on the past in hopes of creating a brighter future,” he added.

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

Red Cross babysitting course coming to Haldimand County Public Library this summer

Haldimand County youth aged 11 to 15 can now register at the Caledonia, Cayuga, Jarvis and Dunnville library branches for summer babysitting courses. The Canadian Red Cross babysitting course, a nationally recognized program, is designed to help participants develop self-assurance, knowledge and skills required not only for babysitting duties, but also when at home.

Topics covered in the course include caring for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children as well as creating safe environments and how to handle emergencies.

The course cost is $40 per person and interested individuals are asked to contact the Caledonia, Cayuga, Jarvis or Dunnville Library branch at 289-674-0400 to be placed on branch waiting lists. Individuals will be contacted later in the summer when a course becomes available.

Revised to ensure participant safety and more opportunities to participate, the Red Cross Babysitting Course now runs over five consecutive days. Participants will be required to attend all five sessions to receive their certificate. Depending on the status of provincial COVID restrictions, courses will be offered either virtually or in person, with a reduced number of participants to ensure social distancing.

For further information on this or other library programming, please contact Katrina Krupicz, Community Outreach/Inreach Coordinator at kkrupicz@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Visit our website www.haldimandlibrary.com or connect with us on Facebook for information on programs, collections and more!

 

Haldimand County Public Library announces April Poetry Contest winners

During the month of April, the Haldimand County Public Library held its annual April Poetry Contest.

The contest was generously supported by the Selkirk Lions Club, Hagersville Lions Club, The Dunnville Friends of the Library, The Jarvis Friends of the Library and the Haldimand District Women’s Institute. Participants were asked to submit a piece of original poetry inspired by the theme: Community.

The winners of the Haldimand County Public Library’s 2021 April Poetry Contest are:

Mary McKinnon, Sarah Butcher, Deborah Beauchamp, Silas Butcher, Eden Fast, Lincoln Vanderwier, Asa Butcher, Amadea Butcher, Finnley Vanderwier, Addison Williams and Adrian Radum.

The winning submissions will be available for viewing at your local library branch once provincial restrictions are lifted.

The Haldimand County Public Library would like to thank everyone who submitted their poetry for this year’s competition and give a special thank you to our panel of judges who donated their time and expertise.

Anyone who is interested in participating in next year’s poetry contest or in learning about other library programming is encouraged to visit the Haldimand County Public Library website or follow the library on Facebook or Instagram.

Haldimand County to begin re-opening outdoor amenities May 22

The Ontario government has announced its three-step roadmap to safely re-open the province. To start, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to re-open, with restrictions in place, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

In response to this provincial direction, Haldimand County staff will begin re-opening outdoor amenities on May 22. These amenities include, but are not limited to: boat ramps, soccer and baseball fields, tennis/pickleball courts, basketball courts, and skate parks.

Residents are asked to be patient as staff work to re-open amenities over the weekend. When enjoying newly re-opened outdoor spaces, members of the public are asked to remain vigilant and follow public health guidelines, including maintaining a distance of 6 feet from members outside of their own household.

The public is also reminded that while some outdoor amenities are re-opening, the stay-at-home order remains in effect and non-essential travel is strongly discouraged by the province.

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

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