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Public Input Required – Sunday Gun Hunting

Haldimand County seeking public input into permitting seven-day gun hunting in Haldimand County.

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – Haldimand County Council has requested staff to gather information and input to consider permitting Sunday day gun hunting in Haldimand County during the gun hunting season established pursuant to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

Feedback regarding this matter can be submitted to and is being accepted until May 30, 2024.

All feedback will be reviewed and considered when reporting back to Council on this matter.

Haldimand County Council approves 2024 Tax-Supported Operating Budget

On February 29, 2024, Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2024 Tax-Supported Operating Budget. The budget results in a total levy requirement of $86,097,640, which equates to an annual residential tax impact of 4.43% or approximately $13.14 per month on an average residential home.

The Operating Budget pays for day to day operations of the County, including (but not limited to) salaries, wages, utilities, insurance and services like running arenas, pools and the public library, maintaining 600+ acres of parks and cemeteries, providing emergency services and garbage collection.

The 2024 budget strives to balance the difficult economic climate being experienced across the province with the necessary requirements to keep Haldimand on pace within other communities.

The increase to the budget can be attributed to inflationary increases to base operational expenditures along with minimal new initiatives in the areas of community health & safety, climate change and technology advancements, all of which are intended to meet the community’s evolving needs and maintain the level of service delivery residents deserve and expect.

“Staff have worked hard under challenging economic circumstances to develop a budget that balances the challenges taxpayers are facing with keeping the municipality moving forward to meet the service expectations of our community,” noted Cathy Case, Chief Administrative Officer.

Case noted that despite facing similar budgetary pressures, the county’s annual tax impact is significantly lower than many of its municipal comparators.

“The 2024 budget maintains the core services our residents expect and introduces some new initiatives in response to our community’s greatest needs. Staff have prepared a budget that accounts for many uncontrollable factors, including decisions made by the province, while ensuring the facilities, services and amenities we provide are sustained for the public we serve,” said Haldimand County Mayor Shelley Bentley.

Key initiatives included within the 2024 Tax-Supported Operating are focused around 5 key themes. Highlights include:

  1. Healthcare & Community Wellness
    – Investing in additional staff at Grandview Lodge to increase direct care for residents and
    provide enhanced coverage
    – Continuing the vital work of the Community Paramedic Program
    – Introducing a Physician Recruitment Strategy to address critical shortages of health care
    practitioners in the community
  2. Community & Customer Service
    – Increasing the annual contribution to the Community Beautification Program, providing
    $80,000 in grant funding to local organizations
    – Introducing new resources to support local business and bolster the local economy
    – Facilitating bi-annual Resident Satisfaction Surveys to ensure services are meeting community
    – Adding additional frontline customer service staff in response to growth and increasing
    demand for services
  3. Workforce Recruitment & Retention
    – Committing to staff recruitment and retention through the implementation of Non-Union
    Compensation Market Review recommendations
  1. Technology
    – Strengthening cybersecurity efforts, increase efficiencies and continue technology advancements
    through the continuation of the Council approved IT division reorganization
    – Adopting an Innovation Fund to enable small-scale technology projects within the organization to
    proceed efficiently
    – Ensuring public-facing communications technologies meet user needs and comply with
    Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) legislation
  2. Climate Change & Emergency Response
    – Enhancing the county’s forestry management program by introducing a new invasive species
    – Allocating additional funding to offer the Rural Water Quality Program on a permanent basis
    – Moving from a part-time Emergency Services Coordinator of Emergency Management/Fire
    Education to a full-time position

On average, a residential property owner can expect their annual property taxes to be allocated as follows:

Haldimand County Tax Allocation by Service graph - 2024

More information on County budgets and budget processes is available at

Haldimand County Council approves 2024 Capital Budget

Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2024 Tax-Supported Capital Budget and 10-year forecast on February 1, 2024. The Capital Budget outlines $48.8 million of infrastructure investments in 2024, with a total investment of $344.7 million over the next 10 years.

View an at-a-glance breakdown of Capital Budget 2024 highlights

The 2024 Capital Budget is heavily focused on enhancing municipal infrastructure with notable expenditures on roadway improvements, technology enhancements, upgrades to existing public amenities as well as the construction of a new multi-purpose community recreation facility (Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre).

2024 Capital Budget Highlights:

  • $18 million towards roadway and active transportation improvements like road reconstruction & resurfacing, gravel road conversions, bridge/culvert rehabilitations and other structure-related projects;
  • $15 million total towards the Hagersville Library & Active Living Centre (HL + ALC) project, the scope of which now includes construction of a full pavilion, new concession stand and outdoor washroom facilities in Grant Kett Park, adjacent to the HL + ALC site;
  • $1.8 million towards the purchase of one new fire pumper and a new tanker, plus $560,000 for two new ambulances;
  • $704,000 towards enhancing municipal arenas, including upgrades to refrigeration & ice maintenance equipment and replacing key building elements;
  • $900K towards tree conservation and re-forestation initiatives, such as the Downtown Street Tree Revitalization Program and general maintenance, removal, planting and care of urban trees;
  • $1.3 million for park and trail-related enhancements, including upgrades to ball park amenities and the development of a new on-road cycling lane on River Rd.;
  • $380K towards key technology upgrades (148K for website and communications-related enhancements and $235,000 on the rollout of critically important software solutions);
  • $250K towards the development of a Traffic Management Plan
  • $50,000 towards accessibility upgrades to municipal facilities.

Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Case noted that while the focus of the county’s annual capital investment continues to be ‘hard infrastructure’ like bridges, roads and facilities, there is a critical need for the organization to prioritize investing in technology.

“Expenditures with a concerted focus on updating technologies and software have been introduced into the 2024 budget and flagged as a corporate priority. As important as our bricks and mortar infrastructure is, it is equally imperative that we invest in the tools necessary to be future-focused, work efficiently, be competitive as an employer and ultimately provide residents with better access to municipal services, staff and data,” stated Case.

“Today, Council approved a budget that ensures we are investing strategically in the infrastructure needed to not only keep our communities safe and vibrant, but continue to deliver county services efficiently, to the standard of excellence our residents deserve,” stated Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley.

Similar to past years, the total capital levy, funded by property taxes, will increase from $21.8 million to $22.6 million in 2024 – an increase of $800,000, or approximately 1% of the overall 2023 municipal levy.

The total municipal levy for 2024 will be determined once the 2024 Tax-Supported Operating Budget is approved by Council.

The 2024 Tax-Supported Operating Budget will be presented to Council on Thursday, February 29, 2024 – 9:30 a.m. at the Haldimand County Administration Building.

More information on Haldimand County budgets can be found at

Haldimand County declares official 2023 Ward 4 By-Election Results

Haldimand County Clerk, Evelyn Eichenbaum, has released the official results for the 2023 Ward 4 By-Election.

The official count declares that during the by-election held on Monday, June 19, 2023, for the office of Ward 4 Councillor, the certified candidates received the votes recorded.

The final count can be found at

Councillor Trainer is anticipated to be sworn in at the June 26, 2023, Council Meeting, followed by orientation sessions and an overview of the current term of council priorities.

Unofficial voting results for 2023 Ward 4 By-Election

The 2023 Ward 4 By-Election wrapped up this evening with the poll officially closing at 8 p.m.

Below is a breakdown of the unofficial results:

Jesse LITTLE101
Albert MARSHALL356
Marie TRAINER675
Total Votes1822

New members sought for Haldimand County Youth Advisory Committee

New members sought for Haldimand County Youth Advisory Committee

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON –  Haldimand County is currently accepting applications for the Youth Advisory Committee. Youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are welcomed to apply. Interested residents can apply online on the Haldimand County Website. Applications close on Tuesday, May 30 at 4:30 p.m.

Youth Advisory Committee members provide feedback to Haldimand Council on youth needs related to initiatives, issues and policies in Haldimand County. Members will receive a better understanding of municipal structure and decision making.

Recruitment is held every four years with the commencement of a new term of Council.

Further information about Haldimand County’s boards and committees – including terms of reference, member roles and responsibilities – is available on the Haldimand County website. Residents are encouraged to review the descriptions prior to submitting their application.

Mayor’s statement on the passing of former mayor Lorraine Bergstrand

I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Lorraine Bergstrand. As the first official mayor of Haldimand County as its own entity, Lorraine was instrumental in setting a solid foundation for Haldimand County to build upon for years to come.  Lorraine was a strong advocate for women in politics and administration, an inspiring and tenacious leader to many and will leave behind a lasting impact. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and all those grieving.

We’ve lowered flags at the County Administration building to mark her passing and honour a life taken too soon. Lorraine was a familiar and passionate presence in our community and she will be greatly missed.

— Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley

Notice of Passing of Motion declaring the vacancy of Ward 4 Office – March 6, 2023

The following motion was passed at the March 6, 2023 Council meeting:

THAT regretfully, Haldimand County Council acknowledges the resignation from Natalie Stam as Councillor for Ward 4;

AND THAT in accordance with section 262 of the Municipal Act, the office of Ward 4 Councillor is declared vacant;

AND THAT staff be directed to report back to the March 21, 2023 Council in Committee meeting on options for filling the vacancy.

In the interim, communication with Ward 4 residents will be managed through the Mayor’s office.

Subsequent information about timing and options for filling the vacancy will be provided in the March 21st CIC report.

Haldimand County Council Approves 2023 Tax-Supported Operating Budget

On March 2, 2023, Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2023 Tax-Supported Operating Budget. The budget results in a total levy requirement of $80,305,850, which equates to a residential tax impact of 3.28%.

Generally, the annual Operating Budget pays for day to day operations of the County, including salaries, wages, utilities, insurance and services such as running arenas/programming, maintaining locals parks and cemeteries, providing emergency services (fire, police and ambulance), garbage collection and related activities.

Major factors that influenced the 2023 Operating Budget include external financial pressures like inflation, supply chain impacts, reduced/uncertain provincial funding and the rising cost of insurance and contracted essential services. The 2023 budget also introduces new initiatives in response to growth, new legislative requirements and to meet the community’s evolving needs and service desires.

“While the Operating Budget initially represented a 5% increase for ratepayers, staff conducted a rigorous review of controllable costs and did not bring forward any new initiatives that weren’t urgent, required by legislation or wouldn’t directly benefit the public,” CAO Craig Manley stated.

“Through this review, staff have developed a budget that addresses the county’s current needs, keeps the tax impact lower than what many other municipalities are facing, and employs strategic foresight to ensure our strong financial position is sustained.”

Manley also noted that Haldimand is in a unique period of growth and demographic change, and it will be important for Council to carefully evaluate not only levels of service that are offered to the community, but how they are administered when planning for the future.

“Thanks to the hard work and diligence of staff, we have a budget that balances maintaining the services our residents value with making investments to ensure Haldimand remains a prosperous, vibrant community for future generations,” noted Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley.

Highlights of the 2023 Tax-Supported Operating Budget include:

  • introducing new, temporary staffing resources to oversee and expedite major projects, including the construction of Caledonia’s new Fire/EMS station, municipal website re-design and the last year of the gravel road conversion program;
  • over $76,000 in grants to support local organizations with community beautification initiatives;
  • continuing to roll out the Council-approved reorganization of the IT division to increase efficiencies, meet service delivery requirements and strengthen cybersecurity;
  • increasing the staffing complement of Building Services to enhance the building permit application intake, inspection and issuance process;
  • enhancing the county’s forestry management program and reducing external consulting costs by introducing a new, in-house Urban Forester position to respond to service requests;
  • spearheading a recruitment and retention strategy to ensure the county can continue to recruit, retain and develop existing staff;
  • investing in the development of a corporate training plan relating to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as recommended by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee;
  • in response to rapid growth, adding a Project Manager, Municipal Infrastructure to manage all construction associated with land development;
  • introducing six additional summer students to facilitate the county’s roadside mowing program as a pilot project, with the aim of reducing costs and reliance on contracted services; and
  • adding additional summer program staff in response to growth and increasing demand for programming.

More information on County budgets and budget processes is available on the County website via You can also check out the 2023 Operating Budget overview for an at-a-glance look at budget highlights.

Average tax bill allocation by services chart, as outlined in the 2023 operating budget.

Haldimand County CAO announces retirement; acting CAO appointed

At the February 16 Special Council Meeting, Haldimand County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Craig Manley informed Council of his intention to retire at the end of May. Manley has been employed with the County at senior positions since 2007 with the last four years as the CAO. The CAO is appointed by Council and is the head of the County Administration and the key link between staff and Council.

“After 37 years in the workforce it is time to transition to a new phase in my life journey – to spend more time with my family, to travel and to pursue my hobbies.  I have been most fortunate to have been able to work in my chosen professional discipline, to have had the opportunity to learn, grow and progress over the years and to have a career that has been meaningful and fulfilling.  Haldimand County has been a wonderful place to work and it has been most rewarding to see the community prosper, grow and add services and facilities that improve the quality of life for our residents and businesses. With Council having completed its orientation process, its strategic planning objectives for the council term and the annual budgeting process it is an appropriate time to make this transition. I would like to thank the successive Councils I’ve worked with for their support and collegiality.  I am leaving knowing the County is in good hands both at the Council and at the administration level.”

Mayor Shelley Bentley thanked Craig for his 15 years of service with the County and the recent work done to help the new Council acclimate to their new roles.  “Craig’s experience, advice and leadership has been very much appreciated by both myself as a new Mayor and by all members of Council. He’s been an invaluable part of Haldimand County for many years as a steady, guiding voice that has seen our community through some of its toughest times.  I know I speak for many of us here when I say that his wealth of knowledge and insight will be sorely missed, and that we wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.“

At this same meeting, Council also appointed Cathy Case as the Acting CAO upon Manley’s departure with that role becoming permanent effective October 1, 2023 subject to a performance review and negotiation of an employment contract. Case is a life-long resident of the County and is currently the General Manager of Corporate and Social Services and has significant experience in municipal governance.

Mayor Bentley noted “We are fortunate to have a strong management team in Haldimand and a positive work culture.  In order to ensure a smooth transition and a continued positive trajectory for our community Council felt it was important to look within the organization as a first priority to ensure a continuity of management style and approach to working with Council.’

Over the next four months Manley and Case will be working together to ensure a seamless transition with Manley’s last day occurring on May 31.


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