Council, Staff Taking Steps To Deliver County-Wide Broadband Internet Service

Haldimand County Council is moving forward with its commitment to bringing affordable, reliable high-speed internet service to all residents. On July 16, 2019, staff released a Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) to short-list internet service providers capable of installing broadband infrastructure and facilitating County-wide internet services.

The Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) is an invitation by Haldimand County to prospective bidders to submit proposals outlining their qualifications and experience. In order to make the RFPQ short list, bidders must demonstrate their ability – across multiple evaluation criteria – to facilitate County-wide internet services in the long-term. Bidders who meet the requirements outlined in the RFPQ and receive a passing score will be allowed to progress to the final selection stage.

It is anticipated that at the conclusion of the RFPQ process, staff will report back to Council and seek direction to initiate a Negotiated Request for Proposal process (NRFP) with a shortlisted number of proponents. Ultimately, negotiations will result in the selection of a successful bidder to install and facilitate internet services throughout all of Haldimand’s communities.

“This is an important step in making affordable, reliable high-speed internet available to all residents,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “A reliable internet connection is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. Everyone in Haldimand County deserves access to this vital and basic service, whether it’s to stay connected with family, take care of day-to-day tasks, complete an online course or sustain a business,” Hewitt noted.

Community consultations will take place as the project progresses to obtain resident input, assess needs and address questions or concerns related to broadband internet service.

“We are committed to finding a financially sound, practical solution that makes internet connectivity attainable and sustainable for all. We’ll keep the public informed and engaged as the project moves forward,” added Mayor Hewitt.

The approximate project timeline – as listed in the RFPQ – is as follows:

Key MilestonesEstimated Commencement DateEstimated End Date
Issue RFPQJuly 16, 2019August 16, 2019
Evaluate RFPQ ProponentsAugust 19, 2019August 22, 2019
Issue NRFP to qualified biddersSeptember 24, 2019October 29, 2019
Evaluate NRFPOctober 30, 2019November 4, 2019
Enter Negotiations with shortlisted three (3) proponentsNovember 5, 2019November 26, 2019
Report to Council for approval of recommended bidderDecember 16, 2019December 16, 2019
Construction*Spring 2020*January 2025


*Timelines are established based on a tentative contract execution date of January 2020 and are subject to change.

Project updates will be posted on the County website and social media accounts as they become available.

A Fresh New Look: Haldimand County Council Approves New Corporate Logo And Brand

In April 2019, Council reviewed a proposed new logo and brand as part of its approved Economic Development Strategy. After deliberation and some suggested modifications to the concept, Council additionally approved staff recommendations to adopt the logo for corporate use.

Creating a new brand and logo to market the County was identified as a priority in 2017 following the development of comprehensive economic development & tourism strategies. The Council-approved strategies outlined the need for a strong brand to raise the County’s profile and differentiate it in the minds of prospective investors, visitors and businesses to foster economic growth.

In 2018, the County received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Rural Economic Development Fund to conduct the brand strategy. Hamilton-based consultants CQNS were retained to lead the brand strategy’s development, which included multiple stages of research and stakeholder engagement including online/telephone surveys, the formation of a brand steering committee and public meetings held within each community.

During the development of the new Economic Development & Tourism brand, an opportunity to update the Haldimand County corporate logo was identified. For the past 18 years, the County has had a Coat of Arms (used for formal business) as well as a logo (used for marketing and communication purposes). The County’s corporate logo usage policy – instituted in 2001 – acknowledged that the logo would have a limited lifespan and require periodic updating.

The new logo provides a fresh new look for Haldimand County and portrays the county’s natural beauty while symbolizing its potential as a great place to live, work and play. “A cohesive, contemporary corporate identity helps portray the benefits of our community to residents, businesses, investors and visitors,” said Don Boyle, Haldimand County’s Chief Administrative Officer. “Haldimand County has evolved significantly since 2001 & the new logo reflects our community’s increased vibrancy, dynamism & potential,” he added.

Part of the re-brand involved the creation of a new tagline that celebrates what makes
Haldimand a unique destination for both visitors and prospective investors. The new Economic Development & Tourism tagline – Real. Potential. – speaks to two key elements of Haldimand County’s character: authenticity and opportunity.

Real is just how we live. It is about authentic and sincere experiences with people who are proud of who they are and what they have created.

Potential is our promise. We want to show people what Haldimand County is – a place where you can create a new business, have unique experiences and make a real impact.

“This is an exciting change and marks a turning point in the way we communicate the benefits of the County,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “While our commitment to the business community in Haldimand will not change, there is incredible potential to grow. Cities and surrounding regions throughout Ontario are marketing themselves directly and in defined, refreshed ways; the new branding puts Haldimand in a position to compete for those opportunities,” he continued.

The new logo will be rolled out incrementally. Replacement of roadside and building signage, as well as updates to County publications bearing the old logo, will occur gradually over time to minimize costs. The majority of County assets and materials will be updated as they are re-ordered, re-printed or replaced.

For more information about the new logo and brand visit

Funding for the brand strategy was provided by the Government of Ontario’s Rural Economic Development Fund.

Haldimand County CAO Announces Departure, New CAO Appointed By Council

Haldimand County Council has appointed a new CAO following the resignation of current CAO Don Boyle, who has accepted an employment opportunity in the private sector.

At the June 27, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor Hewitt announced on behalf of Council that Craig Manley, General Manager of Community & Development Services, will be appointed as Haldimand County’s new CAO. Manley will take on the title of Interim CAO on August 1, 2019 until his employment contract is finalized on September 3, 2019. As of September 3, he will officially assume his new leadership role as CAO.

“The County is in a very good place thanks to the dedication of Don, his Senior Management Team and all supporting staff. On behalf of Council I sincerely thank him for his service and wish him great success in the future,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“It is on to a new chapter in Haldimand’s journey, and I am very pleased to have Craig Manley at the helm. Craig has consistently demonstrated his strong leadership skills and commitment to Haldimand County time and time again. His attention to detail, foresight, and knowledge of municipal operations – especially planning – will no doubt lead us into further success,” he continued.

“I am grateful to have worked with Council past and present, my team, County staff and the community,” said Chief Administrative Officer Don Boyle. “I leave the County for a new opportunity knowing we have the right leadership team in place and a Council that is committed to doing what is best for the community,” said Boyle.

Over the next four weeks, Boyle will work with Manley as he transitions into his new role as CAO.

Ward 2 Community Vibrancy Fund Grant Will Help Construct New Playground At J.L. Mitchener

On Thursday, June 27, Ward 2 Councillor John Metcalfe presented J.L. Mitchener Public School principal Mark Finochio with a $6,000 grant from the Ward 2 Community Vibrancy Fund for the purpose of constructing new playground equipment for students and neighbourhood children.

J.L. Mitchener Public School’s Parent Committee was able to fundraise $27,000 of the estimated $34,000 playground equipment cost. Councillor Metcalfe introduced a motion to provide a CVF grant for the remaining $6,000 and it was approved at the June 24th Council meeting.

Under the Community Vibrancy Fund agreement established in 2011, renewable energy companies with projects in Haldimand County are required to contribute to the Community Vibrancy Fund annually for 20 years. The distribution of CVF funds to geographic areas of the County are based on the proportion of wind/solar power and transmission infrastructure in each ward.

Council approved a number of principles and prioritization criteria to govern the use of CVF funds and ensure they are appropriated to directly benefit residents. As per the CVF principles, funds may be utilized for: land stewardship initiatives, developing/constructing County recreational facilities, enhancing community and protective services, improving roads/public municipal infrastructure and other community-focused activities.

Principal Mark Finochio expects that construction on the playground will begin mid-July and be complete by September 2019.

Photo (left to right): Haldimand County CAO Don Boyle, J.L. Mitchener Public School Principal Mark Finochio, Ward 2 Councillor John Metcalfe. 

Community Vibrancy Fund Contributions Exceed $6 Million, Fund Over 100 Community Projects Since 2011

In September 2011, Haldimand County Council passed resolutions to establish a Community Vibrancy Fund (CVF) and agreement with companies pursuing renewable energy projects within the County. To date, $6,351,620 has been contributed to the CVF by these companies, which has funded over 100 community projects.

Under the agreement, renewable energy companies with projects in Haldimand County are required to contribute to the Community Vibrancy Fund annually for 20 years. For solar and wind energy projects, annual company contributions are calculated by the projects’ nameplate capacities, or total power output per year (in megawatts). For transmission projects, annual company contributions are based on kilometres of power line.

By 2031 – at the end of the agreement’s 20-year lifespan – approximately $40 million will have been contributed to the CVF by the following companies:

● Grand Renewable Solar LP
● Grand Renewable Wind LP
● Capital Power Corporation
● Summerhaven Wind LP (Nextera)
● FWRN LP (Niagara Wind)

“When the CVF was first introduced, residents had questions. How is this money going to be allocated? How will it benefit me and my family? Since the fund was established, we’ve seen some amazing community assets developed and infrastructure projects expedited that wouldn’t be feasible otherwise,” noted Mayor Ken Hewitt. “Putting the funds to good use has meant working with councilors, constituents and community partners to determine areas of need and identify opportunities that will make an impact,” he noted.

The distribution of CVF funds to geographic areas of the County are based on the proportion of wind/solar power and transmission infrastructure in each ward. Council approved a number of principles and prioritization criteria to govern the use of CVF funds and ensure they are appropriated to directly benefit residents. As per the CVF principles, funds may be utilized for: land stewardship initiatives, developing/constructing County recreational facilities, enhancing community and protective services, improving roads/public municipal infrastructure and other community-focused activities.

Notable & recent CVF-funded projects include:

● Jarvis Lions Park Trail & Pathway
● Dunnville Farmers Market & Waterfront Park
● Hagersville Splash Pad
● Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre
● Cayuga Grand Vista & Gypsum Mine Tract trails
● Fisherville Lions Park & Hall enhancements
● Road enhancements & rehabilitation work (e.g: expedited gravel road conversions such as
Yaremy Road, shoulder widening on Cheapside Rd., Dunnville bridge noise mitigation project, etc.)
● Cayuga Tourism Booth improvements
● Rural streetscaping in York, Byng, Fisherville & Selkirk

Each year during the Capital Budget process, CVF initiatives and relative rankings/prioritizations are reassessed by Council to ensure funds are used strategically to meet community needs.

Trail Grand Openings Met With Enthusiasm By Residents And Visiting Recreation Seekers

On Saturday, April 27, Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt and members of Council hosted grand opening celebrations at the award-winning Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract trails. Dozens of residents and visitors attended, despite the blustery weather, to explore the new routes and learn about Haldimand’s history.

“Both the Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract are fantastic additions to the community,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt. “They offer new opportunities to stay active, learn about our history and connect with nature,” he added.

At the Cayuga Grand Vista celebration, attendees were introduced to stories of the late Honourable Madame Justice Helen Kinnear and Honourable Dr. Justice T. David Marshall – both Cayuga-born figures with extraordinary accomplishments – whom the trail’s two scenic lookouts were named after. Justice Kinnear defied early gender stereotypes to become a history-making pioneer in the legal profession, while Dr. Justice Marshall achieved national recognition in the fields of medicine and law. Family members of both Justice Kinnear and Dr. Justice Marshall were present and acknowledged by Council prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

At the Gypsum Mine Tract opening, attendees learned about the history of gypsum mining that played a major role in Caledonia’s development. From 1838 – 2016, 5 mines were established and eventually decommissioned in both Caledonia and York; gypsum was extracted from 65 feet below ground and hauled to the surface by donkeys and horses underneath what is now the trail.

“The community response to both of these new trails has been extremely positive and they will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come,” said Hewitt.

More information on Haldimand County trail routes, parks and recreation activities is available on the Haldimand County website.

Haldimand County Council, staff, Trails Advisory Committee members and family members of Dr. Justice David T. Marshall and the Honourable Madame Justine Helen Kinnear cutting the Cayuga Grand Vista trail ribbon.

From left to right: Janet deVos (Haldimand County Trails Advisory Committee), Sheila Wilson (Haldimand County), Jill Morison, Fred Morison, Mrs. T. David Marshall, Don Boyle (Haldimand County), Brittany Morison, David Morison, Albert Morison, Darline Kinnear, Mayor Ken Hewitt (Haldimand County), (Behind Ken is Murray Kinnear), Ward 2 Councillor John Metcalfe (Haldimand County), Ward 3 Councillor Dan Lawrence (Haldimand County), and Megan Turner (Haldimand County).

Haldimand County Council Approves 2019 Tax Supported Capital Budget

Haldimand County Council approved the 2019 Tax Supported Capital Budget on March 5, 2019. The Tax Supported Capital Budget outlines $30.7 million of new infrastructure investment in 2019, with a total tax-supported infrastructure investment of $224 million over the next 10 years. In total, 300 new tax-supported capital projects have been scheduled for the 2019 calendar year.

The 2019 Capital Budget is heavily focused on infrastructure renewal with notable expenditures in areas such as roadway improvements, bridge and culvert rehabilitation, municipal drain maintenance and enhancements to corporate, community and recreation facilities.

2019 Capital Budget Highlights:

– $15.7 million towards roadway and active transportation improvements such as paving,
reconstruction, resurfacing, gravel road conversion, pedestrian crosswalk installation,
sidewalk/curb replacements and street lighting

– $3.4 million towards community partnership projects and enhancements to parks, trails,
arenas, museums and libraries

– $2.9 million towards essential equipment like ambulance & fire apparatus, snow
removal vehicles and fleet-related items

– $2 million towards storm sewer and municipal drain enhancements/maintenance

– $1.7 million towards bridge repairs, bridge rehabilitation and other structure-related projects
(such as culvert replacements)

– $550,000 towards tree conservation and forestry management initiatives

In recent years the County has deliberately increased its investment in capital to ensure that existing facilities are updated, new facilities desired by the community are added and that a funding plan is in place to minimize tax impacts. Money is set aside every year to ensure that when assets need repairs or replacing, funding is available.

“We’re at a point where, during budget preparations, there aren’t a lot of surprises. Staff have applied strong financial principles and asset management practices that result in a predictable, flexible and sustainable capital program. By planning for the long-term, we’re in an excellent position to address priorities and respond to community needs,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“The numbers and projects outlined in the 2019 budget and 2019-2028 capital forecast reinforce Council’s commitment to making prudent infrastructure investments that result in safe, reliable services for residents,” he added.

Similar to past years, the capital levy, funded by property taxes, will increase by about $640,000, or about 1% of the overall municipal levy. As well, Council approved an additional 0.75% to be added to the levy for further acceleration of the Gravel Road Conversion Program. With the addition of this new funding all granular roads within the County will be converted 3 years earlier – by 2025. This additional contribution to reserves will be considered by Council during review of the Tax Supported Operating Budget.

The total municipal levy for 2019 will be determined in April once the 2019 Tax Supported Operating Budget is approved by Council. Council has set the target tax impact, on an average residential property, at 2% as part of the approved budget guidelines for this year.

The 2019 Tax Supported Operating Budget will be presented to Council on the following dates:

• April 2, 3* & 4*, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Cayuga Administration Building (*if required)

More information on Haldimand County budgets can be found at

Haldimand County Council Invites Residents To Attend 2019 Community Open Houses

Haldimand County Council is inviting residents to attend 2019 Community Open Houses.

The purpose of the Open Houses is to update residents on successes, projects, issues and challenges that Haldimand County is currently managing and to give residents, community groups and businesses an opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions or discuss any subjects/concerns they may have. The open house format will be very informal and interactive.

2019 Community Open House Schedule:

January 14, 7pm – Caledonia Arena (Remax Room)

January 16, 7pm – Cayuga Memorial Arena (McSorley Room)

January 22, 7pm – Jarvis Community Centre

January 23, 7pm – Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre

Anyone seeking further information about the Open Houses are encouraged to contact Donna Chausse, Executive Assistant to the Mayor & Council via e-mail or by phone at 905-318-5932 ext. 6102.

Haldimand County Council Seeking Public Input On Retail Cannabis Sales

Ontario municipalities have until January 22, 2019 to decide whether to permit or prohibit the sale of recreational cannabis, and Haldimand County Council is seeking community input on this decision.

At the December 11 Council in Committee meeting, staff presented a report outlining the opt-in and opt-out options regarding private cannabis retail stores. Council must decide and submit a formal resolution to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario by the January 22 deadline. Council has 2 options: opting in or opting out. If Council chooses to opt-in, the decision cannot be reversed. If opting out is chosen, Council retains the ability to revisit the matter and opt-in at a future date.

To better understand resident sentiments on retail cannabis sales in the community, feedback will be collected by staff and presented to Council. Residents are encouraged to read the recreational cannabis retail sales facts and provide their input through one of the following avenues:

1) in person at the January 21, 2019 Council meeting or at a scheduled community meeting

2) via online survey (by January 8, 2019)

3) via e-mail or letter to the Municipal Clerk at 45 Munsee St. North, Cayuga, N0A 1A0 (by noon on January 21, 2019)

Feedback and survey results will be presented at the Council in Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Any feedback received after the Council in Committee meeting will be provided to Council for consideration ahead of the Council meeting on Monday, January 21.