Haldimand County is recruiting members for its new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. This committee will advise Council, staff and the Police Services Board on promoting inclusion, respect, understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity within the community.
The committee will consist of seven members, including one member from the Accessibility Advisory Committee, Seniors Advisory Committee, and Youth Advisory Committee. Members will meet at least four times yearly, or more frequently if required.
As a committee, members will be responsible for advising Council, staff and the Police Services Board on a number of matters, including (but not limited to):
Removing barriers to inclusion for all residents;
Policies, procedures and practices that foster diversity and inclusion;
Effectively engaging with diverse communities for input on municipal initiatives;
Initiatives that will achieve a greater understanding of the increasingly diverse communities in Haldimand County.
Haldimand County is continuing to recruit members for its new youth and seniors advisory committees. These committees will advise Council about issues and policies that impact the quality of life for these groups.
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 committees offer opportunities to make new connections, gain knowledge and skills and make a meaningful contribution to Haldimand County.
“This is the time to get involved if you have a desire to influence positive change and help shape policies and programs that meet the evolving needs of our youth and seniors,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.
We have had tremendous success in Haldimand-Norfolk as we continue through with the vaccination programs. The staff and volunteers have been dedicated, professional and courteous, making the experience for everyone as flawless as possible. We have received plenty of positive feedback regarding the process and we thank you for taking the time to thank those on the frontlines.
At present, over 120,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across both counties, with almost 65% of residents fully vaccinated. The Ministry of Health is aiming for all communities across the province to have 80% of the population with first dose, and over 75% of the population fully vaccinated by early August.
All residents with a second dose appointment booked for August, September or October who are 28 days past their first dose are being asked to book an appointment at a closer date. Appointments are available in various locations and may be booked using the HNHU’s Online Booking Tool or by calling the Health Unit’s Vaccine Hotline at 519-427-5903.
I urge those of you who are holding out to reconsider and think about your family and your community. While I can appreciate the decision being yours to make, your decision not only impacts you, it impacts those of us around you and we must ensure that we can withstand another potential wave. For the sake of our children who need to reacquaint themselves with traditional schooling; our businesses who need to bring much needed revenue for their families; our sporting programs that help our community stay health and vibrant both physically and mentally, lets pull together and be one of the leading areas in vaccinations in Ontario.
As we move into the fall, we are transitioning out of the arenas to make way for the sporting programs and will be working towards providing vaccination clinics in a variety of places throughout both counties.
Caledonia Protest Update
As you all know, the developer has begun the process of refunding deposits to those poor home owners who have been cheated of their dream. This is not them abandoning the site, as we still believe that they hold legal title to the lands in dispute. This is a respectful decision to allow the potential homeowners to make future decisions that best serve them.
If and when the Province and the Federal government move forward and not just engage those on Six Nations with some meaningful dialogue but also stand behind the land registry system that guides all of us accordingly, we will then start to see progress.
Whether you are a homeowner, a developer, or a municipality following the planning process, you should be able to count on the regulations and policies set out to guide the final outcome of owning your dream home.
I continue to support my friends on Six Nations who truly deserve an outcome on their long time outstanding claims, but I will never support the methodology that has been employed on Douglas Creek Estates or Mackenzie Meadows or any of those involved in such acts of disobedience.
I will continue to lobby those at the Province to engage leaders on Six Nations and to bring the Feds to account on the actual claims that are legitimate and will continue to show Haldimand, of which Caledonia is in, being a great place to live, to work, to play and mostly to raise a family.
Haldimand Country would like to correct some inaccurate statements recently made by its representatives regarding KWIC Internet and KWIC Telecom Ltd. (“KWIC”).
In June 2020, after a procurement process, Haldimand County selected KWIC as the preferred proponent to deliver internet services to underserviced areas of the County. KWIC ranked first among its competitors in the procurement and was determined by Haldimand County to be competent and well-qualified.
On June 3, 2021, Mayor Ken Hewitt of Haldimand County mistakenly announced that KWIC had merged with another internet service provider (Xplornet Communications), that Xplornet had purchased KWIC, and that the merger was a surprise to the County. These statements were reported in the Haldimand Press. Regrettably, these statements were based on a misunderstanding of the true facts, and were inaccurate. KWIC has not merged with or been purchased by Xplornet, and did not in any way surprise the County by its actions. KWIC remains an independent and active internet service provider, servicing communities across Ontario.
On June 4, 2021, County CAO Craig Manley stated in a press release that, as a result of increased competition from other internet service providers in Haldimand County, the result would be better internet service in the County. The County wishes to correct that statement, as it has no information to suggest that KWIC’s competitors provide better internet service than KWIC provides.
As a result of recent media interest in the expansion of internet service to underserviced areas of the County, County representatives have made other statements about KWIC that have been reported in the media. None of the County’s statements should be construed as a criticism of KWIC or its capabilities, nor should any impression be left that KWIC is anything other than an active, competitive player in the Ontario internet service provider market. The County is grateful to KWIC for its interest and efforts in bringing internet service to County residents.
Haldimand County sincerely apologizes to KWIC for the mistaken statements made by County representatives.
At the Council meeting held on June 28, 2021, Haldimand County Council passed the following resolution:
THAT Haldimand County Council has reviewed the City of Hamilton’s draft recommended Truck Route Master Plan as outlined in the correspondence from the City of Hamilton sent on June 14, 2021;
AND THAT given the overwhelming public opposition, lack of adequate infrastructure to support truck traffic and the existence of a designated truck route in close proximity, Haldimand County Council is strongly opposed to Haldibrook Road being included as a proposed truck route in the City of Hamilton’s Truck Route Master Plan.
Notice of the passing of this resolution will be sent to the City of Hamilton.
The City of Hamilton is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of their Truck Route Master Plan. More information regarding the project, including how residents can participate and provide comments, can be found at engage.hamilton.ca/trmp
Haldimand County Council and Norfolk County Council, as joint owners of the Canborough Landfill Facility located at 499 James Road Dunnville, considered an unsolicited proposal made by a private sector entity for the use of the property. After deliberations, both Councils agreed to not accept the proposal. In accordance with the conditions of the offer, the details will remain confidential.
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.
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 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.
First, let me apologize to those of you who had tried to contact me in the past few weeks. I was successful in contacting COVID and was in a lethargic fog for approximately 10 days. Fortunately it was a bad head cold and nothing that would have led to me to going to the hospital. I certainly can appreciate however, the effect of this virus on those that may be more vulnerable.
I cannot state for fact that vaccinations will shield you or I from getting COVID with any amount of certainty. I have to place my faith in those that have the skills in the medical field that can make the claims that the benefits far outweigh the risks. While it is everyone right and personal decision to make, just the same it is everyone right to feel safe while enjoying some freedoms that we all long for.
As you all know the Ford Government has extended the provincial stay at home order until June 2nd and while many of us have differing thoughts on that, you must understand that it is not option of the local council to defy the orders and/or encourage businesses to re-open. Like many of you, I do not see the logic behind many things, but like it or not we live in Ontario, not in Florida. Making the comparisons does nothing to getting us open any quicker. Our numbers here in H-N are better than in Toronto, why are we suffering just he same? It does not matter; our numbers may look good, but our ICU capacity is severely affected by the current COVID wave.
Would I like to be golfing or boating; absolutely. I would like to also have dinner at the local restaurants. I want to get there just as quick as you all do and the only way to get the Province to open up is to push the numbers down.
I can only hope and ask that you factor those around you and the businesses that desperately need our full support when choosing whether to get vaccinated or not.
Again, I believe the argument in favour of them far outweighs the arguments against.
Vaccine doses administered so far: 46,205 Number of people completely vaccinated: 5,102
Status updates / information on second doses:
The Health Unit is currently vaccinating eligible individuals in Phase 2 of the province’s rollout framework. Current eligibility details can be found at hnhu.org/covax-eligible.
All appointments from May 19 onward may be booked using the provincial tool.
Individuals who received their first dose of vaccine prior to April 20 are currently being contacted by the Health Unit to schedule second dose appointments. Second doses are being booked by date of first dose, not by age or group, to ensure they are administered within the 16-week (112 day) timeframe established by the province.
If you have not received a phone call from the Health Unit and it is more than 90 days after your first dose, please call the vaccine hotline at 519-427-5903 and leave a message for follow-up.
As the province expands eligibility further, there will be an increased demand for vaccine appointments. The Health Unit has requested additional doses in order to meet these demands and expedite community rollout. Clinics continue to run at capacity, and appointments are being added as vaccine supply is received.
Information regarding AstraZeneca vaccine:
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has advised that the Ontario government is reviewing data to consider whether to use AstraZeneca for second doses. The province will be announcing next steps and guidance for people who received AstraZeneca as a first dose.
All mass clinic sites in Haldimand and Norfolk are administering the Pfizer vaccine, while participating physicians have been administering Moderna.
Individuals who received a first dose of AstraZeneca at a participating local pharmacy will be contacted regarding next steps once further instruction is provided by the province.
Eligibility and waitlist information:
Individuals 40 and above, essential workers in Group 1 and Group 2 and individuals from all other previous groups are currently eligible to book online.
Individuals 18+ become eligible across Ontario beginning May 24.
The province is finalizing plans to administer both doses of vaccine to youth aged 12 to 17. The province anticipates these vaccinations for youth will be offered from mid-June to the end of August, in collaboration with school boards and other partners.
Waitlists continue to be an integral part of the local vaccine rollout strategy by ensuring unused doses (due to cancellations, no shows, etc) never go to waste and priority populations are receiving their shots as quickly as possible.
Caledonia Protest Update
OPP continue to make arrests and courts continue to release on conditions. It is frustrating for all those involved. I continue to recommend to Chief Hill and others that the time for a local born solution that sees the end of these kinds of interruptions to our communities is the only path of success that I see an end to. Both the Province and the Feds are overwhelmed with the Pandemic and other issues that unfortunately for us caught up in this dispute are not on the radar and waiting for them to arrive and attempt to solve this dispute in the near future is simply not going to happen.
I don’t believe locally we can solve the overarching ongoing land disputes along the Haldimand tract and elsewhere. That is clearly the function of the Federal government, and the process must be top down driven; but the idea of coming together from the bottom up on shared projects that meet local needs for both communities can enable us to demand more from the Province and the Feds. I have put forth several ideas to all those involved like our fresh lake water solution for Six Nations and I truly believe that it is these kind of plans that will start a tradition of successes for both communities living in the area and breakdown the existing barriers to us finding amicable ways of cohabiting and growing together for the benefits of both our future generations.
Lastly, a quick shout out to Shannon MacPherson-Adams. I wish you all the best and success in getting the stem cell treatment you and everyone so deserves. They are completing their fund-raising awareness ride today in Caledonia and I will be there with many of you cheering them on. For those that would like to help and donate, you can go to their Facebook page called; Shannon’s Plasma Cell Mates.