Haldimand County Public Library Announces 2020 One Book, One Haldimand Reading Selection

Join fellow Haldimand County readers by participating in this year’s One Book One Haldimand program!

One Book One Haldimand is an annual community-wide reading program through which individuals across Haldimand County are encouraged to read a selected Canadian title and join the author and other community members for an afternoon of discussion and book signing.

This year’s selection, Cactus Jack, was written by local author Brad Smith. The book follows a young woman who returns to her deceased father’s ranch with the intention of quickly settling his estate and leaving. But against her better judgement, she changes her plans and puts her future and the future of the ranch on the back of an untested colt named Cactus Jack.

Copies of Cactus Jack are available at all library branches. Individuals who wish to participate may visit their local branch to borrow a copy or call 289-674-0400 to reserve one.

Physical distancing and additional safety measures will be in place at the discussion and book signing, which will take place later this year (date to be announced).

For more information or to suggest a title for 2021, contact Katrina Krupicz, Community Outreach Coordinator at 905-318-5932 ext. 6118.

Statement from the Mayor and Council RE: Caledonia Protest

August 7, 2020

There are many things going on to resolve this protest and it is changing rapidly. As an update today Haldimand County received the support in court for a blanket injunction covering our roads and property. Also the developers received judge’s support of their injunction as well. CN is currently getting an injunction as well. All of which will require the OPP to enforce.

I have been in several conversations with the following people, Deputy Commissioner John Cain and Detachment Commander Phil Carter of the OPP, representatives of both Ballantry and Losani Homes, Chief Mark Hill of the band council, and many other members of Six Nations.

I have asked the Premier for a conference call with his Ministers and Chief Hill to discuss some possible solutions and am waiting for a response.

For the record, I do not support this protest, the people involved and their behaviour. I truly believe that they do not reflect all the people of Six Nations. They are bringing harm to the good spirited and natured people of Six Nations with their demonstrations.

They say that the Confederacy was not consulted. They say no accommodations were made. They say they are protecting the land and their claim. Yet I would ask why now are they coming out? The process to consult occurred many years ago. Six Nations was notified by both the County and the Band Council of this development. That includes members of the Confederacy.

The developers took upon themselves to go further without any legal obligation to offer land and money to Six Nations as a token of respect. This has nothing to do with the ongoing land claim that is taking 27 years to get in front of federal courts. An issue that needs addressing.

So when this development was made public, there were public meetings in Haldimand and Band Council hosted public meetings on Six Nations with an openness about the arrangement structure with the developers. If these individuals did not like the arrangement it was at that time to make it known to Band Council for accepting it. If the Confederacy felt the same, it was at that time to discuss it further. If that divide continues then it should be within Six Nations that they debate and discuss these concerns not on McKenzie Meadows.

The developer followed a process, Haldimand County followed a process and Band Council followed a process. All of which was open to the public for scrutiny all along.

Holding the developer back and those excited new homeowners from realizing their dream is nonsense and like the Premier states, “enough is enough”.

Why does it take 27 years to hear a claim let alone settle one? I understand the complexities that exist but I would say once again, “enough is enough”. Every member of Six Nations deserves to be angry with this process and each one of us should be asking our federal government, why?

I fully can appreciate their frustration and the anger, but I do not condone the methods by which they are exercising that frustration and anger. It is deplorable that our governments have treated our indigenous friends in this matter but wronging a wrong is not the solution and hurting your neighbours is not the path to success.

As Mayor, I will continue to follow any methods that will help push the local outstanding claim forward. I will work with all those involved to continue to look at shared opportunities with Six Nations such as the waterline project that would see fresh Lake Erie water to all or parts of Six Nations.

I will NOT work with and or support anyone who thinks that acts of civil disobedience are an appropriate way to make their point. I will push for the OPP to apply the injunctions on those breaking the judge’s orders and I will look to our judicial system to apply the law on those that so just deserve it.

I am providing this information for those that have interest in what is going on. I know that many of you will have opinions and thoughts and I ask that while it is an emotionally charged situation, please refrain from any racial comments as I will delete anything that suggest so.

Stay Safe……​

 

Mayor Ken Hewitt

 

Haldimand County Council

Stewart Patterson
John Metcalfe
Dan Lawrence
Tony Dalimonte
Rob Shirton
Bernie Corbett

Haldimand County conducting COVID-19 business impacts survey

Over the last month, Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism division has been reaching out to businesses across the county to collect key information on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses locally.

The division has developed a 10-15 minute survey for businesses. The information collected will be used to track the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Haldimand County businesses, and to understand how the County can offer additional assistance to local businesses.

“This is new territory for all of us and Haldimand County wants to understand how we can help businesses during these unprecedented times,” said Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism. “It is important businesses are heard, and that we are implementing tools and resources that will help our community directly.”

The Haldimand County Economic Development and Tourism Division has contacted over 850 local businesses, completed 151 surveys, and has provided follow up information and resources to 91 businesses. Staff are currently in the process of compiling and analyzing the data collected to develop a wrap-up report.

Business owners who have not yet completed this survey may access it online. Business owners/operators may also contact the Economic Development and Tourism by phone at 905-318-5932 or e-mail at opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca. Staff are encouraging business owners to submit surveys by August 21, 2020.

 

Statement from Haldimand County Council regarding the occupation of McKenzie Meadows

On July 19, 2020, Haldimand County Council was informed of a protest taking place on the McKenzie Meadows development site. As of July 30, 2020, protestors remain on the property and construction work continues to be halted as a result.

Haldimand County Council stands with the developer, Foxgate Developments Inc., and Six Nations of the Grand River, who have a pre-established agreement regarding the development lands. Given that all proper approval processes have been followed and the rule of law has been disrupted by illegal activity,  Council urges the Ontario Provincial Police – Haldimand County Detachment to enforce the law and take all necessary actions to end the occupation.

Protestors on site are not supported by Six Nations of the Grand River governing bodies.

Background information

The McKenzie Meadows development project in south Caledonia dates back to 2003 when development approvals were initially obtained for a 200+ unit residential project.

In 2015, Foxgate Developments Inc. purchased the lands and proceeded to re-initiate the development plans which included securing a new set of planning approvals for a redesigned residential project consisting of 218 units (single detached homes and townhouses).

In May 2018, representatives of Foxgate commenced its’ consultation, discussion, and negotiation with with Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council. In October 2018, a term sheet was prepared and presented to Six Nations Elected Council.

In November 2018, Six Nations Elected Council considered the term sheet and authorized it for signature. In May 2019 a written agreement was reached between Foxgate and the Six Nations Elected Council, confirming that the Six Nations supported the Development.

In late 2019 and early 2020 Foxgate obtained all of its approvals for servicing installation and construction commencement at the site. Foxgate then proceeded to pre-grade and construct primary services on the land in support of the delivery of new homes to the families who were expecting closing dates in the Fall of 2020.

 

Haldimand County Council approves face covering by-law

On Monday, July 27, Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved a by-law requiring face coverings in specific enclosed public spaces where physical distancing cannot be achieved. The by-law, which aligns with the Haldimand-Norfolk Medical Officer of Health’s recommendations, takes effect August 1.

The approved by-law is tailored to the needs of Haldimand County and provides flexibility for certain businesses and institutions to develop face covering requirements relative to their specific circumstances and unique needs.

The by-law separates enclosed public spaces into two distinct categories: Category 1 and Category 2. Each category has unique requirements.

Category 1

  • Category 1 includes businesses with a high volume of in-and-out foot traffic where the potential interactions between people including amongst residents and with community visitors is elevated and where as a result the risk is higher. Category 1 businesses include, but are not limited to, supermarkets/grocery stores, bakeries, convenience stores, financial institutions, pharmacies and retail operations with a gross floor area greater than 465 square metres (5,000 sq ft).
  • Category 1 businesses are required to adopt a practice and install signage that prohibits individuals from entering or remaining within their enclosed public space without a face covering.

Category 2

  • Category 2 covers businesses and institutions not covered in Category 1 which include, but are not limited to, office buildings, restaurants, places of worship, retail operations with a gross floor area less than 465 square metres (5,000 sq ft.), libraries, community centres, indoor sport/recreational facilities and gyms.
  • Category 2 businesses are required to adopt a social distancing policy that prohibits individuals from entering or remaining within their enclosed public space unless the individual can maintain, at all times, a physical distance of 2 metres (6ft) from all other individuals. Category 2 businesses must also post prominent, clearly visible signage at every public entrance indicating that individuals must maintain a 2m (6ft) from other individuals, and that a mask is required if that distance cannot be achieved. Under the by-law, businesses in Category 2 reserve the right to require individuals to wear masks within their premises regardless of whether social distancing can be maintained at all times.

The by-law outlines individuals who are exempt from wearing face coverings. These exemptions include, but are not limited to: children under the age of 10 and individuals with medical conditions and/or disabilities. Proof of an exemption is not required, and the public is asked to be respectful of those who may be exempt from wearing a face covering.

“This has been, and continues to be, a very polarizing issue. It would have been preferable for this decision to come from the Province or local Board of Health, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case,” stated Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “That being said, we have a duty to protect the community, especially given the influx of visitors coming to the area. We’ve taken a lot of steps over the past few months to ensure our numbers remain low, and we certainly don’t want to lose that momentum and traction. The approved face covering by-law – which takes into account feedback received from residents and businesses – is an added layer of defense in our battle with the virus,” Hewitt added.

Members of the public are reminded that face coverings should be used in combination with frequent hand washing and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Haldimand County By-Law No. 2191/20 will take effect August 1, 2020 and remain in place until November 2, 2020, unless otherwise amended or repealed. Violations may be reported to the COVID-19 enforcement hotline at 519-428-8019.

A number of resources, including a Frequently Asked Questions document, will be soon be available at HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19.

 

Haldimand County Council to review proposed face covering by-law

On Monday, July 27, Haldimand County Council will review a draft by-law that would require face coverings in specific enclosed public spaces or spaces where physical distancing cannot be achieved.

The intent of Council is to 1) introduce face covering regulations that are tailored to Haldimand County and 2) provide flexibility for certain businesses to develop face covering requirements relative to their specific circumstances and unique needs.

The decision to implement a by-law was made given mounting evidence of the effectiveness of face coverings in preventing the transmission of COVID-19, and consideration of actions taken by neighbouring municipalities, including Norfolk County, to introduce face covering regulations in the absence of a vaccine.

Haldimand County continues to rely on and follow the advice of the Medical Officer of Health – who serves both Haldimand and Norfolk counties as one health unit region – for guidance related to public health decisions. The Medical Officer of Health supports the use of face coverings where social distancing cannot be achieved, and the by-law under consideration aligns with this advice.

While Haldimand County believes public health issues like this should be dealt with as a Board of Health matter, Haldimand Council is in part introducing the face covering by-law to ensure consistency within the health unit region.

Overall, the intent is to enact a by-law requiring face coverings in enclosed public spaces where interactions of significant numbers of people are more likely, and where physical distancing is difficult or impossible. This includes, but is not limited to: convenience stores, grocery stores, banks and large retail operations. The by-law includes exemptions for persons with specific medical conditions and disabilities.

For smaller businesses and other indoor spaces, the proposed by-law would require the use of face coverings only when a business has identified that social distancing requirements cannot be achieved through other measures. Businesses will have the option of requiring face coverings if they choose to do so, however, all businesses will be required to post signage that indicates whether face coverings are required.

Over the past few weeks, the County has actively engaged in dialogue with residents, local Chambers of Commerce, BIAs, public health officials on the topic of face coverings and while there are certainly mixed opinions, a face covering by-law is one additional step to protect the health, safety and well-being of everyone that lives and works in the municipality.

Council will review the proposed face coverings by-law at a Special Council meeting (July 27, 9:30 a.m.) at the Haldimand County Administration Building (53 Thorburn St. S, Cayuga). The meeting will be live-streamed. Members of the public can read the draft by-law on the Council Meetings & Agendas page of HaldimandCounty.ca. Public comments regarding the proposed by-law can be provided in writing via e-mail to the Municipal Clerk at clerk@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Additional information related to the County’s COVID-19 response is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19.

Haldimand County moving into Stage 3 Friday, more facilities to gradually re-open

On Friday, July 24 at 12:01am, Haldimand County will be moving into Stage 3 of the Province’s re-opening plan. County staff are finalizing plans to re-open more facilities and amenities with physical distancing protocols and safety measures.

In Stage 3, gatherings of up to 100 people outdoors and 50 people indoors will be permitted. Playground equipment may be used, and team sports may also resume on a limited basis in accordance with Stage 3 public health requirements.

The following updates pertain to Haldimand entering Stage 3:

Arenas & walking tracks
Staff are currently working to:
– Re-open the Almas Pad (HCCC) for socially-distanced ice bookings by late August;
– Re-open the Clark Pad (HCCC), Cayuga Memorial Arena, Dunnville Memorial Arena and
Hagersville Arena for ice bookings by the end of September.
– Re-open the walking tracks at the Cayuga & Dunnville Memorial Arenas by the end of September

Playground equipment
All playground equipment will re-open for public use on Friday, July 24. Users should note that playground equipment will not be regularly sanitized and physical distancing rules remain in effect.

Pavilion rentals
Though pavilions are now open for use, bookings for private/organized functions at pavilions will not be taken for the remainder of summer. Pavilions will not be sanitized and physical distancing rules remain in effect.

Baseball diamonds
County-operated ball diamonds will not be accepting bookings for tournaments or games until further notice. Individuals who are interested in playing baseball – and meet all criteria listed in Stage 3 guidelines – will be connected with organizations who operate diamonds on behalf of the County.

Community halls
As of July 24, community halls may begin renting facilities (if they choose) for events that comply with Stage 3 requirements. As halls are operated via a license agreement with the County, staff will assist hall boards in navigating new public health regulations, protocols and procedures.

“Haldimand County continues to take a gradual, phased approach to re-opening facilities that align with provincial guidelines and keep the safety of staff and the community top-of-mind,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt. “As more facilities re-open and gathering restrictions loosen, I ask that everyone remain patient and continue being vigilant in their efforts to combat the virus,” Hewitt noted. Hewitt noted that community efforts to date have largely influenced Haldimand’s progression into Stage 3.

Members of the public are encouraged to follow the County on Facebook/Twitter and check HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19 regularly for the most up-to-date information on municipal services, facilities and related COVID-19 details. Other helpful information – including frequently asked questions and key contacts – is also available on this page.

For more information on Stage 3 requirements and what’s allowed to re-open, visit the Province of Ontario’s website.

 

Haldimand County Introduces Virtual Summer Programming For Children, Families

As parents and children look for interesting and innovative ways to fill their summer days this year, Haldimand County is taking a virtual approach to programs and activities.

Beginning Monday, July 20, staff will be releasing videos on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the next six (6) weeks, sharing activity options for children and families including ‘staycation’ day-trips and itineraries, sports and craft ideas, ‘how-to’ webinars and more. Three (3) contests will take place each week, and one Grand prize winner to be drawn at the end of summer. All details related to summer programming and how to participate is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/summer2020/.

Every week will feature 3 videos and 3 contests. ‘A Day in Haldimand’ (Mondays), ‘Discovery Days’ (Wednesdays) and ‘Throwback Thursday’ (Thursdays).

‘A Day in Haldimand’ will highlight one or two towns in the County and the facilities, activities and local restaurants currently open (with their safety guidelines) that will help make your day trip an event. Use the itinerary provided or mix it up, as this activity is part of the first weekly contest. Families can submit a photo or video showing how they engaged in one of the many different things to do from that particular week’s itinerary. The winning submission will receive a $25 gift card, to be selected from a list of local businesses.

‘Discovery Days’ will include activities that families and children can engage in together, such as crafts, experiments, games, and more. “Discovery Days” includes the second weekly contest, with families asked to submit a photo or video of the activities completed from that week’s video. The winning submission will receive a $5 gift card for a summer treat!

For ‘Throwback Thursday’, participants can go back in time and enjoy a Heritage Minute or interesting fact from Haldimand County’s Archives. Make sure you are watching these videos because they may include a special clue for our third weekly contest. A lucky winner will receive a Haldimand County swag bag.

Residents are encouraged to regularly check the County’s website (HaldimandCounty.ca) and social media accounts for updates related to virtual summer programming and the exciting ways to explore and enjoy summer in Haldimand!

Splash pads in Caledonia and Hagersville opening July 14

Beginning Tuesday, July 14, Haldimand County’s two splash pads—in Caledonia and Hagersville—will be opened to the public. Both pads will be open with regular summer hours, from 8am until 8pm.

“Following the opening of the County’s three outdoor pools last week, we’re pleased to announce that we can now welcome participants to enjoy our splash pads,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

The opening includes a number of health and safety protocols to ensure the public remains safe while using the splash pads during the pandemic, including:

  • Fencing to limit access to the splash pads, including a separate entrance and exit for participants;
  • Participant screening prior to entry;
  • Observance of social distancing protocols (six feet apart from individuals and/or a social bubble);
  • A maximum of twenty (20) participants at one time on the Caledonia splash pad and ten (10) in Hagersville;
  • Participants showered and dressed prior to screening/entry to the splash pad; and,
  • A 20-minute time slot on the splash pad per user followed by cleaning of the area by staff.

“We continue to remain conservative in our re-opening approach to ensure the health and safety of the public using our facilities,” noted Hewitt. “In the case of the County’s splash pads, we are fortunate to have an especially safe and efficient water recirculation system, including using chlorinated water which kills the coronavirus in seconds.”

Residents are encouraged to regularly check the County website (HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19) and social media accounts for updates related to splash pads, pools, recreation programming and associated public health protocols.

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