Residents Reminded To Replace Batteries In Smoke/CO Alarms When Turning Clocks Back This Weekend

Clocks will fall back one hour at 2am on November 1 and Haldimand County Emergency Services recommends that residents install new batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks.

“In order for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to do their job, they need to have working batteries,” explained Captain Richard Geerdink. “At least once a year, old batteries should be replaced with new batteries. When you change your clocks this November 1, Haldimand Emergency Services wants everyone to take the time to install new batteries in all alarms.”

In order to survive a fire, you need early warning and know what to do when the smoke alarms sound. Working smoke alarms are required on every floor of the home and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, it is also recommended to install smoke alarms inside all bedrooms.

Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

Tampering with or removing the batteries from your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code can result in a fine from $360 up to $50,000.

Consider replacing expired or old alarms with combination alarms, which have the capability of alarming for both smoke and carbon monoxide emergencies.

Residents who have questions about fire/CO prevention may also contact the Fire Prevention Bureau directly at 905-318-5932 for guidance. Assistance is available for low-income or vulnerable residents who need support obtaining fire/CO alarms or batteries.

Statement from Mayor Hewitt and Council regarding Caledonia protest

Well, if there was any doubt regarding the peaceful approach of these protestors – actually professional agitators as some could be called – we have seen clearly their real actions and their complete disregard for public infrastructure and the officers sworn to protect and serve the public. Their actions are despicable and unforgivable in a time where our first responders should be given the utmost respect in helping our communities through these difficult times.

To suggest that the OPP started a confrontation giving these individuals the idea to strip the very rights of those living in Caledonia by the destruction of several main roads is completely preposterous and further demonstrates that other agendas exist. Violence is not being promoted by the OPP, the courts or us locally. The violence exists with those that were clearly seen on video by the OPP.

OPP do not just start firing weapons into crowds because they are bored. Those insinuations are purely an effort to garner support of their misguided decisions. These same peaceful protestors, despite our efforts, have to date said “NO” to both OPP and Six Nation Police escorting Hydro workers in to restore power from the burned out pole for residents living on the adjacent farm. They currently are running on a generator to provide heat and hydro to their home since the incident. That is the true picture of the people that some feel obliged to support. They should take a harder look a their own actions.

Another very disturbing issue and the only thing that I can agree with the protestors on is that no one has heard any responses from the Federal government who carries all the weight in terms of discussions to be had with members of Six Nations. It is disgusting that with all the pleas from all parties we still have no engagement from them.

I have been in contact with the Provincial Minister Greg Rickford and he agrees with the position of getting the Federal government involved to engage leaders on Six Nations.

People have asked “what can be done?” I encourage you to in every possible way contact both the Provincial and Federal governments. They must engage, they must put forth a path to get this into a board room and off our streets.


Caledonia Protest Update

On Thursday, October 22, 2020, following the granting of permanent injunctions to Foxgate Developments and Haldimand County to prohibit the continued occupation of the development site in Caledonia or on municipal property, a group of protestors began illegal and violent actions to block and vandalize municipal and Provincial property and roads.

While Haldimand County has consistently supported the need for senior levels of government to address outstanding indigenous land claims in our area, the actions of a few that flaunt our basic institutions and the rule of law must be condemned. No matter how important an issue may be, deliberately taking illegal actions that create chaos for others cannot be tolerated. The end does not justify the means in a civil society regardless of historic injustices.

Haldimand County is using all of its resources and influence with the Province, the Ontario Provincial Police and Six Nations to encourage and promote a peaceful restoration of the blocked roads and end to the illegal occupation of lands. We do not believe that the actions taken yesterday reflect the values of the wider Six Nations community, nor have the support of its leaders and we are hopeful that the community will similarly condemn the use of illegal tactics and take action to help resolve the matter quickly and peacefully.

Residents who are impacted by these actions are asked to remain calm and have patience as we work toward a resolution of this very fluid situation. The County is taking steps to ensure that fire and paramedic services remain available to respond quickly to any calls for service and that, as much as possible, adequate traffic management initiatives are in place and all services continue to be provided. Residents are encourage to visit for information on road closures and service changes that may occur as a result of the current situation.

Mayor Ken Hewitt said “we recognize how difficult and unfair it is to our community to regularly be dramatically impacted as pawns in a dispute in which we are not a party. The current road blockades and damage to them need to be resolved immediately and anyone who believes in a just and fair society where laws have meaning should be advocating to the Province to take appropriate steps in this regard.”

Statement from Mayor Ken Hewitt & Council regarding McKenzie Meadows occupation

A permanent injunction has been granted by Justice Harper to both Foxgate Developments and Haldimand County.

Sadly, Six Nations missed an opportunity today to bring both Crowns into court.  As I mentioned, Skyler had the opportunity to help further the cause that everyone on Six Nations has been long awaiting and hoping for.

His choice to continue to abuse the process and openly defy the court that was prepared to facilitate the Crown legally into the proceedings has let all of Six Nations and those in Caledonia affected down.

He does not want to be called a leader, but his actions over the past few months have warranted that and he has assumed a role with his postings, his ask for monies, and his support of violent actions that have transpired over time.

I have and will always support a process that brings the Nations together to adopt a transparent methodology that will advance the Haldimand Tract claims. It must be done peacefully and respectfully.   None of which would be consistent of the actions of those on McKenzie Meadows.

Striking a working table that can capture the needs of those on Six Nations and ensuring their voices are heard within the context of what could be Nation to Nation would be a positive step in achieving a solution. One that many people could get behind.

He has been clear that he does not lead his people, and I would agree with him on that. Most do not lead, but many follow. When decisions are made by people of influence, such as Skyler that ultimately affect others, it will bring scrutiny and many opinions. A decision made will never capture the interests of everyone especially one so polarizing as ongoing land disputes.

So again I would ask what is the true agenda of these protestors and Skyler? It is not to advance the claims process because they passed on that opportunity. Any argument made forthwith now carries no weight with respect to the outstanding claims that are in front of the Federal Courts.

Stay safe,

Mayor Ken Hewitt

Statement from Mayor Ken Hewitt & Council regarding McKenzie Meadows occupation

Statement from Mayor Ken Hewitt & Council regarding McKenzie Meadows occupation – October 18, 2020

As we approach the Oct 22nd court date, Skyler Williams has a very important decision to make. In his, and those occupying the site, have successfully been able to bring the issues forward and now have a court and Justice prepared to allow for his constitutional challenge. As a proclaimed leader of those that have occupied the Mackenzie Meadows site, I would ask – what is the true agenda?  If it is in fact for the greater good of Six Nations, then he should seriously consider the offer from Justice Harper.

Six Nations have been waiting for the past 20 years to have their day in court with the federal government in hopes to be able to begin the process in resolving an outstanding claim with respect to monies owed for land acquisitions along the Grand River. Currently, this is not to be heard until 2022.

Justice Harper’s offer to accept Skyler’s request to fully participate in the proceedings if he complies with the injunction, is a great opportunity for the Six Nations community.

On October 5, Skyler filed an application to bring various allegations against the federal government, such as a failure to consult, breach of duty, and a failure to implement the recommendations of the Ipperwash Enquiry. These issues are much larger than the occupation of the current construction site.  Skyler now has the door open to bring the Federal Government into legal proceedings. Hopefully he chooses to do so; there is a lot more to talk about than Landback Lane.

The Federal Government does need to take responsibility here, and the innocent home-buyers or developers should not be caught in the middle.

As has always been stated, the community benefit of Nation to Nation dialogue far outweighs the needs, desires or agendas of the few. Justice Harper is allowing the use of his court to enable that opportunity for Six Nations.

Standing in defiance not only extinguishes that opportunity for ALL the members of Six Nations, but would suggest otherwise an agenda that is beyond the settlement of ongoing longstanding issues between our two nations.

It has always been my desire and the Councils to see a positive and peaceful resolution and that time has arrived.  The choice on how to proceed rests with those on the site and that choice can positively affect the outcome for those on Six Nations and Haldimand looking for results.

Stay Safe,

Mayor Ken Hewitt



Haldimand County Adopts New, Modernized Forest Conservation By-Law

On Tuesday, October 13, Haldimand County Council formally adopted a new Forest Conservation By-Law (No. 2204/20) to replace regional forest conservation by-laws that have been in effect since prior to 1981. The new by-law is aligned with current forestry standards and demonstrates Haldimand’s ongoing commitment to protecting natural resources.

Over the past two decades there have been many changes in the realm of forest management and certain activities permitted under the former Regional Forest Conservation By-law (enacted in 2000) are no longer considered best practices in the forestry industry. In 2017, staff initiated the forest conservation by-law review process to bring Haldimand’s forestry regulations up to contemporary standards.

The Forest Conservation By-law review was conducted over a 3-year period and largely informed by consultations with Haldimand’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, conservation authorities/committees, forestry industry experts, neighbouring municipalities, private landowners and the broader community. The new by-law sets out tree cutting regulations that balance the ecological need for woodland conservation with landowners’ property management and/or agricultural needs.

The new Forest Conservation By-Law:

  • promotes Good Forestry Practices to assist landowners, staff and forestry professionals when planning for and conducting tree cutting activities;
  • introduces a simple, straightforward permitting system that offers landowners more flexibility to meet personal land management objectives while protecting woodland habitats;
  • deregulates isolated woodlands that are less than one (1) hectare in size and provides additional exemptions for tree cutting;
  • sets out a defined approval and appeal process for regulated woodland clear-cutting;
  • implements harsher penalties for tree-cutting activities that contravene the by-law.

Forestry staff will be working closely with the community and private woodland owners to implement the new by-law and provide ongoing education with respect to tree conservation in Haldimand.

More information on the new Forest Conservation By-law (No. 2204/20) – including a new permit application form  – will be available shortly on the County’s Foresty web page. 

7th Annual Uniquely Haldimand Photo Contest Running October 15 – December 1, 2020

The County’s Annual Uniquely Haldimand Photo Contest – now in its 7th year – will be accepting entries from October 15 to December 1, 2020. Residents and visitors are invited to submit photos of Haldimand’s beautiful environment, architecture and vibrant community life for a chance to win some great prizes.

With 87km of gorgeous Lake Erie waterfront, the Grand River, sprawling countryside and charming towns, Haldimand County is one of the most picturesque destinations on Ontario’s southwest coast. Its abundance of outdoor recreation options, scenic lookouts, community events, historic sites and culinary experiences make it an incredible place to live, explore and photograph.

Photos eligible for entry must depict a scene from within the boundaries of Haldimand County. They must be original, digital high resolution photos no more than two years old and not previously published. Participants may submit their photos via the online submission portal, accessible at Photos must be submitted by Tuesday, December 1 and comply with all rules and regulations.

A panel of judges comprised of both County staff, community figures & local photographers will closely examine all submissions in December. Four winners will be announced prior to the end of 2020 with 1 Grand Prize, 1 Second Prize and 2 Honorable Mentions awarded.

Prizes include gift certificates for unique culinary experiences, Haldimand County souvenirs and more. Winning photographs will be featured in an exhibit within the new Cayuga Library + Heritage Centre and displayed permanently on the County website.

For more information and to view past winners, visit

Statement from Mayor Hewitt & Council regarding Caledonia protest

Statement from Mayor and Council – October 9, 2020


The OPP and levels of government are not criminalizing the protestors at McKenzie Meadows.  The court issuing the injunction is not criminalizing them either.  The only people responsible for being charged with crimes are themselves and those that support and perpetuate the illegal activity. Just because we do not agree with another’s assertion does not mean anyone can step outside of the law to assert their own. No one gets a free pass or is bestowed with the right to be above the law just because they believe that someone else is wrong.

It has been said many times that we can all agree on the past failures that our Nation was built on and I would hazard to guess that most of us today are not directly responsible for those past deeds. However, we are capable of changing the course and direction or path we have been on. Dialogue towards a positive outcome is always the intent of any government and I am sure that those on Six Nations would look to the same.

Positive dialogue cannot occur under the veil of threats and hostility that exists on McKenzie Meadows.  You cannot call it peaceful when the actions of these few are calculated against any opposing action of others. A peaceful protest or exercising rights cannot be at the expense or rights of others.

There is currently a warrant for the arrest of Skyler Williams. In society today our police forces work together to help each other as the brothers they so often call themselves. I find it appalling that the OPP cannot extend the warrant within the boundary of Six Nations. Skyler each night can enjoy a peaceful sleep without interruption while many here in Caledonia continue to be at the brunt of tantrums when the police service is trying to uphold our laws.

As I mentioned earlier, Six Nations needs to assume some accountability for the failure of negotiations as does our governments.  For any meaningful conversation to take place it requires the efforts of both to find a transparent and effective method to represent the needs of both Nations. Without that framework, the posturing that continues to happen on the streets of Haldimand only exasperates things and drives wedges further into the social fabric that has afforded us many years of continued existence.

There are a number of great opportunities other than just the assertion of the claim itself, that could be celebrated for the benefit of all and many of these items are on there table and have been discussed in the past and would provide fundamental things such as fresh water to the whole of the territory and improve everyone’s social position.

Caledonia/Six Nations could be seen as a celebration of success and not one of burning tires and frustration for all. It requires some efforts from all and it must come from a good place, a place not filled with anxiety and anger. It must come from the ability to understand, to compromise and to see the end game that benefits future generations. It will NEVER be a successful ending if at the expense of one another.

Haldimand County Coat of Arms

Haldimand County Celebrating Small Business Week Virtually With Workshops/Webinars for Local Biz

This year, Haldimand County is celebrating Small Business Week virtually by offering online workshops and webinars throughout the week of October 19-23. Online workshops and webinars are being offered in partnership with the Brantford Brant Business Resource Centre (BRC); they are free and open to all local business owners within Haldimand.

Small Business Week is a national celebration that recognizes Canadian entrepreneurs, their successes and community contributions. This year’s theme is “Forging the Way Forward” and focuses on recognizing the countless examples of entrepreneurial resilience happening right now across the country.

Small businesses help shape and enhance the personality of our communities; they understand the needs of the neighborhoods we live in and are part of what make them great. Celebrating small Business Week is an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all businesses that contribute to making Haldimand such an amazing place to live and work.

“Haldimand County strives to support and celebrate our community’s local businesses, and with this year’s virtual format, we hope to provide local entrepreneurs with the tools they need to thrive now and into the future,” said Lidy Romanuk, Haldimand’s Manager of Economic Development and Tourism.

Small Business Week virtual offerings include a series of inspiring and informative daily webinars, including a keynote address from innovative entrepreneurs John and Mark X Cronin, founders of ‘John’s Crazy Socks’. Other webinar topics include accessing and analyzing market research to inform business decisions, working and selling remotely in a digital world, managing social media and more.

Business owners are encouraged to browse the Small Business Week schedule and register online at For additional information e-mail or call 905 318 5932 ext. 6331.

Haldimand County Seeking Resident Input On Urban And Rural Speed Limits

Haldimand County is seeking input on proposed changes to current speed limits in all urban neighbourhoods and select rural areas. An online survey has been developed to collect resident feedback, results of which will be considered by staff and Council.

The first proposal is to reduce the speed limit to 40 km/h (from the standard 50 km/h) in all urban neighborhoods, including the smaller hamlets and villages such as Selkirk, Fisherville and York.

The second proposal is to lower the speed limit to 40 km/h in some rural areas, in particular South Coast Drive, Lakeshore Road and North Shore Drive along the lakeshore.

The primary objective of these proposed changes is to reduce vehicle speed and thereby increase road safety in areas with higher pedestrian/cyclist traffic.

A link to the online survey can be found on the main page of; the survey may also be accessed directly via

Residents are encouraged to take the survey and submit comments by November 8, 2020. To request paper copies of the survey, visit the Haldimand County Administration Building or contact the County’s Engineering division by e-mail or phone: 905-318-5932 ext. 6404.