Haldimand County Fire Department Reminding Residents Of Open Air Fire Burning By-Law

With the return of warm weather there has been an increase in the number of recreational and non-recreational fires in Haldimand County. The Haldimand County Fire Department is reminding residents of the Open Air Burn By-law and asking for everyone’s cooperation to ensure that outdoor fires are safe and controlled. During this hot & humid weather, any burning should be limited to recreational fires.

Recreational fires are allowed in all areas without a permit as long as the fire meets all of the regulations set out in the Open Air Burn By-law. These regulations include, but are not limited to: ensuring the fire is contained and supervised at all times and that it is set back at least 10 meters from combustible buildings/structures. A means of extinguishing the fire must be available and measures must be in place to ensure that no one is adversely affected by the products of combustion (smoke and odours).

Non-recreational fires are only permitted in certain areas of the County and require a burn permit that can be purchased at all County offices. Non-recreational fires must meet all of the regulations set out in the by-law. These regulations include, but are not limited to: ensuring fires are supervised at all times and contained to an area not exceeding 6 meters by 6 meters. Non-recreational fires must also be set back at least 60 meters from all buildings, roadways and anything combustible.

Open air fires that are not conducted according to the by-law present potential safety hazards. Anyone conducting an open air fire that violates the by-law are subject to fines, provincial prosecution and recovery of costs required to respond to and/or extinguish the fire.

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.

Haldimand County Launching New Online E-Bidding System September 3

Haldimand County is making the switch to an online e-bidding system on September 3, 2019. The new system simplifies the procurement process for vendors and contractors and makes it easy to receive bid opportunities, addenda notifications, site meeting reminders, bid results & more.

The new system – called bids&tenders – provides vendors with a number of online, self-serve options. With the launch of the new system, tenders, proposals & prequalifications will be posted and available exclusively on bids&tenders free of charge. The bids&tenders system provides a custom vendor dashboard that displays all active and relevant opportunities.

At this time, there will be no change to the actual bid document submission process.

Haldimand County is offering two training sessions for vendors, with hands-on demonstrations and account setup assistance. Interested parties are asked to bring their own device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc). Vendors may choose from one of the following drop-in training sessions:

Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Time: 1p.m. OR 6p.m.
Location: Haldimand County Fire Station 4 (11 Thorburn Street, Cayuga ON N0A 1E0)

The training sessions are optional and geared towards vendors who wish to learn more about bids&tenders features or require help setting up their account. There is no cost to attend and no RSVP is required. Anyone seeking further information about the bids&tenders system or Haldimand County procurement practices may e-mail

Haldimand Museums Hosting Grand River Music Trivia Cruise In Partnership With 92.9 The Grand FM

Haldimand Museums has partnered with 92.9 The Grand FM to offer a Woodstock-themed Grand River Music Trivia Cruise featuring music trivia from the 1960s and 1970s. The cruise is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17 (5 – 7pm) and will depart at 5pm sharp at the Big Creek Boat Farm in Caledonia.

92.9 The Grand FM morning show hosts Peter Jaycock and Yvonne Van De Wiele will be providing entertainment & hosting the trivia portion of the evening. Guests can expect a variety of delicious snacks – both sweet and savoury – provided by Shelly’s Family Dining.

The cost to attend is $25.00 per person. Pre-registration for this event must be completed online via or at any Haldimand County Satellite office.

For additional information about this program, contact A full schedule of current museum offerings is available in the Spring/Summer 2019 Community Guide.

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. 

Press Release: Summer Programming For Kids Kicks Off At Wilson MacDonald Museum

This summer, Wilson MacDonald Memorial School & Museum is offering a number of fun, artistic and educational programs for kids in its extremely unique, one-room schoolhouse setting.

Daily programs run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at each session, kids will take part in at least three projects – from wind chimes and other pieces of garden artwork and crafts to tie-dye pillowcases, decorating cupcakes, painting and more. Daily workshop themes include:

Thursday, July 11 – Whimsical Wind Chimes

Friday, July 12 – Art Attack

Thursday, July 18 – Woodworking 101

Friday, July 19 – Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Thursday, July 25 – Winter Wonderland

Friday, July 26 – Scientific Art

Thursday, August 1 – Summer Camp Survivors

Friday, August 2 – Somewhere at the Beach

Thursday, August 8 – Beauty Spa Day

Friday, August 9 – Cartoonist Camp

Thursday, August 15 – Knight at the Museum

Friday, August 16 – Silly Scientists

As well as learning new skills and creating arts and crafts, participants will be able to tour the Museum’s latest exhibits — including the current “Auld Selkirk”, with its nod to the region’s Scottish plaids — and learn about the average school day in a one-room classroom.

Designated a National Historic Site of Canada, Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum in Selkirk is dedicated to preserving the history of rural education, the heritage of the surrounding community and the memory of poet Wilson Pugsley MacDonald, who was born in the neighbouring hamlet of Cheapside and attended the school house as a young boy.

Workshop fees are $26.25 per child per day and include all supplies. Registration may be completed online at or in-person at any County office. Anyone seeking further information about the museum or its programs are encouraged to call 905-776-3319.

Haldimand County Firefighters Conducting Annual Household Smoke Detector, Carbon Monoxide Alarm Inspection Program

Over the next few months, Haldimand County’s volunteer firefighters will be out in the community conducting carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm checks. The annual program aims to educate residents about the importance of having working alarms and provide assistance with installation and/or battery replacement.

The annual inspections are one of many public education initiatives in the County’s Fire Prevention program, which is mandatory under the Province’s Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. In 2018, the Fire Department inspected 542 homes and installed 42 smoke alarms, 58 carbon monoxide detectors and 24 batteries.

“People are very receptive to us coming to their door,” said Jason Gallagher, Haldimand County’s Manager of Emergency Services & Fire Chief. “Some of them are actually surprised when we tell them their equipment needs to be updated. It’s just not top-of-mind, and it really has to be,” he continued.

As per the Ontario Building Code, smoke alarms must be installed be on every floor of a dwelling and outside all sleeping areas within a home. CO detectors need to be adjacent to sleeping areas as well as fuel burning appliances in the home or an attached garage.

Gallagher noted that while many households pass the inspection, firefighters always come upon cases where alarms are completely absent or installed but have either dead batteries or none at all. “It’s important to note that residents won’t be penalized or fined if, during a check, firefighters discover that they don’t have working alarms. We’ll simply provide an alarm or batteries and help get them installed,” Gallagher continued.

Simple smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector tips:

– Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home. For added protection, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms.

– Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage. For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of your home according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

– Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Change the batteries every year.

– Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors wear out over time. Replace these according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Residents with questions about fire prevention are encouraged to make use of the resources available on the County website or contact the County’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 905-318-5932.

Haldimand Museums Hosting 15th Annual Car And Truck Show June 23

Haldimand Museums will be hosting its 15th Annual Car & Truck Show on Sunday, June 23 at the Selkirk Community Park (17 Kent Street, Selkirk) from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Admission to the family-friendly event is by donation; a $5.00 entry fee applies to vehicles.

The popular annual event provides a meeting ground for vehicle enthusiasts from around Southern Ontario. “We had a great turn-out last year and the show was great fun for everyone,” said Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum Curator Dana Stavinga. “We are hoping that the weather will be cooperative but in any case, it’s a wonderful day for car lovers.”

While the event is centered around cars and trucks, there will be a silent auction, door prizes and trophies for drivers. DJ Frank Vessero will be on site playing music from the 50’s and 60’s and Shelly’s Family Dining from Kohler will be serving up a variety of food.

For information about the Car Show please contact the Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum at 905-776-3319.

From left to right: Fred Stevenson Francis (Haldimand Museums Advisory Board), Bob Tietz, Bill Mageran, owner, 56 Ford F100, Kathy and Keith Schaeffer (1937 Ford) and Rick Hughes.