Haldimand County Public Library Offering Popular ‘Strengthen Your Mind’ Courses Online

Haldimand County Public Library, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society of Haldimand Norfolk, is offering its popular Strengthen Your Mind courses online.

The courses will be offered online through Zoom twice weekly (Tuesdays and Thursdays) starting Tuesday, February 9 through March 18. Courses will take place from 1:30-3:00pm.

The 6-week Strengthen Your Mind courses provide valuable and practical information for individuals wanting to enhance their memory. During the course, participants will practice and participate in brain challenging exercises and activities.

Topics that will be covered during the 6 weeks include memory and aging, learning styles, mental aerobics, exercise, strategies for enhancing memory, brain dominance, the five senses, stress, optimism and humour, nutrition and socialization, and library tools for mental strength.

Pre-registration is required for the free course. To register, visit the Haldimand Country Public Library website or Facebook page and click on the Strengthen Your Mind link to register.

Grandview Lodge residents, staff receive COVID-19 vaccine

On Thursday, January 14, residents and staff at Grandview Lodge received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In total, 109 residents and 33 staff received the vaccine on Wednesday, with additional staff vaccinations scheduled for a later date. Dr. Ahmed Kamouna, Grandview’s medical director, and a team of Paramedics and Grandview Lodge staff administered the vaccines.

“Today feels like the beginning of the end and that is exciting when it relates to a pandemic,” said Jennifer Jacob, Grandview Lodge’s Administrator. “We know this isn’t a cure and that we’re still in this battle, but there is a sense of relief knowing we are now better protected,” she noted. “We will continue to do everything we can to protect our staff and residents through the use of PPE, social distancing and hand hygiene.”

“This vaccine has been long-awaited by many and I could not be happier for Grandview Lodge staff, residents and resident families. There is still work to be done, but knowing we are one step closer to beating this virus is extremely welcome news,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt. “Much gratitude is owed to the vaccine team and all Grandview staff for their continued dedication,” Hewitt added.

According to the prioritization framework determined by the Province, vaccinations are being administered to those most at risk: residents of long-term care facilities and health care providers who are working in higher risk settings.

Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect against serious illnesses like COVID-19.

Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. This can reduce your risk of developing COVID-19 and make your symptoms milder if you do get it.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including the Ontario government’s vaccination plan, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario.

More information on Grandview Lodge’s response to COVID-19 is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/grandview-lodge.

Below: Val Eckersley, Grandview Resident and President of Grandview Lodge Resident Council, was the first resident to receive the vaccine, administered by Dr. Ahmed Kamouna, Medical Director Grandview Lodge

Below: Laura Cornwall, RPN Hillview/Infection Prevention and Control Nurse was the first staff member to receive the vaccine by a Haldimand County Paramedic who was on site to assist with the innoculation process of residents and staff.

Below: Members of Grandview’s vaccine team. Victoria Maxwell (RN), Kim Livingstone (ADON) and Kelly Wickett-Horton (RPN).

Haldimand County Facility Closures Extended Until February 11 In Accordance With Provincial Stay At Home Orders

On Tuesday, January 12, Premier Doug Ford declared a 28-day state of emergency for the province. As a result of this announcement, all Haldimand County facility closures currently in effect will extend until at least February 11, 2021.

The provincial orders issued on Tuesday have not resulted in any customer-facing service impacts beyond what was already in place at the beginning of the shutdown.

While the administration building is closed, staff remain available to assist by phone or email during regular hours (Mon-Fri, 8:30am to 4:30pm). Members of the public are encouraged to call 905-318-5932, use the contact form at HaldimandCounty.ca/connect or e-mail info@haldimandcounty.on.ca for assistance.

A number of municipal services are available online and do not require in-person visit. A list of service impacts and alternate service options is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19.

County staff will continue working closely with public health to monitor and respond to the local COVID-19 situation. Updates related to municipal services during the extended provincial shutdown will be shared with the community as required and continue to be posted regularly at HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County Emergency Services Reminds Residents To Stay Off Partially Frozen Waterways

Haldimand County Emergency Services is reminding the public to be extremely cautious around partially frozen waterways. Due to recent mild temperatures, venturing out onto ice for recreational activities is not safe and strongly discouraged.

“In Haldimand County we are lucky to be so close to Lake Erie, the Grand River, and an abundance of ponds, streams and tributaries that fulfill many recreational pursuits. Ice activities like skating and fishing can be enjoyed when conditions are favorable, but there will always be a level of risk,” said Jason Gallagher, Manager of Emergency Services and Fire Chief. “By venturing out right now, you’d be putting your safety and the safety of others in jeopardy,” Gallagher added.

According to safety agencies like the Red Cross, ice should be at least 20cm thick for a person to walk or skate on. There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice, however, precautions can be taken to reduce the risks. Understanding ice colour, location, weather and what to do in an emergency can help prevent tragedy.

Color and Depth

The colour of ice may be an indication of its strength − clear blue to black ice is strongest, and likely the deepest. You should only skate on ice that is 20+ cm thick. White opaque or snow ice should be avoided. Grey ice indicates the presence of water and is unsafe to stand on.

Location

Ice thickness is never consistent. The weakest ice will be in the center and along the edge of the water. Avoid streams and flowing water, even if they look frozen. Avoid ice that has recently frozen, thawed, and then frozen again.

Weather

Swings above zero can compromise the integrity of ice by melting existing ice or changing the water level, leaving unsafe spots in both the centre and shoreline of a water body.

Before going out on ice, you should always check ice conditions, be prepared for a worst-case scenario and have an emergency plan in place. Remember to abide by public health guidelines and practice social distancing when enjoying outdoor areas. For more information about ice safety, visit HaldimandCounty.ca/emergency-preparedness or RedCross.ca.

Statement from Mayor Hewitt & Council on the local COVID-19 situation – Jan 10

COVID-19 Update

First of all, Happy New Year to all of you. I hope that you had a great holiday season given the circumstances. I am excited that 2021 will be a different year and that ultimately it will be the year remembered as us turning the corner on this virus and conquering it in a way that we can all resume those loved activities that many of us look so forward to, such as travel, recreational sports, weddings and other social gatherings.

But first at this time, it has become quite clear that the second wave of the virus is/will be worse than the first. We are seeing an increase in numbers that are putting a significant strain on our hospitals. We have some short term hurdles to overcome before the light at the end of the tunnel becomes clearer.

I must say, we in Haldimand-Norfolk have taken the approach of managing this COVID with the respect that it deserved. For that, our experience and numbers have been better than many other places in Ontario. Unfortunately, we are within the boundaries of the most populated area of the Country, let alone the Province, and so we will be a part of the next steps the Ford government takes to prevent the further spread of this virus. In the coming days further restrictions will be forthcoming and it will have an affect on us all.

While I cannot begin to imagine all nor explain here the tolls that this pandemic has had on each of our residents and businesses, I am aware of many personal circumstances, and no one situation is more dire than the other. Whether it is the kids missing out on quality education, or graduates having little to no job opportunities, or small businesses forced to shut down. Our elders in retirement homes with no connection to families or friends; our first responders working day and night with little to no rest in between. The examples go on and on.

I continue to ask where possible: help a friend, help a neighbour, help your local business, be a positive beacon for those around you. Misery loves company and yet it serves nothing but more anxiety.

For those of you that have fear, know you are are part of loving and compassionate community.  Our community is second to none when it comes to helping our people out. I truly believe that within us all we have the capacity to ensure that no one is left alone in this difficult time. My cup is half full and I see the promise of a much better future for Haldimand-Norfolk and I hope that you can help share that message.

Stay safe,

Ken Hewitt

Update on Caledonia protest coming soon..

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

2021 Non-Recreational Burn Permits Now Available Online

Haldimand County has launched a new, online burn permit application for residents. The convenient online process allows residents of rural areas to apply for and receive burn permits without an in-person visit to the Administration Building. Residents who wish to apply may access the form at HaldimandCounty.ca/apply.

Burn permits are required for all open air, non-recreational fires. Burn permits are NOT issued for properties located within urban areas. Residents who are unsure whether their property falls within an urban boundary are encouraged to check the interactive permit eligibility map.

In order to receive a burn permit, specific requirements must be met.

Some requirements for conducting an open air burn:

  • Non-recreational burns shall be at least 60 meters from anything combustible, buildings or roadways
  • Open air burns shall be attended and controlled at all times
  • Open air burning shall not be conducted on foggy, humidex or air quality alert days
  • Open air burning shall not be conducted during burn bans
  • Open air burning shall not be conducted when the wind speed exceeds 20 KM/hour
  • Open air burning shall not be conducted when the wind direction is frequently changing
  • An open air burn permit must be on-site with a responsible individual during any burn
  • Open air burning shall be conducted between sunrise and sunset
  • Items such as (but not limited to) pressure-treated woods, metals, asphalt, tires, asbestos or vinyl shall not be burned
  • Open air burning shall be conducted in a burn area of manageable size not exceeding 6 meters by 6 meters
  • Open air burning shall not produce smoke that impacts the visibility of motorists
  • Open air burning shall not produce smoke that negatively impacts surrounding properties
  • A means of extinguishing an open air burn must be available
  • All open air burning must be completely extinguished before dusk

Once a burn permit application is received and approved through the new online system, applicants will be e-mailed a copy of the permit within 3 business days after submission. Permits are issued for the duration of the calendar year (e.g. 2021) regardless of the date the application is submitted.

Residents are reminded of the Haldimand County Open Air Burn by-law and urged to practice fire safety when conducting any type of burn. Questions regarding fire safety or open air burn requirements may be directed to the County’s Fire Prevention Bureau.

Complaints and fire responses to addresses conducting non-recreational open air burning without a proper permit, or individuals who are not following all rules and regulations outlined in the permit, will be found in contravention of Haldimand County By-Law 1662-16 and may be subject to fines and cost recovery for services.

COVID-19 Outbreak Declared At Grandview Lodge After Asymptomatic Staff Member Tests Positive

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Grandview Lodge. As a result of protocols requiring regular testing of Grandview Lodge staff to ensure resident safety, one asymptomatic staff member was confirmed to have tested positive on Thursday, January 7. The staff member is currently self-isolating.

At this time, Grandview Lodge is working with Public Health to ensure the safety of all residents and staff. Resident testing is underway.

General Manager of Corporate & Social Services, Cathy Case, said “Grandview Lodge staff have worked tirelessly to protect our most vulnerable during this pandemic and will continue to do so through this most recent outbreak. The continued support of the community is greatly appreciated.”

Residents will be isolated to their rooms during the outbreak as per Public Health direction. In accordance with Ministry of Health requirements, essential caregivers are still permitted within the home but are required to follow proper protocols with respect to full personal protective equipment.

Further updates will be provided as necessary.

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County Administration Building, Other Public Facilities To Close In Accordance With Provincial Shutdown Orders

As a result of holiday closures and the Ontario Government declaring a province-wide shutdown, all Haldimand County facilities – with the exception of the Canborough Waste Management Facility (CWMF) – will be closed to the public from December 24 at 3pm until January 23, 2021 unless the shutdown is extended by the Province.

All in-person meetings (e.g. Council), facility bookings (e.g. ice time) and programs in County facilities (e.g. public skates) scheduled to occur during this shutdown period have been cancelled or postponed.

While the administration building is closed, staff will be available to assist customers by phone or email during regular hours (Mon-Fri, 8:30am to 4:30pm). Members of the public are encouraged to contact the County at 905-318-5932, use the Contact form at HaldimandCounty.ca/connect or info@haldimandcounty.on.ca for assistance.

A number of municipal services are also available online and do not require in-person visit. A list of alternate service options during the shutdown period is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/covid-19/.

The CMWF will remain open, however, only debit and credit payments will be accepted. Outdoor Christmas tree recycling depots will also remain open. The Re-Use program bin located at CWMF will be closed. Libraries will remain open for curbside pickup services only.

All Haldimand County facility closures, program cancellations, meeting postponements and other related details are available at HaldimandCounty.ca/covid-19/ & will be updated regularly.

To learn more about essential services and what’s open/what’s closed during the Province-wide shutdown, visit the Ontario Government website.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

2020 Uniquely Haldimand Photo Contest Winners announced

Haldimand County has announced its 2020 Uniquely Haldimand Photo Contest winners.

A panel of judges comprised of County staff, community figures & a local photographer/filmmaker closely examined more than 200 submissions and determined the grand prize, second prize, third prize and honorable mention winners. The winners include:

1st Place: Cayuga Farm Scene by Doug & Flora Miller

2nd Place: Blue on the Grand by Bob Thomson

3rd Place: Dawn on the Grand River Bridge by Susan Coulthart

Honourable Mention: The Grand Colours of Fall by Robert Barnes

In addition to contest prizes (gift cards for local shops & culinary experiences), winning photographs will be displayed at the new Cayuga Library + Heritage Centre in late January.

Special thanks are owed to contest judges Graeme Bachiu (Windecker Road Films), Kaitlyn
Clark (The Haldimand Press), Yvonne Van De Wiele (92.9 The Grand FM), Karen Richardson (Haldimand Museums) and Jerri Whiting (Haldimand County) for their participation and thorough, thoughtful examination of all entries.

Details about next year’s Uniquely Haldimand photo contest will be announced in fall 2021. More information on the Uniquely Haldimand Photo Contest and a gallery of past winners is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/photocontest.

Statement from Mayor Hewitt and Council regarding COVID-19, Caledonia protest

COVID-19 Update

Yesterday I was on a conference call with the Premier and several Ministers discussing the rollout of the COVID vaccine for all of Ontario. There will be 3 phases to this rollout and the first phase will focus on the most vulnerable and emergency services personnel. The first phase will take place in the first quarter of 2021.

The second phase, which will include the more general population, is expected to begin in early April and will be distributed to those that choose to get vaccinated. The third phase will ultimately follow the same protocols as the current flu vaccinations and will likely be available sometime in the fall of 2021.

This rollout is unprecedented and I assure you that there will be growing pains. There are still many questions and processes to answer and to determine, but it is exciting that the conversation of a vaccine is now taking place.

While I appreciate that today it is still frustrating for many of you, your patience and endurance is why we are, as a percentage of population versus positive tests, one of the best in the country and in the world. That is no exception here in Haldimand-Norfolk. That all rests with all of you who have taken the steps to protect yourself and to protect those around you.

With Christmas around the corner, many are faced with the challenges of managing family gatherings and as in the past, we simply ask that you make the decisions that best protect your self, your family, and your community.

There appears to be light at the end of this and it has become visible; here’s hoping to getting there.

Caledonia Protest Update

While it may not seem like much is happening as we continue to deal with these blockades, I can tell you that there have been many meetings, conversations and exchanges with all parties involved.

Let me first say that I fully support anyone’s right to protest or to assemble, but destruction of property and the closure of roads crosses that line. When someone exercises their rights at the expense of another’s, it is my opinion they have gone too far.

For that reason the County has sought an injunction and will continue to stand behind that injunction until there is a definitive agreement between those that will demonstrate these occurrences will no longer happen. Caledonia and Haldimand cannot continue to be the sacrificial lamb for anyone who wants to come down here and demonstrate for a cause.

Over the past couple of weeks Councillor Lawrence and I have met with Skyler Williams to discuss plans moving forward. I have met with Chief Mark Hill and I have discussed at length concerns and plans with Minister Greg Rickford.

I continue to have ongoing dialogue with the OPP and while this injunction does hang over them and the expectation to re-open these roads are a must, it is with the most delicate and peaceful approach that everyone wants to see said roads open.

Nobody is advocating for a confrontation and no one wants to see any violence occur as a result from one. It is that very reason that is motivating everyone to move as quick as possible, (which I know is not quick enough for many of you).

I firmly believe that there are some real solutions here and some real opportunities for the Province, Haldimand and Six Nations. The Feds/Province share my optimism and they are prepared to take the next steps with Six Nations and are only waiting for them to assemble in a way that they can be represented with the expected transparency from the territory.

Patience, while I know is thin for so many reasons, is what is being asked of us from those involved. Since at the County level, we have the most at stake and the least to affect change with, we are at the whims of those very people and we must listen to all the voices who have been directly or indirectly affected in this ongoing protest on both sides.​

Stay Safe,

Mayor Ken Hewitt

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

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