The ABC’s of 2018

As is our tra­di­tion, Glen­garry News ed­i­tor Steven War­bur­ton has combed through the edi­tions of 2018 in or­der to bring you this al­pha­bet­ized year-in-re­view.

The Glengarry News - - News -

A is for ac­ci­dents on High­way 401, which made life dif­fi­cult for South Glen­garry this year. In the early sum­mer, Mayor Ian McLeod, sounded off about the dam­age caused to town­ship roads when­ever traf­fic has to be di­verted off the 401 be­cause of an ac­ci­dent. That’s partly be­cause mo­torists will use their GPS to find the quick­est way back on the 401 rather than sim­ply use the town­ship’s emer­gency de­tour route. All that ex­tra traf­fic, which in­cludes many trans­ports, cre­ates a lot of ex­tra wear and tear on mu­nic­i­pal roads.

B is for busi­nesses that were sold in Glen­garry this year. We can think of two big ones – Betty Bread and Moulure Alexan­dria Mould­ing. The for­mer was sold to La Boulan­gerie Auger, of StJérôme. The ac­qui­si­tion was ex­pected to cre­ate 30 jobs. Moulure Alexan­dria Mould­ing was ac­quired by the At­lanta-based U.S. Lum­ber in the sum­mer. MAM pres­i­dent An­dré Cho­lette said he ex­pected the merger would al­low the com­pany to hire more peo­ple.

C is for the Com­mu­nity Im­prove­ment Plan which, af­ter years of op­er­a­tion in North Glen­garry, fi­nally made its de­but in the south. The town­ship held a num­ber of in­for­ma­tion ses­sions in the spring, show­ing busi­ness own­ers how they could use loans and grants to beau­tify their store­fronts.

D is for drought, which is some­thing Glen­gar­ri­ans ex­pe­ri­enced in the mid-sum­mer af­ter three months of ab­nor­mally light rain­fall. Flows in area wa­ter cour­ses were less than 70 per cent of their usual sum­mer rates and the South Na­tion Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity even is­sued a low wa­ter ad­vi­sory on July 11.

E is for eval­u­a­tion of the Raisin River, which the Raisin River Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity is­sued in May. It was not a good re­port; the river it­self earned a C av­er­age on its re­port card and a num­ber of South Glen­garry wa­ter cour­ses re­ceived F grades. Some of the creeks had ab­nor­mally low for­est cov­er­age, although the RRCA said that wa­ter qual­ity had been im­prov­ing over the past two decades.

F is for fraud, which hit the Glen­garry High­land Games hard this year. Julie Robert­son, 52, who worked with the Games as well as the Kenyon Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety, al­legedly mis­ap­pro­pri- ated $600,000 from her em­ployer in or­der to cover up mis­takes that caused money prob­lems for those char­i­ties.

G is for guilty, which is how Bran­don Smeltzer pled in the slay­ing of his for­mer part­ner, Ém­i­lie Ma­heu, whose body was found in a field near Lan­caster in Oc­to­ber.

H is for the heat wave that rocked Glen­garry this sum­mer. In early July, En­vi­ron­ment Canada is­sued a heat warn­ing for Eastern On­tario when the hu­midex val­ues reached 43. Lo­cal stores sold out on air con­di­tion­ers and farm­ers ex­pressed con­cern that the hot­ter than av­er­age tem­per­a­tures were go­ing to af­fect their yields.

I is for ice rinks. At least two lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties built them this year – Glen Wal­ter and Glen Robert­son. In Feb­ru­ary, the Glen Wal­ter Fire­fight­ers As­so­ci­a­tion said it would like to in­stall a new out­door rink in the Glen Wal­ter Re­gional Park by this win­ter. In Glen Robert­son, the com­mu­nity worked hard to re­build its rink.

J is for jobs, specif­i­cally those made pos­si­ble through the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment’s Sum­mer Jobs Grant. In Jan­uary, the gov­ern­ment’s in­sis­tence that ap­pli­cants af­firm a pro-choice mind­set proved prob­lem­atic for a num­ber of faith-based groups who be­lieve abor­tion is a sin. The gov­ern­ment in­sisted that mea­sure was taken just so taxes wouldn’t go to groups whose sole pur­pose was to pro­mote an anti-abor­tion mes­sage. By the end of the year, the gov­ern­ment had ca­pit­u­lated to faith groups and only in­sisted that ap­pli­cants de­clare their sup­port for hu­man rights.

K is for kill, which is what sev­eral peo­ple thought the Cham­plain Lo­cal Health In­te­gra­tion Net­work was go­ing to do to the stroke re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram at Ho­pi­tal Glen­garry Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal. The LHIN said it never wanted to shut down the pro­gram; it was merely con­sid­er­ing mov­ing some of the beds to Corn­wall. A fi­nal de­ci­sion has still not been made.

L is for the log cabin church in St. Elmo that North Glen­garry coun­cil – along with its Arts, Cul­ture, and Her­itage Com­mit­tee – wanted to save way back in Jan­uary. The 180-year-old build­ing – also known as the St. Elmo Con­gre­ga­tional Church – had been turned over to the Pres­by­te­rian Church of Canada, which was in the process of sell­ing the land on which the cabin was si­t­u­ated. At year end, the fu­ture of the cabin is still in limbo.

M is for mar­i­juana, which made head­lines across the coun­try af­ter Canada de­cided to le­gal­ize it. In May, Dr. Paul Roume­li­o­tis of the Eastern On­tario Health Unit gave a pre­sen­ta­tion in Alexan­dria, where he ex­pressed con­cern that teenagers will be tempted to use it more now that it’s le­gal. Although North and South Glen­garry have not de­cided if they will al­low pot shops, South Glen­garry is be- lieved to be on board.

N is for “Non,” which is what Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell MPP Amanda Si­mard told Pre­mier Doug Ford af­ter the Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to can­cel plans for a French­language univer­sity and a French Lan­guages Ser­vices Com­mis­sioner. The Con­ser­va­tive MPP re­signed from her party to sit as an in­de­pen­dent.

O is for the open­ing of the Sir John John­son Manor House in Wil­liamstown, which un­veiled its new vi­sion in early De­cem­ber af­ter two years of ren­o­va­tion. The reg­is­tered Fed­eral Her­itage Build­ing, which used to house the Wil­liamstown branch of the SDG Li­brary, now sports a lofty-ceil­ing ball­room and a concierge room. Fu­ture plans in­volve trans­form­ing the up­per por­tion of the house into one full suite and three bed­rooms.

P is for the par­ish merger, which re­ceived a bless­ing from the Pope in the spring. That meant that the Alexan­dria-Corn­wall Dio­cese and the Arch­dio­cese of Ot­tawa would be “united in the per­son of the bishop.” In this case that would be Arch­bishop Ter­rence Pren­der­gast. Some lo­cal Catholics were con­cerned that this would mean they would lose a bishop, but Rome promised to ap­point an Aux­il­iary Arch­bishop to help over­see Catholics in the Alexan­dria Corn­wall area. Ear­lier this month, Hull na­tive Rev. Guy Des­rochers was ap­pointed to that po­si­tion.

Qis for the quest to see. That’s the way Alexan­dria res­i­dent Josh Mac­Don­ald de­scribed a big part of his life. The 39-year-old had his in­fected left eye re­moved when he was three. There is a nys­tag­mus in his right eye. These two fac­tors se­ri­ously ham­pered his vi­sion. He was al­lowed to test out a pair of elec­tronic glasses that sharply im­proved his vi­sion, but the $12,500 price tag was out of his reach. En­ter the Alexan­dria and Dis­trict Lions Club, which launched a fundrais­ing cam­paign that paid for the glasses.

R is for RARE, also known as Re­cy­clage Alexan­dria Re­cy­cling Equipe, which made a num­ber of head­lines this year. In June, it was an­nounced that the plant would get an up­grade to al­low bet­ter pro­cess­ing of fi­bre prod­ucts. It also an­nounced that as of Jan­uary, 2019, it would be­gin op­er­at­ing un­der a two-stream so­lu­tion. That means that RARE will take in fi­bre prod­ucts one week and plas­tics and con­tain­ers the next. South Glen­garry and North Stor­mont Town­ships, for­mer clients of RARE, will have to send their re­cy­cling else­where as they don’t of­fer two-stream re­cy­cling pickup.

S is for Smith­field Park, which might ex­pe­ri­ence a new life in the fu­ture. In Feb­ru­ary, about 50 con­cerned res­i­dents gath­ered at South Glen­garry Town­ship’s of­fice to talk about their vi­sion for the park, which in­cludes a new park­ing lot, rink, skate park, and shel­ter. It’s hard to deny that Smith­field Park, lo­cated in Lan­caster just east of the Le­gion build­ing, is en­joy­ing a resur­gence. In the fall, the Lan­caster Op­ti­mist Club an­nounced that it would move next sum­mer’s Canada Day cel­e­bra­tions from Char­lot­ten­burgh Park into Smith­field.

T is for the truck stop that re­ceived a thumbs-up from South Glen­garry coun­cil in Novem­ber. The new stop will be part of a 15acre de­vel­op­ment in Curry Hill. Con­struc­tion should be­gin by spring.

U is for up, which is the di­rec­tion wa­ter rates went in South Glen­garry af­ter coun­cil hiked charges in or­der to build re­serves for fu­ture cap­i­tal costs. Glen Wal­ter and Lan­caster res­i­dents saw the big­gest hit as their bills in­creased by more than 50 per cent. In Maxville, res­i­dents will also see their rates rise by about $100 a year due to the Maxville Wa­ter Project.

V is for vote, which is some­thing Glen­gar­ri­ans did twice this year. In June’s provin­cial elec­tion, they helped re-elect Con­ser­va­tive MPP Jim McDonell in Stor­mont-Dun­das-South Glen­garry while Amanda Si­mard won the seat for the Con­ser­va­tives in Glen­garry-Prescott Rus­sell. That elec­tion also saw the oust­ing of Kathleen Wynne’s Lib­er­als, who were de­throned by Doug Ford’s Con­ser­va­tives. In the fall, vot­ers turned out for the mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions. Jamie Mac­Don­ald and Frank Prevost were ac­claimed re­spec­tively as May­ors of North and South Glen­garry while Carma Wil­liams and Lyle War­den were elected as Deputy-May­ors.

W is for the afore­men­tioned wa­ter project in Maxville, which, ad­mit­tedly, has made life a bit more an­noy­ing for res­i­dents of that vil­lage. They have had to deal with dug-up roads, de­tours, and noise, but the good news is that when it’s all said and done, Maxville will have a sta­ble source of drink­ing wa­ter. The project came to some­thing of a head this fall with the erec­tion of the Maxville wa­ter tower.

X marks the spot for a new se­niors vil­lage, which could go up some­where near Hôpi­tal Glen­garry Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal. The vil­lage is said to be a so­lu­tion to one of so­ci­ety’s big­gest prob­lems, which is af­ford­able hous­ing for se­niors. If it goes ahead, the vil­lage would pro­vide such hous­ing to se­niors through a num­ber of cost-cut­ting ini­tia­tives.

Y is for yes, which is some­thing many mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties said to a pe­ti­tion that called on the provin­cial gov­ern­ment to des­ig­nate para­medic ser­vices as a full es­sen­tial ser­vice. Ini­ti­ated by South Glen­garry coun­cil, the pe­ti­tion was sup­ported by 13 other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Z is for zukes, which were on full dis­play at the Glen­garry Pioneer Mu­seum’s Fall Fes­ti­val in Septem­ber. This year, the fes­ti­val held a Su­per Zuke con­test, where peo­ple were chal­lenged to dress a zuc­chini as their favourite su­per­hero.

STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON PHOTO

V IS FOR VOTE: In this file photo, lo­cal Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive can­di­dates Amanda Si­mard and Jim McDonell pro­mote their party be­fore June’s provin­cial elec­tion. Both can­di­dates won their seats, though Ms. Si­mard would later leave the PCs and sit as an in­de­pen­dent in the wake of the gov­ern­ment’s can­cel­la­tion of fran­co­phone ap­point­ments.

FILE PHOTO

W IS FOR WA­TER PROJECT: The roads of Maxville were ripped up this year in or­der to in­stall in­fra­struc­ture for the Maxville Wa­ter Project.

FILE PHOTO

L IS FOR LOG CABIN: The fu­ture of this log cabin, which used to serve as a Con­gre­ga­tional church in St. Elmo, is still un­de­ter­mined af­ter it be­came the prop­erty of the Pres­by­te­rian Church of Canada more than one year ago.

FILE PHOTO

B IS FOR BUSI­NESSES: Moulure Alexan­dria Mould­ing was sold to an Amer­i­can com­pany in 2018.

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