With the passing of the Stay at Home orders in Ontario shopping local has become even more important. Pictured above are Jen MacKenzie of the Lakefield Pantry and Susan Twist of Happenstance Book and Yarns with packages in hand ready for curbside pick-up. Local businesses need and deserve your support.
Douro-Dummer passes “The Responsible Dog Ownership” Bylaw
by Terry McQuitty
The Township of Douro-Dummer held a special meeting on Friday, January 15 to address the issue of animal control within the township.
Recent dog attacks in the Township have brought attention to the municipalities animal control bylaw. A report was presented to council at the December 15, 2020 regular council meeting where CBO/Bylaw Official Brian Fawcett told council that he would like to continue to investigate the township’s Animal Control tools and come back to Council in the future with an updated Animal Control By-law, which will provide administration and enforcement tools for all types of animals. This would be one comprehensive By-law to replace our existing two By-laws, and also add tools for livestock and fencing.
A public meeting was held on the evening of Tuesday, January 5 where the public had an opportunity to comment on the bylaw being presented.
Deputy mayor Karl Moher tabled a motion that council meet again within seven business days and put together a bylaw for dangerous and biting dogs. During this time they will garner legal advice and bring the bylaw back to council. The other portions of the bylaw would be brought back at a separate meeting.
The special meeting tool place on Friday afternoon.
Mayor J Murray Jones kicked off the meeting by giving a brief background of the situation and commented that they promised to bring back the bylaw within seven business days and that is what they have done.
Jones also commented that if there are any major changes suggested by council, staff would be required to draft a brand new bylaw.
Fawcett told council that the bylaw being presented at the special meeting is similar in nature to the one presented at the public meeting. The bylaw presented on Friday was titled “The responsible dog ownership bylaw”.
First step was to remove the tethering portion of the bylaw. Besides that specific segment the majority of changes included editing and housekeeping. Comments garnered from the public meeting were included in the revised bylaw such as yard measurements etc.
Fawcett said most comments coming from the public meeting were positive.
The revised bylaw was sent to the township legal team for review and determined that the bylaw is good as drafted and does not foresee any legal challenges rising from the bylaw.
Fawcett told council that once the bylaw has passed, staff will be creating an educational package to explain the new bylaw. The package will explain what it means in layman’s terms. Fawcett said the educational component will be pivotal in getting the bylaw in to every day language so people can properly understand what their responsibilities are as dog owners.
Fawcett said most of the previous bylaw still exists, but one new segment is the muzzling portion. Animal control officers can now order an animal muzzled and these orders can be made retroactive if a dog is considered a biting dog.
Temporary CAO Martina Chait-Hartwig told council that staff has been responsive to the comments made at the public meeting including the request to remove language regarding tethered dogs which concerned the agricultural community as well as the sporting dog community. Chait-Hartwig said they also beefed up the language regarding where the dogs can reside and what type of pen and gates can be used and where they can be located.
Language in the bylaw has also been cleaned up in an effort to make things not only clearer for the public, but also the enforcement officers.
Councillor Heather Watson questioned the section regarding dog tags. At the public meeting it was asked if temporary residents required a Douro-Dummer dog license. Watson said the revised bylaw stays silent on that issue.
Fawcett responded by saying every dog that comes in to the township requires a license. This would include seasonal residents. Fawcett said the internal policy is not confirmed, but a second license could be less expensive or free depending on the situation.
Watson also questioned the section that states biting dogs must be muzzled in the yard. She questioned this if the yards had to be secured as stated in the bylaw.
Fawcett replied that this may not be in the best interest of the dog, but they had to do a balancing act of protecting the public and the biting dog may escape even if the enclosure is up to spec.
Councillor Tom Watt asked how does a dog get labelled a biting dog?
Fawcett replied that it would be the determination of an animal control officer. A biting dog can be a dog that actually hasn’t bitten anybody, but could be likely to bite.
Councillor Watt moved to accept the revised bylaw which passed unanimously.
In this week's print edition
Andy Mitchell sworn in as Deputy Warden
Selwyn notice of motion regarding long term care homes
Update on causeway construction
Bell Let’s Talk Day, January 28, 2021
Assistance for Small Business Support Grant
Holiday Shopping Passport Grand Prize Winner from Lakefield
Loblaws halts grocery deliveries to North Kawartha
Rotary Foundation Gets a Boost When Canadian Senior Leaders
“Take the BEL Rotary Plunge”
Selwyn Library Offers Online Film Club
Ontario Launches 2021 Budget Consultations
New Virtual Education Programs at Lang Pioneer Village Museum
Cooking “from scratch” with Lenore Kuch
Editorial by Terry McQuitty
Accidental Columnist by Marnie Clement
Mature Living by Terri Williams Kinghorn
Book Review by Barry Mutter
@yourlibrary by Kacie Gardiner
Story Time at the Buckhorn Library
Golden Years Club Update
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Scout Ship Tender Deferred
by Vanessa Stark
Selwyn Township has once again deferred a decision on moving forward with plans to renovate the old scout building into a new community hall and police office space in Lakefield.
The decision was made to defer a decision until council meets next at their draft budget meeting on January 29. This is because, after Township staff prepaid a tender for the renovations, all bids came back as double the estimated cost.
This new site would allow the Police Services to move from their current location on Queen Street and would free up space on the main floor at the existing Police Services location. It would also allow the Township to move forward with the ongoing design project of planning a barrier free access to the second floor of the building for the creation of a business incubator space.
Council struggled with the idea of paying double the estimated cost for what seemed to be the same amount of work.
However it was explained that there were certain aspect of the project that came to light after the estimate was set, meaning the project has grown significantly. Some of these changes include the foundation of the building, originally staff thought the foundation would be left the way it was but after further inspection it was determined it would need to be renovated as well.
According to a report presented to council written by Scott Warren, Project Coordinator for Selwyn Township: “All aspects considered, this project grew considerably during the design phase and would now be considered a substantial renovation. The budget estimate of $265,000 was based on guidance provided by our architect but relied on project costing that was more than a year old. As well the project scope grew to include foundation repairs and insulation ($40,000), new steel roof with snow guards ($45,000), replacement of siding, soffit, fascia and eaves troughs ($30,000), two new canopied barrier free entrances ($34,000).”
According to the report the township received seven complete bids for the tender that all came in almost double the price of the estimated cost.
Seeing this, township staff then received direction from Council to take additional steps to review the complete bid submissions.
Staff then asked the two lowest bids to provide a breakdown of their bid and consulted with the architect on costing for other projects.
After completing the analysis staff confirmed that the bid from W.S. Morgan Construction Limited represented good value for a substantial renovation.
Their bid came in at $414,000.
Councillor Gerry Herron asked if this renovation was time sensitive or if it could be pushed to another year.
“The price of steel is high, there is an aluminum shortage right now, the price of lumber is high, and every single trade is in high demand so they’re commanding a pretty good buck right now. So the timing issue, if we maybe delayed this a year or a year and a half till this COVID thing gets settled up and renovations die off, maybe the costs come down. That is my concern is this the optimal time to get the best bang for our buck”
Mayor Andy Mitchell went on to say that the way he saw it there were three options to proceed.
“Really there are three options that I see that we could consider. And clearly from the conversation everyone is a little torn on this decision. One is to just accept the tender and move on. One is, we could defer this decision for a year and have it come back to council at that point. The other option is that we have a budget meeting coming up, and to have this discussion in the context of the pluses and minuses of our overall budget, that might be an opportunity.”
Councillor Gerry Herron made a motion to defer the decision until the next budget meeting and Councillor Anita Locke seconded.
The motion was carried with all in favour and will appear once again before council on January 29.
COVID outbreak at Regency in Lakefield
by Vanessa Stark
Another outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared in Lakefield.
On January 17, the Regency of Lakefield Retirement Living was declared in an outbreak.
According to Public Health Ontario, identification of one resident, health care worker (HCW), other staff or essential visitor with new symptoms compatible with COVID-19 requires an outbreak assessment by the local Public Health Unit (PHU). In addition to regular COVID-19 health and saftey protocals, the following measures should be implemented when there is a suspect or confirmed COVID-19 positive resident, HCW, other staff or essential visitor (e.g., health care provider).
• Droplet and Contact Precautions: Immediately place a symptomatic resident on Droplet/Contact precautions, as well as any close contacts
• Environmental Cleaning: Continue with previous Environmental Cleaning measures. Clean and disinfect COVID-19 negative rooms first before moving into an area with COVID-19 positive residents.
• Resident and HCW Cohorting: Long Term Care Home (LTCH) and Retirement homes (RH) are to use HCW and resident cohorting to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This can be done by assigning a geographic area, such as a room or a resident care area, to two or more residents who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19
• Surveillance/Testing: Continue monitoring of all residents and HCWs, other staff and essential visitors in the home for new symptoms. Continue to screen for symptoms twice a day and check the temperature of all residents and staff in the home.
• Physical Distancing: Continue with Physical Distancing measures and discontinue all group activities.
The Herald has had reports that all residents within the regency have been in lockdown in their rooms since Sunday, not to leave until the outbreak is over. The Herald was unable to confirm these reports as the Regency did not respond to the interview request before deadline on Tuesday.
According to Public Health Ontario the Medical Officer of Health or designate (from the local PHU) in collaboration with the home’s Outbreak Management Team will determine when to declare an outbreak over. The outbreak may be declared over when there are no new cases in residents or staff after 14 days (maximum incubation period) from the latest of:
• Date of isolation of the last resident case OR
• Date of illness onset of the last resident case OR
• Date of last shift at work for last staff case
There are currently three outbreaks within Peterborough County:
• Fairhaven Long-Term Care Home City of Peterborough (Jan 11)
• Regency Retirement Home Peterborough County (Jan 17)
• Centennial Place Long-Term Care Home Peterborough County (Jan 17)
For more information please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.
Unheralded the documentary
"Unheralded" chronicles a week in the life of "The Lakefield Herald", a local newspaper published in Lakefield, Ontario. Whether writing about dog shows and 100th birthdays, or telling stories of citizen opposition and community loss - local news reporters have a difficult job, especially when the readers are their neighbours. "Unheralded" is an NFB-TVO Calling Card production.
Province Issues Stay-at-Home Order and Enhanced Enforcement Measures
In response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province’s hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission rates, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).
Details were provided on Tuesday by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
“The latest modelling data shows that Ontario is in a crisis and, with the current trends, our hospital ICUs will be overwhelmed in a few short weeks with unthinkable consequences,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are taking urgent and decisive action, which includes declaring a provincial emergency and imposing a stay-at-home-order. We need people to only go out only for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments. By doing the right thing and staying home, you can stay safe and save lives.”
Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.
Additional Public Health Restrictions
Since the implementation of the Provincewide Shutdown over two weeks ago, the latest modelling trends in key public health indicators have continued to worsen, forecasting an overwhelming of the health system unless drastic action is taken. Escalating case counts have led to increasing hospitalization rates and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy which has resulted in cancellations of scheduled surgeries and procedures.
In response to the alarming and exceptional circumstances at hand, and to further interrupt the deadly trend of transmission in Ontario communities, hospitals, and long-term care homes, the government will enact the following additional public health measures:
• Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.
• Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.
• All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
• Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction.
These measures will come into effect between Tuesday January 12, 2021 and Thursday, January 14, 2021, including the provincial declaration of emergency under the EMCPA, orders under that Act, and amendments to regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
To help quickly identify and isolate cases of COVID-19 in workplaces and service providers permitted to remain open such as long-term care homes and schools, the province will provide up to 300,000 COVID-19 tests per week to support key sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain and food processing, as well as additional tests for schools and long-term care homes.
The additional public health restrictions introduced expand on the existing measures put in place to keep Ontarians safe and healthy.
New Enforcement Measures
Under the declaration of a provincial emergency, the province will provide authority to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home-order, or those not wearing a mask or face covering indoors as well as retail operators and companies who do not enforce the rules.. Those who decide not to abide by orders will be subject to set fines and/or prosecution under both the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, (ROA) and EMCPA.
In addition, all enforcement personnel will have the authority to temporarily close a premise and disperse individuals who are in contravention of an order and will be able to disperse people who are gathering, regardless whether a premise has been closed or remains open such as a park or house.
Schools and Child Care Centres
To continue to keep students, staff and communities safe, the following new health and safety measures will be put in place for in-person learning:
• Masking for Grade 1-3 and requirements for mask wearing outdoors;
• Enhanced screening protocols; and
• Expanded targeted testing.
The government will also implement new health and safety measures in Ontario child care settings, such as enhanced screening to align with school requirements, voluntary participation in targeted testing and additional infection prevention and control measures to align with schools. These enhancements are in addition to the existing health and safety measures already being implemented in child care settings across the province.
Child care centres for non-school aged children will remain open, and emergency child care for school-aged children will end in approved PHU regions on January 22, 2021 as these elementary schools return to in-person learning.
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is taking additional steps to protect workers with the launch of the “Stay Safe All Day” campaign, focusing workplace inspections in areas of high transmission, including break rooms, and providing new educational materials to employers to promote safe behaviour before, during and after work.
As part of the “Stay Safe All Day” campaign, inspectors will use a data-driven approach to focus on workplaces with reported COVID-19 outbreaks, manufacturing businesses, warehouses, distribution centres, food processing operations, construction projects and publicly accessible workplaces deemed essential, such as grocery stores. The Ministry is also using a new data-sharing program, in conjunction with the Ministry of Long-Term Care and the Retirement Regulatory Authority, to focus onsite inspections of long-term-care homes and retirement homes.