Monday, April 26, 2010

Haldimand "Hydro Rates to increase for Haldimand County"

OEB announces 2010 electricity distribution rates for Haldimand County Hydro Inc.

TORONTO, April 26 /CNW/ - Today the Ontario Energy Board (the Board) announced electricity distribution rates for Haldimand County Hydro Inc. (Haldimand). The new rates are effective May 1, 2010.

The delivery line of electricity bills will increase by approximately 12.7% or $5.66 for Haldimand's residential customers using 800 kWh per month. The delivery line represents about one-third of the total bill.

Haldimand requested $12,823,644 to cover its costs for the 2010 rate year. Haldimand was able to settle some of the issues through the Board's alternate dispute resolution process. As a result of the settlement agreement and the Board's Decision Haldimand will recover a revenue requirement of $12,646,747.

The settlement agreement and the Board's Decision:

- Reduced Haldimand's proposed operating expenses by $375,004;

- Updated the cost of capital to incorporate the Board's recent cost of
capital parameters;

- Will return $225,476 to its ratepayers, over a period ending
April 30, 2011, to clear certain deferral and variance account

A table of the estimated bill impacts on residential consumers is available on our website at

For more information please refer to the 2010 Electricity Distribution Rates Backgrounder on our website site at

The Ontario Energy Board regulates the province's electricity and natural gas sectors in the public interest. It envisions a viable and efficient energy sector with informed consumers and works toward this vision through regulation that is effective, fair and transparent.

For more information on the Board, please visit our web site at or contact the Consumer Relations Centre at 416-314-2455 or toll-free at 1-877- 632-2727.

For further information: Media Inquiries: Vanda Wall, Ontario Energy Board, (416) 544-5171; Public Inquiries, (416) 314-2455 Or 1-877-632-2727

The link below takes you to the website of the Ontario Energy Board.

Haldimand "Vote for Donna Pitcher"

Running a campaign can be very, very interesting. I have been asked many questions in the last couple of months, and every couple of days I will talk about some of the questions that people have asked me, and what my answers were.

One question that has come up more than a few times is that I am running against an individual that has been on council for the last 25 years. Every election there have been contenders, and I have been asked if I feel intimidated at all with this.

Firstly I do not intimidate easily and secondly I am currently running alone in Ward 6!

If and when there is another "registered" candidate in Ward 6 I will stay on the path that I have started and will continue to concentrate on my own campaign.

I believe in respecting the wishes and beliefs of others and playing fair.

Haldimand "Vote for Donna Pitcher, Ward 6"

Well we are about six months away from election day here in Haldimand County. It may seem like a long time down the road but for anyone that is campaigning it is just around the corner.

Last week my sister and I did a photo shoot in Dunnville for my campaign material and I am hard at work with this part of my campaign. I have to tell you that this is the most difficult part. I am not that good at talking about myself, I would rather listen to others and talk about their issues and concerns.

Last week I was asked if I was elected to council would I vote to sell "Haldimand County Hydro". Well the immediate answer was "NO"! Things have not changed since 2005, it is still a "bad" business deal!

I will be having a "Meet and Greet" night soon and I hope to see you there. I am an avid believer of "town hall meetings" and if elected I will have at least three meetings a year.

More to come!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Haldimand "Are You On the Voters List"

Information for VOTERS

Who is eligible to vote in Haldimand County?

A person is entitled to be an elector in a municipal election if, on voting day, he or she

•is 18 years of age
•a Canadian citizen
•resides in Haldimand County or is the owner or tenant of land in Haldimand County, or the spouse of such owner or tenant
•not prohibited from voting under any law

New for 2010: As a result of the Good Government Act, before receiving a ballot, eligible voters must produce proof of identity and residence as part of their qualification to vote. Sufficient identification includes all of the following:

1. Name
2. Qualifying Address
3. Signature

An example of such ID would be a current driver’s licence or photo health card. If you do not have a piece of ID with all three components, it is possible that you may need two pieces of ID to cover all three requirements. For example a Voter Notification Card (issued by the municipality) AND a document with your signature.

Find out more about Identification that will be accepted

Who is not eligible to vote in Haldimand County?

•A person serving a sentence of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution
•A corporation
•A person acting as an executor or trustee or in any other representative capacity, except as a voting proxy in accordance with Section 44 of the Municipal Elections Act
•A person convicted of a corrupt practice if voting day in the current election is less than five years after voting day in the election in respect of which he or she was convicted.

Am I on the Voters’ List?

Each municipality prepares a Voters’ List based on a Preliminary List of Electors provided to it by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). Municipalities utilize this list to print the Voters’ List by September 1st of the election year. In order to comply with legislation, MPAC’s Preliminary List of Electors must contain only qualified electors.

New in 2010: To meet new requirements, if MPAC does not have confirmation that local residents are Canadian citizens, those names will not be included on the preliminary list and subsequently, the Voters’ List. As a result, approximately 3300 electors have been removed from the primary voter list and will need to be updated!

In order to update their records, MPAC is sending out Municipal Enumeration Forms in the spring of 2010. If you receive this form, please complete it and return it to MPAC by June 1, 2010, ensuring that the “Canadian Citizen” category is filled out for each individual listed on the form.

Ensure you are on the voters list to decrease wait times at the poll!

How does an elector vote?

The 2010 Municipal Election Day is Monday, October 25, 2010. Eligible voters (as outlined above) can vote at their designated poll, when they provide valid identification. Locations will be posted as they become available

For electors who are not able to vote on election day, advance polls are to be held in October . Electors voting at an advanced poll can vote at any of the advanced locations. Dates and locations will be posted as they become available

There is also a provision whereby electors who are not able to vote, at either the advance poll or on Election Day, can appoint someone to vote by proxy in their place.

Proof of identity and residence will be required for all voters.

Haldimand "MPP Toby Barrett on the Green Energy Act"

For Immediate Release:

April 14, 2010

Unmuzzle community concerns on wind power: Barrett

HN MPP voices support to return Planning Act powers to municipalities

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Toby Barrett says it was a mistake to take away municipal oversight powers when it comes to green energy projects like wind farms.

To that end, Barrett is supporting colleague Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones and her private members bill to fix the Liberals’ controversial Green Energy Act.

“In one fell swoop, the Green Energy Act removed all rights from constituents and their locally-elected representatives for input on renewable energy projects,” Barrett said. “Ms. Jones’ bill would lift the muzzle and restore the democratic powers this heavy-handed government has seen fit to take away.”

Bill 29 represents the latest attempt by Opposition members to derail government attempts aimed at silencing municipal green energy concerns.

Barrett spoke in support of a motion last October from MPP Bill Murdoch calling on government for a moratorium and health study to determine the potential impacts of wind turbines on people's health – that motion was defeated by governing Liberals. In recent weeks Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott introduced a similar motion, while Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson has asked government at Queens Park to respect the wishes of over 50 Ontario communities requesting the Liberals put a moratorium on new wind developments.

“The Green Energy Act represents another attack on rural Ontario as we all know that it will rural areas – and not their own urban backyard – that government will be eyeing to locate these projects,” Barrett intoned. “Local communities should have an avenue to comment on projects that will impact them – that’s the bottom line.

“I am surprised this government would go to this extent to silence opposition and join my colleagues in fighting this municipal gag order!”

- 30 –

For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629

Haldimand "The Flood One Year Later"

I am trying to do a bit of catch up. This article was in the Chronicle at the end of February. Thanks Cathy for a great story.

The Flood --One Year Later

It was Friday the 13th, 2009 when the Grand River awakened from its winter hibernation and began to unleash an unprovoked assault upon its neighbours.
Melting snow and the accumulation of waters flowing into the 300-km length of the Grand suddenly, and without warning, spelled disaster for Cayuga and Dunnville.

A repeated cycle of ice jams and releases caused the crest of the water to rise and fall, spilling over the banks at various locations.

Very early in the morning, the water began its considerable, rapid ascent in Cayuga, and emergency personnel embarked upon what would become a very long, intensive rescue effort.

Later, a jam formed west of the Dunnville Golf and County Club and backyards along Main Street West came under attack, not only from the rising water, but also from huge sheets of ice that sheared trees and destroyed sheds, boats and docks along the way. As those sheets flowed over the Dunnville dam, they broke up, but a new danger was soon created as the massive chunks and swelling waters rounded the bend in the river above Port Maitland.

A massive jam formed there and water backed up into Dunnville, causing road closures and forcing Dunnville firefighters to wade through hip-high water, rescuing homeowners. Hydro and gas personnel also waded in with efforts to minimize damage to the potentially hazardous services as conduits became submerged.

By the time the river receded a day later, after the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Griffin hammered its way upriver through the churning ice, some residents and business owners had already thrown out destroyed furniture, appliances, clothing, and, in some cases, nearly everything they owned. As water flowed freely through Haldimand's streets -up to six feet in some places -many riverbank residents were forced to evacuate their homes, leaving all their waterlogged belongings behind.

On March 23, the County stepped in to form the Haldimand Disaster Relief Committee (HDRC), with former mayor Bernie Corbett appointed as Chair and members from across Haldimand County installed to help area flood victims.

A week later, subcommittees were set up and members sprang into action in two distinct groups. Don Edwards was named Vice- Chair of the Fundraising Committee, which included Donna Pitcher and Joanne Falletta; while Victoria Young was appointed Vice-Chair of the Claims Settlement Committee, made up of Marie Maas, Ken Egger, and Kim Hessels.

Brett Kelly was placed in charge of media relations, and an administrative committee was formed with Kent Murray acting as Program Manager, and Dian McIntee and Brenda McArthur appointed Recording Secretaries. Barb Quinn, as Treasurer, set up a bank account for the victims.

At the flood's inception, Corbett said he and a friend were walking in the lower Grand River where the water "was coming at a good pace, and it was above our knees within an hour. All the creeks were backing up and I was caught in it. Then I received a call from the Chamber (of Commerce) asking if I was interested in helping, so I put forward my name" to help.

The committee applied for nonprofit status, and an advertising campaign was enacted to inform the claimants assistance was on its way. Each affected homeowner was assigned a number and all claim correspondence sent anonymously to committee members, so no one knew who they were helping.

Meanwhile, the fundraising committee strived to collect donations from every possible avenue, and money began pouring in from churches, individuals, businesses, service clubs, fire departments, boards and bodies such as the Haldimand Federation of Agriculture, and numerous municipalities across Ontario.

Corbett commended the entire Committee for devising clever fundraising techniques in a tough economy.

"I was surrounded by a very competent, hardworking group of people who did a tremendous job of coming up with many ideas to bring the money in," he said, adding that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing staff commented that the 'Pass the Jar' and liquor bottle collections, in particular, were innovative ideas.

In addition to collecting Canadian Tire money and hosting a charity night at Turtle Jack's Restaurant in Burlington, the committee coordinated fundraisers in the community and volunteers organized golf tournaments, garage sales, bracelet sales, a Library bake sale, pizza deliveries, a benefit hockey game between the Dunnville Terriers and the Corvairs, and a High Water Walk, among others.

Contributions came from The Dunnville Rotary Club in the amount of $6,050, Bruce Power gave $10,000, the Police Services Board donated $1,000, Union Gas gave $5,000, Dunnville Firefighters raised $1,240, the Niagara District Trappers Council gave $900, and Friends of the Dunnville Public Library handed the HDRC a cheque for $570 toward the effort.

There were many others, and a donation of $7,500 from the Erie Mutual Insurance Company "just floored us and put us over the top," said Corbett, adding, "The Kozar family from Byng gave a personal donation of $5,000. They weren't interested in getting any publicity. They said they were glad to do it."

Although it often proved a difficult task meeting their targeted goal, Corbett said, "At the end, we were at the point where we had to turn back money, once we received the amount that we needed."

By Thanksgiving weekend, a total of $184,951.36 was handed over to claimants.

"The original claim was $200,000," said Corbett. "There was roughly $1.8 million in damage. We just turned the cheque over to the municipality, which was joined by the province on a two-to-one basis to help people get their lives back in order."
Certain claims, such as secondary buildings, cottages, and non-essential items, were not eligible for funding.

"It was just for people who had no coverage at all."

"Everything that was raised went directly towards the claimants," he emphasized. Aside from remuneration for mileage, committee members devoted countless hours at their own expense, while administrative costs were paid from Ministry and municipality coffers.

"The disaster area was extended because there was an area above the barge in Cayuga where damage was sustained and a request went out to encompass that area as well. Initially, that was a shock to us because we were finding it difficult at the time, but our fundraisers took it in stride and pressed on. Every time we met Don and his group, they came up with a lot of ideas."

Corbett feels "It was the fundraising group that formed the backbone" of the HDRC.
Edwards said the flood brought about "a great opportunity to work with a great group of people who helped the community we live in. Committee members just rolled up their sleeves," he said, and despite the fact that there were two distinct groups, "it didn't matter which side you were on; everybody helped out and was extremely supportive," whether waiting tables at Turtle Jack's or processing claims.

"We had a finite amount of time and Bernie brought all those people - most of them strangers -together. We had one target and everybody on the committee was committed to reaching that goal."

Donna Pitcher joined the HDRC after she donated building materials to flood victims, and single-handedly brought 7,000 empty bottles and beer cans to the liquor store to raise needed funds. Though her car "smelled like liquor for three and half months," she said she "loved her time on the committee," helping out the flood victims.

Former Dunnville councillor Brett Kelly said his role as Media Relations Liaison with the HDRC was rewarding and helped prepare him for his recent appointment as a Justice of the Peace in Niagara. "We were pleased because we saw our neighbours and friends pitch in to help their neighbours and friends," Kelly told the Chronicle in a recent interview.

In hindsight, Corbett said he hopes "We would take some preventative action to ensure the mouth of the river is open so we don't have a flood" in the future. "It's my belief that if the icebreaker had gone through, it would've helped somewhat, but there was water in the upper river as well. It was scary seeing the amount of water coming down."

A year after the harrowing experience, "We learned that you can assemble a group of people to react to a problem and Council was fast-acting to appoint a committee to get involved," Corbett said, adding, "We got the support of the community and other communities across Ontario to help.

We were fortunate that we were accepted for funding, where other municipalities were turned down. There were times when we thought we might not meet our goal, but our community came through and I certainly thank them for that. I'm very happy we had the opportunity to assist some people and form long-lasting relationships in the process. When you're successful, it's certainly a bonus."

Article ID# 2442484

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Haldimand "Open House for the new Dunnville Arena"


Dunnville Single Pad Arena, Walking Track & Ground Floor Community Centre Plans.

The Corporation of Haldimand County will be presenting the floor plans, building renderings and site plan for the new single pad arena, walking track and ground floor community centre in Dunnville. Construction is tentatively scheduled to commence in April of 2010 and will take approximately one year to complete.

All interested parties are invited to attend an Open House for this project to be held as follows:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dunnville Recreation Centre
210 Main Street East
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Corporation of Haldimand County and Construction Team will be present to answer your questions. If you are unable to attend the Open House and would like further information, please contact the County Project Manager as follows:

Mr. Philip Mete, P.Eng.
Manager, Facilities & Parks Operations
Telephone: (905) 318-5367 x 501
Fax: (905) 765-5716

Friday, April 9, 2010

Haldimand "Haldimand County 100k Club"

Every Year Ontario Municipalities are legislated to make public any employee of a local Municipality that is paid $100,000.00 or more a year. This is the amount that is on the individuals T4 slip for tax purposes.

I have been waiting for the local newspapers to report these findings as I know that these numbers come out usually in mid March of each year. After reading nothing of this in the local newspapers I went to the Haldimand County website.

Here is the following information that I found from a staff report dated February 16, 2010, that was presented to Council on March 1,2010.

This report was received by Haldimand County Council on March 1, 2010 Recommendation #5, and passed by Resolution #57-10 on March 8, 2010.

Below is our Haldimand County "100k Club".

I put in brackets last years numbers for salary earned in 2008. These numbers are what these individuals earned in 2009. First figure is salary and the second figure below is their taxable benefits.

This is also from the staff report; Each person to whom Haldimand County provided a 2009 T4 slip is considered an employee. For employees paid $100,000 or more, exclusive of taxable benefits, a “Record of Employees’ 2009 Salaries and Benefits” report must be submitted to the funding ministry, in our case, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, not later than March 5, 2010.

$156,666.48 $6,892.20 ($149,765.34 $7,053.00)

$128,490.84 $761.37 ($129,245.47 $880.18)

$140,863.34 $808.97 ($134,780.24, $954.74)

$123,586.41 $743.78 ($120,588.68 $833.38)

$117,032.75 $701.89 ($111,357.17 $793.26)

$102,759.71 $618.25

$103,258.29 $624.54

$103,258.28 $624.54