Saturday, June 5, 2010

Haldimand "A Rumour is a Rumour"

I read with interest an article in the Sachem this week in regards to the ground-breaking ceremony and the fundraising efforts for the new Dunnville Arena.

As reported in the paper, Councillor Boyko stated that Provincial and Federal officials can’t seem to get it together for a date for the ground-breaking ceremony and this in part has started the “rumour mill”. Apparently one of the rumours is that the arena is not going to be built! And the rumours are “undercutting” the fund raising efforts!

Another issue that arose in the article was that if the fundraisers do not meet their goal that this could hurt “future” cost sharing projects! ???

So let’s talk about “Fundraising” in general. I certainly know how challenging this can be. In today’s economy “all” charities are feeling the crunch! In Dunnville alone we have many charities that need our help… name just a few…….The Salvation Army (food bank in particular), the hospital, the 150th committee, Mudcat festivities and the list goes on…..Are rumours “undercutting” the efforts of the new arena fundraiser?

I don’t think so…..a rumour is just that a rumour……

To add to the above, I have been actively campaigning in Dunnville for Ward 6 Councillor and I can tell you without a doubt this is the first I have heard of this “rumour” that the fundraising committee is having problems and the arena may not be built! Everything that we have read in the papers to this date have been positive!

Whenever there is a cost sharing venture between the county and residents, there are never any “guarantees”, period…..and never has been! To make a statement that if the funds are not achieved that this could jeopardize future ventures is absurd to say the least!

The committee raising funds for the new arena (over a million dollars) has a big job ahead of them. To raise this kind of money from a small communtiy is a huge feat! I have heard of no time frames from the county. As with any fundraisers, you plug on until you meet your goal! When I look at raising over a million dollars, I look at what local companies will donate and how much they will give? Then you look at the remainder that will be raised, by say golf tournaments, 50/50 ticket sales, dances etc…and of the course the smaller donations from residents ranging from $5.00 to $25.00 dollars.

Now let’s get to the “rumour mill”! This is not the first or last rumour that will go around in the community! So let's' ask why? Could it be a lack of "“communication”?

Have there been regular meetings from both the committee and the county to let the community know what is going on? Like I have said in the past, in Haldimand County we have a problem with “communications”. We have “weekly papers” and if you miss reading one weeks paper, you can miss it all! If you want to know what the county is doing it is up to you to seek out the information by going to a council meeting or checking out the website.

I have a simple solution to the above problems!

“Town Hall Meetings”!

It is time to stop “blaming” the residents!

Vote for Donna Pitcher, Ward 6 Councillor! Together we can open up the lines of communication!

“Your Voice will be Heard”

Groundbreakings cancellations have been starting rumours

By Jim Knisley

Jun 02, 2010

Councillor Lorne Boyko hopes that representatives of provincial and federal governments will soon be ready for their photo op.

Boyko told council that three dates for an official sod-turning for the new arena have been set and cancelled because a representative was unable to attend.

"Because of the grant money the province and the federal government have to be there for the photo op," he said.

This wouldn't be a big deal, but the cancellations have fired up the rumour machine. This includes rumors that the project may not go forward.

The rumors are groundless. "Both projects (the Cayuga and Dunnville arenas) are going ahead," he said.

Mayor Marie Trainer added her voice and said the arenas will be built.

Chief Administrative Officer Don Boyle said the unfounded rumors are causing real damage.

"This has been hindering fundraising efforts," he said.

The groups trying to raise money for Dunnville's new arena and community hall took on a major challenge. The rumors are undercutting their efforts.

This could also be a problem down the road. If the fundraising efforts for the arena come up short and the county has to cover the shortfall, county council may be hesitant or unwilling to sign on to future cost-shared projects.

As to a second ice pad in Dunnville, the new arena is being built so that a second pad can be added when needed.

Councillor Craig Grice said unfounded, ill-informed rumors aren't just a Dunnville problem.

He said in Caledonia there are all kinds of rumors about DCE.

"I've been hearing for years about traps in DCE. I've walked DCE, there is nothing there," he said.

Currently, there are efforts underway to cleanup DCE and unfounded ill-informed rumors may impede that.

In both Dunnville and Caledonia rumors can really hurt, he said.

The best way to deal with rumors is to contact people who know what is going on. "Contact the right people if you want the right information," he said.


  1. Whooee! Diane Finley sure as hell wouldn't wanna miss a photo op, no sirree. An' there's no way she could send a staffer on accounta the minsters gotta take responsibility fer everything just like at them there House o' Comments committee meetin's. Nobuddy votes fer a staffer,after all, an' gettin' up on her hindlegs an' crowin' about all the moolah she's deliverin' to H-N is aboput the onliest thing ol' Diane's go goin' for her.

    I reckon yer right as rain regardin' town hall meetin's, DonnaGal. Just so long as they don't turn inta self-congratulatory lovefest for local politicians tryin' to be like the mighty Finley. Speakin' o' mighty Finleys, has Senator Doug been tellin' anymore yarns about how we oughta start growin' bamboo here in the tropics. Sheesh! The guy probbly couldn't grow a dandelionin the front yard o' that million dollar mansion he an' Diane are buildin' up in Ottywa.

    Good luck on yer council run, Donna. I figger yer gonna be a dang good representative. Yer a listener an' not just a talker.


  2. JB, spare us the "uneducated" approach with your attempt to disguise what you are saying. There is no need to do so and contrary to what people may think and say Halidmand County is chalk full of people who don't need to be diminished. We get it, so give us some credit please.

    Donna, I'm a little disappointed that you would take the approach of your very dear and needed volunteer efforts regarding Haldimand County needs and turn it into political posturing for the next election with this entry on your blog.

    Must be voting time. "Gloves off" appears to be the order of the day with posturing.

    Lets all hope that those running for office remember that the days leading up to an election are days that are commendable. We have to live with our elected representation for the next four years and the decision making skills that they possess for better or worse.

  3. Thank you for your comments, they are all welcomed.

    As far as the poster that is disappointed with my approach, that is your opinion and I do value your opinion.

    I have fundraised for many years and can tell you from experience that it is a very difficult
    task, there are many let downs involved. In my opinion the political posturing was not coming from what I wrote it was coming from council.

    There also seemed to be a hint of a threat in there as well, that was in regard to if the committee does not raise all the funds that future joint projects could be questioned by members of council.

    I will make note that it is an election year, I am a registered candidate and yes I am actively campaigning. My personal opinions will not be valued by all who read them or by all the poeople that I meet, that is also a fact.

    Sometimes "rumours" should be left as "rumours".

  4. Donna was not posturing, Donna was saying it like it is. If in fact there was going to be no arena we would have all heard about it by now. We cannot depend on the local papers to keep us informed, So Donna I agree that town hall meetings are in order here. It is time that we all communicate with each other. The apparent rumour is now a big rumour thanks to our council talking about this as if it were a fact. So let's give credit where credit is due! Council was doing the posturing here not you Donna. Yes it is an election year and yes Donna you have my support and my vote!

    Sandra and Bob from Dunnville

  5. Oh give me a break to the poster that said Donna was making a big deal out of this. Donna keep up the good work, and yes you are right it is an election year and you have my vote.

  6. Lets all hope that those running for office remember that the days leading up to an election are days that are commendable. We have to live with our elected representation for the next four years and the decision making skills that they possess for better or worse.

    Well said and noted! Will I vote for my rep from the last four years? Not likely!

  7. I read this article as well and honestly can not blame people for being distrustful of council or the provincial/federal government. Its 2010 we should have 250k people in Townsend right now shouldn't we? While I highly doubt that the arenas will be canceled I think this is a story that could be voiced on a national level. Photo Ops by government officials halt groundbreaking and affect small towns fund raising. It is scandalous. Dunville has been doing exceptionally well and I think once it becomes more real and the politicians get their 30 seconds of attention; Dunnville will raise even more money.

    Donna - Thank you for facilitating this online "town hall". I know its early in the election but I think you will do well.

  8. Ryan your comments is good. I read your blog and I am imppressed, we need some young blood. As far as Donna goes she will have town hall meetings every three months if elected, what do you propose about town hall meetings in each community?

  9. There is another, and possibly even more important matter that merits discussion. Marie Trainer was on CHCH news the other evening and has apparently made a pitch to bring the power plant which is under protest in Oakville to Haldimand where she said we would welcome it, we want it, and two public meetings have been held to support her statements. HUH???????? Anybody know anything about this bomb????????

  10. I did hear that there was some continuing news coverage in regard to the power plant. I think it is just noise - I'm pretty sure the decision about Oakville and Mississauga is pretty concrete; but the news coverage is great for the Mayor.

    To the poster who asked about town hall meetings - I am in support of them even though they are inconvenient for most councilors. This is something the reform party tried to implement federally but most politicians are afraid of them. I would have referendums more often than election time if it was welcomed, but I don't think most people have the time. We are elected to represent the interests of the people and it is important in my opinion to get a sense of what the people think constantly. I could try and pass something forcing town hall meetings but it would probably be just Donna and I supporting it. My plan as Mayor is to have an "open house" Friday's where people can come and talk to me directly without need for an appointment. It wont be a full on town hall but its a good option if their councilor is failing them. Thank you for your kind words, I need all the support and encouragement I can get.

  11. Thanks for your comments.

    For the poster that was talking about the gas plant I posted the article from the Spectator last month, you know just about as much as I know about this issue;

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010
    Haldimand "Haldimand County Council supports Natural Gas Plant in Nanticoke"

    The mayors of Mississauga, Oakville and Haldimand County have joined forces to lobby the Liberal government to support a plan to build a natural gas power plant in rural Haldimand instead of a controversial scheme to establish one in Oakville.

    Haldimand council supports a plan by Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) to build a plant beside the Nanticoke Generating Station, which is slated to close in 2014, causing jobs and tax revenue losses.

    Oakville and Mississauga, and many residents, are opposed to a plan by TransCanada Pipelines to build a $1.2 billion natural gas-fired generating plant near the Ford plant, which is within a three-kilometre radius of 11,000 homes and 16 schools.

    Mayors Hazel McCallion, Rob Burton and Marie Trainer have signed two letters to Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Brad Duguid appealing for him to back the CPV plan for a 1,200-megawatt gas plant.

    They believe it supports the minister's goal of maintaining the reliability of Ontario's energy supply when coal-fired plants are phased out.

    They argue the plan by TransCanada Pipelines to establish a 940-megawatt plant in Oakville "steps from schools, home and parks ... makes no sense."

    TransCanada was selected by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) last September after OPA asked for proposals for the southwest Greater Toronto Area.

    "Our residents and our technical experts have made it clear that constructing and operating an electric generating plant in Oakville or Mississauga is inappropriate," the mayors add. "We encourage and would fully support your government in directing the Ontario Power Authority to negotiate a contract with Competitive Power Venture."

    The idea of having the gas plant established in Haldimand instead of Oakville is not new.

    Trainer spoke at a Mississauga rally before 1,000 people last year, telling the crowd her municipality would welcome the plant in Nanticoke to offset the loss of 600 jobs and $3 million in taxes.

    The CPV proposal would employ 35, but the Mississaugas of the New Credit -- which endorsed the scheme in March -- say it will create 600 local construction jobs over a three-year period.

    Duguid's spokesperson Amy Tang said the minister welcomed views from "our municipal partners" and said the ministry continued to be in a "listening mode." She was doubtful, however, the appeal will have any impact.

    "The process was long and the decision has been made, pretty much," Tang said.

    Trainer earlier this month hosted McCallion and took her on a tour of the CPV's proposed site for its gas plant and the hydro line corridor.

    Trainer also met May 14 with the clean air subcommittee of Miranet, Mississauga's city-wide ratepayers group, and took them on a tour.

    "We've already said we'd take it here," said Trainer. "Everything is there. It's just amazing they wouldn't take advantage of this."

  12. I'm sure the arena's are going forward, thanks to the council we have in place. Ryan, as a mayoral candidate, and Donna as a Councillor candidate, what do you propose to fill 600 jobs lost if the closure of OPG-Nanticoke in 2014 happens?

  13. Thanks for your comment.

    As far as the Coal plant goes, I have always stood behind the fact that there is technology out there to install scrubbers and cut down the emisions by up to 90%. The Liberal government when re-elected last election gave Dofasco in Hamilton 3 million dollars to put in scrubbers to greatly reduce their emisions. This was a private company, and yet no money for Nanticoke!

    If you want more info on this I believe Toby Barrett has written many articles on the updating and installing scrubbers at the Coal Plant.

  14. Toby Barrett is reaching his end too. Opposition to legislature is only as good as the upheaval that the public provides.

    Donna, what are your thoughts on G8 and G20 considering that nearly half of Haldimand County's police force was reassigned to provide security for the leadership of the wealthiest of the world's nations for a few days?

    As a potential councillor for Haldimand County and potential member of the Police Services Board for Haldimand, I'd like to hear your take.