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Friday, September 17, 2021
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Youth earn $5,000 for Haliburton Heat Bank

Joseph Quigley

Two Haliburton Highlands Secondary School (HHSS) students earned $5,000 for Heat Bank Haliburton County through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) Canada June 4.  

Bence Suranyi and Stefan Salaris beat out their Grade 10 civics classmates with their presentation on the Heat Bank.

The school-wide competition is part of the YPI program, which runs similar charitable contests in schools around the world.  

Suranyi said their presentation highlighted the success stories of the charity.

“The Haliburton Heat Bank is a less-known charity than the other ones that were competing,” Suranyi said. “I think that helped shed light on the Heat Bank.”  

“The stories that (Heat Bank co-ordinator) Tina (Jackson) gave were probably really moving because sometimes they were really tragic,” Salaris added. 

 The YPI initiative has run at HHSS for 12 years. The program goes into the curriculum as a graded project for the school’s civics class. The project requires students to engage with charities in their community and share what they have learned in a presentation. The top-five projects compete in front of the school, with the winning group earning $5,000 for their charity.

The group has donated more than $50,000 to local charities since it started running in Haliburton.  Teacher Paul Longo, who co-ordinates YPI at HHSS, said the program remains successful. 

“It gets Grade 10 students out in the community, visiting charities, asking questions, learning about what we do in this community that’s so important as far as volunteer work,” Longo said. 

Jackson said the charity, which provides firewood and heat to vulnerable people, has participated in projects for YPI before. But this is the first time the charity has won.  

“I am just so proud of the work that both of these youth did, in pouring everything into the presentation that won us the money,” Jackson said. “This is one of the largest donations we’ll likely receive this year.“

They were absolutely passionate. They believed in what we were doing,” she added.  

Salaris said to succeed in the competition, it is vital to choose a charity you care about.  “Pick a charity you believe in, like and would stand for,” he said.

Powered peddling around the County

Victoria Fenninger sets up three bicycles in the Sir Sam’s Ski and Bike parking lot; one for her, two for a couple she’s taking on a tour of Eagle Lake and beyond.

They aren’t the bikes most people grew up peddling. They’re e-bikes, battery powered cycles which mean anyone, regardless of skill level, can follow Fenninger on guided tours of Haliburton County through her company FR Bike E-Bike Tours.

“I found out there was a somewhat local supplier that was doing e-bikes out of Burlington and they were looking for someone in the area to represent them,” said Fenninger.

She’s been a mountain biker for years, as well as running the ski cross racing program out of Sir Sam’s in the winter.

With RBSM Sports supplying her with bikes, Fenninger said she’s guided locals and tourists, showcasing how e-bikes “level the playing field” of cycling. Her bikes are pedalled like normal, however there are five power settings which determine how much the battery assists in pedalling.

“The e-bike is a great equalizer, where you can ride at different speeds and ride at different levels,” she said.

But it can be a thrill for experienced riders too.

“You can go on wild climbs you’d never be able to do on your own.”

Fenninger has also developed FR Bike tours to showcase other industries, tourism hotspots and local events within the County. She leads tours through custom tour company Yours Outdoors, combines bike rides with yoga sessions at Head Lake Park and often stops by Abbey Gardens.

Many tours are geared to those who want to dip a toe into the world of e-bikes, with lessons ranging from drop-in one-hour sessions to four hour tours that combine biking with scenic views for snapping instagram shots.

Fenninger was instrumental in developing Abbey Gardens’ new disc golf course, and one hybrid tour includes a stop to send frisbees soaring towards far off targets around the Gardens’ grounds.

She’s even partnered up with Hike Haliburton to offer an “e-bike and hike” tour of the Haliburton County Rail Trail.

Bikes are in famously short supply this year. Staff from Sir Sam’s, Algonquin Outfitters and Fenninger herself said there’s been increased interest in cycling, likely driven by the pandemic.

“I think a big part of it comes down to the pandemic,” Fenninger said. “A lot of things have been closed but nothing stops you from getting on a bike and riding on your local roads or trails.”

She’s sold multiple e-bikes to customers around Haliburton, and said interest in her tours continues to grow. She’ll be leading e-bike tours until the snow begins this fall.

Visit frbike.ca for more information.

County hoping to rock 2021-22 curling season

Members of the Haliburton Curling Club are planning to hit the ice Monday, Oct. 4 with Minden and Wilberforce shortly behind.

The Haliburton club was the only one to get on the ice during the 2020-21 curling season, offering some play during a COVID-19 impacted season.

This year, club president Kent Milford said they hope to stage as normal a season as possible with COVID protocols in place: the same ones that will be in force in Minden, Wilberforce, Bancroft and Bobcaygeon.

Even before the province announced its vaccine passport, the Haliburton club’s board of directors voted to make the building a vaccine-only zone.

Milford said it wasn’t an easy decision, weighing protection of rights versus health. However, he said the bottom line is, “people in the club need to know the person next to them is as safe and protected as they can be so they’re as safe and protected as they can be.”

When signing up online or in-person Sept. 8 and 9, people had to provide proof of vaccination. In addition, there will be health unit requirements for mask wearing and social distancing.

However, Milford said curlers will not have to wear masks on the ice.

He said it was “brutal” playing with masks with players abandoning their eyeglasses to the sidelines because they kept fogging up.

When it comes to other club space, it will be treated like any other inside venue.

The decision means curlers under 12 will not be playing with the club this year.

And while the board has not made a decision, Milford said it is unlikely there will be bonspiels this year.

He anticipates they’ll have more curlers than they did last year but fewer than preCOVID as curlers have gotten older or their circumstances have changed.

“We’ll do okay. We have a healthy and strong club.”

The plan is to operate regular leagues. They will also be offering a mixed social curling night on Fridays in conjunction with the Minden Curling Club. Membership in either club entitles play in the league and it will have flexible attendance similar to Wednesday afternoon pick-up curling. As an added feature this league will have in-person musical entertainment twice per month, once at each location.

See haliburtoncurlingclub.com; or contact clubcurling@bellnet.ca.

Minden Curling Club

Minden Curling Club president Robert Peacock said they did a membership poll and 130 members have indicated they want to curl this season.

That means that barring any provincial government lockdowns, they hope to start Oct. 12 with league play the following week.

They’ll require proof of vaccination to keep their members, who are mostly older, safe, he said.

The club is holding an in-person registration on Sept. 16 from 4-7 p.m. and an open house on Sept. 25 from 2-5 p.m.

“We’re looking very optimistic,” Peacock said. “To me, it looks very good. It can only grow.”

For more information, go to their website, mindencurlingclub.com or email info@ mindencurlingclub.com.

Wilberforce looking for members

Wilberforce Curling Club president, Gord Fitch, said they’ll start their season at the end of October if they can get enough members. He said they have a state-of-theart facility and all of their COVID protocols in place. They just need people to commit to playing.

He said the small club would like between 45-55 members to get underway.

He’s optimistic, saying “Honestly, there’s enthusiasm. We’ll see if turns into commitment. We’re hoping to get it going.”

If interested go to wilberforcecurlingclub. com or contact wilberforcecurling@gmail. com.

Huskies and Tigers to clash in first test for Haliburton County

The Haliburton County Huskies will get some insight into club readiness for the upcoming OJHL season when they clash with the Aurora Tigers Sept. 18 in their first exhibition game at the Minden arena.

The Tigers won both of their preseason weekend games against the Stouffville Spirit while the Huskies played their blue versus white intersquad game.

Speaking about the 4:30 p.m. Saturday matchup at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena, head coach and general manager, Ryan Ramsay said, “it will be a good test to evaluate where we are at as a team.”

Since moving from Whitby, where they were the Fury last season, the team has had about a 50 per cent turnover in players. It’s meant it will take some time to gauge the chemistry between players and finalize lines.

However, 22 of the 23 players that will lace up to start the season have been selected.

Team white beat team blue 5-3 in the Sept. 11 tilt.

“It was a good, close game,” the coach said. He added for the most part the players executed on what they’d been working on all week with the coaching staff. However, he said intersquad games can be tough as players are going up against friends and can let up.

“I’m really excited to get the exhibition schedule underway this weekend.”

The Huskies made a trade Sept. 9 with Cobourg to bring Brad Ditillo on board. He scored two goals in the Blue versus White game. They also bought Jacob Dupuis from the Lindsay Muskies. Two locals, Joe Boice and Ryan Hall, have made the main club. Quinn Meek made the team at rookie camp and also scored a beauty goal. The coach said Bryce Richardson, Patrick Saini and Oliver Tarr also stood out this past Saturday.

The squad has also named Nathan Porter as captain and Tarr and Issac Sooklal assistant captains.

An estimated crow of 160 watched the game. Ramsay said it was a great turnout with capacity at 195 right now. He said fans were excited and had a good time.

He said the ice is improving and spectators need to know that the arena area is cold. The club is continuing to work on its headquarters inside the facility with mainly cosmetics to be finalized. They’re also waiting for the township to finish the gym and canteen areas.

Ramsay said they’d sold 210 season tickets to date and are preparing for Sept. 22 when the vaccine passport will be officially launched. They will split fans between the stands and warm areas. He said observers will be advised of protocols as they become available.

The Huskies play Collingwood Sept. 25 before opening the regular season with a game in Lindsay against the Muskies Oct. 1. The team’s home opener is slated for Saturday, Oct. 2 in Minden against the Muskies.

See more at huskieshockey.ca

‘Pandemonium’ when Haliburton won OHA Cup

Derrell Stamp can hardly believe it’s been 50 years since his Haliburton Junior D Huskies team hoisted the OHA Cup in front of a huge crowd at the Haliburton Community Centre.

The forward was only 16 years old for what was the highlight of his athletic career.

The team, under the leadership of owner, A.J. LaRue, coach, George Nicholls, manager Scotty LaRue, and trainers Bob Nichol and Curry “Pork” Whittaker, came back from a stunning playoff defeat the year before to beat a team from the much bigger community of Exeter to raise that cup on that fateful night – and go down in sporting lore in the Highlands.

The first Junior Huskies team was forged in 1965. According to the Haliburton Highlands Sports Hall of Fame committee, they were a “scrappy bunch.” However, thanks to a new hockey barn with artificial ice that extended practice time, and visiting National Hockey League players from Hockey Haven, the team evolved.

Stamp joined the squad as a 15-year-old for the 1969-70 season.

They made it to the OHA Cup finals.

He recalled that heartbreaking series in which the team was up three games to none against Norwich. They were leading 4-1 in what should have been the series-clinching game.

“Our goalie took a stick to the nose. It broke his nose. Our second stringer came in but he was not as good and we lost that game. Then, Norwich beat us the next three straight.”

It was a devastating loss for the team, but as often happens in sports, it brought a resiliency they would take to the 1970-71 playoffs.

“We had the makings of a group of good players, young players from a Bantam championship team mixed with the older guys, who were also very good.”

He said the team was fairly confident it would go back to the finals.

“We went to seven games the next year. It was terrific hockey as I recall. And the fan support from the community was great. They followed us in buses and cars and stayed in the same hotels when we were on the road.”

He said supporters came from as far away as Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls and Bancroft, culminating in game seven in Haliburton with an estimated crowd of 1,600.

According to the committee, the players were household names. Captain Bob Woodcock, assistant captains, Craig Stamp and Gerry McElwain, and a team with depth and stamina to first become Central Ontario League champs, then playoff Junior D champs and Eastern Ontario Junior D champs.

In that fateful OHA Cup series, Haliburton and the Exeter Hawks were evenlymatched. It was three-all going into the game seven decider. The Huskies held on for a 6-5 win.

Stamp said he has never experienced anything like the aftermath.

“It felt like most of the people in the stands came out on the ice. Everybody was so exuberant and happy. Parents, friends, girlfriends. It was pandemonium.”

Speaking on behalf of the team, Stamp said he’s pleased with the Hall of Fame induction.

“It’s an honour to go in. Most people don’t remember 50 years ago but at the time it was a very big deal for the town and the community.”

A new clown in town

Pockets the Clown twirls pieces of string in both hands. One moment, they appear to be different lengths. With a deft flick of her hand, they suddenly seem exactly the same.

That’s just one of the tricks and skills Pockets has perfected in her 30-year career as a clown, performing at birthday parties, seniors homes, assisted living centres and hospitals around the GTA.

Now, she’s bringing the magic to Haliburton. She and her husband recently retired to Wilberforce.

“I’m just restarting the business up in this area,” said Pockets the Clown, whose alter ego is Colleen Smith.

“While I’m here I maybe will only do one or two shows. I’m not going to do the full schedule I had there. I’m going to do what I can so that I can still enjoy this beautiful country.”

For Smith, the joy of clowning is focused on the smiles and giggles of her audience. She’s soft spoken, and said being gentle is as central to Pockets’ persona as her frizzy wig or face paint.

“The most enjoyment I get out of this is the smile on the children’s faces and the laughter I hear from them,” she said.

Her specialty is birthdays, where she creates elaborate balloon creations, performs magic and, before COVID19, showcased her artistic skills through elaborate face painting.

While Pockets can twirl princesses, puppies and a bouquet of flowers from balloons in seconds, she wears a “No Swords” badge: she believes clowning, like the rest of life, should be about peace and kindness.

It’s also hard work.

While employed as an accountant, Smith approached her father, Twinkletoes the Clown, to see if she could use clowning to supplement her income.

“I said ‘can you show me how to be a clown?’ And I’ve been clowning around every weekend ever since.”

She’s been to conventions for clowning around the GTA, as well as travelling to the famed Red Skelton Clown school, Mooseburger Clown Arts camp in Minnesota and even multiple weeklong worldwide clown conventions in Washington D.C. Now she’s started passing on her skills: Smith’s daughter has been learning the ropes as well.

 A caring clown

Throughout Pockets the Clown’s career, North America’s relationship with clowning has gone through a rough patch. Fictional depictions of clowns like that of Pennywise, from IT, meant Pockets faced threats and cruel messages online.

“It was a difficult time to get through to make sure that the person that’s hiring you knows you’re not the Stephen King clown. That’s a movie. This is a happy go lucky clown and my job is to entertain and make children laugh, not make them scared,” said Pockets.

She doesn’t use horns, and said she’s extremely careful to not startle kids and other attendees when she performs. Usually, the ones who might be timid around her experience a change of heart, she said with a smile.

“Usually if there’s a child who is scared of me, they’re my best friend by the time I go, and they don’t want me to leave.”

Pockets the Clown said that’s the highlight of clowning: seeing how her work can make even one child smile or giggle. She often performs for children with autism.

“When they see me or they will let me paint their face, or interact with me when I’m giving them a balloon, or laugh while I’m doing my magic show, and the mom comes up to me and says ‘my kid doesn’t do that’,” she said. “That says I’ve done my job.”

Landowners urged to support Highlands Corridor

The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust is reaching out to landowners in hopes of enticing them to join the Trust in protecting an important wildlife corridor.

The Highlands Corridor in southern Haliburton County has been identified as important and a few private landowners live within the corridor.

The Trust has received a grant of more than $60,000 from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program and about $7,500 has been allotted to produce land management plans for a few of the landowners, said Shelley Hunt, chair of the Trust.

“Private landowners are an important piece of the puzzle, and we hope that offering a few free management plans (that will go towards enrolment in MFTIP – managed forest tax incentive program – and property tax savings) will reward and encourage good stewardship as well as raise awareness of the Highlands Corridor,” Hunt said.

She added the rest of the grant is for activities that will help them to understand more about the habitats within the corridor, for example, more wetland mapping and evaluation, and to raise the profile of the corridor as an area that needs good stewardship and protection.

The Trust doesn’t yet know the identities of the landowners who will receive the plans. They have sent letters to landowners whose properties have been identified through mapping as high-priority, asking if they would be interested in the offer.

“In return, we are asking to be able to visit the property and do an on-the-ground assessment of its ecosystems and habitats. This helps us gather more information about the corridor, as well as going towards the development of the management plans,” she said.

She said they hope to do the work this fall and the grant will help efforts to build climate change resilience and improve habitat connectivity for wildlife.

The Highlands Corridor is a broad swath of land that connects three provincial parks: Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands; Kawartha Highlands; and Silent Lake.

The area is rich in natural forests, rock barrens, wetlands and lakes, and home to a diverse community of wildlife including species-at-risk such as Blanding’s Turtle and Whip-poor-will. “Wildlife needs to be able to move safely across the landscape in order to thrive, and so it’s critical not only to protect these habitats, but also to maintain their connectivity,” Hunt said.

She added that climate change adaptation also relies on nature-based solutions such as protecting forests, wetlands, large natural areas and natural corridors. She said it helps to build the resilience that is an important part of Canada’s climate plan.

“Natural solutions can help to mitigate impacts like flooding and drought, conserve biodiversity, protect ecosystem services, connect landscapes and capture and store carbon. Canada has committed to protecting 30 per cent of our landscape by 2030. In Ontario, only 10.7 per cent of our landscape is currently protected.”

HHLT and partners such as Ontario Nature have been working to study and document the ecological values of the corridor. This has included the evaluation of 3,300 ha of wetland, mapping and classifying wetlands in the townships of Snowdon, Lutterworth and Glamorgan, modeling wildlife movement between the provincial parks, and building a database of species-at-risk observations.

Much of the land within the corridor is unceded Crown land that is in need of greater protection, but private landowners have an important role to play through good stewardship of their own land, Hunt said.

The MFTIP program reduces property tax rates in exchange for managing private, forested land with the environment in mind. This can include sustainable harvesting, or managing for wildlife or recreation, or a combination of land uses.

HHLT can offer up to five management plans to eligible landowners. “If you are contacted by HHLT, be sure to respond quickly if interested,” Hunt said.

For more information contact Hunt at chair@haliburtonlandtrust.ca or Christel Furniss, office administrator at admin@ haliburtonlandtrust.ca or 705-457-3700.

Algonquin Outfitters paddles to new milestone

In 1961, 40 cedar canoes arrived at Algonquin Highlands’ Oxtongue Lake.

Shipped all the way from New Brunswick, they kickstarted Bill Swift Sr and forester Dave Wainman’s first Algonquin Outfitters location on the edge of Algonquin Park.

Now, 60 years later, the outdoor company has 12 locations spread out over Haliburton and Muskoka, serving backwoods campers, wakeboarders, cyclists, paddlers, climbers and just about anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

Rich, Bill’s son, and his partner Sue run the company now. Swift said the store still honours his dad’s original vision.

“I think my dad would be proud to see us maintain our traditional roots in what we offer,” Swift said.

“We do it right, we do it properly, with respect to nature. And we try and teach that to customers who are coming up,” said Swift.

They don’t only do that through conversations at the cash register. Algonquin Outfitters has a storied history of overnight canoe trips, a paddling school at the Gull River or even at their cafe and grill nestled in Algonquin Park.

That expansion started in 1980, largely prompted by Rich Swift and his brother Bill Swift Jr.

Now, Bill Jr. runs Swift Canoe and Kayak, which produces high-quality Canadianmade boats.

Throughout the store’s 60-year, multigeneration history, many have worked at the company for decades.

“It’s family,” said Randy Mitson, marketing director.

“We see that a lot, we see people who are with the company for 10 years and then they get the bug to go do something else, and they’re like ‘I miss the family’.”

Mitson himself left the company but quickly came back, working his way up the ranks. Now, he oversees marketing the company to an ever-expanding range of customers eager to explore Ontario in new ways.

“I always say we’re ambassadors to people’s leisure time,” Mitson said. “And that leisure time is getting shorter and shorter and shorter.”

Each store offers something slightly different, ensuring each branch has a different “flavour.”

“People tend to gravitate towards stores that they find serve them,” he said. If for example, you’re an avid paddler, AO Boatwerks could be the place to go while mountain bikers might voyage to Huntsville for an expanded selection. Though, adds Mitson, the Haliburton store services bikes.

Along the way, Algonquin Outfitters has developed a special relationship with artists through its yearly paddle contest. In 2019, 182 paddles were auctioned off, raising $32,575 for local charities. This year artist Jerry Lantaigne painted seven canoes for the auction as well, in celebration of the Group of Seven’s 100th anniversary. This year’s paddles will be auctioned off online from Sept. 13-27.

Mitson also said the store wants to showcase its history and future. They’re hosting a quiz on the store’s history (spoiler alert: all the answers are on their website), with the winner getting $1,000 to spend at the store.

Haliburton store expanded

Algonquin Outfitters’ Haliburton location got a refresh this spring.

“It’s got a lot more variety than what we had available in the old space,” said Mitson. The store moved from the corner of Maple Avenue and Highland Street to the former Source for Sports location.

“We wanted to showcase more of the products we offer at some of our larger locations – it was an opportunity to do that,” Mitson said.

It’s a lineup of products that are in hot demand. Biking, camping, canoeing: all activities which have exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Because of COVID we’ve seen this huge boom in tourism,” Mitson said.

It’s a boom all 12 locations are ready for as they cater to a wide array of outdoor enthusiasts in a way that Mitson said is “quintessentially Canadian.”

“We’ve always embraced that but now we have a need to get away from the Zoom calls and chats and get outdoors.”

COVID vaccine focus shifts to mobile clinics

By Lisa Gervais and Sam Gillett

The local health unit and the Ontario government are teaming up to have the GO-VAXX bus come to the County Sept. 19.

A pair of GO buses have been temporarily retrofitted to serve as mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics as part of the province’s efforts to target those who have yet to receive a first or second dose.

Since hitting the road in August, the buses have visited Canada’s Wonderland, Rogers Centre, BMO Field, select shopping malls, various universities and colleges, farmers markets, festivals and more to provide COVID-19 vaccines.

Now, the GO-VAXX bus is coming to the Highlands to provide COVID-19 vaccines on Sunday, Sept. 19, from 1-4 p.m. at Abbey Gardens (1012 Garden Gate Dr.) in Haliburton County. The site is located 10 minutes from Haliburton Village, towards Carnarvon, just off Highway 118.

“We’re pleased to be working with the province and Metrolinx to bring the GO-VAXX bus to our communities,” said Doreen Boville, a health promoter with the HKPR District Health Unit.

“We encourage anyone who still needs COVID-19 vaccine to get aboard the bus and get a first or second dose so they are fully protected against COVID-19, especially as we head into a fourth wave.”

Anyone wishing to take advantage of the GO-VAXX bus to receive a vaccine is reminded to:

• Bring your health card. If you do not have a health card or your health card is expired, bring another form of government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport, Status card, or birth certificate.

• Eat and drink something before you arrive to prevent feeling faint or dizzy while being vaccinated.

• Dress for the weather in case there is a line-up.

• Wear clothing that allows for easy access to the upper arm such as a loose-fitting top or T-shirt.

• Wear a mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin.

• Do not visit the GO-VAXX bus if you have symptoms of COVID-19. The mobile clinics have come about after all mass vaccination clinics in the health unit area, such as the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena in Minden, have closed.

As of Sept. 3, mobile pop-up clinics are being scheduled around the County for those who haven’t received two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“While we did see large numbers of people come through our mass immunization clinics, we know that there are some areas of our region in which the vaccination rates are still lower,” said Dr. Natalie Bocking, HKPR medical officer of health in a press release.

“Mobile clinics are now being offered in some of our smaller communities making it easier for people to get vaccinated without having to worry about transportation issues or taking time off work to travel to a clinic,” she added.

Currently, mobile clinics will also visit the South Algonquin Country Store in Harcourt on Sept. 18 from noon until 3 p.m. Appointments aren’t required for mobile clinics.

The health unit also had clinics at the high school on Sept. 14 and 15.

The health unit reports 71 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the region since June were among unvaccinated people while 10.8 per cent were fully vaccinated.

“These numbers demonstrate to me that at a community level the vaccine is making a difference,” said Bocking.

As of Sept. 13, 83.3 per cent of the region has received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.3 per cent have received two doses

AH middle of the road for council pay

Algonquin Highlands taxpayers have gotten some insight into how much they are spending on council as compared to similarsized townships.

Gallagher Benefit Services (Canada) Group Inc. presented an elected officials’ remuneration review final report to council during a Sept. 2 meeting.

The firm’s Jane Mizanski said the report was aimed at assessing the competitiveness of compensation. It also informs the township about attracting municipal candidates and whether their compensation reflects the responsibilities, time commitment and accountability of the positions.

The consultants looked at base pay, per diems, eligible expenses and other things such as benefits and pensions.

A comparison was made to North Frontenac, Perry, North Kawartha, Lake of Bays, Highlands East, Hastings Highlands, Trent Lakes, Minden Hills and Bracebridge.

They found the mayor’s remuneration is competitive to the market average, while the deputy mayor and councillors are a bit above.

They noted at .45 per kilometre, the township falls short of most others which compensate mileage at .55 per kilometre. It noted the council gets health and dental benefits. As for technology, the mayor and deputy mayor get cell phones.

The report concluded, “Overall the Township practices for benefits and other expenses is aligned to most of the market comparators, with the exception of per kilometre rates and technology supports where the Township is below the comparator group offerings. In terms of base remuneration for each of the three positions [mayor, deputy mayor and councillors] the Township is competitive with the market median.”

It suggested annual pay adjustments equal to staff positions; increasing mileage reimbursement to .55 per kilometre for the first 5,000 km then .45; and exploring cost effective options to provide all elected officials with technology support either through direct purchase (and return of laptop or buy out at end of term) or a once per term stipend for newly-elected members (returning members receive the stipend only once).

Mayor Carol Moffatt noted that with the pandemic, councillors are not driving a lot and some are using landlines, but the suggestions are good going forward.

Coun. Jennifer Dailloux said she was “delighted” to see Algonquin Highlands was “right smack in the middle. It’s a good space to be in and provides confidence for us.” She said she would prefer a stipend to put towards technology, such as internet and software costs since how council business is being conducted has changed.

Deputy mayor Liz Danielsen agreed it was good to see that the council was in the middle of what people are paying. She agreed with taking a look at mileage reimbursement and stipends for technology.

Coun. Julia Shortreed said members of the committee of adjustment are doing a lot of driving and supported examining a mileage increase.

A staff report will come back to a future council meeting.

Fines issued for Illegal moose hunting in Forest

Three County residents have been fined for illegal moose hunting in Haliburton Forest during the 2019 moose hunt.

According to Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, five men – the other two from out of the County – have been fined a total of $17,900 for illegal moose hunting activities involving a bull and a cow moose in the Forest in October of 2019.

The case was heard on June 15, 2021 and a press release issued Aug. 20.

In the press release, the ministry said “The Ontario government wants to remind hunters that when party hunting to follow all requirements and not make false statements to conservation officers.”

Patrick Morrison of Haliburton pleaded guilty to unlawfully hunting a bull moose without a licence and unlawfully hunting a cow moose without a licence and was fined $6,000.

Steven Forrest of Bobcaygeon pleaded guilty to unlawfully hunting a bull moose without a licence and unlawfully hunting a cow moose without a licence and was fined $5,750.

Robert Robinson of Ashburn pleaded guilty and was fined $1,950 for making a false statement to a conservation officer and $1,750 for unlawfully enabling someone else to use a licence or component of a licence issued to oneself.

Colin Morrison of Haliburton pleaded guilty and was fined $1,750 for unlawfully using a licence, or component of a licence issued to someone else.

Craig Stamp of West Guilford pleaded guilty and was fined $700 for unlawfully transporting wildlife that was unlawfully killed.

The court heard that on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, a conservation officer conducted an inspection of a hunt camp in the Forest and found a dead cow and calf moose that had been shot. The cow moose had a cow tag attached that was issued to Robinson and notched for that morning at 8 a.m. The officer spoke with Robinson over the phone who claimed he had been there and left at lunch that day.

The investigation revealed that three moose – a bull, a cow, and a calf – were all harvested on Oct. 23, 2019 by Forrest. There were no individuals with a bull moose tag or cow moose tag actively participating in the hunt when the moose were shot. Robinson had left his cow moose tag behind with Colin Morrison who notched and affixed the tag. Stamp had assisted in transporting the moose out of the bush. Patrick Morrison had informed the hunting group that they had more moose tags than they did. The bull moose was left in the bush but then later brought out and identified to officers so it wouldn’t spoil. Justice of the Peace Ronald Prestage heard the case remotely in the Ontario Court of Justice.

The release said “conservation officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the current COVID19 pandemic and would like to remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits, we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy.”

To report a natural resource violation or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, visit ontario.ca/ mnrftip