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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.

HE to do public consultation on Centre Lake

Highlands East will head a public consultation for the province’s disposal of Crown land on Centre lake. Photo via Granite Shores.

Highlands East plans to work alongside the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) in its consultation to dispose of the provincial Crown Reserve on Centre Lake.

Council passed a resolution March 2 to take part in the ministry’s process. It comes as the province considers two applications for development at Centre Lake that seek to use its 200-foot Crown reserve, including a 60-suite resort called Granite Shores. Planner Chris Jones said the MNRF will want municipal input – and whether council supports the Crown land disposition.

“If council is ultimately going to be tasked with rendering some decision of support or non-support,” Jones said. “Take the bull by the horns and as far as a consultation process, create an opportunity for people and stakeholders to provide comments directly to the municipality.”

The motion indicates consultation will include notice by direct mail to landowners within two kilometres of Centre Lake, Cardiff shoreline associations and Indigenous groups. The municipality will also notify local trail and recreational organizations such as the Paudash Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club by direct mail or email.

In addition, the municipality is proposing a virtual open house as a special meeting to provide an opportunity for public comment. There will be further notification in local print media and on the municipal website.

“Pick a date and schedule a special meeting of council for the sole purpose of allowing for public input,” Jones said. “That becomes the salient aspect of this disposition that council can use to inform themselves.”

Granite Shores launched its own website in February detailing its project and soliciting feedback, but it is separate from any government consultation to come.

“We aim to provide all the information on this exciting development in Haliburton Highlands in an open and transparent fashion,” the development said on its website.

No timeline has yet been set for the meeting or the MNRF’s consultation process. Regional planner Pauline Capelle said it is difficult to predict but could be posted for input in the coming months.

County stands still on emissions reduction

County council opted against changing its corporate emissions targets from a 15 per cent reduction by 2030. Above, Judy Phipps at climate change protest Sept. 25. File photo.

County council decided not to up its 15 per cent corporate emissions reduction target despite staff presenting options for higher goals.

It targets a 15 per cent reduction in emissions from 2018 levels by 2030. But McKay presented other options such as increasing that figure to 30 per cent to align with federal and provincial targets, or 45 per cent to follow the best science and help further limit global warming. McKay provided examples of similar municipalities aiming for different goals, from Sault Ste. Marie at 10 per cent to the District of Muskoka targeting a 50 per cent reduction by 2030.

“We are seeing unprecedented levels of action by all levels of government, shifting from incremental action toward transformative action,” McKay said. “Experts are warning us this is the critical decade to maintain a livable climate … A 45 per cent reduction is one that is based in science.

“Cutting our emissions essentially in half would require bold leadership but we would not be alone in this endeavour.”

Councillors expressed concerns about upping the target. Deputy warden Patrick Kennedy said the County faces pressure with more people moving to the area permanently.

“Fifteen (per cent) is still an admirable goal to achieve with what’s coming,” Kennedy said.

Coun. Carol Moffatt said the municipalities passed budgets and she would want more information on financial implications before approving a higher target.

“I would like a multi-year rough projection of what it’s going to do to our budget so we can plan and prepare for it adequately, as opposed to taking a leap of faith for the good of the world,” Moffatt said. “We need to do both.”

Environment Haliburton! vice-president Terry Moore said he was upset by how the conversation played out.

“The financial budget, they’re not going to matter much when we don’t have a climate that’s conducive to civilization,” Moore said.

He said there is not enough of a community movement on the issue versus a place like Muskoka. He lamented the County’s approach to finish a corporate plan before beginning consultations for a separate community plan.

“There is nowhere near enough pressure. Council’s not going to lead on this,” Moore said.

Warden Liz Danielsen said council will look for more information from McKay as she continues her work.

“We’re all recognizing it is a moving landscape,” Danielsen said. “Just because we’re not making a change today, does not mean we won’t do that down the road, and even not too long from now.”

COVID restrictions eased in Haliburton

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is shifting to Yellow under the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework. Photo via Ontario.ca.

The province is easing restrictions in the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit as it is set to become a “Yellow” region under the province’s COVID-19 framework as of March 8.

The colour is the second-lowest in the five-colour framework, one level below the “Orange” level the district is currently under. Changes include lifting the 50-person capacity limit for restaurants and personal care services requiring face-covering removal resuming.

HKPR acting medical officer of health Dr. Ian Gemmill said it is a nice reward for declining COVID-rates in the region. The district’s 7-day case average has dipped from 19.1 per 100,000 residents Feb. 19 to 9.5 per 100,000 residents March 5.

“We’ve had a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases over the last two-week period, so that’s great news to be rewarded,” Gemmill said. “That said, I want to urge people not to let their guard down and continue taking COVID-19 precautions because the situation could quickly change.”

As of March 4, Haliburton has had no new cases since Feb. 9.

Gemmill said caution is still necessary. COVID variants that spread more easily are becoming increasingly prevalent, and make up one-quarter of all new cases detected in the region over the last two weeks.

“We may be open for business, but we can’t assume it’s business as usual,” Gemmill said. “Until more people are vaccinated and we can get COVID-19 under full control, we must continue doing all we can to stop the spread.”

Gemmill advises to stay home as often as possible, wear masks and limit social gatherings and travel.

FAQ about COVID-19 vaccinations

by Dr. Nell Thomas

Q: Why should I get a vaccine?

A: Vaccine is the way to end the COVID19 pandemic. The vaccine protects yourself, your family and the community. Once the majority of the population is vaccinated, COVID-19 can no longer spread. There is an 80 per cent reduction in infections in long-term care homes that have been vaccinated. The sooner the majority of Canadians are vaccinated, the sooner our lives can return to normal.

Q: I’m not high risk. COVID-19 is not that bad. I don’t need a vaccine, right?

A: Globally, more than two million people have died of COVID-19 in less than a year. COVID-19 does not care how old you are or who you are. Anyone can get sick from the virus. Even if healthy people do not die from COVID-19 infection, they may have long-term complications that cause shortness of breath, low energy, headaches, muscle and joint pain, cognitive impairment, cough, loss of taste or smell. Even if you are not high risk, there are many in our community who are. When the majority of citizens are vaccinated, that protects all. Each year I get a flu vaccine. Even though my risk of death from flu is low, my vaccine helps stop the spread of influenza to others more vulnerable.

Q: Why can’t I wait and see what happens to others?

A: The sooner a majority of Canadians is vaccinated, the sooner our lives can return to normal. We need a majority to be vaccinated and that means we are all responsible for helping to achieve this goal.

Q: What if I’m breastfeeding? What if I’m pregnant?

A: Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers may be able to get the COVID-19 vaccines. There were no pregnant or breastfeeding individuals included in the Phase III vaccine trials for Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines. Therefore, there are no safety data available for this group of individuals. For more information, please read the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy. It is suggested to speak to your primary health care provider to review your own medical status, risks and consequences of potential COVID-19 infection, and potential risk versus benefit of the vaccines. (All pregnant women need flu vaccines as influenza is particularly dangerous in pregnancy.)

Q: How will I know when it is my turn to get the vaccine?

A: In Ontario, adults over 80 years will start to receive vaccines March 15. Systems to identify and track candidates are being created, including online and telephone booking systems. According to the current provincial schedule, people 75 and older should start to receive their vaccines April 15, those 70 years and older start May 1, and people aged 65 years and older will be vaccinated starting June 1. This will be affected by vaccine availability.

Q: Where will I get my vaccine?

A: Local public health units are managing the vaccine rollout and in most communities vaccines are given in vaccination clinics run in hospitals, health units, medical clinics, doctors offices, pharmacies, and via mobile sites delivering to individuals. Mass vaccination sites (public buildings such as arenas) will be used in some communities. You will be notified as soon as we have our site(s) ready.

Q: How will I get my vaccine if I cannot leave the house?

A: Plans are being developed to bring the vaccine to individuals 80 years and older who are housebound.

Q: Once I am vaccinated, can I get together with friends and family who have also been vaccinated?

A: People are asked to continue to follow the public health measures (six feet apart, avoid indoor groups, double mask, hand hygiene). Avoid socializing with people from other households for now. Watch for updates from public health as infection rates and vaccination rates are tracked and will dictate safe activities for all of us.

Thanks, Mike

It’s not often we use this editorial space to pay tribute to an individual in the community. However, Mike Jaycock’s contribution to Haliburton County over the years is significant and it somehow seemed fitting.

While Mike and his wife, Jane, and dog Sophie, are not moving until March 24, word is out that the Highlands’ loss is Ingersoll’s gain.

CanoeFM spilled the beans in an email blast and The Highlander asked Jaycock to trip down memory lane with us for a story on his pending departure which is running on our people page a little further back in today’s edition.

Glancing through a lengthy email – since Jaycock is one of those few people who can do an email interview because he writes very well, honed from years of doing radio interviews – it’s hard to believe what he has packed in, in his 18 years as a permanent resident.

Difficult to fathom that when he first arrived, he and Jane didn’t know anybody. However, they soon learned that joining a club or organization – in their case the Haliburton Curling Club – was the ticket to friendship.

Meeting Dave Sovereign, one of Canoe’s founders, helped Jaycock transition into community radio. Jaycock helped Sovereign with the morning show, before taking it on himself for about 10 years. He went on to do the Friday Drive show.

Jaycock reflected on his great friendship with the late Lorraine McNeil, his radio partner who gave him the kick he needed to translate his dream for a Christmas pantomime into The Highlands Christmas Shindig. With alter ego, Dame Beatrice, and more people than we can name in this space, they have launched what continues to be one of the marquee events on the County calendar, and a huge fundraiser for Fuel for Warmth.

The good news is Dame Beatrice plans to come back in November for what’s hoped to be a live show.

Prior to that, he recalls going to Those Other Movies and seeing Prairie Home Companion and loving it. After the show he chatted with Tammy Rea and they talked about the power of that kind of production. Naturally Rea thought they should try it here. Many will remember the Highlands Radio Almanac.

For many, Jaycock has been the voice of not just community radio, but so many local events. He is synonymous with Canada Day in Minden. There was many a live broadcast at election times. We recall his voice at the Lions Club polar bear challenge; emcee of the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce awards gala; countless auctions including the hospital auxiliary and Tall Pine Tales.

And there were contributions to the Sculpture Forest and Performing Arts committees; Rotary; SIRCH; Yours Outdoors, Dysart et al and the Ontario Senior Games. And, we’re pretty sure he’s missed a few.

Outside of the radio station, his contributions continue. He was instrumental in the work of the Haliburton Creative Business Incubator. Some might have forgotten that he was the first business manager there. He taught at the college, too. He recalls some great young people coming through the eco-tourism program including Haliburton Forest’s Tegan Legge.

Jaycock was named Highlander of the Year in 2009.

While we may still listen to him on air from time to time and see him in November, when he and Jane move March 24, the Highlands will bid them farewell with a heavy heart.

Thanks, Mike.

Cook it up and get ready for retail

This year’s Cook It Up and Ready for Retail training programs will be offered both onsite and online, SIRCH Community Services said in a Feb. 15 news release.

In partnership with Fleming College, both programs are starting soon.

Cook It Up trains people in food services. Ready for Retail trains people to work in retail spaces.

This year, for the first time, Cook It Up trainees get to practice their skills in the SIRCH Community Kitchen and Bistro, while Ready for Retail students will cut their teeth at the SIRCH Marketplace.

SIRCH said successful candidates can do some courses from home or, if they don’t have an available computer, at the new training centre. Some of the classes will be in small groups in the training centre as well.

“These programs will help you gain the skills and confidence you need to find success,” SIRCH executive director, Gena Robertson, said to potential participants.

“We can help you solve any practical issues that may stand in your way, like if you don’t have transportation, or need to be home when the kids get off the bus. And you’ll get a hot lunch any day you’re on site.”

She added, “Our instructors will make you feel confident in no time. Our goal is to get you employed, or self-employed, and everyone is going to bend over backwards to make that happen.”

The programs have been running for six years. Robertson said 90 per cent of graduates have been offered jobs upon graduation.

The programs are free. To apply or learn more, contact SIRCH at info@ sirch.on.ca or call 705-457-1742. Or you can visit www.sirch.on.ca

New owners have big plans for Minden links

Beaverbrook Golf Course in Minden has new owners and big plans for the nine-hole course, clubhouse and property.

Luigi Centurami and Liz Coccia have purchased the course and hired Gordon Timbers as the director of golf to lead the golf operations and maintenance team at the property.

Timbers said he’s assuming his role this spring and will begin implementing plans for improvement throughout the facility.

“COVID-19 protocols will be at the top of the list, with a goal of ensuring all guests feel comfortable with a minimal contact experience,” he said.

Plans also include a complete renovation to the clubhouse, which is currently underway and should be completed early in the 2021 golf season. An addition of new carts is in the works as well, which Timbers said will improve the quality of the experience.

“We will be adding a full-service restaurant to the facility, called Mulligans Pub & Patio, that will be operated by Michael Wright and Paula Sylvester as owners and food and beverage managers for the course,” he said.

The pair have been owners and operators of the Tower Bistro restaurant in Dorset, winning the TripAdvisor award of excellence.

Timbers said the facility is also excited to announce that they will be offering a full adult membership at the promotion price of $500. Timbers will also be assessing the daily rates for the coming 2021 season and will probably make adjustments to be on par with the other 9-hole courses in the County.

They’ll be continuing the ladies league tradition as a supporting venue for the Chippers and Putters divisions held on Tuesdays. The course will also be offering a weekly men’s night that is slated for Monday evenings; which will be using a shotgun format to promote a club atmosphere.

With Centurami and Coccia also owning Twin Lakes Resort, Timbers said currently the two entities will be separate, “but we may offer a stay and play promotion through the resort in the future.”

Timbers’ resume includes work at the Muskoka Bay Club, Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Beacon Hall Golf Course in Aurora.

Jaycock flying the coop but Dame Beatrice will be back

Canoe FM volunteer Mike Jaycock hosts one of his final programs after 10 years of service.

One of Haliburton County’s favourite adopted sons is leaving the Highlands, but he promises to be back as his alter ego, Dame Beatrice.

Mike Jaycock is entering yet another stage of retirement as he and wife, Jane, are moving to Ingersoll.

Jaycock told The Highlander the decision was one of the toughest the couple has ever faced.

“We knew there’d be a time when we wanted to be closer to family and, given the real estate market, it appeared that now was the time we should make those plans,” he said.

They were looking to be outside the big cities, around Woodstock and Ingersoll, down the 403. They found a home in Ingersoll, population 9,000 which puts them nicely within reach of all family members. The Jaycocks have been permanent residents of the Highlands for almost 18 years.

Jaycock recalls that when they first arrived, they didn’t know anyone. However, after joining the Haliburton Curling Club they began to make friends.

He also began volunteering with CanoeFM. It started with a morning show a few days a week, morphing into five days a week.

“Through snow storms, rainy days and beautiful summer mornings, I did that for about 10 years.” Jaycock retired after coming down with Meniere’s Disease, an inner ear disorder that triggers severe bouts of vertigo. However, he was able to do the Friday Drive show and co-hosted with Lorraine McNeil on Monday mornings.

He describes his friendship with McNeil as the best thing that happened to him in radio.

“I still hear her laughter. Almost each time we were together I was able to trick her with some improbable comment and she would always say to me (off air) ‘you’re such a bum!’ and then we would both laugh uproariously. It was the best of times. Lorraine has been gone from us for three years now but her positive impact on my life, as for many others, continues.”

She was also integral in pushing Jaycock to fulfill his dream for a Christmas Pantomime that would become the Highlands Christmas Shindig, a major fundraiser for Fuel for Warmth.

“Little did we know that it would be a huge hit and that tickets to the show would become much sought after,” he said.

Prior to that, with Tammy Rae, there was the Highlands Radio Almanac. For 10 weeks in the summer, the troupe travelled to a different location each week, throughout the County, and broadcast live, with local talent and interview guests and even live radio commercials for sponsors of the program.

“It was two hours of great radio. I still believe that it was the best radio I’ve ever been a part of,” Jaycock said. All up, he spent almost 18 years on air.

“That’s a pretty good retirement project. It’s a great group of people and I have been so lucky to have been a part of their family”

HSAD students get more mental health dollars

Fleming College president, Maureen Adamson, says 69 per cent of students at Haliburton, Lindsay and Peterborough campuses have experienced anxiety during COVID-19. She said that’s up about six per cent prior to the pandemic.

In addition, she says 52 per cent have experienced depression, also up from 46 per cent prior to COVID.

Not surprisingly, she said there has been an increased demand for mental health and addictions support.

Adamson welcomed news Feb. 26 that the province is investing an additional $336,826 for mental health and addiction resources at the campuses she leads, including Haliburton School of Art and Design.

The college president said she is also worried about student retention, with some dropping out due to anxiety and other mental health concerns.

In making the announcement, the province said the money will support a variety of initiatives, including Good2Talk/Allo j’écoute, Ontario’s bilingual mental health helpline which provides professional counselling and information and referrals to all students via telephone, text and live chat (new this year). It is available to all postsecondary students 24/7, 365 days a year.

The province added the funding will strengthen community partnerships, increase the number of mental health workers and programs and immediately expand access for students to the provincial mental health and addictions system.

Local MPP, Laurie Scott, said it had been an exceptionally challenging year for students.

“We’ve heard in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock from students who attend these schools … they have expressed the challenges they have faced through the year and the toll it has taken on their mental health,” she said.

Although there is some in-class learning at HSAD right now, students have been forced to learn virtually from home for long stretches of time, which is stressful, Adamson said.

“This has been an unprecedented year of anxiety, students looking for support, counselling services have been taxed, so I cannot tell you how profound and important and timely this funding is for us and our students,” she said.

Plans underway for County vaccinations

Five Haliburton County partners are working with the local health unit to finalize plans for community vaccination against COVID-19.

The Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team, Haliburton Family Medical Centre, Haliburton County Paramedic Service, the County of Haliburton, and Haliburton Highlands Health Services say that while no firm timeline or clinic information is available yet, they recognize residents want local details about what they can expect in terms of immunization plans and locations.

The supply of vaccines into Haliburton County is guided by the availability and determination of priority groups by the province. The local partners say they are working diligently with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) to plan for the arrival of vaccines for the community.

“We know that many of our residents are anxiously awaiting details on the availability of the vaccine locally, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we wait for the vaccine supply to arrive,” said HKPRDHU acting medical officer of health, Dr. Ian Gemmill.

During his weekly media briefing March 3, Gemmill said the Feb. 26 approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine is another game changer in a playing field that is altering all of the time.

Details to be announced soon

He added, “working on very concrete plans about when and where we’ll have clinics and so on. Not quite finished that yet, but … it’s coming soon. Just be patient. Like everybody, we all have to be patient. We all want to get this vaccine as quickly as possible.”

It is known that after local healthcare workers are immunized, the next priority group will be residents over the age of 80.

According to the Ontario College of Family Physicians, it’s expected that age group will be able to book appointments for a vaccine starting March 15. People 75 and older are looking at April 15, those 70 and up May 1, and 65 and older June 1. The college said that is subject to availability and could change. They added there will likely be mass vaccination sites, mobile sites, and likely pharmacies doing injections.

The Haliburton partners and Gemmill said information regarding when, where, and how to book appointments for vaccinations will follow in the coming weeks and will be shared with residents through newspapers, local radio stations, social media, and health care partner websites.

“At the moment, there is no wait list process to receive the vaccine and partners are grateful for the patience of community members who are anxious to receive immunization,” the partners said.

They added that until vaccines are more widely available, the community should continue to follow all public health measures to help stop the spread, including staying home as much as possible, practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask or face covering in public spaces, and getting tested for COVID-19 if they are experiencing any of the symptoms.

More information about prioritization across Ontario is available at Ontario.ca/CovidVaccine.