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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.

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HHHS urges Highlanders to ‘stop-check-go’ during critical staff shortages

The Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) have launched an awareness campaign focused on possible emergency department closures. 

The “Stop-Check-Go” initiative urges highlanders to guage whether their illness or injury warrants emegency care, and check if their closest emergency room is open before driving there.

The announcement comes in the midst of ongoing staff shortages which may result in temporary emergency room closures in Haliburton or Minden.

In a June 30 media HHHS said injured patients should  “‘stop’ and consider whether self-care can address their concerns (such as twisted ankles, sunburns, minor abrasions, or seasonal allergies) or if they should call their doctor for an appointment (such as for chronic symptoms, back pain, or stomach aches).” 

If emergency room care is needed, HHHS said patients should check the status of their nearest emergency room by calling the services’ phone line at 705-457-1392 and using extension 2555 or visiting the HHSS website or social media accounts before going to the nearest emergency room. 

Anyone seriously injured should still call 911 for medical attention. 

If either Haliburton or Minden’s emergency department is temporarily closed, paramedics will take patients to the nearest emergency care centre. 

“HHHS continues its work to retain its current staff, recruit new staff members, and explore all options and alternatives to deliver high-quality care to residents, cottagers, and visitors of Haliburton County and the surrounding area,” stated HHHS.

As of June 30, there have been no temporary emergency room closures in 2022.

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Camexicanus strums in summer

Kids from across Haliburton County plucked guitars, sang songs and drummed funky beats for their families and friends June 27 at a Camexicanus “Music Together” recital.

The program has provided kids free music lessons in Haliburton and Minden since May, with the option to return in the fall for pay-what-you-can lessons. 

“It makes sure kids all across the County can get music lessons no matter what,” said Camexicanus director Greg Sadlier. Katie Lavalle, who performed a solo song on guitar said she was nervous to perform in front of the crowd, but excited to share her skills. “I like how there are so many different chords and ways you can pick,” said Lavalle. 

Others, such as June Judson who had been practicing in the program for eight weeks, got on stage to perform with a crew of other beginner guitarists. Judson said she’d like to learn how to sing while playing guitar in the fall. 

“It was really heartwarming and good to see them pull everything together,” said assistant director Darian Maddock who helped coach the beginner musicians. A new round of free lessons will be available in the fall for kids who haven’t attended the program. 

Canada Day festivities

 Camexicanus will take over Glebe Park July 1 for a “Canada Day Throwback.” There will be live music, a kids’ baking contest and games and craft stations from 11-4 p.m. High school rock stars will strut their stuff on stage at 7 p.m. for a concert celebrating Canadiana and songs from all decades. 

“There will be some Blue Rodeo, we’ll be playing “Oh Canada, God Save the Queen,” said Maddock. “Some will be playing their own original songs too.” 

Camps offered 

Camexicanus also offers day and overnight camps throughout the summer. This year the theme is “Create Adventure.”

From Haliburton to Wilberforce to Norland and beyond, Sadlier and a crew of young leaders will be leading kids in art, music, theatre, film, sports and outdoor activities. 

Day camps are open to kids from senior Kindergarten to Grade 8. 

Overnight camps are open to kids from Grade 5 to Grade 8. At the end of the summer, Camexicanus will host a youth arts and music festival in Haliburton on the last weekend of August. 

For more information and camp dates, visit camexicanus.ca or contact info@camexicanus.ca

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School board commits to outdoor education

Educational assistants and custodians are on the chopping block, the union said

Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) director of education Wes Hahn has reaffirmed the board’s commitment to delivering outdoor education programming to students in the 2022/23 school year.

As reported in the June 16 Highlander, TLDSB has made the decision to cancel programming at the Yearley Outdoor Education Centre, north of Huntsville. For over 40 years the site has served as the primary location for outdoor learning for students across the district.

It hasn’t been used since 2019, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic eliminating all outdoor education programming across TLDSB. Hahn indicated staff had identified several health and safety concerns that meant hosting students at the site was not an option for the coming year.

“Yes, there will be outdoor education. There was never not going to be outdoor education. We’re going to make sure it happens,” Hahn said. “With two years [of the Yearley site] not being in use, we have some things we’re concerned about.”

Suggestions that TLDSB was eliminating program at the site to either facilitate or sale or repurpose the space are wide of the mark, Hahn added, given that the board doesn’t own the property.

Outdoor education opportunities will be provided to students at an as-yet unknown location, Hahn confirmed.

He said, moving forward, Yearley would continue to be a part of TLDSB’s consideration for future programming. Looking long-term, he hopes that TLDSB will one day be in a position to construct a dedicated outdoor education space of its own.

Laid off EAs likely to be called back

Superintendent of human resources Tracy Hubbard has informed board trustees that many of the 77 CUPE employees recently laid off by the board will likely be called back at some point during the next school year.

Notices were handed out to 37 custodians, 33 educational assistants and seven office/ clerical staff earlier this month, leading to CUPE 997 president Bill Campbell appearing at a recent TLDSB board meeting to criticize the decision.

Providing more context to the situation, Hubbard said of the 37 custodians that were issued notices, 10 of them were layoffs of additional responsibility only.

“Based on a decrease in staffing, some schools will no longer have a lead hand position. But that staff member will still maintain a full-time permanent position,” Hubbard said. She added that the last time there was a mass layoff of custodians, in 2019, all people who hadn’t found alternate employment were called back into permanent positions midway through the 2019/20 school year.

Regarding EAs, Hubbard said of the 33 people issued with layoff notices, five have since had their layoff rescinded. With TLDSB set to introduce new ‘school support teams’ next year, Hubbard said the board are in a unique position where they expect to be hiring for new EAs later this summer.

“We actually have a greater FTE of positions to be filled by EAs than people who have received layoff notices,” Hubbard said.

The new school support team will be comprised of five teachers and four EAs who will be available board-wide to offer supports and instructional practices for students that require an extra level of support.

TLAC update

TLDSB celebrated the return of its Art Camp last month, with 278 students spending a week at Haliburton’s Camp White Pine.

The camp ran May 22 to 27 and saw students do a variety of arts-themed activities, from jewellery making and pottery to painting and drawing, dance and music. There were also different sports and waterbased activities for students who aren’t so art inclined.

Superintendent Kim Williams said the program’s return, the first since 2019, was a big deal for students, parents and teachers alike.

“We have had lots of positive feedback… The highlights were that the camp provided a sense of inclusion, a place where students felt safe to be themselves,” Williams said. “It was a priceless experience for many.”

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Hospital visits returning to pre-pandemic levels in 2021-22

Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) saw a record number of people pass through its emergency departments during the last fiscal year, with more than 22,000 visits reported between Mar. 31, 2021 and April 1, 2022.

Speaking at the organization’s virtual annual general meeting June 23, president and CEO Carolyn Plummer said they were up around 4,500 visits from the previous year, marking a busy 12 months for staff, who also had to contend with COVID-19 repercussions.

“We are seeing a return to the types of volumes before the pandemic hit. What we are seeing in addition to that is an increasing complexity of patients as well,” Plummer said.

Staffing shortages across HHHS have left the hospital’s two emergency departments in Haliburton and Minden vulnerable. Plummer reported back in November that a reduction in hours and service may be necessary. The hospital has since relied on agency nurses and HealthForce Ontario emergency department locum program physicians to keep both sites operational 24/7. While staffing remains an issue, Plummer has said both departments will remain open throughout the summer.

Plummer added HHHS will be partnering with local municipalities to identify potential collaborations and ways to support recruitment, as well as retain existing staff.

Last year also saw some major changes in the way HHHS documents and reports information with a transition to EPIC, an electronic health records software system, and AlayaCare, a cloud-based scheduling system.

“It’s taken years the implementation of these new systems, and it’s been an absolutely tremendous achievement for our staff. I know it hasn’t been easy, and it’s meant a huge shift in the way our teams document their various workflows… but ultimately it has led to improvements for patients and clients,” Plummer said.

Banner year for hospital foundation

Lisa Tompkins, who will soon be retiring as executive director of the HHHS Foundation, said the organization’s fundraising efforts in 2021/22 had resulted in $413,494 in transfers to the hospitals to fund various new equipment purchases.

The foundation raised a record $243,910 through its festive Believe in the Magic of Giving campaign, while the annual Radiothon, held in partnership with MooseFM, garnered just under $34,000. A new monthly 50/50 lottery has also been successful, with over $88,000 in ticket sales since its launch last summer.

The money was used to purchase new vital sign monitors; mobile workstations on wheels to support the new EPIC software; accessible bathtubs for Highland Wood and Hyland Crest long-term care centres; a bariatric bed, and a new food steamer for the kitchen at the Minden hospital. Some interim funding was also provided to help with the new nurse call bell system at Highland Wood and Hyland Crest.

Community programs

With the pandemic subsiding during the latter part of the 2021/22 fiscal year, Plummer said HHHS was able to bring back some of its popular community programs, and ramp up support in others that continued throughout COVID-19.

Meals on Wheels supported 271 clients, delivering 19,387 meals, while telemedicine services provided 7,335 rides to 405 clients for a combined 377,496 kilometres.

The Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN) clinic has seen a 15 per cent increase in client visits, while the Home First/Home at Last program has more than doubled its clientele. Diabetes education saw an 18 per cent jump in clients and 22 per cent hike in visits) the hospice and palliative care programs a 20 per cent uptick and 80 per cent jump in visits.

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Artist wanted to do it right for student campaigners

Annie Hamel said it was a “magical” experience to paint the images of Taly Williams and Lesley Tashin on Haliburton’s A.J LaRue Arena.

The muralist has more than 15 years’ experience crafting public art. Her work can be spotted across her hometown of Montreal, around Toronto, internationally and now along Maple Avenue.

In a sense, Hamel was hired by Highlanders: the siblings’ murals were funded from community donations.

“When I was painting in Haliburton, I really felt it was important for the people there,” she said, mentioning both the community interest in the project and its prominent spot in the town.

In Montreal, for instance, street art is a fixture of many neighborhoods. The rural nature of Haliburton, Hamel said, makes murals stand out.

“People will live with the murals every day… we have to do it right,” she said.

She spent months painting multiple panels for each mural in her Montreal studio, but that made it difficult to paint certain spots, like Williams’ face, which was divided by two panels.

“It wasn’t possible to put the two panels together [in the studio], it was too big.”

She double-checked Williams’ portrait with his mother, and sent Tashlins’ image to Williams for his feedback.

She conducted phone calls with Tashlin and Williams too, as well as researching their past and major accomplishments before the brushstrokes began.

It was difficult work, Hamel said.

“Especially when I was working in Montreal, I worked on the murals for weeks. I felt alone, it was hard. I was tired, she said. “But I was thinking about the kids and I thought ‘I can’t disappoint them’.”

Finally, in early June, Hamel arrived in Haliburton to put her paintings on the arena’s walls. That meant hours of touch-ups afterwards, as she carefully joined the panels together.

Hamel’s hard work paid off.

Her murals were lauded by the athletes, as well as Highlanders across social media and at an in-person mural unveiling.

Ella Gervais, a student in the class that originally lobbied Dysart et al for help with the murals, called Hamel’s work a “beautiful and legitimate addition to this wall of sports heroes” at an unveiling event June 18.

Hamel wasn’t in Haliburton to see the students or community come face to face with her work, but said she was happy to have been involved.

“I imagine it was a lot of emotion for the kids, and for Taly and Lesley,” she said.

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Recreating The Rockcliffe at Moore Falls

Years after the original bar in downtown Minden closed, the Rockcliffe brand is growing under fresh ownership with the opening of a new restaurant overlooking Moore Lake.

Friends Dan Gosselin, Jono McMahon, Kirsty Goodearle and Mark and Lise Dracup took over the old Summerkiss seasonal restaurant in Moore Falls last November and have spent the past six months restoring the original building and giving it a major facelift to recreate the charm and feel of The Rockcliffe.

The new restaurant will open with a special celebration on Canada Day.

“We’re just really excited to be here… We’ve all been regulars at this restaurant over the years, and when we found out the owner was looking to sell, I think we all felt the same way in that we didn’t want to lose the place we had come to love,” Goodearle said.

The inside space has been completely renovated, with a new bar installed. The site also boasts six hotel rooms, which will be available to rent as of July 1. Unlike the old location, Rockcliffe Moore Falls will be open year-round.

The team was excited to recently welcome chef Eric Percy into the fold. He has taken the lead on building a new menu from scratch, inspired by local favourites and specialties he has perfected from his 20 years working in fine dining establishments in Toronto and all over the world.

“We’ll have a little bit of main street and a little bit of high street on our menu. If you want fish and chips, chicken wings or a hamburger, we’ve got you covered. If you want a porterhouse steak, we have you covered there too. There will be something for everyone,” Percy said. “Everything is going to be made daily from scratch. We’re not going to do your usual out-of-the-box, frozen food here. Our food will be made in-house with love by our skilled team.”

Percy noted there will also be various vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.

Living and growing up in nearby Fenelon Falls, Percy remembers the heyday of the original Rockcliffe.

“We’re thinking this will be the launchpad for the rebirth of The Rockcliffe,” he said.

Updates on the rebuild of the downtown Minden site are scarce – Dracup said all pertinent applications were submitted to Minden Hills last year, but things are at a standstill.

Their immediate focus right now will be on establishing the new Moore Falls location. Gosselin said he has big plans for the site.

“We definitely see this as being a big music venue – we want to have live music every weekend… And given we have seven acres of land here, that might let us look into hosting outside events and things like weddings,” he said.

McMahon added, “It would be cool to have things like horseshoes, bocce ball. We’ve talked about doing outdoor volleyball and getting a league going. Then in the winter we want to build a rink for the community too.”

And, most importantly, a key piece of The Rockcliffe’s history is returning too.

“We’ve got the old Rockcliffe University shirts printed and ready to go. People can buy them right from the restaurant,” Dracup said. “That’s such an important piece for us. The Rockcliffe is so iconic and has such a storied history in Minden, and these shirts were a big part of that. They were a very successful part of the business… There have been times when I’ve been away on vacation, at Disney, and I’ve seen people wearing those Rockcliffe shirts. We had to bring them back.”

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Dixon rocks through COVID shutdowns

Carl Dixon performs. Submitted

Carl Dixon is a man used to crowds. Big crowds; crowds moving to Dixon’s kinetic rock and roll performances through the decades. He said an “exchange of energy” with the audience has been the heart of his working life as a world-travelling musician playing in The Guess Who, April Wine and Coney Hatch.

“Suddenly, when the pandemic hit – all that was gone. It wasn’t just a huge impact on finances, it impacted me personally,” Dixon said in an email.

Early in the pandemic, online-only performances didn’t conduct the same energy. Even still, he played shows such as an online Haliburton County Folk Society livestream from the Dominion Hotel Pub.

“I’m an entertainer, and now being left with online events as the only immediate fallback really wasn’t sustainable if I was to keep a positive outlook. Being on the road, travelling across the US, Canada and Europe is also what I love about my work but now that was gone.”

Dixon estimates over 100 shows were cancelled one by one. Many were postponed, but others weren’t rebooked.

He said it was a time to reinvent himself.

He became the voice – and melody – of Harvey’s Canada-wide frontline healthcare worker thank you tour, thanks to a connection from a marketing friend.

“Soon I was back on the road playing (at a distance) under strict health guidelines – but over the weeks I played to thousands of front line workers across Canada at these Harvey’s events,” Dixon said.

Dixon was involved in a car collision in 2008, leaving him comatose for 10 days, and a long road to recovery

The downtime during the pandemic was also a chance for him to have the metal installed in his leg removed. In hospital, doctors had to fight off infections before and after surgery, and he was on an intravenous drip.

“Remarkably they removed all the titanium from my left leg and now, at last, I am back playing hockey again,” Dixon said. “We all need a pastime that lifts our spirits. Hockey makes me feel good.”

Along with his star-studded music career, Dixon began touring as an inspirational speaker following his accident.

He has plenty of experience picking himself up after life throws curveballs.

“The pandemic reminded me to set goals: reinvent what you do using skills you have; and face problems with hope for a positive outcome.”

Carl Dixon is back on the road this summer, stopping in at the Highlands Brewing Company July 30.

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Minor hockey storming into 2022-23 season

As the Highland Storm Minor Hockey Association prepares for its 2022-23 season, a rejuvenated executive is looking forward to a number of changes and new initiatives to grow hockey locally.

Cory Valentini is the new association president.

“I am very excited to be part of a team that is committed to the ongoing development of the minor hockey program in Haliburton County,” he said. “We have a lot of great ideas and after a few rough years of COVID, now is a great time to evolve and implement new opportunities for players and families.”

Most of the volunteer crew have been active members of the Storm executive committee for several years. However, there has been some shifting of positions, with Valentini saying, “we retain a vast amount of experience and knowledge in managing a minor hockey association.”

The new president acknowledged that registration was down the last few years, not just for the Storm, but for minor sports across Canada.

“COVID was tough on families for many reasons, and they had to prioritize things other than minor sports. Based on our current registration numbers, we are already up 44 per cent from last year and I am confident that will we reach and surpass pre-COVID registration numbers,” he said.

Sponsorship revenue has been down over the last few years as well, he conceded, although he added, “we did have sponsors step up to support minor hockey during COVID even though we were dealing with many unknowns and could not commit to a specific level of exposure. However, this year we have a robust sponsorship program with clear levels of exposure, and I am confident that the Haliburton County community will stand with us and support the Highland Storm.”

Speaking to some of the new initiatives, Valentini cited local skill development opportunities.

“We are working with Ryan Ramsay and Chris Kerr, who both have a wealth of experience with player development and coaching, to develop clinics that focus on specific skills for goalies, defence, offence, hitting and skating to local league and rep programs,” he said.

While the Storm does not have an official partnership with the Haliburton County Huskies, head coach Ramsay, “has been fantastic with positioning his Huskie players as role models for all our Storm players and giving each Storm team the opportunity to have at least one practice with a couple of Huskie players,” the president said.

There is also a new Storm swag merchandise website that will be launched before the start of the season. It will be open to the public. The association has also committed funds for new jerseys for all local league and rep players.

And, there will be a community logo vote.

“As we move into our first full season in many years, it seems like a perfect time to shake things up and do a refresh on our logo, however a decision that big can’t be made by the executive alone,” Valentini said.

They are putting it to a vote, asking people if they should stick with the original logo or do a refresh. “We want to hear from parents, grandparents, alumni but most of all the kids,” he added.

Elected executive members for the 2022/2023 season: • President – Cory Valentini • Vice president – Ryan Ramsay • Treasurer – Kori Consack • Secretary – Diane Peacock • Interim ice scheduler – Darlene Armstrong • Equipment manager – Jamie Walker • OMHA representative – Jessica Lloyd • Social media/public relations – Cheryl Smith • Fundraising representative – Nicki Dollo • Referee-in-chief – Brad Tait • Tournament convener – Craig Smith • Local league representative – Krysta Sharp • Local league representative – Jordan Joanu • Timekeeper co-ordinator – Diane Peacock • Registrar – Nikki Latanville Go to highlandstorm.org to register for the 2022/2023 hockey season, registration is open until Sept. 1, 2022.

Elected executive members for the 2022/2023 season:

• President – Cory Valentini

• Vice president – Ryan Ramsay

• Treasurer – Kori Consack

• Secretary – Diane Peacock

• Interim ice scheduler – Darlene Armstrong

• Equipment manager – Jamie Walker

• OMHA representative – Jessica Lloyd

• Social media/public relations – Cheryl Smith

• Fundraising representative – Nicki Dollo

• Referee-in-chief – Brad Tait

• Tournament convener – Craig Smith

• Local league representative – Krysta Sharp

• Local league representative – Jordan Joanu

• Timekeeper co-ordinator – Diane Peacock

• Registrar – Nikki Latanville

Go to highlandstorm.org to register for the 2022/2023 hockey season, registration is open until Sept. 1, 2022.

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‘Democratizing’ the great outdoors for Minden Hills

Outward Bound Canada (OBC) has equipped more than 150,000 people with outdoors experiences in Canada and beyond.

Now, the charity has a new base near Minden, where it will offer professionally-led outdoors trips as well as a brand-new academy for aspiring guides.

“We’re two and a half hours from Toronto, but close enough to all of the great tripping areas,” said Andrew Young, OBC executive director.

“Minden is really well set up for outdoor educators. There is a lifestyle that really suits our staff.”

OBC has moved into buildings at the Kinark Outdoor Centre, a 600-hectare multi-use outdoor facility off of Queens Line.

“For us, trying to own and operate a property of this size is a big task. For non-profit charities to come together and partner, we get a lot of synergy out of that,” Young said.

OBC will lead canoe trips, hiking expeditions and more from their new Minden base. But Maria Paterson, OBC Ontario Wilderness Program Manager, said it’s important to recognize how adventure facilitates character-building.

“Whether it’s a rainstorm that comes through, or you’re sleeping in a tent, it’s about ‘how do we push through, how do we learn from this’?”

She and Young said OBC is continually trying to expand who feels comfortable to venture outside with them, too. OBC offers trips especially for youth who identify as 2SLGBTQ+, indigenous teens, veterans and canoe trips for girls only, for example.

There is also funding available for anyone who might want to join a trip but can’t afford the cost.

“We can take a teen who doesn’t have any outdoor gear at all,” said Paterson, “and outfit them with boots, with rain gear, with backpacks, thanks to our funding and industry partners.”

Young said helping “democratize” the outdoors is at the heart of his passion for OBC.

“One of the main draws for me is to get the resources for people of all walks of life to participate,” he said.

Bridging industry gaps

OBC is testing a new program aimed at equipping adults with the skills to become outdoor guides.

The OBC Training Academy is a federally-funded education program spanning in-classroom education and in the field practical skills building.

“The COVID-19 pandemic saw more Canadians than ever enjoying Canada’s natural spaces. Yet, the Canadian outdoors sector also saw unprecedented employee attrition, creating labour shortages that threaten the long-term viability of the industry,” reads the OBC’s website.

Young said it’s a way to expose adults, most of whom so far have been in their 20s, to the vast array of jobs in the outdoor field.

It also focuses on soft skills that Young said are necessary in order to increase diversity in the outdoors. For instance, the training could include knowledge of dealing with mental health issues on a trip, or background information on how systemic racism could impact group dynamics, as well as learning about the history of Canada’s First Nations people and how that informs use of natural areas.

Guides who can effectively create a safe place for everyone, said Young, are more likely to help increase representation of minority groups in the outdoor sector.

“It becomes a normal part of development, the training academy is part of our capacity building to make that happen,” he said.

The training academy will kick off an eight-week program in September. For more information visit outwardbound. ca/adult-courses/obc-training-academy.

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HHOA welcomes new hatchery manager

The Haliburton Highlands Outdoor Association (HHOA) has announced that David Poirier has volunteered to manage the fish hatchery.

Poirier takes over for Randy Charter, who oversaw hatchery operations the last seven years.

“I’ve been vacationing in the Haliburton area for 30 years and I’ve always admired the HHOA’s work,” Poirier said. “I’m thrilled to continue Randy’s outstanding work and look forward to helping the HHOA enhance its efforts to improve Haliburton area fisheries.”

Poirier recently retired from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, where he spent 32 years as a scientist in aquatic toxicology. While there, he ran a fish culture laboratory that reared 25,000 rainbow trout every year. He has a BSc in marine biology, specializing in fish culturing, and a MSc in environmental biology from the University of Guelph.

“David brings an extremely high level of expertise to the hatchery, said HHOA president Dan Smith. “We are very excited to have David with us as we explore new ways to improve and expand our operations.”

Poirier and his wife Linda recently purchased a property near Salerno Lake where they are building their retirement home. The couple have three boys ranging in age from 23 to 31.

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