The Glengarry News
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Festival of Lights returns

publisher Oct 15, 2019 - 3:34pm

After a one-year break, the glow of Christmas lights will once again be returning to Alexandria's Island Park in December.

The Alexandria Bright Nights Festival will launch December 1 with a fireworks display and tree lighting ceremony. It will be held directly following the ever-popular Alexandria and District Lions Club Christmas Parade. The parade starts at 6 pm and the tree lighting ceremony will take place at Island Park at 7:30 pm. The fireworks will be shot over Mill Pond, so that the twinkling glow of the display can be seen from multiple vantage points.

"The cancellation of Alexandria's Festival of Lights left a hole in our community. The Festival was founded by Ron Aubin in 2006 and it grew from a small collection of lights to become a dazzling display that united our entire community during the Christmas season. I am proud to report that the lighting display will be returning to Island Park this year as a municipal event. The Bright Nights Festival will launch on December 1 and at the suggestion of Councillor Jacques Massie, Council agreed that the lights should continue to illuminate the park through the dark nights of February," said North Glengarry Mayor Jamie MacDonald.

The new Bright Nights Festival is being organized by the Township of North Glengarry with the support of KMAC Electric.

After the dissolution of the Festival of Lights Committee in 2018, Kirk MacMillan of KMAC Electric approached the municipality to see if there might be a way to save the Christmas tradition. Mr. MacMillan offered to donate his electrical expertise to the cause and he has been instrumental in recruiting other electricians and power utilities to help.

October 19, Mr. MacMillan and his crew will be hard at work in Island Park installing new lights in some of the tallest trees. They will be assisted by personnel from the Hydro One station in Vankleek Hill, who have donated not only their time, but the use of two lift trucks. It's going to be a busy day and we would like to advise visitors to the park that certain sections of Island Park may be inaccessible during the installation of the lights in the tall trees.

"It's going to be a more modest display of lights than was featured by the Festival of Lights, but it is the hope of the municipality that this new event can grow with time to reach the glowing success of its predecessor. Volunteer organizations are urged to contact the municipality if they are interested in participating in organizing future iterations of this event," said Mayor MacDonald.

The Glengarry Artists' Collective has also joined the cause. Local artists have developed a three interactive displays, which will be unveiled at the Bright Nights Festival. They will remain on display for the month of December and are Christmas themed.

Skid steer operator charged with impaired driving

publisher Oct 15, 2019 - 12:59pm

A North Glengarry man has been charged after an impaired skid steer operator damaged crops in a field on McCormick Road October 13. Andrew Vallières, 54, was charged with impaired driving, destroying or damaging property and failure to comply with conditions of an undertaking, says the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police detachment.

Charges laid in home invasion

publisher Oct 15, 2019 - 9:23am

Charges laid in home invasion

Two men have been charged after an October 7 home invasion on George Street in Maxville.
The investigation has determined that three individuals broke into the residence and assaulted the one adult victim with a weapon. The suspects fled the home in a vehicle.
Officers responding to the call located the vehicle a short distance away with the two suspects inside. The third involved accused is still at large.
The victim suffered minor injuries.
Kevin Currier, 35, and Kelly Currier, 57, both of North Glengarry, were charged with assault with a weapon, break and enter and mischief.


3 charged in drug bust

publisher Oct 10, 2019 - 9:12am

Three men have been charged following a huge drug and illegal tobacco seizure in Glen Robertson and Alexandria.
Laurier Théoret, 70, from Alexandria, Jason Willard, 45, and Joseph Duchesneau, 66, both from Glen Robertson, were arrested after police intercepted a delivery of illegal tobacco in Alexandria and executed a search warrant in Glen Robertson September 4.
Police seized 100,000 cigarettes, 199 cannabis plants, a Springfield .22 calibre semi-automatic rifle, a 2012 grey Dodge Caravan and cannabis production equipment.

Man rescued from fire

publisher Oct 9, 2019 - 8:40am

A man was rescued from a burning house on Willow Drive at Westley’s Point Tuesday morning.
South Glengarry firefighters saved the man who was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
An Ontario Provincial Police officer was released from hospital after being treated for smoke inhalation.
Investigators from the Ontario Fire Marshall, assisted by SD&G OPP officers and SD&G OPP crime unit, continue the investigation.

Have you heard The News?

publisher Oct 9, 2019 - 8:05am

This week:
A big reveal, 40 years later
Green candidate dropped but still on ballot
Newly-minted Millionaires
Rescuing furry friends
Party like it's 1901
Plus: How it began, a winning tradition, who wants your vote.
And there is a great crossword puzzle, with the theme 'Tooling around.' Please, no jokes about the election campaign.

Green candidate dropped

publisher Oct 7, 2019 - 2:01pm

Marthe Lépine has been dropped by the Green Party of Canada as its candidate in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell because of her stance against abortion.

But her name will be on the ballot because the decision came too late.
The 77-year-old Russell woman had posted on a blog that as a Catholic she felt abortion "should be avoided."

English-language schools will be closed by strike

publisher Oct 4, 2019 - 8:15am

Area English-language schools will be closed if a strike by Canadian Union of Public Employees goes ahead as scheduled on Monday.

However, schools administered by French-language school boards will remain open.

Talks are to continue this weekend in an effort to end the standoff.

Not all schools would be affected by a work stoppage because not all school employees in the area are represented by CUPE.


Driver charged in fatal crash

publisher Oct 1, 2019 - 3:21pm

A 25-year-old South Glengarry man has been charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death following an investigation into a crash that claimed the life of Logan Sunday, 18, of South Glengarry, July 20.
Kevin Gent was charged in connection with the collision that occurred on County Road 43 between County Road 20 and Pigeon Hill Road in North Stormont Township.
She was a passenger in a vehicle that was travelling eastbound on County Road 43 when it  left the roadway and entered the ditch causing it to roll over.
The accused was released and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice November 28 in Cornwall.

Last tree standing?

publisher Sep 27, 2019 - 11:00am

Submitted by the SDG chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association

Will the feller-bunchers and chainsaws fall silent only when every last local forest is slashed and burned off  the map?
The President of the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association (OWA), Elaine Kennedy, says, “Local politicians need to engage with the public to discuss the future of our forests.”
With the provincial government downloading responsibility for forests onto local governments, Kennedy urges “a frank, respectful discussion about how important trees are, and what can we do about protecting them in a way that does not hurt the economic situation for the farmers.” Each municipality should form a group, “representing all people” to conduct those discussions, she says.
An average of 1 million trees, per year, were lost in the South Nation Watershed between 2008 and 2014. South Nation Conservation (SNC) reports indicate that forest canopy in SDG dropped to 29 per cent in 2014; in Prescott Russell the number was 24.8 per cent.
“What’s the loss of trees doing to our atmosphere; what’s it doing to our water quality?” asks OWA Director Hennie Velema of the ongoing deforestation and environmental degradation.
OWA director Chris Bowen reports that “water quality and quantity” are already affected. Bowen points out that loss of forest cover also places stress on wildlife as habitat disappears and exacerbates springtime flooding conditions.
In 2014, three Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry municipalities were already below the 30 per cent minimum forest cover level recommended by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Per cent Tree Cover:
North Dundas      13.3
North Stormont    25.6
South Glengarry    28.7                    
South Dundas    31.5
North Glengarry    33.6
South Stormont    41.1
SNC officials expect a further decline in forest cover when the next aerial measurements take place in 2020.  “We have the feeling it’s going to be shocking, super-stunning,” says SNC Planning Team Lead Alison McDonald.
A part of the answer could be tree-cutting bylaws -- a power most rural townships have been loathe to exercise to date. In theory, a bylaw could be broad-based, requiring a permit to cut any tree. Or it could be tailored as a permitting system aimed at landowners wanting to clear-cut an entire forest or woodlot. Currently, “nothing prevents people from clearing trees,” emphasizes McDonald, noting the issue extends far beyond agriculture: General land developers, she points out, are currently free to “pre-clear” treed properties to avoid existing provincial environmental rules that otherwise kick in if those trees remain standing when local planning approval is sought  — a “loophole” that could be addressed with an upfront municipal permitting system for clear-cuts.
Often, “people are cutting on speculation and not even farming it,” she also observes.
“What is the long-term plan for any of these big farmers and the rural population?” asks OWA director Bruce MacPherson. “Cash crop farming prices this year are not nearly as good as two years ago.”
Zone 11 Ontario Federation of Agriculture Director Jackie Pemberton links the clear-cutting activity to the replacement of farmland lost to urban sprawl in places like Toronto and Barrie.  Agriculture does have a positive effect on the environment, the Inkerman resident also asserts, noting “it’s not just the trees that sequester carbon. We do our part as well. Far better than a parking lot does — or a house.”
SNC’s 2018 report Protecting and Increasing Forest Cover in the South Nation Conservation Jurisdiction recommends carrots for landowners — such as tree-planting, education programs and lowering property taxes on wooded areas — but hints at possible sticks, too, with a suggested “review” of “legislative tools” and “policy changes” to mitigate tree loss. Pemberton chaired one of the two committees whose findings went into the report.
“It’s the public that feels regulation should happen,” she acknowledges, noting it was the work of the second committee, known as the Forest Conservation Working Group — not her own committee of agricultural reps — that called upon municipalities to “consider” implementing bylaws to conserve trees.
While municipalities had until March 1 of this year to file a notice with the province detailing how they are handling tree conservation, that deadline did not require them to commit to passing any sort of tree-cutting bylaw.  The version approved earlier this year by the Council of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry “is so generic, there’s no teeth in that bylaw at all,” concedes SDG Warden Jamie MacDonald.
“Everybody’s doing the wait-and-see. Truthfully, it’s a hot potato; we just mention we’re talking about tree-cutting and where you normally have two people at a meeting, you have 75,” the warden says. “It’s just one of those things that I think a lot of municipalities are waiting for somebody to take that step.”
That step can’t happen fast enough for clear-cutting protester Andy Perreault in neighbouring Champlain Township. Perreault alleges that Quebecers are “buying up the land just so they can lay waste to it.”
“I’m watching the very fabric of Ontario rolling by on Highway 34 filled with either wood chips, old-growth peat moss, topsoil, you name it, it’s on an 18-wheeler and it’s got Quebec plates, and they’re just decimating us.”
MacPherson echoes the concern, ruefully pointing out that Quebec operators are free to strip the farm land of trees in his native South Glengarry, yet are prohibited from doing so in their home province.
Political procrastination and tentative steps: Are they really enough to save the dwindling forests of SDG — and beyond?
“Everyone knows the adage ‘You can’t see the forest for the trees,’” says Currie MacIntosh, a SDG OWA Director. “In the future, I worry it will be ‘You can’t see the forest because there are no trees.’”

Glens winless, despite good effort

publisher Sep 26, 2019 - 8:35am

Despite outshooting the home team 52-40, the Alexandria Glens junior hockey team lost to Brockville 7-4 Wednesday to go 0-3 in the young CCHL2 regular season. Danik Martin made 33 saves while Austin Ladouceur, Austin Gaspar, Zachary Bigras and Jacob Lefebvre provided the offence. The Glens start a two-game homestand Friday when Brockville (2-2) visits for a 8 p.m. face-off before taking on Perth (2-0) at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Meanwhile Char-Lan (1-1) hosts Whitewater (1-0-1) Sunday in a 3:30 p.m. start.


18,983 at Oktoberfest

publisher Sep 25, 2019 - 1:31pm

Some 18,983 people attended the September 20 and 21 Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill.

This was the 11th annual edition of the event, which has now contributed $802,644 to scores of charitable and community groups.

The $91,432 raised – which greatly exceeded the annual target of $75,000 – will greatly benefit the United Way of Eastern Ontario,
Hidden Harvest, and Ottawa Riverkeeper, as well as numerous local service clubs and community groups who got involved and loaned helping hands to the event.


Read all about it!

publisher Sep 25, 2019 - 8:06am

In this week's edition of The News:

Home invasion

'We must have hit a nerve,'

Bonne journée des franco-Ontariens!

Meet the candidates

Bicentennial mural

Posthumous honour for tow truck driver

Rebs split, Glens winless

'War' in Dunvegan

Plus, Letters, Tastings, and an exceptional volunteer.

Four charged in home invasion

publisher Sep 24, 2019 - 1:43pm

Four people have been charged after a man was assaulted during a home invasion September 20 at a home on County Road 20 in South Glengarry Township.

Three three armed individuals, attacked the victim and fled after stealing items from the residence.

The victim was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and has since been released.

Charged are Alan Vuong, 36, Erba Beyecha, 29, Ahmed Hifato, 30, all of Ottawa, and Hannan Daghar, 27, of Scaborough.

Charges include robbery and assault with a weapon.