The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) and the National Farmers Union have been forced to reveal the names of all Farm Business Registrants in response to the freedom-of-information (FOI) request.
“As an organization, we are disappointed in the decision of OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) to disclose the farm business names of FBR registrants in Ontario,” said Keith Currie, OFA President. “We are concerned about the safety and security of our farm businesses and the serious risk this poses to them.”
OMAFRA has advised all three general farm organizations in the province that it intends to release the business names of FBR registrants but withhold the FBR number portion of the record. The names will be released to the person who submitted the FOI request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
“Only 3% of farmers consulted by OMAFRA agreed to the release of their information,” said Don Ciparis, NFU-O President. “This is an unacceptably low consent rate on which to base an FOI decision.”
Although OMAFRA has chosen to withhold the FBR number information, they received expressed consent from 15 farm businesses to release both the farm business name and FBR number to the requester.
“Jointly, our farm organizations strongly oppose the release of this information as it has the potential to greatly impact the health, safety and security of our farm operations,” stated Mr. Currie.
That sentiment was echoed by a substantial number of Ontario farmers who voiced their input and concerns to OMAFRA’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Coordinator throughout the comment period. The overwhelming response from farmers was to oppose the requested disclosure of FBR information.
The process includes the right to appeal and all three general farm organizations expect to exercise that right. OFA, along with CFFO and NFU-O, intend to file their own formal appeal of the decision in an effort to protect the privacy and security of all Farm Business Registrants. These farm organizations will act on behalf of Ontario farm businesses in an attempt to prevent the exposure of this information.
A COVID-19 outbreak at Maxville Manor has been declared following a positive test among staff, says the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
All residents and staff are being tested, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, adding that there is no evidence the disease is spreading.
There are now 178 positive cases in Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry and Prescott-Russell.
In May, an outbreak was declared at the Maxville long-term care facility when a resident tested positive. But that same person later tested negative.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is reporting that two bats in the region tested positive for rabies last week. While there have been no reports of rabies in a human, the EOHU is reminding residents of eastern Ontario to take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Rabies is a transmittable and deadly virus carried by infected bats and other mammals. It can be spread to humans and other animals through the saliva of an infected animal – primarily via bite wounds. It can also be spread when infected saliva comes into contact with a scratch, open wound or mucous membranes, such as those in the mouth, nose or eyes.
In order to protect the community, it’s required by law that all dogs and cats three months of age or older be vaccinated against rabies. Even indoor pets must get the rabies vaccine regularly because bats can enter any residence.
The EOHU also recommends the following measures to protect your family and pets from rabies:
- Don’t let your pets roam free outdoors.
- Attempt to keep bats from getting inside your home.
- Teach children not to touch wild animals or pets they don’t know.
- Avoid wild or domestic animals that are behaving strangely.
- Keep a safe distance from wild animals, even if they look healthy.
- Report all animal bites to the EOHU at 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120.
If you come across an injured animal when outdoors, do not touch it or bring it into your home to try to nurse it back to health. While it may be tempting to do so, it’s safer to call animal control and let them handle the situation.
If you or a loved one is bitten by an animal, contact your family physician or the emergency department as soon as possible and then report the bite to the EOHU. The EOHU will investigate and determine if rabies post-exposure treatment is necessary.
The Regional Coroner's Office and the Ministry of Labour are investigating the death of an employee at the Vankleek Hill Livestock Exchange who died after being struck by a bull Monday evening.
The 55-year-old man from Champlain Township succumbed to his injuries following the incident that occurred July 27 at around 5:30 p.m.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information that may assist investigators is asked to contact the Hawkesbury OPP at 613-632-2729.
Some 121 new spaces will be added to Williamstown Public School when an addition approved this week by the Ontario government is completed.
Increasing the total capacity to 380, the addition “is great news for our community,” notes Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “This investment will provide a quality learning environment and new opportunities for the children of South Glengarry.”
A Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer has been charged with breach of trust following a four-month investigation into allegations of misconduct.
Constable Scott Joseph, a three-year member of the OPP, faces a charge of breach of trust by a public officer. He has been suspended with pay in accordance with the Police Services Act.
The accused was released from custody and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Cornwall September 24.
Friday, July 17 will mark the start of Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework in Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry and Prescott-Russell and many other parts of the province.
Nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 while public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions remain in place.
Under Stage 3:
Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.
Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two-metre distance must still be maintained at such events.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19:
Amusement parks and water parks;
Buffet-style food services;
Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
Overnight stays at camps for children;
Private karaoke rooms;
Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.
For more information visit Ontario.ca/reopen.
Saying “Yes” to ENCORE paid off for Paul Loranger of Alexandria, who won $100,000 in the March 7 LOTTO 6/49 draw.
The 67-year-old married father of one was fueling up his vehicle and went inside the gas station to check his ticket on the Ticket Checker. “The cashier asked if I wanted her to scan my ticket and I said, ‘Oh, I know I’ve won $100,000,’” he smiled, while at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto to pick up his cheque. “The cashier thought I was joking until she scanned the ticket and the terminal froze,” he laughed.
Since his win, the retired horse racer has purchased a “new-to-him” 2016 Dodge Ram with low mileage that is in mint condition. He plans to enjoy his time and his winnings at his hobby farm.
“This is perfect timing. If I had won this when I was younger, it would have been operating money and it would be gone. At this point in my life, I will do the right things with my windfall and it will last longer,” he concluded.
As of midnight July 7, people in Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry and Prescott-Russell will be required to wear face coverings when entering public places.
However, there will be an enforcement grace period of one week until July 14 at 12 a.m.
“Wearing a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces accessed by the public adds another level of protection against the spread of COVID-19,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. “There is scientific evidence that wearing a mask is an effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19, and it’s another measure we are adding to our arsenal as we get ready for stage 3 of reopening and back-to-school in the fall.”
The decision to implement a mandatory masking policy made by the 4 health units in Eastern Ontario follows the initiative of other health units across the province and will decrease the odds of having to shut down the economy again due to outbreaks of COVID-19. “Mandatory masks will help support businesses and service providers throughout the region as they resume operations by reducing the risk of an outbreak in their workplace, adding another layer of protection for their employees, and increasing customers’ confidence that they can enjoy a safe return to shopping and other activities,” says Dr. Roumeliotis.
The EOHU will use an educational approach focused on signage in premises, the training of staff on masking policies, and notifying customers of the Directive. The masks or face coverings used will have to securely cover the nose, mouth and chin. Exemptions will be made for individuals who cannot wear a mask due to health concerns or other valid reasons. For more information, please consult the highlights of the EOHU’s Directive for Mandatory Masking in Indoor Public Spaces on the EOHU’s website.
The EOHU reminds residents that while wearing a mask or face covering can help prevent the spread of infectious respiratory droplets, it’s not a substitute for physical distancing and handwashing. “In addition to wearing a mask, it’s also very important to continue practising good hand hygiene and, when possible, to keep a distance of at least 2 metres from other people when you’re out in public,” says Dr. Roumeliotis. He adds that information on proper mask use as well as other tips for protecting yourself against COVID-19 are available on the EOHU’s website at www.EOHU.ca/coronavirus or the Government of Ontario’s website at covid-19.ontario.ca.
Two women were injured June 26 when they were struck by a vehicle at a business on Fourth Road near Avonmore.
One pedestrian suffered serious injuries while a second pedestrian sustained non-life-threatening injuries, when a vehicle, driven by an 82-year-old woman, struck them and two unoccupied vehicles while reversing, reports the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police detachment.
The driver, who has been charged with careless driving causing bodily harm, was released and is scheduled to appear in court October 13.