Large crowd welcomes new council at inauguration
by Roger Varley
Council chambers were filled to overflowing Monday night as a crowd gathered to witness the swearing in of the Township of Uxbridge’s new council. At one point, Regional Councillor Gord Highet joked that Fire Chief Phil Alexander, who was in attendance, might have to invoke the fire code for overcrowding.
Among those in the crowd were new regional chair John Henry, new Scugog mayor Bobby Drew, several Scugog councillors, former regional councillor Jack Ballinger and council candidate Ted Eng.
The evening began with piper Jason Stewart of the Legion pipe band leading in town crier Bill McKee and the newly elected members of council. McKee, who held his final “Oyez” for at least 30 seconds, began the proceeding by regaling the crowd with a humourous poem in which he named all members of the new council personally.
That set the tone for what was a light-hearted, easy-going inauguration meeting, punctuated by the serious oath-taking by the new members. Township clerk Debbie Leroux called each member forward to be sworn in, starting with Ward 1 Councillor Pam Beach and ending with Mayor Dave Barton. After Barton took the oath, he was presented with the chain of office by Chief Administrative Officer Ingrid Svelnis. Then Leroux, who had been in charge of the meeting to that point, handed the gavel over to the new mayor.
Mayor Barton’s first words were to thank the area’s First Nations people and the Quaker pioneers who founded Uxbridge for their “stewardship of the land.”
“I love this town and will do my best to nurture it,” he said.
Commenting on the diverse career backgrounds of his colleagues, he said the new council is going to do “incredible things.”
All councillors took the opportunity to make remarks, though most stayed close to the traditional thanking of family and supporters. Councillor Beach, the only woman on council, pointedly remarked that she looks forward “to working with all of these gentlemen.” Ward 3 councillor Bruce Garrod said he has no plans for four years from now, which means he will be working to accomplish things in the next four years. Ward 5 councillor Todd Snooks, who informed the crowd that “I serve God, first and foremost,” added that the next four years will be an adventure.
Gord Highet, who jokingly told the mayor “I’m not ready to call you Your Worship right away,” said both he and the mayor will be “up to our eyeballs in work” as of Wednesday, when they also take up their new duties on regional council.
Apart from the swearing-in, the only official business conducted on Monday was Barton’s announcement of committee appointments. Chair of the finance committee will be Bruce Garrod and Ward 4 councillor Willie Popp will head up public works and active transportation. Gord Highet will continue the role he had in the last council as chair of the planning committee, Ward 2 councillor Gary Ruona will lead the environment and sustainability committee and Todd Snooks takes on parks, facilities and arena. Councillor Beach retains tourism, heritage and community and Mayor Barton will chair administration, emergency services and economic development.
No deputy mayor was announced.
Barton will also represent the township on the boards of the Lake Simcoe Region and Central Lake Ontario conservation authorities, and Highet will sit on the board of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
Resident Phil Smith was named to the Durham Trail co-ordinating committee.
On Tuesday morning, councillors went into an education session to learn about the treasury, building, bylaw and clerk’s departments. The new council gets down to work next week.
Uxbridge ReStore opens ReDo Centre
by Nancy Melcher
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Reach St. has become a fixture in Uxbridge. It’s a place to look for new or gently used building materials, furniture, kitchen cabinets and counters, and home décor. Contractors, small businesses, large companies, and the general public donate the items for sale. The funds raised go towards the operating expenses of the organization. The ReStore keeps quality new and used goods out of the landfill.
Recently renovated, it celebrated a grand reopening late last month. The new “ReDo Centre” showcases the talents of the volunteers, as well as provides space for upscale donations. Located within the ReStore, it’s a boutique with a variety of items: antiques and good furniture, up-cycled items created by the volunteers, and one-of-a-kind treasures, and a vast selection of vinyl records. Items change daily.
Lisa Deano, Uxbridge ReStore supervisor, said, “We’re so excited to finally have the ReDo Centre open! So many volunteers have given hours and hours of their time to help us build it. I’m also excited to see what projects they will create – to reuse and repurpose everyday items. It keeps these wonderful things out of landfill.”
Habitat for Humanity helps low income families break the cycle of poverty through affordable homeownership. The funds raised through the Uxbridge ReDo Centre cover Habitat Durham’s administrative costs. This allows 100 per cent of donations to go directly to fund the home construction projects.
Habitat builds “simple, decent, and affordable” housing for low-income families using volunteer labour. Since 1976, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve more than 800,000 homes, making it the largest not-for-profit builder in the world.
Tigers prepare for sixth trip north
by Roger Varley
For the sixth successive year, members of the Uxbridge Secondary School Tigers hockey squad are preparing to head to the far northern wilderness of Ontario to bring hockey and holiday cheer to the residents of the First Nations community of Weagamow.
Located in the northwestern corner of the province and accessible only by air, travel to Weagamow – (Oji-Cree for Round Lake) – will require the Tigers team to fly to Thunder Bay and then take another long air flight to the community. The annual trek brings much needed hockey equipment to the residents, but also the expertise of the Tigers players, who run hockey clinics during the visit, which begins a few days after Christmas Day and ends a few days after New Year’s Day.
As usual, the Tigers are appealing to the residents of Uxbridge for donations of equipment to take with them. The most needed new and gently used equipment includes adult large helmets, new jocks, jills, garter belts, undershorts and suspenders, sticks (right hand), stick tape, shinpad tape, good quality skates of all sizes, especially larger sizes 8,9 and 10 and full sets of goalie equipment, two small and two large (men’s). Donations can be dropped off at 282 Main Street North, Unit 1, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. this Saturday. Monetary donations, which are needed to help pay for the transportation of the hockey equipment, can be sent to the Uxbridge Baptist Church at 231 Brock Street West. Over the past five years, Uxbridge and surrounding communities have gifted thousands of dollars of equipment and funding.
The annual trip originated after a group of Uxbridge women travelled to Weagamow in 2012 to offer support after learning that five women in the community had committed suicide within a six-week period, leaving behind 12 children. The Tigers learned there was a need for hockey equipment – (and teaching) – because the community was opening a new arena. On the original trip, the Tigers estimated about 40 youth would sign up for the program. That figure tripled to 120. Since then. more and more community members have signed up and now Weagamow sends boys and girls teams to compete in the First Nations tournaments held in Dryden and Sioux Lookout.
The Tigers report there has been a dramatic reduction in the intervening years in suicides and despair among Weagamow youth.
Dress up your home for the holidays, Uxbridge
It’s time to Bling it for Christmas! 105.5Hits FM, Canadian Tire Uxbridge and the Uxbridge Cosmos are looking for the holidays’ BEST DRESSED HOUSE!
Deck out your home in holiday finery, take a photo, and email the photo, along with an entry form, to 105.5Hits FM – more specifically, to Taylor at email@example.com.
Look for the all the entries on Facebook at 2018 Bling it for Christmas Contest (an album on the 105.5HitsFM Facebook page) and vote by liking the home you think is the best dressed.
On Nov. 27, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11 at 8 a.m., 105.5Hits FM will pick the house with the most amount of likes, and the winner will receive a $100 shopping spree at Canadian Tire in Uxbridge, as well as be entered into the finals.
Enter the contest at any time – the earlier you enter, the more likes you’ll receive! Only the house that wins each week will be removed from the album – the rest of the houses and the likes will roll over to the following week, until the finals.
On Dec. 12, the three finalists (winners from the previous three weeks) will again be on display on Facebook, and the public will have a chance to vote again on which house should win. At 8 a.m. on Dec. 18, the house with the most amount of likes will go home with a $500 shopping spree at Canadian Tire in Uxbridge!
A few restrictions do apply: the home submitted must be located in the Township of Uxbridge. Submissions must be accompanied by permission forms which make names and addresses available to the public. e public. Forms are available on the 105.5HitsFM Facebook page, as well as at thecosmos.ca and at 1055hits.fm.com