Letters to Editor

Home Inspector Act, 2017
SEVERN, ON – Doug Downey, former elected City Councillor (Orillia) and active community volunteer, is pleased the province has passed the Home Inspector Act, 2017 yesterday.
“This legislation will help protect consumers. People are surprised when they find out the Home Inspection industry is entirely unregulated, until now.”
Doug Downey was appointed by the Minister of Government and Consumer Services to the 16 member expert panel in 2013. The expert panel was comprised of individual leaders in their fields. Doug is a certified specialist in real estate and a former executive board member of the Ontario Bar Association.
The Home Inspector Act was based on 35 recommendations made by the 16-member expert panel. Doug was involved in the development of the legislation after the expert panel submitted the report.
“This legislation will allow for minimum standards and predictability when hiring a home inspector. The consumer will be better protected.”
“I worked hard on conceiving, developing and communicating issues regarding home inspectors. As a candidate for the PC nomination in Simcoe North it is fortunate I can point to another item demonstrating not only do I work hard, I can deliver results.”
“I would encourage people to visit www.DougDowney.ca to see further examples, including the Panel on the Future of the Trent-Severn Waterway and the provincial Business Law Advisory Council.”
Name: Doug Downey
Phone: 1-705-330-6025 cell or 705-327-2600 work
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Legion taps Whitewater for a brand new Canadian brew
The Royal Canadian Legion has joined forces with the Whitewater Brewing Co. to produce a new co-branded craft beer. Legion Lager is one of only a handful of craft brewed lagers in Canada, and the only beer that helps raise awareness and funds for Legion programs for Veterans.
Legion Lager will become available in our Ontario branches in May, and will soon be rolling out to local LCBOs, Beer Stores and retail outlets. Plans are underway to expand nationally.
Dominion President David Flannigan looks forward to seeing the branches, whose volunteers work so hard to generate revenue to run their local programs and services, embrace the new brand and the opportunities it will provide. “Being able to serve our own Legion Lager, in a can or on tap, at Legion branches means we can offer our members and other patrons an added beverage choice when they stop in for a visit.” And sales from those purchases, he points out, support the Branches and the important work they do.
Chris Thompson, one of Whitewater’s three owners/founders also is pleased with this partnership. “We’re honoured to have been chosen to brew a brand exclusively for an organization that does so much to help Veterans. It’s a cause that is close to our hearts.”
Keep any eye out for Legion Lager: coming very soon to an Ontario Legion branch near you.


Memory Problems: Normal or Serious?
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.   Mark Twain
Many people, as they age, begin to have concerns about their memory. Certain changes are normal, because as we age the brain may change the way in which it stores information, making it sometimes harder to recall.
Other causes of memory problems may include depression, dementia (severe problems with memory and thinking, such as Alzheimer's disease), side effects of drugs, strokes, head injury and alcoholism.
How can we tell if the problem is serious, or within a normal range? A memory problem is serious when it affects your daily living. If you sometimes forget names, where you left your keys, or why you came into the kitchen, you're probably okay. But you may have a more serious problem if you have trouble remembering how to do things you've done many times before, getting to a place you've been to often, or doing things that use steps, like following a recipe
Ordinary age-related memory problems do not tend to get much worse over time, while dementia gets noticeably worse over months or years. If dementia is suspected, a consultation with a physician is in order.
Recent research on healthy older adults shows that memory function can be improved. Activities that engage the mind can improve memory. Identifying areas we wish to improve, and utilizing strategies to assist in those areas can make a big difference.
It has been suggested that the brain is as responsive to challenge as any muscle, and that learning continues throughout life. Keep physically active, read, do different kinds of puzzles-any activities that challenge the brain. Do not simply assume that as you age your memory will go. Exercise your memory just as you exercise your body, and you will see results.
   Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, cds or MP3's, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow Gwen on FaceBook for daily inspiration.



REGIONAL SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE ENCOURAGES ACTION THIS EARTH DAY
The theme for the 47th anniversary of Earth Day is Environmental and Climate Literacy. Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day is a global event to enhance awareness for environmental conservation and to encourage people to take personal actions to reduce their environmental impact.
Earth Week 2017 is from Sunday, April 16th to Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd, and SSS and local municipalities are encouraging businesses, schools, and community groups to celebrate. Consider a few of the following actions to participate in throughout the week:
Get Outside!
Earth Day is all about taking care of the planet, so why spend it inside? On April 22nd, go for a hike, take a nature walk with your friends or family, or have a picnic in a local park. Reconnect with nature - it really is the best way to remind yourself why we’re fighting so hard to protect it.
Share Something!
Lately, interest has grown in sharing time, money, and resources as a way to increase access to things that people need without increasing consumption of goods. This is also called ‘collaborative consumption’ or ‘the sharing economy’. Although this hasn’t quite taken hold locally, it likely will. Think about what you can share with your neighbours and friends, and have a conversation about their experiences with the ‘sharing economy’.
Recycle Your E-Waste!
Environmental agencies now say that electronic waste (e-waste) is the world’s fastest growing waste stream. Help make sure your old gadgets are recycled instead of leaching toxins in a landfill.
Go Car Free for a Day!
Give your car the day off at least one day during April 16-22. Make a plan to get to work, school, or wherever you have to go using another, more eco-friendly mode of transportation instead. Walk, ride your bike, take the bus, or carpool.
Keep It Going!
Make Earth Day every day. Extend the celebration – keep volunteering on a regular basis, write a letter to your local representative declaring your support for environmental stewardship, start composting at home, purchase a rainbarrel to capture rainwater to water your garden, and choose native plants and trees for your property. The Earth will thank you for it, and these are each easy ways to act.
Throughout Earth Week, from Sunday, April 16, to Earth Day, Saturday April 22, help protect the planet and learn more about what you can do by following SSS on Twitter at @sustainsevsound for more tips and suggestions. To discover what your municipality is doing to help protect and preserve the environment, and to learn more about sustainability visit www.sustainablesevernsound.ca


Is County Violating Mitigation Rules for ERRC? County’s own map places facility footprint on Class 1-3 land
SPRINGWATER TOWNSHIP, APRIL 13 - Simcoe County’s Agricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) indicates the proposed Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC) is not located in a prime agricultural area and therefore they are not required to mitigate the impacts of this non-agricultural facility on agricultural lands. However, it appears this is in direct conflict with Provincial definitions, according to Friends of Simcoe Forests.
In the AIA supporting the ERRC, it states:
The PPS (2014) has a requirement in section 23.6.2 for the mitigation of impacts of non-agricultural uses on agricultural operations and lands. However, this requirement is part of section 2.3.6 related to “Non-Agricultural Uses in Prime Agricultural Areas” and the proposed ERRC site is not located in a prime agricultural area.
The assessment goes into great detail to show the land in and around the Freele Forest is not suited to the production of tender fruit crops, the most valuable classification and most strictly protected area in Ontario. These specialty crop areas are especially valuable due to their scarcity, and would never be considered for a waste management facility. The AIA report seems to suggest that, since it cannot be used for this purpose it is not a prime agricultural area.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs definition of “prime agricultural area” indicates otherwise:
Prime agricultural areas include specialty crop areas and areas where prime agricultural land (Canada Land Inventory [CLI] Classes 1 to 3) predominates. While mainly comprised of CLI Classes 1 to 3 lands, prime agricultural areas may also include associated smaller pockets of poorer-capability lands (Classes 4 to 7) and additional areas with a local concentration of farms. (http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/landuse/prime-ag-areas.htm)
According to the Province, therefore, a prime agricultural area includes CLI 1-3 areas and associated areas of lower-quality land. When we examine the Freele Forest land, we discover it contains a narrow strip of lower-quality land surrounded by CLI 1-3 land, the very definition of a prime agricultural area, and is directly adjacent to a farm.
While the County has been careful to place the ERRC footprint mostly on the lower quality land, the southwest corner of the facility footprint and most of the intended access road is on high quality land. It is highly problematic to suggest the pocket of poorer-capability land is not associated with the high quality land when they will be digging up high quality soil in order to build the facility. Considering there is an active farm immediately adjacent to the proposed facility, it is difficult to imagine the ERRC will not have an effect on prime agricultural lands.
Provincial agricultural regulations require avoiding all impacts on prime agricultural areas, and mitigation only where that cannot happen. Simcoe County is trying to avoid even the minimum requirements of mitigation by suggesting prime agricultural land is not prime agricultural land. Preserving prime land is essential because of its limited supply; if the County is allowed to convert this forest into waste management land, they will be destroying prime agricultural land forever.
About Friends of Simcoe County Forests
The Friends of Simcoe Forests Inc. is a Non-Profit organization consisting of concerned citizens within the region of Simcoe County, Ontario.
Our long term goal is to inform and unite all persons interested in the conservation of our County’s forests.  We encourage all local residents, visitors and friends of our environment to realize that they have the ability to enjoy the natural flora and fauna of the region, as well as the natural beauties of the forests within Simcoe County. As a group we encourage beautification, preservation, and extension of parks and Green Belts.
Through our mutual love and concern for the county’s forests, we strive to make available all known statistical, scientific, horticultural and botanical information that positively impacts the future of our forests.
It is our goal to promote the protection and appreciation of the environment and lands which are there for all of us and future generations to use and enjoy.



Hockey Teams
Dear Mr. Larmand,
My name is Catherine, Ally Flynn is my daughter and she graduated from Mundy’s Bay last year.  We spotted you yesterday at the rink and wanted to say hi, but you had your hands full with the big game! I just had to write this email today after what I witnessed yesterday at the NSSRC in Midland.  
Let me explain.  I was at the rink this weekend for three days offering Hockey Fresh (a powder that eliminates equipment odour) as part of the Joint Registration.  I had a table set up in lobby, in front of the jersey display, so I was right in the middle of all the action.  I started a conversation with a woman named Dolly that was so kind and helpful to me over the weekend, she takes payment for the entrance to the rink.  She explained that Saturday was a big game for you, your Atom team would be playing game 5, and the rink was a buzz!  
Although Ally hasn’t played hockey, and therefore I haven’t had the experience of being a ‘hockey mom’, my family are generational true blue Leaf fans, and I love the game.  My father, John Flynn, managed a recreation centre in the East end of Toronto for 40 years.  He coached the local baseball and hockey teams and was always considered the fairest of them all.  He took pride in teaching the kids good morals and strong sportsmanship more than anything else.  He was most known for his calm manner of walking out to the mound during a nerve wracking ballgame to calm down his star pee wee pitcher.  He would saunter up, gather the team and do nothing more than tell his boys a joke to keep it fun!
What I witnessed at the rink yesterday warmed my heart, and surely would have made my dad extremely proud.  I wanted to write this email to compliment you, your staff, your team, and your parents, on the brilliant display of sportsmanship that I experienced yesterday while watching the game as an outsider.
It all began with my observation of the players (from both teams) coming into the lobby, all so happy with their parents, smiles galore, painting faces and making signs.  Parents with team jerseys on, mothers with obvious handmade scarves in their team colours, brothers and sisters with horns and crazy hats. Dads bragging, and patting their sons on the backs, (no comments about winning, but simply saying ‘have a good game’). Everyone buzzing, excitement in the air, happy happy families, happy happy kids!!!
Everyone then disappearing into the rink all together, the stands completely full at an Atom game, that I would have never expected.  I am peaking through the window, also needing to keep an eye on my booth out in the lobby, and all I can hear is cheering, horns, music, ……. it’s incredible, and I think, no wonder these kids look like they are all having so much fun out there!
The thought then crosses my mind that the only sad part is going to be one team must lose this game and how heart wrenching that will be for those kids…..but I realize quickly, there are no losers here.  I see the clock tick down, the winning team throw their gloves in the air, and then I watch the attention that is given not only to the winning team but also to the 2nd place team.  They are made to feel just as important as the 1st place team.  I watch the coaches from both teams smother them with praise, shake their hands and pat their backs.  I watch a player from the Midland team not only shake hands with each St. Mary’s team member but literally add patting each of them on the back twice, as he is going through the line.  This I am sure he learns from his coaches!  I watch the medal presentations and listen to the cheers from the crowd, and understand no one loses this game, there are 1st place winners and 2nd place winners.
The final episode, which literally brings me to tears, happens as I am standing back at my booth.  The St. Mary’s team begins to file out of the dressing room into the lobby to be greeted by a room full of their parents who, to my surprise, are all together cheering and clapping for their 2nd place winners! As I said earlier, there are no losers here!
Mr. Larmand, please feel free to cc this to both teams, and all involved in yesterday’s game.  In a day where the media is always quick to report verbal abuse and brawls at minor hockey league games, instead you should be the poster child for what minor hockey teams should be!  I want to commend you all.  What I watched yesterday was not only a hockey game, but an amazing display of love and affection. You should all be proud to call yourself parents.
Kindest Regards,  
Catherine Flynn