Dump trucks banned from using Cookstown roads

There could be less rumbling through Cookstown after council banned Essa Township’s dump-truck traffic.

Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin put forward a motion June 20 to ban the construction vehicles from using County Road 89 as a way to get to Essa Township developments.

“I’ve emailed Essa Mayor Terry Dowdall, along with council so as not to surprise them,” Dollin said. “It has become a cumbersome problem, I’ve clocked them at about one dump truck every 15 seconds.”

The problem is that the heavy trucks using Church, Queen and King streets cause a safety concern for pedestrians and other traffic, and the town just spent about $2 million to upgrade the road, Dollin noted.

Ward 1 Coun. Doug Lougheed asked where the trucks should be rerouted.

“If they’re coming from Hwy. 400, I can see a logistical problem if they can’t be absolutely in the town of Innisfil,” Lougheed said.

Dollin suggested the trucks are already using the 5th Sideroad of Essa to get to the two dumping sites and added they could use County Road 21 or County Road 27.

Cookstown business owner Joseph Delgrosso said dump trucks aren’t the only problem.

Traffic overall has become worse , he said.

“It’s supposed to be 40 km/h. I don’t understand why the town’s holding back on making it safe,” he said. “That’s why people don’t come here no more. They don’t feel it’s safe.”

He said dump-truck traffic is more consistent in the morning, but a dump truck passes by his storefront almost every minute during the day.

“We need to put a sign up that Cookstown has zero tolerance for speeding,” he said. “Look at Bradford. You go through Bradford like that, they’ll throw you in jail.”

Delgrosso has had his Joseph’s Art Studio space for four years and said he’s never seen police radar patrol in front of his business, even after the town reduced the speed to 40 km/h last year.

“It’s only gotten worse. Sometimes, my windows shake when they go by here.”

Want cannabis stores banned in your town? Read this first

With Ontario Premier Doug Ford handing the province’s municipalities the right to prohibit retail cannabis stores in their communities, he has displayed a populist penchant for municipal autonomy.

But prohibiting cannabis retail stores, as , might not be the best way to avoid the problems many associate with cannabis.

I say this because the idea that a municipality could ban the sale of intoxicants within their boundaries is older than Canada itself, is well-tested and has almost always been fraught with problems.

An 1864 law allowed municipalities by popular referendum, permitting a simple majority of electors to vote to end the retail sale (but not the manufacture) of alcohol in their communities.

Many dry communities saw little improvement. Others saw increased drunkenness.

And so many communities repealed the local option as soon as they could.

Liquor licensing

After Confederation, other alternatives to deal with drunkenness emerged. In 1876, the Ontario government took over liquor licensing. Although flawed, the law significantly decreased drunkenness in many communities.

Read more:

But the temperance folks wanted Prohibition, and in 1878 the federal Liberal government passed the . Under this improved version of the 1864 legislation, local options could be implemented at a county or city level, again by a simple majority.

Manufacturing could continue in dry communities, but it could not be sold there. Nothing, however, prohibited residents of dry communities, if they could afford it, from ordering booze from outside their town.

This 1871 depiction of a drunkard hitting his wife was a popular piece of anti-booze propaganda leading up to Prohibition in North America.
(U.S. Library of Congress)

By 1887, 25 counties in Ontario were dry; two years later all dry counties in the province had repealed the Canada Temperance Act.

Clearly, the temperance law was a failure. At the that toured Ontario in 1893-94, many witnesses —ranging from judges and priests to and liquor dealers —described how drunkenness continued in dry areas. provided their account books to show how productivity actually increased with large orders from dry counties pouring in.

Many described the various ways that the local option law was circumvented and how drinking often seemed to get worse.

People who might in the past have had a glass of lager in a tavern turned to whisky because it was stronger and more easily portable. Others ordered a barrel of beer to distribute from the back of a wagon. Some told how children made a game of getting their hands on whisky that had been secreted for later use, turning up drunk and sick. Horror stories abounded, and although there was doubtless exaggeration, many of the witnesses were reliable and respectable and provided their testimony under oath.

The local option a nuisance, not a deterrent

The local option saw a resurgence after the provincial government passed a law in the early 1890s allowing areas smaller than a county to vote themselves dry, but they required a higher proportion of support than a simple majority.

This was an attempt to ensure that only places with strong support for Prohibition could become dry. Many local option laws continued well into the 20th century, notably in places like . But with the car replacing horse power, and the local option being implemented in small communities often adjacent to wet ones, it became more of an inconvenience than a deterrent to drinking.

The local option generally failed for several reasons.

First, booze was profitable and vendors in nearby towns could easily get it to thirsty customers in dry areas. Second, the requirement of only a simple majority to pass the law meant that a large portion of the community would look for ways around the law. Third, this system favoured the rich who could afford to have whole kegs of beer or whisky shipped to them, or could travel to other towns to buy their booze.

It disadvantaged the poor, whose finances and mobility were strictly limited. It became, as commentators argued, “class legislation” discriminating against the poor while only inconveniencing the rich.

With all these problems, even many who supported Prohibition argued that a well-controlled licensing system was preferable.

Cause for pause

This experience with the local option in Ontario should give today’s municipal governments pause before following the path of Richmond Hill and Markham.

When you institute local prohibition, you encourage illegality and inequity.

The product you’re trying to restrict becomes more lucrative. This nurtures the very black market that the Cannabis Act is trying to squash.

Some people will not be able to get legal cannabis. The planned internet ordering system is convenient for people with credit cards and access to computers. It is not as convenient for poorer people.

So some people will have to find other ways to get their hands on cannabis, thereby encouraging the continuation of illegal sales. (Let’s save the elitist debate about whether poor people should be smoking pot for another day.) This could be dangerous, given the rise of and weed that wouldn’t normally be available through legal distribution channels.

Unless a vast proportion of residents in a community support such restrictions, such prohibition could encourage more illegality, more excess and more access to cannabis for those whom the law is designed to protect. Mayors who say that they’ve heard from people who don’t want cannabis shops in their town need to ask themselves if these voices are representative, or just loud.

Banning cannabis retail sales could cause more profound problems than it solves.

, Associate Professor, Medical History, Department of Health Sciences,

This article was originally published on . Read the .

The Conversation

Nathaniel Brown — SMCDSB trustee Barrie Wards 1-5

I studied pre-health at Georgian College, and previously worked for a number of years as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the City of Barrie’s rec centres. In these roles, I got to learn exactly how important proper teaching, mentoring, and support are in a kid’s development.

While I currently work in the hospitality industry, creating the conditions for kids to succeed has always been a priority for me, which is why I am running to be your school trustee.

People pay attention to the mayor and councillor campaigns, but trustee races are often forgotten, resulting in people picking the first name on the ballot without knowing who they are.

I’m running to change that, so that you know when you see my name on the ballot, you know voting for me will allow me to bring specific, realistic goals that a trustee can actually implement.

My priorities as your trustee will be to:

1) Support teachers who champion extracurriculars

There is nothing “extra about extracurriculars. Sports, arts, leadership activities: they are all vital programs that help develop students into happy, healthy, productive adults, and should be treated as a priority and supported. As trustee, I will lobby the school board to ensure that teachers who take on extracurriculars after hours have proper equipment, supplies and resources to make sure these programs succeed and provide students with meaningful experiences.

2) Fund breakfast programs

Students cannot properly absorb what they are learning and think critically in the morning if they are running on the fumes of what they ate the previous night for dinner, if they even ate the night before. Eating sugary junk food doesn’t solve the issue, either. As your trustee, I will move motions to properly fund breakfast programs at every school with nutritious options. Every student, whether they don’t have food at home or simply just forgot that morning, needs to know that they can use the program anytime without questions.

Blue Mountains library CEO earns new degree

Sabrina Saunders, CEO of The Blue Mountains public library, recently received her Master of Library and Information Sciences Degree (M.L.I.S.). 

She completed the requirements for the degree in April, and on June 20 she walked across the stage at the University of Western Ontario graduation ceremony to receive her degree.

Saunders adds this degree to a Ph.D in Theory & Policy Studies (University of Toronto), a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education, a Master of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies, a Master of Science in Student Personnel Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology (Buffalo State University).

Saunders models professional development to all of her staff, and inspires those around in her pursuit of lifelong learning.

‘They would have been coyote food.’ Litter of beagle puppies abandoned in Adjala-Tosorontio

It shouldn’t even need to be said, but the Alliston and District Humane Society is sending out a message to any pet owners who think a drive out into the country is an acceptable way to get rid of their animals.

“It’s really sad,” said dog program co-ordinator Emily Day. “I just wish people would just take their animals to a shelter, that’s why we are here.”

The most recent dog dumping incident happened Friday, Aug. 17 after a box of five beagle puppies were found in a ditch in Adjala-Tosorontio.

“A person driving past saw one of them on the side of the road,” she said. “She stopped her car and went and looked down into the ditch under the bush and found four more.”

Another litter of beagles was found by a neighbouring dog shelter.

“They look very similar, so they are all probably from the same litter,” she said.

The 10-week old puppies appear to be in good health, but one is lethargic and isn’t eating.

“My gut feeling is they were puppies someone couldn’t sell, which is sad,” she said.

The shelter is also caring for an adult shepherd/Great Dane cross that was dumped in the country.

“She was panicking, just running from car to car trying to find someone who would let her in,” she said.

Day said the dog was likely used for breeding but was severely neglected and had open sores in her ears infested with maggots.

“She looks like a bag of bones,” she said.

Animal dumping is sadly a common occurrence in the area, especially with kittens.

“If that lady hadn’t seen that one puppy they would have been coyote food,” she said. “Some person basically drove them out into the country and left them here to die, and that’s horrible.”

There’s another reason why people shouldn’t dump their animals.

“If anything, dumping them off in the middle of nowhere is abandonment, and there will be a charge for that,” she said.

Day said the beagle puppies will likely be ready for adoption by the end of the week.

The shelter is currently at capacity for dogs. The next open houses take place Saturday, Aug. 26 and Sept. 8.

For more information visit or call

Editor’s note: A correction was made to this article Aug. 23. The original version incorrectly stated the open houses take place on Sunday. Simcoe.com regrets the error.

Collingwood OPP has responded to 15 incidents of pets in hot cars since June

Since June 1, the Collingwood OPP has responded to 15 incidents of pets in hot vehicles.

For Sonya Reichel of the Georgian Triangle Humane Society, this is 15 too many.

“The message with no hot pets is ensuring people are aware there is no exceptions to the rule,” she said. “There is no excuse, we can’t have hot pets.”

A Wellington Township man was recently charged under Collingwood’s responsible pet ownership bylaw for leaving a dog in a parked car.

Reichel said there are no excuses to leave a pet in the car.

“I will never forget a story that I heard where someone had their golden retriever in their car, it was early morning, they were popping into an office, they got caught up in a meeting and two hours later when they came out their pet was dead,” she said.

Despite the pleas from animal organizations and the police, she said the problem persists.

“There is a misconception, that temporarily a pet in a car is OK, it’s not OK,” she said. “It’s a campaign our organization has been delivering for the last five years it really means that somehow, the message isn’t hitting home.”

Const. Martin Hachey of the Collingwood OPP said when police respond, people tell them they love their pet and they were only running in for a short time.

But Hachey said one minute is too long.

“You meet a friend in there and start talking and all of a sudden five becomes a 10,  the lineup at the till and all of a sudden, the 10 becomes a 15 and that’s when the heat really starts rising in a vehicle,” he said.

Hachey said even cracking a window, it can be hot for a pet. He said the best solution is to leave the pet at home when possible.

The Ontario SPCA is in the midst of a no hot pets campaign and as part of the initiative is encouraging businesses to register as pet friendly. This would allow the public to bring their pets inside with them.

Currently, only one business in Collingwood is registered as pet friendly, Collingwood Home Hardware Building Centre.

Owner Tracey Caron is an animal lover and several years ago saw a dog in distress in vehicle and she doesn’t want that to happen at her store.

“We are trying to encourage people to not leave their pets in the hot car,” she said.

Hachey said in addition to damage it may cause to the pet, the owner who leaves the pet in the car could be punished.

He said they could receive a fine under municipal bylaws, the Ontario SPCA act or the Criminal Code for cruelty to an animal.

“If we show there was intent to cause harm to the animal, that could possibly be laid,” he said.

Reichel is hoping other businesses “take the pledge,” and become pet friendly.

“We just need this to be something that’s a cultural norm,” she said. 

For more information visit

Tiny Township woman survives heart attack, changes life

Marg Raynor is lucky to be alive.

The 72-year-old retired teacher suffered a heart attack eight years ago. It was properly diagnosed and she received angioplasty and a pacemaker in quick order.

That’s unusual.

According to the Heart & Stroke 2018 Heart Report entitled Ms. Understood, early heart attack signs were missed in 78 per cent of women.

Heart disease is the leading cause of premature death for women in Canada. In fact, every 20 minutes, a woman in Canada dies from heart disease.

“Too many women are unnecessarily suffering and dying from heart disease,” reads the opening statement of the report.

“They have been left behind because they are under-researched, under-diagnosed, under-treated and under-supported during recovery,” reads the second sentence.

Raynor, who is known in the community as a singer, guitarist, had no chest pain during her heart attacks.

“It was a sudden back ache. It was just a deep ache,” she said.

The first time it happened, she went and laid down, took some Tylenol and a hot bath. Days later it happened again with an added symptom.

“I had tingling and throbbing down my left arm.”

“I thought if I want to see my children and grandchildren grow up, I’d better go to hospital.”

Her husband drove her to Georgian Bay General Hospital and she sat in the regular emergency section with people with colds and flu.

Through tests she was diagnosed and immediately to Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket where she got an emergency angioplasty with a stent.

“I was told I’d had two heart attacks and that I had 60 per cent damage to my heart.”

She got a pacemaker.

Upon reflection and research Raynor figures that it was brought on by stress combined with extensive dental work (root canals and infections) and a fungus infection.

She decided to take ownership of her new condition and follow her daughter’s advice: “Mom be gentle with your heart.”

Raynor said she had to change her philosophy from “getting it done” mode.

“I had to learn to tell a different story. If I’m sweating, I sit down or have a nap. I’m learning how to pace myself,” said Raynor, adding that she’s still active in the community.

“I’m letting myself go with the flow more, smelling the roses a little bit more.”

She sees her new philosophy in her garden. Her formerly manicured garden has wildflowers.

“Now I’ve got Monarchs,” she said.

The need for more research into women’s heart health prompted Cathy Hartley to organize the Women Have Heart Golf Tournament taking place on Sunday, Aug. 19 at Orr Lake Golf Club. All the funds raised from the event, which includes heart health education, will be directed to women’s heart research.

To register for the tournament, go to the website: and search Go Red Women or call .

For more information about heart facts go to the website

For a telling video starring Elizabeth Banks, go to YouTube’s presentation of Just a Little Heart Attack.

New water mains in Tay Township a ‘huge’ help to fight cottage fire

A visitor to Port McNicoll for a wedding looked out his kitchen window to see the next-door neighbour’s waterfront cottage on fire Wednesday afternoon.

Andrew Degenhardt called 911 before 4:30 p.m.

“They got here very fast and immediately went to work,” he said about the response from the Tay Township Fire Department to the fire at 155 Woodlands Ave. The fire was put out with the front of the building standing.

Tay Township fire Chief Brian Thomas said new water mains with hydrants were just installed in the area this year.

“That made a huge difference. Now we have six-inch mains, so our volume of water was readily accessible when we needed it,” he said.

Anderson Hoare, who lives year-round next door, said no one was at the cottage at the time of the fire and there had not been anyone around. He added the wood cottage is more than 60 years old. The owner is from Toronto and comes up only three to five times a year.

Hoare used his garden hose to prevent the fire from spreading to his house, where he stores large propane tanks.

The cause of the blaze is to be determined.


Here are five places you can skateboard in Simcoe County


606 Little Lake Park Rd.

• Features a variety of rails, blocks and a half pipe



451 Third St.

• Reopened last year thanks to support from community groups including the Optimist Club


Wasaga Beach

1724 Mosley St.

• A fixture in Wasaga Beach for the better part of the last decade, with a variety of equipment for tricks


8527 County Rd. 10

• Located behind the Angus Arena; features a half pipe


55 Ross St.

• Features steps and walls for boarders to practise their skills

911 ‘misdials’ divert valuable time from real emergencies in South Simcoe

South Simcoe Police Service is reminding the public about the proper use of 911 following a rash of pocket dials and inappropriate calls this month.

While a majority are made while a person’s mobile phone was in a pocket or a toddler’s curious hands, others are the result of residents clearly not understanding what constitutes an emergency.

Case in point is one example this month of a resident dialing 911 for police help with a bird flying around their bedroom.

On compassionate grounds, officers did try to help the distressed caller with a visit to the home.

While the suspect bird had flown the coop or, in this case, the bedroom after the caller followed the advice of the 911 communicator to leave the window open, the victim of the “avian invasion” was given a stern caution by officers regarding the proper use of 911.

“While we don’t want to discourage people from dialing the emergency phone number, we want to remind people that it is for emergencies only, such as a crime in progress, a fire or a medical emergency,” police spokesperson Sue Sgambati said.

Dozens of inappropriate calls were logged with South Simcoe’s communications centre this month alone.

They included a man trying to call a money-transfer company; a call from a four-year-old who was recently taught about 911 and “wanted to try it out”; pocket dials from people on a motorcycle and a golf cart; and a man who said his phone was blacked out and kept dialing into emergency mode.

Calls to 911 can be made from a number of smartphones, even while the phone is locked. The feature is aimed at increasing consumer safety, but often results in countless calls being mistakenly made to dispatchers, who then need to use valuable time to determine the validity of the call.

If you accidentally call 911, police urge you to stay on the line and let the communicator know what happened.

“When an unintentional 911 caller hangs up, that could be considered an ‘unknown trouble’ call and police will respond, taking away valuable time and resources from someone who really needs help,” Sgambati added.

Police are urging the public to “lock it before you pocket it” and advise against letting children play with mobile phones in an effort to reduce the amount on non-emergency calls flooding system operators.

Children should not be given old cell phones as toys. Many decommissioned phones can still dial 911, even without a SIM card.

Locking a cellphone’s screen can also prevent an unintentional 911 call from being activated by an accidental swipe of the highly sensitive touch screens.

In 2017, South Simcoe’s communication staff answered 5,611 calls to 911. Of those, 419 — or 7 per cent — were misdials.

For non-emergencies, you can contact South Simcoe Police at  or .