Daily News About Aylmer, Ontario and East Elgin

THURSDAY, Mar. 23/17





-Thu -Bayham Public Meetings:Official Plan/Energy Plan;Council Chambers; 6-8pm

-Thu -Community Awards; EEC Complex; 7:30 pm

-Thu -EESS Parent Teacher Night, 4-7 pm


-Fri -Library: ‘Write Your Life Story’ Session; Bandshell Room; 10 am

-Fri-Sun -Home and Garden Show (see ad)

-Sat -Club 7 Paper Drive; 8:30 am

-Sat -Earth Hour, 8:30 pm





(Contributed) – The monthly Seniors Day Out program at the EEC Complex will be held next Tuesday March 28 from 9:30 am to 12:30. The program includes: recreational activities (choice of adult skate, shuffleboard, pickleball or a fitness class) and guest speaker Jackie Doummar on ‘Healthy Living’. The cost is $10, lunch is provided and registration in advance is required.





(Contributed) – Eastlink customers in Aylmer and area can soon enjoy their favourite local programs in HD. Beginning March 22 (yesterday) popular local series’ Homegrown Music, Home Ice and Hometown Stories among others, will be available in HD on Eastlink TV Channel 610 and On Demand. “As a family-owned business, we have a deep appreciation for the importance of supporting the communities where we operate; that includes local programming, through our community channel – Eastlink TV,” said Ron Mervis, Eastlink Regional Manager.





We believe Aylmer Council’s recent interest in moving the library to the EEC Complex is not in the best interests of the town. Here’s why:

-Council already declared in 2016 to keep the library in the downtown core.

-Why abandon showcasing the Old Town Hall as a key Aylmer tourist attraction?

-The BIA opposes it and have told the town that several times

-Most users are seniors and children; they aren’t going to drive to the EECC. Malahide residents aren’t going to drive uptown and then out there either

-Nearly all similar size towns in southwestern Ontario have their library close to downtown ie. Ingersoll, Strathroy, St. Mary’s, Goderich, Leamington etc.

-Why would this council choose to cut services for needy citizens for ‘tax purposes’ if it isn’t needed; use of the library will decline dramatically if it is out there

-The space is not sufficient there; the lobby of 2000 sq ft is unusable except as a foyer; Cut out a modern kitchen with 1000 sq ft? That leaves 8100 sq ft., Aylmer needs 10,700

-The town would have lose good public hall space; other similar size towns have halls for weddings, rec activities, public gatherings – why not us?

-The halls’ use is forecast to bring in $63000 next year, up from $35,000 just two years ago. (As well isn’t that our emergency shelter?)

-This relocation supposedly brings in an extra profit of $20,000 yearly for each municipality. Is this ‘panic’ what others are doing to manage their arena deficits?

-An addition to the present library (or new) downtown, we believe, would cost taxpayers about $8 each a year and that’s before fundraising.

The Town’s sudden go ahead for this on March 13/20 has moved forward without complete information. It’s moved without a public meeting to keep the public aware of decisions about this very public space in Aylmer. It’s moved ahead of the requirements laid out by the Township of Malahide for moving the Library to the Complex. It’s moved ahead of completed financial information as to what the actual cost would be to move the Library to the Complex. Aylmer Library supporters and user groups want a library within a budget that is appropriate for our required expansion needs. Supporters want a progressive and modern downtown library expansion to meet the needs of this community. Aylmer is overdue for this. (Tom Charlton for Aylmer Library Expansion Supporters)





The current exhibit at the Aylmer-Malahide Museum is ‘On with the Show: Celebrating 150 Years of Musical and Theatrical History in Aylmer and Malahide’. It runs from March 13-May 26; the museum is open Monday-Friday, 10 am-5 pm.






Among decisions made by Aylmer Council at their regular meeting last night:

In response to the results of an Expression of Interest advertised for lease/purchase options of building space for library services which closed on March 4, Council felt there was confusion over the information asked for and the details submitted. Two proposals, unidentified, were received but in both cases no financial details were provided. Co. Peter Barbour commented that he felt the E of I didn’t ask for pricing details and it should have as Council needed to know costing details. Council then decided to invite the two parties to submit a fuller information package to a closed council session on April 4. Also in response to a letter from the Aylmer Chamber of Commerce expressing concern with the decision re-building a new Parks building, Council offered no discussion but simply filed the request and asked staff to send the Chamber a copy outlining the Discovery Process used in the decision. Council did not respond to any questions asked in the Chamber letter. The Chamber inquired if Council could put further thought and discussion into the opportunity of purchasing the Badder Bus Lines property for the Public Works building.





Among decisions made by Aylmer Council at their regular meeting Monday:


-approval  for York Developments to construct a 8900 square foot Dollarama on John St. north (former Dempsey Chrysler site)

-approval for Studer Holdings to sever property north of Studers’ Variety for future townhouses

-approval for Mills Construction to do Cedar St. sewers this summer, tentative start date of April 10





-Ronson, Marjorie Frances of Aylmer and formerly of Belmont passed away March 16th in her 94th year. Predeceased by her husband John (Jack). Survivors: daughter Pam (Ed) Pietrzak etc.. A service was held yesterday; arrangements with Williams Funeral Home, St. Thomas.




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WEDNESDAY, Mar. 22/2017





-Wed- 6pm-9/Thu -8 am-7 -Skate Canada High School Event at EEC Complex


-Thu -Bayham Public Meetings:Official Plan/Energy Plan;Council Chambers; 6-8pm

-Thu -Community Awards; EEC Complex; 7:30 pm

-Thu -EESS Parent Teacher Night, 4-7 pm

-Fri -Library: ‘Write Your Life Story’ Session; Bandshell Room; 10 am

-Fri-Sun -Home and Garden Show (see ad)

-Sat -Club 7 Paper Drive; 8:30 am





(Contributed by Elgin St.Thomas Health Unit) – As part of the local ‘Healthy Kids Community Challenge,’ all Elgin elementary schools have been invited to participate in the first ever ‘Great Big Gulp!’ to celebrate making tap water the go-to drink for good health. Thirty Eight water hydration station award packages have been distributed to schools and agencies. As well there was a video-making contest for Grades 3-7 classes demonstrating the importance of choosing tap water as a healthy, low-cost and socially preferred drink and McGregor Public School’s Grade 4 class took home the top award of $1,000. There was also a distribution of water bottles to children across Elgin County through schools.

The Great Big Gulp’ will be held on Thursday at 11 am. Registered elementary schools will arrange to have their students and staff ready with reusable water bottles full of cold tap water to take a ‘Great Big Gulp!’ all at once. Local schools participating are Assumption Catholic; McGregor; Springfield; New Sarum and Port Burwell.

Reasons for the campaign? – “Excess sugar consumption is associated with adverse health effects including heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, certain types of cancer and cavities. Sugary drinks (e.g. regular pop, iced tea, fruit drinks and punches) are the single largest contributor of sugar in the diet. It has become normalized to reach for flavoured and sweetened beverages and this is a health concern.”





-Van Raes, Rachel of Tillsonburg and formerly Aylmer passed away Tuesday in her 95th year. Wife of the late Gaston Van Raes (1990). Survivors: son Noel Van Raes (Cheryl); sister in law Andrea Van Raes, both of Aylmer etc.. She was born in Belguim, came to Canada in 1948 and along with her husband operated a tobacco farm.  Visitation at the HA Kebbel Funeral Home on Friday 2-4 and 7-9 pm. A funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Sorrows Church on Saturday at 10 am.





Malahide Council recently decided on a tax levy increase for 2017 of 4.77%. Mayor Dave Mennill provides these comments:

1.What are key factors in the 4.7 increase? – “The reasons for the 4.7 % increase is largely out of our control. A reduction in OMPF funding as well as an increase in garbage tipping fees and OPP expenses account for almost 3% of the 4.7%.

2.How do you compare this to last year’s 3.5 increase? – Last year we had a surplus in our budget which allowed us to get down to the 3.5%

3.What are a few key capital costs upcoming? – The fire hall is the biggest. As well there is the Broadway Street Bridge in Springfield and ongoing road improvements, taking gravel to tar and chip.”





(Re-Library Relocation) – At Monday night’s Council, Cr McDonald questioned the integrity of the BIA and Mainstreet by questioning the veracity of a former letter to Council. He ought to be ashamed of himself. He is the representative of Council on this organization and knows full well that this business group was sincere in its message to Council and not done by just “one individual”. He owes that so-called “one individual” an apology. He and others on Council would have shown better awareness of their role as representatives had they at least discussed the concerns of downtown merchants as expressed in the letter. (Jack Couckuyt)





(Contributed) – “The Elgin OPP would like the public to be aware of a fraud scam that is circulating due to tax season The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center continues to receive daily complaints about fraudsters targeting Canadians by email and phone regarding their taxes. The first involves fraudsters calling consumers impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) claiming a recent audit has identified discrepancies from past filed taxes. Fraudsters threaten consumers that failure to pay will result in additional fees and/or jail time or deportation. Fraudsters request payment by a money service business (e.g. Western Union) or pre-paid cards / gift cards (iTunes). The second involves consumers receiving an email indicating a refund is pending from the CRA. The email includes a link that directs consumers to a website that mimics the actual CRA. Consumers are urged to input their information before receiving the refund (email money transfer).

The CRA will use registered mail to contact consumers. Contact the CRA to confirm you owe back taxes or are entitled to a refund. (Telerefund phone number is 1-800-959-1956 which is automated). Never provide personal information on inbound phone calls. The CRA would never request payment by money service business or iTunes gift cards.





Those receiving volunteer awards at the annual Ontario Community Awards presentations tomorrow night at the EEC Complex include:

From Aylmer and area -Ron Allen VON 20 years, Yvonne Allen VON 20, Karen Barrie Chartwell 5, Franz Bergen MCS 5, Bozena Boadway Museum 35, Laura Wilkens Scouts 5,  Lois Coleman Chartwell 10, Gene Corless Aylmer Comm Band 15, Colleen Elliott Band 5, Barb Forsdike VON 10, Jacquie Jeffery Museum 35, Sabryn Johnson Springfield, Pt. Stanley Skating 5 and Scouts Canada, Ella Killough Museum 25, Peter Martens Jr EECC, 10, John Montgomery Can. Ment. Health 10, Mary Neufeld MCS, 5; Harold Pake, Chartwell, 15, Marie Pake Chartwell 15, Darcy Pressey Scouts 25, Betty Segui Museum 20 and Jake Zacharias MCS 15

From Bayham – Ron Bradfield, Bayham Twp 10, Chuck Buchannan Bayham Twp 10, Sharon Hagell Tillsonburg Hospital 15, Bev Hickey Bayham Twp 10, Kim Legg Pt Burwell, Scouts 14, Ray Maddox Straffordville, Bayham Twp 10, Matt Schaefer Bayham Twp 10, Ken Smith, Scouts 15.





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TUESDAY, Mar. 21/17





-Wed- 6pm-9/Thu -8 am-7 -Skate Canada High School Event at EEC Complex

-Thu -Bayham Public Meeting: Official Plan

-Thu -EESS Parent Teacher Night, 4-7 pm

-Fri -Library: ‘Write Your Life Story’ Session; Bandshell Room; 10 am

-Fri-Sun -Home and Garden Show (see ad)

-Sat -Club 7 Paper Drive; 8:30 am





Councillor Barbara Ann Laur asked four councillors at last night’s council meeting if they had prior knowledge of last Monday’s surprise library decision motion. “I”d like to have an answer to that,” she said.  Mayor Greg Currie then asked “Did you have the document before the distribution of it at the meeting?” None of the four councillors who supported the motion (Co. Peter Barbour, Arthur Oslach, Ted McDonald, Shari Andrews) replied to that question. Co. Barbour then said “I don’t know if that is an appropriate comment for a councillor, I don’t know yes or no.”

Co. Laur continued: “I requested the video (of the meeting) to see what transpired. It was very apparent that the only two councillors (plus Mayor Currie according to the video) who were reading the information were Deputy Mayor French and myself which tells me it was passed out prior to the motion; everybody else did not read it, that’s not acceptable.” (EDITOR: The video shows Co. Barbour and Oslach, the introducer and seconder, not reading it and Co. Macdonald and Andrews only reading it briefly.)

COUCKUYT LETTER – The discussion began when Co. McDonald moved, seconder Andrews, that a letter from former Mayor Jack Couckuyt on the library decision be just received and filed. His letter in part said: “The manner in which the resolution was added to the Council agenda was undemocratic and at odds with Municipal procedures. Under scrutiny, this would be an illegal resolution… Councillors are elected to make decisions but these decisions should at least be based on discussion within Council and the opportunity to scrutinize the proposals beforehand…Additions to the agenda must not be made on the spur of the moment or kept from Council until the day of a Council meeting…  No opportunity was given for public input… The decision was made without knowing the costing, or the County requirements or the impact on library services.  This…does a disservice to library patrons, Town Councillors, downtown merchants, Aylmer residents and the reputation of the Town of Aylmer.”

Deputy Mayor French then argued for discussion on the letter: “The way things happened wasn’t following what we stand for as a council. We promised to be accountable to people, staff, and other councillors, we weren’t transparent.” Co. Laur agreed: “This was not in the best interests of making a decision.. Secondly to simply receive and file is doing a disservice.” She ten asked her question on the knowledge of the four councillors prior to last week’s vote.

Co. Barbour then offered this response: “The proceedings of council are governed by the town’s procedural bylaw. Section 13-C states that any additions to the agenda can be put forward and then there is a resolution confirming the agenda, this is what happened.”

MAINSTREET LETTER – Barbour then moved, seconded by McDonald, that a letter received by Mainstreet Aylmer also be “received and filed” This letter in part said: “At our meeting (Thursday) there was a (reinforcement) motion that the MainStreet Aylmer/Aylmer BIA committee is not in favour of the Library going out to the East Elgin Community Complex and that we would prefer it being in the downtown core or at least closer to the downtown core…the vote was – the two councillor reps (McDonald, Oslach) against and the 7 BIA reps in favour.”

Macdonald then moved, seconder Barbour, that the council motion from last February agreeing to keep the library in the core be rescinded. Laur said: “This is a great disservice to the community and should be reconsidered.” Similar to all the votes on the library issue it was passed 4-3 (Barbour, Oslach, McDonald, Andrews in favour)

“NOT ROCKET SCIENCE” – Andrews then moved, McDonald seconder, to rescind the motion from a few weeks ago on studying the relocation of the library to the EECC. Said D-M French: “We need to get costing, I believe the staff almost have this done.” Laur said: “I am baffled, how can we move without knowing the cost?” Barbour replied: “The engineering will be part of the building permit application. This is not rocket science, we are just going to modify it for another purpose, it just requires removing some interior partitions, electrical outlets, IT provisions and some carpets…If the engineering is not reasonable we will just get another estimate.”

Barbour then moved, seconder McDonald, to rescind a motion to investigate the Old Works building on Myrtle St.. Said Mayor Currie: “I hoped to look at this, (if not) it is a disservice to the process.” Said Laur: “You are 100 percent right, I have had many calls on this.” Again the vote was 4-3 to rescind.





– March 17, 2017, Station #4, Crossley-Hunter Line, Medical Assist

– March 19, 2017, Station #2, Imperial Road, Medical Assist

– March 19, 2017, Station #4, Belmont Road, MVC





AYLMER – The Aylmer Novices defeated Lucan 8-4 here last night to sweep their OMHA finals series in three straight games. Their previous victories were 5-1 and 10-2. The last OMHA title for Aylmer was the 2008 Midgets.

Aylmer Novices won an OMHA C championship with an 8-4 win over Lucan in Aylmer last night. (contributed) (CLICK)




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MONDAY, Mar. 20/17





-Aylmer Council, 7 pm

-OMHA Finals: Aylmer Novices host: Lucan, 6 pm


-Wed 6pm-9/Thu -8 am-7 – Skate Canada High School Event at EEC Complex

-Thu -Bayham Public Meeting: Official Plan

-Thu -EESS Parent Teacher Night

-Fri-Sun -Home and Garden Show (see ad)





DORCHESTER- The home team opened up a 3-0 first period lead on route to a 5-0 blanking of the Aylmer Spitfires in the deciding game of their Provincial Junior C seven game finals here last night. Dorchester connected for three power play goals and outshot Aylmer 44-27. Saturday in Aylmer, the Spitfires evened the series by grabbing a 3-1 edge after the opening frame and skating to a 5-4 win despite being outshot 50-32. Friday Dorchester was victorious by a 7-0 count.

President Charlie Roloson provided these comments on the finals and next year’s team: “We knew that Dorchester was going to come out hard in game 7 and we had hoped if we could weather the storm and counter punch with timely goals we could get the momentum. Unfortunately we took some penalties that resulted in power play goals for Dorchester. We had some great opportunities but Dorchester’s goalie and the crossbar shut the door on us. I personally believe that special teams played a huge part in this series, the team that took advantage of their power play opportunities seemed to come out on top. Other than our management, coaches and players, I did not talk to anyone who thought we could win, I heard a lot of “well hopefully you can steal a game so you don’t get swept”. Well we won 3 and I am very proud of the effort and heart our team displayed. We also greatly appreciate the support that the Aylmer community showed for the Spitfires during the playoff run.

Key losses: Cody Underhill who in his Jr “C” career with the Spitfires has either re-wrote the record books or is in the top 3 in all offensive categories; Andrew Harriman-Duke the best goalie in the league 2 years running in my opinion; Kyle DiCicco one of the best stay at home defencemen that never got the credit he should for his play and Captain Jesiah Sweetland a true leader, gentleman and heart and soul of this team not to mention his skill at both ends of the rink.”



Period 1

Aylmer – Ryan Van Roestel (unassisted) 3:36

Aylmer – Luke Vanderspank (Cody Underhill, Jake Morin) 11:49

Dorchester – Lucas Wilson (Dylan Buckholz) 16:36

Aylmer – Luke Bettencourt (Dawson Winchester, Sebastian Nogueira) 18:03

Period 2

Dorchester – Braedon Dorion (Derek Todosichuk, Jay Ritchie) 8:44

Aylmer – Jake Morin (unassisted) 14:28

Period 3

Aylmer – Jesse Tottle (powerplay) (Ryan Vandenbroek, Dawson Winchester) 1:28

Dorchester – Michael Blue (Jay Ritchie) 10:59

Dorchester – Ryan Root (shorthanded) (unassisted) 19:40





(Information from Chief Randy White)

Mar 14, Station 1 Port Burwell, medical assist on Milton St.

Mar 17, Station 1 Port Burwell, medical assist on Plank Rd 

Mar 18, Station 1 Port Burwell, medical assist on Elizabeth St.


SUNDAY RUNAWAY HORSE – The Bayham Fire crew at Port Burwell had a happier ending with a horse story this past week. Last Sunday a fire at a horse barn south of Straffordville claimed the lives of three horses. Yesterday the BFD was called for an animal rescue but the animal had been subdued before fire crews responded. Said Chief White: “A horse owner coming along Nova Scotia Line with his horse drawn carriage near the fire hall was informed that there was a colt stuck in the fence on the farm across from the hall. He stopped to assist only to have the colt and some nearby horses panic as they approached. This caused his own horse to bolt. The colt managed to free himself from the fence and the horse and carriage stopped less than a block away and was subsequently led back up the road with no problems. The last call for a horse incident was in January 2012 when crews assisted a horse stuck in some mud.”





LUCAN – Aylmer Novices won game two of their six point OMHA finals by a 10-2 margin here last night. Goalscorers for Aylmer were: Chace Stokley 4, Cole Shoup 2, Thomas Dance 2 with singles going to Ashton Curtis and Shane Neusteter. Game 3 is tonight in Aylmer.





-Poortinga, Johannes “John” of Aylmer and formerly of R.R.1, Belmont passed away Friday in his 80th year. Survivors: wife Theresa (Hovius) Poortinga; two children etc,. He was born in the Netherlands. Visitation at the HA Kebbel Funeral Home on Monday 2-4 and 7-9 pm. The funeral service will be held at the Aylmer Christian Reformed Church on Tuesday at 1 pm.


-Moosberger (Brackenbury) Barbara of Aylmer passed away Saturday in her 71st year. Wife of the late Paul Mooseberger (1980). Survivors: two children etc.. Barb worked for a number of years at Amtelecom. Visitation at the HA Kebbel Funeral Home on Tuesday 2-4 and 7-9 pm where the funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 1 pm.





(Re-Library Relocation) – “Democracy is more than a majority vote. Responsible politicians consult with the users of the building in question. When the EECC was built the hockey players associations were consulted. I have never seen a councillor in the library asking the patrons what they would like. The survey quoted from years ago reported a minority who were in favour of the move. Is quoting that survey also your democracy or is it simply another “alternative truth”? To suggest that the BIA will benefit from the move is ludicrous. Council by this action takes another step towards killing the downtown. In future years Aylmer will consist of a downtown of empty storefronts with few businesses aside from financial and service businesses. A shell of a town with nothing except big biz chains at the entrances. Taxes on residences will need to increase to make up for the lost business tax. Higher residential taxes will in turn drive people out of town.” (David Ritchie)





(Reprinted from April 10/14) – (Information from Chris Mayhew, Aylmer Library Supervisor:) – “Aylmer Library cardholders represent 38% of all library users in Elgin County. 53% of Aylmer Library cardholders are residents of Aylmer and 23% are residents of Malahide. Other municipalities make up the remainder. Children and Seniors probably comprise 65-75 % of our users. It’s obviously difficult to assess but in talking to our patrons I would say probably over fifty per cent are walk in users, coming from their homes, downtown etc.” Added Sandi Lopenen, Elgin County Library Co-Ordinator: “We do not know how many arrive by foot or by car, but we do know where our cardholders reside and by extension the potential for individuals to walk if they are able. Essentially, 31% live within 750 metres of the current library.”





Among agenda items for Aylmer Council at their regular meeting tonight:

-rescind motion from February 1st/16 about locating the library within the BIA core; rescind motion from February 13/17 on asking for a study re locating the library to the EECC and rescind motion from February 13/17  re-investigating the former Public Works building as a potential library site.




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WEDNESDAY, Mar. 15/17



*SAT -JR C FINALS – Aylmer 5 Dorchester 4 (series tied 3-3)

(Game Seven, tonight 8 pm in Dorchester)

*FRI – JR C FINALS – Dorchester 7 Aylmer 0 (Dor. up 3-2)

*WED -JR C FINALS – Dorchester 3 Aylmer 2 (series tied 2-2)






-Wed-Thu -Free Eastlink public skating at EECC -10:15 am -12:15

-Free Kindred CU public skating -1:15 pm – 3:15

-JR C Finals – Aylmer hosts Dorchester: 8:15 pm


-Thu: Library: Mysterious Gaming, all ages, 2 pm

-Thu -Bayham 7 pm, Malahide 7:30 pm Councils

-Fri: -Library: Mysterious Magic Show, all ages, 2 pm

-Fri -FREE 150th FILM NIGHT; “Laurel, Hardy”; OT Hall Theatre; 6:30 pm

-Sat -Jr C Finals – Game Six – Aylmer host Dorchester, 7:45 pm





(From Elgin OPP) – On Sunday OPP were called to the Mennomex Store east of Aylmer at the corner of Hacienda Road and #3 Highway. The store owner indicated that someone had hit the store in a motor vehicle and then drove off. Police determined the incident took place around 7 that morning and the vehicle would have been travelling west on Talbot Line. Police are on the lookout for a 2008-10 silver or grey Ford Escape with moderate front end damage.





(Reprinted from April 22/2014) -According to Google Maps, most towns similar in size to Aylmer in southwestern Ontario have their libraries located close to their downtown districts: Tillsonburg, Delhi, Pt. Dover, Hanover, Paris, New Hamburg, Ingersoll, St. Marys, Strathroy, Kincardine, Goderich, Leamington, Petrolia, Wallaceburg, and Amherstburg.





“(Re: Council Library vote Monday) How much more democratic do you want it? A vote was called, votes were cast and the majority won. Quit bellyaching, suck it up and get to work to finally make this happen. Kudos to the four councillors who had fortitude to vote in favour of what was promised over two years ago to be quickly resolved. Democracy may be slow to act but it does work.” (John Vandermeersch)




“John Vandermeersch has it right, democracy does work. Those members of Council who say different fail to understand the process. The Council is elected to make decisions that benefit the community as a whole. The logic of utilizing seldom used space in the EECC and using the income from the county to help offset the operating expenses of the EECC does not require further study. We will finally have a library with lots of parking and a bonus to the BIA, additional parking downtown from the move of the library. Kudos to the members of Council who did the right thing.” (Peter Stevens)





(Information from Chief Randy White)

-March 8, Station 1 Port Burwell for a CO alarm sounding on Robinson St.

-March 8, while at the CO call, a bicyclist collapsed on the front street. Crews assisted and EMS was called.

-March 9, Station 2 Straffordville for a burn complaint on George St.

-March 10, both stations were sent to an MVC on Springer Hill, single vehicle rollover, minor injuries.


-March 12, at 5am. Both stations responded to a structure fire on Jackson Line, west of Coyle Road, southeast of Straffordville. The owner called in for an already destroyed barn with horses inside. Crews arrived to pretty much put down the hot spots. Three horses were confirmed to have perished in the fire. We estimate damage at around $200,000 and, due to the total destruction, no way of determining cause.





-De Lange, Irma Simone (Maesschalck) of St.Thomas and formerly of Aylmer passed away March 7, at the age of 92. Predeceased by husband Modest De Lange (1981). Survivors: two children etc.. She was an archery member and participant in Aylmer. The service was held Friday; arrangements with the Verhoeve Funeral Home Tillsonburg.


-Underill, Harold of Springdale Newfoundland passed away Friday aged 80. Survivors, wife Elvie; five children; siblings: Bill Underhill (Fran) and Linda Corsaut (Bev), both of Aylmer etc.. The funeral was held yesterday; arrangements with Central Funeral Homes Springdale.






“March Break is here. The school 30 hour famine was held March 6- 7. There was a student book club meeting on March 7. That same night coffee house was a success. There was also a girls’ soccer tryout meeting on the 8th. Also on the 8th after school the cast and crew of the play Xanado had their first rehearsal. A four leaf clover hunt started on the 6th -whoever found the most clovers won a prize. Thursday there were students handing out free ice cream  outside the cafe at lunch and the Open Doors club sold face sized cookies for only $2. On Friday the CLC class had a hoop it up challenge – to participate students tried to get as many baskets as possible in under a minute. The annual lip sync competition is coming up on April 10th to the 13th – those who are willing to participate will be organizing their groups and starting to practice the song over the March Break.”




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TUESDAY, Mar. 14/17





-Tue-Thu -Free Eastlink public skating at EECC -10:15 am -12:15

-Wed -Free Kindred CU public skating -1:15 pm – 3:15

-Wed -JR C Finals – Aylmer hosts Dorchester: 8:15 pm

-Thu -Bayham 7 pm, Malahide 7:30 pm Councils





In an unconventional and sudden move at their regular meeting last night, Aylmer Council voted by 4-3 to relocate the library to the EEC Complex. The motion was made by Peter Barbour, seconded by Arthur Oslach and supported by Ted McDonald and Sheri Andrews. Opposed were Mayor Greg Currie, Deputy Mayor Mary French and  Barbara Ann Laur. The motion was shocking in view of these developments:

-the motion was put on the agenda just minutes before the Council session began

-Councillors had to have an unusual four minute recess to digest the preamble when the motion was made

-the discussion on what was labelled by Barbour as a ‘divisive community issue’ was over in fifteen minutes

-Council had already introduced an unorthodox motion  just two weeks ago to consider putting the library there when the topic had not been discussed for three years

-In that motion, Council asked Spriet Associates to do a study of putting it there – the study hadn’t been initiated yet

-Council also asked Malahide for permission to put it there but Malahide’s support hinged on several conditions

-that motion also asked County Council if they had any objections but that Council hasn’t even met yet to consider the move

-that same motion also asked for a study of a Myrtle Street site for possible relocation but no study on that has been done either

-Council already has a resolution from 2015 to keep the library in the downtown core which hadn’t been rescinded yet

-The Mayor had made a public statement last year that he was going to get Council to rescind a previous Complex motion

-At the recent Mayor’s Breakfast, the Mayor promised public input and there hasn’t been any

-The town had two RFPs presented to it on locations last spring, no results were ever made public


Said Deputy Mayor French during the discussion: “This is not a democratic way to do things”



-Once the motion was introduced, the Mayor gave Council five minutes to read over the preamble as it was apparently added to the agenda  just as the meeting began.

-Dep.Mayor French (MF) spoke first: “This is very premature, we just spoke about this a couple of weeks ago, we just asked Spriets about renovation costs and we haven’t heard back yet, we discussed looking at another building too, and we talked about having a public meeting, this is not democratic whatsoever”

-Co Barbour (PB) said: “This and previous councils have been looking at this for ten years…we have consumed staff time, its absorbing legal costs,, we’ve had consultants look at it…we need some closure, it’s becoming divisive in the community…a survey some years ago said 800 people were not supportive of big dollars for a stand alone building…county council is said the complex is a viable spot…they say driving is a factor but its actually closer for three schools… its very cost efficient you pay yourself… its time to put this matter to rest, they say you need 10,000 square feet and it has 11,000”

-MF – “We just received this with no warning just two minutes before the meeting so there is no chance to digest”

-Co Macdonald – “For a cachement of 13,600 how many can expect to reasonably walk to a library…if you have one or more children and one is playing hockey or at a tournament the others can use the library…pickleball and shuffleboard are bringing in less than $50 a week, its not being utilized, it needs to move forward”

-Co Oslach – The meeting rooms are vacant 70% of the time, it needs closure, get it done, move on

-Co Andrews- “We don’t need another stand alone building, having another report to put in a library is just a waste of taxpayers money”

-PB – An AylmerNews survey said 49% were in favour of going to the complex.  (EDITOR: The survey was done in 2014)

-Co Laur – “It seems premature, we don’t have the numbers yet, there are too many segments to this, we should have gone to the public for consideration”

-Mayor Currie – “I thought we had a plan… I would like to defer it”

(After passing the motion, Council agreed to rescind several related previous library motions at the next meeting)





-Austin, Ruby of St. Thomas and formerly of Aylmer passed away Sunday, March in her 76th year. Survivors: three children etc.. Visitation at the HA Kebbel Funeral Home on Tuesday 7-9 pm where the funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 am.




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THURSDAY, Mar. 9/17



*UPDATE – JR C FINALS – Fri – Aylmer 5 Dorchester 3; Sat – Dorchester 3 Aylmer 0, Sun – Ayl 4 Dorchester 3 (OT)

*UPDATE – THU. RESULT – Aylmer 5 Lucan 1 (Game One of OMHA FINALS; Game two is March 19)


*THEAYLMERNEWS will publish again TUESDAY




-Blood Donor Clinic, EECC; 2:30-7:30 pm

-OMHA finals – Aylmer Novices host Lucan; 6:15 pm


-Fri- Free Healthy Living Seminar; 10-am-Noon; Aylmer Library

-Fri -Eastlink ch. 10 -London Knights host: Erie

-Sat -Finals: Aylmer Spitfires host: Dorchester; 7:30 pm

-Sat -Clocks Ahead


-March Break -Springwater Maple Syrup Fest; 10 am-3

-Mon -OV Naturalists, 7pm; Vienna C. Centre (see Thu. report)

-Mon -Aylmer Council, 7pm





(High winds, some gusting to 100 km/h, yesterday afternoon knocked power out to some 5500 customers in the area serviced by Hydro One in Aylmer. Information from Paul Falk of Hydro One at 10 pm last night) – “We had quite a few calls. Tonight 90% of the customers will be restored and the remainder hopefully will be on by tomorrow afternoon. We have had extensive damage and wires down due to the high winds and trees coming down along with a few broken poles.”

Update at 9am today from Paul Falk and Hydro One – There are still 760 customers in the Aylmer region (St.Thomas to Courtland) without power with plans to have all power restored by 4 pm.





AYLMER – About 150 persons attended the final EPAR public meeting as part of the TVDSB school closings proposals held at EESS last night. In attendance were PARC committees from all schools involved as well as TVDSB planner Kevin Bushnell, three trustees (including James Todd of Elgin), Director of Education Laura Elliott, and three superintendents. Among key presentations

-New Sarum PARC – “the proposal is purely economic driven, we have already have optimum education at NS P.S.”

-South Dorchester PARC – “we support the new school in Belmont, there are greater opportunities for our students there”

-Springfield PARC – “build a new school for the ones that need it but let the ones that are working (like ours) alone”

-Summers Corners PARC – “we do not support the changes, we should lobby the province for new school funding for rural schools”






The Aylmer Spitfires will face Dorchester in their Provincial Junior C league finals in a best of seven series. Dorchester finished first – undefeated in their thirty league games; Aylmer was third. Dorchester won all five meetings against Aylmer this season by scores of 10-2, 7-0, 3-1, 4-2 and 3-2. First game is Friday in Dorchester, second game is Saturday in Aylmer, third game is Sunday in Dorchester and fourth game is next Wednesday in Aylmer. The Spits last won the championship in 2007-8.





The monthly meeting of the Otter Valley Naturalists will be held Monday at 7 pm at the Vienna Community Centre. Guest speaker is member Sara Lattanzio on ‘Cowbirds’.





-Girls Curling – EESS won league, second at WOSSA





-Kerr, Deborah Ann of Aylmer passed away Sunday in her 62nd year. Survivors: five children, father Gordon Kerr of Aylmer etc.. Deb drove taxi in Aylmer for a number of years. A service will be held at the HA Kebbel Funeral Home on Friday at 11 am with visitation one hour prior.




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WEDNESDAY, Mar. 8/17





-EPAR Meeting; EESS; 6 pm


-Thu -Blood Donor Clinic, EECC; 2:30-7:30 pm

-Thu -OMHA finals – Aylmer Novices host Lucan; 6:15 pm

-Fri -Eastlink ch. 10 -London Knights host: Erie

-Sat -Finals: Aylmer Spitfires host: Dorchester; 7:30 pm

-Sat -Clocks Ahead





(At 5 am; from Environment Canada; for East Elgin) – “Strong winds that may cause damage are expected or occurring. Strong winds may be gusting to 90 km/h this afternoon. The wind will begin to diminish early this evening. The wind may be strong enough at times to cause minor tree and building damage and local power outages are also possible.





-Luce, Mary ‘Colleen’ (nee Pressey), (Hewitt), (Walters) passed away on February 25, aged 66.  Survivors: husband Marvin Luce; three children; six stepchildren; mother Mary (nee Brown) (Newland) Pressey etc.. She worked 42 years at Tillsonburg Hospital. There will be a family service at Eden Baptist Church on Saturday March 18 at 11 am, followed by a potluck celebration of life at Vienna Community Centre at 4 pm.


-Taylor, David George of RR#2 Aylmer passed away on Tuesday in his 75th year. Survivors: partner Claudette (Cretes) Berger etc.. He was born in England, served in the Canadian Navy and operated a marine business in Port Stanley. Funeral services will be held at Williams Funeral Home St.Thomas on Saturday at 1 pm. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Friday from 7-9 pm.





(Information on the arrival of swans at the Aylmer Wildlife Management area pond just southeast of the Ontario Police College is from Ron Casier of the Elgin Stewardship Council) — “The first swans arrived on February 20th and we have averaged roughly 200 per day. The second week climbed to about 600 birds. This week we have broken the 1000 level and I suspect that the numbers should peak this coming weekend or early in the March break week. March 12th is the full moon and the swans will travel at night which brings the bulk of the population forward if the weather is fair. Last year they arrived on March 17th and the year before was March 19th. Checking with the records February 28th had been the earliest day prior to this year.

The unusually mild weather in February has attracted the birds to start the migration. In fact our winter was mild enough that approximately 200 swans wintered between Long Point Bay and Rondeau Bay as they did the previous winter. The swinging back and forth in the weather conditions may impact the duration of the migration. The pond was completely thawed and then refroze in three days only to reopen today (Tuesday). We have been feeding 23 bushels daily since February 24th. We have interpreters available every morning and afternoon. I suspect the swans should be past us by the last week of March but it will depend on the weather.”

HISTORY – The swans are coming from Chesapeake Bay in New Jersey and this has traditionally become their first staging area. They usually stay 3-4 days in the Aylmer area and then head for a second rest to North Dakota/ southern Manitoba. Eventually they will make a third stop in northern Alberta and make their way to the Arctic. They will then lay eggs and let their young grow – about three months in all – before heading back, but they only stop in Aylmer on their way north. The Aylmer location offers the closest viewing of the swan migration of any place in North America and is one of only a few places to feed them on their journey.






(Information on this past weekend’s Aylmer Home and Garden Show is from Elaine Earhart, Secretary of the East Elgin Agricultural Society) – “Our show was spectacular, the best to date both in attendance and the number of vendors. We had about 500 more people than at any previous show.”





(Contributed) – Next week, the EEC Complex will run a Day Camp during March Break for children aged 6 to 12. Each day there will be recreational activities ranging from skating to basketball to dodgeball as well as arts and crafts. Themes of the week include: Monday: Sports, Tuesday: Science; Wednesday: Art; Thursday: Animals; and Friday: Games. The program runs from 8 am to 5 pm daily, the cost is $125 for the week and registration in advance is required.





The EEC Complex will feature free skating during March Break next week. From Monday March 13 to Thursday March 16 Eastlink is sponsoring skating from 10:15 am -12:15 pm. On  Wednesday Kindred Credit Union is sponsoring skating from 1:15 – 3:15 pm.




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TUESDAY, Mar. 7/17





-Grief Counselling; CR Church; 8 pm (see Thu. report)


-Wed -EPAR Meeting; EESS; 6 pm

-Thu -Blood Donor Clinic, EECC; 2:30-7:30 pm

-Thu -OMHA finals – Aylmer Novices host Lucan; 6:15 pm





Among items discussed at last night’s regular meeting of Aylmer Council:


-a letter from ‘MainStreet Aylmer’ regarding the proposed relocation of the library to the EEC Complex:

Highlights – “In the past, 2012 and 2016, letters were submitted to urge council to keep the Aylmer Library in the downtown core. Anytime you remove an attraction of existing users and newcomers to the downtown, the core suffers. Users of the Library come to Aylmer to run errands, sign out a book, log on to a computer, take part in a local activity, shop or grab a bite to eat. A bonus of utilizing the services in the downtown is that people can park and walk where they need to go. The Aylmer Library is an economic booster for the core businesses and the Aylmer BIA values having the Aylmer Library locally. The possibilities for the Aylmer Library are endless and are only limited by our own creativity. What was traditionally a space to read a book, is now a vast window of opportunity to learn, come together, connect, socialize and enjoy. The Aylmer BIA is in support of the Aylmer Library expansion being kept within the downtown core.”

The communication was received and filed.


-Council approves the recommendations as per the Town’s Engineer (CJDL) to proceed with the Cedar Street Combined Sewer & Infrastructure Renewal Project and accept the tender form from Murray Mills Excavating & Trucking Ltd for the amount of $1,835,533 and Council approves the transfer from Water Reserves up to 10% of the project costs representing its contribution to the project.





-Putnam, Audrey formerly of Lyons passed away at Chartwell Aylmer on Sunday in her 83rd year. Survivors: husband Bob Putnam; children Heather (Mark) Johnson of Aylmer and Stan of Lyons etc.. Visitation at the HA Kebbel Funeral Home on Wednesday 2-4 and 7-9 pm. The funeral service will be held at St. Paul’s United Church on Thursday at 11 am with visitation one hour prior.





(Information from Malahide Treasurer Suzanna Dieleman) – Malahide Council at their regular meeting Thursday decided on a tax levy increase for 2017 of 4.77%. Last year the increase was 3.55%, in 2015 it was 6.4% and in 2014 it was 5%. Among significant factors in the increase: mandated fire training – 6.8%, cost of living 2.5% and OMPF reductions of 1.75%. A key expenditure for 2017 will be the construction of the new fire hall which will eventually replace halls #1 & 2. The new hall (including land, site works, engineering and construction) is estimated at $2.15M and is expected to be financed by reserves and long term debt.





(Summers Corners PS won the TVDSB AAA girls elementary basketball title on Saturday with a 38-12 win over Mitchell Hepburn at Saunders Secondary School in London. More information from Coach Greg Broadhead) – “We lost only one game in the regular season – to Mitchell Hepburn. We also went on to win the North London Basketball Classic which had 16 teams from all across the Valley. We ended up facing Mitchell Hepburn in the regional finals and won 40-31 in OT. This is the first time Summers’ Corners PS has won the AAA finals. Our leading scorers in the final game were Kayla Voros and Julie Nagelhout.” (In 2003 Summers Corners won the AA girls basketball championship. The Summers Corners girls volleyball team also won a TVDSB silver this fall.)





March break programs next week at the Aylmer Library – Monday March 13: Mysterious Rocks with fossil enthusiast Marshall, all ages, 2:30 p.m.; and Mysterious Maniacal Monday with Craig the Science Guy, all ages, at 4 pm; Tuesday: Mysterious Escape Room 2-4 pm, ages 10+, Preregistration required; and Mysterious Scavenger Hunt, all ages, all day; Thursday: Mysterious Gaming, all ages, 2 pm; Friday: Mysterious Magic Show with Bumbling Bert, all ages, 2 pm.




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MONDAY, March 6/17





-Aylmer Council, 7 pm


-Tue -Grief Counselling; CR Church; 8 pm (see Thu. report)

-Wed -EPAR Meeting; EESS; 6 pm

-Thu -Blood Donor Clinic, EECC; 2:30-7:30 pm

-Thu -OMHA finals – Aylmer Novices host Lucan; 6:15 pm





(Information from Mark Holmes/Quincy Stokley) – The Aylmer Novice rep team is headed to the OMHA finals again this year. Their first game is Thursday at 6:15 against Lucan in Aylmer. Second game is Sunday in Lucan with the third game (after March Break) on Monday March 20 at 6 pm in Aylmer. It is a six point series. The novice rep team played Lucan in Parkhill during Silver Stick tourney; they lost the first game but came back to win the second game to advance to the finals where they lost to Parkhill. Jamie Dance is the coach this year. They received a bye during the preliminaries, then swept Hagersville in the quarterfinals in 3 games and also swept the semi finals against Delhi in 3 games.



Jason Clark reports that there are no Belmont teams in any Ontario semifinals/finals this year – the first time in ten seasons they have not been represented.





Only one member of the public attended the Budget session of the EEC Complex Wednesday. No one attended last year’s meeting. Most Aylmer and Malahide councillors – members of the EECC Interim Board – were in attendance. With no major questions by councillors the 2017 budget passed. The only addition to the agenda was the approval of a proposal by Aylmer Councillor Peter Barbour to have staff investigate any negative operational concerns resulting from the proposal of moving the library to the EECC. Highlights:

-The 2017 EECC budget plans for a $550,347 deficit (Net Actual Operating Expenses) in 2017; in 2016 it was $592,500, in 2015 it was $641,700 and in 2014 it was $588, 800.

-Proposed are $1,208, 049 in expenditures (last year saw $1,198,369,000 in expenditures) with $20,000 in capital expenditures (last year the main capital cost was $33,000 for the parking lot paving.)

-Two years ago, hall rentals brought in about $35,000; last year hall rentals brought in $40,800 with a budget this year for revenues of $50,000 plus kitchen revenues at $3000 plus revenue from hall programs in pickleball and shuffleboard of $9000 – a total of $62,000.

EECC General Manager James Allen provided these observations:

1.Why is the deficit down? “Hard work, and we hope to not have the high number of HVAC repairs that we saw last year.”

2.Why were salary costs down significantly last year? -“We cut back on some over staffing and are working better as a team. One of our full time staff members is off so his hours have been replaced by Part time staff.”





(Information from Bayham Fire Chief Randy White)

-Mar 1, Station 1 Port Burwell medical assist on Vienna Line

-Mar 3, Station 2 Straffordville medical assist on Plank Rd in Straffordville

-Mar 5, Both stations to an MVC on Carson and Plank. Single vehicle rollover





-Crawford, Ernest Gordon of Terrace Lodge, Aylmer passed away Sunday in his 97th year. Survivors: wife Marjorie (Babcock) etc.. Ernie was a retired nursing orderly at Victoria Hospital, a veteran of WWII and a member of Col. Talbot Branch 81 of the Royal Canadian Legion. Visitation at the HA Kebbel Funeral Home on Tuesday 7-9 pm. The funeral service will be held at the Aylmer Missionary Church on Wednesday at 11 am.





– February 27, 2017, Station #1, Sparta Line, Medical Assist

– March 2, 2017, Station #4 assisted by Station #3, Wilson Line, MVC

– March 2, 2017, Station #4, Imperial Road, Medical Assist

– March 2, 2017, Station #2, Hacienda Road, Medical Assist

– March 2, 2017, Station #4, Belmont Road, Medical Assist

– March 2, 2017, Station #1, Levi Street, Medical Assist

– March 3, 2017, Station #2, Bradley Creek Line, Medical Assist

– March 3, 2017, Station #2, Levi Street, Medical Assist

– March 4, 2017, Station #3, Ron McNeil Line, Grass Fire

– March 4, 2017, Station #4, Mapleton Line, Medical Assist




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