Daily News About Aylmer, Ontario and East Elgin

TUESDAY, Mar. 25/14





-Sr. Day Out at EEC Complex, 9:30 am -12:30 (see Thu. story)


-Sat. -Club 7 Paper Drive, 8:30 am

-Sat. -Earth Hour




PT. BURWELL – (Information from Charles Buchanan Vice-Chair of Museums Bayham:) The Pt. Burwell Marine Museum last week got its anchor back after it ‘sank’ a second time.

An iron anchor from the shipwrecked Nimrod was donated to the Museum after it was found in 1979 off the Pt. Burwell harbour. The anchor was discovered by local divers Mike Verbrugge and Tony Lama. The Nimrod was a three masted schooner that sank in 1874 after a collision in fog with another schooner while on its way with a load of wheat from Cleveland to Buffalo. All crew members were rescued.

Last year the wooden stock of the anchor suddenly collapsed – it sat outside the Marine Museum. They hauled the anchor on a trailer to Leroy Eicher of the Aylmer Amish community and he constructed and put on a new stock. It was returned last week and reinstalled outside the museum.




MALAHIDE – A news report last week noted that after surveying its residents, Dutton-Dunwich council became the 80th municipality in Ontario to pass a resolution opposing wind turbine development. In response, Malahide Mayor Dave Mennill said:Every municipality makes their own decisions and Malahide’s position is that we support wind turbines. We have not had one complaint regarding wind turbines in our municipality. Should we be approached to have additional wind turbines, at that time we may revisit it.”




(Information from Summers Corners School Literacy Committee:) – “On Thursday from 6:30 – 8 pm, Summers’ Corners will be hosting a Literacy event for our Grade 7s and 8s and their parents. We’re calling this event ‘Your Amazing Journey’ and it will explore the choices our students will make in their lives to become the people they are meant to be. It’s not so much about the career choice but the journey they will take to get there.


We’ll be entertained by Sara Westbrook. After, students and parents will form teams to compete in a Scavenger Hunt with prizes to be won by select teams who finish. Prizes are still coming in from community partners, but two to highlight right now are tickets to a London Lightning basketball game.”




(Information from Sarah Bechard of Rodney Lions Club:) – “The local Lions clubs have chosen Camp Timken/Scouts Canada in Fingal as our Zone project this year. Lions Clubs from Rodney, Dutton, Highgate, St Thomas, Port Stanley and Belmont recently presented cheques – part of their $2000 contribution – at the Scouts’ annual Kub-Kar Rally. Bruce Campbell is President of the Belmont Lions Club.” 




(Information from Margot Auber of the Pt. Burwell Polestars campaign:) – Pt. Burwell students will he having a Polestars painting event on Wednesday May 14 in the village from 11:30 am to 2:30. There will be live music featuring EESS students, prizes and a 50/50 Draw. Also in attendance will be Carmine Marcello, President and CEO of Hydro One.






Aylmer Council held a Public Budget Meeting last night in the Old Town Hall theatre. Eight people attended. Mayor Couckuyt and Deputy Mayor Richer stated they were pleased with the proposed 2013 budget which saw a 1.03% tax increase for the town’s portion over last year. Councillor Oslach said he was disappointed that the East Elgin Community Complex did not reduce their budget from a 2.26% increase. A member of the Aylmer Taxpayers Advisory Committee said he was disappointed that there wasn’t a 15% overall decrease in taxes. His group believes the Town needs to rein in spending in order to remain viable and to be able to compete economically with surrounding communities. They would also like to see town departments put forward well structured business plans to justify major purchases such as a new ladder truck for the Fire Department.



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MONDAY, Mar. 24/14





-Tue. -Sr. Day Out at EEC Complex, 9:30 am -12:30 (see Thu. story)

-Sat. -Club 7 Paper Drive, 8:30 am




-Jongedyk, Tony of Aylmer passed away on Friday in his 57th year. Survivors: wife Laurie (Harrett) Jongedyk etc.. He was born in B.C. and operated Elgin Satellite Services. Visitation at Kebbel Funeral Home Monday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be there held Tuesday at 1 pm.


-Lockey, Daisy Winnifred of Aylmer passed away on Sunday in her 82nd year. Survivors: eight children including – Elaine Rawcliffe (Garry), Karen Sinden (George), Lorie Lockey, Jeff Lockey (Kim), and Mark Lockey all of Aylmer etc.. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home on Tuesday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 am.




BELMONT – Belmont Novices won the OMHA championship by downing Hagersville 8-4 here Saturday. They captured the finals series 3 games to 1. Meanwhile Belmont PeeWees edged closer to an OMHA pennant by beating Mariposa 5-1 and 2-0 in weekend games in Belmont. The locals have two wins, a tie and a loss in that final. Next game is Saturday in Mariposa with a sixth game if necessary in Belmont Sunday at 5 pm.




– March 18, 2014, Station #2  #1, 51697 Talbot Line, MVC

– March 19, 2014, Station #2,  #1, Hacienda Road, Medical Assist

– March 19, 2014, Station #3,  Hacienda Road, Medical Assist

– March 21, 2014, Station #4,  Whittaker Road, Medical Assist

– March 22, 2014, Station #2,  Talbot Street, Medical Assist

– March 22, 2014, Station #2, Talbot Street East, Alarm Malfunction

– March 22, 2014, Station #3,  Springfield Road, Medical Assist

– March 23, 2014, Station #1,  Imperial Road, Medical Assist

– March 23, 2014, Station #1,  John Wise Line, Medical Assist




Work has been busy recently by this drag line on breaking up the ice at Pt. Bruce (Don Durkee photo) (CLICK)

This drag line has been busy recently breaking up the ice at Pt. Bruce harbour. (Don Durkee photo) (CLICK)




(This is a progress report on the court case involving the Independent School Bus Operators Association (ISBOA) and the Ontario government concerning the awarding of bus contracts. In Windsor in August a Superior Court granted $190,000 in court costs and upheld an injunction favouring plaintiffs Neil Badder of Aylmer and Rose Ravin of Tillsonburg as they argued against an initiative by Southwestern Ontario Student Transportation Services to begin bidding for local bus transportation routes for the TVDSB Board.)


According to Karen Cameron, Executive Director of ISBOA, a court case was to be heard on November 3 in Kingston to hopefully end the dispute as STEO (Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario) took the same issue to trial. But that was postponed as the Ontario government proposed pre trial mediation which was held in early December. However, even though the bus operators have won all six previous court cases on this matter, the mediation was not successful and the case will still go to court on September 15. Many independent school bus operators across Ontario are battling in court against a consortia which already runs considerable student transportation in the province by awarding contracts to large transportation multinationals.




(John Wilson of Aylmer, who passed away last week, lived his whole life in town. His father John L. Wilson founded the Aylmer Steam Laundry. This interview occurred four years ago.)

1. EARLY LIFE –  He was born in 1925 – his parents John and Eva (Peckham) lived on Queen St. North.  In 1906 his father and grandmother started a laundry uptown on Talbot St. West and moved into a new building just around the corner on John St. South in 1921 – the Aylmer Steam Laundry. He remembers as a boy playing in the old ‘haunted and abandoned’ Aylmer Pump and Scale Factory across the street from his home behind the present United Church.  He recalls in the older grades having to attend classes in the Hat Factory on Myrtle St. as the new High School was being built in 1938 – and then has a recollection of bricks falling off the classroom walls as the contractors were later sued by the school board for poor workmanship.  He was a member of the Aylmer Boys Band, practicing in a Bandhouse on the site of the present Bandshell.

2. LATER LIFE: He went to work for the Laundry after High School where his two older brothers and sister also worked but he didn’t like it so moved on to other jobs. He eventually worked at Peter McClay’s Jewellers. He married Phyllis Thomson of Toronto; they met while she was a new teacher at the Aylmer High School.  They built the house he still lives in fifty years ago (on Dufferin St.). He also was a Scoutmaster in town for 33 years. Another more recent hobby was his purchase of a 1930 Ford Model A Coupe which he still drives and shows regularly.

3. MEMORIES OF AYLMER:  He remembers the Brown House Fire of 1934 as his older siblings hauled him out of bed at 4 am to view the fatal blaze. He watched from his house as smoke poured out of the Capital theatre uptown when it burnt.  He visited the Aylmer Train station often as the Aylmer Steam Laundry shipped/received their goods by train before truck freighting became affordable.



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Mayor Jack Couckuyt’s speech at Central restaurant opening today (see story).

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FRIDAY, Mar. 21/14





– Central Hotel Restaurant: Official Opening; 10 am

– Ont. Volunteer Night, EEC Complex, 7:30 pm


-Sat. -Belmont Novices OMHA finals; host Hagersville, Noon

-Sat. -Belmont PeeWees OMHA finals; host Mariposa 1 pm (Sun. 5 pm)

-Sat. -Spaghetti Supper, Tim Hortons Childrens Camp, Optimist Club

*Weekend -Tundra Swans arrived yesterday at Aylmer Wildlife Area (OPC)




(More information on Tuesday’s meeting of the Aylmer Stakeholders at Saxonia Hall is from Dan Elliott of Aylmer of the Stakeholders group:)

“The Aylmer District Stakeholder Committee was formed at the request of the Ministry of Natural Resources District Manager back in early 2000 to discuss deer and resource management issues within Wildlife Management Units (WMU’s) 91 and 92. Early in 2000 there was a surplus of deer causing excessive crop damage, deer vehicle accidents etc. Road signs were placed at strategic locations warning motorists of deer crossing areas as a cooperative effort between ADSC, MNR, OPP and the County Roads Department to minimize deer motor vehicle accidents. In addition, MNR in consultation with ADSC increased deer harvest opportunities by issuing farmers and landowners deer kill permits, adding additional deer seasons, increasing deer harvest  limits and proposing alternate harvest methods.

Since that time deer populations have stabilized and in some areas hunters, farmers and landowners (more than 50% of farmer landowners are also deer hunters) have indicated concerns about declining deer numbers, lack of contact with MNR and limited public service received in recent years. Subsequently the ADSC has met with government representatives and are holding public meetings to share information, discuss issues and gain input from the hunter and farmer/landowner community to assist government and the community in making the right decisions for future generations.

Among items discussed Tuesday: trespass concerns, coyotes taking deer fawns, the Hats for Hides Program, and bows, shotguns, firearms and muzzleloaders restrictions etc. ”




(The Catfish Creek Conservation Authority issued a Flood Watch Wednesday:) – “This Flood Watch is intended to notify….. that a daytime warming trend is developing with rain forecast today and channel water levels are expected to increase.  This is an assessment that a possibility exists for flooding of low-lying flood prone areas within the watershed (The watch is in effect until Monday).”




A news report this week said that many Ontario retirement homes are in the process of adding costly fire sprinkler systems as the province has ordered them to have them installed within five years. One third of Ontario nursing homes need sprinklers. At Chateau Gardens in Aylmer, spokesperson Lori Demaiter said the whole building is now equipped with a sprinkler system – the older section was done when they were added to the new addition last year. Rhonda Duffy, Elgin Director of Seniors Services, said Terrace Lodge is also completely housed with a sprinkler system.




-Kristoff, Ruth Freda of Aylmer passed away onThursday in her 86th year. Survivors: husband Fred Kristoff; three children including Karen (Dave) Palmer and Wendy (Wayne) Hiepleh of Aylmer etc.. She was born in Malahide and she and Fred designed and sold cemetery memorials for many years. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home on Saturday 7-9 p.m. and Sunday, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Monday at 2 pm.




The Central Hotel Restaurant in Aylmer held an official opening this morning with local dignitaries and a number of supporters in attendance (see video for Mayor’s speech). Manager Peter Thiessen offered these comments on the opening few weeks: “We’ve been far busier than we ever anticipated. People are especially pleased with the no use of cell phone discount. We introduced our Kids Night this Wednesday which will now have activities for children every Wednesday. Our busiest times have been Friday nights and Monday lunches. And we now have a piano for accompanying music.”




(From Loblaw website:) – Today Loblaw, Canada’s largest food retailer, announced it is being forced to sell off 27 stores and pharmacy operations as part of its takeover of the Shoppers Drug Mart chain, Canada’s largest drugstore chain. Loblaw said the merger of the two had been approved by the Competition Bureau but as part of the deal, Loblaw is required to sell 18 company stores including Shopper Drug Marts in Exeter, Aylmer, and Petrolia. The Competition Bureau said it has analyzed market conditions and determined that the merger would result in “substantial lessening of competition in 27 local markets for the retail sale of pharmacy products and/or drugstore merchandise.”



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THURSDAY, Mar. 20/14





-Bayham 7, Malahide 7:30 Councils

-EESS Parent-Teacher Interviews, 4-7 pm


-Fri. -Central Hotel Restaurant: Official Opening; 10 am

-Fri. – Ont. Volunteer Night, EEC Complex, 7:30 pm

-Sat. -Belmont Novices OMHA finals; host Hagersville, Noon

-Sat. -Belmont PeeWees OMHA finals; host Mariposa 1 pm (Sun. 5 pm)

-Sat. -Spaghetti Supper, Tim Hortons Childrens Camp, Optimist Club




-Belmont 8 Hagersville 5 (Belmont leads series 2-1: Next game Sat. in Belmont)




(The Catfish Creek Conservation Authority issued a Flood Watch yesterday:) – “This Flood Watch is intended to notify….. that a daytime warming trend is developing with rain forecast today and channel water levels are expected to increase.  This is an assessment that a possibility exists for flooding of low-lying flood prone areas within the watershed (The watch is in effect until Monday).”




Falk, Margaret of Aylmer passed away on Wednesday in her 71st year. Survivors: husband Henry Falk; children Ellie (Aaron) Friesen of Springfield, Cornelius (Justina) Falk  of St. Thomas, and John (Karen) Falk,  Sara (Neil) Teichroeb, Peter (Lisa) Falk and Eva Falk, all of Aylmer etc.. She was born in Mexico. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home on Friday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The funeral service will be held at the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Church (Summers Corners) on Saturday at 2 pm.


Wilson: John Lamont of Aylmer passed away on Wednesday one day short of his 89th birthday. Husband of the late Phyllis Margaret (Thomson) Wilson (1987). John’s father founded  the Aylmer Steam Laundry and Dry Cleaners. He worked in an Aylmer jewellery store for many years and was a Scout leader for 30 years. He owned a 1930 Model A Ford which he drove in many Aylmer parades. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home on Friday 7-9 pm with the funeral service there on Saturday at 11 am .




The Aylmer District Stakeholders hosted a public meeting Tuesday at Saxonia Hall to discuss current hunting concerns in the Aylmer area. Special guests included MPP Jeff Yurek and MP Joe Preston. About 400 persons attended – the Aylmer group includes members from Elgin, Oxford and Middlesex. Chairman Dave Snook of Mapleton provided this overview: “We got organized a few years ago when the Ministry of Natural Resources was thinking of banning muzzle loaders, we managed to put a stop to that law. We then changed our name from Aylmer District Deer Stakeholders as we were worried about all hunting changes especially streamlining our local units. At Tuesday’s meeting we talked about these issues as well as where our fees were going, trespassing violations and the granting of licences.”




SUMMERS CORNERS – Elgin OPP have charged a 17 year old Malahide male with careless driving after he was involved in a collision with a tractor trailer around 5:30 pm Tuesday. A tractor trailer was travelling west on Highway 3 near Walker Road and was in the process of turning right into a private driveway when it was rear ended by a westbound car being driven by the 17 year old. The driver of the car was transported to hospital with minor injuries and later released. A 16 year old male passenger, also from Malahide, was taken to hospital with minor injuries and later released. The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured in the collision.




The next ‘Seniors Day Out’ at the EEC Complex will be this Tuesday from 9:30 am to 12:30. Cost is $10 with registration in advance. Activities include: fitness, shuffleboard or skating, a lunch and a guest speaker. This month’s speaker is Bettina Weber, owner of Absolutely Creative Training Solutions in London, whose topic is ‘Be Prepared for 72 Hours’ –  training for emergencies.



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WEDNESDAY, Mar. 19/14





-St.Thomas Blood Donor Clinic, Timken Centre, 1 pm-7:30


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

-Thu. -EESS Parent Interviews, 4-7 pm

-Fri. – Ont. Volunteer Night, EEC Complex, 7:30 pm

-Sat. -Belmont Novices OMHA finals; host Hagersville, Noon

-Sat. -Belmont PeeWees OMHA finals; host Mariposa 1 pm (Sun. 5 pm)

-Sat. -Spaghetti Supper, Tim Hortons Childrens Camp, Optimist Club, 5-7 pm




The Extreme Elgin competition will be held at Springwater again this year – the date is Saturday June 21st. Registration is required by June 6. In its first year last year there were about 150 entrants. Said organizer Karen Laine: “This year will be very similar, it will include a 10km route, with 10 military style obstacles with some new twists and two new assault walls. This event is for the fearless athlete and the very fit. Our 10 km route and obstacles include ‘Pond Cross’, 4 rope and assault walls, and the 80’ long mud and sludge pit.”


‘Extreme Elgin’ is a fundraiser for the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation – more information at: www.escf.ca . Said Laine: “We are a local charity that works to build more vibrant, healthy and resilient communities across Elgin County. We do this through our leadership initiatives and our granting.”






The 2013 Bayham By-election for Deputy Mayor had Cliff Evanitski winning with 732 votes and former Mayor Lynn Acre second with 432 votes of the four candidates.




Award recepients from Aylmer and East Elgin at this Friday’s Ontario Volunteer Awards Night, to be held at the EEC Complex, include the following:


AYLMER – Mary Bajc County of Elgin, Joe Banman Salvation Army, Rosemin Bardai-N Shia Council, Jean Bircham Chartwell, Andy Hulst Aylmer Choir, George Janssen Chartwell, Jacob Janzen Mennonite CS, Neil Klassen Salvation Army, Marja Lensink Fresh Start Maternity, Sharon Lindsay EECC, John Pasma VON, Pauline Roberts Chartwell, Kim Sheppard Aylmer Choir, Katherine Thompson Aylmer Band, Velma Tillotson St Lukes Church, Anthony VanRoestel Knights of Columbus, Jennifer Mahovlich Aylmer Band, and Lesley Malcolm VON


EAST ELGIN – Shirley Faulds Springfield EECC, Piet Bouthoorn Belmont Aylmer Choir, Arlie Barzo Vienna St. Lukes Church, Miriam Helsdon Straffordville Aylmer Choir, Wanda Hoshal Straffordville St Lukes Church, Marg Ketchabaw Eden Areme Chapter, Barb Locker Straffordville Areme Chapter, Dorothy Moore Vienna St Lukes Church, Anna Schafer Straffordville St Lukes Church, Margery Silverthorn Straffordville Areme Chapter, Marion Wallace Belmont Aylmer Choir, Helen Massecar Straffordville Areme Chapter, and Ross Massecar Straffordville Areme Chapter.




(The Catfish Creek Conservation Authority issued a Flood Watch today at 6:30 am) – “This Flood Watch is intended to notify….. that a daytime warming trend is developing with rain forecast today and channel water levels are expected to increase.  This is an assessment that a possibility exists for flooding of low-lying flood prone areas within the watershed (The watch is in effect until Monday).”




At a Council meeting on March 11 Bayham  accepted the resignation of Treasurer and Acting Administrator David Aristone.  He has accepted a position as of April 7 as Treasurer of St.Thomas. Bayham’s Administrator Kyle Kruger resigned in January.



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TUESDAY, Mar. 18/14





-EEC Complex Committee Meeting, 7pm

-Bayham Budget Meeting, 6:30 pm


-Wed. -St.Thomas Blood Donor Clinic, Timken Centre, 1 pm-7:30

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

-Thu. -EESS Parent Interviews, 4-7 pm

-Fri. – Ont. Volunteer Night, EEC Complex, 7:30 pm

-Sat. -Belmont Novices OMHA finals; host Hagersville, Noon

-Sat. -Belmont PeeWees OMHA finals; host Mariposa 1 pm (Sun. 5 pm)

-Sat. -Spaghetti Supper, Tim Hortons Childrens Camp, Optimist Club, 5-7 pm





The Aylmer Finance Committee met yesterday. They accepted the Police Budget of $2,413,747. Although there were reductions in the costs in operations, salaries and capital increases resulted in a 4.68% increase over last year. This works out to 2,941 $821/dwelling or $338 /person for Aylmer’s population of 7,151.

As well, after looking at MainStreet Aylmer’s 2014 Budget for events, promotions, maintenance, planters and banners, the committee agreed to assist by paying 50% ($11,000) of the cost of new Christmas wreaths for the streets.

The Finance Committee forwarded the budget to Council for its meeting on April 7th. At that time Council will look at a 0.64% increase and decide when to hold a public meeting for residents to ask questions and comment.





Waiting patiently for spring – Ducks on Catfish Creek on the weekend.  (Don Durkee photo) (CLICK)





At its meeting yesterday, Aylmer Council approved its first Community Improvement Plan (CIP) grant. This was $5,000 for façade improvement by Kappy Holdings Inc. for their property at 30 Talbot Street West (formerly Kelly’s Deli). The estimated cost of the project is over $13,000. The purpose of the CIP is to encourage the rehabilitation of lands and buildings and/or stimulate development in the three designated areas in town – the downtown, fairgrounds and the former Carnation plant site.

As well, Council approved the signing of an agreement with IGPC Ethanol Inc. that will allow for expansion of their operations in the town’s industrial park off Progress Drive.




– March 11, 2014, Station #3, Springfield Road, Medical Assist

– March 12, 2013, Station #3 , Station #2, Imperial Road, MVC

(*At College Line, single vehicle, minor injuries, one person to hospital)

– March 14, 2014, Station #2, Calton Line Bayham, Mutual Aid




(Contributed) “Elgin County is pleased to present the Festival and Event Partnership Program (FEPP) again in 2014 for local groups that take it upon themselves to develop festivals and events that will meet the County’s tourism goals: increase the amount of people that visit Elgin; increase the length of stay of visitors; increase the amount of money that visitor’s spend. In 2014, the FEPP will provide up to $4,000 of funding to support several qualifying festivals and events in Elgin. A copy of the FEPP application can be downloaded by visiting: www.elgintourist.com/fepp. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, April 16, 2014 . If you have questions about this program, call the Economic Development Department at (519) 631-1460 ext. 176 or send an e-mail to karussell@elgin-county.on.ca.




(The Aylmer Kinsmen Club recently hosted an interclub meeting to discuss declining membership among Aylmer Clubs. Kinsmen President Andy Beck provides more comments:)

1.Why is membership declining? “Families are busy. Both parents are working. The time is not there for service clubs (although busy people are perfect for service clubs, they just don’t know it yet.) The younger generation doesn’t have that ‘what can I do for you’ attitude. They don’t have the drive to just go do something unless it benefits them. No fault of their own; its just the way it is right now. This is why we brought the EESS Leadership group in. We are hoping to strike interest into these kids and maybe there would be a ripple effect in the future. I also think that club members themselves have also grown accustomed to what they have. They are comfortable in their group and there hasn’t been a push to get new members. The clubs may need to bring back true recruitment functions.”

2. The future? “I see that there are two demographics to an approach for joining a club. We need to try and recruit young adults.  If you recruit one there is a good chance that a few friends will come along for the ride. How to spark their interest is a different story. Another is the group that doesn’t have children to run around for any more.  Mid-forty age. These are the people that have been busy for twenty years for their kids, sports, social groups etc.  Now that they don’t have this, a service group is a great way to fill the void. Service groups are a couple of meetings per month and some events throughout the year.”




MPP Jeff Yurek is hosting a public meeting to discuss deer management etc for landowners, farmers, hunters etc. at the Saxonia Club at 7 pm. Said Mr. Yurek: “The Aylmer Stakeholders are hosting the event. There are concerns that the MNR may want to change hunting regulations in the area. The stakeholders are looking to take a larger role in representing hunters and working with the MNR to preserve the current rules.The town hall event is an opportunity to express your thoughts on maintaining the status quo or improvements for hunting in our area.” 



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MONDAY, Mar. 17/14





-Aylmer Council, 7pm


-Tue. -EEC Complex Committee Meeting, 7pm

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

-Fri. – Ont. Volunteer Night, EEC Complex, 7:30 pm

-Sat. -Belmont Novices OMHA finals; host Hagersville, Noon

-Sat. -Belmont PeeWees OMHA finals; 1pm host Mariposa (Sun. 5pm)




The University of Windsor defeated St. Mary’s 71-45 to capture their fourth straight Canadian womens’ basketball championship in Windsor yesterday. Former EESS player Tessa Kreiger started, played 16 minutes, scored  2 pt. and was second in rebounds among both teams with 10. This is Tessa’s third season with Windsor.




-Minor, Tony, passed away on Tuesday in his 43rd year. Survivors: wife Lynsey (nee Wylie); two children; mother Cathy (Jukes) Ker (the late Bob Ker) of Aylmer etc.. A service will take place at Trinity United Church in Grimsby on Tuesday  at 1 p.m. Arrangements through Stonehouse-Whitcomb Funeral Home.


-Jenkins, Maggie of Belmont passed away Friday, age 12 Survivors: parents David and Maureen Jenkins; sister of Evan etc.. She was a 4H Dairy Club member. At South Dorchester Public School she was given the “Citizenship Award” at grade 6 graduation and at Grade 7 at Davenport the “Acceptance Award” in February of this year. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home Monday and Tuesday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Belmont United Church on Wednesday at 11 am.


-Thiessen, Cornelius “Corny”, as the result of a automobile accident, passed away on Wednesday in his 30th year. Survivors: wife Helena (Klassen) Thiessen; children Alexander, Joshua and Kayleigh etc. Corny worked at Elgin Contracting and Restoration in St. Thomas. The funeral service was held on Sunday from the Old Colony Mennonite Church, Aylmer, Arrangements through Kebbel’s Funeral Home.




Belmont Novices are tied 1-1 in their OMHA finals series with Hagersville. Saturday they won 9-3 in Hagersville but Sunday dropped a 6-5 squeaker at home. Game 3 is Wednesday in Hagersville with game 4 in Belmont Saturday at noon.

Belmont PeeWees are also in OMHA finals facing Mariposa. They lost 3-2 Saturday and tied 0-0 Sunday, both games there. Games three and four will be this weekend in Belmont, Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 5 pm.




(Information from Aylmer Kinsmen President Andy Beck:) – “The Aylmer Kinsmen hosted an Aylmer Inter-Service Club meeting at the Columbus Hall recently. There were 49 persons present from Kinsmen, Knights of Columbus, Optimists, Shriners and Masons, Rotary, Lioness, Aylmer Community foundation, and the Legion. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss current and future events being held by each club, what we can do as a group to stop the declining membership of clubs, and issues on getting licensing for events and projects.


My main objective for the meeting was to get to know the other clubs and their members and set up a communication base between clubs so that if for any reason a club needs help during an event other club members would be there for them. I want the clubs to work together and support each other. We also had some EESS students present. I wanted  the students to see first hand what a service club is all about and what they do for the community. The Kinsmen Club currently has 15 members, about the same as five years ago.”




“Does the Public know?”

“The proposed multi-million dollar (Aylmer) library at 10,700 sq ft will be much larger than the new one in Komoka (7000 sq ft), Burlington (7000 sq ft) or the newly renovated one in Tillsonburg (8000 sq ft) which serves double the number of people that the Aylmer Library does. All of these libraries are described by their users as being big, bright, and beautiful. Oh, and affordable!

Was the size of the new project determined by the County office? No. The County indicated that at the end of the day it was up to the town to determine how big and where to build it. Once again “Want versus Need.” Of particular significance is the fact that the number of active Elgin County Library Cardholders has declined from 13,731 in 2010 to 12,081 in 2013 according to the County office. As well, a recent study on library usage found that on average there was roughly nine patrons in the library at one time. So how many different patrons visit the library every day? Building bigger for the future? The population of Aylmer has been stagnant for twenty years and is forecast to decline further in 2015. We already have a large, expensive building in the  East Elgin Community Complex  with cost overruns  of  approximately $600,000. What will the maintenance, utility and extra staff costs be for another very large building?

Although the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund of 1.7 million dollars could be used to decrease the high residential and commercial tax rates will it instead be used to help offset the huge library costs? Home owners that require funds to simply maintain their homes are having to allocate those dollars to ever rising utility bills and property taxes. Can the Public say no to the new library project? The left hand is saying yes we can and yet the right hand is saying that after just spending almost $200,000 on architectural fees it is too late to stop this train? And exactly how high will the price tag will go? Money just doesn’t grow on trees  and in an election year it will be time to make some serious choices.” (Don Shepherd, Greg Currie, Bob Warnock, Rudy  Gheysen, Jack van Kasteren/Aylmer Taxpayers Advisory Committee)


2- (Response to library stats in the above letter is from Sandi Loponen, Elgin County Library Coordinator:)

“The decline in the number of cardholders from 2010 to 2013 can be mostly attributed to increased efforts to remove inactive patron accounts from our database. It is important to keep in mind that these reductions are for the whole of the County and not isolated to the Town of Aylmer. Usage of the Aylmer Library has remained strong over the last several years in terms of the borrowing of materials. In fact, attendance at library programs and events has been increasing. As for the number of individuals who physically visit the library, we recently reported to Elgin County Council that in the sample month of November 2013, there were 6,994 in-person visits recorded to our electronic counting device, which averages to 333 visitors per day for the 21 days the library was open that month.”





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FRIDAY, March 14/14





-Free Skating EEC Complex (see Mar. 7 story)


-Sun. -Belmont Novices in OMHA finals, host Hagersville; 6 pm

-Mon. -Aylmer Council, 7 pm




(Information from Bayham Fire Chief Randy White at 10 am:) – “There was a fire in a small barn on Calton Line just west of Plank Rd. (east of Calton) this morning. The call came in just before 7 am. The structure was well involved before being noticed by a passerby and the homeowner. Units from two stations responded along with support from Malahide. The structure was a total loss along with eighteen sheep and the family’s dog which were inside. About 24 firefighters were on the scene and are still there.” UPDATE: It was caused by heat lamps being utilized in the barn.  Damages are estimated at $130, 000.




Aylmer Mayor Jack Couckuyt has initiated a blog. It is found at mayorjack.net. In his introduction, dated February 27, he notes: “The purpose of this blog is to provide comments and information on events in the Town of Aylmer. This website is a personal one and has no connection whatsoever with any of the Town’s websites or computers or staff.  This is my personal take on events. I hope to provide background information on all major (and also minor) items of interest to the people of Aylmer and area.”




The Environmental Science and Engineering magazine, published six times annually in Aurora, Ontario, featured an article on Aylmer in its latest issue (portions reprinted with permission). The article pointed out that despite the fact that Aylmer has one of the largest wastewater lagoon systems in Ontario, they were still relying on a severely outdated aeration system when they looked at improvements a few years back. The system was beginning to fail and ammonia and BOD levels were suffering as the facility risked falling out of compliance with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.


The article said: “To meet new standards many small municipalities have either replaced their lagoon systems with a mechanical plant or have opted to pump their wastewater to a nearby municipality for treatment. An analysis revealed that the cost of designing and building a new mechanical plant was going to far exceed the available budget for Aylmer.


The only feasible alternative left was to upgrade their existing infrastructure. It was discovered the MARS Aeration System met all of Aylmer’s criteria. ‘The MARS Aeration System is a hybrid that combines the efficiency of fine bubble systems with the mixing capabilities of coarse bubble static tube technology in one portable unit.’  Following the first two years of operation there has been no maintenance required or deficiencies to address. The quality of the treated lagoon effluent has improved and has met the strict quality objectives set out by the Ministry.”


(Additional information from Rod Tapp, Aylmer’s Director of Operations:)

-Why do you think they chose Aylmer for the article? – “The article was jointly authored by Triplepoint Water Technologies, CJDL Consulting Engineers, OCWA and the Town of Aylmer and submitted to ES&E for review and consideration for publication in their magazine. The original idea was suggested by Triplepoint Water Technologies, the supplier of the new aeration system.”

-The article said it was  “one of the largest wastewater systems in Canada”, Why are we so unique? – “Most natural lagoon systems have been replaced (upgraded) over the years with mechanical treatment plants throughout the Province, thus Aylmer is one of the largest natural treatment facilities left in the Province.”




(Contributed) – “The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards are a way for the government to recognize volunteers for their contributions and continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to a group. Youth Volunteers (under the age of 24) are recognized for two or more years of continuous service. Adults are recognized for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50 or more years of continuous service. The EEC Complex is a host site of the Awards on Friday, March 21 at 7:30 pm.




Top ranked in Canada, University of Windsor won the Ontario Universities Womens Basketball championship at home Saturday by downing Queens 73-48. Aylmer’s Tessa Kreiger started and played 14 minutes but did not score in the game. Windsor has won the Ontario crown five of the past six seasons. This weekend Windsor hosts the Canadian championships – they are threetime defending titilists.




The Aylmer Fire Dept. released its annual report at Council Monday. The ten year dollar loss average has been $312,000 but last year the dollar loss reached $ 477,000. The Dept. responded to 108 calls, the most in ten years, with false alarms up from 19 to 27, mostly in industrial/warehousing facilities (they are invoiced). The second highest number of calls was medical responses at 21 calls. Of the 108 total, about 13 firefighters responded on average per call.




Among agenda items for this Monday’s Aylmer Council:

An application by George Kapogianis of Kappy Holdings for a grant under Aylmer’s Community Improvement Plan for façade improvement at 30 Talbot west, formerly Aunt Kelly’s Deli (Improvements scheduled include: stucco the whole front, replace/install the two old windows and sills, paint the existing awning, replace/install the front retail door and replace the front concrete step etc.).








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THURSDAY, Mar. 13/14





-Blood Donor Clinic, EEC Complex, 2:30-7:30 pm

-Malahide Council, 7:30 pm

-Free Skating EEC Complex (see Mar. 7 story)


-Mon. -Aylmer Council, 7pm




(From Oxford OPP) – ST MARYS – Cornelius Thiessen, 29 of Aylmer, was killed in a two vehicle accident on Highway 19 just south of St. Marys yesterday around 7:30 am. He was driving a minivan that collided head on with a tractor trailer. The driver of the truck was uninjured. The cause of the collision remains under investigation.




The following items were discussed at Aylmer Council this past Monday:


-Re- Aylmer Full Gospel Church request for rezoning of adjacent property. (Council gave first and second readings to the by-laws, with third reading to be considered at the March 17 Council meeting.)


That the following actions be taken with respect to the resolution from the Township of Malahide, requesting the Town of Aylmer to ask the East Elgin Community Complex Staff to undertake to find a further $60,000 in efficiencies at the EECC: That this communication be received and filed (no action). Carried.




The Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Franklin Warsh, has issued a COLD WEATHER ALERT for Elgin County based on the Environment Canada forecast of temperatures dipping to a low of -16° C last night. The day time temperature for Thursday will be a high of -8° C but due to the expected wind chill of -25° C, it will feel colder. This 8th Cold Weather Alert for 2014 will be in effect until mid afternoon Thursday.




Two Belmont minor hockey teams have qualified for the OMHA finals. The Novices defeated North Middlesex 8-3 Friday to win their series by a 3-1 margin and advance to the finals against Hagersville, to begin Saturday in Hagersville with game two Sunday at 6 pm in Belmont.

The Peewees lost 3-2 Friday against Pt. Dover but won the deciding game 3-2 Saturday in Belmont to claim their series and now face Mariposa in the finals. The first two games this weekend are in Mariposa with game three in Belmont a week from Saturday. The Belmont Midgets lost 2-1 to Pt Dover Friday so were eliminated in their semifinals.




-A 27 year old Malahide man was charged with impaired driving and escaping lawful custody after an incident on Sunday at 1:30 pm. After being stopped in his vehicle by police on John St. north and being told he was being arrested he took off but was caught after a short chase.


-A 43 year old St.Thomas man was charged with impaired driving on March 4 at 7 pm. After a parking lot collision involving two vehicles, one motorist observed the other had been drinking and called police.  Police spotted one driver leaving as they arrived and he sped up when they tried to pull him over, finally stopping him on Oak St. several blocks away. They found a bottle of beer in the truck and one had been thrown out the window during the chase.


-A 33 year old Aylmer woman was charged with careless driving after her van, travelling west on Talbot and turning south onto St Andrew St., was struck by an eastbound car on March 5 at 9 am; both vehicles had to be towed.




-Lale, Terry of Aylmer passed away Tuesday in his 64th year. Survivors: wife Joan (Rauhe) Lale, two children etc.. There will be no visitation prior to the service to be held on Friday at 1 p.m at Kebbel’s Funeral Home.


-Harms, Elisabeth of Aylmer passed away on Sunday in her 93rd year. Wife of the late Johann B. Harms(1983). Survivors: six sons including Peter Harms (Mary Anne), John Harms (Mary), Abe Harms (Anita) and Neil Harms (Eva), all of Aylmer etc.. She was born in Manitoba. Visitation at Kebbel’s Funeral Home Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 pm. with the funeral service Friday at 2 pm at the E.M.M.C. church.




– March 3, 2014, Station #4 , #1, #2,  47329 Mapleton Line, Car Fire

(*Vehicle in shed, 8am near Dorchester Rd, damage est. $60,000)

– March 3, 2014, Station #1,  Levi Street, Medical Assist

– March 5, 2014, Station #4,  Imperial Road, Medical Assist

– March 8, 2014, Station #4, Wilson Line, Medical Assist

– March 8, 2014, Station #2,  Dingle Line, Medical Assist

– March 8, 2014, Station #1, Colin Street Pt. Bruce, Ice Rescue

(Chief Paul Groeneveld) – “There were approx. nine people out walking on the ice. From the shore it looked like they were close to open water. OPP contacted us for assistance. MFS sound the truck siren and activated the truck lights in an effort to signal the people back to shore. Once they heard the siren they safely made their way back to land. This is a reminder that ice becomes unstable at this time of year and people should take cautions and stay off.”



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