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Prince Edward County Decade in Review – 2018

As we welcome a new decade in 2020, celebrates its 10th anniversary taking a look at highlights of the past 10 years.


The Picton Town Hall visioning session concluded with each of the artists’ presenting ideas gathered from each group. Sharon Harrison photo

Community members shared practical, bizarre and inspiring ideas to save Picton’s Town Hall during a community visioning gathering at the Ross Street, Picton location. The building was home to the Picton fire station on the ground floor prior to being decommissioned more than a year ago when the fire hall moved to its new building on McDonald Drive. The Town Hall supporters represent people in the community who don’t want the building turned over to private development and feel it should remain a community asset.

A community’s vision, innovation and partnerships were celebrated on the front steps of an elementary school destined for closure. Community members with a vision to create a County Food Hub in 5,800 square feet of surplus space (five classrooms and storage area) at Sophiasburgh public school led to the creation of a food-based hub which will contribute to the school’s ongoing costs of operation and allow it to stay open. – Sue Capon photo. Story and photos here

A full house turned out to Bloomfield Town Hall to hear about a potential redevelopment of the former Pinecrest Memorial Elementary School site into an affordable housing and community hub for seniors.
LoveSong Seniors Housing and Community Hub held its first public meeting to gauge interest on its proposal, to hear ideas, opposition and to answer residents’ questions. – Sharon Harrison photo. Click here for story 

PECMH Foundation chair Monica Alyea directs Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, to look out the window to picture the location of the new hospital. – Sue Capon photo

Plans for Prince Edward County’s new hospital are moving forward with the announcement of a $500,000 grant to help Quinte Health Care with early planning stages. While the grant does not mean official approval to build, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins told several dozen people attending a meeting at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital that “this hospital will be built”. Click here for story 

Barry Davidson addressess citizens interested in affordable housing options in Wellington. – Sharon Harison photo

Citizens are mobilizing to form a ‘Wellington Affordable Housing Network’.
“There is no housing for sale in Wellington at a price that is within the means of young people starting out, families with a modest income, or older people who want to downsize and stay in Wellington,” said Barry Davidson, who hosted a community meeting in Wellington. Michael Hymus led the way to establish a housing fund with a $500,000 commitment and making his land at 80 Maple Street available for housing. Click here for story

Advanced care paramedic Graham Bent and Chief Doug Socha demonstrate lifting a stretcher into an ambulance. – Sharon Harrison photo

Seniors attending a ‘Know your Emergency Providers’ event at the new Fire and Rescue Station on McDonald Drive in Picton learned the Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services is looking for innovative ways to handle an increased call volume – including a move to ‘paramedicine’ where paramedics would visit patients in their home for non-emergencies.
“Prince Edward County, unfortunately, doesn’t have a very healthy population with high levels of obesity, high blood pressure and chronic secondary stroke,” said Chief Doug Socha. Click here for story 

Students at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute joined many County residents and businesses and thousands of Canadians who wore a sports jersey, or donned a green ribbon in honour of the victims of the deadly bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. The idea of trading in a weekday outfit for #JerseysForHumboldt was inspired by a group of British Columbia hockey moms to send a message of support for the families who lost loved ones. County residents have also joined the #Put your Stick Out trend to pay tribute. – Rob Garden photo

Jonah Capriotti was the RBC Cup Star turning in a performance of a lifetime, finishing with 50 saves to backstop the Dukes into the final. – photo RBC Cup/Twitter (Hockey Canada image)

Fans throughout Prince Edward County and beyond are filling social media with congratulations to the Wellington Dukes for an incredible season ending at the RBC national final in British Columbia.
From 132 teams to just two at the Canadian Junior A Hockey League final, the Dukes were ahead into the third where the Chilliwack Chiefs tied, took their lead, then won 4-2.

County Community Foundation president Brian Beiles, Hospital Foundation Chair Monica Alyea, with grandson Hamish, and Lanny Huff applaud as Catharine Huff thanks all those who support the community. – Sharon Harrison photo

A special tribute honoured philanthropists Lanny and Catharine Huff as “sparks” for generous commitment to community over many years. The family has supported health care, education, food security, transportation, arts, music, culture and sports, animal welfare, addictions and mental health among its causes. Their commitment continues with the creation of The Huff Family Fund and the announcement that the couple is one of four major sponsors for the County’s new hospital, joining the Hospital Foundation, Auxiliary and the municipality. Click here for story 

A Carrera marble angel placed to watch over a six year old was just one of nearly 200 headstones, monuments and foundations damaged and destroyed by vandals – causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage, untold heartache and disgust. – Sue Capon photo. Click here for story and photos

A turbine section being delivered to the Murphy Road site via the road around South Bay and the Mariner’s Museum. Irv Collier photo

With Royal Assent received for Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act 2018, wpd’s nine industrial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County is terminated.
“If members opposite wonder why I don’t fear contractual chill, it’s because the proponent in this case has never honoured its agreements with the government of Ontario,” said Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Government Affairs, in the legislature. “This project deserves to die. It deserves to die exactly as it should die today – publicly and in front of the whole province.”
Smith told the legislature the company has been building non-stop since the middle of June, even after the government announced its intentions to legislatively terminate the project on July 10. Click here for story 

Former students hit a trifecta of favourite teachers attending Queen Elizabeth Public Schools ‘Final Farewell’ event. Ken Green, (top left); Kelvin Law (centre) and Dianne Hayes (front) all taught at the school in the 1970s. – Sue Capon photo

Former students and teachers roamed the halls of Queen Elizabeth Public School to have a last look around at what once was, and what will never again be.
At 65 years old, 2018 marks retirement for the Picton school which will close its doors for the final time this month. A celebration of education from 1953 to 2018 was followed by an open house and fun fair. Click here for story and photos 

County Clippers slam-dunked their 9th annual year-end rep team award celebration as more than 70 basketball players, coaches and volunteers were honoured at the year-end celebration at the Wellington arena. The Clippers honoured founders Rob Garden and Steve O’Brien. Bryan Davies received the newly named ‘Rob Garden Coach of the Year Award’ as assistant coach of the U16 Boys team. Steve was first to receive the ‘Steve O’Brien Volunteer of the Year Award.’

The unveiling of the new County Seniors Centre with (from left) MPP Todd Smith, Ken Laycock (Director, Community Care for Seniors), Margaret Werkhoven (past president, Community Care for Seniors); Debbie MacDonald Moynes (executive director, Community Care for Seniors), Barbara Proctor (president and chair of the board, Community Care for Seniors) and David Harrison (acting mayor). – Sharon Harrison photo

A new County Seniors Centre offering programming and a sense of community in all corners of the County was launched at the North Marysburgh Town Hall.
The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association established the centre to offer programming throughout the County’s nine local municipal town halls.
“Our association recognized an opportunity to accomplish a primary goal in our association’s future plan and to expand our programs and services to reach a broader sector of Prince Edward County seniors,” said Barb Proctor, president and chair of the Community Care for Seniors board.

The first day of school at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute’s newly revamped Grade K-12 facility is in the books. Grades K to 6 students from Queen Elizabeth Public School in Picton are at PECI for the first time. Students from Grades 7 and 8 and from the former Pinecrest School in Bloomfield started at PECI last September. The changes follow the decision by the Hastings and District School Board last spring to consolidate the schools as it faced mounting repairs, declining enrolment and funding. – Olivia Timm photo Click here for story and photos

Volunteers under a unique ad-hoc committee are taking over the rehabilitation of the Millennium Trail, cancelling an over-budget tender – and bring the project closer to fruition. – Sharon Harrison photo Click here for story

Barley Days Brewery general manager Kyle Baldwin with Premier Doug Ford, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services at the Loyalist Parkway brewery. – Sue Capon photos

Premier Doug Ford announced the return of ‘Buck a Beer’ at Barley Days Brewery on Loyalist Parkway. Some protesters lined up on the highway and filled the entrance to the brewery shouting “shame on you” and carried placards on multiple issues they believe demand more attention than beer – such a poverty, sex education and climate change. There was also a crowd there to thank Smith and Ford for the cancellation of the wpd industrial wind turbine project. Click here for story and photos

Community residents attending an information session on the proposed new development for 337 park model trailer sites at Quinte’s Isle Campark forced an impromptu change from one-on-one chats with consultants to an open discussion where everybody could hear questions and answers.
“Pardon me for being a rabble rouser,” said Wellington’s Jane Macdonald as she stood on a chair to gain the attention of more than 60 community members milling about the Athol Town Hall Thursday afternoon. “I would like to have one person at a time answer our questions because we’re going one-by-one and it doesn’t cut it… I’d like to see an actual dialogue here,” she said to great applause and supporting comments from the crowd.- Sue Capon photo

– Photo courtesy Public Information Display

Work on restoration of the Bay of Quinte Skyway Bridge on Highway 49 begins. The $40 million-plus rehabilitation of the bridge is to take place over six years. The entire cost is to be borne by the provincial government. Built in 1967, the structure exhibits substantial deterioration, particularly to the bridge deck, piers, and steel girders. The structure does not meet current design standards for shoulder width and traffic barriers.

Following a marathon meeting at Committee of the Whole – featuring four deputations and 23 speakers from the public – council approved Official Plan and zoning amendments related to regulating short-term accommodations (STAs) in Prince Edward County. The amendments and licencing drafts were presented Sept. 10 at a public meeting at the Wellington Community Centre. Since, more than 500 comments have been received, and feedback resulted in changes.

While cannabis becomes legal on Oct. 17, buyers in Ontario will be “one to three days” more before their legal purchases arrive on their doorstep with a $5 delivery fee using Canada Post. Currently, under provincial rules, cannabis use will be permitted only where tobacco use is currently allowed, however some municipalities, businesses or facilities, may adopt stricter policies. There is no carte blanche to be stoned at school or work. Hastings Prince Edward Health is ramping up its efforts with a campaign – ‘Cannabis: Just Because It’s Legal, Doesn’t Make It Safe’.

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