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Prince Edward County Decade in Review – highlights from 2012

As the 2010s draw to a close and we move into 2020, celebrates its 10th anniversary taking a look at highlights of the past 10 years.


Peter O’Brien’s passionate and dramatic Dracula soundtrack free skate won him a loud ovation from the crowd and a silver medal at the Junior Men’s Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Prince Edward County’s favourite skater earned a personal best at the competition and was just .78 points away from the national title. He was also one step higher on the podium than last year’s bronze medal effort.
Click here for story. 

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People who do not want to see wind turbines line the south shore of Prince Edward County made up the vast majority of the packed house attending MPP Todd Smith’s Town Hall meeting in Picton.
Karen Hatchard, representing Point to Point’s 1,200 supporters, spoke of the expansion of the south shore as a national park, noting the proposal is not a new idea, but relates to studies and discussion by council back to 1985.
Garth Manning, of the County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy, touched on real estate values, health problems, the sheer height of turbines and healthy, sustainable systems for the future, concluding “In the County, our way of life is under threat. Do everything possible to get a moratorium on wind factories.”
PC Energy Critic Vic Fedeli, the meeting’s keynote guest speaker, addressed solar and wind.
“Right off the bat, if you think wind is bad, which operates at 28 per cent efficiency; solar operates at 13 per cent efficiency. We pay 80 cents a kilowatt hour for people to produce energy from solar. So, even a kid with a lemonade stands know we can’t buy a lemon for 80 cents and sell lemonade for five cents and that’s exactly what’s happening.”
Click here for story

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– Sue Capon photo

With security at the doors, plain-clothed police on duty and a line up in the hallway, several hundred people made their way into the PECI high school auditorium to ask questions and gain information about wpd Canada Corporation’s White Pines Wind Farm proposed for southern Prince Edward County.
Most viewed supplied maps to see how close turbines would be to their own and others’ homes. County residents against the project surrounded wpd representatives, including president Ian MacRae, to ask pointed questions and chant phrases when they didn’t hear suitable responses to their concerns.
“It is so sad to see how this issue has divided the community,” said one to another. “Now neighbours are hiding from neighbours if they don’t agree, or don’t know how the other feels about turbines.” Click here for story

The number of people opposed to wind turbines in the County outnumbered the number looking to welcome them at the August open house.  Click here for ‘Foes and friends of wind energy blew into wpd open house’ story.

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Prince Edward County Mayor Peter Mertens and Hallowell councillor Heather Campbell chat as the Shire Hall gallery fills with supporters of various services listed in a report by the County’s CAO and commissioners as ‘financial sustainability opportunities’. – Sue Capon photo

Countless phone calls, emails, petitions and people passionate about services in Prince Edward County was exactly the response needed to evoke discussion and decisions at Shire Hall. In its bid to achieve financial sustainability, council reviewed 19 motions for change suggested by the County’s CAO and commissioners.
“The success of this exercise that has been achieved, said CAO Merlin Dewing, “was that everybody was talking about it and that’s good because that’s what we needed – this kind of flurry of activity to evoke the kind of discussion we’re having.”
Among the 19 suggestions were ideas affecting three of the County’s six libraries, its town halls, fire halls, policies and decision making. Garnering the most public passion, was support for the libraries and councillors unanimously decided to consult with the Library Board to explore cost-savings and efficiencies. Council also voted to keep community halls and museums, but will study the facilities for cost savings and efficiencies.
Story here. 

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Const. Kim Guthrie leads Pedal for Hope cyclists into PECI. – Sue Capon photo

Prince Edward County OPP Constable Kim Guthrie leads police officers from the region to PECI for the opening ceremonies of this area’s first Pedal for Hope Cycling tour. The officers planned to cycle to 10 area schools over five days to speak with students and support local children who have fought and are fighting cancer. Story here

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The highlight of a PECI student and staff trip to Europe was attending the commemoration ceremony of the Vimy Ridge 95th anniversary. PECI students joined thousands of other students, veterans and Canadian government representatives at Vimy Ridge to honour the great sacrifice made by Canada’s soldiers.
They saw the trenches where brave soldiers waited for weeks to ‘go over the top’ and attack Germany’s seemingly impregnable fortified emplacements. They saw the landscape, still marked from the masses of artillery shells, and where Canadians from coast-to-coast came together to fight, die and ultimately triumph over a foe that had defeated all others to that point. – Rob Garden photo Click here for story

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About 70 Prince Edward County residents blew into Toronto to join some 700 others to protest industrial wind turbines and a Liberal government they say is steamrolling a green energy agenda over rural Ontario by pitting big energy corporations against the livelihood and health of rural residents.
The County’s Paul Wallace reports protesters from 20 communities, including many from Wolfe and Amherst Islands and from as far away as Thunder Bay, gathered at Simcoe Park, beside the CBC building.  They chanted, sang, rang bells and blew whistles and carried placards that read: “sWINDle”; “Ill Wind for Ontario”; “Rethink, Refuse, Remove”; “Watch the Amazing McGuinty make your tax dollars disappear using only wind”; “Health Studies Before Wind Turbines”; “Turbines Lower Property Values” and “Give Our Rights Back”. – Paul Wallace photo Click here for story

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Julie Alison carefully wheels Phoebe Way down the ramp at Picton Manor for the final time. – Sue Capon photo

Emotions ran high at Picton’s Home with a Heart as staff gathered for their final shift and said tearful goodbyes to the nursing home’s final three residents.
Known as the “Home with a Heart”, Picton Manor had been part of the community for more than a century. In the early 1900s the older part of the home on Hill Street was Picton’s first hospital. It has operated as long-term care facility since the 1960s.
Picton Manor’s 90 employees, 57 residents and their family members learned in late May that the 78-bed long term care facility was closing in September due to electrical, structural and financial issues.
Phoebe Way, 94, of Milford was the second last resident to leave what has been her home, and extended family, for the past seven years.
As she waited in the sun room for her ride to West Lake Nursing Home, she munched a few cherry tomatoes picked from the residents’ garden just a few yards away, and sipped a fresh coffee.
“One last swallow of the coffee, Phoebe. It’s time to go,” says one of the staff members as she adjusts the afghan warming Phoebe’s knees.
The other staff members gather in the hallway to follow Phoebe outside, wish her well, and say goodbye.
“You’re leaving, Phoebe. We’re going to miss you,” one says as they gather on the patio for a photograph.
“Well, I’m going to miss you, too,” Phoebe replies. “And your coffee.”
Click here for full story.

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At the grand opening celebration of the new PEFHT Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre are (front) Cattlemen’s Association members Tina Hiddink, John Baitley, Lynn and Sue Leavitt and (back) Leo Finnegan, Duff Sprague, Todd Smith and PEFHT members Dr. Greg Higgins, NP Carol Hobbs, Dr. Elizabeth Christie, Dr. Cliff Rice, and Dr. Kim Haigh. – Sue Capon photo

Prince Edward County’s physicians hope you never have to use the state-of-the-art exercise equipment now set up in the new Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre at the Picton Clinic. But it’s good news for cardiac patients who no longer have to drive to Kingston to participate in the 12-week program.
The Prince Edward Family Health Team (PEFHT) formally opened the PEACH (Prince Edward Ambulatory Cardiac Health) rehab centre where patients re-gain their strength after heart surgery or work through high risk problems by adopting healthier lifestyles.
When Duff Sprague was working on plans for the program, the Prince Edward Family Health Team executive director never imagined he would be among its first patients. Sprague underwent open heart surgery in January to treat an aortic aneurism. He’s now among the first 10 patients to participate in PEACH. The centre was funded through a public campaign by the Prince Edward Cattlemen’s Association which raised $70,000 and a contribution from the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary of $20,000.
Click here for story

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Garden’s business students raise him up in celebration of his honour. – Sue Capon photo

The only person who was surprised to hear Rob Garden won the Educator of the Year Award was Rob Garden, who is known by his business and math students at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute as “the best teacher ever”.
Garden, 30, is the youngest recipient ever of the prestigious 45-year-old Sir Mackenzie Bowell Award. The Queen’s University Business Commerce graduate was in his sixth year of teaching, all of which at his alma mater.

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Event co-sponsor team Scotiabank watches as Picton’s Ashley Berwick releases his doves during the opening ceremonies of the third annual Prince Edward County Relay for Life fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. – Sue Capon photo

Hundreds of Prince Edward County residents and friends gathered at the Picton fairgrounds to celebrate, remember and fight back in a 12-hour Relay for Life. They raised more than $216,700 for the Canadian Cancer Society in the 12-hour event.

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Blaze near Fenwood Gardens. – Briar Boyce photo

Prince Edward County firefighters worked furiously to knock down a large fire in the marshy area near Fenwood Gardens. Wind was brisk and flames were upward of 50 feet into the air at times. The concern was to knock down the blaze to keep it from reaching nearby homes. Some of the Fenwood Gardens residents were evacuated to Prince Edward Square as a precaution. Belleville, Quinte West and Thurlow firefighters also sent in assistance.

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Mom Terri Lee Davidson and cousin Tasha Foote flank Brenda Tripp McQuaid as she witnesses the surprise parade in her honour to show support for the 34-year-old cancer fighter. – Sue Capon photo

Brenda Tripp McQuaid could barely believe her eyes when she saw the parade of about 175 people carrying balloons and banners being escorted into the Picton Fairgrounds by the Prince Edward County OPP.
Friends, family members and strangers to the 34-year-old cancer fighter had staged a grand surprise to cheer her on in her battle with lung cancer.
The “Doing it The County Way” event was pulled together by Brenda’s friends, using Facebook and old-fashioned telephone calls.
“County people do spectacular things for people we love,” said Brandy-Lee Bradley-Wilkes, one of the organizers. “Brenda has a heart of gold and it was a pleasure to be part of something so huge. Brenda passed in February 2013. Click here for story

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RCMP Musical Ride at the Picton Fairgrounds. – Sue Capon photo

More than 1,200 Prince Edward County elementary students clapped and cheered as they watched the world-famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride performance at the Picton Fairgrounds. The show was presented by the Prince Edward Yacht Club Junior Sailing School in partnership with the Agricultural Society and the Wellington Auxiliary Coast Guard. The RCMP Musical Ride is performed by a troop of 32 riders and horses, plus the member in charge. The show features a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drill choreographed to music. The movements are formed in two’s, four’s and eight’s at the trot and at the canter. One of the more familiar musical ride formations is the “Dome,” once featured on the back of the Canadian $50 bill.
Click here for photos and story

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Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay and his wife and former air cadet Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay, officially opened the $16 million Central Region Cadet Hangar at CFD Mountain View.
The air cadet gliding program is a partnership between the Canadian Forces and the Air Cadet League of Canada. More than 300 cadets receive their glider pilot license each year. The school here has operated out of Canadian Forces Detachment Mountain View and Picton airports since 1980. The new Central Region Cadet Hanger was completed earlier this year. Its 5,000 square metres of space houses up to 30 gliders and tow planes, 18 offices, two classrooms and simulator training. Story here

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A Prince Edward County giant vegetable grower showed the world how it’s done – winning and placing in several categories at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. John Vincent set a new Canadian record with his giant cabbage weighing in at 112.2 pounds. He beat his own record set at Thanksgiving with a 99-pound entry. Last year his personal best at the fair weighed “just” 68 pounds. Vincent, who has been growing giants since 2004, is one of three people in Ontario who have earned the prestigious “Master Growers” distinction.  Click here for story about John and other County giant vegetable growers at the fair.

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  1. Administrator says:

    Yes! It will be in the 2019 review. 🙂

  2. Marc says:

    I would have included the unexpectedly massive Pride protest at St Gregory’s church this summer. What a spontaneous show of solidarity that was.

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