LITTLE CURRENT – The owner of G.G.�s Food Mart has withdrawn an appeal for a hearing with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The appeal by G.G.�s owner, Ed Laidley, was scheduled to be heard by an OMB panel on March fourth and fifth, in Little Current.
Laidley had filed the appeal in late 1998. He claimed that a decision made by Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (NEMI) council allowing National Grocers to provide less parking spaces at its proposed new store in Little Current was unfair. He noted other businesses had been denied requests for minor variances, by council.
�I cancelled the appeal (two weeks ago),� Laidley told the Recorder. �It was going to cost me too much money, $15,000 for me and they could also put their legal costs on top of mine at the end of this.� �It�s just a case of the big guy bullies out the little guy. I haven�t got the type of money to hold this hearing,� said Laidley. He noted that he will be giving a detailed story on this in a couple of weeks.
Hugh Moggy, who is the general manager of the Manitoulin Livestock Co-operative, said that the OMB appeal had held back any chance of development proceedings. �National Grocers couldn�t proceed until a decision was made by the OMB panel, or the appeal was withdrawn.� Moggy said the cancellation of the OMB hearing means everything can proceed now as far as zoning is concerned.
A representative for National Grocers, who did not wish to be named, said that this is just a starting point. He also said that before long, an announcement should be made on development which he is hoping will now go forward.
The proposed new 10,000 square foot grocery store is to be built in the vacant lot directly across the street from G.G.�s, in Little Current.
It Isn�t Fair, But That�s Life!!!
Welcome to the electoral riding of Algoma – Manitoulin, a riding so large that you may as well call it a province of its own. In fact, I am beginning to wonder why it is not called the riding of �Northern Ontario.� It might as well be. The darned thing is so large, you would almost have to plan a month long trip just to visit all the electors. It is just one more example of grouping by population instead of area.
The real question is why? Of what benefit is it to the constituents? If the point of the democratic elections is to have a representative who is plugged into the needs of the community and who can also stand up for the needs of his or her electors, how can someone be expected to serve those needs if the area is so large a person cannot even get to all of the communities on a regular basis?
Already, there is some confusion among the candidates for election, most of which have probably only heard of Manitoulin, let alone visiting it. One claims that Mindemoya is benefitting from a new hospital, courtesy of the health care reforms begun by the Harris government. What??? Harris� reforms have allowed for the creation of a new hospital in Mindemoya? Stop the presses! Apply for a simple expansion and they give you a whole new facility. Nobody can complain about that, can they?
But they can! You see, it is not this poor fellow�s fault that he knows nothing about Manitoulin. He only has a few months to learn as much as he can about the needs of over 100 communities crammed into this crazy little place we call Algoma – Manitoulin. Heck, social scientists are not even expected to memorize that much information.
One Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), for Algoma – Manitoulin, already has enough on his plate without having to add more communities to the riding. The people of Manitoulin love to have the undivided attention of their MPP and that is the way it should be.
Now, he or she will have more concerns than a mother, who discovers that her child spent the night at a complete stranger�s house. Frankly, it is the electors who suffer, but apparently, that is the tough luck of being a Northerner.
GORE BAY – Manitoulin Lodge has entered into a partnership with Foodservice Dynamics Ltd. According to a news release issued by the Lodge, Foodservice Dynamics Ltd. has been contracted to �manage and operate our dietary, housekeeping, laundry and maintenance departments, effective April 5, 1999.�
The release noted that while Manitoulin Lodge is an expert in the field of nursing and programming, Foodservice Dynamics Ltd. is a leader in its fields.
�Before we entered into this partnership, there were a few things we had guaranteed�, stated Linda Williams, administrator for the Lodge. �First of all, nobody loses a job. Everyone who will be working for Foodservice Dynamics keeps their seniority, their vacation allotment, and starts with their same current rate of pay�. Effectively, she noted, all of the employees working in the areas, which Foodservice Dynamics will take over, will become an employee of the contractor.
�The decision was made to make the current service even better�, she said. She noted that, despite the rumors circulating in the community, residents will not be forced to eat frozen foods due to the arrangement. In fact, there will be even more homemade favorites for the residents and all of the food will be prepared on the premises. Foodservice Dynamics will seek feedback from both the residents and the staff. “The food that they will prepare will be the food the residents want”, said Williams. She indicated the feedback will also be considered when it comes to making the facility run more efficiently on the whole.
�This service partnership was set up to help improve the quality of life of the residents�, stated Foodservice Dynamics President Peter Angus. �That is the number one focus�. Foodservice Dynamics, he indicated, has experience in the health care field, since it manages and operates many such facilities across the province.
Foodservice Dynamics is a privately held family organization based out of London, Ontario. �We are very much community oriented. I know the rumors go out, and the first things people say when they hear it is �contracted out.� We refer to it as ‘contracting in’, and the reason we say that is because we do not and are not mandated to reduce any jobs. All we bring is our expertise, technology and other things which will help manage care better�, Angus indicated.
He pointed out that there are a lot of new standards in long term care and that they are much more regulated than the standards in hospitals. �I know there was a case in Sudbury where they used outsourcing. They downsized the staff and they were bringing pre-prepared food in. Our service is quite different. We are looking to improve quality�, Angus stated.
Angus indicated that the staff will join the Foodservice Dynamics payroll which will provide them with a much-improved benefit package. The company will also be investing in the employees training. He noted that by the year 2000, at least 50 percent of the staff must be certified in food service handling. The company will certify the employees and will also provide them with more job security than they presently already have. �We are not brought in for a short run kind of contract. We are there for the long run. We will be a part of the community, and work from within the organization with their care teams to help develop better care programs�, he explained.
One advantage, he said, is that through Foodservice Dynamics, the Lodge will now have access to a dietician. Foodservice Dynamics has been working in the health care field since it first began in 1993. Angus, himself, has over 30 years experience in the field with degrees in hotel and health care administration.
MANITOULIN – A newly named group of Fish and Game Clubs on Manitoulin is looking for municipal support to have cormorant control measures established.
Rick Fogal said that representatives from Fish and Game Clubs around Manitoulin met last week to discuss the cormorant issue and action they will take. As well, the group agreed to name themselves the United Fish and Game Clubs of Manitoulin. �We tried to go through the two reports which have recently been released on cormorants,� said Fogal. These two reports include a draft report prepared by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Bureau of Fish and United States Geological Survey-Biological Resources Division, �To Assess the Impact of Double-Crested Cormorant Predation on Smallmouth Bass and other WarmWater Fishes of the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario.� The report was released December 15, 1998.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Branch’s �Review of the Population Status and Management of Double-Crested Cormorants in Ontario”” was also recently released. �I think probably one of our main jobs is to inform local groups and municipalities, and other areas what we believe is happening in our waters with the depletion of fish,� said Fogal. He pointed out all representatives at the meeting last week were unanimous in the next steps they should take.
The group passed a resolution which stated, �whereas the double-crested cormorant population is having a serious negative impact on the baitfish biomass of the Great Lakes and adjacent inland lakes, and whereas the excessive double-crested cormorant population is causing a severe decline and potential collapse in several sportfish populations, and whereas Ontario municipalities derive significant economic benefits from tourism dollars spent relative to sports fishing. Hereby be it resolved that the provincial government implement immediately a management program to reduce double-crested cormorant numbers to a level where they do not negatively impact upon the sports fishery.�
Fogal explained, �we have circulated this petition to municipalities on the Island for their support, and from there will send the same to FONOM (Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities) and AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario). �What we are trying to do is get support from other municipalities, not just locally but all around the area, especially the North Shore and surrounding the Georgian Bay where there is probably the largest impact on sports fishery being caused by cormorants.�
WEST BAY – Simply unbeatable! That is the best way to describe the Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) Girls Curling Team, who were the �B� representatives at this years Northern Ontario Secondary School Association (NOSSA) curling championship. The team, consisting of second Christina Nodecker, lead Lauren Paradis, skip Amanda Flanagan, vice Pam McDermid and lead Angie Wiggins, and coached by Stan Drystek, did not lose a single game during the tournament, and automatically won the tournament without having to play a championship game.
On the first day, the team met the A representatives from Sault Ste. Marie, went on to play Marymount College from Sudbury, as well as the A representatives from Sudbury. On the second day, the girls had rematches against the Sault and Sudbury A representatives. Since they did not lose a single game, Drystek said, there was no need for a championship.
The girls will continue on to the Ontario Federation of Secondary Schools Association (OFSSA) finals in Toronto from April 16 to 18. There they will face 16 representatives from across Ontario. Drystek said while the competition will be much tougher, at the rate at which the team is improving, he is expecting they will do well.
Principal Roy Eaton noted this is only the second time in the 30 year history of the high school a girls team has advanced to OFSSA. The first time was in 1988, and the team were bronze medalists. As well, a boys team from MSS has only ever qualified for OFSSA once, Eaton said, and it was the 1983 team which captured the gold medal. The girls were not the only MSS team at NOSSA this year. Both MSS boys teams put in an appearance at NOSSA.
In fact, the boys �B� representatives returned to the Island as NOSSA Silver medalists. The team was composed of lead Kyle Chandler, vice Luke Lentir, skip Jordan Chandler, second Mike Gilpin, and coach Harold Dewar. On the first day, the boys beat the A and B representatives from Sault Ste. Marie, and dropped the A representative team from Nipissing. The team received a bye into the finals, where they faced the Sault A representatives again. Unfortunately, they lost.
Dewar noted the Sault team had been together for quite some time, and was coached by Eric Harnden, who won the Briar eight years ago. Harnden�s son was the skip, and the team was well coached and played well. Unfortunately, while the A representative team, composed of Ed Jackson, Bill Sloss, Brad Tann and Curtis Short, won their first match up, they lost their next three, and were eliminated. Drystek encouraged the local residents to come out and watch the teams in the future. He noted next year it is the North Shore�s turn to host NOSSA, and MSS hopes to bring the curling action to the Island.