Bookmark and Share   Feb. 3, 2021   Vol. 12 Week 6 Issue 604

 bayfield reads returns in a virtual format for 2021 

Bayfield Reads 2021 Banner


Calling all book lovers! Join the owners of The Village Bookshop on Sunday, March 7th for this year’s edition of Bayfield Reads. This event provides a chance for local personalities to defend 2021’s Canada Reads finalists.

Moderated by The Village Bookshop bookseller Mike Peirce and featuring last year’s defenders, Ruth Gibson, Jayne Dietrich and Greg Stewart, as judges, Bayfield Reads 2021 will take place on ZOOM and will be free.

This year’s Canada Reads finalists include: "Butter Honey Pig Bread", by Francesca Ekwuyasi; "Two Trees Make a Forest", by Jessica J. Lee; "The Midnight Bargain", by C.L. Polk; "Hench", by Natalie Zina Walschots; and "Jonny Appleseed", by Joshua Whitehead.

The first defender to be introduced is Brad McLellan, a lawyer from Toronto, ON. A long time Bayfield cottager and community volunteer, McLellan has been working from his home in Bayfield for much of the COVID-19 pandemic.

McLellan will be defending "Two Trees Make a Forest" by Jessica J. Lee.

According to CBC Books, “A chance discovery of letters written by her immigrant grandfather leads Jessica J. Lee to her ancestral homeland, Taiwan. There, she seeks his story while growing closer to the land he knew…Two Trees Make a Forest is a genre-shattering book encompassing history, travel, nature and memoir, an extraordinary narrative showing how geographical forces are interlaced with our family stories.”

Bayfield Reads will take place on March 7 at 2 p.m. on ZOOM. There is no need to RSVP. Just join the event at the following link:

book explores how Chinese adapted to Western culture  


During the COVID-19 crisis, people may find themselves with more time to turn the pages of a good book. But what books to read and what books to leave on the shelf?

In case Bayfield Breeze readers are looking for a little guidance in this department the folks at The Village Bookshop on Main Street will be providing a monthly suggestion via their customers who have agreed to pen a book review to share with our readers.

February’s book is “Chop Suey Nation”, written by Ann Hui and reviewed by Judy Keightley.

Chop Suey Nation was written by Ann Hui in 2016 and published by Douglas McIntyre in 2019. The book relays the story of Globe and Mail journalist, Hui who drives across Canada on a quest to find the answer to two fundamental questions: Why is there a Chinese restaurant in every small town and who were the families involved in running them?

Hui manages to captivate the reader by weaving the history of Chinese immigrants to Canada along with her own personal family story. Growing up in Vancouver Hui couldn’t understand why the multitude of Chinese restaurants all served non-authentic Chinese Canadian food. Through Hui readers discover that her father had worked himself in several restaurants, and had, indeed served the same fake Chinese dishes which Hui refers to as ‘chop-suey’ cuisine.

In 2016 Hui, a reporter for The Globe and Mail in Toronto, set off with her husband, Anthony, to drive from coast to coast across Canada to visit Chinese restaurants which were to be found in most of the small towns dotted across the country. Flying to Vancouver to embark upon their journey the couple are faced with their first stumbling block; the car rental. They ended up with a small, compact Fiat 500 which for Anthony, being over six foot tall proved to be really tight, however they soldiered on regardless.

Along their cross-country trip they meet dozens of Chinese restaurant owners all serving the same ubiquitous ‘fake’ Chinese menu but with variations according to the Province. For instance, in Alberta, Hui, discovers the “Chinese-Pierogi”, and on the east coast she discovers a unique “Newfoundland Chow-mein”.

In Thunder Bay, they discover a Chinese restaurant tucked away within a curling club owned by the mayor. On Fogey Island, a remote small island in Newfoundland, Hui visits the owner of the small Chinese restaurant, a woman working all alone but still managing to survive.

I really enjoyed reading “Chop-Suey Nation”, as I found the history behind the Chinese immigration really interesting and the drive, perseverance and sheer entrepreneurialism of the immigrants is awe inspiring. By comparing her own family’s history with those of the migrants Hui manages to shed some light on the importance of these restaurants in Canadian history along with the deep and lasting love for the family.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend “Chop Suey Nation”, by Ann Hui. It is a charming book interspersed with part road-trip, part memoir, written with amazing insight and sensitivity.

group to address need for canine friendly play space 

PACC logo

Are you a Bayfield dog owner? Do you wish there was a place where you and your canine companion could meet and interact with others in the community? Anyone who answered yes to these questions may be interested in joining a new community group.

The Bayfield People and Canine Community (PACC) was recently formed to address the community need for a local play space where people’s canine friends can exercise and socialize. The members of PACC feel that Bayfield is a dog-friendly community catering to locals and visitors alike. The group’s mandate is to work with community partners in an effort to secure an off-leash area for their dogs and puppies, to promote responsible pet ownership, and to educate the public about the benefits of such a facility for this growing community. The group looks forward to providing details on this effort in the coming weeks and months.

Please join their private Facebook page at Bayfield P.A.C.C. to keep abreast of their activities. They welcome questions and ideas from interested parties as they work to pursue their goal of a safe, healthy, and secure play area for the village. Woof Woof!

February's quilt would make unique Valentine's gift 

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With so much talent, busy hands and love in the community during the COVID-19 lockdown period, the Huron Hospice was pleasantly overwhelmed with donations of afghans and quilts. A random selection of these handmade quilts will be sold as a fundraiser for patient care at the hospice.

The February quilt is like a winter landscape, with a promise of what’s around the corner. The choice of cotton fabrics and colors is complimentary to any décor; the topstitching is extremely funky and detailed. It may be hard not to fall in love with this quilt! It measures 43” x 60”, which is such a handy size, making it suitable for a wall hanging, throw or picnic blanket. The quilt is made by members of the local community and sells for $495. What a lovely Valentine’s gift!

The first person sending an email to Hospice Manager of Fundraising Christopher Walker will be the happy owner of the quilt: Anyone who would like further information before they decide can also contact him via email.

sibling trio looking for homes 

139804385_1075726906224210_5187613664486594068_nCye and Blondie (Submitted photo)  

Bayfield Forgotten Felines (BFF) has helped hundreds of feral and abandoned cats find their forever homes but many are still waiting.

145209629_1114077809006112_9174683541235992710_nButtercup (Submitted photo)

Blondie, Cye and Buttercup are the Adopt-A-BFF featured cats of the week.

Blondie, a super friendly and sweet blonde girl is about five months-old. She is desperately wanting love and after she is vetted she will be ready for adoption, along with her two siblings Cye and Buttercup. Cye is an all-black love bug while her brother Buttercup is a shy, little Tortoiseshell. The three were born on the streets and weren’t trapped until there was snow on the ground. They will make a wonderful addition(s) to any family.

Anyone interested in adopting Blondie, Cye and/or Buttercup is asked to reach out to Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines at

Rescue volunteers would like to send a great big thank you and tons of gratitude to all those who have donated recently. Several people stepped up with donations to help cover the costs of feline dental surgery. Three, out of the five, cats that require varying degrees of dental surgery have received treatment and two more will have work done in the next few weeks. This could not have been completed without community generosity and the volunteers are very appreciative of the support.

The cost of a vet visit is $150 per feline, a lot more for cats with special needs. Donations are always appreciated. E-transfers can be sent to the email above or email to arrange for a drop off or pick up of donations. Cheques can be mailed to Bayfield’s Forgotten Felines, P.O. Box 33, Bayfield, ON, N0M 1G0.


farmers' market 

49518362936_295f7f7852People may not be aware but the Bayfield Farmers’ Market didn’t close up shop at the end of Thanksgiving – the online store is still operating with bi-weekly pickups or contactless delivery. The next market pick-up day is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 12.

People can place their orders by visiting
from Sunday, Feb. 7 at 8 a.m. to Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. Shoppers will be directed to pick up their items up on Feb. 12 sometime between 3-5 p.m. at Shopbike Coffee Roasters on Bayfield’s Main Street. They will receive an email confirmation (Thursday) with the approximate time of delivery on Friday afternoon.

Orders can be paid online with credit card or email transfer. Organizers are pleased to offer delivery within 15 KMs of Bayfield for a flat fee of $5. Shoppers can select their preference at checkout. 

Anyone who would like to receive a reminder to shop the market when it opens is invited to join the Bayfield Farmers’ Market email list. People can do so by visiting:

Bridge Closure 

According to an announcement on the Municipality of Bluewater Facebook Page, travellers should be prepared to detour around the Bayfield River Bridge next week as it is scheduled to be closed during daylight hours over the course of two days.

The Bayfield River Bridge is scheduled to be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and Thursday, Feb. 11. These closures are weather dependent and are “necessary to safely complete the next stage of the MTO project.”

Drivers should note the posted detour route and allow for extra travel time. The detour route can be found here:


The Municipality of Bluewater has posted an update on the incident that occurred at the Bayfield Harbour between Jan. 24-26 with regards to the fishing tug, Last Time. The Bayfield Breeze shares their announcement as a follow-up to the story published in Issue 603.

“…municipal staff as well as several local agencies responded to a call at the Bayfield Harbour after reports were received of a partially submerged commercial fishing vessel. Throughout the response, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Coast Guard (DFO), Environment Canada, Transport Canada, OPP and local emergency services worked closely together. Stabilization efforts were overseen by DFO and the vessel is now upright and stable.

"DFO confirmed that all recoverable hydrocarbons have been removed via absorbent booms and pads and that negligible risk to the environment exists. No further response or remediation efforts are required at this time. The scene will be closely monitored by the above-mentioned agencies.”

Life at the Rink 


In response to the many public inquiries it has received, the Board of Directors of the Bayfield Community Centre wishes to announce that, even though the COVID-19 shut-down mandate is being fully observed, the arena ice surface is not being removed.

Not only is the Bayfield Community Centre team optimistic they will re-open, but they will also be extending the ice season to the end of March 2021.

The Bayfield Community Centre’s online booking system makes it easy to book family and friends in for a skate once the lockdown is lifted.

Visit for updates and bookings.

Optimist Club

People often ask if they can add an engraved brick to the path around the Splash Pad in Clan Gregor Square and members of the Optimist Club of Bayfield are pleased to announce that there is further opportunity to have a name added to the circle in 2021.

The engraved pavers in Clan Gregor Square are a reminder of how great area residents and visitors are when it comes to supporting such projects as the Playground and the Splash Pad.

“In Memoriam” stones for loved ones as well as “just because” stones can be ordered with the work being done on site later in 2021 using the same two brick sizes that are already installed around the Splash Pad. The cost of these engraved bricks will be medium, $70; and large, $90. The plan is to have the bricks engraved in late May and/or early June.

Anyone with an interest in adding a brick can contact Mike Dixon via email at or by calling 519 955-5254 for further information.


Are you interested in a hiking buddy? If you are a new resident or hiker, single hiker, don’t want to hike alone, or would love to meet new people through hiking the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association trails, you can now take advantage of the Hiking Buddy Program they have in place. This new program will enable hikers to connect with others on the trails and is available to all BRVTA members. If interested, or for more information, please send an email to

Anyone who enjoys walking the trails but has never got around to joining the Association, might consider that with an affordable $30 annual family membership, they would be making a valuable contribution toward the maintenance of our seven trails, ensuring their viability for the future. Membership funds are also needed for programming and insurance. Special thanks to all of you who have supported the BRVTA through membership; they’ve seen record numbers this past year.

If you already are a member, the BRVTA would love you to refer them to your friends! For a limited time – during January and February – they have a special offer. If you refer three new members during this period, please send the BRVTA an email with the details and you will receive “For the love of Bayfield”, a gorgeous and informative book, written by local historian and one of the founders of the BRVTA, Dave Gillians.

Memberships for 2021 are available through the BRVTA website, Save the receipt, which will give you shopping privileges at the Columbia Sportswear discount store as well as to several other events and programs.

Anyone who would prefer to write a cheque, is asked to please mail it to P.O. Box 531, Bayfield N0M 1G0.

St Marys Outbreak 

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Inpatient Unit at its St. Marys Memorial Hospital site on Feb. 2nd after five cases of the virus were identified. Four of these cases are in team members, and one patient has been affected.

Outbreak status refers to two COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period, where both cases could reasonably have been acquired in the hospital.

“All outbreak control measures are in place and there has been no transmission to other patient care areas of the hospital,” said President and CEO Andrew Williams. “We are working closely with Huron Perth Public Health and will ensure staff, patients and family members/caregivers are kept apprised of all necessary information.”

Affected team members are currently self-isolating at home and will not return to work until their self-isolation period is complete and they are asymptomatic. The affected patient has been transferred to the Stratford General Hospital site of the HPHA.

Family and caregiver presence on the Inpatient Unit has been restricted. The only exception is for palliative patients. Care teams will regularly update families/caregivers and make them aware of opportunities for virtual connections.
Admissions to the Inpatient Unit are closed but the hospital remains open for outpatient appointments. If there are any changes to a patient’s appointment, such as rescheduling or changing from an in-person to a phone/virtual appointment, the hospital will contact the patient. The Emergency Department remains open and is a safe place to receive care.

HPHA will continue to update the community, as more, or changing information occurs.


The community will no doubt be saddened to learn of the passing of long-time Bayfield resident Brian Carrier. He died on Jan. 19 after a battle with cancer. Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by his family. To read his full obituary please visit:



input requested for proposed shoreline policy changes  


The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) Board of Directors invites the public to provide written comments on some proposed shoreline policy changes related to shore protection structures in regulated dynamic beach areas. The proposed policy changes do not apply to all shoreline areas but only beaches classified as dynamic.

The loss and buildup of sand is a natural part of the shoreline process in a dynamic beach area but recent high lake levels have made the loss of sand more pronounced. In areas where some landowners have previously existing shore protection structures, some neighboring landowners have also requested permits. The proposed policy changes are, in part, a response to this, to make it possible to consider approval of shore protection structures for those property owners in those areas.

“Policies in bluff areas do not change and most policies in dynamic beach areas stay exactly the same,” said ABCA Water and Planning Manager, Geoffrey Cade. “The only changes are to policies related to new shore protection structures, and maintenance or replacement of old ones, in regulated dynamic beach areas.”

The ABCA Board of Directors has approved release of the proposed policies to the public for written comments prior to consideration for approval. ABCA is receiving public written comments on the proposed changes until Friday, March 5. To review the proposed policy changes, and to provide written comments, visit and this web page link:

COVID-19 Outbreak declared over at Exeter Villa 

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has declared the COVID-19 outbreak at Exeter Villa Retirement Living and Long-Term Care Home over as of Jan. 24. The facility experienced a total of 50 confirmed cases. On the long-term care side, there were 36 total confirmed cases in residents and 11 confirmed cases in staff. On the retirement home side, there was one confirmed case in a resident and two cases among staff. These total numbers include any outside staff who tested positive upon prevalence testing.

Sadly, three beloved residents, who had also tested positive for COVID-19, passed away during the time of the outbreak.

“These individuals were cherished longstanding residents of Exeter Villa Long-Term Care. We are deeply saddened by their passing and continue to offer our sympathy to their loved ones,” said Exeter Villa Administrator, Erika King.

Overall, most residents experienced mild illness and their care was continued at Exeter Villa. The home management Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team was in daily contact with HPPH to support case and contact management and infection control.

Medical Officer of Health for HPPH, Dr. Miriam Klassen, said, “We are very pleased to declare this outbreak over and want to commend the staff for their hard work and dedication during this challenging time.”

Exeter Villa also worked closely with many community partners who provided support and assistance, including the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, the South Huron Hospital Association, the South West Local Health Integration Network, Huron County Paramedic Services, and Ontario Health.

“This outbreak underlines how serious the COVID-19 infection can be for our vulnerable populations, especially our residents in long-term care and in those with underlying health conditions,” said King. “It was heartwarming to see the overwhelmingly positive response from the community and residents’ families; we are grateful for the love they have shown to us.

“Now that the outbreak has been declared over, we will be able to concentrate on our recovery plan and will be focusing on what more can be done in the home to enhance the lives of our residents given the ongoing safety restrictions in the community.”

King points out that, although the vaccine being given to the residents and staff of the home gives them a great advantage, this will not be taken for granted.

“Our most vulnerable deserve nothing less than our best, and with that, we will be continuing to uphold our stringent IPAC measures, as per HPPH, as well as our active monitoring of staff through weekly staff prevalence testing while we implement our onward and upward recovery plan, of which Stacey Palen’s Go Fund Me efforts will play a huge part,” King concluded.

inpatient surgery unit reopens at Stratford General Hospital 

An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) - Stratford General Hospital has been declared over by Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH). The outbreak had been declared on the Inpatient Surgery Unit on Jan. 15 after three staff tested positive.

“Upon declaring the outbreak, immediate precautions were implemented, including enhanced cleaning and prevalence testing in 100 staff and physicians,” said President and CEO of HPHA, Andrew Williams.

No patients acquired the virus while in hospital.

As there have been no further cases, the Inpatient Surgery Unit has been reopened to admissions and transfers. Family and caregiver presence on the Unit has also been restored. Full guidelines can be found at

“While this outbreak is over, we can’t stress enough the importance of continuing to follow public health measures and adhering to the province’s Stay-at-Home Order,” added Williams.

area legions receive federal funding to keep operating 

On Nov. 10, 2020, the federal government announced a $20 million aid package to help veterans organizations survive the pandemic, of which the Royal Canadian Legion received $14 million.

Legion branches across Huron and Bruce counties continue to receive federal pandemic assistance. Branches will be using their funding allotments for critical operating expenses including insurance premiums, rent expenses, and utility bills.

“The financial assistance from the Federal Government for Branch 140 is a welcome relief and the funds will be used to cover our operational expenses. Without these funds our Branch would probably close it doors depending on how long the COVID-19 virus lockdown will last. I would like to thank our community for your support during this time. We will remember them,” said Royal Canadian Legion Br. 140 (Clinton) President Rick Shropshall.

“In October, I wrote to (Veterans Affairs) Minister MacAulay that the federal government had a debt of honor to our veterans, asking for delivery of an aid package to our Legion branches. Royal Canadian Legion branches across Canada are critical to our support of veterans, and I’m glad this long-awaited aid package will help keep the lights on in Branch 140,” said Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb.

“Lucknow Legion, Branch 309 is grateful for the financial assistance from the federal government. During the lockdown and afterwards, we will be operating at limited capacity, and the funding will be used to pay for operational expenses such as heat, hydro, insurance and taxes. When we get back to normal, we have some maintenance projects that need attention and any remaining funds will go towards that. Our goal is to get through this and continue to support and serve the needs of our veterans and community. With this generous support from Veterans Affairs Canada we will weather this storm and continue to be the strong branch we always were,” said Royal Canadian Legion Br. 309, President Linda Sharpin.

Branches across the riding which applied for and will receive $10,845.05 in funding (to-date) are: Branch 440, Ripley; Branch 140, Clinton; Branch 218, Brussels; Branch 309, Lucknow; Branch 167, Exeter; Branch 180, Wingham; Branch 183, Kincardine; Branch 109, Goderich; Branch 155, Southampton; and Branch 340, Port Elgin; and Branch 102, Walkerton received $10,533. Further funds are expected to be disbursed over the coming weeks.

“I am writing today to express how grateful we at Branch 340 are for the generous support in the amount of $10,845.05 which we received from the federal government in order to assist our Branch through these tough pandemic times. This money will go a long way to help cover the costs of our monthly expenses to allow our Branch to support our Veterans and our community,” said Royal Canadian Legion Br. 340 (Port Elgin, ON), President Robert Harrison.

“The Royal Canadian Legion Walkerton Branch 102 would like to thank MP Ben Lobb and the federal government for the contribution towards our Legion during this pandemic. We received $10,533 to assist us while we are closed. We offer assistance to veterans, serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP, and/or their dependents. Thanks to this support from the Federal government and our community, the Walkerton Legion will once again be able to open our doors and operate for the good of our veterans and our community – many branches will not be as fortunate,” concluded Branch 102 Walkerton President Rose Austin.

Conservation educators offer lunch hour series for students

Conservation educators at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) continue to offer support to the watershed community though new learning opportunities. Two new online synchronous (when there is live interaction between ABCA educators and students) learning programs are available for watershed teachers.

The Species at Risk program teaches students about local species at risk, including turtles, mussels and fish, found in the Ausable River.

The second program, Wonderful Wetlands, focuses on the at-risk habitat of wetlands. Additional support for teachers is found on ABCA’s website,, which has a teacher’s resources section with printables, lesson plans and educational website links.

During the provincial stay-at-home order, people can watch ABCA conservation educators live through a series of free “Lunch and Learn with ABCA” presentations. ABCA will broadcast from noon to 12:30 p.m. Registration information is available on the website at, via Facebook at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority @WaterSoilLivingThings, and through

The viewing schedule, along with the topics to be presented, are: Friday, Feb. 5, Species at Risk (geared to students in Grades 7-12); Tuesday, Feb. 9, River Safety – Flooding Facts (geared to students in Grades 4-6); and Friday, Feb. 12, Water and Wetlands (geared to students K-3).

“Conservation educator Nina Sampson and myself are available to chat and we are keen to help teachers or parents in any way we can,” said Denise Iszczuk, conservation educator. “Step one to learning about nature is to plan time to get outside every day.”

The winter sessions of in-person, outdoor education programs including Oaks & Acorns; Coyotes & Pups; Muskrats; and Outdoor School are cancelled. ABCA will issue full refunds to all registered participants.

Spring sessions of Oaks and Acorns; Coyotes & Pups; Muskrats; and Outdoor School will begin in March and when it is safe to do so according to direction from the Province of Ontario and public health authorities. Registration is now open for the spring sessions of these programs at

Anyone who would like to chat with educators about these programs, please call 519 235-2610, or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, Ext. 255 or 262. 


public health  

The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.

“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.

For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties please visit:

Long-term Care Homes funding 

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson has announced the Ontario government is investing, locally throughout the riding, more than $1.255 million in new funding to increase prevention and containment efforts in local long-term care homes during the second wave of COVID-19.

The new funding will reduce the risk of the virus from entering long-term care homes from the community by covering eligible expenses related to:
· An immediate 24/7 health checkpoint to confirm staff and essential caregivers entering the building are properly screened for COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure, and to continue screening residents on an ongoing basis to support early detection and containment of any new infections.
· Additional prevention and containment activities, such as hiring new staff to carry-out the added workload for essential services and/or to replace workers who are sick or in isolation.
· Cleaning, equipment, and operating supplies beyond typical levels for the home.
· Implementing infection control measures based on clinical evidence, advice from a physician or other regulated health practitioners with expertise in infection control.

“Keeping our most vulnerable as safe as possible during this pandemic is paramount,” Thompson said. “That is why this new funding is vitally important.”

This listing indicates new funding (first figure) as well as the total funding the facilities have received since March 2020 (second figure shown in brackets). Facilities receiving the new funding include: Blue Water Rest Home, $100,800 ($550,800); Braemar Retirement Centre $71,500, ($640,000); Brucelea Haven LTC, $229,600 ($948,200); Exeter Villa, $63,500 ($557,100); Huronlea Home, $24,800 ($273,400); Huronview Home $82,100 ($409,100); Maitland Manor, $218,300 ($833,500); Pinecrest Manor $42,000 ($391,400); Queensway LTC, $160,100 ($509,500); Seaforth LTC $60,700 ($414,300); Southampton Care Centre, $111,200 ($498,400); Fordwich Nursing Home $33,600 ($343,800); and Trillium Court, $57,000 ($487,000).

Since the start of the pandemic, the Ontario government has invested $1.38 billion to ensure that long-term care homes have the resources they need to battle COVID-19.

“We will continue to do everything we can to help stop the spread of this virus and protect our most vulnerable and the staff who have been working tirelessly to keep them safe,” said Minister of Long-Term Care, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton. “From the start of the pandemic, we have taken quick and decisive action to make sure that homes have access to the resources they need to care for our loved ones.”

Once an outbreak is declared in a home, the province continues to work alongside local public health units, hospital partners, the local health integration networks and all health sector partners to help stabilize the situation and return the home to normal operations.

To address long-standing staffing challenges, the government has launched one of the largest recruiting and training drives in the province’s history, to deliver on its commitment to provide an average of four hours of daily direct care for residents. This will make Ontario the Canadian leader in the provision of care.

To implement its staffing plan, Ontario is increasing annual investments, culminating in $1.9 billion contributed annually by 2024-25, to create more than 27,000 new positions for personal support workers, registered nurses and registered practical nurses in long-term care.

During the second wave, the province has enhanced testing requirements for long-term care homes, and deployed rapid tests through a proof-of-concept program, recognizing the importance of identifying a case of the virus before it can spread from the community into a long-term care home.

The province’s vaccine strategy prioritizes the most vulnerable populations first, including health care workers and residents of long-term care homes, who are at higher risk of contracting the virus. The government has committed that the residents and staff in all long-term care homes in Ontario will be vaccinated by Feb. 15, if they want to be vaccinated.

To address urgent staffing challenges in long-term care homes, hospitals have deployed rapid response teams of health care professionals. Additionally, the Ontario Workforce Reserve for Senior Support program is recruiting Resident Support Aides. The province has also put in place a Personal Support Worker Return of Service program and is fast tracking Personal Support Worker education and providing supports for new nursing graduates. Community paramedics have also assisted in homes, providing care and help with testing.

funding for Infrastructure 

The Ontario government is making another investment in small, rural and northern communities. Through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF), Ontario continues to support municipalities as they build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure.

This year, Huron-Bruce will receive more than $8.8 million across the two counties and 14 municipalities to address their local community infrastructure needs.

“Infrastructure projects are especially important in rural Ontario communities,” said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson. “This funding will help build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure in our community.”

Total investment in communities across Huron-Bruce are as follows: Huron County, $2,417,826; Bruce County, $660,950; Morris-Turnberry, $120,830; Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, $238,800; Huron-Kinloss, $275,793; Municipality of Bluewater, $286,380; Municipality of Brockton, $301,518; Township of North-Huron, $316,651 Municipality of Huron-East, $431,716; Municipality of South Bruce, $432,080; Municipality of Central Huron, $483,847; Municipality of South Huron, $688,269; Municipality of Kincardine, $584,570; Town of Goderich, $628,685; Town of Saugeen Shores, $848,610; and Township of Howick, $88,051. The funds totaling $8,804,576.

The funding above is a part of Ontario’s approximately $200 million commitment to 424 communities to help them address their core infrastructure projects and asset management planning needs in 2021.

“By investing in infrastructure projects across the province, we are strengthening and building communities,” said Minister of Infrastructure, Laurie Scott. “This is part of our ongoing commitment to support small, rural and northern municipalities across Ontario, providing stable funding needed to build long-term economic resilience.”

The Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund provides stable and predictable funding for communities with populations under 100,000, along with all rural and northern communities.

Municipalities may accumulate their OCIF funding for up to five years to address larger infrastructure projects.

Ontario also provides funding to communities through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a $30-billion, 10-year infrastructure program cost-shared between federal, provincial and municipal governments. Ontario’s share per project will be up to 33.33 per cent, or $10.2 billion spread across four streams: Rural and Northern, Public Transit, Green, and Community, Culture and Recreation.

Conservationist of the Year 

Do you know a person, business, farm, community group, or organization doing work that protects water, soil, and habitat for living things in Ausable Bayfield watersheds? If so, you are invited to nominate them for the Conservationist of the Year Award.

Award nominations may be submitted until Feb. 24.

To submit a nomination, visit for the nomination form and award information. The nomination form is found on this web page link:

People may also email for more information.




Bookmark and Share Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol 

rEmember this


The Huron County Museum is home to thousands of artifacts that illustrate the history of both the rural and urban populations of the area. Space dictates what wonderful curiosities the public regularly gets to see when they visit the museum located at 110 North Street in Goderich (currently closed to the public). But where there is wifi, there is an opportunity to time-travel with over 3,000 pieces of the museum’s collection now available to view online at

“Remember This” highlights items from the collection of the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol. Items that have shaped the fabric of the county and the people who have lived here since before the county became the county in 1835 up until more recent times.

This week, we discover the work of Michael Meidinger a talented craftsman and carver. Medinger was a stone mason and bricklayer by trade but created many intricate wood carvings and inlaid pieces of furniture. Many of his carvings contain hinges and moving parts that are carved from a single piece of wood.

inlaid side table   

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This is an inlaid side table. The square top shows very precise geometry: nine squares of equal size with central circles with 12 rays. A square lower shelf has four squares of equal size with eight rays from a central circle. Each of the four s-curve legs has a carved dog's head at the mid-point and four carved 'toes' at the foot.

The underside of the top is painted black; stamped into it is the inscription "MICHAEL MEIDINGER/ZURICH ONT/ MAR 1917". A small paper label held in place with four tacks has handwriting in pencil: "there is 16 different kinds of wood in the table".

The underside of the shelf is painted black, and each corner is fastened to a leg with a wooden peg. The legs are held in place on the underside of the top platform by four quarter-round wood brackets; one of them is missing. Brown varnish has been used on all surfaces.

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craftsman's photo 

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This picture taken in August of 1938 is of Michael Meidinger and his wife, Eliabeth, in front of their house in Zurich.

Michael Meidinger was born on June 30, 1873 in Stephen Twp, Huron County. He was one of 14 children born to parents Jacob Meidinger and Tharasia Eisenhoffer. He later moved to Zurich, ON after his marriage to Elizabeth Flaxbard on Nov. 28, 1906. In the last years of his life he moved into Exeter, ON. Meidinger died on March 4, 1968.


Sail boat 

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This is a hand-carved wood boat with two masts and sails by Michael Meidinger. Rectangular sails rotate on booms attached to masts. A tiller and rudder rotate freely. It is orange-brown in color and has been lightly varnished.









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NEW BOOK                



On The Wright Track Cover[7994]

“On the Wright Track: Memories from C.P.R. School Car # 2” is the latest history compiled by author Bonnie Sitter, of Exeter.

Many Huron County residents have been schooled in the history of the Sloman family, Clinton natives, who taught for nearly 40 years on one of seven provincial school railcars that in the 1980s became the CNR School on Wheels Museum after being relocated to the Sloman’s hometown and extensively refurbished. In fact, it was this history that sparked Sitter’s interest in learning more and when a friend put her in touch with another family that road the rails while educating youngsters in the Northern communities of Ontario a new history book emerged. This story focuses on the Wright family and their lives on board C.P.R. School Car #2.

CPR 51 - 2017 0030The classroom in C.P.R. School Car #2 was 22 feet by 9 feet. (Submitted photos)  

“Letters and speeches written by Bill and Helen Wright and memories written by their four children, Shirley, Harvey, Nancy and Chris are sure to interest anyone who loves Ontario history,” said Sitter. “C.P.R. School Car # 2 was not only their school, but their home. Their Dad was their teacher and their Mom, also a qualified teacher, was there not only to support her husband and keep their home running smoothly, but to give the extra help to the students when needed.”

Sitter shared that the book will allow readers to discover what it was like to live in a converted rail passenger coach car that moved along the rails from one settlement to the next during the regular school year.

“Keep in mind the size of their classroom and their home,” said Sitter. “The classroom was 22 feet by 9 feet, the kitchen was 9 feet by 9 feet and the living room was 9 feet by 12 feet. Talk about tiny houses which (today) seem to be all the rage!”

CPR 51 - 2017 0004The purpose of the school car was to deliver education to the children of railway workers, mostly track maintenance men, who lived and worked at isolated locations along the railways of Northern Ontario. The children of trappers, prospectors and lumber jacks were also welcome.  

She added, “The formula of teaching at each stop for a week and leaving each student with four weeks of homework was not easy. This is where ‘online’ or ‘remote learning’ began.”

Sitter’s book will explain how, why and when the School Car program began, and when it ended.

The author noted a common thread through the stories that the Wrights shared about their life on the rails. They “loved Northen Ontario” and they “wouldn’t have had had it any other way.”

For more information or to order a copy of “On the Wright Track: Memories from C.P.R. School Car # 2” email or phone 519 235 1909. Copies are also available at The Village Bookshop in Bayfield, Fincher’s in Goderich and Made in Huron in Clinton.



Editor’s Note: Northen Ontario historian and author William E. “Bill” McLeod recently wrote a review of Sitter’s latest book. It follows.

On The Wright Track Cover[7994]-2 

“On the Wright Track: Memories from C.P.R. School Car # 2” is a delightful, well written and eminently readable account of the lives of William and Helen Wright and their four children. From its inception in September of 1928 to its retirement in June of 1967, Mr. Wright taught in the railway school car that ran between the C.P.R. Divisional Points of Chapleau and White River in Northern Ontario.

The school cars (there were seven of them that ran on the C.N.R., C.P.R. and the T. & N.O.) were railway cars converted into a school room and living quarters for the teacher and his family. The cars were conceived in the mid 1920s by J. B. MacDougall of the Ontario Ministry of Education. Their purpose was to deliver education to the children of railway workers, mostly track maintenance men, who lived and worked at isolated locations along the railways of Northern Ontario. The children of trappers, prospectors and lumber jacks were also welcome.

C.P.R. School Car # 2 ran from Chapleau to White River serving the remote whistle-stops of Esher, Nicholson, Bolkow, Carry, Grassett and Amyot. The car would be pulled by a freight train from one stop to the next where it would be shunted off the main line for a week during which time the children would be given a week of intensive teaching. They would then be given homework assignments to be completed before the train stopped again on its return trip. One cycle from Chapleau to White River would last about a month.

Teaching on the school cars required a very special person and his wife. It was a very remote existence and, if the couple had children, those kids would have to be raised without the benefit of interaction with peers their own age. They made their own fun doing puzzles, playing board games, snaring rabbits, fishing and scavenging pop bottles that had been thrown from passing trains. In season they picked blueberries which they sold to their grandfather in Campbellford. They did very well on the Grade Eight high school entrance exams that were required in those days. Most went on to post secondary education.

To tell this story the author chose to invite the four Wright children to write a chapter describing their lives before they went off to high school. Shirley was born in 1935, Harvey in 1936, Nancy in 1938 and Chris in 1943. They had nothing but good things to say about their experience. Two former pupils were also asked to contribute and they too were very positive.

In 1946, Mr. Wright built a cottage on Wangoon Lake at Esher which the family enjoyed until 1983 when they sold it to the Dixon family who still own it.

Whenever I read any comments about the school cars by the students they are invariably positive about their experiences and their respect for Mr. Wright.

However, in 1967, it was time to retire to a new home in Bobcaygeon, ON. Before leaving Chapleau the Wrights were honored at a reception thrown by the teachers of Chapleau High School and by the Reeve and Councilors of the town.

McLeod is the author of four books about Chapleau and area: “The Chapleau Game Preserve”, “Murder in the Schoolhouse: Sudbury, Ontario’s Last Hanging”, “CHAPLEAU: Retrospective on Life in an Isolated Northern Community” and St. John’s (Anglican) Residential Schools, Chapleau, Ontario, 1907 to 1948” Details on content and ordering instructions can be found on his website:



PIXILATED — image of the week

Bayfield River Jigsaw (By Kate Lloyd-Rees)

Bayfield River Jigsaw...By Kate Lloyd-Rees

Email your photo in Jpeg format to with the subject line Subscriber Photo of the Week. or...Upload your photo to Flickr.

I am looking for the Bayfield that is a delight to the eye – please share photos with a touch of whimsy, beauty, humor or a sense of fun. If you are to include people in your photos be sure to have their permission to publish their picture on-line and also send in their names and where they are from. And don’t forget to tell me who took the photo for proper credit to be issued








Over the last couple of weeks, I invited our subscribers to help the Bayfield Agricultural Society (BAS) membership by voting for them in a fun competition and while they ended up in second place in their District category behind Brussels a good effort was made by all. This week I share my space with BAS Past President Doug Yeo who would like to offer his thanks to everyone that supported their efforts on behalf of the BAS Board of Directors. – Melody

Thank you for your participation in giving your one vote for the OAAS 175th Celebrations Photo Competition. It was absolutely a great way to start our 165-year celebrations for the BAS. After the last email appeal for voting we received over 60 more votes in one day. Sunday morning brought a steady number of votes and it remained steady to after 11 p.m. on the last day (Jan. 31st).

A challenge went out to the BAS Board to see how far we could call on for the extended Bayfield community. So far, we know votes came from Alberta, the states of Georgia and Washington, as well as China and Hong Hong, and maybe even England. You don't realize the extent of the connections out in the world that lead to or link with Bayfield but this little competition proved that the Bayfield root system is extensive.

A huge thank you to Dianne Brandon for taking our picture and for her supportive comments on Facebook. Thank you to Mayor of Bluewater Paul Klopp who was very supportive and provided encouraging words. To all of you who voted and forwarded to family and friends and forwarded to anybody you knew a message about voting, we are ever so grateful. To the Directors who on the last day contacted their out of province connections, thanks for taking on the challenge. We are grateful for Melody's coverage in the Bayfield Breeze as well as the radio and newspaper coverage. This got the word out far and wide. Huron Centennial School families also joined in the fun along with the churches and service clubs. In the last few hours of the competition some Facebook users started a campaign involving all their friends in the area and were finding new folks to vote even past 11 p.m.

To all of the above, our most sincere gratitude. You all proved the fair community is alive and well, the Bayfield community is alive and well, the Bluewater community is alive and well - basically we come together, wherever we are, when we see a good cause and to have a little fun! We could not have done this alone; we needed all of you.

Even though we did not end with the most points we are humbled that each person took the time to put their one vote in to support us. As we stated before, we do plan on having some form of a fair with some form of competition (you do enjoy that!), some form of entertainment, and some form of coming together as a community. All will be decided depending on the conditions allowed at the time but be sure, we will do something! If you want to join in any of the planning, let us know. You may have ideas we may never have thought of. Thank you!









Ideas and contributions to the Bayfield Breeze are always welcome.
Deadlines for submissions are Sundays at 4 p.m.

Please email me at or call 519-525-3830.


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Founding Members
Goderich Honda
Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Ltd.
Bayfield Foodland
Outside Projects
Brad's Automotive
Bayfield Garage
Pharmasave Michael's Pharmacy
The Dock's Restaurant
Ian Mathew CA
Royal LePage Heartland Realty Brokerge


Writer, editor, photographer: Melody Falconer-Pounder
Web publisher/Graphic Designer: Dennis Pal
Advertising Sales: Mike Dixon
Logo Design: Kyle Vanderburgh, Goderich Print Shop
Special thanks to the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce
Breeze Committee:Mike Dixon, John Pounder, Dennis Pal, Melody Falconer-Pounder