JACK MCLAREN EXHIBIT OPENING SOON AT HURON COUNTY MUSEUM
In 1923, Jack McLaren joined the Toronto Arts and Letters Club and became well acquainted with the members of the Group of Seven. This work by Jack McLaren of the Bayfield Town Hall is owned by Phil and Ilse Gemeinhardt, of Bayfield. This painting and around 100 others are now on display at the Huron County Museum until April 2021. Please call the museum to make an appointment to visit. (Submitted photo)
The Huron County Museum and the Huron County Historical Society (HCHS) are pleased to announce the opening of the much-anticipated exhibit “Reflections: The Life and Work of J.W. (Jack) McLaren” on Oct. 8. While there won’t be an event scheduled to celebrate the opening as organizers had hoped people are invited to pre-arrange their visit at their convenience to catch the exhibit, which is on until Apr. 30, 2021.
From mirth and mud at Ypres Salient and Vimy Ridge to the vibrancy of landscapes from Huron County and the Maitland Valley, the exhibit explores McLaren's prolific career as an artist, illustrator, and performer. Reflections is presented in partnership with the HCHS and features close to 100 works on loan from the community.
At this time, the Museum is open to the public Thursday to Sunday, 1-4:30 p.m. To pre-arrange a visit, please call 519 524-2686 and be sure to review the latest guidelines for visiting the Museum on their website.
Reflections is included with regular admission or free for Museum Members and Huron County Library card holders. Please call the Museum at 519 524-2686 to pre-arrange a visit today.
Appointments required at Stratford Assessment Centre
The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) is committed to supporting their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the province, the HPHA have seen a sharp increase in demand in recent weeks for COVID-19 testing at their drive through Assessment Centre at Stratford General Hospital. This team is working hard to respond to these requests and book appointments, however, this increase has resulted in longer response times.
The HPHA appreciates everyone’s patience as they respond to this demand. In order to help reduce these wait times they are directing more resources to their Assessment Centre, including, increasing staff to respond to requests and book appointments, along with creating a new online booking form.
Residents of Huron or Perth who are worried that they have COVID-19, or have been exposed to it, are encouraged to continue to use the Virtual Assessment Model that has been created which involves completing the province’s online assessment at covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ and if indicated, calling their family doctor to be assessed and sent for testing. Those without a family doctor, can call Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) at 1-888-221-2133 Ext. 3267. Anyone who is considered a candidate for testing will be referred to an Assessment Centre.
Note that testing is now being prioritized for those who have:
• COVID-19 symptoms
• Been referred by public health due to close contact with a confirmed case
• Been referred by a health care professional or need to meet Ministry guidelines
For anyone who has been referred to the Assessment Centre at Stratford General Hospital, it is highly recommended that they use the new online booking form at outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/HPHA1@hpha.ca/bookings/ With this form, people have the option to choose their appointment date and time. The form asks for some personal information and includes some screening questions. The link to this form will also be available on the HPHA website.
Appointments may also be requested by phone at 519 272-8210 Ext. 2747.
Please remember that appointments are required. Drive ins or walk ups cannot be accommodated.
Anyone who is very ill and in need of immediate care, should go to their nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.
For more COVID-19 updates and information, follow the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance on Twitter or Facebook, or visit their website at www.hpha.ca.
HPPH reporting practices for COVID-19 in school settings
Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is advising of its public reporting practices for confirmed cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools and related settings, such as before/after school programs, transportation, and extracurricular settings.
“We are committed to protecting the health of our communities and maintaining transparency,” said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen. “When publicly reporting confirmed cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 in school settings, we will balance providing relevant information that people need to protect their health, and an individual’s right to privacy.”
In the event of a positive result, HPPH will carry out contact tracing and follow up. This means:
• HPPH contacts any individuals who test positive for COVID-19
• HPPH works with the school to complete an investigation and identify all contacts that occurred in the school setting during the time period that the case was potentially infectious to others
• HPPH contacts all of the people (including students and staff) who have had close contact with the individual(s) who tested positive during the period of transmissibility
• HPPH provides direction to close contacts and the school to protect students and staff, and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
There may be instances where a person sees their positive test result online before they are contacted by public health. “If that happens, an individual’s first step should be to contact Huron Perth Public Health to receive further direction,” explained Dr. Klassen. Parents and guardians should keep their child at home and call HPPH at 1-888-221-2133 Ext. 3267 if they haven’t already received a call from HPPH.
HPPH will provide next steps and guidance, including directions for other household members. If a parent/guardian receives the results after hours or on the weekend, call 1-888-221-2133 and choose the on-call option. HPPH will respond within 24 hours. In the meantime, the child is asked to isolate at home.
“If students, parents and/or staff become aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 related to a school but have not been contacted directly by Huron Perth Public Health, they can continue to attend school or work and continue the self monitoring of symptoms that we should all be doing on a daily basis,” added Dr. Klassen.
To protect the privacy of individuals, HPPH will not routinely comment if an individual case is confirmed in a school setting. HPPH will continue to report positive cases, and demographic trends of positive cases such as age, gender and municipality.
School boards and schools are required to post information if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 that involves a student or a staff member here:
• Avon Maitland District School Board: www.amdsb.ca/apps/pages/covid
• Huron Perth Catholic District School Board: huronperthcatholic.ca/pandemic-response/
To view confirmed case counts in school settings in Ontario, the province has set up a web page: www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-cases-schools-and-child-care-centres.
HPPH will declare an outbreak in a school if there are two or more cases of COVID-19 in a 14-day period that have some link with each other, and with evidence that transmission occurred at the school.
In the instance of a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak in a school, HPPH will publicly report the outbreak, will identify the affected school, and will describe any closures that have resulted from the outbreak.
“Individual cases and contained outbreaks may not necessarily result in a school closure,” said Dr. Klassen. HPPH will post information online including, for example, the school name and date the outbreak was declared. HPPH will assist the school and families in taking measures to contain and stop the outbreak.
HPPH reminds the public that now, more than ever, we need to emphasize COVID-19 prevention.
“We can all play a part in stopping COVID-19 from spreading in our community and in our schools,” said Dr. Klassen.
Gateway accepts donation to support Farmers mental health
Trillium Mutual Insurance has a long history of contributing to the development of rural Ontario through the Farm Mutual Re. Mutual Support Initiative. The business is very proud to announce that $10,000 has been donated to Gateway Centre for Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) to expand their “Farmers Mental Health & Resiliency Project” (FMHRP).
Many rural residents, including farmers, are dealing with much more uncertainty and stress in their day to day lives. This has been amplified by COVID-19s disruption to the agricultural industry. The need for mental health support has never been greater. Trillium Mutual believes that through this funding they have an opportunity to support the development and accessibility of these incredible programs. Gateway’s resources and projects are aimed at providing support to recognize and understand the challenges farmers face both on and off the farm. The FMHRP will empower the farming community, by increasing the awareness of available health services, providing support to curb the stigma attached to mental health and resiliency training.
“Trillium Mutual is a community focused organization and we believe in promoting education and sustainability across rural Ontario. We believe that our partnership with Gateway will help many in these communities get the assistance they need”, said President and CEO of Trillium Mutual Insurance, Tracy MacDonald.
Since 2008, Gateway’s focus has been researching ways to improve health care and its delivery to rural communities across Canada. Located in Goderich, Gateway is a not-for-profit organization whose aim is to improve the health and quality of life for rural residents. Trillium Mutual’s donation will be put towards developing the FMHRP. This Project’s main objective is to strengthen and educate the farming community and will directly impact Huron-Perth and Grey-Bruce counties and their over 12,500 farmers.
The project will mainly focus on “Shed Talks” which will bring various farm related speakers and topics to the community, along with health coaching to develop a network of agricultural leaders focused on healthy living. The program will engage and empower the agricultural community to begin asking questions surrounding their mental health and the role it plays in influencing their day to day actions.
“Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health is thrilled with the support from Trillium Mutual Insurance Company for our Farmers Mental Health & Resiliency Program. We are excited to launch our project as soon as possible. With their support we are one step closer to our goal of bringing assistance to our farm leaders. The agriculture industry is the mainstay of our local economy. Protecting the health of our agriculture sector workers will benefit us all,” said President of Gateway, Gwen Devereaux.
Trillium Mutual Insurance Company has a long history of community support in order to grow and build rural communities across Ontario. They develop insurance solutions that give their members peace of mind knowing they are covered.
In May, 2020, Farm Mutual Re provided each of its 48 voting members companies and one wholly-owned subsidiary with $41,000 so they are empowered to support local charitable causes and relief efforts during this challenging time. In total over $2M will be donated back into communities across Canada. The initiative is called Mutual Support. Trillium Mutual will be using these funds to support mental health initiatives as an extension of their Roots Community Fund Signature Donation towards mental health support across Ontario.
help to parents struggling over pandemic screentime use
A Huron County program to teach parents how to manage kids’ screen time during COVID-19 will be available soon.
Struggling with kids about screen time? Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) will host a must-see documentary screening for parents and grandparents – “Screenagers: Growing up in a digital world” from now to Oct. 1. Zoom panel discussions and Q and A sessions providing tips for parents will be held on Oct. 1 only.
Gateway’s 2020 Speaker Series continues virtually this September and October, featuring on-line viewings of “Screenagers” and “Next Chapter”, two important documentaries about the impact of excessive screen time on today’s children and teens.
Gateway Board member, Nancy Simpson believes that screen time is an integral part of all kids’ lives especially during COVID-19 times. During the lock down period, there is also a good chance that some bad habits were developed with respect to screen time.
“Finding that balance between living in a digital world and the real world is key. For example, face-to-face interactions within your ‘bubble’ or class cohort to develop good social skills, exercise and positive health choices, as well as enjoyment of nature and the great outdoors,” said Simpson.
There are multiple screenings happening daily of “Screenagers” in communities across the globe. It is the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology on kids and offers parents and families proven solutions that work. What started out as a personal story for one has grown into an international movement, helping millions of teens and their families navigate growing up in a world with instant access to screens. The themes include use of screens in school, boys and video games, girls and social media and the risk of addiction.
Physician and filmmaker, Delaney Ruston decided to make “Screenagers” when she found herself constantly struggling with her two kids about screen time. Ruston felt guilty and confused, not sure what limits were best, especially around mobile phones, social media, gaming, and how to monitor on-line homework. Hearing repeatedly how other parents were equally overwhelmed, she realized this is one of the biggest, unexplored parenting issues of our time.
As a director, Ruston turned the camera on her own family and others—revealing stories of messy struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. We meet Hannah, a 14-year old victim of social media bullying who struggled trying to hide her social media use from her mom. And Andrew, whose love of video games turned into an addiction taking him from earning straight A’s to flunking out of college.
Interwoven into these stories, are cutting edge science and insights from thought leaders as well as leading brain scientists who present evidence on the real changes in the brain when kids are on screens. “Screenagers” goes far beyond exposing the risks of screen time, it reveals multiple approaches on how parents and educators can work with kids to help them achieve a healthy amount of screen time.
Gateway has purchased the licencing rights to “Screenagers” and “Next Chapter” which allows the organization to offer these documentaries to registering participants. Registrants will watch these documentaries on their own time during a two-week period, then opt to participate in a moderated Q and A session on Zoom, led by a facilitator and a panel of local experts coordinated by Gateway.
Screenagers will be available from now to Oct. 1 on demand. The panel discussion and Q and A Zoom session will be offered the evening of Oct. 1 only starting at 7 p.m.
For trailers and more information about this documentary, visit www.screenagersmovie.com
To register for “Screenagers” go to www.eventbrite.ca/e/116129493441
And be sure to watch for more details about the second documentary, “Next Chapter” coming soon.
Gateway would like to acknowledge and thank Larry Otten, of Larry Otten Contracting, for sponsoring this upcoming Gateway Virtual Speaker Series event. Gateway also received a Community Grant from the Town of Goderich to support their 2020 Speaker Series fundraising initiative for which they are truly grateful.
society provides options to keep the brain active while at home
Anyone looking for ways to keep their brain active while at home? The Alzheimer Society of Huron County is here to help people stay engaged and connected.
The Society is offing three programs this fall: Dementia Education, Memory and Aging Program and a Ukulele Group. All of these programs are available for anyone in the general public to attend – they do not have to be clients of the Alzheimer Society.
Dementia Education covers the topics addressed most frequently: Ten Warning Signs, Brain Changes and Dementia, Types of Dementia, and Communication Changes. These one hour ZOOM sessions are on Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Please contact the office to register and confirm specific dates and times.
The Memory and Aging Program was developed for anyone interested in finding out more about age related memory changes, brain health lifestyle choices and to practice new memory strategies. The $25 program fee includes a workbook. Sessions will be held over ZOOM from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays: Oct. 15, 22, 29, and Nov. 5.
The Ukulele Group is for anyone who wants to challenge their musical skills? Ukulele lessons will be hosted on ZOOM on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. with Laurie from the Bayfield Ukulele Society. The lessons are open to those 55 years old and over. The $20 program fee includes ZOOM group lessons - and a ukulele!
Please contact the Alzheimer Society of Huron County office at 519 482-1482 to register for the fall programs. Please register by Oct. 1 to ensure a spot.
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: www.hpph.ca
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) Board of Health is joining experts and community groups across Canada calling for a Basic Income.
Research shows that low income has a long-term, negative impact on health. The COVID-19 pandemic has also shown that even a small loss of income has a big impact on people’s ability to meet basic needs. Basic income is payment made directly to people with low income, whether or not they work for pay. It would help people meet their needs, participate in society and live with dignity.
Chair of the HPPH Board of Health, Kathy Vassilakos, says Basic Income isn’t a new idea.
“Studies from around the world, including in Canada, show that providing people with a basic income has a positive impact on important social goals like reducing poverty, boosting local economies, increasing community participation and improving health,” Vassilakos said.
In a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in June 2020, HPPH Board of Health noted that the federal government already gives money to some people living with low income. People with children receive the Child Tax Benefit (CTB). Seniors receive Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Basic Income would cover working age adults living with low incomes.
Perth Huron United Way has also endorsed Basic Income. According to its Living Wage report, half the households in Huron and Perth Counties earn less than the Living Wage of $17.55 an hour. Basic Income would also help people in lower paying, seasonal, part-time or contract work.
Poverty to Prosperity (P2P), Huron’s anti-poverty coalition, has been a strong advocate for Basic Income. P2P Co-chair Pam Hanington said that Basic Income would “significantly reduce poverty in Huron and Perth, especially for people currently relying on inadequate provincial income assistance programs.”
The rollout of the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) has shown that the government can deliver Basic Income. Costing models show that it is affordable. Basic Income is supported by economists, health professionals, and businesses. Fifty members of the Canadian Senate have called for the CERB to transition to a permanent Basic Income.
Vassilakos said, “Basic income is an important way we can improve people’s health and social conditions, and support our local economy.”
Agricultural Partnership grants
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is sharing some “great news” of more than $1.1 million in new grants for local farmers, the agricultural sector, as well as new rural projects.
First, the MPP announced 78 various projects in Huron-Bruce will receive more than $850,000 in funding as part of the provincial government’s almost $8 million in cost-share funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to eligible farmers and other agri-food businesses.
“I am proud to see such great support for local farmers and agriculture,” she said, noting the grants will improve the competitiveness of the agri-food sector and secure it for long-term sustainability. Through the Partnership, these initiatives will support improvements in areas such as enhanced traceability systems, upgraded animal-handling equipment, and strengthened biosecurity measures.
Thompson also applauded Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman for his ongoing dedication to farmers and the agricultural industry.
“It is reassuring to know that rural Ontario has a Minister of Agriculture who has their back, especially during these difficult times,” she said.
Examples of projects supported through this programming include: improving food safety systems on farms to meet or exceed international certification standards; planting over-wintering cover crops to improve soil health and reduce soil erosion losses; actions to help prevent pest damage at greenhouse operations; developing a product that will open new sales markets for a farm business; and upgrades to animal-handling equipment and improved biosecurity measures.
rural economic development
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson recently announced more than $250,000 in new local funding under the Rural Economic Development Program (RED).
• Huron-Kinloss Township ($128,750) for a business incubator project.
• The County of Huron (two projects totalling $58,263) for business retention and expansion as well as updating the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus resource website.
• The County of Bruce ($34,000) for skills training and development.
• The Paddy Walker Heritage Society ($27,677) for remediation and renovation of the Walker House in Kincardine.
• The Huron Manufacturing Association ($5,650) for a youth attraction and retention program.
“The Rural Economic Development Program plays a key role in helping fund important projects that might not get started without the support,” Thompson said. “I am glad to see that the program is so well received and supported in Huron-Bruce.”
The RED intake is directed at not-for-profit organizations with a mandate towards regional economic development and qualified projects would be eligible for up to 70 per cent of total costs to a maximum of $75,000 in provincial funding.
New RED applications will be accepted from now until Oct. 9. All costs must be incurred on or before March 31, 2021. Projects will not be extended beyond that date. Projects need to meet the following criteria: benefit rural Ontario; have tangible outcomes; and reach beyond one county, region, or district.
abca OUtdoor learning programs
Conservation educators at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) have developed three new outdoor learning programs to reach preschoolers, remote learners, and homeschoolers. The new programs are among adaptations to conservation education programming this autumn to deliver education in new ways during the current pandemic.
These programs take place at Morrison Dam Conservation Area (MDCA) east of Exeter. The programs include exploration, hands-on activities, experiments, and sensory awareness to help children gain curriculum-based knowledge and develop a deep respect for nature and taking care of soil, water and living things in the watershed.
“We feel these programs will maintain a child’s connection to nature throughout the current school year and in all types of weather,” said Denise Iszczuk, Conservation educator. “Those taking part will spend lots of time in direct experience with the outdoors in all conditions.”
The new programs are Oaks and Acorns (preschoolers with caregiver); Science Outdoors (primary, junior, intermediate, half-day program); and Outdoor School (all day; ages nine to 13).
Oaks and Acorns is a program for children ages two to five years accompanied by an adult caregiver. It will start on Oct. 9 and will run on Fridays 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., over eight weeks, until Nov. 27. Outdoor play and inquiry are part of this program. There is a maximum of ten children per session so space is limited.
Science Outdoors is a program for remote learners and homeschoolers looking for outdoor learning beyond the classroom. It takes place on Wednesdays, over eight weeks. It will start on Oct. 7. Junior students attend from 9 a.m. to noon and Primary students attend from 1-4 p.m. Science Outdoors for the Intermediate students will start on Oct. 9 and take place on Fridays from 1-4 p.m. The participants will have ‘hands-on’ exploration and activities to learn grade-specific science concepts from the Ontario Curriculum. There is a maximum of ten students per divisional time slot so space is limited.
The Outdoor School is an inquiry and curriculum based outdoor program for ages nine to 13. The program starts on Oct. 6 and will run, over 30 weeks, on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Outdoor School does not run on Dec. 24 or 31 or on March 18). There is a maximum of 14 students so space is limited.
ABCAs conservation educators will strive to be dynamic, caring and creative natural leaders while facilitating these outdoor learning programs. In addition, educators are following local health unit recommendations and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s COVID-19 guidelines for day camps. Anyone who would like to chat with educators about these programs, should please call 519 235-2610, or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, Ext. 255 or Ext. 262.
To register or to find out more visit the abca.ca website’s education web page at this link: www.abca.ca/education/.
The Grand Bend Community Foundation (GBCF) annual community grants program makes funds available to local charities and community groups to support a wide range of activities, from education and recreation, to the environment and the arts. The GBCF serves the municipalities of Lambton Shores, Bluewater and South Huron. Deadline for applications is today (Sept. 30).
This year, the GBCF is encouraging grant applications from groups adapting to the new normal created by the pandemic.
“We know that charities are facing a big challenge right now,” said Grants Committee Chair Jim Jean. “They must continue to offer much-needed services while reimagining their organizations in a totally new context. We believe there’s an opportunity to help them ‘build back better’ in our communities.”
Applicants are encouraged to contact Pat Morden, Executive director of the GBCF, to discuss their plans before starting an application. More information and application forms are available online at grandbendcommunityfoundation.ca/wp-gbcf/applying-for-a-grant/.
For more information, call Morden at 519 619-8630 or email email@example.com.
COVID-19 IMPACT Survey
COVID-19 has had serious and potentially long-lasting impacts on communities. While the recovery will be long and difficult for everyone, small and rural communities face particular challenges. A partnership between the University of Guelph (U of G), United Way Perth-Huron’s Social Research and Planning Council (SRPC), the County of Huron, the Huron Arts and Heritage Network and the Listowel Salvation Army aims to ensure rural voices are heard.
“Fifteen per cent of Ontarians live in small communities and rural environments and these areas have a unique voice,” said Leith Deacon, assistant professor at the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. “We want to make sure that voice is heard. We’re looking forward to working in Perth and Huron Counties to learn about the concerns and anxieties of local people as communities look for ways to recover from the pandemic.”
The U of G survey aims to determine not only what planning is required to best support ongoing recovery in Perth and Huron but also how to best increase resilience and well-being over the longer term. Researchers aim to identify vulnerable populations, determine priority programs including mental health, income and food security, and education specifically to support those populations during and after COVID-19, explore opportunities for the non-profit sector and identify emergent mental health and economic concerns. The project is funded through Mitacs, a non-profit research organization that, through partnerships with Canadian academia, private industry and government, operates research and training in fields related to social and industrial innovation.
The research team is encouraging all residents over the age of 18 to complete the survey in an effort to capture the most accurate data that reflects the experiences of people from across Huron and Perth Counties. The survey takes roughly half an hour to complete and is now open to people in Huron. Residents can visit linktr.ee/RURAL_RESPONSE to complete the online version of the survey. All households within Huron County will receive a paper copy in the mail, including a prepaid return envelope.
“We’re looking forward to the results of this important survey,” said SRPC Director of Planning, Susanna Reid. “This research will form the basis of our future research and planning efforts in Perth and Huron Counties. Everyone’s voice is important. What we learn from this research will help shape programs and policies that will be tailored to local needs.”"
The SRPC is operated by United Way Perth-Huron and is comprised of volunteer community representatives dedicated to the collection, analysis and distribution of information relating to local social trends. Research enables United Way to discover and understand the root causes of issues affecting Perth-Huron and in turn mobilize the community.