New Year’s messages from Mayors, MP, MPP, and Senator

Seaway News Staff
New Year’s messages from Mayors, MP, MPP, and Senator
Photo courtesy of Cornwall Tourism.

Mayor of Cornwall

Glen Grant. Seaway News file photo.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at the City of Cornwall!
There is so much too be grateful for this season, celebrating with loved ones, taking in unique local events like Holiday Sparkle and simply enjoying all the beauty of the Christmas Season.
I would like to acknowledge how difficult 2021 was for many of us. While it felt like an extension of 2020, in many ways it offered hope. COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone who wanted one, the opening of our beloved local businesses and the opportunity to reconnect safely with family and friends. We continue to fight this terrible pandemic but we will come out of it stronger than ever. STAY POSITIVE!!
This year was also one of personal change for me. It was an honour to take on the role of Mayor this past summer. I look forward working with my colleagues on City Council and administration in 2022. We have a long list of challenges in the upcoming year: debating the budget, making progress with the Strategic Plan and responding to the needs of this community.
Remember, as you celebrate with your family , our city staff will still be working (first responders, Municipal works, water and wastewater, Glen Stor Dun Lodge employees) to keep our city safe and secure.
I truly hope you enjoy the Christmas season and all it has to offer. Relax, stay safe and be ready to tackle 2022.
Glen Grant,
Mayor of Cornwall

Mayor of South Glengarry

On behalf of South Glengarry Council, I would like to extend Season’s Greetings to all South Glengarry residents and business owners.
Our team has worked hard all year to ensure our community continues to grow and flourish. I am proud to say we have completed many important projects. Here are a few 2021 highlights:
· We decreased the 2021 tax rate by 3%
· We made it easier to do business with new online payment options, including credit card payments
· We now provide the option to sign official forms through electronic signature
· We introduced Cloudpermit e-permit software to make it easier to apply for building permits
· We encouraged residential and commercial growth which is reflected in the increase in building permit applications and overall value of construction
· We welcomed the expansion of natural gas to the Glendale community
· We secured high speed internet connections through federal government funding
· We rebuilt Richmond Court, reconstructed of 6 km of Third Line Road and resurfaced all gravel roads
· We completed a comprehensive waste management study
· We completed an important road needs study that helps plan for future infrastructure improvements
· We began construction of the new public works facility
· We welcomed our new GM of Infrastructure and Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture
· We worked with community partners to secured new playground equipment for Glen Walter Park
· We are continuing to Invest in the Peanut Line trail
I look forward to sharing more good news with you in the new year!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,
Mayor Lyle Warden

Mayor of South Stormont

The sleighbells are ringing in SDG, and after another challenging year, it is important to reflect on the successes we have seen throughout our community.
South Stormont, like much of the country, slowly transitioned into a reality that more closely resembled a traditional year than 2020, but we cannot gloss over the hardships that still affected our residents and business community.
Some of our favourite activities returned in 2021 as minor sports and summer events took place, social gatherings slowly became accepted again, and even though it was late, we were even able to celebrate Canada Day with an exciting firework display at the waterfront over the Labour Day Weekend.
Speaking of the waterfront, we have continued to have discussions with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission about possible land transfers or agreements to push our Waterfront Development Plan forward. The recommended plan is a long-term goal, but we expect to move forward with some exciting projects in 2022 to improve our waterfront for residents and visitors.
The Township continues to thrive, with another banner year for residential and commercial development, and more planned for the future. We’re excited to be a coveted location for both new residents and new businesses. Welcoming and encouraging these developments is essential for our communities to flourish, and they will provide immeasurable economic and social spinoffs that will benefit all of us.
We finished the year off with the inaugural Santa Claus parade in Ingleside which saw 40 beautiful floats participate! We’re looking forward to building on this new tradition in 2022.
As we enter the final year of this term of Council, I want to express my sincere appreciation for my colleagues around the Council table, the staff of the Township, and yourselves, the residents of South Stormont. Together, we work to create the best possible home for our residents, and without that support, we could not be successful.
On behalf of all of Council and staff, I want to wish a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Mayor Bryan McGillis

Mayor of South Dundas

During the holiday season we welcome a time of joy and cheer. This season it also feels like a time for hope.
Our community has shown remarkable resiliency over the last year. Life in a pandemic continues to take a toll but we have been able to find innovative ways of connecting with loved ones.
Our community has made great strides in protecting each other from the COVID-19 virus with many getting vaccinated and continuing to follow the advice of our health care professionals. These actions have allowed us to safely connect with one another in-person and gives us hope for our future.
We have a lot to be grateful for, living in a country that has access to the vaccine and in an area that has avoided some of the challenges, like the fires and floods our countrymen have faced.
Remember those who have less than ourselves and give generously this season, be it a donation, your time, or even by spreading some holiday cheer through kindness.
I’m particularly grateful to our community and the many people who are working to make South Dundas an even better place. It has been a long road, but we are adapting and moving into this new future. Together we are strong and being able to safely come together in small gatherings of friends and family is what stands out most this year.
This holiday we remember to hold our loved ones close, share a smile with our neighbours and show kindness and patience in our community. That is what a South Dundas holiday season means to me, and I hope all of you as well.
On behalf of Council and Staff, we wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May your season be safe and filled with warmth and merriment.
Mayor Steven Byvelds

Mayor of North Dundas

On behalf of the Township of North Dundas staff, my fellow Councillors and my family, I would like to extend best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.
Whether you live in the rural areas, the hamlets, the villages or any of our welcoming neighbourhoods – we are truly blessed to call Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry home. Please pause to think about those who will continue to work throughout the festive period: the emergency services, our hospital staff, care providers, volunteer firefighters and those involved in many other essential public services; and, as we’ve done throughout this year, let’s look to help those less fortunate than ourselves and consider what we can do to support our neighbours and wider community.
Despite the challenges we’ve all faced, there are so many reasons to find hope and take inspiration. We have been brought closer to our communities and we share a renewed appreciation for the fantastic work of our volunteers.
Christmas and the holidays are a time for families, friends and loved ones to come together, reflect on cherished moments, make new memories, and look toward the promise of hope and opportunity embodied in a New Year.
Finally, we must thank each other for the patience and perseverance that has been shown in dealing with the disruption to everyday life we’ve all experienced.
Until we usher in 2022, let me once again wish all residents a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.
Mayor Tony Fraser
Township of North Dundas

Mayor of North Stormont

I was recently with a friend of mine who shared a cartoon of a man struggling to carry a record player, a fax machine, a computer and a phone etc. The next caption shows the same guy with a tiny smart phone and the previous chaos was replaced with calm efficiency. We live in a country where that quiet evolution has always been a priority.
Nobody likes change, and the last two years has seen a lot of it, but all the changes, past and present are intended to support that same positive evolution. Our children and their children will inherit a better world, a better environment and a better standard of living.
Responding to COVID 19 has not been perfect, but doing nothing was not an option either. We will put this pandemic behind us just like other big hills we have climbed as a civilization. The post COVID world will look different as a result of the lessons we have learned. Governments and health units have done their very best to minimize the impact the world over and we should take this opportunity to recognize that effort because without it, life today would be very different and history would judge us harshly.
So please take the upcoming Christmas season to recognize the countless people and organizations who contribute to those ongoing efforts for making things better.
Our community recreation associations are great examples of endless energy pushing in the right direction, imagine our many seasons without their contributions.
Our service clubs and their continual contribution of time and resources. Our many businesses who support so many causes even when challenged by COVID.
I drive County Rd 43 daily and churches like St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Finch, who clean miles of the road as part of their contribution need to be recognized. Our cemeteries are often maintained by volunteers who see the effort as part of their contribution. North Stormont’s four fire departments that provide professional services is just a part of their contribution, they respond to many other needs and causes.
The examples of spirit, commitment and passion I have listed here is much stronger than any virus.
On behalf of the Township of North Stormont Council and our staff, I wish you a joyous Christmas season and a New Year that meets your every expectation.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Jim Wert
Mayor, North Stormont

MP Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

Eric Duncan, député (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry).

For last year’s Christmas and New Year’s message, we all believed that 2021 would be a better and brighter year. To say that we are all disappointed in the reality, would be an understatement.
Canada is facing many tough challenges, and patience with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is wearing thin. As your Member of Parliament, I have the challenge of being your voice and pressing the government to address the major issues facing our country today.
My Conservative colleagues and I have serious disagreements with the federal government’s approaches on several issues. Not enough rapid tests have been ordered nationally to keep up with the surge in demand. Structural deficits and 30-year high inflation are major financial challenges to our economic recovery. Housing affordability and skyrocketing rents continue to hit every single region in Canada as not enough supply is being built to keep up with demand.
Yet, with all the challenges we face, I have also had the pleasure of seeing firsthand the wonderful support networks we are blessed with in our community. In recent weeks, local services clubs and volunteers have stepped up to support numerous families who are struggling through Christmas with food baskets and making sure every family or person has a few gifts under their Christmas tree.
It has been truly remarkable to witness, especially with the support by numerous local businesses, who themselves have faced tough obstacles the past year as well.
Despite these setbacks, we must always remember the strong foundation on which our country has been built and strengthened over the past 150+ years. We have been through tough times before- and we will get through these tough times again.
On behalf of my family and staff, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and hope for a brighter, more prosperous country in 2022.
Eric Duncan,
MP Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

MPP Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

Jim McDonell.

As we approach the end of the year, it is time to look back at our accomplishments. We can be proud of the cooperative progress that we made during the year, accessing vaccines and following safety protocols. Our resolve to work together, care for each other, and take personal responsibility, has especially served us well, reducing the virus’s ability to cause harm. Unfortunately, we are again combing over early data on the latest Omicron variant, which appears to be four to eight times more contagious than the previous Delta version. With daily new cases up approximately five-fold since the beginning of the month, we need to do everything we can to slow the spread until we are able to get more people their booster shots. As a result, Ontario is introducing a 50 percent capacity limit in most indoor public settings, including grocery stores and other retailers, restaurants, bars, gyms, personal care services, cinemas, and sporting venues. In addition, those 18 years old and older with at least three months since their second dose can book their booster shots.
In the face of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, we recognize significant demand for rapid tests. We are pleased to see so many people embrace the opportunity to add an extra layer of protection in advance of the holidays. Over 45 million rapid antigen tests have been deployed in Ontario. Unfortunately, there is a limited supply of these rapid tests. Every single one the province has received from the federal government is on its way out the door to thousands of workplaces, hospitals, home and community care settings, long-term care homes, schools, and childcare centres, on top of the many pop-up sites across the province. The demand is worldwide and far outstripping supply.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and the very best in 2022.
Jim McDonell,
MPP Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

Senator Bernadette Clement

As I’m writing this, there is a beautiful snow covering. It snowed last night, which made for pretty scenery this morning. It’s been another difficult year. For me, and I suspect for others too, it’s really helped to focus on the little things that bring joy, even if it’s something so simple as waking up to fresh, untouched snow.
A silver lining in these difficult times is how truly wonderful people can be. When there is hardship, it always reassures me how folks come together and help each other out. From food banks, to errands for a neighbour, to essential workers showing up day after day, to increased support of local businesses. I have seen so much of this in this region. Despite tough times, we have come together to help others and bring joy to those who need it most. This is the true beauty of not only the Christmas season, but of people all year round.
We have changed and adapted and made sure we continue to move forward in the face of challenges. It’s been wonderful to see dedicated people working hard on projects this year like the Pride murals in Lamoureux Park, Fields of Gold, Holiday Sparkle, Seniors on Wheels and so many others that have brought joy to the community.
As we begin this Christmas season, we are facing a new variant and the news is not encouraging. I urge you to focus on the little things, the small things that are untouched by bad news and can consistently bring you joy. My Christmas wish for all of you, is joy, big or small, as much joy as possible and, as much as you can, pass it on to others!
Senator Bernadette Clement

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