Wellington North Council Highlights

This is the Township of Wellington North Council Meeting Highlight Reel for May 23rd!
Two minor variances were approved, one on Queen St. East and one on Jack’s Way. Two zoning by-law amendments were also approved. Wellington Poultry are allowed to expand their existing abattoir, and a proposed zoning amendment for Schill Land Holdings was also approved.
Upper Grand District School Board Trustee Robin Ross talked to council about the board’s decision to not support fundraising for playground equipment at schools. Council was concerned, because Parent Councils at both Arthur and Kenilworth Public Schools are currently raising funds for new playground equipment.
Dr. Wayne Caldwell spoke to council about the new Provincial Planning Policies released last month, and the impacts these policies will have on the future of agriculture in Ontario.
Dr. Caldwell recently retired from the University of Guelph.
Council has serious concerns with the policies, and encourages residents to reach-out to our local MPP Matthew Rae.
Wellington County Manager of Policy Planning Sarah Wilhelm spoke about Bill 97, as well as the province’s decision on the County’s Official Plan amendment. On April 11th, the province approved the County’s Official Plan, as well as directing urban boundary expansions in Centre Wellington, Guelph Eramosa and the Town of Minto.
The meeting closed with a Cultural Moment, celebrating Mount Forest Royal Canadian Legion Branch 134.
For more information, or to watch the council meeting, check out the Township’s You-Tube channel.

River proud recipient of Trillium Foundation grant

88.7 The River is pleased to announce it was the proud recipient of an Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Communities Fund grant.

The station used the funding to enhance community engagement, grow and develop their volunteer base, and purchased equipment for content production. The River also launched a marketing campaign to both highlight our community services, and volunteer opportunities.

88.7 The River, operated by a volunteer board of directors, known as Saugeen Community Radio Inc., has been “local radio, at its best,” since 2015. Powered by volunteers, the not-for-profit community station features local on-air personalities, hyper-local news, features on community groups and organizations, and talk shows about farming, music, and local politics. New shows have also been born thanks to the grant, including Mind, Body and Spirit, focusing on mental health and wellness; and Crushed & Uncorked, all about the wide world of wine.

Acting General Manager Chris Holden said, “We are extremely grateful for the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to recruit the new volunteers who have been vital in creating new shows, voicing our commercials, and doing the on-air announcing. It was tough to find new volunteers coming out of the pandemic, but thanks to the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we’ve rebounded very well.”

The River can be found online on Facebook, and at 887TheRiver.ca.

Bill C-11 Benefits Canadian Community Radio

The Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) is celebrating the passage of Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act.  After 30 years it is time the broadcasting act is amended to reflect today’s reality. The changes to this law will serve all Canadians.

“This is an important step forward for all community radio stations,” said CRFC Executive Director Alex Freedman.  “No longer are these stations only recognized as the third pillar of Canadian Broadcasting, these amendments acknowledge the key roles these radio stations play in connecting their local community and promoting the Canadian voice.”

The amendments to the act now commit support for “…community broadcasting that reflects both the diversity of the communities being served, including with respect to the languages in use within those communities and to their ethnocultural and Indigenous composition, and the high engagement and involvement in community broadcasting by members of those communities, including with respect to matters of public concern”.  

They acknowledge that community radio provides a voice to “…tastes and interests not adequately provided for by the programming provided for mass audiences and include programs devoted to culture, politics, history, health and public safety, local news and current events, local economy and the arts,” that community radio stations reflect “…Canada’s communities, regions, Indigenous and multicultural nature, including through third-language programming”.

And importantly the new act recognizes the role of community radio stations in fighting disinformation by acknowledging that “…through community participation, (community radio stations) strengthen the democratic process and support local news.”

Until now, the burden of providing support for those who produce Canadian content such as community radio has been borne only by commercial broadcasters.  With the passage of C-11, online giants who also profit from Canadian audiences, will now also have to contribute to the development of Canadian broadcasters, musicians, and artists.

“The CRFC looks forward to working with the Department of Canadian Heritage to develop the policy direction and to working closely with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to ensure the funds coming from the internet giants are directed to the broadcasters who align with the priorities as set out in C-11 the Online Streaming Act,” says CRFC Executive Director, Alex Freedman.  “This is a critical step in ensuring Canadians have access to our voices and our culture from every corner of this country.”