The Glengarry News
Glengarry 24-7

Schools closed for one-day strike

publisher Dec 4, 2019 - 7:27am

Most area schools are closed as members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation-Fédération des enseignantes-enseignants des écoles secondaires de l’Ontario hold a one-day strike to back up contract demands.

Only English-language Catholic schools, whose teachers are represented by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, are not affected by the walkout.

While French-language public and Catholic elementary and public schools are closed, Upper Canada District School Board elementary schools remain open.

The UCDSB says there will be no classes, planned activities, co-operative education placements, dual-credit programs, or extracurriculars for students in Grades 9 to 12. There will also be no transportation provided for these students.

There will be no classes for students in specialized programs in Grades 7-12, known as ABLE, SDP, Transitions or Foundations programs. There will also be no transportation provided for these students.

Regular classes for students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will proceed as usual, even if students in Grade 7 and Grade 8 are in a secondary school. Transportation for these students remains unaffected.

Community use programs and childcare operations that are run in our schools will not be impacted.

 

 

Man located

publisher Nov 27, 2019 - 2:48pm

Gilles Quesnel, the Alexandria man reported missing yesterday, has been located alive and well, reports the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police detachment.

 

 

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Alexandria man missing

publisher Nov 26, 2019 - 3:03pm
The Ontario Provincial Police is seeking help in finding 89-year-old Gilles Quesnel, who was last seen on Nov. 25th in Alexandria, driving a red Dodge Caravan. If you have any info, please contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Public works director leaves

publisher Nov 26, 2019 - 12:49pm

Michel Riberdy has quit as North Glengarry's director of public works, about six months after he was named to the post.

The former Augusta Township employee has resigned to take a job closer to his home town, the township says.

He was hired in June to replace Ryan Morton, who was dismissed in April after being with the municipality since 2013.

Rail strike over

publisher Nov 26, 2019 - 10:02am

After a weeklong strike, the Teamsters and Canadian National (CN) have reached a tentative agreement to renew the collective agreement for over 3,000 conductors, trainpersons and yard workers. 

Normal operations at CN will resume tomorrow at 0600 local time across Canada.

“I am pleased to announce that we’ve reached a tentative agreement with CN. I would like to thank our members for their incredible courage and solidarity,” said the president of Teamsters Canada, François Laporte. “I would also like to thank all the Teamster local unions from across different industries, all the labour organizations and members of the public who supported us on the picket line.”

The tentative agreement must now be ratified by Teamster members via secret-ballot electronic voting. Before the voting period opens, union meetings will be held across the country to explain the terms of the agreement to members. The process usually takes several months. 

Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until the members have had a chance to review the document first.

Teamsters would like to thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for respecting workers’ right to strike. The union would also like to acknowledge Labour Minister Filomena Tassi, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). They were instrumental in helping parties find common ground.  

“Previous governments routinely violated workers’ right to strike when it came to the rail industry. This government remained calm and focused on helping parties reach an agreement, and it worked,” added Laporte. 

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Propane shortage 'fabricated'

publisher Nov 22, 2019 - 1:02pm

The widely reported propane shortage in Ontario and Québec appears to be largely manufactured by Canadian National Railway (CN), charges the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, the union representing striking CN employees. 

 
Despite the strike by members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), over 1,800 locomotive engineers and over 600 supervisors are free to cross picket lines and continue to operate freight trains every day. The fact that these trains are not transporting propane is a business decision by CN, the union states.

“While CN is nowhere near operating at full capacity, we think enough trains are running to allow CN to supply Ontario and Québec with propane,” explained the president of the TCRC, Lyndon Isaak. “We wonder if CN is choosing not to ship goods like propane in order to manufacture a crisis and force back-to-work legislation.” 

Over 3,000 conductors, trainpersons and yard workers walked off the job on Tuesday, November 19. Negotiations with CN are ongoing today and the union continues to work closely with federal mediators. 

“We are fighting for the safest workplace possible. We’ve lost nine of our members in various railway accidents over the past 24 months, including three from the group at CN that’s currently on strike,” said Isaak. 

No substantive progress has been made on the union’s key workplace safety and health issues since the strike begun.

CN currently requires workers to operate trains alone, from the outside of the train, hanging on to moving train cars with one hand while operating a remotely controlled locomotive with the other. Railroaders are expected to do this in rain and in freezing temperatures, sometimes for distances of up to about 17 miles. The union’s demands to cease these dangerous practices have fallen on deaf ears. 

Fatigue is another major issue. At the bargaining table, the company is trying to make it even harder for its workers to take time off. 

Finally, the union and the company are at loggerheads on the issue of a lifetime cap on all health-related benefits. CN’s position would deny many workers access to the medication they need, when they need it. 

Teamsters would like to reiterate that wages are not an issue at the bargaining table. 

Growers want meeting

publisher Nov 22, 2019 - 10:21am

Grain Farmers of Ontario and Producteurs de Grains du Québec/Grain Growers of Quebec are requesting to meet with the federal Minister of Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, immediately to address the urgent need to resume the delivery of propane.

“We need to sit down with the Ministers of Agriculture and Transport immediately to determine how grain farmers can access propane today,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Farmers cannot wait for days for this propane stoppage, we need solutions today — the viability of our crops depend on it.”

“Our farmers need propane to dry their corn as it comes off of the field. We need the government‘s help now to find solutions right away to this propane stoppage facing every one of our grain farmers,” said Christian Overbeek, President of the Grain Growers of Quebec.

Both groups are asking their members to contact their local Members of Parliament to let them know their particular situation.

The CN strike comes at a time when farmers are dealing with one of the most difficult harvests they have seen in decades. A very wet harvest season with early snow and cold means that farmers are even more reliant on propane-powered grain dryers to condition the crop as it comes off of the field.  The weather this crop season leaves much of the majority of farmers still harvesting and the need for propane to dry crops is today to avoid significant loss and damage. 

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New SG CAO

publisher Nov 22, 2019 - 9:18am

Tim Mills, a former Upper Canada District School Board superintendent, has been named the new CAO of South Glengarry.

He succeeds Bryan Brown who was let go earlier this year.

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Farmers, MP press for end to CN Rail strike

publisher Nov 22, 2019 - 9:08am

Farmers and politicians are urging a recall of Parliament to end the CN Rail strike that is affecting propane users.

Since propane shipments by rail have been halted, a prolonged work stoppage could be “another serious blow to the local and national economy,” warns Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan.

The shortage of the fuel is yet another challenge for farmers who have struggling to complete their harvest.

“The halt to propane shipments for their dryers has forced farms to shut down as supply of propane runs out and farmers cannot continue operations,” he said. “In addition, livestock farms are lacking access to propane to heat their buildings.”

A petition urging a resolution of the dispute can be signed at ericduncanmp.ca

Sexual assault charge

publisher Nov 21, 2019 - 3:55pm

As a result of a sexual assault investigation conducted by members of the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police crime unit, a 56-year-old resident of South Glengarry has been charged with sexual assault on a person under the age of 16 and sexual interference.

The charges were laid after the investigation concluded the accused had sexually touched a youth known to the accused.

The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Alexandria February 5.

The name of the accused is being withheld in order to protect the identity of the victim. 

Kidnapping charge

publisher Nov 21, 2019 - 12:25pm

Andrew Servais, 33, of Cornwall, has been charged with kidnapping following an investigation into a July 11 home invasion on Kenyon Concession Road 8 in North Glengarry Township.

Three individuals, wearing disguises, broke into the residence, held the victim against his will and then stole items from the house before fleeing in a vehicle.

The two other suspects charged in the case are Cornwall residents Scott Julien, 30, and Wanda Ashford, 23.

Kilt Skate Capital

publisher Nov 18, 2019 - 2:44pm


The Scottish Society of Ottawa has named Glengarry the 2019 Kilt State Capital of Canada.
In 2018, North Glengarry introduced an important innovation to the kilt skate phenomenon.  For the first time, a skate was held in an indoor arena, combined with a social full of music, food and beverages and lots of fellowship in the warmth of an arena hall.  North Glengarry kept the event indoors again in 2019, and within a few days, a video of the skating had 200,000 likes on Facebook.

The video highlighted a component that is becoming more common in many kilt skates:  skating musicians.

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Teachers can strike Monday

publisher Nov 15, 2019 - 2:37pm

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) will be in a legal strike position as of Monday, November 18. At this time, OSSTF has not indicated if it is planning any type of job action. Unions must give the public five days notice before they can start to withdraw services.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the union that represents elementary teachers across the province, will be in a legal strike position as of Monday, November 25. The union has indicated that teachers will proceed with job action in the form of a work-to-rule campaign (a partial withdrawal of services) effective Tuesday, November 26 if an agreement is not reached between all parties at the provincial level.

These disputes affect teachers employed by the Upper Canada District School Board.