Ombudsman report annoys UCPR GREGGCHAMBERLAIN “I’m not happy with it,” said Stéphane Pa- risien, chief administrative officer for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR), during the Jan. 23 session of the counties council.

ments failing to follow the rules and regu- lations of the Municipal Act for their meet- ings. The report noted that the ombudsman received one complaint last year that the UCPR had violated the Municipal Act rules about open and closed meetings. But the report also noted that the file was closed and the complaint dismissed after a prelim- inary investigation determined there was no basis for the complaint.

Parisien’s concern is that the UCPR still ends up as part of the OMLET complaint files even after the ombudsman office de- termines there is no cause for any inquiry. He noted that his office has already received notice this month about another “closed meeting” complaint filed with the ombuds- man last November. He phoned the om- budsman office and cleared the matter up. “But we will likely find ourselves in their statistics again,” he said.

L’ORIGNAL | Having the counties council mentioned in the Ontario Ombudsman’s year-end report is not sitting well with the regional director. Even if the report does state that the counties council has done nothing wrong.

Parisien was referring to the 2012 Ontario Ombudsman’s Annual Report of the Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team (OMLET). The report provides a summary of com- plaints that the ombudsman has handled concerning municipal and county govern-

School boards and union wait for OLRB ruling

and the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) and from the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) con- cerning a joint complaint from the two school districts against the union. The two districts have charged the union with promoting illegal strike behav- iour among its members by urging public school teachers to abstain from volunteer extracurricular programs and activities. In their complaint to the OLRB, the dis- tricts claim the union, both from its provin- cial office and through its chapter locals,

has urged elementary school teachers to refrain from taking part in any volunteer extra-curricular programs, field trips or ac- tivities, whether as supervisors, sponsors or coaches. The OLRB scheduled a Jan. 25 hearing on the joint complaint. Depositions continued over several days. All three parties hope to see a ruling from the OLRB during the first

full week of February. The hearing follows in the wake of the OLRB’s previous ruling last month against plans for both the ETFO and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation to stage one-day walkouts in protest against the new contracts that the provincial gov- ernment imposed on teacher unions under the authority of Bill 115.


TORONTO |The union representing el- ementary school teachers and two school districts in southern and eastern Ontario are waiting to find out whether or not an illegal strike action has taken place. The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) is reviewing arguments from the Up- per Canada District School Board (UCDSB)

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CORNWALL | The thermometer plunged below zero again as the “deep freeze” month of February begins. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has cold weather advice posted on its web- site at for area residents to keep in mind for when the next cold snap clamps down on the countryside. The texts cover both extreme cold situations and frostbite. Health unit offers cold weather advice quickest if they are not well-insulated. Any exposed skin may be subject to frostbite damage if preventive care is not taken and the risk of hypothermia through reduction of the core body heat always exists dur- ing extreme cold situations when a person spends a great deal of time outdoors with- out adequate thermal protection.


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Those most at risk during extreme cold weather are children and infants, seniors, people with asthma, workers at outdoor jobs, the homeless and those living in hous- es with poor insulation or no power or heat- ing systems, and winter sports enthusiasts.

613 850-5744 La Maison du Store All kinds of blinds La gamme complète de stores 3433, ch. Gendron, Hammond ON The EOHU notes that exposure to ex- treme cold “can be hazardous or even life- threatening” as the body’s extremities like fingers, toes, nose, and ears will lose heat



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