Buildings, trails and more needed in the counties RICHARD MAHONEY a major issue,”cautioned the veteran mayor. County Road 17

money floating around,” he pointed out. “We need to decide where we’re going and where we’re spending our money.” Council members concur that the regional govern- ment ought to build reserves for the public works department and a new Prescott-Rus- sell Residence. Chief administrator Stéphane Parisien added that the counties would also have to decide whether to build an addition to the administrative headquarters in L’Orignal. An expansion would enable the counties to consolidate all operations. As for a new home for the aged, this proj- ect would take five to ten years to complete. Concerning the location of new facilities, Barton wondered: “Do we want one in the east and one in the west? Can we afford two residences?”While the official home for the aged, the Residence, is located in Hawkes- bury, the counties support the Centre

d’accueil Roger Séguin in Clarence Creek. The current arrangement makes sense, he allowed. “People want to stay close to home.” Parisien commented: “We are in the planning stages now.”However, he stressed, “We need to focus on regional development if we want to sustain or promote growth.” The trail A clear path ought to be defined for the development of the recreational trail, ob- served Barton. While considered a key to tourism, the trail “is used on a local level; it does not at- tract people to follow it from end to end,” he said. A gravel surface, the type found on most of the path, “is not fun when you have an expensive bike.” Major issue” A potentially controversial move would be the push to develop the trail along the Ottawa River. “Acquiring private land will be

Eventually, the counties must take action to improve a section of County Road 17 south of Hawkesbury at the intersections of Cameron and Tupper Streets, Barton said. “I am shaking my head over the development in that area,” Barton commented in refer- ence to the highway that forms a border between Hawkesbury and Champlain. Rapid commercial development in both municipalities has created greater conges- tion on the important artery. Work must be carried out on the strip located between Highway 34 and the East Hawkesbury Township boundary, he con- tended. Enough is enough says UCDSB BROCKVILLE | One English school board in Eastern Ontario has reached the limit of its patience with the provincial government regarding labour unrest on the education front. Greg Pietersma, chairman for the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB), is demanding that Education Minister Lau- rel Broten put a stop to the labour disrup- tions involving teacher and support worker unions in the province’s English public school sector. Pietersma took a “line on the chalkboard” stance with trustees during the UCDSB’s Dec. 5 meeting as he noted that past ministry promises of labour peace have proven empty. “I remind you that on Sept. 11, the Min- ister of Education issued a press release in which she stated: ‘The passage of the Put- ting Students First Act protects the gains made in education while ensuring that the next two school years will be free from la- bour disruptions. Well, beginning this Mon- day, Dec. 10, there will be labour disrup- tions and our schools will suffer.” Pietersma expressed concern about how Upper Canada schools will be able to operate as both the teacher and support staff unions protest the legislation with its wage-and-benefits freeze and other fiscal restraint measures. “It’s time for the Minister of Education to take action,” Pietersma stated. “It’s time for her to issue a new press release that tells us what action she is going to take to end the labour disruptions.” Starting Dec. 10, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) will ab- stain from any volunteer duties involving extra-curricular sports and other activities. The UCDSB is working with principals of all schools within its jurisdiction to find alter- native means to maintain extra-curricular programs, including using local qualified community volunteers from outside of the schools. The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) plans one-day rotating strikes at elementary schools. The union promised to provide parents with 72-hours notice of strike action at their schools. VISION@EAP.ON.CA PRESCOTT-RUSSELL

L’ORIGNAL | Buildings, trails and roads are just some of the items that comprise the “Things To Do” list that must be handled by Prescott-Russell united counties coun- cil in the coming year. When Hawkesbury Mayor René Berthi- aume succeeds The Nation Mayor François St-Amour as Prescott-Russell warden De- cember 18, the eight-mayor council must also draw up a list of priorities, suggested Champlain Township Mayor Gary Barton at a recent session. Municipalities continue to struggle to find money for infrastructure improve- ments, he noted. “Infrastructure is a prob- lem for everyone, but there is not a lot of

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