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August 2022

Brockville's Municipal Election: School Trustee - English Public

School Trustee - English Public 

Michel Labonte 


Candidate for Trustee of Ward 5 in the Upper Canada District School Board

I have lived in Brockville since 1980 when I began a 30-year chemical engineering and management career at the DuPont/INVISTA plant in Maitland.  I am now a retired Professional Engineer. 

Through family, friends and volunteering, I know all 7 of the schools in our ward quite well (6 in Brockville and 1 in Maynard). My daughter has taught in both Maynard and Brockville since 2009.

My work has taken me through many roles and experiences that I strongly feel would contribute to quality decisions and the related communications from the School Board.

In 2018, I was appointed by the Board of Trustees to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).  I have been the Chair of SEAC since January 2022.  This provincially mandated committee monitors and advises the Board on issues related to our special needs students and their families.

I have attended, or watched, every board meeting since 2017.  Accordingly, I well understand and value the multifaceted role of Trustee, as a local advocate, and board team member. 

I enthusiastically entered my name onto the ballot on May 2nd - the opening day of nominations.

I am looking forward to using my skills to effectively serve our area and board.

For more information and updates, please check out and “Like” my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MLaBonteTrustee


John McCrea 


‘My name is John McCrea. I’m the incumbent Trustee for Ward 5, Augusta and Brockville. I’m a grandfather who worries about the well-being, socially, economically and environmentally, of our children. Public funded education has always made Ontario better since 1816. As part of that long tradition I think being a Trustee matters. 

My purpose in seeking reelection as Trustee for Ward 5, Augusta and Brockville is to reestablish individual schools as more important than the UCDSB itself.

My strong suggestion is that Trustees lead from the front, rather than pushing the status quo. Senior staff do a good job of managing this $400 million corporation. Public Education, in the next four years will face crises that require forethought now. Elected Trustees in Public Education should question the status quo.

Trustees, in my view, should point to destinations and let staff manage how we get there.

Thanks  John



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The Chamber Announces 2022 Young Professional of the Year

The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of the businesses, organizations, and individuals who make a difference in our community. We are pleased to announce the 2022 Young Professional of the Year is Danielle Gray.



Danielle is the owner and president of Industrial Electrical Contractors Brockville Limited (IECBL) and has been running her business since 2018. Previous to this role, she was a junior shareholder at Industrial Electrical Contractors Limited which sold to Modern Niagara in 2016. As an owner she oversees 36 licensed electricians, a team of administration staff, and multiple electrical projects from Kingston to Cornwall to Ottawa. Danielle & IECBL have been crucial to several projects in Eastern Ontario both publicly and privately including portions of the new N95 3M plant, Greenfield Ethanol VHQ Expansion, the Chalk River Nuclear Plant, & various contracts with the City of Ottawa. By committing to those projects, she has been instrumental in making sure major business ventures stay within our region and ensuring major building projects are looking at Brockville for various wares and services. Her company has also been a leader in employment standards within the industry. All her staff is thoroughly trained with multiple certifications and unionized to guarantee a proper job is executed, a fair wage is given, and to ensure their safety at a project. Danielle herself has also broken barriers in the field by being a major force and mentor to women in a male-dominated industry.


            Her work in the field extends beyond her company and into several outside ventures to ensure betterment in the future of electrical work. She currently sits on the Future Leaders Advisory Committee (FLAC) through the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO), current vice president of the Electrical Contractors Association of Quinte St Lawrence, and sits in on the Kingston Labour Management Health and Safety Committee which all focus on the betterment of the electrical industry not only regionally, but provincially as well. She has also donated to the Brockville and Area Food Bank and Lanark, Leeds & Grenville Addictions and Mental Health, and the Canadian Cancer Society through her company, her boards, or by a private donation.


            Danielle has been an incredible asset to our community currently and will almost definitely continue to be in the future. Therefore, we are so pleased to be able to present her Young Professional of The Year.


We look forward to celebrating Young Professional of the Year, with Danielle’s family and friends at the Awards of Excellence Gala on Thursday, October 20th at the Brockville Memorial Centre. We will also be announcing the recipients for: Business of The Year, Small Business of The Year, Businessperson of The Year, the Community Excellence Award, the Tourism Award, and the Ben TeKamp Award.


Seating is limited so please sign up as soon as possible HERE,

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WSIB doubles rebates for small businesses enrolled in safety program

WSIB doubles rebates for small businesses enrolled in safety program

Incentives designed to help employers develop occupational health and safety programs


WSIB doubles rebates for small businesses enrolled in Health and Safety Excellence program

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has announced that Ontario businesses with fewer than 99 employees will be eligible for a pandemic bonus package.

In a statement, the WSIB said that this bonus will double the rebates eligible businesses can earn for each topic they complete in the WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence program.

“We know Ontario businesses work to have the safest workplaces anywhere, but many smaller businesses are still recovering from the pandemic,” said Jeffery Lang, President and CEO of the WSIB, in the press release. “We are stepping up with added incentives to help get more businesses investing in health and safety right now.”

The WSIB will double the rebate for topics completed in 2022, pay an additional $1,000 toward the development of action plans in 2022, and retroactively double the rebate for topics completed since March 2020 for eligible businesses who enroll in new topics this year.

The WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence program connects Ontario businesses with approved providers in their industry or community. These partners help design a plan based on 36 available health and safety topics. For each topic completed and validated, businesses can earn a rebate on their WSIB premiums. Since 2020, over $21 million in rebates have been issued to Ontario businesses.

When the program launched in November 2019, there was a cap on rebates with small businesses able to earn up to 75 per cent of their premium back. That cap is now being removed.

“We are firmly planting our stake in the ground to say we’re serious about helping small business to develop and implement strong health and safety programs in Ontario,” said Rod Cook, Vice President of Workplace Health and Safety Services at the WSIB, in the statement.


To learn more, or attend a free webinar, https://www.wsib.ca/en/health-and-safety-excellence-program-webinars

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Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament a Success! Congratulations to the United Way Leeds & Grenville and YMCA of Eastern Ontario




August 25, 2022

News Release

Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament a Success!

This year’s Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament in support of the United Way Leeds & Grenville and the YMCA of Eastern Ontario has demonstrated the generosity of people in our region!

The final total raised is $186,367, which also includes funds raised from live and silent auctions. Monies raised will be shared between the two organizations in support of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“We are so pleased to be able to support the great work of the late MP Gord Brown and his family by raising money for the community,” said Trish Buote, Executive Director of United Way Leeds & Grenville. “Gord really set a standard of care and we are thankful for the Brown family’s trust in us to utilize the funds to help sustain important local programs and services for those who most need them. Finally, we were delighted to collaborate with the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, on the event, and welcome back so many volunteers, sponsors and golfers who truly care about our communities”  

Darryl Sittler and Rick Vaive were big hits with the crowd, signing memorabilia and being available for lots of selfies.

“Darryl and Rick added to people’s enjoyment of the day and their participation helped to raise money for the Y’s financial assistance program,” said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “The YMCA of Eastern Ontario is so pleased to have strengthened our partnership with United Way Leeds & Grenville, and on behalf of our two organizations I wish to thank all of the amazing staff and volunteers who made the event a reality. A very special thanks goes to the Brown Family for entrusting the YMCA as a new partnering organizer of the tournament that continues to carry on the legacy of Gord and his charitable efforts.”

The United Way and YMCA wish to thank all the sponsors of the Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament whose support was invaluable to the success of the event.

Canarm Ltd

Greenfield Global Inc.



1,000 Islands Community Development Corporation

3M Canada

Arbru Solar Brewery

Barr Homes

Beer Canada

Bell Media

Brown Hospitality Corporation

Burnbrae Farms

BUSL Cider

Choice Hotels

Comfort Inn & Suites (Gananoque-1000 Islands)

Competitive Renovations Inc.

Coons Bath Design

Findlay Foods (Kingston) Ltd.

Gananoque Brewing Company

Gananoque Chevrolet Buick GMC

Gananoque Lions Club

Glen House Resort

Hang Ups Creative Picture Framing

Henderson Digital Marketing & Printing


Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Gananoque)

Home Hardware Building Centre (Gananoque)

Hucks Marine & Resort

Hybrid Construction Group Ltd.

Ivy Lea Club

Jay Rayner/Assante Wealth Management


Northern Cables Inc.

Pelee Island Winery

Post Media

Pump House Creamery

Secker, Ross & Perry

Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands

Smart Centres Real Estate Invest Trust

Smugglers Glen Golf Course

Starbucks (Gananoque-1000 Islands)

Taylor Sewing Quilt Shop

The Caesar Company

Travelodge (Gananoque-1000 Islands)


United Way Leeds & Grenville

YMCA of Eastern Ontario



About United Way Leeds & Grenville

United Way Leeds & Grenville is a non-profit agency that supports 20 local partner agencies in the community. Its mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. UWLG is dedicated to bringing people together to build vibrant and caring communities. For more information, please visit www.uwlg.org

About YMCA Eastern Ontario

The YMCA of Eastern Ontario is a charity that provides programs and services to improve health and health outcomes, develops leaders, helps build social connections and provides safe, inclusive spaces for

people of all ages. The Y is Canada’s largest provider of childcare with trademarked curricula and offers fitness and other specialized programs including Work Hard Eat Well, Karate and Total Life Care. www.eo.ymca.ca

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Christine Radford

Director, Resource Development

United Way Leeds & Grenville

Email: christine.radford@uwlg.org

Phone: 613-342-8889



Colleen Gareau

Director, Marketing & Communication

YMCA Eastern Ontario

Email: colleen.gareau@eo.ymca.ca

Mobile: 613-888-9298




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Logo of Government of Ontario


On July 21, the Ontario government announced an extension of the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) to March 31, 2023. Eligible employees can access up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave due to COVID-19 reasons. Reimbursement for eligible employers will continue, up to $200 per employee per day. Click here to learn more.


During the “COVID-19 Period”, which began on March 1, 2020, the Ontario government had certain temporary rules under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). As of July 30, these rules are no longer in effect. Click here to learn more.

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The Chamber Announces 2022 Businessperson of The Year

The Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce Is Proud To Announce 2022's Businessperson of The Year is:

Margaret Hudson


Margaret is the President and CEO of Burnbrae Farms which operates egg farming and processing facilities in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia including the locations in Brockville and Lyn. From a young age, Margaret has worked in the business in several different capacities, beginning in her home county of Leeds & Grenville. Since assuming overall leadership of the company after her father, Margaret has continued the rapid growth of the business across Canada. With more than 400 employees working for Burnbrae locally, Margaret leads one of the largest employers in this region.

As President, Margaret’s efforts have enabled Burnbrae Farms to expand its product offering to include a wide variety of shell egg and processed egg products, enabling the company to reach a wider customer base and lead innovation within the industry. She has also strengthened and advanced Burnbrae's culture of care for the hens on its farms as well as  Burnbrae’s position as a global leader in animal welfare.  Burnbrae Farms demonstrates its commitment to the improvement of poultry welfare in many ways, but most notably through its contributions to research at the University of Guelph.

Margaret has striven to ensure that Burnbrae takes care of the communities in which it operates, including the communities of Leeds & Grenville.  Through product donations to our local food bank, raising funds for events like the Five Mile Lighthouse rebuild, and monetary contributions to the Aquatarium, the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, the Brockville Tunnel, the Brockville General Hospital and countless other organizations, Margaret has established herself as a progressive and respected member of our community and she has continued the commitment to giving back that was established by her parents, Joe and Mary Hudson, and many other family members.

She has donated her time by serving on many different boards including: Food Health and Consumer Products of Canada, the Royal Winter Fair, and The Grocery Foundation. Margaret has also been the recipient of multiple business and grocery industry awards, such as The Golden Pencil which she received in 2020, and the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix Lifetime Achievement award.

Through her commitment to the agri-food industry in Canada, Burnbrae Farms and its employees, and the community as a whole, Margaret continues to demonstrate excellence in all she does and we are so pleased to be able to present her with this award.

Margaret is also proud to share the honour of being recognized in the Brockville community with her father, Joe Hudson, Business Person of the Year in 2006, her sister, Mary Jean McFall, Citizen of the Year in 2008, and her brother-in-law, Ian McFall, Citizen of the Year in 2014.

We look forward to celebrating the Business Person of the Year Award with Margaret’s family and friends at the Awards of Excellence Gala, being held on Thursday, October 20th at the Brockville Memorial Centre. We will also be honouring the recipients for Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Community Excellence, Tourism, Citizen of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, and the Ben TeKamp Memorial Award.

Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased online in advance!

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The Chamber Announces 2022 Citizen of The Year

The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of the businesses, organizations and individuals who make a difference in our community. We are pleased to announce the recipient of the coveted 2022 Citizen of The Year award is Jason Baker.

Jason is known as many names to many people, from “Mr. Landslide” to “Scrapper” to “Coach Jason”, but one term that encompasses how all these people feel about Jason is “A Good Man.” Jason is currently the co-owner of Ketchum Manufacturing and has been since 2016, but his work in strengthening our community is extensive and spans decades. He was involved with the palliative care telethon going so far as chairing it from 1995 until 2005, and local hockey including the Brockville Braves and Brockville Girls Hockey Association (where he was president for 5 years and head coach for 9 years). He has demonstrated consistent, unwavering support of the local legion and Rotary Club of Brockville, and been a loyal donator/supporter of the Winter Classic plus the Brockville & Area Food Bank. Beyond his volunteerism and private donations, Jason Baker is also a very selfless, respected, and generous leader donating much of his hard-earned money and precious time to public service. As a municipal politician, he was a councilor from 1997 until 2018 and served as mayor for the City of Brockville from 2018 until 2021.


When the pandemic began, Jason had two very large and energy-consuming commitments with his company and his mayoral duties. This meant he oversaw one of the most tumultuous times in the 21st century and had many looking to him for stability. Jason tirelessly did everything in his power to ensure that his employees were taken care of, the local community could recover, and Leeds & Grenville at-large could rebound. From his company luncheons that brought in food from local eateries or paying for his employee’s bills when out at those same eateries, to his leadership in the St. Lawrence Corridor EDC that saw Greenfield Global, 3M’s new factory, & LeClerc set up facilities in our region bringing new jobs and growth. Even Tourism maintained some level of stability under his watchful eye which included overseeing the now popular River of Lights festival and Theodore Too’s arrival in 2021. The work he did inside and outside of politics was vital to keep our community stable during some of the most unstable times.


Jason’s accomplishments are awe-inspiring and his generosity is highly commendable. With his legacy of great achievements, we are so pleased to be able to contribute to it and give Jason Baker this well-deserved and long overdue honour.


We look forward to celebrating Citizen of the Year, with Jason Baker’s family and friends at the Awards of Excellence Gala on Thursday, October 20th at the Brockville Memorial Centre. We will also be announcing the recipients for: Business of The Year, Small Business of The Year, Businessperson of The Year, the Community Excellence Award, the Tourism Award, and the Ben TeKamp Award.


Seating is limited so please sign up as soon as possible at: HERE


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Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Release their Blueprint to Bolster Ontario’s Prosperity


August 8, 2022


Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Release their Blueprint to Bolster Ontario’s Prosperity


(Brockville, Ontario – August 8, 2022) – The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) welcomes the return of the Legislature and looks forward to working with Premier Ford, his new cabinet, and all parties to champion the province’s competitiveness, productivity, and growth. To put its members’ concerns’ front and centre as the Legislature returns, the OCC today released its Blueprint to Bolster Ontario’s Prosperity, which provides a letter to each provincial cabinet minister outlining key policy priorities.


“Businesses across Leeds Grenville are looking to the government to develop policies that will spur local and regional economic growth and job creation,” said Pamela Robertson, Executive Director. “The government m­­ust create the right conditions to support business stability, predictability, and confidence. There must be a balance between short-and long-term solutions to address our current and future challenges.”


Some key highlights in OCC’s Blueprint to Bolster Ontario’s Prosperity include:

  • Addressing Ontario’s labour market challenges by boosting immigration, removing barriers to labour mobility and introducing workforce development strategies for key sectors such as construction, health care, tourism, and hospitality, and transportation. 
  • Bolstering our health care system by developing a health human resources strategy, delivering on digital health, and addressing backlogs in routine vaccines, diagnostics, and cancer screenings.
  • Continuing to prioritize lowering the administrative burden on business and ensuring that regulation is streamlined and effective.
  • Planning for Ontario’s long-term energy needs to ensure businesses and residents continue to have access to reliable, clean, and affordable energy for generations to come.
  • Propelling housing affordability through increased supply and regulatory reforms to fuel the industry and help organizations attract and retain talent.
  • Advancing regional transportation connectivity and fare integration as well as broadband infrastructure projects in collaboration with the private sector.
  • Modernizing public procurement to support small businesses and equity seeking entrepreneurs to diversify the supply chain.
  • Seizing Ontario’s opportunity to lead in the global green economy by minimizing uncertainty, supporting cleantech, mobilizing clean energy solutions, and strengthening climate adaptation.

“The past few years have been characterized by tremendous uncertainty: a prolonged pandemic, record-high inflation, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, and geopolitical turmoil. If we want our economy and people to emerge stronger amid so much uncertainty, Ontario must focus on creating the right conditions to support competitiveness, productivity, and growth,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We are providing all Ministers with a blueprint for steps that can be taken to ensure we are bolstering Ontario’s prosperity – we look forward to continued collaboration with the Government of Ontario and all parties over the next four years.”


The OCC’s blueprint letters includes both policy asks where immediate action is required to support business and foundational recommendations for long-term prosperity and were informed by OCC’s diverse membership.




The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce is part of a network of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade that exist in virtually every community across Ontario and Canada. The Chamber network consists of 65,000 businesses provincially and 170,000 businesses nationally. Locally, the Chamber has over 300 members and is recognized as this area's official "Voice of Business." This voice is an effective force in influencing issues and legislation affecting your business and our community. It is a membership based and not-for-profit association that is led by an elected volunteer Board of Directors. We support and grow business to build a strong economic community through proactive leadership in advocacy and relevant programming. 

About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.

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YPN 40 Under 40 Announcement!



YPN 40 Under 40


Come and celebrate some of the best young people Brockville has to offer with the Young Professionals Network (YPN)! With the final nominations tallied, the winners of the 40 Under 40 will be presented by the YPN at Sunnidell Golf Course, on August 26th!

The night will begin with a appetizer social at 6:00pm until 7:00pm when dinner will be served. At 8:00pm the ceremony officially begins, and the awards will be handed out to the each of the winners. Once that has completed, stick around for some music, dancing, and mini golf! 

This is sure to be a wonderful event, so sign up today with the link to the registration form below! 


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