Saturday, January 31, 2009

Clarification on my comments re: Spirit of Niagara Awards

A couple of people have questioned my comments on the Citizen of the Year selection for NOTL.

I am not aware of the nominations for Citizen of the Year that the committee and Lord Mayor had to choose from so they very well might have selected the best from the nominees. In past years they have eliminated awards or chosen not to give them out at all. They eliminated the Young Enterpenur and later the Youth Citizen of the Year.  

A couple of comments have mentioned: 

D W at 9:04am January 28
I lived in Welland when I received my Youth Citizen of the Year from NOTL

 KM at 9:57am January 28
Well he does own massive amounts of property in NOTL. Also what his companies bring to NOTL is non comparable, employing over 200 Notlers including myself. Mr. Peller is a NOTL visionary and I’m kinda ashamed to see you post this award in such negative light Crispin.

 R V B at 10:58am January 28
I commend Mr. Peller for all his contributions and opportunities he has created in NOTL. He definately deserves a regional award or an award from Burlington. The point of NOTL citizen of the year award is for a citizen of NOTL to be honourd for their involvement and contributions the NOTL community.

 BG at 12:04pm January 28
I agree 100% with ya Crisp... Sure he brings business to NOTL but he isn't local and should not recieve a award for local citizens, kinda defeats the purpose of the award...

 D W at 6:48am January 29
Well done John Peller, I believe John has made a difference in NOTL, the Award is to give recognition to those who do that in the town of NOTL. This should drive us to contribute more to our communities, so that someone not living there is not awarded with a great honour like this.

C D at 12:04am January 28
Complain to Terry Flynn
R A R at 5:31am January 28
So when did Burlington become part of NOTL????
 M B at 6:31pm January 28
That sucks!

From where I stand, while Mr. Peller and his company is a land owner in NOTL, he is from Burlington. Mr. Peller and his businesses has brought jobs to Niagara-on-the-Lake, visitors here, and many contributions to the viticulture industry. Burlington has its own citizen of the year awards -

I CONGRATULATE him and thank him for his contributions to NOTL. He has made us all think of how we an do more for our community. 

You will recall that in my post Some Thoughts for Christmas
In the Queen's Christmas message today she asked Her commoners where it is we can find lasting happiness. 

Over the years it seems to Her that the people who are the most contented and fulfilled have always been the people who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives; the kind of people who are generous with their talents or their time. 

Take some time over the holidays to think about how you can help organizations in your/our community with your time or talent in 2009. 


The Chamber has made a lot of erors from my point of view starting when gave the CITIZEN award to a company - Vintage Inns, and the next year to a group - Arena Fund raising Committee. I guess I should have expected this from them.

If the chamber of commerce wanted to recognize Mr. Peller's contribution to NOTL they have any number of different awards that he could have received instead. 

Here are some examples of awards the committe could have given him. 

Chamber of Commerce President
’s Award - For his contribution to advancing NOTL 

Peter Ling Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit - for developing businesses such as Peller, Hildabrand, and JT. 

Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award - For choosing NOTL as the site of the Wine Weekend, and being the Chair --- he did choose St.Catharines hospital instead of NOTL though 

Christopher Newton Award for Extraordinary Vision in Business - Lord Mayor Gary Burroughs said. “This man has energy and vision enough for us all.”

Chamber of Commerce Company of the Year Award - Andrew Peller Group 

Merriam - Webster defines citizen as --> 

cit·i·zen            Listen to the pronunciation of citizen
\ˈsi-tə-zən also -sən\
Middle English citizein, from Anglo-French citezein, alteration of citeien,from cité city
14th century
1: an inhabitant of a city or town ; especially : one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman2 a: a member of a state b: a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it3: a civilian as distinguished from a specialized servant of the state
— cit·i·zen·ly            Listen to the pronunciation of citizenly \-zən-lē also -sən-\ adjective
synonyms citizen , subject , national mean a person owing allegiance to and entitled to the protection of a sovereign state. citizen is preferred for one owing allegiance to a state in which sovereign power is retained by the people and sharing in the political rights of those people citizen>subject implies allegiance to a personal sovereign such as a monarch subjects>nationaldesignates one who may claim the protection of a state and applies especially to one living or traveling outside that state nationals working in the Middle East>.

I hope this helps clarify why I think that Mr. Peller should have declined the Citizen of the Year Award

Friday, January 30, 2009

Merv Hardie ferry closes for the season / Merritt Street car vs. ambulance

Merv Hardie closes - from Northern New Services files

The Merv Hardie Ferry, which crosses the Mackenzie River near Fort Providence, is done for the season now that the ice bridge is open to heavy traffic.

"The Merv Hardie Ferry has ceased operations for the season and it's expected to being in operation in mid-May," said Earl Blacklock, manager of communications with the Department of Transportation.

- Herb Mathisen

Call toll free 1 800 661 0750 for the latest information
Mackenzie River Crossing 
Km 25 Yellowknife Hwy (NWT 3) 
Fort Providence, NWT
Ice RoadFerry
Light Traffic <>> 60 Tonne 
ClosedFirst TripLast Trip 
2007 / 2008Dec 16/07N/AApr 14/08N/AN/A
2006 / 2007Dec 08/06Jan 22/07Apr 13/07May 12/06Jan 22/07
2005 / 2006Jan 17/06Feb 03/06Apr 18/06May 12/05Feb 03/06
EarliestNov 28/90Jan 06/05Apr 12/96May 06/93Dec 27/86
LatestJan 24/02Feb 16/88May 05/66May 31/62Feb 10/88
Last 5 years avg.Dec 23Jan 22Apr 16May 16Jan 22
Last 10 years avg.Dec 29Jan 20Apr 18May 14Jan 20
Last 15 years avg.Dec 24Jan 19Apr 19May 14Jan 18
Last 20 years avg.Dec 21Jan 20Apr 18May 13Jan 18
Last 25 years avg.Dec 19N/AApr 18May 14N/A
Last 30 years avg.Dec 18N/AApr 18May 14N/A
Last 35 years avg.Dec 17N/AApr 19May 14N/A
Last 40 years avg.N/AN/AApr 19May 16N/A
Last 45 years avg.N/AN/AN/AMay 16May 16


Another Crash on Merrit Street

When is Thorold and the Region going to recognize that there is a need for a median on Merrit Street. I can think of about three serious/fatal collisions on that hill in the last two years. If I can do it don't you think that the roads department should recognize it too. That is the problem with our govenments, sometimes they get so intune with repair schedules and industry reccomendations that they overlook simple math that sometimes collisions occur in areas more than others. I was happy to read that the OPP recognized the QEW between Mountian Road and Glendale was an area of concern and they have been able through patrols and highway speed management as well as widening the highway there from 4 NARROW lanes to six wide lanes to reduce fatalities. Here is the story of how a car slid across Merrit Street and hit an ambulance. I hope that the police will look into the reports that the roads were icy and that the roads departments can look at whether or not salting/sanding this hill could have prevented the collision. I wish everyone involved in this situation a speedy recovery. 

Relief from ambulance's arrival turns into concern when it collides with car

Posted By By TIFFANY MAYER St.Catharines Standard

Posted 2 hours ago
Lyle Satchell choked on the words. “I was just totally upset. My kids were freaking out,” the St. Catharines man mustered.

Friday afternoon, Satchell relived how he felt when an ambulance carrying his wife, Anita, 49, collided with a car on Merritt Road a day earlier, just metres from the Satchells’ Ball Avenue home.

With lights and sirens blaring, the ambulance was rushing Anita to St. Catharines General Hospital just before 5 p.m. for what Satchell believed was a heart attack, when the driver of an Oldsmobile heading south on Merritt Road lost control and slid across the centre line into the northbound ambulance’s path.

Despite being strapped to a gurney, Satchell said his wife flew forward just as the paramedic by her side was trying to insert an intravenous needle into her arm. Anita then fell to the floor, hitting her face and side.Satchell was just getting into his car to follow the ambulance when a neighbour came over to tell him about the collision. “By the time I could get into the car, the police already had the road blocked off,” Satchell said. “There were sirens going like crazy. I couldn’t get down the hill to get any kind of sense of things.”

The 88-year-old Thorold woman driving the Oldsmobile is in critical condition in a Hamilton hospital after being extricated from her car. Anita is recovering from what turned out to be an angina attack. She also has hearing trouble and vision problems plaguing her since the crash. “She’s in a lot of pain,” Satchell said.

The ambulance driver was uninjured but the paramedic attending to Anita sustained some injuries. Merritt Street resident Kevin Bergman, who helped direct traffic around the accident scene Thursday, said the road, which hikes up the escarpment, is treacherous in winter. “People just don’t slow down on the hill, and being icy, it just creates more of a problem,” Bergman said.Niagara Regional Police are still investigating the crash. Any witnesses are asked to call the collision reconstruction unit at 905-688-4111, ext. 5500.

Picture from Panoramio - Ball Avenue near Merritt Street

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Burlington man awarded NOTL Citizen of the Year ... Come on now Chamber/Gary

John Peller was awarded the Citizen of the Year award at the Spirit of Niagara awards ceremony Tuesday by the Niagara-on- the-Lake Chamber of Commerce.

staff photo by Bob Tymczyszyn

I am proud of the accomplishments and contributions of Mr. Peller but I think that he should have declined the award on the basis that he lives in Burlington. The Chamber of Commerce and Lord Mayor need to do a little more looking maybe to find someone who lives in N-O-T-L. Well done with the rest of the awards. Congratulations Ian Mole and Edward Mole on being a part of St.David's success.  

Here is the story from the Standard

John Peller presented Citizen of Year award at Spirit of Niagara ceremony

Posted By SAMANTHA CRAGGS Special to the Standard

Updated 2 hours ago

John Peller has travelled across Canada visiting businesses and when he looks at the country’s future, he feels hope.

As past chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Peller saw the good and bad among the nation’s small business issues. But the newly-crowned Citizen of the Year for Niagara-on-the-Lake sees a bright future for the Niagara wine industry and Canada in general.

“There is no country that has greater opportunities for the future than Canada does,” Peller said. “We’ve evolved with a sense of humility and warmly embrace cultures from around the world. We have a strength that’s part of our national identity.”

Peller, 51, president of Andrew Peller Ltd., received the Citizen of the Year honour at the Spirit of Niagara Awards Tuesday.

Held annually by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce, the awards recognize achievements in business, innovation and volunteerism.

As a board member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Peller has watched the country go from an economic boom to an “obvious crisis,” he said in his speech.

“We went from riding the crest of the largest wave to a time to reflect and a change of direction,” he said.

“It’s amazing how the world has changed in a year.”

Peller was praised for his national Chamber of Commerce work, as well as chairing the Niagara Wine Weekend and Auction, an annual fundraiser that benefits SickKids Foundation and the St. Catharines General Hospital Foundation. The former helps a provincially-significant cause, the latter a local one, he said.

He called the auction “a perfect way for the wine industry to give back.”

“You only get back from the community what you give to it,” he said. “We’re a close group and we’ve been through a lot together. It’s a nice opportunity to celebrate the success we’ve had as an industry.”

Peller lives in Burlington with his wife and three sons. He practised law and worked in food packaging in the U.S. before returning to the family business in 1989.

He worked with his grandfather, Andrew Peller, until the elder Peller’s death in 1994. Andrew Peller immigrated to Canada from Hungary with “nothing in his pocket but hope for the future,” Peller said. “He ended up having the greatest life he could have imagined.”

Peller said he was inspired by his grandfather’s “passion for family and community and business.”

Peller is known for his “amazing business acumen...but he still makes other people, their needs and their goals, a priority,” Lord Mayor Gary Burroughs said. “This man has energy and vision enough for us all.”


Chamber of Commerce President’s Award - Friends of Niagara District Secondary School

Peter Ling Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit - Catherine O’Donnell (Willow Cakes and Pastries)

Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award - Niagara-on-the-Lake Family Health Team

Christopher Newton Award for Extraordinary Vision in Business - John Marynissen

Chamber of Commerce Company of the Year Award - St. Davids Hydroponics Ltd.

Lord Mayor’s Award of Excellence to the Citizen of the Year - John Peller

Here is an interesting look at past budgets...

Look at what happened to this coach...

Coach sacked after Texas massacre

Coaching is a thankless task at the best of times. Coaching in Texas is the ultimate hiding to nothing. In most parts of the world, masterminding a 100-0 victory on the basketball court would be a feat that brings praise and adulation, instead he gets fired... He did point out that three years earlier his team lost 86-8.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day

Up here in Yellowknife we are as pretty far away from "Down Under" as you can get.

For my Australian friends or for those who have just gone down there for a walkabout...

Happy Australia Day!

Parliament is back in session. Let the fun begin.

You will recall from a previous blog that Parliament was prorogued. We'll they are back in Ottawa, the Speech from the Throne happens at 2EST 12MTN.

Here is a great link if you have the time to watch the recap and inteviews with Chuck Strahl MP, Bob Rae MP and Dominic Leblanc MP on CBC.

"Parliament had a six-week "time out", but now our own Canadian political drama is roaring back to life. Will the Conservatives' new budget keep Prime Minister Stephen Harper in power?"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good For You Fort Erie --- Crashed Ice

I was reading the Niagara Falls Review online and came across the story where local residents in Fort Erie have worked to secure the "Hospital" status of the Douglas Memorial Hospital. I know that the NHS has not been very smart about making decisions the last 10+ years. An example of this would be linking NOTL as a St.Catharines Hospital town. If you look up the distance from the Court House or Town Hall to the WEST St.Catharines proposed hospital site compared to GNGH you will see that Niagara Falls is closer yet the NHS wants NOTL to pay for the new WEST St.Catharines Hospital. I think the hospital executives and the not local LHIN need to take some geography lesson before they meet again. 

Several Fort Erie residents arranged for a local electrical contractor to scale a tower at the west side of Douglas Memorial Hospital and put a chain across the letter H on the building, in a symbolic protest against a hospital restructuring plan.

Mike DiBattista, The Review

Has anyone heard of the RED BULL CRASHED ICE in Quebec City? I remember seeing something like this a few years ago when they tried it the first year. The finals were held today.

If you have seen the Olympic Boarder-Cross event it is kind of like that. Imagine peeding down the frozen iced streets of Quebec City, on SKATES...  Top speed was 44.3 km/h

What a way to see the Ville de Quebec. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

NOTLiving up to it's potential

So the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is looking for a new CAO. I decided to click over to the website of the town at and I noticed that the town does not have the CAO position posted. What’s with that. I really think that council has gone a little off the mark with this one you know, free advertising on their website and they are probably paying some Bay Street consulting firm big dollars to headhunt for a new “Lew” and the firm hasn’t told them to use their own resources to help the firm in their work.

Up here in Yellowknife they are looking for a Pool Maintainer and a Baling Facility Attendant. The City of Yellowknife is also looking for a Boxing and Wrestling Commission member.

I was sitting up here in Yellowknife on my day off today and decided to watch an old movie favourite of mine “Back to the Future Part 1” when it occurred to see what I could dig up on it now that we are in the internet age. Here is what I came up with.

On the site They came up with this theory that Everyone is familiar with the classic “Johnny B. Goode” scene from Back to the Future and the accompanying controversy: how dare the filmmakers insinuate that a white kid (Calvin Klein/Marty McFly) actually invented rock & roll instead of a black guy (Chuck Berry)? Haven’t white people stolen music from black people enough already? This sort of knee-jerk reaction completely disregards the evidence on hand. Once and for all, let’s put this myth to bed. Marty McFly did not invent rock ‘n’ roll. He did not give Chuck Berry the song “Johnny B. Goode.” Don’t believe them check this out….

I was looking a few other sites and found a gallery of really interesting trees.

And for anyone who was in Professor Graham's 2nd year policy class with me at Carleton you'll remember our exam question that asked us to map out the policy creation, implementation and evaluation for getting Corrections to ban smoking ... while the NWT is implementing this same policy in April of 2009.

My friend Martin sent me this video on Youtube and I thought I would pass it on to you. It makes you appreciate what a mother goes through. Thanks mom.

What is going on where you are? Send me an e-mail it would be great to hear how you are doing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

TWO DAYS OFF --> Happy Birthday Melissa


I have the next two days off and am looking at contacting Aurora Village to see about getting out with the Japanese tourists (I'll think I'm back in Niagara Falls) to see the Aurora Borealis. I also should look into going for a dogsled ride too come to think about it. Charlene a friend of Amanda's just did it so I might get in touch with her about who she went with.

Did you know that Lewiston is now on Google Maps Streetview. If you do a look up of 472 Center Street, Lewiston, NY you can see an image of the Frontier House,_New_York) 

(or for anyone born in the 1980's, where the McDonalds with the drive thru window on the wrong side was... this was one of only two in the world with it on the wrong side) 

I was looking at some different articles on the Toronto Star website tonight and came across this article on a 1958 Supermarket that was recently designated in Scarborough. As someone interested in heritage, I decided that I would share it with you too. A lot of times we make judgements on different parts of our built heritage. One of the places this happens is at Willowbank Estate. When I was a tour guide, many people would ask me "what are you going to take it back too?" Thankfully, we have an estate plan in place now and students who have done research and reasoned with this issue. I am happy to say that they have not overlooked the later era's of the home and gone for a purely 1830's idea. We are going to come to a point where we have erased a lot of our history. The next time you drive through Virgil take a look at some of the 1950's architecture and realize that some day council might move to designate those places too. 

Supermarket evokes time when suburbia seemed heroic -->

The Yellowknifer (the local newspaper) is looking for your opinion. Agree? Disagree? Can you add more information to the discussion? E-mail - You can sign your own name or make one up. Your email address must be real but it will be kept confidential

Immediate refund for cancelled Jazz flights?

Once again, Air Canada Jazz was grounded after temperatures dipped below -40 C over New Year's. The Bombardier jets the company uses aren't rated for these kind of temperatures. Passengers were told they could wait for the next available flight or a fly at a later date. Is that fair? Or, because Air Canada has decided to remain unprepared for the extreme cold, should they just refund tickets when their planes can't fly?

Here is a good article to sum up what is going on with the York University strike.

Why McGuinty lets York University strike drag onProvince is worried Supreme Court ruling bars back-to-work bill