Tag Archives: environment


The Medical Officer of Health for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark sends out regular updates to the Mayors.  With her permission, I have reprinted this week’s as it contains important information that you may find useful.

  1. Current Situation – We have had a very low number of people living in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark  who have become infected with COVID-19 for June, July and August, none in the past 5 weeks.  This is a direct result of people, businesses and services  following the public health precautions that can prevent the transmission of  COVID-19. The municipalities have played a key role is supporting these measures. Thank you.

It is important not to be complacent. People are still being infected in Ottawa and other parts of Ontario and Canada where we may visit. Also  the virus may still be in our community, either, with individuals who are asymptomatic,  or individuals who have very mild symptoms and have decided not to go for testing.  We are strongly encouraging any one with one of the many possible COVID-19 symptoms) https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/protection/  to go for testing at one of the Assessment Centres in Brockville, Smiths Falls  or Almonte.

Preventing COVID-19 infection in the broader community is key to keeping schools safer.  It is very important for everyone to continue to be COVID SMART.

S – Self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Consider getting tested.

M – Wear a mask/cloth face covering  when in enclosed public spaces, and when physical distancing is a challenge outdoors.

A – Avoid touching your face.

R – Remain 2 metres/6 feet apart from people you do not live with and people not in your social circle.

T – Take time for regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

  1. Face Covering Mask Instruction – Operators and the community have responded very well to the Medical Officer of Health Instruction on Face Coverings/Mask Use in enclosed public spaces. Initially we had  many people call about the exemptions and whether they needed a doctors/or an exemption card. The answer was no, and our impression is that people who have a medical reason to not wear a face covering/mask are visiting stores at non-peak times or using curb pick up or delivery to protect others.  Later on we received complaints from people that a business wasn’t complying with the Instruction. Each one was contacted and the Instruction clarified.  The community is now familiar with the required face covering/mask Instruction, and this will help as students have to wear face covering/masks in school from grade 4 and  up (also recommend for younger students.)
  2. Community Paramedic Mobile Testing – The work on the Paramedic Mobile Community  Testing Program is progressing well. The Lanark proposal was submitted to East Region Ontario Health for funding last week, and the Leeds-Grenville one will be submitted this week.  Our proposals fit with the Ontario  Health plan for the fall and winter to have both mobile community testing and Assessment Centres, that can assess people with any respiratory illness including influenza, parainfluenza, and RSV – all serious infections that occur each fall and winter. If funded, the mobile testing program will be able to quickly respond to the testing needed in response to an individual with COVID-19 in a school setting.
  3. Influenza Immunization– We are working with our partners on influenza immunization plans for  the fall. The vaccine usually arrives in October.  Influenza vaccine provides good protection against infection, particularly important for anyone with a chronic illness.
  4. School Opening – As the new school year approaches, parents will need to balance various options and make a decision about schooling that makes sense for each family. The Health Unit has collaborated with the Eastern Health Unit (we share Boards of Education) to send a letter to all parents to help them make this decision. I would appreciate if you can share the link to this letter with the parents and others  in your municipalities   https://healthunit.org/wp-content/uploads/Letter_to_Parents_COVID_Schools.pdf

The letter includes a link to the recent European review that suggests the risk of transmission of the virus is low in school settings that have precautions in place. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/children-and-school-settings-covid-19-transmission.  The report also has  a link to the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto that outlines the lower risk of serious COVID-19 infection among children, and their recommendations for safer opening of schools that the province referenced in their release of the Ministry of Education Guidelines for Schools   https://www.sickkids.ca/PDFs/About-SickKids/81407-COVID19-Recommendations-for-School-Reopening-SickKids.pdf

  1. Stage 3 Openings – Work continues with our many services and businesses to adapt to the provincial Stage 3 Guidelines. We respond to about 50 calls each day for assistance. Our municipalities have been great partners as we navigate these new waters together.


Paula Stewart MD, FRCPC, Medical Officer of Health

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

Come visit the Spring and watch the magic of the pollinator garden

This spring, Westport in Bloom members shared their gardening knowledge and landscaping gifts at the spring.  They redesigned the gardens including building a new pollinator garden and covered the full cost of the project.  If you are not certain of  the “what” and “why” regarding pollinator gardens, here is a link to David Suzuki for more info. https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/create-pollinator-friendly-garden-birds-bees-butterflies/

I spent some time at the spring this morning and was thrilled to see all of the “pollinators” busy in the garden.  Many different types of moths, butterflies and humming birds were busy taking care of business and I managed to be quick enough (only once!) for the top photo below.

Councillor Jackalyn Brady chairs the Westport in Bloom committee and has been a member since 2003.  Her hard working and creative members contribute beauty to the Village in many ways.  The hanging flower baskets, flower planters, gardens at the entrances to the Village, Library and Information Centre are some of their other efforts.  All of this work is done by volunteers.  Please take a moment to thank them next time you have the opportunity.  The members are: Jackalyn Brady (Council Member and Chair), Danielle Tapin, Delvalle Lewis, Betty Jo MacDougall, Donna Easter, Barbara Weir, Peggy Thompson, Janette Auer.

pollination at work! July 27pollinator garden July 27

Emergency Management Training

The Village recently put a call out to the community for volunteers to bolster their ranks during an emergency.  To assist the Westport Emergency Operations Centre, support is needed in three areas – note taking (scribe), canvassing residences and setting up reception centres.  Several people responded to the call, including all members of Council.  Training was provided in the morning of October 28 by Mayor Robin Jones, Councillor Barry Card and Alison Tutak, Director of Social Services for the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville.   A full scenario exercise involving all of the students occurred in the afternoon, which gave the students an opportunity to apply what they had learned.  Many thanks from all members of Council to those who stepped up.  Your commitment will provide much needed support during an emergency.

EM training Oct 28-19Paul Snider, Jackalyn Brady, Danielle Tapin, Rob Roberts, Delvalle Lewis, Patti Mueller, Ann Bellefeuille, Karen Earl, Kim Bonner, Melissa Sullivan, Elaine Bill, Alison Tutak, Mayor Robin Jones, Barry Card

CRF Pavement Preservation on George and Spring Streets

Reasons for pavement preservation

The maintenance of the top coat of asphalt is a fundamental aspect of long term pavement life. This is because water is the main element that causes damage to a roadway by seeping into the roadbed through cracks and expansion/contraction during freeze thaw cycles. Inevitably, new asphalt deteriorates due to the oxidization of the asphalt cement, which leads to brittle roads that crack over time.

Options for pavement preservation

Reclamite is an emulsion that is applied to the top course of the asphalt and rejuvenates the existing asphalt cement and slows down the oxidization process. This helps to extend the life of the top course of asphalt and reduces the cracking that typically appears within five to six years after a new application. As a result, this treatment is applied to roads that are in relatively good condition and before significant cracking develops.

Typical crack sealing involves clearing out existing cracks and filling it in with a rubberized product. It is used to seal the top layer and prevent water seepage into the granular bed. CRF is an alternative treatment to typical crack sealing treatment. CRF applies an emulsion and sand product that treats the entire road as opposed to just the cracks. In addition to filling in the cracks, CRF also provides asphalt rejuvenation similar to Reclamite.

The Counties has worked with Superior Road Products in the past. Given this past experience, and recent local test results,  the Counties is trying this product again. Other adjacent municipalities and counties are already working with Superior Road Products. 

The Counties negotiation with the supplier also provides test locations for the townships and Westport.  George and Spring Streets were chosen by Westport Public Works and the product was applied on Tuesday.  There is no cost to the Village.  

Many thanks to the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville.