Tag Archives: Mayor Robin Jones

Join the team and offer your First Impressions of our exchange community

People who visit our community for the first time can offer fresh perspectives and unique insights about our services, accommodations and tourist attractions. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) offers the First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) program, where you can tap in to these insights.   By taking part in this program, we get paired up with another community and see what kinds of first impressions the Village makes when people visit for the first time.  What we learn can help us find ways to better attract tourists, residents and investors.

Our application to be part of FICE has been accepted and we have been paired with another community. We are recruiting and need four more volunteers, who will receive training from OMAFRA.  Our volunteers will:

•travel to our partner community to anonymously make observations

•record their feedback in a survey during the visit

Your costs for travel, accommodations and meals will be covered.

The exchange visits are where volunteer teams visit their exchange community and note observations in order to prepare a report back.  The evaluation of Westport by the other team will include:

Evaluate and get insights about:

◦services that make our Village visitor-friendly (access to transportation, information centres, signage, location of attractions)

◦physical spaces (historic sites, buildings and entrances)

◦community services (housing, education, jobs, health)

◦businesses, retail stores and restaurants

◦natural areas (harbour, parks and walking paths)

Evaluate how we serve visitors and get insights about:

◦what makes us visitor-friendly (access to transportation, information centres, signage, location of attractions)

◦tourist attractions (landmarks, events)

◦natural areas (parks, cycling and walking paths)

Evaluate our downtown area and get insights about:

◦the look and feel of downtown areas

◦businesses, retail stores and restaurants

◦entertainment (events, festivals, arts and culture activities)

If you are interested in being part of the Westport exchange team, pls email Councillor Gerald Schwinghamer at gswestport@gmail.com.  The First Impressions training will occur on Tuesday, Mar. 27 at 10 am at the Town Hall in the second floor meeting room.

I think this sounds like fun and encourage you to be part of it!

Call anytime – 9195


A Busy Week … let me catch you up

Monday started with an early train to Toronto to meet with Vic Fedeli, the Interim Leader of the Provincial Progressive Conservative Party.  Accompanied by several Wardens from the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, we apprised Mr Fedeli of several issues impacting Eastern Ontario and found him to be engaged and genuinely concerned.

Breakfast with the Mayor on Wednesday morning at the Cove was well attended by business owners.  Councillors Brady, Huth and Schwinghamer and I listened to several points of view concerning parking in general and specifically strong objections to charging for parking in the Village.  These opportunities for Council to consult with stakeholders are important and provide key information before decisions are made.

Village of Westport Historical Walking Tour Task Force also met on Wednesday morning after the breakfast.  A great team of Christine Janeway, Cynthia Pringle, Kim Bonner, Rob Roberts, Councillors Brady and Schwinghamer have developed a new Historical Walking Tour booklet and app.  Both will be available by May 24, 2018.

On Thursday, I went to Queen’s Park and made a delegation to the Standing Committee on Bill 175 Safer Ontario Act (bill to replace the Police Services Act).  A Standing Committee is the opportunity for all three provincial parties to consult with stakeholders and the public between the 2nd and 3rd reading of a bill in the legislature.  There are several concerns in the draft legislation that will have an impact on Westport and all of rural Eastern Ontario if passed in its current form.  I am optimistic that our perspective was compelling.

The final work at the sewage plant is wrapping up, although the contractor will be back after the spring thaw to clean up the site.  Once the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change gives its final approvals and the works is commissioned, I will let you know.  That will be the time to celebrate!

Have a great week … call anytime … 9195

Mayor’s Breakfast at the Cove – February 28, 2018 @ 08:00 am

Please join Mayor Robin Jones and members of council to discuss updates from businesses on preparations for Le Boat in May (prizes available for two best plans!), information on new Heritage Walking Tour and consultation on possible fees for parking in the downtown retail area.  And whatever else you have on your mind!

Please join us.  Spring is around the corner – so let’s meet before we all get caught up with the excitement that comes with May 24 and beyond!

The Cove offers buffet breakfast for $10 pp @ 08:00.  Our meeting will begin around 8:15.  Hope to see you on February 28th.



Travelled to Queen’s Park today to represent the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and support the Ontario Federation of Agriculture at joint event on economic development.

Guelph, ON [February 21, 2018] – Four provincial organizations shared their voices at Queen’s Park today to strengthen the message to all political candidates that investments in rural communities offer benefits to all Ontarians. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), together with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus made a joint announcement on the value of spreading future economic development dollars across the province.

OFA’s election campaign – Producing Prosperity in Ontario – is encouraging greater investment in Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities to deliver economic growth and prosperity for all Ontarians

“Ontario’s agri-food sector is an economic powerhouse for the province, and we are encouraging the government to make greater investments in agri-food and rural communities as a sustainable and effective way to deliver growth and prosperity for all Ontarians,” says OFA President Keith Currie. “We have a strong collective voice on this position, announcing our partnership here today with organizations that represent the interests of Ontario businesses and communities in rural and urban areas across the province as part of our Producing Prosperity in Ontario election campaign.”

Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce reiterated that “only bold action and leadership can strengthen Ontario’s position in the global economy. Ontario must leverage its existing strengths for a long-term vision for prosperity for the province,” says Rossi.

Eastern and Western Wardens’ Caucuses represent more than 400 communities across the province that need greater access to infrastructure investments for broadband, affordable energy, transportation, as well as education and medical facilities. “The role of the province is to help our rural communities invest in improving social and economic conditions to ensure our communities have the services and support they need to grow,” says Robin Jones, chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus.

“We fully support OFA’s initiative to focus on new investments in rural communities that will assist existing businesses, attract new companies, and boost opportunities for residents and regional economic development,” says Gerry Marshall, chair of the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus.

The partnership announced today in support of OFA’s Producing Prosperity in Ontario campaign demonstrates the collective support that exists across the province to secure future investments for Ontario that benefit urban and rural areas. “We believe that spreading the investment dollars around the province is the solution to ongoing challenges that face rural and urban communities, and hold the promise of improving the quality of life for all Ontarians,” says Currie.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 37,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer.

Feb 21 OFA event

In the photo, from left to right: Gerry Marshall (WOWC Chair),  Keith Currie (OFA President), Robin Jones (EOWC Chair), and Rocco Rossi (OCC President and CEO).





United Counties of Leeds and Grenville – new strategy to support residents at Mountainview Manor

I am pleased to announce that within the next couple of months, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville (UCLG) Social Services and Housing Departments are initiating a Community Engagement Strategy at three housing locations.  Mountainview Manor on Bedford St in Westport is one of them.  This collaborative new project aims for early conflict resolution and improving coordination and access to services.

A  new position is being created, a Housing Case Manager.  This person will be dedicated to these three buildings, bringing an in-depth knowledge of social housing and issues arising within the buildings.  The Housing Case Manager will use his/her experience, leadership and excellent communication skills working with tenants and community partners to improve/develop:

  1. Enhance tenant relations and communication
  2. Promote collective responsibility in ensuring a safe environment
  3. Increase participation by tenants in resolving building issues
  4. Raise confidence of tenants so that they will come forward with their issues
  5. Educate about the process in dealing with behaviours; get to know who to call in the community, and what they can do when there is an issue
  6. More efficient service delivery and communication between agencies.
  7. Improve public perception of “social housing” buildings.

Community partners committed to working with tenants, Social Services and the Housing Department are:

  • Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  • Country Roads Community Health Centre
  • Leeds OPP
  • Victim Services
  • Upper Canada Family Health Team

The goal of this strategy is to create a welcoming and positive environment for tenants where they can meet one another to plan, build and grow together.  The participation of community partners will provide opportunities to access other supports and services.  To be successful, the Community Engagement Strategy could use our support. Perhaps  community members and groups can consider how to support the tenants and community partners and help make this strategy a success. I will keep you posted on its progress.

Call anytime – 9195.