General News


January 3, 2019   ·   0 Comments

David Tilson to step aside as MP in 2019

Written by Scott Taylor

Dufferin-Caledon MP David Tilson will not seek re-election in the 2019 general election. “After much reflection and discussion with my family and close friends, I have made the decision that I will not be putting my name forward for re-election in October of 2019,” he said. “There comes a point when it is time to step back and let others serve our community. I have reached that point now and wish to thank all those who have supported me over the years.” Mr. Tilson spent 4 years as a school board trustee with the Dufferin County Board of Education and then two terms (six years) as a town councillor with the Town of Orangeville. In 1990, he was elected to the first of three terms as the Member of Provincial Parliament, first for Dufferin-Peel, then for Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey. Mr. Tilson was then elected for the first of five consecutive terms as the Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon in 2004. He said he made the announcement now to allow for the time to choose a successor for the riding and to give whomever that might be ample time to get their name out to the people of the riding. Mr. Tilson declined to say whether Conservative prospects in the next federal election, expected to be held in October of 2019, held any sway in his decision to step back from politics. “I think the prime minister will get a bump with this NAFTA (now called the United States Mexico Canada Agreement) thing. It looks good on the Liberals.” But he cautioned that no one has seen the exact language of the agreement and that he questioned what the dairy farmers might think of it. Still, he sees it auguring well for the Liberals, at least in the short term. “Mr. Trudeau seems to be like the Teflon man,” he said of the prime minister. “Things seem to roll off of him.” He added he thinks Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is “doing reasonably well” as leader of the opposition. A minor flap was caused not long ago when he told media that he didn’t ask a single question in Question Period in th4 House of Commons because he wouldn’t get a straight answer back. Mr. Tilson was the only Conservative MP not to have asked a question since Trudeau was elected. He said his answer then stands today. “Maybe 90, maybe 95 percent of the questions asked of the prime minister are never answered,” he said. “The prime minister has his message and that’s it. It’s an absolute joke. It’s embarrassing.” He couldn’t pinpoint one particular highlight from his long career, but did say he’s proud of the way he carried himself through it all. “After close to forty years in elected office, I can say with confidence that I have always kept the interests of all of my constituents firmly focused in front of me. It has been a singular privilege to have served the residents of my community in the various capacities to which they elected me. To have had that trust placed in me for so many years is truly an honour.”

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Tony Pontes Public School celebrates official opening

Written by Joshua Santos

Cheerful students and school board representatives braced the rain for the official opening of Tony Pontes Public School on Monday, Oct. 15. About 400 students will now attend the school, located at 12872 Kennedy Rd. It is named after Pontes who spent 39 years with the Peel District School Board. “It’s a great honour. I was thrilled when the board announced it, said Tony Pontes, former director of education for the Peel District School Board. “Really, I would never have imagined it. I’m so proud the board chose to name this school in particular, a, because I spent a lot of my career in Caledon and so this is situated in Caledon and I also believe in the year-round balanced calendar school. I was double pleased that this was in Caledon and a year-round school.” Pontes was a math and woodworking teacher in 1978 at the former J.A. Turner Secondary School. He held various teacher and vice-principal roles and was the principal of Chinguacousy Secondary School and Mayfield Secondary School. He also spent time as a superintendent at different institutions. “I was a student at Peel and for me I didn’t want to simply stop being part of the board. I recognize I am no longer the director of education and I want to be respectful of that but I love being connected with kids and with staff and parents and communities,” said Pontes. A year-round balance calendar school spreads the holidays and breaks throughout the year instead of using them all in the summer. Students only have one full month off. “It also allows parents to take their children on vacations at different times of the year and it also spreads out the learning over 11 months rather than the normal 10 months,” said Pontes. The school was built after Southfields Village Public School reached its capacity. It had 900 students enrolled at one point. Tony Pontes Public School is now the third balanced calendar elementary school in the Peel District School Board. The other two are Roberta Bondar Public School and Ray Lawson Public School in Brampton. “What we requested from the government was a school of 850 because we know at some point this school is going to be at 800+. There probably will come a time shortly when we’ll either need to put portables here or actually put on an addition (wing). That’s how large this community is.” The school was initially set to open at the end of July but was delayed because of construction. Some students had to begin the year at Countryside Village Public School in Brampton for the interim until they were transferred over. “We were already sending students to James Grieve Public School. It was absolutely critical that we open up a second school and this school is already at 400. By the summer it will probably be at 500 and it’s going to be crowded at some point,” said Pontes. Sumit Chopra was one of the parents at the celebration. His two daughters, Ananya, Grade 7, and Alya, senior kindergarten will attend Tony Pontes Public School. “We are all excited, especially my kids. They woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning because they were really excited to be here on the first day and see the opening ceremony of the school,” said Chopra. He wasn’t given a tour of the facility yet but was told it will happen in a couple of weeks as staff finishing setting up for parents. Chopra said his children were attending countryside. There were space constraints for his children. “They couldn’t call their school their own independent school. Now they have their own school, they have more spaces to work, a place to play and they have their own gym and they’ll contribute more to their class,” said Chopra. Chopra likes the idea of a balanced calendar school saying it should be offered at other Peel Region schools as well. “As parents, we are really happy with this curriculum because in the summer, they only get a one month break and not a two months break. Usually the kids get bored during the 60-day summer vacation. This is balanced throughout the year. This is what most of parents are super happy about, said Chopra. “I know many people are willing a buy in this neighbourhood only to get this school admission. I’m in real estate and I help people buy and sell. Most of the clients ask if there are only homes available in Caledon because they want this particular school for their kids. This school’s curriculum is in demand. In my opinion, any new school opening should follow this curriculum.” He said the school may be full in the next couple of years and thinks there might need to be another one that opens as the population continues to grow.

Tomorrow (Friday) will see people pausing to remember the millions who have fallen in wars.

In Canada, Remembrance Day is a time for remembering those who fell for this country in two World Wars and other conflicts. In recent memory, many Canadians have lost their lives serving dron. There were about 30 young men there, and I had no trouble spotting my dad. But front row centre, there was seated

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Allan Thompson re-elected as Caledon Mayor

Written by Joshua Santos

Allan Thompson secured a second consecutive term as Mayor of Caledon. With all polls reporting, the incumbent received 7392 ballots at 45.37 per cent of the vote on Monday, Oct. 22, according to unofficial election results. A total of 16293 votes were casted. Thompson attended Town Hall with his wife Anne watching the results come in and celebrated his victory at the Royal Ambassador Banquet. He felt a sense of relief. Thompson will utilize what he learned in his first term as mayor when he takes the helm of council again. “You’re learning every day. Are there more effective ways of doing things? For sure. You learn as a better leader as time goes on and I find too that the more we can inspire our councillors or staff I really think we can get things done much quickly than we did the first time,” Thompson said. He was first elected as mayor in 2014 after receiving 7,822 votes. Thompson was first elected to council in 2003 as the area councillor for Ward 2 and subsequently elected as regional councillor in 2006. He was up against former Ward 1 Regional Councillor Barb Shaughnessy and Kelly Darnley, former CEO of the Caledon Chamber of Commerce. Shaughnessy received 4976 ballots at 30.54 per cent while Darnley obtained 3925 votes at 24.09 per cent. Shaughnessy was at her home watching the results with her family while Darnley was with her supporters at her campaign office. Shaughnessy declined to comment Monday night while Darnley was unavailable. Shaughnessy will not retain her seat as regional councillor of Ward 1. Thompson was surprised by the low voter turnout. There were 51,190 eligible voters while 16,528 people casted a ballot at 32.29 per cent. “I’m surprised of the results for such a low voter turnout,” said Thompson. “I would have thought the turnout would be better. What it tells elected people when the turnout is that low is that there’s no issues. There’re no real big issues. The Town must be doing something right.” This election season become increasingly volatile especially on social media. Thompson said he stayed out of it. “It was an echo chamber of negativity and it’s sad to see. We’re an educated society and I think we’re better than that. I think not engaging in that negativity helped my campaign immensely,” said Thompson. He said he needs to be an inspiring leader to have people follow and show the Town is heading in the right direction. “There’s been so much misinformation and so much negativity out there, we need to shut it down and focus on what Caledon can really become and that’s bringing everybody together,” said Thompson. “I think that’s the work that I think myself and council have to do. We need to build on our strengths, build on the positive attributes. I think we’re going to have an awesome term for the next four years but I think it’s how we set it in motion. We rise above it and continue on. I really think that’s what we have to do. He said there’s going to be a lot of changes and sees a lot of positivity in town with the revitalization of the downtown core and pending Amazon warehouse in Caledon. “They see the beautiful opportunity that we have to offer and I think that’s what we need to celebrate,” said Thompson. New faces on council Four incumbents have been re-elected to Caledon council while four new faces have been elected. Thompson was enthusiastic about the new term of council. “It looks like we have some good councillors returning and we have some new people. To me I think we have the fundamentals to have a really good council,” said Thompson. Ward 1 Area Lynn Kiernan has been elected as the new area councillor for Ward 1 in a tight race. She received 945 votes at 34.09 per cent defeating Dwayne Jackson (915 votes at 33.01 per cent), Mauro Testani (577 votes at 20.82 per cent) and Robert Rees (335 votes at 12.09 per cent). A total of 2772 ballots were casted. Ward 1 Regional Ian Sinclar has been elected as the new regional councillor for Ward 1 with 1219 votes at 43.33 per cent. He defeated Tom Sweeny (885 votes at 31.46 per cent), Jim Wallace (650 votes at 23.11 per cent) and William Motley-Bailey (59 votes at 2.10 per cent). A total of 16293 ballots were casted. Ward 2 Area Christina Early has been elected as the new area councillor for Ward 2 with 1796 votes at 44.70 per cent. She defeated Sandeep Singh (1193 votes at 29.69 per cent), Christopher Gilmer (447 votes at 11.12 per cent), Brian Dunn (372 votes at 9.26 per cent) and John N. Rutter (210 votes at 5.23 per cent). A total of 4018 ballots were casted. Ward 2 Regional Johanna Downey has been re-elected as regional councillor for Ward 2 with 3013 votes at 76.67 per cent. She defeated Kevin Corrigan (917 votes at 23.33 per cent). A total of 3930 ballots were casted. Ward 3 and 4 Area Nick DeBoer has been re-elected as area councillor for Ward 3 and 4 with 2319 votes at 56.19 per cent. He defeated Cheryl Connors (1808 at 43.81 per cent). A total of 4127 ballots were casted. Ward 3 and 4 Regional Jennifer Innis has been re-elected as regional councillor for Ward 3 and 4 with 2877 votes at 68.50 per cent. She defeated Derek Clark (1323 votes at 31.50 per cent). A total of 4200 ballots were casted. Ward 5 Area Tony Rosa has been elected as area councillor for Ward 5 in a contested competition with 2066 votes at 40.77 per cent. He defeated Steve Conforti (2036 votes at 40.17 per cent) and Joe Luschak (966 votes at 19.06). A total of 5068 ballots were casted. Ward 5 Regional Annette Groves has been re-elected with 3150 votes at 60.81 per cent. She defeated Angela Panacci (2030 votes at 39.19 per cent). A total of 5180 ballots were casted. School Board Peel District School Board Stan Cameron has been re-elected with 8015 votes at 71.92 per cent. He defeated Dmytro Basmat (1606 votes at 14.41) and Amandeep Singh (1523 votes at 13.67 per cent). A total of 11144 ballots were casted. Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board Frank Di Cosola has been re-elected with 3482 votes at 63.18 per cent. He defeated Sheralyn Roman (2029 votes at 36.82 per cent). A total of 5551 votes were casted.

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Canadensys Aerospace Corporation awarded space contract

Written by Joshua Santos

Canadensys Aerospace Corporation has been awarded an $800,000 contract from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The Bolton based organization was presented with the funds to develop a new lunar rover concept. “This follows a sequence of activities and contracts we’ve done for the federal government in this general area of lunar surface mobility. To put it in context, Canada participates with a number of international partners in space exploration. Most known about that is the International Space Station. We have a very visible role there” said Christian Sallaberger, president and CEO of Canadensys Aerospace Corporation. “The international partners are looking at what could be the next big international program after the space station and they’ve come up with something called the deep space Gateway. The Gateway is really kind of a mini space station that will orbit around the moon and we’ll have up to four astronauts at a time visiting it.” Canadensys Aerospace Corporation is a space systems and services company with a focus on accessible space. They were founded on heritage and expertise that spans over a number of Canada’s space achievements of the last three decades. The Gateway will house a power and propulsion bus, habitat module and a small logistics module for rovers and other robots, according to a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) news release. The International Space Station partners are USA, Europe, Russia, Japan and Canada. It is possible that other new partners might also join in the Gateway effort. Canada is considering involvement in this next phase of space exploration. As part of the Gateway preparatory activities, a lunar rover concept is desired that will employ artificial intelligence. It will test technologies needed for a future pressurized rover capable of transporting astronauts on the moon’s surface. Sallaberger said the government posted a request for proposals (RFP) in early summer and Canadensys Aerospace responded to it. “By space program standards this has been a reasonably fast contractor selection period. Often there’s a much longer cycle and proposal evaluation process before one gets to an actual binding contract. This one went reasonably fast,” said Sallaberger. “We’re involved in a number of technology development efforts, many of them directly applicable to lunar surface systems and vehicles. In this case, this particular contract is to do the early phase studies of a smaller precursor rover that would support eventual human missions, said Sallaberger. “This contract is for what we call phase zero activities, which look at mission planning, the objectives, the user needs and the very high-level concept of what that vehicle will be. It also defines if the mission is feasible, what are the options that should be considered, what will the cost be, what will the schedule be, what are the risks associated with it. We develop and provide all this information so the government can make an informed decision on what they would like to do.” David Tilson, MP for Dufferin-Caledon applauded Canadensys Aerospace Corporation on being awarded the contract. “This announcement is yet another example of the tremendous talent we have in Canada and within our own community. I congratulate Canadensys Aerospace Corporation on being awarded this significant contract by the CSA that will allow this company to continue to grow and innovate, while also bringing more well-paying jobs to Caledon,” said Tilson in a news release. Sallaberger said an overall program to build a Canadian lunar rover will take about five to 10 years. “Probably closer to a 10-year program if it was a human rover that will be used by astronauts to move around the lunar surface and maybe a little bit quicker if it was a robotic vehicle,” said Sallaberger. Canadensys Aerospace Corporation is involved in a variety of activities such as developing robotic lunar rovers for commercial customers and a lunar telescope observatory that will be placed at the south pole of the moon for an international customer. “As a company, we’re quite involved in space exploration, and in particular one of our strengths is the area of lunar exploration. The moon presents a tricky environment because it has many of the dangerous aspects of space such as a high radiation environment, and remoteness, but it is also very challenging because the moon has very dramatic temperature swings,” said Sallaberger. “From day time temperatures, it can drop down to extremely cold temperatures at night – to minus 200 degrees Celsius temperatures or even colder. The systems we design for the moon, if they’re to survive a lunar night, have to be able to get really cold and warm up again and have everything continue to work. That’s important for the electronics and computers and the brains of the system but also the mechanical pieces because when things get really cold, they shrink and then they expand when they warm up. If they are not carefully designed, things can come apart in that process. After designing and building spaceflight hardware, Canadensys Aerospace performs a variety of tests at their Caledon facility. It houses several test facilities, including a cryogenic thermal chamber that can test space equipment down to extremely cold temperatures. They can do vacuum testing and accelerated lunar lifetime testing there. They also make use of advanced test facilities across Canada and have an agreement with NASA to do some testing of Canadensys spaceflight hardware there. Canada has a long history of space involvement. Canada had their first satellite in space with the Alouette I in the 1960s, according to a Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ news release. “We have certainly had a long history in space and that has continued through programs such as our involvement with the space shuttle in partnership with the U.S., and our involvement as a partner in the International Space Station, said Sallaberger. “I think in terms of importance for our country, space exploration is one of those areas where we have internationally recognized expertise. There are some great spin offs from the Canadian space program in the area of terrestrial technology applications that are improving the lives of all Canadians and indeed of humanity in general. Our space program is a source of national pride and international prestige. Not only is it an economic powerhouse, but it inspires our youth, and fulfills our human need to explore and understand our place in the universe. “The Government of Canada and the Canadian Space Agency are now doing the studies and technology development, so they can make an informed decision on what role Canada should play in space exploration going forward. Certainty as a company we believe it’s the right thing that Canada should be doing and we’re very supportive of it.”

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