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Peterborough Member of Parliament Dean Del Mastro has had his days in court over charges he violated the Elections Act in his 2008 re-election campaign. The trial began in Peterborough on June 23 and ended in Lindsay with final evidence heard on July 14. Closing argument was given by the defence September 2 and by the prosecution on September 4th. A guilty verdict was given on Halloween. Parliament then had to consider whether to expel Mr. Del Mastro from Parliament but he resigned just before the vote.
Mr. Del Mastro changed lawyers from a local lawyer Jeff Ayotte to a Toronto criminal law specialist Leo Adler who attempted unsuccessfully to reopen the case on January 27 a date set for sentencing. This delayed the proceedings so it was adjourned for sentencing in Lindsay on February 19th. On February 19 the Crown asked for a jail sentence but submissions were not completed. The sentencing saga continued in Lindsay court on April 28th when submissions were completed. It is now expected that the actual sentencing of Mr. Del Mastro will take place on the next court date of June 26.
Meanwhile Peterborough still has no Member of Parliament and the constituency office is overseen by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Andrew Scheer. Andrew Scheer is a Conservative Member of Parliament representing a riding in Regina Saskatchewan. It is still possible that a Peterborough by-election will be called but it is almost certain the vacancy will not be filled until a general election for all of Canada later this year.
While charges were pending Mr. Del Mastro sat as an independent Member of Parliament being required to leave the Conservative Party caucus. The charges concern a payment of $21,000 made by a personal cheque to an Ottawa-based polling firm for which Del Mastro was not reimbursed, exceeding his personal spending limit of $5,000. Mr. Del Mastro’s cousin David Del Mastro has been charged with offences related to improper campaign contributions to the Dean Del Mastro election campaign to get around donation limits, where his company is alleged to have had employees make contributions in their names, which were not from them personally but using funds of David Del Mastro.
Peterborough’s former Member of Parliament, having been convicted will be sentenced and will face a fine and possibly a jail sentence. The Conservative candidate to replace the former MP is not yet decided. The Liberal candidate is Maryam Monsef and the NDP candidate is Dave Nickel. A federal general election is to be held October 19, 2015 unless the Prime Minister calls an election earlier, and it is not known yet who the local candidates will be from any of the major parties. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has the authority to call a by-election or he may simply call an early general election. Stay tuned for more drama.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, but why would Jerry Seinfeld do a show in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada?
Jerry Seinfeld is one of the world’s most rich and successful comedians of all time. For 9 years his TV show “about nothing” dominated television with its self centred characters and focus on trivial matters blown out of proportion. The TV show changed society and North American culture. Reruns are readily available and still get high ratings. People are always talking about classic episodes of the show and a possible reunion. Yada, yada, yada.
But Jerry Seinfeld put on a very different kind of show in Peterborough Saturday night April 26, 2014. It was one of only two shows in Ontario on a major American tour with the other show in Kitchener the night before. Why Peterborough? That question was never really answered. He made the point in a question. “Do you know how long I’ve been wanting to come to Peterborough?” His answer “Never! Yet it’s a pleasure”. And it was a pleasure to see and listen to Jerry Seinfeld on the stage talking about life and death and relationships in a show that thrilled the packed Peterborough Memorial Centre. He suggested the audience was there because they had nothing else to do. “That’s why I’m here too. I had nothing else to do.”
The warm-up comic act to Seinfeld was Mario Joiner, a black comedian known for his work doing stand-up comedy and collaboration with both Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. Mario was quick to note the lack of ethnic diversity in Peterborough in saying how friendly a town it was. “I met the black community, all ten of them” he quipped. He joked about Canada’s culture being dominated by Tim Horton’s not Starbucks and how he was directed by Canada Customs to go to Tim’s as a necessary thing to do in Canada before he would be allowed to leave. He said he was staying at the Holiday Inn, “Peterborough’s best 4 star hotel”. He suggested that it was scary there having male maids banging on the door early to wake him up and get him out of the room so they could clean it. He talked of hockey, which of course, is something important in Peterborough. Jerry Seinfeld also spoke of hockey and that it was the main thing at the “Memorial Auditorium”. He suggested that he could not get them to remove the ice for his show “but when Elton John was here it was a rider in his contract to remove the ice”. Jerry joked about how far north Peterborough is, but he made the faux pas of referring in one fat joke to “donut holes” which went dead on the Canadian audience, which only knows the fattening treat as Tim Bits.
Both Seinfeld and Joiner spoke about what it is like getting older. Mario Joiner is 52 and Jerry Seinfeld was about to turn 60 three days after the Peterborough show. Joiner spoke of how people tell him “ you look good for your age.” He questioned “why can’t they just say I look good?” Jerry Seinfeld talked about his own life marrying for the first time at 45 and then having three children. Much of his humour was about marriage, relationships and children. He joked about women’s complex brains and superiority over men. He compared men’s simple brains to the minds of dogs, which explains why the dog is “Man’s best friend”. He spoke of how women can’t be pleased and the need for men to simply avoid conflict and be careful what they say. “Marriage is a chess game. It’s not checkers.” He spoke of life and death (burial versus cremation) and how humans evolved to standing up. “Now we just want to sit down and we look for a chair to sit down on every time we enter a room”. The only thing better is a bed “Why get out of bed to do anything?” He spoke of hydration and dehydration. “Once you are thirsty it is too late you are already dehydrated”. He spoke of energy drinks. “Why would anyone want a 5 hour energy drink” since nobody works a five-hour shift. “Why don’t they just go to bed?’
Everything we have turns to garbage including some day the “Memorial Auditorium”. He went on an on praising Ebay as a way we can send our garbage to other people who want it. That skit was reminiscent of George Carlin’s infamous skit about “stuff” but was cleaner. There was of course some toilet humour where Jerry criticized the poor design of public toilet cubicles and also about the effects of coffee. He made fun of the people who carry around giant coffee cups and also the people who have stick people versions of their families pictured on their vans.
The crowd was enthusiastic about both comedians and their energetic performances. After an hour and a half show with no intermission everyone seemed content and happy to leave the “Auditorium” without demanding an encore. It was a great day for Peterborough, when Jerry Seinfeld came to town.
Peterborough is very proud of its university located in the north end of the City of Peterborough on the Otonabee River. Community leaders dreamed of a university in the early 1960s and with the leadership of Professor Tom Symons and generous community support and land donations in the Nassau Mills area from General Electric, Trent university started in 1963 and officially opened in 1964 with downtown facilities. Trent began as a small liberal arts school which featured small group teaching and a tutorial system with a residential college system. For the first decade everybody knew everybody else and there was much interaction between “Town and Gown” with activities in the city which housed two of the university’s colleges, Peter Robinson College for male students (now closed) and Catherine Parr Traill College for female students (now the home of graduate studies). The administration was located in Rubidge Hall in town in the early days and now is located on the Nassau Mills campus in the still beautiful Bata library on the west bank of the river. Trent now has more diverse programs and the science area has grown greatly with new buildings on the east bank. Champlain College opened for male students in 1967 and Lady Eaton College for female students opened in 1968. The two colleges and the library were the centrepieces of the brilliant campus architecture of Ronald Thom, which integrated nature with university buildings, in harmony. Within a few years society had changed and the gender divisions were removed from the colleges. The campus added co-ed Otonabee College in 1972 and Peter Gzowski College in 2003. The college system was and still is a major part of the Trent system and values. There is now a student residence across the road from the west bank campus and it is not associated with a College.
With over 8,000 full time students Trent is now a medium sized university with 50 years of loyal alumni. Trent has become a leading institution for Canadian studies, environment, indigenous studies and even has a nursing programme. Trent has changed with the times but retains the values and vision of its founding president Tom Symons pictured below then and now:
Trent has big plans for the coming year with 50th Anniversary celebrations and hopes to involve many people in reunions and commemorative events. There is an Alumni Reunion Weekend in early August featuring a Blue Rodeo concert and many other activities. On October 17 there will be a Gala Dinner and a Parade on October 18th. For other events and more specific information visit the university website: Trentu.ca
Local Healthcare Providers Collaborate to Address Misuse of Fentanyl in Peterborough New Fentanyl Patch Return Program Aims to Keep Drug Users and Community Safe
Thanks to the fast-acting collaboration of local healthcare providers and the Peterborough County-City Health Unit, a new initiative to reduce the harm caused by fentanyl misuse is now in play for our community. “I’m proud of how quickly physicians, pharmacists and other local partners came together to respond to this growing and very dangerous problem in our community,” said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari. Since the government wisely chose to discontinue funding OxyContin in 2012, those who use opiates illicitly have chosen to shift their focus to other opiates, such as fentanyl. Evidence from local addictions treatment centres and the Emergency Department in 2013 suggested that incidence of fentanyl overdose was increasing. This is concerning as fentanyl is among the strongest of the opiates, being 750 times stronger than codeine. In response to this situation, the Health Unit teamed up with a group of pharmacists, physicians and law enforcement officials to develop the Fentanyl Patch Return Program to minimize the harms associated with fentanyl misuse. Under this program, individuals who use fentanyl are required to return used patches to their pharmacists before they are dispensed the next set of patches. This practice discourages diversion of used patches from which the remaining drug is harvested for illicit use. “The success of this program requires collaboration among the prescribers, the pharmacist, and the patients. Physicians and other prescribers are being asked to discuss this practice with all patients who receive a prescription for fentanyl and to also direct pharmacists to collect used patches through an indication on the prescription,” said Dr. Pellizzari. continued… When dispensing the patient’s fentanyl prescription, pharmacists provide the patient with the Opioid Patch Exchange Disposal Tool along with their fentanyl patches. At the patient’s next visit, the pharmacists then collect the used patches as indicated on the prescription, ensure they are accounted for, and then dispose of them appropriately. Opioid overdose in Ontario is a serious public health problem. Accidental opioid deaths are a leading cause of unintentional death, often surpassing fatalities from motor vehicle collisions. Although victims include those who experiment with and/or who are addicted to opioids, the majority of victims are citizens who are using opioids as prescribed. The most recent data indicates that more than 500 Ontarians (median age of 40) died in 2011 of an opioid-related overdose, and 20% of these were specifically due to fentanyl. The majority of these individuals had a prescription for an opioid dated within four weeks of their death. Local data from 2010 indicates that approximately 25% of all drug overdoses are due to prescription opioids, and anecdotally health authorities know this has increased to at least half in recent years. Since the discontinuation of funding for OxyContin in 2012, reports indicate that individuals who use opioids are changing their drug of choice to other substances such as heroin, hydromorphone, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl. Recent media reports and anecdotal data suggest that fentanyl is making its way to the street by means of finding inappropriately disposed of used patches, stealing new or used patches, or purchasing patches from those who have legal prescriptions. It is then being cut up and chewed, smoked or extracted from patches and injected, which is dangerous considering the high potency of fentanyl and that it is meant to be a slow-release drug. For more information, please visit www.pcchu.ca. In the “For Professionals” section, on the webpage for “Alcohol & Other Drugs” there is a document entitled Fentanyl Patch Return Program FAQ and a copy of the Opioid Patch Exchange Disposal Tool.
On January 24, 2014 a transaction was implemented that sees the Connection Newspaper, a 20 year old local community publication change hands, from Saville Publishing to a group headed by Peterborough lawyer Murray H. Miskin. Murray Miskin is originally from Toronto but came to Peterborough in 1973 to attend Trent University and in more recent years he has served on the University’s Board of Governors and worked with the Alumni Association. Mr. Miskin promises “big changes, better content and a visually more attractive publication with broader distribution across Peterborough County and into the Kawartha Lakes areas.” Changes will appear clearly in the February issue which will be printed on bright white paper and improved layout. “Readers will certainly recognize the paper and we will try to do all the things the Connection has done before and more.” said the new Editor and Publisher. While the newspaper is only printed and distributed once a month it has an active up to date online presence with its blog/website: connectionnewspaper.com plus Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media accounts.
The Connection newspaper will commemorate its 20th anniversary in April with a nostalgic look at how the area has grown and changed since the paper began in 1994. This will include a focus on cottage development and real estate prices on the lakes. Environmental issues will also be reviewed in light of the great amount of development and the strain this has placed on ecosystems. Many new cottagers have arrived since 1994 and many who were cottagers have become permanent residents. As Mr. Miskin puts it “There is greater interaction between cottagers and permanent residents and the line has blurred. To a large degree the Connection will work to connect the two and their common interests. I was a cottager since 1987 and now I live full time and with less stress on Stoney Lake. More and more people are making a similar shift or hope to do so. We are changing the newspaper name to the “Cottage Country Connection” for good reason”.
The new Connection newspaper will strengthen and increase its distribution territory on an incremental basis. Most distribution has been by direct mail which will continue and soon expand. The publication’s Manager of Sales Donna Matthews promises “a brighter face for the Connection Newspaper, greater integration with social media platforms and lots of contests for readers. Advertisers need new and exciting affordable ways to promote their business and we plan to deliver exactly that” Ms. Matthews said. As a free publication the Connection relies entirely on local businesses who advertise to pay for its publication and distribution costs. Donna Matthews can be contacted about advertising by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 705-874-1106 or cellphone 705-313-5455
The Cottage Country Connection can be reached by mail and welcomes contributions including local news, event information, poetry and short stories. Submissions can be mailed to Box 200, Time Square, 380 Armour Rd., Peterborough Ontario, K9H 7L7 or by email to Murray Miskin: email@example.com
Advertisers and others may submit content for the newspaper to: firstname.lastname@example.org where the newspaper’s new graphics, design and layout team will work to make it visually appealing for readers.
Editor and Publisher Murray Miskin may be contacted for media interviews, questions or comments by email, or by phone to Miskin Law Office at 705-755-7363.
(Please note that this website peterborough.org is owned by the new owners of The Connection Newspaper and that the above information in this post is a press release issued on January 25, 2014 on behalf of Cottage Country Connection, a Division of 2403262 Ontario Inc.)
Our primary symbols for this website are taken from the Hunter Street Bridge which connects downtown Peterborough with the East City across the river. We see this bridge as a key Peterborough landmark with great importance to Peterborough’s history almost equal to the Peterborough Liftlock. The bridge unites the City of Peterborough downtown east and west of the Otonabee River. The East City, as it is now known, was originally the Village of Ashburnham, before it was annexed by the Town of Peterborough in 1904. With an expanded population Peterborough became a city in 1905. There were earlier bridges across the river at Hunter Street but the current Hunter Street Bridge was originally built between 1919 and 1921 and was restored recently, reopening in August 2012. The $8 Million restoration project included 88 terra cotta shamrocks in the railing at the centre, the railing itself, other terra cotta elements including crests of armour and the “Peterborough” inlays at the center, and the large light standards at each end and the middle of the bridge. Hunter Street is one of Peterborough’s more vibrant streets with many excellent restaurants and other businesses on both sides of the Hunter Street Bridge.
Our website Twitter account @PtboDotOrg uses a shamrock from the Hunter Street bridge as its profile photo.
Peterborough’s member of Parliament Dean Del Mastro has been charged and will face trial in June 2014, with four offenses under Canada’s Election Act. This follows a lengthy investigation related to cheques written and spending limits in the 2008 Federal Election and subsequently failing to provide correct information as requested for the investigation. Mr. Del Mastro denies the allegations against him and vows to fight them. His first appearance on the charges was in the Peterborough criminal court on November 7, 2013. Mr. Del Mastro is defended by local lawyer Jeff Ayotte who appeared as agent for Mr. Del Mastro who did not attend. The case was put over until December 4th. On December 4th trial dates were set with the trial to begin on June 23 and if necessary to continue into the month of July.
Peterborough’s Member of Parliament has left the Conservative Caucus in Parliament while charges are pending and he has indicated he intends to sit as an Independent Member of Parliament who will vote with the Government. He has been removed as a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario. He has lost the $16,000 annual salary that goes with the parliamentary secretary job. While continuing as Member of Parliament for Peterborough, Mr. Del Mastro will still receive his $160,200 salary for being a Member of Parliament in Canada. Dean Del Mastro continues to operate his Constituency Office and his website deandelmastro.ca The website correctly refers to work as Parliamentary Secretary in the past tense and does not refer to any party affiliation although it clearly puts forward support for accomplishments of the Harper Government.
Peterborough.org is an independent website which expresses no political views but welcomes your opinions on issues relevant to the Peterborough community. In our Poll we asked if it is best for Mr. Del Mastro to resign or continue as Peterborough’s representative in Canada’s Parliament.
39 people voted on whether Dean Del Mastro should resign his seat in Parliament now, if convicted, or not at all. We kept the poll as neutral as possible. Abuse of the poll was possible but did not appear to happen. We did not require voters in the Poll to be Peterborough residents. IP addresses of voters were monitored to help with the honesty of the poll. Voting ended October 31, 2013. Twenty five voted that Mr. Del Mastro should resign now and ten voted that he should resign if convicted. Nobody voted that he should not resign. There were four comments instead of votes, half of which were negative about Mr. Del Mastro and not appropriate for publication, and half appeared to be spam not responsive to the question in any way. Obviously Mr. Del Mastro has made his decision to stay on in Parliament as an independent member while the charges are pending and we will see what happens next summer after they are resolved.
Many people have Tweeted photos from the 43rd annual Head of the Trent 2013 with @Ptbodotorg and #Ptbo #HOTT2013. We have posted the best rowing photos here starting with our own above, taken with an Iphone 5 just before noon October 5, 2013 looking down from the Reginald Faryon Bridge. Photos below are all from Twitter. The Head of the Trent is the largest one day rowing regatta held in North America and draws over 1200 rowers from over 50 clubs and schools. Despite non-ideal weather the turnout was huge and a good time was had.
Canadian novelist Robertson Davies was born in Thamesville Ontario, between Chatham and London, on August 28, 1913 and is remembered with great affection in Peterborough Ontario. where he was a very important member of the community. In Peterborough, Robertson Davies is best remembered as editor and publisher of the Peterborough Examiner Newspaper from 1942 to 1955. Some of Robertson Davies best literary work was written while he was in Peterborough. Award winning writings done while in Peterborough included;
- Won the Dominion Drama Festival Award for best Canadian play in 1948 for Eros at Breakfast.
- Won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour in 1955 for Leaven of Malice.
He also wrote and directed plays for the Peterborough Theatre Guild, and with his wife Brenda acted in them. He and other family members owned TV and radio stations including Peterborough’s CHEX TV and CHEX AM Radio. After leaving Peterborough Mr. Davies went on to greater fame as founding Master of Massey College of the University of Toronto and with his authorship of the Carl Jung inspired “Deptford Trilogy” of novels released in the 1970s: Fifth Business, The Manticore and World of Wonders. The fictional town of Deptford was inspired more by Thamesville than by Peterborough. Professor Davies was awarded a Trent University Honourary Doctor of Literature degree in 1974 when Fifth Business and the Manticore were making the author well known on a broader basis. The Manticore won the Governor General’s Award in 1972. Robertson Davies won many awards in recognition of his literary work and was also awarded an Honourary Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1991. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada. Robertson Davies died in 1995 at age 82.