The top 10
By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 28, 2017
An annual tradition, here is a countdown of the top 10 Times stories of the year.
10. Bob Lake
The quest for a public boat launch on Bob Lake continues after a property owner closed a long-used ramp that was long-thought to be publicly owned in 2016.
9. Scotch Line landfill
Minden Hills’ main landfill made a number of headlines this year, from controversy over compactor truck tipping fees, to two clean-up orders from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, to a deficit due at least in part to reduced tipping fees.
8. Affordable housing
Pinegrove Place, an affordable housing development by the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes Housing Corporation, is completed in Minden. The 12-unit building is the first phase of a development off Parkside Street.
7. Laurie Scott
The province’s Anti-Human Trafficking Act, based heavily on a previously tabled private member’s bill from Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott, is passed in the legislature. Scott, recognized by the government for her work on the issue, becomes a prominent voice against the practice of sex-trade-related human trafficking in Ontario.
6. Service Ontario
Bowing to public pressure after it had initially announced it would close the Service Ontario office along Highway 35 in late 2016, the province announces in February the office would stay open. There was an outpouring of anger in Haliburton County and other communities with their Service Ontario offices slated to close, with thousands of people signing online petitions.
5. Court proceedings suspended
Due to a shortage of justices of the peace in Ontario’s Central East Region, the province announces that provincial offences court proceedings at the Minden courthouse will be suspended for a year, from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018. Cases that would have taken place in Minden are being heard in Lindsay, and county politicians have expressed concern about increased OPP costs for transportation, and that the change may become permanent.
4. Fire hall
A project more than a decade in the making, ground is broken on a new, $2-million Minden Hills fire hall along Highway 35. Despite a setback involving collapsed trusses in November, it is expected the project will still be completed in March.
After Algonquin Highlands councillors voted to replace the term “reeve” with “mayor” in that municipality in July, Haliburton County’s other three lower-tier councils followed suit one by one, ending a long tradition of the use of the term “reeve” in the community. Councillors agreed that “mayor” is more modern and widely recognized term for the head of council.
2. Trademarking Haliburton
In a story that garnered national media attention, a Minden man successfully trademarked the word “Haliburton,” despite federal regulations that state the names of places cannot be trademarked. Politicians said there had clearly been a mistake at the federal level, and the resident eventually ceded ownership of the trademark to the County of Haliburton.
1. The flood
For the second time in the span of four years, the Township of Minden Hills declares a state of emergency as the Gull River surges its banks, overtaking swaths of Minden. Tens of thousands of sandbags are deployed around the village of Minden as some residents evacuate their homes. There are renewed calls from the public for local and upper levels of government to work on flood mitigation.