27 Sept. 2021

Boycott bug spreads to all members of MV Council

Readers may recall from our Sept.6 editorial on the subject of municipal transparency that The Current proposed starting an online forum this fall designed to facilitate lines of communication between MV residents and members of Madawaska Valley Council. Our only role would be as the link between ratepayers’ questions and the corresponding responses from members of Council. As the fourth and final year of this Council’s term approaches, such a forum would enable readers to submit questions on any subject to members of the elected body, each of whom also chairs a Committee with departmental responsibility, and questions could be directed to the relevant chairperson as appropriate.

Our editorial also noted that during the 2018 election campaign there were three candidates (Mayor Kim Love, Councillor Ernie Peplinski and then Councillor Shelley Maika) who boycotted our online Town Hall Forum. Nonetheless, encouraged by the response to it, The Current wrote to each member of MV Council on Sept.7 requesting confirmation that they would be agreeable to participating in similar Q & A sessions. Sadly, it appears that the “boycott bug” has now also infected Councillors Carl Bromwich, David Shulist and Mark Willmer as every member of Council has ignored The Current’s invitation.

Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Barry’s Bay

Free, walk-in, COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry’s Bay on the dates listed below.

  • Saturday, Oct.2 (9 am to 2 pm) 
  • Thursday, Oct.7 (9 am to 1 pm)
  • Thursday, Oct.14 (2 pm to 6 pm)
  • Saturday, Oct.24 (9 am to 1 pm)

No appointment is necessary. Vaccines offered are Pfizer and Moderna. Parking is free (token provided). The phone number for the Vaccine Clinic is (613) 717-6311

Editor’s Note: The hours for the Oct.2 clinic have been corrected since publication. The clinic ends at 2 pm. We apologize for any confusion.

Catch The Ace Week #15 Winner

Melissa Brotton of Barry’s Bay was thrilled to be chosen as the St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation’s weekly winner on Sept.23. Melissa bought her ticket at Valley Manor and picked envelope #43 which revealed the Nine of Spades, and received the Weekly Prize of $1,003 — congratulations, Melissa! The Weekly Prize for Week #16 is estimated at $1,020 and if the Ace of Spades is found, the Total Winnings will be around $24,208.  All proceeds support the purchase of essential medical equipment for St Francis Memorial Hospital.  Tickets for Thursday’s draw can be purchased at retailers throughout the Valley.

Creative arts in the Valley this fall

Madawaska Valley Studio Tour: This year’s Fall Studio Tour happens Oct.1-3. Artists’ studios are open all three days – Friday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Watch demonstrations and discover how wood, clay, metal, fabric, glass and canvas transform in the makers’ hands. Come immerse yourself in art! The self-guided drive between studio visits gives you an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the region. Visit madawaskastudiotour.com for details and studio map.

Combermere Craft Cabin: The last day for the Craft Cabin is Saturday, Oct.2. The Craft Cabin committee thanks all their visitors for a fantastic season. If you are a maker, please call to arrange a pick up time for all your wonderful crafts. (Please call first due to Covid restrictions.) Please call Sue Wade 613-756-5409 or 519-993-0504

Pop Up Art at the Library: Ottawa Valley Community Arts issues a gentle reminder to all those who took one of their Pop Up Art at the Library kits: don’t forget to return your finished art piece to your local library to be a part of a Pop Up Art installation. Finished pieces are due back in early October (so there’s still time to get your craft on!) If you’d like to participate, kits are available at the following community libraries: Deep River, Petawawa, Pembroke, Eganville, Barry’s Bay, Arnprior, Renfrew, Whitney, Killaloe.

Generations Under Sail “Pokolenia Pod Zaglami” festival trailer

Congratulations to filmmaker Adam Benish who advises that his Polish language short film Generations Under Sail has been selected to both the Ontario International Film Festival and the Art Gallery of Hamilton Film Festival. The AGH will screen the film virtually, for free, starting Oct.14. In the meantime, Benish has provided the following YouTube link to the Official Festival Trailer for the film:

Free online addictions service therapy

The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million in Breaking Free Online, an innovative therapy tool that makes it faster and easier for Ontarians to access safe and effective addictions supports. Ontarians can register at www.breakingfreeonline.ca and have free access to programming and resources for two years. Mental health and addictions service providers, such as counselors and therapists, can also register their patients for this service to complement their addiction treatment program.

Barry’s Bay sledge hockey

The Ontario Sledge Hockey Association team in Barry’s Bay is recruiting players for this season. Prospective players must be willing to travel and meet the requirements of the vaccination policy. Practices will be on Sunday afternoons in Barry’s Bay. For more information please contact Bay Blades coordinator Anita Jessup via Facebook Messenger.


  1. Monica Bratley

    In reply to Shelley Maika:

    You chose those words not me. The original story you responded to was in regard to present members of Council not being willing to respond through a facilitated discussion with members of the public. Therefore, I don’t know how else one could construe your meaning.

    As a constituent, I can choose to question one or all of my Council members and/or candidates using any format that I like. Using the media as a facilitator is not new. It is convenient. It allows ratepayers to see concerns of their fellow constituents and perhaps follow up on the responses with the candidate. What is disturbing to me is that you, and the present Council, find this inappropriate for some reason.

    You seem to misunderstand the responsibilities of members of Council AND candidates for those positions. To engage with the public; to inform; to debate public policy; to state their positions, the reasons for them and defend those positions; and do all of these things PUBLICLY and in a transparent and accountable manner. There is no better way to accomplish this, especially during a Public Health emergency, than through the media.

    Clearly, you have an axe to grind with the Current and its publishers. Such a position does not have a positive effect on public policy and community service. As for me, I will read all media, contact public officials when required and vote for candidates not just according to their words but also in light of their past and present behaviour, actions and policies.

  2. Monica Bratley

    In reply to The Current:

    Yes, Ms. Maika, I would like to know how much of our tax money was used to cover your actions and get rid of the “inconvenient” Integrity Commissioner. This is a clear example of the reasoning for appointing these Commissioners as many municipal governments are not acting in the public interest. They fail to be transparent and accountable.

    Should the Township of Madawaska Valley choose to act responsibly, there would be no need to expend municipal tax dollars for lawsuits, settlements and lawyers fees. The only way that the electorate can respond effectively now is to vote Council out of office.

  3. The Current

    In reply to Shelley Maika, we have indeed posted your comment on our website and one of our readers has already responded to you, asking: “So constituents are “the devil”? That is what you are saying as these questions are simply facilitated but come directly from the electorate. It’s a good thing, therefore, that you no longer have municipal government power.
    As for the rest of them, the municipal election will be our opportunity to elect those who will answer our questions and concerns and do so in a transparent and accountable manner.”

    Also, while on the subject of “deals” The Current has recently received information about you boasting about the “deal” that was made to fire Integrity Commissioner Rosien to stop him publishing the result of a complaint made against you. We are sure ratepayers would like to know how much of their money was used as a result of that, as well as how much was paid to Rosien to make his subsequent lawsuit go away.


  4. Shelley Maika

    No Monica I am absolutely not referring to the constituents of this municipality. If anyone has a question I would encourage them to reach out to the municipality or council. Full contact information is on the township website. Phone numbers, email, individual email addresses of the members of council.

  5. Monica Bratley

    In reply to Shelley Maika:

    So constituents are “the devil”? That is what you are saying as these questions are simply facilitated but come directly from the electorate. It’s a good thing, therefore, that you no longer have municipal government power.
    As for the rest of them, the municipal election will be our opportunity to elect those who will answer our questions and concerns and do so in a transparent and accountable manner.

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