Cawthra Park Choirs Singing to Build Schools in Togo, Africa

‘Evening of Song’ to build schools in Togo, Africa

Like the individual notes that shape a melody, people together can create an event that resounds mightily. ‘Evening of Song’ is such an event.

First United Church (Port Credit) and St. Stephen’s-on-the-Hill United Church are partnering with two award winning Cawthra Park Secondary School choirs – Les Belles Classiques and The Chamber Choir – to raise funds for SET ( Support Education Togo) to build a school in Togo, Africa. Not only have these choirs won numerous competitions, but they have performed with many professional groups including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

In 2011 Bob Barclay, a Mississauga resident and retired Scotia Bank vice-president, along with three others, founded SET, a registered Canadian charity. The group, visiting Togo for the first time, were appalled by the condition of many school buildings. Simple thatched lean-tos, these classrooms were open to weather as well as vermin living in the thatch. They returned to Canada determined to make a difference. Since then, SET has worked with local Togo communities and NGOs to construct ten durable concrete schools, with an eleventh nearing completion. SET funds may also provide furnishings, scholarships, library and school supplies, water and sanitation facilities for the schools. As SET’s Togolese partner says, “Water is life but education is the future.”

Every dollar raised through this concert will be used in the actual building of schools in Togo. Come to enjoy these talented young voices raised in an ‘Evening of Song’ that will resonate around the world. Be part of building a brighter, hopeful future.

For more information – or or

EVENT DATE: Sat. April 30, 2016 – 7:00p.m.

LOCATION: First United Church, 151 Lakeshore Rd. West, Mississauga, ON L5H 1G3

Driver distraction still #1 factor in road deaths

“If you are texting, you are not driving” says OPP Commissioner

Heading into its annual Distracted Driving campaign next week (March 14-20, 2016), the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) confirmed that 2015 marked the third consecutive year that driver distraction as a causal factor exceeded all other categories of road deaths on OPP-patrolled roads.

Last year, 69 people died in road crashes in which driver distraction was a factor, compared to 61 speed-related, 51 seat belt-related and 45 alcohol/drug-related deaths.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the risks associated with distracted driving – in particular, texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. Many of these studies have confirmed that this form of distracted driving is as dangerous as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Heading into March Break, road users need to be aware of how serious a threat distracted drivers are to their safety. Each year for the past three years (2013-2015), OPP officers have laid approximately 20,000 distracted driving charges throughout the province, which is more than double the number of impaired driving charges they laid over the same three-year period.

Over and above cell phone use, the OPP continues to lay numerous charges every year against motorists whose driving ability is compromised by other distractions such as eating, self-grooming, tending to kids in the back seat to name a few.

“If you are texting, talking on your cell phone or pre-occupied with other activities while behind the wheel, you are not driving safely. It does not suffice to keep your eyes on the road. Driving involves sharing space with drivers, their passengers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians and it is impossible to do so safely unless your eyes and mind are solely focused on driving.”

– J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner

“Distracted driving is just not worth it. It has been shown to be just as dangerous as drinking and driving – something we all know is wrong. Our government has worked hard to make our roads some of the safest in North America, including taking strong action against individuals who put themselves and others at risk by talking, texting and using electronic devices while driving. We all have a role to play in keeping our roads safe and I want to remind everyone to go hands-free and put your hand-held devices away. It can mean all the difference.”

– Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

The OPP is encouraging passengers of all ages to take a zero tolerance approach to distracted driving. Take charge of your own safety and speak up when you are in vehicle being driven by someone who is not paying attention to the road and is endangering your life.


On September 1, 2015 the fines and penalties for distracted driving were increased. Click here to learn more:

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

Pearson Airport Central to Transit Planning, Region-Building, Economic Development: Mayor Crombie

Toronto – We need to build regionally-integrated transit and any plan to undertake new transit initiatives in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) must consider a role for Toronto Pearson Airport, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said today.

Mayor Crombie made the comments during the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s 2016 Aviation Summit. Mayor Crombie participated in multiple panels that included elected officials and industry experts, Toronto Pearson CEO Howard Eng and Leslie Woo, Metrolinx’s Chief Planning Officer.

“It starts by thinking differently about Pearson Airport,” Mayor Crombie said. “Pearson is more than just an airport – it is a regional and national asset that must be utilized.” Mayor Crombie added that “Pearson Airport is a hub of economic development, job creation, international trade, travel and transportation.”

“All levels of government need to incorporate Pearson Airport into their public policy and strategic planning goals.”

“Whether directly or indirectly, all roads and rails must lead to Toronto Pearson,” Mayor Crombie said, citing Mississauga’s efforts to drive forward new regionally-integrated transit plans like the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT), along with the ongoing development of the MiWay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Transitway.

“In 2017, the Renforth Gateway BRT station is scheduled to open. The station will help make travel to Pearson Airport and the Bloor-Danforth subway line easier via Highway 427,” Mayor Crombie said. “Our vision for all-day two-way Go Train service on the Milton and Kitchener GO Train lines with the Missing Link plan will further move people throughout the Western GTA and will allow for greater access to the airport.”

“In our conversations with Mayor Tory and the City of Toronto, we are exploring opportunities that will one day see SmartTrack further connected to transit that leads to Pearson Airport.”

“We support a vision that reimagines Toronto Pearson as the Union Station of the GTA West and Mississauga is ready to do its part to make this happen,” Mayor Crombie said.

Beyond transportation, Mayor Crombie singled out the importance of Pearson to Mississauga and the GTA’s overall economy. Pearson Airport is Mississauga’s largest employer (41,100 people). The aerospace industry is responsible for 25,000 jobs in Mississauga.

“Put simply, what is good for Pearson Airport’s economic prospects are good for Mississauga’s own economy,” Mayor Crombie said, adding that “we chose the arrival gates of Pearson to launch the Mississauga International Partnership Program Committee (MIPP) – a new working group to attract and retain foreign-direct investment.”

“Each day a wealth of economic opportunity flows from Canada’s largest airport into our community. It is critical that we position ourselves to compete effectively in the global market place.”

Mayor Crombie concluded that “as we look toward the future, with plans to build a more thriving and promising Mississauga and GTA, the success of Pearson Airport is central to transit planning, region-building and unleashing new economic development opportunities.”

The Sugar Bush

One of the sweetest signs of spring has arrived, it’s maple syrup season! In March, the warmer daytime temperatures and cool nights, get the sap flowing. It’s the sap from sugar maple trees that is boiled down to make maple syrup.
Producing high quality maple syrup goes hand in hand with forest management. A sugar bush, a forest managed for maple syrup production requires the use of proper forestry practices to maintain production and sustain forest health. 
To get high volumes of sap production, sugar maples need exposure to sunlight. The wider the crown of the tree, the more the leaves have access to light. Forest thinning is therefore an integral part of sugar bush management. Trees that impede the growth and crowd sugar maples are removed, as well as diseased and dying trees. Maintaining some species diversity in a sugar bush is important to build resilience of the forest as well as provide benefits to wildlife.
Maple syrup has been around for centuries. While the methods of maple syrup production have become less labour intensive today, good forestry practices still ensure the sustainability and health of the sugar bush. To find out about CVC’s restoration programs and services, including forest management, join us on April 2 at the Tree Planting and Habitat Restoration Services Presentation.
Visit the Countryside Stewardship Connection and share your maple syrup memories and create new ones at the Sugarbush Festival, click on the What is the sweetest sign of spring? Forum.