Column: Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year, Hannah Hempinstall

Hannah Hempinstall with Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Scott Moffatt Hannah Hempinstall with Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Scott Moffatt

January 31, 2011

This past Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting a bright, young girl from Richmond that will soon receive one of twelve Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Awards.  Along with Mayor Jim Watson, I presented a certificate on behalf of the City of Ottawa to Hannah Hempinstall, a 12-year-old grade 7 student at Goulbourn Middle School. The Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year is an annual award recognizing 12 young people who are making a difference in their communities through their leadership and involvement.

Hannah was nominated by Sharon Law of Richmond; the nomination was supported by her dance teacher, Michaela Noffke, and her former Richmond Public School teacher, Bruce Harvey. The nomination describes Hannah as “a shining example of how to get things done, finding your voice no matter how young you are, and for doing what you believe is right, despite any obstacles in your way...she is a natural leader and manages to do so with kindness, respect and a wonderful sense of humour”.

“Hannah truly believes she can make a difference in the world by reaching out,” Ms. Law said in her nomination of Hannah. “It never occurs to her not to try.”

Hannah Hempinstall, 2011 Recipient of the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award Hannah Hempinstall, 2011 Recipient of the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award

When her best friend, Emma Streatch was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008, Hannah began her efforts to help raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Her fundraising activities have included an annual Dance for Diabetes at her schools, which have raised over $6,000 to date. Hannah has been instrumental in educating her classmates about diabetes, including having a speaker from JDRF talk to her fellow students.

Hannah's efforts go beyond the people she knows. When she learned that a local girl was being treated for leukemia in summer 2010, she made a huge card for her - signed by everyone at her school - and had it delivered to her at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. She also volunteered for an entire day at a fundraiser where she painted faces and sold fudge and baked goods to raise money for the girl’s family.

Hannah and her parents, Nancy and Peter Hempinstall, will be traveling to Niagara Falls this May for the gala awards ceremony, officiated by the Hon. David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Special thanks to Charlene Burnside for sharing the photos with us. You can view all of them on the Rideau Goulbourn Facebook page.

Manotick Shiverfest

The Winter Carnival season is upon us! This past weekend, I had the pleasure of taking part in some of the Manotick Shiverfest festivities.  On Friday night, myself, Jim Watson, Brian Tansley, Carol-Ann Decker, Ryan Keon, and Frosty the Snowman (Greg Decker) officially opened Shiverfest in a ceremony at the Manotick Arena.  Outside, the snow was falling, hot chocolate was being served and an incredible bonfire was being enlarged by our local volunteer firefighters.  It was a perfect night to be outside with friends and family and enjoy community at its best.

Saturday was a full schedule for Shiverfest, from the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast to the sleigh rides to the dance; it was a busy day in Manotick.  One of the great events I attended was the first ever Chili Cook-off at the Manotick Legion.  This was a tremendous event with well over 20 different varieties of Chili to taste.  I'll be honest, I have little experience eating chili so I was amazed to find out how many different flavours could exist in so many different crock pots.  From Pierre Viau's curry chili to the mixture of bison and chocolate from the Black Dog, it was a constant explosion of taste.  It was great to see so many local restaurants out "competing" with local residents in the name of fun to be crowned Manotick's best chili.  The Main Street Cellar, The Mill, Manotick Prime, Black Dog, The Main Grille, and countless local amateur chefs all volunteered their time to put their chili to the test.  It will, undoubtedly be the first of many.  I would congratulate the winners, but at this type of event, everyone who attended and took part was a winner and each and every participant should be commended.

Overall, you couldn't have asked for better weather this past weekend, making Manotick Shiverfest a tremendous success.  Congratulations to the Manotick Village Community Association, Kiwanis, the Manotick Legion, among others, for all the hard work that went into putting the weekend together.  We can’t wait till 2012!

North Gower Winter Carnival

This weekend will be the North Gower Winter Carnival taking place in and around the Alfred Taylor Recreational Centre.  Friday night features a Spaghetti/Shepherd's Pie  supper followed by a talent show, which is a lot of fun.  Saturday kicks off with a pancake breakfast followed by events throughout the day, including sleigh rides, tobogganing, and a performance by Junkyard Symphony.  In the evening, Liam Maguire joins us for a night tailor made for the hockey fan in all of us, featuring bingo, trivia, and a silent auction.  Come out and enjoy another great winter weekend!

“Let’s Talk Trash”

Just a reminder, I am hosting three "Let's Talk Trash" Open Houses.  If you would like to come out and talk about waste collection and the suggested service alterations, this is your chance.  I'm at the Richmond Arena on the 9th, the Alfred Taylor Centre on the 10th, and the Goulbourn Municipal Office on the 14th.  All meetings are from 7-9pm.

Budget 2011

Have your say on the 2011 Budget for the City of Ottawa.  I will be attending two of the five Budget Consultations.  The first is at the Nepean Sportsplex on Tuesday, February 22, followed by a rural consultation at the Osgoode Arena on Thursday, February 24.  Over the next six months, I'll be working to determine potential capital projects to be undertaken over the coming years.  I’d like your thoughts on this as well.  What is important to you in your community?  Where should we spend our tax dollars in Rideau-Goulbourn?  E-mail your thoughts on the 2011 Budget and what you think should be a priority in 2012 and beyond to

Other Contact Information

Recently, I activated my new Facebook page. Facebook gives me the opportunity to connect easily with people, to announce events and post pictures from events from around Rideau-Goulbourn.  You can also follow me on Twitter! It’s a great way for me to communicate easily with residents and I interact with many different people on there on a regular basis.  Aside from those, you can always reach me by email at or by phone at 613-580-2491.