Mayors Address

Mayor Mayberry

Mayor

On December 4th the new South-West Oxford Council was sworn in. While the majority are returning members, we do have two new faces. As Mayor, I am pleased to welcome Councillor Peter Ypma and Councillor Craig Gillis to this term of Council. While it is a great honour to serve the public as your Council, it is also a great responsibility. The role of Council is to not only oversee the daily operations of the Township, but also to help define the future of the community. 

Over this term of Council we will face a number of challenges. Current infrastructure (roads, bridges, halls and parks) need to be maintained or enhanced to meet current expectations. We also need to improve connectivity through improved broadband and transportation options. Public engagement is also a priority, because an engaged community keeps the elected accountable. While Council's role is to provide leadership, the public's role is to keep Council transparent, informed and accountable. 

Governance is about balancing the social, economic and environmental realities and needs of the community. We cannot neglect one at the expense of another. Our quality of life depends on the careful weighing of the benefits and costs of diverse possibilities. While some people choose to put added emphasis in one area or another, good governance requires that all aspects are carefully considered before direction is set. As a result of basic human preference and bias, it is impossible to meet the demands of all the people all the time. But that is not the role of Council, because we are here to lead the community forward and to address each challenge based on its merit and impact for this and future generations. I know this Council will live up to its responsiblity, and I sincerely hope the public does as well. 

- Mayor David Mayberry

Meet your Council

Ward 1

Ward 2

Ward 3

Ward 4

Ward 5

Ward 6

Mayor David Mayberry

Born and raised in Oxford County…on Sweaburg Road…he is a 6th generation farmer with his son now taking over the operation (7th generation).
Graduated from University of Guelph in 1974 with his degree in Agriculture.
Became involved with the Canadian Food Grains program in 1983 as a volunteer and donor…helping to bag corn at a local elevator.
Job shared with his wife Catherine the position of Ontario Resource Coordinator of the Canadian Food Grains program for 17.5 years

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Ward 1 Councillor - Paul Buchner

Paul was born and grew up in the Brownsville area. After graduating from the University of Guelph he returned home to pursue his love of working in agriculture. In partnership with his brother Chris and their families they have grown Elmwold Farms Ltd. to 470 head of Holsteins and 850 acres. Paul and his wife Ruth now reside in Delmer having moved in 2017 from the farm to make room for the next generation. Since stepping down from the SWOX Fire Service after twenty five years, Paul spends his time serving on the Gay Lea Co-Operative Ltd. delegate advisory board and chair of zone two. Involved with Avondale United Church Council and pursuing his hobbies of golf, curling, bee keeping and amateur theatre. He continues to be involved with the farm but is working on spending more time with grandchildren and traveling.

Tel: 519-550-2138  

Ward 2 Councillor - Peter Ypma

Ward 2: Ypma Family

Pete was born in St. Catharines Ontario. A move in 1974 brought him within a mile of South-West Oxford Township on Maple Dell Road, and a second move in 1985 made him a full time resident of the Township. A year after graduating from Fanshawe College with a Farm Business Management diploma in 1990, he and Charlena married and took over the family pig farm at Ostrander Road and Culloden Line. There they have raised their 5 children: Catherine, Brandon, Brittany, Megan and Matthew.

A 20-year tenure with the Brownsville Fire Department began in 1996. During those years Pete also volunteered his time on the board of the Christian elementary school the children attended in Aylmer for 2 terms, and at Tillsonburg Christian Reformed Church, where he continues to be actively involved with Charlena and the children who are still at home.

A decision was made in 2009 to convert the family farm from pigs to chickens, and the Ypma’s have been producing hatching eggs on the edge of Culloden ever since. When not working or volunteering, Pete can occasionally be found riding his motorcycle, dabbling in woodworking, or watching football on TV.

“God has blessed our family richly over the years, and I thank Him for giving me the opportunity to serve in the role of Councillor. I look forward to working with the rest of Council, staff and the residents of Southwest Oxford to make this township the best that it can be.” – Pete Ypma

Contact Councillor Ypma
292624 Culloden Line
Brownsville, ON  N0L 1C0
Phone: 519-550-5652
Email: ward2@swox.org

Ward 3 Councillor - Valerie Durston

History Indicates family roots are were securely placed in Ward 3, at the above address, one hundred and twenty five years ago.
Often Valerie can be seen walking her dogs down Ebenezer Rd. following the same path from where the old Ebenezer Church once stood to the Ebenezer Cemetery. Talking to people about past community events and community history are among some of Valerie’s interests. Documented in the Oxford Gazetteer 1852 was the information from assessors John Galloway and William Underwood who alluded to the year of 1825. According to an abstract of the Roll, as far as Dereham is concerned, Ira Bishop lived on concession 3, (now known as Ebenezer Rd.) Lot 18, having one oxen and 2 young cattle. Ira was the first recorded settler on Ebenezer Rd. Imagine the life and time of settlers back then. Valerie and her dogs can be seen often walking the path Ira Bishop took to the Culloden Rd.

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Ward 4 Councillor - George Way

Hello, I'm George Way, Ward 4 Councillor for the Township of South-West Oxford. I have been a resident of SWOX and the former West Oxford for 58 years of my 59 years. Married to my wife Tammy, we are the parents of two sons, Brady and Brian.

I grew up on the family dairy farm south of Ingersoll. I am 1 of 6 children. My parents were Currie and Dorothy Way. I attended Grade 1 at SS No#2 West Oxford. Grades 2-6 were at Folden's Public School and Grades 7-8 were at Victory Memorial Public School in Ingersoll. Grades 9-12 were at Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute in Ingersoll. I am a graduate of Fanshawe College where I received my diploma in motor vehicle mechanic.

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Ward 5 Councillor - Jim Pickard

- represents the Sweaburg area and lives in the village of Sweaburg
- member of Sweaburg Parks and Recreation Committee
- retired from Farm Credit Canada
- chair of the Township's Energy Innovation Committee
- married to his wife Janet
- represents the Township of South-West Oxford on the Rural Economic Development Corporation
- member of the Sweaburg Lions

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20 Wilkins Dr. Woodstock, ON N4S 7V6
Phone:(519)-456-3425
E-mail: ward5@swox.org

Ward 6 Councillor - Craig Gillis

After graduating from the University of Guelph in 2002,  Craig began working as herdsperson for Wilmarlea Farms Ltd. in Embro in 2004. The farm today milks 160 Holsteins three times a day and is recognized for its high production and management score yearly.

Craig moved to Beachville shortly after starting at the farm in 2004 and married wife, Tanya, in 2006. The couple have two young children which keep life busy and always interesting. Craig has coached and helped with the kids sports teams in the past, trying to encourage the love of sports he has.

In 2009, Craig joined the South-West Oxford Fire Department, out of the Beachville station. It has been very rewarding to him to help the community in this role. He is active at community events the fire department is involved in. Craig was elected Beachville Fire Association President in 2011, and still holds that role today.

Craig knows he is opening up to a new challenge as a Councillor and is happy to represent Ward 6 and South-West Oxford to the best of his abilities.

Contact Councillor Gillis
10 Oak Street
Beachville, ON
Phone: 519-533-9433
Email: ward6@swox.org

Travelled to Kenya, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Honduras as well as North Korea.
Led the Canadian Youth Tour to Nicaragua and Honduras

He began servicing as a South-West Oxford Township Councillor in 1994, elected Mayor in 2006 and is currently also serving as the Warden for the County of Oxford.
He was a director of Oxford Mutual Insurance for 12 years and was involved with Scouts as a leader for 20 years first in Salford…then forming a club in Sweaburg.
He drives an electric car and is very supportive of renewable energy.
David and Catherine have 4 grown children and 7 grand children.

Contact Mayor Mayberry

484006 Sweaburg Rd Ingersoll, ON N5C 3J7
Phone: (519) 532-2917
email:mayor@swox.org

Mayor Mayberry's Blog

Thank You and Merry Christmas from Mayor Mayberry

As a child in public school I remember my grandmother saying "time flies" and thinking, as I waited for Christmas (and summer holidays), how wrong she was. Now some 50 plus years later, I find myself feeling like time not only flies, but does soat super sonic speed. Where did 2017 go??

December marks the beginning of the last full year of our current term of Council, with municipal elections coming in October of 2018. As I reflect back on the past three years of this Council term, I find myself appreciative of the Council South-West Oxford has. While there are often differences in perspective and opinions, there has been a greater desire to treat each other with respect and a willingness to offer conciliatory suggestions in hopes of finding the best possible solutions for the community.

Council is constantly aware that the decisions they make (wise or not) affect the lives of everyone in the community for better or worse. While our meetings are comfortable in that everyone behaves with respect, they are also serious in attemping to find the best solutions. I am not only proud of South-West Oxford Council, but I am also thankful that so many people in SWOX voted for good representatives.

I also want to thank the many poeple who volunteer on the committees and boards that are responsible for many of our community acitivites. Your countless hours of serving your community are very much appreciated. Great communitiesare built with great volunteers - we are so fortunate!

Finally, I want to wish everyone in the Township a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018.


Mayor Mayberry's July 2017 Blog

On the eve of Canada Day 2017, the 150 anniversary of our country, I have had several conversations about “what are you doing tomorrow to celebrate?” While I hope to enjoy at least a portion of each municipality’s events across our county, I have heard a number of alternative activities for Canada Day 150. From barbequing with family and friends to going to the cottage, from taking part in the local parade to attending the Highland Games and fireworks, people are looking forward to a time of celebration. And celebrate we should, for there is virtually no other country in the world that has experienced the safety and security, the peace and prosperity enjoyed by Canadians. We are indeed fortunate people!

But our good fortune comes not from the natural wealth of our nation, but rather our collective and communal vision for a community in which we all belong. Our enduring ability to recognize those from a variety of backgrounds and understandings as being partners and equal participants in our communities has been foundational in creating the peace (which is essential for our prosperity) we enjoy. It is the love, respect and appreciation we demonstrate for each other that will ultimately determine the quality of the life, and community, in which we live. Great communities are the outcome of our collective actions, so let’s keep up the good work.

Happy Canada Day! 


Mayor Mayberry's May 2017 Blog

The incredible growth in the computerization of almost everything that touches our daily lives is astounding, from appliances to cell phones, from vehicles to home health care products, we are rushing head long into the internet of everything. Many of these devices depend on the transfer of data which has grown exponentially over the past few years. This magnitude of data movement will increase even faster over the next decades. The ability of copper and wireless technologies to meet the demand is already stretched, and will continue to be insufficient. The only currently available technology with the capacity to meet the need is fiber optics.

The County of Oxford has joined with other municipalities in western Ontario to create the South Western Integrated Fiber Technology (SWIFT) program with the goal of providing every home, farm, business and institution with fiber optics. This potentially $4 billion project will take years and the collaborative strengths of government, private sector providers and the public to make it a reality. The Provincial and Federal governments have each committed $90 million so far, but that is not near enough.

In urban areas there is often a business case for installing fiber, but in most of the rural areas, the cost of trenching in kilometers of lines is prohibitive without some type of incentive or support. SWOX council recognizes that in the very near future, fiber optic transmission will be an essential service for both residents and businesses. SWOX council is exploring options to expedite the installation across the municipality. We know that this could be an expensive process, but we are painfully aware that without this service, our economic development will diminish, and then fail. 

We encourage our citizens to provide your thoughts on how we can best address this challenge. Please contact any of the council with your comments or concerns.


Mayor Mayberry's April 2017 Blog

During the March break, I travelled with the Woodstock Collegiate Institute students and teachers to Taiwan for their exchange with Tam Kang High School. As warden, it was an honour to represent Oxford County.  The relationship between Oxford and Taiwan is the result of the missionary work of Dr George Leslie Mackay in the 1870 and 80s. Dr Mackay, originally from the Embro area, built schools, churches and medical clinics with support from the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the people of Oxford County. Today, the original “Oxford College” has developed into a junior, middle and high school and university. The Dr. Mackay medical clinic has been replaced by the very modern Dr. Mackay Memorial Hospital, equivalent to our University Hospital in London.

Taiwan is a small country (about the size of SW Ontario) of about 23 million people, with the second highest density per square kilometer in the world, about 625. (Canada’s density is about 3.5). Taiwan has very limited natural resources and imports most of its resources, energy and food. Because of their dependence on imports, they have learned to maximize their efficiency in the use of everything. They attempt to reduce their waste by designing many consumer products to be recycled. In fact, they are now creating “Industrial Parks” where any “waste” from one process can be utilized by another manufacturer within the park. Excess heat or scraps from one process can become the resources for the next.

This determined drive for efficiency is one of the reasons this tiny country can compete with the elephant next door, China. There is a lesson here for Canada (and Oxford), if you want to go head to head with the super powers, you better focus on being more efficient and productive. Any waste, is potentially wasted opportunity.        


Mayor Mayberry's December 2016 Blog

December should be the season of celebration, and not just for Christmas. December marks the end of another year, another 12 months of life has passed by.

Compared to almost anywhere in the world, we have good reason to celebrate. We enjoy peace and prosperity unmatched almost anywhere on the planet. As a society, for the most part, we are the most fortunate. But our good fortune should be more than celebrated, it should be truly appreciated and shared. As we enjoy the Christmas season, may we all be truly thankful for our good fortune, and share generously with everyone.

Next month, Canada begins a yearlong celebration of 150 years as a nation. Several communities in SWOX are busy planning their celebration events. We will endeavour to keep all of our citizens informed of these events so you can join the celebration too.

From SWOX Council and Staff, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2017.


November 2016 Mayor's Update - Mayor David Mayberry

Despite the fact that no one wants it to be, climate change is real, and the overwhelming evidence shows that the human contribution through our use of fossil fuels is a significant factor. No one wants this to be true, but at some point, for the sake of future generations, we need to take responsibility. I realize that not everyone is prepared to acknowledge the reality of climate change and I understand that denial is most often rooted in the fear of change. But I also believe that we can master the transformational change required to evolve our society (and economy) to the next phase. Humans have a history of adapting to new realities, from transportation to cell phones, from computers to microwaves, people adapt to the changes in their lives. Each change has caused some angst for some people, but even at differing rates, we all learn to adapt.


With some of the identified impacts of climate change known, we need policies and programs (such as Oxford County's 100% renewable energy) that will encourage the mitigation of GHGs and help society to adapt to changing weather patterns. This is a time for clear direction and positive action - this is not a time to bury our heads in the sand by denying the reality, and in doing so, denying future generations of hope!

In facing the challenge of climate change, every person has a role and a responsibility. As individuals, we all need to be better informed about how we can do our part. Leadership needs to  provide both vision and opportunities for public engagement. The moment we realize we are all in this together is the moment we will all move forward.


November 2016 Mayor's Update - Mayor David Mayberry

Despite the fact that no one wants it to be, climate change is real, and the overwhelming evidence shows that the human contribution through our use of fossil fuels is a significant factor. No one wants this to be true, but at some point, for the sake of future generations, we need to take responsibility. I realize that not everyone is prepared to acknowledge the reality of climate change and I understand that denial is most often rooted in the fear of change. But I also believe that we can master the transformational change required to evolve our society (and economy) to the next phase. Humans have a history of adapting to new realities, from transportation to cell phones, from computers to microwaves, people adapt to the changes in their lives. Each change has caused some angst for some people, but even at differing rates, we all learn to adapt.


With some of the identified impacts of climate change known, we need policies and programs (such as Oxford County's 100% renewable energy) that will encourage the mitigation of GHGs and help society to adapt to changing weather patterns. This is a time for clear direction and positive action - this is not a time to bury our heads in the sand by denying the reality, and in doing so, denying future generations of hope!

In facing the challenge of climate change, every person has a role and a responsibility. As individuals, we all need to be better informed about how we can do our part. Leadership needs to  provide both vision and opportunities for public engagement. The moment we realize we are all in this together is the moment we will all move forward.


October 2016 Mayor's Update - Mayor David Mayberry

Over the past few weeks two of the things have captured public attention have been the winning of the Blue Jays and the American presidential election. Both items can be exciting and disappointing. For the Jays, perhaps we have seen the best they could be, and we should be grateful for that. But when it comes to the circus that is now the presidential election, I am much less grateful, in fact the only thing I'm grateful for is that its not happening here.

I find myself wondering what is really happening, how could the public be satisfied with their "choices" for president? How disenfranchised must people feel to realize these are the two "best" options for the presidency of what was once a great country. If someone claims they want to make America great again, I would hope that they would offer realistic solutions and then behave in a manner that encourages confidence and respect. I don't see that happening!

While I am very proud of SWOX council and staff, I find myself wondering how we are perceived by the community? Does the community feel like we are offering realistic solutions in a respectful manner? Over the past few years, as a result of downloading, SWOX Council has been forced to increase taxes beyond the rate of inflation. Council made those tough choices rather than debt finance or allow the conditions in the township to deteriorate. But increased taxes are increased taxes! As we begin the next budget cycle, lessons learned from a presidential election should help council remember that while people deserve the government they get, they should also get the government they deserve! 


May 2016 Mayor's Update - Mayor David Mayberry

On Tuesday, SWOX council received a rather unusual gift from a former employee.

While we were all aware of her ability to be very creative in understanding and then solving problems in our office, I wasn't aware of her creative talents at home. She is a quilter, and like many quilters is occasionally left with scraps of material. In her desire to be both resource efficient and show compassion for others, she has utilized the material scraps and created plush toys shaped as animals to be given (by our emergency service staff) to children as they experience a crisis.

As council looked at the large box of stuffed animals, I was reminded again of the power to do good that is within each one of us. This employee had dedicated her working years by using her skills and gifts to serve our community in one capacity, she now has chosen to use her talents to serve the community in different way. In both cases, the desire is the same, to reach out and make our community a better place to live and love.

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I am very proud of the staff at SWOX, and the kindness and generosity of this former staff member clearly demonstrates just one of the reasons why.


April 2016 - Mayor David Mayberry

As one looks outside these days, with trees coming into leaf, flowers beginning to bloom, farmers and gardeners beginning their annual homage to the soil, you realize that spring has sprung, once again.  While it happens every year, I still find myself marveling at the rebirth of the earth, and the almost miraculous growth all around us. The continual abundance that surrounds us is such that we often take it for granted. Each year our farmers invest millions of their own dollars, in seeds and other crop inputs, into the ground trusting that they will be rewarded with favourable growing and harvesting conditions. And each year like clockwork, fewer farmers feed more people here and around the world.

The reason there are fewer farmers feeding more people is a result of the continuing urbanization of our society. This global movement is particularly pronounced in North America and Europe where less than 2% of the population is actively engaged in food production to sustain the needs of the rest. As the population of our cities continues to grow, their need for more space to house and employ these newest arrivals expands. This is why South-West Oxford is currently talking to both Ingersoll and Woodstock about readjusting our boundaries with them.

It strikes me as odd that the growth I appreciate, in fact celebrate, in nature I struggle with when it pertains to urbanization, even though I know they are both part of the natural world. Just like flowers grow and bloom, so will towns and cities if they are nurtured properly. Like our farmers growing their crops, our urban areas must also practice excellent stewardship as we grow our sustainable communities. But we also must recognize that when we convert cropland to communities, that we can’t easily go back again, so great care must be taken.

As this and future generations drift further from the rural roots and the direct knowledge or understanding of life sustaining food production, the role of the rural voices to inform and engage urbanites will become even more important when it comes to wise land use. Our sustainability as community, and as a planet, depends on our continued commitment to good stewardship.


Valerie is very involved in the community, sitting on the Board of Directors for the Salford Community Hall and Park, the new park in Mt. Elgin Subdivision, Chair of the Engage and Inform Committee a member of the Township Energy Committee and a board member of the Tillsonburg Airport on Air Port Road in South West Oxford. As a local leader with roots in the direct Ward she represents, Valerie’s passion is serving and building community. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. “ Helen Keller.” In Valerie’s spare time she is heavily involved with an International club called Toastmasters a speech and leadership club. Valerie has taken the Leadership Track winning awards and presently is the Area Director for Woodstock, Tillsonburg and St. Thomas, empowering individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.
One of Valerie’s greatest accomplishments since serving in Municipal office is advocating for the installation of a gas supply line from Natural Resource Services. A natural gas supply line is being installed down the west part of Salford Rd. to Culloden Rd., then to Ebenezer Rd. The supply line will join up with the gas line coming from Verschoyle. In time, the supply of natural gas will be available to most homes and farms in Ward 3, up to Dereham Line. Affordable heating is something that most residents have dreamed of for years, and now it is coming in the wake of the Canadian renewable energy campaign.
A cheaper source of heat is good but a cleaner and renewable source of energy is better and reducing greenhouse gases is the best way to go for our future. Energy derived from renewable sources provides a good clean source of energy which will help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. According the Honorable Glen Murray, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is not the product from the year 2000. It is the product of carbon dioxide levels from the 1960’s and the 70’s. Now in 2016, we are over 1400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and we will experience the impact for another 20 to 30 years. It takes 40 to 50 years for carbon dioxide to cycle through and concentrate the atmosphere. We are locked in now and there is nothing we can do but reduce our carbon imprint.
A vision for Ward 3 is for families to take their energy needs further and plan for renewable energy.

“An effective councillor will have a vision beyond the moment regardless of the depth of the situation.” author unknown

Contact Councillor Durston
343541 Ebenezer Rd
Mt. Elgin, ON N0J 1N0
Phone:(519)-485-2698
E-mail:ward3@swox.org

Councillor Durston's Blog

What makes Autumn so memorable for residents of South-West Oxford?

It’s the changing of the season, warm days and cool nights, the smell of the falling leaves, the vibrant colours of trees, and this year, the Municipal Election on October 22, 2018.

That is not all that has changed.

The way you vote will be different. You can actually vote from home. How easy is that? Effortless I would say, compared to going out, lining up, and waiting to cast your vote.All you need to do is make a phone call or go online!

Coming soon to all residents in the mail you will find your Voter Infromation Letter with all the information you need to make the connection to vote. Your Voter Information Letter will include a PIN and all the instructions you need to use that PIN.

There is also a Voter Help Centre at the Township Municipal Office and a Voter Help Line519 485 0477. Don’t hesitate to call.

Autumn 2018 is truly a time of change!


October 2016 - Ward 3 Update - Councillor Valerie Durston

Autumn has always been my favorite season, a time for reflection of summer events, and a time for the expectation, of things to come. Autumn is a time when everything bursts with its last blast of beauty. Truly, nature was saving the best for last. With summer slowly passing, one cannot help but reflect on the activities of summer.

Reflecting on the summer in Ward 3, one would realize it was filled with working the land, construction, fun activities, and community events. The ground work for the installation of the NRG’s natural gas main lines were laid on part of Salford road and Culloden road to connect part of South West Oxford to NRG Natural Gas. Progress in this area can be seen as a success and an asset to those wishing to have choice ofenergy providers.

With regards to summer activity, do you remember playing scrub baseball at school?

     What is old is now new because Salford Community Hall and Park located at the old Salford school, hosted a summer Friday night scrub baseball game for community children and children at heart. Community involvement was seen as very positive, so positive that plans have been made to host this summer activity next year.

     Community members rallied this summer and hosted the first Salford School Reunion. The gathering was an incredible event. Past students attended from far and wide. The joy of being re-connected was evidenced by the laughter and good conversations had by all. Rumour has it this past event will not be the last! Our community is strong!

My sincere appreciation goes out to all who made these summer moments so memorable. 


April 2016 - Ward 3 Update - Councillor Valerie Durston

Community organizations and the people that volunteer their time are valuable members of the community. According to Wikipedia, community organizations cover a series of activities at the community level aimed at bringing about desired improvement in the social well-being of individuals. The action that usually comes from these organizations is power, power to address the issues that affect individuals and the place they live.

People that run and attend community based organizations are an important resource. They have the ability to work willingly together for the betterment of their community. Volunteers for these organizations come from all walks of life: they may be a teenager learning to manage responsibility, an executive sharing management skills with a community group or a retiree enjoying a new friendship as a volunteer or mentor. Ideally, volunteers who run or participate in community organizations find the donation of their time and energy a meaningful experience for themselves as well as for the organization. Attending and taking part in community based organizations is a true win/win situation.

Organizations running out of the Salford Hall, Ward 3, of South-West Oxford are and include the Salford Community Hall and Park Board, the Seniors Club, Scouts, 4H Club and the Early Years Program. Hats off to those organizations who strive to build our community.


Share your ideas with Councillor Durston

Phone:(519)-485-2698
E-mail: ward3@swox.org


January 2016 Ward 3 Update - Councillor Valerie Durston

When people hear the word “community”, many think of a neighbourhood, village or town. When I think of a community, I think of Ward 3 of South West Oxford with its amenities being the Mount Elgin Church, the Salford Old Reformed Church, the Village Cheese Mill and the Salford Community Hall and Park. A community can be a group of people who have something in common, a common history, or common interests. When people work together they build positive relationships. This interaction strengthens the community as a whole.

The Board Members of the Salford Community Hall and Park have worked extra hard this year building the strength of the community. Their goal is to increase community involvement and to give back to the community giving thanks to all community members who have worked so hard to keep the community vision alive. In the spring there will be a Grand Opening of the new park at the Salford Hall. All community members are invited to attend. Other Community events have been planned starting off with a Ham Supper on April 9, 2016 with other events happening throughout the spring, summer and fall ending with yet another Christmas sale you will not want to miss.

I would like to recognize the efforts of the outgoing board members of the Salford Community Hall and Park. Your hard work and dedication has been recognized and certainly appreciated. My personal hope is that you return for another successful year at the Salford Hall and Park.


p>Share your ideas with Councillor Durston
Phone:(519)-485-2698
E-mail: ward3@swox.org

September 2016 Ward 3 Update - Councillor Valerie Durston

What is it about Community Halls that bring people together? Is it a desire to be with other people or is it just as simple as liking the place and liking the place you live? Liking the place and liking the place you live have something in common.

According to Dr. Katherine Loflin, a leader in place making and who was significant in rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina said, “Building communities of all sizes gives identity, elects pride of ownership and ensures communities strive collectively to make themselves better socially and through local economic growth.” People in our community are doing just that. People are proud of where they live, proud of where they go for fellowship and equally proud of where they go for camaraderie. Gathering in places of choice provides identity and elects pride in ownership of place. Dr. Loflin calls this the POWER OF PLACE.

Power of Place will be seen at the Fall Turkey Supper hosted by the Salford Community Hall October 3, 2015. For tickets please call 519-425-2657.


Share your ideas with Councillor Durston
Phone:(519)-485-2698
E-mail: ward3@swox.org


After graduating from Fanshawe, I worked at Fred Wilford's Garage in Salford for six years before coming home to farm with one of my brothers. My brother and I bought the family farm from our parents and started Dairy Way Farms Ltd. in 1984. We farmed together for 25 years and in 2009 we sold the cows and the quota. We currently rent out the farmland and the buildings.

I keep busy these days going to car shows throughout South-Western Ontario in my 1931 Model "A" Ford. Tammy and I enjoy spending time together going to antique shows, memorabilia and nostalgia shows, and at least a couple of weeks in Florida during the Winter.

Other interests I have are attending Sprint Car Races in Ohsweken Ontario and Ransomville New York. Back yard BBQs and pool parties with family and friends is another way of spending my time in retirement.

Another interest I have, according to Tammy and "the Boys" is my backroad tours in the truck with my dog "Berta" and a cup of Tim Horton's coffee. Oh well! Life is Short! Make the best of it, doing things you enjoy!

Contact Councillor Way
523866 Curry Rd Ingersoll, On N5C 3J7
Phone: (226) 970-2104
e-mail: ward4@swox.org

Councillor Way's Blog

Fall Has Arrived

Fall has arrived and so has the 2018 Municipal Elections. I myself, as well as four other members of Council were acclaimed. Two new Councillors were elected. Peter Ypma in Ward 2 and Craig Gillis in Ward 6. I look forward to working with you over the next four years. 

This fall we have had more rain than normal, therefore delaying some fo the corn and soybeans being harvested, but I am sure crops will be eventually harvested and fall tillage compelted. The wet weather has made most of our gravel roads somewhat a challenge to maintain. Once the wet weather stops I am sure the roads department will do their best to bring our roads back to where they should be. 

Council will soon be starting to prepare the 2019 Budget. The budget is to me, the most challenging item that Council does every year. I have learned that trying to maintain services and keep the tax increase to a minimum is not as easy as it seems. It has been brought to my attention numerous times by South-West Oxford residents that they would like services maintained or increased and their taxes maintained or decreased. This adventure is hard to do, but I believe Council does a pretty good job of trying to achieve this. 

As Christmas nears, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy the season with family and friends. 

- Councillor George Way


Ward 4 Update

It's been quite some time since I last wrote, and a lot of things have occurred in Ward 4. The new playground equipment was installed in Folden’s, and since the installation there has been a great amount of use. Families within the Township and from outside the Township have been using the facilities, and the comments from users are very positive. Congratulations to the “Park and Rec” Committee on a very successful project!

The Beachville District Museum is in the process of hiring a new curator. The position was posted and 122 applications were received. The hiring committee has narrowed the number of applications down to 11, and the interviews are to begin in late February.

At the upcoming Council Meeting on February 20th, Council will interview 9 applicants who have submitted their names to fill the vacancy in Ward 1, after the sudden and unexpected passing of Councillor D. Anne VanHoucke. Anne was a veteran Councillor, not afraid to voice her opinion. She will be missed very much, RIP Anne!

In September of 2017, SWOX hired Julie Forth to be our new Clerk, and in January of 2018 Nicole Chambers was hired as our new Office Administrative Assistant. Both Julie and Nicole are settling in well, and I encourage everyone to stop in and welcome them to the Township.

That’s all for now, enjoy the rest of our winter and I will talk to you in the spring.

George Way


Councillor Way's December 2016 Blog

Here we are in the middle of December and three things come to my mind.

First, the winter season has begun.  Second, Christmas is fast approaching.  Third, the year 2016 is coming to an end.

The snow and colder weather are definitely here.  Due to the deep snow in the fields, the daily walks with the dog are a lot more difficult.  We now get in the truch and drive into town and walk the sidewalks of Ingersoll.

Christmas will be here very quickly, but I can safely say that I am ready.  The shopping is complete, and the extra food has been purchased.  The candy dishes have been put out and filled, Christmas cards have been mailed, and the gathering of friends and family has started.

As the year 2016 is winding down, it's time to reflect back and think of many different things.  I think of the accomplishments that we have achieved.  Painting the garage, the yard work that has been completed and BBQs with friends and family.  Road trips in the old car and holidays with family and friends; all good memories.

It is also time to remmber the family members, friends and neighbours that we lost in 2016, gone but not forgotten.

Enjoy the winter season, drive safe and see you in the spring.


October 2016 - Ward 4 Update - Councillor George Way

If you were to look at the Calendar, Fall won't officially arrive for three more days.  But if you were to take a drive throughout the Township, you will see things that us summer is over.

     First, school buses are once again travelling up and down the roads, meaning the summer is over and the kids are back in school.  Secondly, farmers are bust in the fields taking off corn silage. To me, taking off corn silage is a farm task which is done in early fall.

There is one more event that happens this time of year, telling me that suimmer is over and that is closing the swimming pool.  I closed my pool today, and in 21 years of closing the pool, this is the first time closing it when the humidex temperature was in the low 30 degrees celsius range.  It just didn't seem right, but anyway, the pool is once again closed.

The road construction projects in the Township are almost complete.  Dodge Line north has been repaved as well as Duffy Line between Union Road and Salford Road.  The third paving project, Karn Road, west of Church Line to the Township limits is almost complete and should be completed by the end of September.

It has been one full year since SWOX has transitioned to a 6 day garbage pickup/recycling collection.  In the beginning there were a few problems, but overall, I think the process has been well received.  I personally think the 6 day cycle is awesome and maybe if we all work at it, then the rest of the municipalities will eventually switch to a 6 day cycle as well.

Enjoy the Fall Season, and Take Care
George Way


April 2016 - Ward 4 Update - Councillor George Way

With winter behind us, I think it is safe to say, Spring is here. Farmers are busy in the fields preparing for another crop to be planted. It’s the end of April and I have already cut my lawn once, and opened the pool…just waiting for the warm weather to arrive.

At the Beachville District Museum, the Beachville Parks and Recreation Committee had another successful Easter egg hunt, with approximately 200 people attending. The weather was good, and the property committee had done a wonderful job picking up sticks and preparing the grounds.

The new Playground Equipment Committee in Folden’s had a very successful “Mom to Mom” sale at the Columbo Club in Beachville. Just over $1,000.00 was raised to help cover the committee’s 25% share of the cost of the new playground equipment to be installed in the park. Their next fundraising event will be a Family Fun Day on June 4th, 2016. This event will be from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. for the planned activities, and a BBQ from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. If you haven’t any plans for that Saturday in June, please stop by and enjoy a BBQ’d hot dog or hamburger and take part in some of the activities that will be going on.

T-Ball will be offered again this year in the Ball Park in Folden’s. If you have children between the ages of 4 years to 8 years and would like to let them involved you can contact Mitch Kirby at 519-423-6072 and he will be happy to provide you with the details.

That’s all for now. Take care and have a safe summer.
Talk to you later!


Share your ideas with Councillor Way
Phone: (519)-485-0140
E-mail: ward4@swox.org


January 2016 Ward 4 Update - Councillor George Way

2016 has arrived and having said that, I hope that everyone had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year!

With December in the past, to me, winter is half done. Not only is December gone, it was the warm temperatures and no snow that made it hard to believe that it was actually December. I'm sure January and February will be different weather wise and we will be back to reality; shoveling snow, cold weather and days when driving conditions will not be good.

As for events in the Township, well in Ward 4, the West Oxford Hall Board and Parks and Recreation Board, plans are in the works of having playground equipment installed in the Park in Foldens. A Committee has been formed, prices have been received, and a delegation will be making a presentation to Council in January, hoping to get support from SWOX Council and applying to Trillium for a Grant as well. A bottle drive, bake sale, BBQ, and car wash are fundraising events that will take place in 2016. Support from the community and surrounding area is very strong, with lots of new volunteers willing to help, which is good to have when a project of this nature takes place.

At the Beachville District Museum the winter season is our slow season when it comes to visitors. The number of visitors is always less this time of year, which is okay, because that enables staff to do small maintenance projects. If you have not been to the museum lately, then I ask that you put it on your "bucket list" of places to visit in 2016.

The months of January and February are the "Annual General Meeting" months for all Hall, Park, Recreation, and Cemetery Committees and Boards in the Township. All of these boards could use some new members. So, if you want to become part of your local board, please feel free to attend the Annual General Meeting and volunteer to sit on the executive or just become a volunteer to help with the social events and fundraising events for these boards. New people bring new ideas!

Have a great winter and will talk to you again in the Spring.


Share your ideas with Councillor Way
Phone: (519)-485-0140
E-mail: ward4@swox.org


September 2016 Ward 4 Update - Councillor George Way

Farmers are in the fields harvesting the crops. Both Township and County roads have an increased use of farm equipment. Farm equipment seems to be getting bigger with every new season. When driving on roads and approaching farm equipment, slow down, share the road, and have patience.

Taking the crops off also means an increase in wildlife sightings. Deer will be more visible and statistics tell us that deer and motor vehicle collisions are higher during this time of year. Drive with extra caution.

New this fall was the change to our garbage and recycling program. A new 6 day cycle was introduced. One truck will pick up garbage and recycling at the same time. We no longer have to separate our recyclable material. It may seem confusing at first, but I'm positive that the residents of SWOX will adjust. That's all for now, Have a great fall!


Share your ideas with Councillor Way
Phone: (519)-485-0140
E-mail: ward4@swox.org


Councillor Pickards' Blog

October 2016 - Ward 5 Update - Councillor Jim Pickard

I would like to share a great experience I had on the weekend.

I took two of my grandchildren to Budhaven Farms (Leaping Deer). For those of you that may not know this is an agritourism  business located on Clarke road east of Ingersoll. We had been to the store many times but never to any events.

The kids and I had a great time. Events included the corn maze, wagon ride, nature trail, go carts, target practise, train ride, animal farm with feeding, playground and a pig race.

The kids loved it as did I. In fact I couldn’t get them to leave as they were having such a great time. On top of all that the food was pretty special as well.

If you are looking for something to do with your family any weekend in October I highly recommend this experience


April 2016 - Ward 5 Update - Councillor Jim Pickard

May 2, 2016. Statistics Canada today officially begins mailing out access codes so Canadians can prepare to complete the 2016 census online — either the regular or the newly restored long-form version. Census Day is May 10, but Statistics Canada is encouraging Canadians to complete their census forms as soon as they receive them.

The letters will provide a 16-digit access code to allow households to complete the census online, but also gives Canadians the option of having a paper version mailed to their homes.

The census collects demographic information on every person living in Canada. That information is then used by governments, businesses, associations, community organizations and others to make important decisions at the municipal, provincial and the federal levels. Results from the census are also used to help inform payment allocation at all levels of government.

One in four randomly selected households in Canada will receive the 36-page long-form questionnaire known as the National Household Survey, while the remainder of Canadians will receive the 10-question short version. Both are mandatory.

Under Section 31 of the Statistics Act, the consequence for failing to provide information to a mandatory census or falsely answering is liable to a summary conviction carrying a fine of up to $500, imprisonment of up to three months, or both.

The goal of the 2016 Census program is to restore the quality of data for special populations and at all levels of geography, including the coverage of small municipalities, to the levels of the 2006 census.

The data will provide communities with the necessary information to make decisions on services such as schools, roads, health care, policing, transit and social services.

Please co-operate with the census folks went they deliver the census letter and code to your home and complete the census in a timely manner. The information is important to us all.


Share your ideas with Councillor Pickard
Phone:(519)-456-3425
E-mail: ward5@swox.org



January 2016 Ward 5 Update - Councillor Jim Pickard

I have just competed my sixth year as a director on the Oxford Community Foundation. This has been great experience I would like to share with you.

When I joined the OCF I must admit I didn’t know much about the organization except it raised endowment funds and donated the income from the endowments back to the community. Over my six year tenure I have learned a great deal and made many key contacts in the process. The OCF is one of 178 community foundations across Canada established to be:

  • The steward of funds which are pooled in a permanent endowment to serve the Oxford County community in perpetuity;
  • Grants funds to a wide range of interests through registered charities committed to making a difference in the quality of life in the County;
  • Identifies needs, works with other County organizations acting as a catalyst to connect people and causes to make a difference in Oxford County.

The OCF promotes philanthropy for donors who themselves create their own legacy which will last forever. Donors can name their own fund and designate where the income from the fund goes each year. OCF also has a Community Fund. This fund accepts donations, large or small, which are pooled and each year the Board selects needy causes to be supported. Many donations have been made as a memorial or to acknowledge a significant event in the donor’s life.

I am writing this not only for awareness but because we are looking for a few new directors in 2016. To learn more about The Oxford Community Foundation please visit the website at: www.oxfordcommunityfoundation.org

Share your ideas with Councillor Pickard
Phone:(519)-456-3425
E-mail: ward5@swox.org


September 2015 Ward 5 Update - Councillor Jim Pickard

I was fortunate to attend the “Night of Heroes” Fashion Show September 24th, 2015 at Cowan Park Woodstock. The Oxford Community Foundation (OCF) and the Woodstock and District Developmental Services (WDDS) hosted the first ever Night of Heroes Fashion Show In support of the WDDS expansion campaign..... Opening Doors, Community is Key. When I purchased my ticket I understood local EMS staff and other dignitaries would be on display wearing the latest in fashion from Eden Bella and Roberts Ladies Wear. I’m talking about our “buff” EMS folk here. These guys and gals are our County heroes. Additionally the entire Navy Vets Hockey Team was on hand to help out.

The event was a sell out at $35.00 a ticket. The hall was decorated to the “nines” with a bar, food catered by “Taste of Woodstock”, silent auction table and local vendors on display. It was gala!

Master of Ceremony Jason Paquette opened the event with a few remarks and the fashion show began. Each local dignitary/EMS was “paired” with a WWDS patron. They took the stage and runway together with the patron being the fashion model. This was a “WOW” experience for everyone. I got to tell you folks the audience was overwhelmed....cheering like you would hear at a Blue Jays game. At times there were tears running down our faces. These young fashion models were so happy and proud to not only be involved but to be “decked out” in the latest in fashion. I too was so moved with shivers running down my back. So, now I knew who the real “local heroes” were. What a cultural change this was for us!

We had paramedics, Fire Chiefs, Police Chiefs, Nurse Carrie, Constable Marci, Woodstock Mayor and Martha from the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce working the runway escorting our heroes. I offer a big thank you to you all for your willingness and time to help out.

This was truly a rewarding and very special event which I hope, is repeated every year. I was for a great cause and supported some of the Counties very special local heroes.


Share your ideas with Councillor Pickard
Phone:(519)-456-3425
E-mail: ward5@swox.org



Municipal Contacts

Township of South-West Oxford

Located in South Western Ontario, in the South West section of Oxford County and serves as a regional centre for industry, commerce and recreation.

The Township oversees 87,588 acres with a population of 7,544 and we have Canada’s busiest highway in our front yard! With a rich agricultural heritage, please stop by and enjoy our diverse Township. 

The Township’s mission is be "a leader in the development and delivery of municipal services for the growth and well being of our community"

Contact Us

312915 Dereham Line
Mt. Elgin, On N0J 1N0
Hours: Monday – Friday 
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Phone: 519-877-2702 / 519-485-0477
Fax: 519-485-2932

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