In 1973, Winston Cosgrove published a 60-page book on the history of Wolfe Island. Wolfe Island Past and Present outlines how the island came to be settled, how it remained in use by indigenous peoples as fall and winter fishing and hunting grounds until the middle of the 19th Century, and how the population peaked in the late 19th Century before beginning a long decline that has only recently been reversed. The book is written in a kind of discreet manner that suggests its focus was more in the past than on what was then the present, and of course 40 years have passed since it was published. It contains, however, much information about how the island community developed from the late 17th until the 20th centuries. In 1685, Robert Cavallier, Sieur de Lasalle, having been granted the Signeury of Fort Frontenac by King Louis the 14th ten years earlier, conferred ownership of what would become known as Wolfe Island on James Cauchois. It was the “first conveyance of any part of Ontario from one subject to another”. The land remained in the Cauchois family for over 100 years, until it was sold in the early 1800s to David Alexander Grant and Patrick Langan for one shilling an acre. Grant had married the Baroness of Longeuil in 1785, and although the sale of the island to Grant and Langan severed all ties to the French monarchy it did establish the Baron of Longeuil as a major force on Wolfe Island. In 1823, David Alexander's son, C.W. Grant, the 4th Baron of Longeuil, owned about 11,000 acres on the island. A similar amount was split among the three daughters of Patrick Langan. Two-sevenths of the land had been turned over to England's King George when the British overturned French rule in the entire region. Grant sold off 100 acre lots starting in 1823, and settlement began in earnest. He also had a large house constructed near Marysville. The house, which was called Ardath Chateau, was known locally as the “The Old Castle”. It had 25 rooms, a dungeon, a carriage house and servants' quarters and was the “focal point for many years of life on the island”. In 1929 the house, which had been unoccupied for at least 15 years, was razed in a fire. “Being a native born Islander, this writer recognises the staunch loyalty among the Islanders for one another and out of respect for this tradition, would prefer 'to let sleeping dogs lie' rather than delve further into the matter.” This suggests that Winston Cosgrove knew more about the fire than he was willing to say, and in all likelihood further information about what happened that dark night in 1929 is still carried by any number of Wolfe “Islanders”. Although “The Old Castle” was certainly grand, the housing situation for Wolfe Island settlers in the early to mid 19th Century was more modest. Fifteen settler families lived on the island in 1823, and this increased to 261 persons by 1826. The population grew steadily, peaking at 3,600 by 1861. When the island was being settled in the 1820s and 30s “the typical house was a log cabin, 20 feet long by 16 feet wide, 6 logs high, with a shanty or sloping roof. Some had glass but most often the windows were only holes in the wall, which could be covered in the winter.” During the 1850s, demand for lumber for D. D. Calvin's shipbuilding operation on nearby Garden Island led to a lumbering boom on Wolfe Island, and the boom ended when the trees were gone. The population began to dwindle at that point, and by the time Cosgrove's book was published in 1973, it was down to 1,200. It had dropped to 1142 by 2001, and the 2011 population survey lists Frontenac Islands (including Wolfe and Howe Island) at 1864. The current permanent resident population of Wolfe Islands, according to Wikipedia, is 1,400, although it is twice that or more in the summer (perhaps excluding this past summer due to the Ferry Fiasco of 2015). Wolfe Island Past and Present contains a wealth of information about landmarks and renowned island residents. It explains how Marysville was named after Mary Hitchcock, who lived all of her 92 years on the island and was its first postmistress between 1845 and her death in 1877. The General Wolfe Hotel, originally known as the Wolfe Island Hotel, was built in 1860. It was renamed the General Wolfe by the Greenwood brothers in 1955, and benefited from the results of a liquor referendum in 1957, which was won by “the wets”. The hotel remains an island landmark and a major part of the hospitality industry. It's 130-seat restaurant has won a number of provincial awards. The final chapter of the book deals with a crucial subject, one that has been top of mind on the island this summer and was also the subject of a discussion and slide show on Wednesday, December 2, “Ice Travel” with Kaye Fawcett and Ken White, which was organised by the Wolfe Island Historical Society. Throughout Frontenac County the history of road and railway construction is full of colour, hardship and a fair taint of corruption and scandal. On Wolfe Island there is an added dimension - the water that separates the island from the mainland and the City of Kingston. It was 50 years ago, in 1965, that a year-round ferry service financed by the Province of Ontario was established on Wolfe Island. Until then the ferry service ran only until freeze up, and during the winter an ice road was the way across. In 1954 the winter was so warm that the ferry was only inactive for 2 days, but between 1955 and the onset of the year-round ferry in 1965, the range was 60 to 110 days, with an average of about 80 inactive days each winter. Over the years, tragedies and near tragedies occurred on the ice on many occasions. One of the more famous events was the near drowning of entire families on Christmas Day in 1955. The ferry was out of commission because of an early winter, but a tug boat, the Salvage Prince, waited at the edge of the ice at Barrett's Bay for families who had come to the island for Christmas Day and were returning to Kingston late in the afternoon. They were being drawn across the ice in a sleigh, but just before reaching the boat, the sleigh went through a wet spot in the ice, forcing a hurried and dangerous rescue, as children, adults and seniors, were luckily all pulled out of the freezing water back to the tug and a boat ride to Kingston. Some were taken to the hospital for observation. An account of the trip by Brian Johnson is available at thousandislandslife.com. In the concluding pages of his book, Winston Cosgrove makes the argument that the economy of Wolfe Island will be doomed unless a bridge is built. “In the past the economy of the island has been purely an agricultural one, with hunting and fishing and summer residents as minor items. Under this system the population has dwindled. The key to the problem is transportation. There is much beautiful undeveloped shoreline and land that is is well-suited for permanent homes but better ways are needed to get to and from the mainland if the community is to develop and grow. A ferry service is not efficient enough ... Meanwhile the Islanders who want a bridge must be content to await future developments while acting as guardians of a great land developed by pioneers, to whom all are indebted.” Although Cosgrove's views may have had a lot of currency this past summer while the Wolfe Islander ferry was in dry dock, Wolfe Island has reversed the population slide over the past 10 years and a number of tourism-related businesses are thriving.
Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. (An account of the life and times of the Kemp family can be found at Frontenacnews.ca under the “50 Stories/150 Years” tab) The level of poverty among late 19th Century settlers is reflected in some of the minutes of meetings of both Hinchinbrooke and Loughbrough Townships. In the minutes there are accounts of grants for as little as $1 for families in need after the death of a partner or a debilitating illness. Families who had settled on the worst pieces of land, who suffered from any kind of ill health, or for some reason were not able to keep up with the demands of clearing land, building shelter, keeping warm in winter and raising enough food, ended up in desperate straits. That is why settlers would take over abandoned fields and houses and only settle the ownership later on, if they decided to stay. Far from disputing this practice, as long as the property taxes were paid the local townships did not question the ownership of the properties. Mining was one of the few means of getting money for labour, and was also a major impetus for the establishment of the K&P Railroad. The village of Godfrey, to the west of Frontenac Park, was originally called Deniston after the name of the post office but it was known as Iron Ore Junction by the local population. The Glendower company mined 12,000 tons of iron ore between 1873 and 1880, and later the Zanesville company took over and a spur line was constructed between the mine and the Bedford Station (renamed Godfrey in 1901) of the K&P. A large deposit of Feldspar was found between Desert and Thirteen Island Lakes, and it was mined, on and off, between 1901 and 1951, producing a total of 230,000 tons in that time. In and right around the park, it was mica that was the most commonly mined mineral, in small mines as a kind of cottage industry and on an industrial scale as well. There is an account of how a mica mine operated in one of the issues of “The Frontenac News” (not this newspaper but the newsletter of the Friends of Frontenac Park) Below is an excerpt: 1905 - early in the morning Tom Gorsline, the foreman at the Tett mine, is checking the steam piping as a worker starts a wood fire in the boiler that will provide the steam that runs the drill and the water pumps. The miners had been following a vein of amber mica (phlogopite) since 1899 - the main pit now plunged close to 80 feet into the rocks and water sometimes was a problem. Fortunately, the price for mica is on the rise again and the main vein is still good. The hand drillers are already at work. Their job is to make holes in the rock to receive the explosives. The drillers are working in teams of two using a method called "double-jacking". One person, the holder, manually holds a steel drill against the rock. The other, the striker, swings an eight-pound sledgehammer hitting the end of the drill. In between the blow, the holder twists the drill to loosen the rock chips so it does not get stuck in the rock. Then the next blow comes with a sharp clank when steel meets steel. They are drilling at a rate of 1.5 to 2 feet per hour. After a half-hour, the holder and striker exchange places so the striker can have a rest. As you can imagine, accuracy is crucial. If the striker misses, the holder could be maimed for life. This is dangerous enough when they are drilling on the floor of the mine, but often the veins are at the roof of a drift or on the wall of the pit. As soon as the steam from the boiler reaches the right pressure, a miner starts the steam drill. It is faster and easier than hand drilling but the steam drill is enormous, unreliable and unwieldy because of connections with the steam pipes that come down from the surface. As a result, the steam driller is assigned fairly open spaces while the hand drillers work in tight quarters. Drilling is hard and dangerous - there are no hard hats, goggles, or electrical lights - but the dollar a day they are earning helps to feed their families. Now that the holes are in place, Tom calls the blasters. They make sure the holes are dry, otherwise the charges may not go off. They put the black powder in waterproof covers, attach a proper length fuse, and place it down in the hole. They pack the rest of the hole with clay. The length of the fuse is important or they could meet their maker faster than expected. After a few minutes, all charges are ready. The head blaster gives a signal to Tom Gorsline who orders all miners and equipment out of from the mine. When all is clear, the blaster lights up the fuse and moves quickly out of the way. The explosion rumbles and the ground shakes. After the smoke and dust settle, Tom sends in the muckers. They have a hazardous job. Everyone knew of George Amey, a mucker at the Birch Lake mine, who lost an eye when his pick hit a charge that did not fully explode. Some muckers sort the ore from the waste while others, with picks and shovels, load the waste rock in a large bucket until it is full. Then one of them yells: "BUCKET." Upon hearing the signal, a man at the surface gets the horse moving on a circular track so that the winch can hoist the bucket up to the top. The bucket is dumped on the tailings pile. As soon as the muckers are finished clearing the debris from the last blast, the drillers begin to make new holes. Cleaning the mica is the job of cobblers who work on the surface. Some cobblers "thumb trim" the mica by the pit while others are working at the cleaning shop attached to the main mine building, "knife trimming" the mica to remove all traces of unwanted material. They store the clean mica in barrels. The mica is shipped down the Hardwood Bay Road to Perth Road then north to Bedford Mills. There, the mica will be shipped to a buyer in Ottawa via the Rideau Canal. The Tett mine operated from 1899 till 1924. It produced 99 tons of mica for a value of $27,279.00. For a few months, it was the largest mica producer in Ontario. By the 1940s the mica mining boom had passed and most of the homesteads in the area had been abandoned or were on their last legs. It was then that the idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty-seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty-five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter Lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park. Among the features of the park, and on the nearby Gould Lake Conservation Area, are hiking trails that pass by and over mica mine sites. In the Park, the 10 km Tettsmine Loop passes by remnants of a log slide from the lumbering days, abandoned mica mines and the remains of McNally Homestead. At Gould Lake, the Mica Loop passes over several small mine sites and mica minerals can still be seen sparkling in the rock faces.
There were a number of distinguished Frontenac County wardens from the Township of Wolfe Island during the first 133 years of Frontenac County history, and since municipal amalgamation there have been two more from the Township of Frontenac Islands: Jim Vanden Hoek for two years, and the current warden, Denis Doyle. Although Tim O'Shea was only county warden for a single year, the centennial year in 1967, he was a member of the council for 33 consecutive years as the long-serving reeve of Wolfe Island. He retired from politics in 1991 and died in 1996 at the age of 78. His son, Terry, who served as the clerk of Wolfe Island and Frontenac Islands for over 20 years, starting in 1986, described his father as someone who enjoyed people and was able to remain calm in tense situations, which might explain why he was able to win election after election. He worked for most of his life as a hunting and a fishing guide on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and in the evenings he tended to township matters. As well as presiding over Council, he was the welfare officer for the islands as well as the manager of the ferry, all part of the functions of the reeve. Perhaps his most lasting accomplishment was convincing the provincial government to take over the ferry service from Wolfe Island and make it a free service. He also presided over the construction of the first library, medical clinic, ambulance base and fire department on the island. Because of all his accomplishments and longevity, he is still considered to have been the dean of Frontenac County councilors. One hundred and two years before Tim O'Shea served as county warden, another Wolfe Island politician held the post. The first ever Frontenac County warden was Dileno (Dexter) Calvin, the proverbial self-made man. He was orphaned at the age of eight in Rutland, Vermont. When he was 20 he moved to the State of New York where he worked as a labourer until he entered into the lumbering business when he was in his mid-20s. He started in 1825, squaring some timber with a neighbour and transporting it by raft to Quebec City. Slowly, he built up the business, and in 1835 he moved to Clayton, NY, and established a lumber transport business. Soon after, he became involved in a company based on Garden Islands, the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company, which was later renamed Calvin, Cook and Counter, and then Calvin and Cook after the men who owned it. In 1844, Dexter Calvin moved to rented land on Garden Island and took control of the company, taking advantage of the island's location, its sheltered port, and the fact that it was within the British rather than the American trading system. Out of its base on Garden Island, the company maintained agencies in Sault St. Marie, Quebec City, Liverpool and Glasgow, operated 12 -15 ships and employed as many as 700 people in its peak years. It became a generalized shipping company, and also operated a large tugboat service. The move to Garden Island took place soon after the death of Calvin's first wife, Harriet Webb, in Clayton, New York, in 1843. the couple had been married for 12 years and had six children. He remarried Marion Breck in 1844. They also had six children between 1844 and her death in 1861. His third wife, Catherine Wilkinson, whom he married in 1861 when he was 63, had two children, and lived until 1911. Of his 14 children, only six lived to adulthood. During the last 40 years of his long life (he died in 1884 at the age of 86) Calvin was a sort of patriarch to the inhabitants of Garden Island. He bought 15 acres of land on the island in 1848 with his partner Hiram Cook, and by 1862 they owned the entire island. Calvin bought Cook’s share in 1880. Garden Island became a model company town, with its own school, library, and post office. Although it was made up of people from different national origins and religions, it was reportedly remarkably peaceful and well managed. It was also a dry community, under the express orders of Calvin himself, who became a prohibitionist at the same time as his conversion to the Baptist Faith about a year before the death of his first wife. Since most of the inhabitants of Garden Island worked for Calvin, he was able to shield them from economic turbulence in two ways. For one thing, since he was more involved in lumber transport than buying and selling, the fluctuations in the price of lumber did not affect the business in a substantial way. He also chose to use the company's reserves to shield his employees during serious downturns, such as one that took place in 1873. At that time he cut wages but did not lay any one off, which was as unusual then as it is now. He was strongly opposed to organized labour, however, and when sailors on his ships started a union drive, he hired replacement workers from Glasgow and eventually sold some of his schooners and bought great lake barges to cut down on the need for labour. His political life, which began when he was in his early 60s, was quite distinguished. He had become a naturalized Canadian within a year of moving to Garden Island. By the time Frontenac County was established in 1865 after the amalgamated County of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington had been disbanded, Calvin was already ensconced as reeve of Wolfe Island and the surrounding islands. He became the first warden of the County, a position he also held the following year and in 1868 as well. He then took a turn at provincial politics, as a Conservative MPP for the riding of Frontenac. He served from 1868 until 1883, with the exception of the years between 1875 and 1877, when he lost favour with the party. In those days, becoming the Conservative candidate in Frontenac was more difficult than winning the election against opposing party candidates. He was also one of the first directors of the K&P Railroad. He was a man who was known for his eccentricities, such as a dislike for short men “for no other reason than that they were short” according to his grandson, as well as men who bit their fingernails (author's note – I'm sure we would have gotten on famously) as well as dogs and people who own them. “When a man's poor,” he said, “he gets a dog. If he's very poor, he gets two.” Dileno Dexter Calvin died in 1884, and despite his great success in Canada, he was buried next to his mother and his first wife in Clayton, NY.
Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes, within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. In doing so, Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. The first family to be profiled in the book is the Kemp family, who arrived at their farm at Otter Lake, near the west gate of the park, sometime in the 1860s. By the time of the 1871 census, William and Jane Kemp, both 47, had six children living with them. The land they laid claim to, in addition to other properties taken on by their son George, was very good by local standards. Over two decades of work, making use of the efforts of the entire family, 30 acres of the 95 acre property had been cleared. “That might not sound like much to show for 20 years of labour, but in that district most farms worked 15 or 20 cleared acres. In fact the clearing was usually completed in relatively short order. But it was back-breaking work, without mechanical means. It involved cutting down the trees and clearing the brush, then burning the stumps that could not be wrenched from the ground by a team of horses or oxen and hauled away to form a first fence row. In the meantime the job of raising a crop to feed the family over the winter had to go on, and the first seeds were usually sown among the stumps ... it was no wonder that among the first settlers it was axiomatic to hate trees,” wrote Christian Barber in Their Enduring Spirit. The Kemp family prospered, and by 1900 the original log cabin that was built in the early 1870s had disappeared beneath white, painted clapboard, and numerous outbuildings had been constructed as well. There was a root cellar below, and fields that extended right to the front doorway. Still, cash was not easy to come by. A ledger from M.A. Hogan's General Store in Sydenham illustrates this. In late 1912, Mary Shales Kemp, George's wife, who managed the family finances among numerous other tasks, purchased dishes, a pair of overalls for a dollar, and the indulgences of walnuts and a vase, for a total cost of $7.32. Her custom was to pay for her purchases with butter and eggs from the farm. However on this occasion, after the eggs and butter were factored in there was a shortfall of $1.45. Back went the overalls and the extra 45 cents was paid in cash. During the mica mining year in the first decade of the 20th century, George Kemp found a number of small deposits on his farm, and even took on investors to pay the $70 that was needed for drills and blasting powder at one site. However, enough mica was never found to make a profit on the venture. To the extent that there were roads in the area, they were built and maintained by all of the farmers living in there, sometimes as part of their taxation responsibilities, which, in the late 19th century, included putting in some time improving the local roads. While the Kemp family were able to establish a successful farm in what is now Frontenac Park, it was ultimately unsustainable. Mary Kemp lived on the farm after George died, but moved away in 1928 and sold the property in 1941. The last people to occupy it were a family from Wyoming in the late 1940s. By the time Mary Kemp died in Sydenham in 1952 at the age of 93, the property where she had made her life had been abandoned and the house and barns had burned down. When Christian Barber went to the property in the late 1980s as he was preparing his book, it was mostly overgrown with vegetation, and it required effort on his part to find the remnants of what had been a going concern for 60 or 70 years. He notes this at the end of his chapter on the Kemp family of Kemp Road : “... the fields, so painstakingly cleared and planted and harvested by generations of settlers, are overgrown with sumac and birch, locust and juniper. Rusted barbed wire – embedded by years in the centre of the trees that it was originally stapled to the bark of – is stretched to the breaking point by fallen trees, and there is no one to cut them away; no farmer in overalls, with strong, knuckly, barked, and sun-tanned hands to walk the line on a summer day between haying and harvest and maintain a fence.” The Kemp family's story is similar in outcome to others told in the book - struggle and some success followed by a move to better farmland elsewhere in the region or to work off the farm in Sydenham or beyond. Mining and logging were also prevalent in the park. Logging started in the early 19th century and mining later on, with the logging having the greatest impact on the land, as it did elsewhere in the region generally. In the interesting chapter on mining, Barber touches on the story of Antoine Point on Devil Lake. Francis Edward Antoine and his wife, Letitia Whiteduck, built a log cabin on the Point in the mid 19th century and they are buried there. One of their sons, John Antoine, is listed, along with the government, as the owner of Antoine Point in the 1883 Meacham map, one of the best source materials for information about land ownership in those years. John, with his wife Elizabeth Hollywood, had 11 children. According to Antoine family lore, it was John who found mica deposits at Antoine Point, although there are competing accounts about who found the ore at that location, and it seems that the Point became of interest to mining interests in the early 1890s. There is an entry in the land registry indicating that John Antoine sold his interest in the land to William Jones for $50 in 1897, and the Antoines moved to Godfrey, and eventually back to Sharbot Lake, where another branch of the family was already located. The idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated in the 1940s. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park.
In April, North Frontenac Councilor Gerry Martin, who is the township representative to the board of directors of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA), brought some potentially troubling news to his council. The dams that control water flow on Kashwakamak Lake, Shabomeka Lake, Mississagagon Lake and Big Gull Lake are all in need of replacement. While the Province of Ontario will likely cover half the estimated $2 million cost, it is unclear where the rest of the money will come from, and Martin said there is a possibility it will end up being levied to North Frontenac ratepayers. When contacted this week, Paul Lehman, the general manager of the MVCA, said that the board's policy and priorities committee will be looking at how to fund the dam replacements, and will hopefully report back to the MVCA board in the fall. “The thing is that we have not undertaken any capital projects such as dams in over 25 years, and back then the province paid 85% of the cost,” said Lehman. MVCA receives funding from municipalities along the watershed, which runs through townships in Frontenac and Lanark County into the City of Ottawa. Municipalities pay into the MVCA based on levels of property assessment, and the City of Ottawa therefore pays the bulk of MVCA costs. “Some of our members are concerned that the cost of dam replacement will affect our budget and increase our annual levy to members,” said Lehman, “so we will be looking at alternate models to pay the costs.” Lehman said that the MVCA can levy for work on projects to individual member municipalities according “to the relative benefit to the local townships.” However, in the case of dams at the source of the system that control water flows, Lehman said it is hard to determine how to assess relative benefit. In the end, the board of directors will make a final decision on how to fund the dam repairs and replacements that are required in North Frontenac and elsewhere along the route of Mississippi watershed. At a meeting of North Frontenac Council last week, Councilor Martin said that he is less worried about the potential for large costs being downloaded to the township than he was back in April. “They seem to be working something out,” he said.
On May 1, the Snow Road Snowmobile Club hosted its annual Landowner and Volunteer Appreciation gathering at the Timber Run Golf Course in Lanark. Concerns had been expressed by a number of landowners related to Bill 100 and its potential impact on their properties that have snowmobile trails. A presentation was made by Scott Buckley, Governor of OFSC District 1 and Ruth Wark, President of Snow Road Snowmobile Club who responded to questions and assured landowners that snowmobile clubs do not want easements across their properties but fully intend to maintain their current agreements and relationships. In fact, the land use form has been updated to include a statement to this effect, and many landowners renewed their agreement for continued use of the trails on their properties. There has been mutual co-operation and respect between the landowners and the snowmobile clubs in this area for over 40 years. The club is very appreciative of the trails across private property, which allow for a great network across the scenic landscapes in Lanark and Frontenac Counties. On April 30 Ruth Wark and her crew of volunteers at the snowmobile club presented a cheque to representatives from the Perth branch of the Canadian Cancer Society to support research, programming and prevention in the fight against melanoma. The club held a fundraising breakfast for the cause and after all the pledges were in, the final total raised was $1466. President Derrick Dixon and fundraising manager Jessica Roback of the Perth CCS received the cheque and conveyed their thanks for the club's support.
Central Frontenac Council paid their annual visit to Mountain Grove, meeting at the Olden Hall on Tuesday afternoon, May 24. Tax sale success Treasurer Michael McGovern brought some good news to Council regarding the recent sale of properties for which back taxes were owing. The sale was completed on May 12. Of the eight properties on offer, one was redeemed by the owner through the payment of the outstanding taxes; five were sold, and two did not receive any bids. Of the five properties that sold, all of them went for substantially more than the reserve bid, including one that sold for over $165,000 and another that sold for over $213,000. The total haul for the township, some of which needs to be shared with Frontenac County and the Ministry of Education, who were owed taxes on them, was over $600,000. McGovern said that another sale will be held in the fall. Tulips for Canada 150 Council decided to support a proposal by Villages Beautiful to do special plantings of red and white tulips around the township in honour of Canada's 150th anniversary next year. Float truck On the recommendation of Public Works Manager John Badgley, Council approved the purchase of a tandem axle float truck for $26,500 from Float King. The float will be painted red, the township's colours, at no extra cost. The bid was the lowest of five that were received. Crosswalk for Crow Lake Karen and Dan Lahey from the Oaks Cottages on Crow Lake Road came to Council in support of a written request they had submitted, asking that a pedestrian crosswalk be established in the village of Crow Lake. Pointing out that the 40 km/hr speed limit on Crow Lake Road in the village is not adhered to, and that their guests as well as others on the north side of the road need to cross the road to access the lake, they asked that the township take action. Mayor Frances Smith said that before deciding how to proceed, the township needs to solicit the opinion of the public works department, and a motion to refer the matter to Public Works was passed. The matter will come back to Council in June, however, so any changes that are made will be in place for the summer season this year. Seniors' month proclaimed The township proclaimed June as Seniors' Month in honour of the contributions made by seniors to the local communities. On June 28, the Central Frontenac Seniors of the Year, one from each district, will be announced at a council meeting in Sharbot Lake.
On Friday June 10, Tribute Artist, Stephen Goodberry will return to Sharbot Lake for his Tribute to the Legends Show at Granite Ridge Education Centre. Stephen will perform hits by Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison and his very popular Elvis Tribute show. The award winning tribute artist is once again returning to his roots as he grew up in Parham and is a graduate of Sharbot Lake High School. The event will begin at 7pm at Granite Ridge Education Centre and there will be a silent auction and door prizes throughout the evening. Tickets are $20 per person and all proceeds go to the Canadian Diabetes Association and Granite Ridge School Council.
The way Canadians consume health information has evolved over the years. Twenty years ago, when the Canadian Cancer Society launched its Cancer Information Service, inquires came via phone call, with their staff answering questions and mailing out brochures to patients and their families. Nowadays, the service also fields more emails and people access the society’s website, cancer.ca which is jam-packed with anything you ever wanted to know about cancer. “Facing cancer is hard. People have many worries and questions during what may be the most stressful time in their lives or the lives of a loved one,” says Doug Kane, Manager, Canadian Cancer Society F.L.A. & The Waterways Community office. “It’s easy to become overwhelmed. Don’t face cancer alone. Instead, we urge people to contact our free Cancer Information Service.” No matter where they live in the country, the Cancer Information Service can help people with their questions about more than 200 different types of cancer, treatment, diagnosis, care, services and much more. In addition, the service can connect patients and family caregivers to local community support programs and services if needed. On June 18 folks in North & Central Frontenac and surrounding area are raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. When you make a donation to Relay For Life, you are helping people in your community living with cancer. Your donation also funds life-saving research and other important work so that fewer Canadians are touched by the disease. To contact the Cancer Information Service, call 1 888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca
You need to get up pretty early in the morning to attract many of the movers and shakers of the Sydenham Village business community, and the grateful staff and board of Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS) did just that last Wednesday morning. Coffee, muffins and a copious breakfast buffet greeted a full house at the Grace Centre at 7:30 am. The morning chat was interrupted briefly by SFCS Executive Director, David Townsend, who welcomed all those who have contributed to its fund-raising campaigns over the past couple of years. Townsend pointed out that the agency depends on local fundraising to make sure it can provide service to all those who come looking for help. Since 2011, the annual budget of SFCS has gone up 48%, to almost $1.4 million. About $1 million comes from funders such as the Ontario Ministry of Health (through the Local Health Integration Network) the United Way and the City of Kingston. The other $400,000 comes from client fees, and fund-raised dollars. “The important statistic for us is that the overall number of people we serve each year has gone up by 72% in that same time period,” said Townsend. SFCS receives provincial funding to serve 1,100 hot meals per year, for example. “Last year we served 3,890 hot meals to seniors. And that was without promoting our program. And now people want us to expand the hot meals program to Fridays as well. It is only because of the generosity of the local community, and the people in this room, that we are able to continue to meet these needs,” Townsend said. SFCS board member Mark Segsworth then addressed the audience. He outlined briefly how SFCS is looking outward to work with partners, including the township and other service organisations. He also let it slip, in his role as SFCS fund-raising chair, that in the month of June, SFCS will be holding its major fund-raising campaign for 2016. Southern Frontenac Community Services provides services for seniors, operates a busy Food Bank, and co-ordinates programs under the City of Kingston and Frontenac County homelessness prevention strategy.
Dr. Laurel Dempsey came to Verona in the mid-1990s from Toronto. She was interested in primary care and community-based medicine and wanted to participate in what she describes as the “first iteration of primary care reform in Ontario”. Doctor Gordon Day was getting ready to retire from his practice in Verona at the time, and the two worked together for five years until Dr. Dempsey took over the practice, and bought the clinic building in the year 2000. Since then she has not only run the clinic and served the large rural practice, which had been established since the early 1960s, she has also been the lead physician for the Rural Kingston Family Health Organisation (FHO). The Rural Kingston FHO is made up of all the primary care providers in Frontenac and rural L&A counties, including the physician-run clinics in Sydenham, Verona, Tamworth, and Newburgh, and the family health teams in Sharbot Lake and Northbrook. “The idea behind the family health organisation was to offer a solid family medicine base for rural residents, with the addition of other services,” she said. As the result of the FHO, dietician, psychiatric, dermatology, and even cardiac services have been offered at the Verona clinic and at other locations in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. Lynn Wilson, who has been the administrator of both the Verona Clinic and the FHO, has also managed an initiative called Health Links. Health Links targets the most medically vulnerable population, has also been established in the two counties. But for her patients, Doctor Dempsey has always been someone who understood rural practice. When she took over from Dr. Day, she continued to put in long hours, and quietly made home visits to some of her very ill patients. “She has been such an open and welcoming person, and from the start her relationship to the community and to her patients has been a warm one,” said John McDougall, who is a patient of hers and was one of the founders of the Verona Medical Services Committee. The committee now acts as a liaison between the clinic and the Township of South Frontenac. The relationship between the clinic and the township was also an offshoot of Dr. Dempsey's efforts. She went to the Verona Community Association 10 years ago to talk about the future, envisioning back then that things would need to change in order to ensure the future of primary care in Verona upon her retirement. Two of the issues that needed to be worked on were physician recruitment and the related issue of the ownership of the building where the Verona Medical Clinic is located. “Doctor Dempsey told us, and this was confirmed when we went to meet with medical students to try and sell them on Verona, that the new generation of doctors did not want to take on the financial or administrative burden of owning buildings, so we went to the township and they were willing to take ownership of the building, which was very important,” said McDougall. The clinic has been able to recruit two doctors over the past five years: Doctor Oglaza, who is about to do a residency in public health, and Doctor Gibbons, who will be taking over as lead physician at the clinic next month as Dr. Dempsey is retiring. “One thing our patients need to know is that they have to register with Doctor Gibbons,” said Doctor Dempsey, “but patients don't need to worry that they are losing services, as she will take all of my patients on.” An Open House is set for this Saturday, May 28 at the Verona Lions Hall between 2 and 4pm for the community to express their appreciation for the 21 years of service Dr. Dempsey has given to the community, and there will be a dinner later on. For tickets to the dinner, contact the Lions. As for Doctor Dempsey, she may be retiring from her full-time practice but she will be continuing to work in Verona and at some other clinics on a more casual basis. A commitment to family medicine is not something that is turned off when doctors reach the so-called retirement age. “She has always been committed to reform but is also a link to the way medicine was practised in the past,” said John McDougall. “She certainly has done well by us in Verona over the years.”
Township’s Organizational Review: Still a Long Way to Go… A meeting was held on May 4 to discuss an organizational review that was presented to South Frontenac Council in April. On Tuesday night, May 24, CAO Wayne Orr presented his take on where the review stands after that May 4 meeting. He began by saying: “From the May 04 meeting it is clear that there is no clear direction from Council on how to proceed.” Orr went on to distill a summary of some of the challenges and recommendations reflecting Council’s discussions on May 4.. He is now recommended that instead of the seven new positions envisioned by the review, just three people should be hired: a clerk, a fire prevention officer and a director of planning and building services. In commenting on Orr's summary, was a discussion of the fire chief’s need for a prevention officer, culminating in questions about the exact nature of the chief’s job description. There was also general agreement with the proposal to hire a clerk Planning, however, was the main topic of discussion, as it has been at the Frontenac County table recently. Mayor Vandewal said that Frontenac County staff seem to be taking the position that “South Frontenac doesn’t know what they’re doing, so why should we try to fix it for them?” Councilor Ross Sutherland said that if the township showed a clear direction in planning, in time the County might be prepared to delegate more to the township. Councilor Alan Revill said he saw no need to hire more staff unless they have some reassurance that it is realistic for the township to work toward taking over a stronger planning role. Councilor John McDougall said that the planning process “was a mess’ and that it was “time to stop cutting bait and start fishing.” Mayor Vandewal finally spoke. “We’re spending a lot of time babysitting downstairs [the location of the planning and building departments]. I get very few complaints about Public Works or any of the other departments; the problems are all downstairs. It’s a total mess, it just creates work for council. The whole problem of planning is not as big as people think it is. We know where the problem is,” he said. Council sat silent after this, and there were no decision taken on Wayne Orr's recommendation that a planning director be hired to oversee the planning and building departments CAO Orr then informed Council that he, Mayor Vandewal and Councilor McDougall were meeting together with the county warden and county CAO on Friday to work toward improving communications and working relationships between Township and County. Re-opening of the Point In response to Deputy Mayor Sutherland’s query, Public Works Manager Segsworth said the Recreation Committee is planning a ‘grand re-opening’ for June 6. Meanwhile, people are being asked to respect the fenced-off areas, for the dry season has preventing the recently-seeded areas from sprouting. Segsworth says he is following up with the contractor, who has obligations to water the seed until grass has been established.
On Thursday May 12, 2016 between 12 and12:30 a.m, an adult female reports being sexually assaulted by two unknown males while walking along Desert Lake Road in South Frontenac Township. The victim sustained minor injuries and was transported to hospital, where she was treated and released. The suspects are described as both Caucasian males, 30-45 years old. The vehicle is described as: a large pick-up truck with bright headlights. Frontenac OPP Crime Unit are assisting with the investigation and ask any person(s) who were traveling on or near Desert Lake Road near the times of the assault or have any other information to contact OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) where you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000 and not have to appear in court.
The Day of the Pig is a feast of food and drink that marks the opening of the Seed to Sausage store for the summer season. This year, it will feature not one, but five pigs. Four guest chefs have been invited to present their own take on preparing an entire pig for optimal flavour and texture at the annual event, which will be held on May 22. Admission to the festival is free. The chefs who will take up the challenge are Michael Blackie from NeXT in Ottawa; Bruce Wood, the chef at Beau's Beer brewpub from Vankleek Hill; Stev George from Olivea in Kingston; and Parham's own Tim Cota from Cota's Mobile Catering and BBQ. The fifth pig will be prepared by Seed to Sausage's new manager of operations, Derek MacGregor – who just came over from Chien Noir in Kingston, where he was the chef for almost 10 years. Other restaurants that will have food booths this year include Cafe Vic from Prince Edward County, which will be offering vegetarian fare; The Grizzly Grill from Kingston; Apperetivo from Ottawa; Slow Taco from Prince Edward County; and Enright Cattle Co. Four Ontario breweries will be on hand: Beaus, Big Rig, Kichesipi, all from Ottawa and vicinity, and MacKinnon Brothers from Loyalist Township. Two wineries, 3 Dogs and Cassady, both from Prince Edward County, will be there as well. Live music is back this year after a year off. Singer-songwriter Tom Savage will be appearing on his own and with a number of his musical friends in various combinations. Local and regional artisan food producers will have booths as well. As the local food movement develops in Frontenac County and south-eastern Ontario, the Day of the Pig has cemented itself as an event that attracts a wide variety of food and beverage producers and restaurants, many of whom either use Seed to Sausage products in their menus, or have products that are available at the Seed to Sausage store. The Day of the Pig has been moved to the Sunday of the Victoria Day weekend this year. “We found that many of the restaurants, caterers and other food businesses are very busy on the Saturday of the long weekend, so we moved the event to Sunday in order to make it easier for them to attend. Of course, the Victoria Day weekend is the start of the cottage season, and we welcome all the seasonal people to our store,” said Mike McKenzie, president of Seed to Sausage. In its continuing expansion, Seed to Sausage took possession of a state of the art slicer last week. The $100,000 piece of equipment (purchased with the help of a loan from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation) will speed up production of bacon, free up staff and provide opportunities to bring more products on stream. Derek McGregor, who started at Seed to Sausage just last week, said that after 10 years at the helm of Chien Noir, which is the core restaurant around which three others have sprung, he is looking forward to a different kind of challenge. He will now be working 8 – 5, Monday to Friday, in contrast to the afternoon/evenings and weekends that he worked at Chien Noir. Being involved with production at Seed to Sausage will allow him to explore different kinds of recipes. “My initial plan, once I am fully familiar with the operation here, is to make a different fresh sausage each week for customers this summer,” he said. The list of fresh and cured sausages that will be needed for the store’s season opening day, all while supplying a continually expanding wholesale market and the Ottawa Seed to Sausage store, is long and daunting. Nonetheless, MacGregor nevertheless said he would have the first example of his recipe-of-the-week sausages available for the Day of the Pig. “Now I guess I have to follow through on that,” he said. That will give him something to think about as he commutes against the flow of traffic each day along Road 38 north from Kingston each morning.
After spending two months interviewing service providers, people with 'lived experience' of homelessness and/or poverty in Frontenac County, and interested community members, Kim Allen was ready last Friday, May 6, for the key event of the project she was facilitating, a rural summit at St. James Church hall. The summit came about when Louise Moody, the Executive Director of Northern Frontenac Community Services, with support from Southern Frontenac Community Services, secured a grant from the United Way to fund a rural summit. Kim Allen was hired to pull it together. Participants included front-line social workers in Frontenac County; agency representatives; guests from other communities who have worked on the issues that arise from poverty and homelessness; township and county politicians, including three of the eight members of Frontenac County Council; and community activists who are itching to make a difference. The meat of the gathering was what Allen described as a modified version of a World Cafe. Participants were seated at tables, and a question was posed for discussion at each of the tables. A note-keeper was appointed at each table. After a few minutes, everyone but the note-keeper stood up and moved to another table. Throughout the day participants moved from table to table and discussed their response to a series of questions. The first question was general, asking why the topic was important to people and what they hoped the day would accomplish. Before asking any further questions more detailed information was presented. After sharing the results of some of the research she has done, Allen introduced Tabitah Morton, who is the data analysis co-ordinator for the Ontario Early Years Centre. While Morton is tasked with collecting data about children under the age of six, a lot of the data she uses applies to the general population. She outlined the difference between the northern and southern parts of Frontenac County and Frontenac Islands, and talked about the metropolitan influence of Kingston and how it wanes the further north you go. Another presenter, Dierdre Pike, a Senior Social Planner, newspaper columnist and community engagement expert from Hamilton, talked about how other communities have come together to bring about social change. Pike, who might have been a stand-up comedian in another life, also lightened up the tone of the proceedings considerably. The rest of the day was devoted to dealing with three further questions. One dealt with people's responses to the presentations, and a second sought ideas, or seeds, that can be used to find real solutions that will have an impact on the lives of people in Frontenac County. The third question, “What needs immediate attention going forward”, resulted in seven proposals for further action, which were then looked at by the group as a whole. Participants came forward to put check marks beside proposals they supported. They wrote their names beside proposals they not only support but are willing to work on, and they circled their name if they are willing to take the lead pushing a proposal forward. The results will all be gathered in a final report, to be released in June. On the day, four of the proposals drew high levels of support. One of them was to look at a model that has been put into practice in Haliburton County. A group has renovated abandoned properties as interim places to live for people who need them. With support, rent had been paid for these properties, allowing the group to expand the stock of temporary housing over time. Another proposal was to build a small, off-grid house using inexpensive materials and volunteer labour. Using a design put forward by Geoffrey Murray from Granite Ridge Education Centre, the small house could be built for $50,000 in his estimation, and would be suitable for youth trying to establish themselves in Frontenac County. A third idea that was popular was more process- oriented. It talked about a group of people getting together to form a sort of pressure group to make sure that Northern and Southern Frontenac Community Services, the local township councils, and Frontenac County address the issues raised at the summit on an ongoing basis. It falls to Frontenac County Council to ensure that the Frontenac County initiative receives its share of attention, and funding from the City of Kingston, which has received provincial funding to work on a ten-year housing and homelessness plan for itself and Frontenac County.
Lanark Frontenac Kingston MP Scott Reid announced this week that he will place his vote on the upcoming third reading to the government-sponsored Bill C-14 in the hands of his constituents. A ballot is being sent out through Canada Post's neighborhood mail to all post boxes in the riding, and can be returned postage free to his office. The ballot includes references to arguments in favour and opposed to the legislation. In the letter to constituents that accompanies the ballot, Reid says Bill C-14 would amend the Criminal Code to allow what the government characterizes as “medically assisted dying” - what is more commonly known as “physician-assisted suicide.” If the bill becomes law, it will be lawful for a physician or nurse practitioner to euthanize a patient, as long as a series of conditions are met. The conditions will be laid out in a provision which will become section 241.2 of the Criminal Code. Four conditions must be met, according to Reid. They are that the patient is over 18 years old; the patient must have, in the words of the bill, a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” and natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable”; the patient must have made a voluntary and informed request for assisted suicide; and a second physician or nurse practitioner must agree that the first three conditions have been met. In explaining his decision to pass his right as an elected official to vote on the bill to his constituents, Reid made the point that in matters such as this one, the conscience of each constituent “is no less worthy than mine. Therefore it is the people, not the politicians, who should be able to directly determine the direction the country takes.” Reid said he will tabulate the results of the constituency referendum just before the final vote on Bill C-14 is called, which will be June 6 or sometime earlier. He encourages constituents to vote early to make sure he receives their response in time. Within the body of his mailout, Reid includes comments in favour of the bill from Justice Minister Jody Wilson- Raybould; Anne Sutherland from the Canadian Nurses Association; and editorials from the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen and Toronto Star. Comments opposed to the bill include those from the Physicians' Alliance Against Euthanasia; Larry Worthen from the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada; Alex Schadenberg from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition; Andrew Coyne, columnist with the National Post; and Dying with Dignity. For his own part, Reid talks about his concern that “conscientious objections of medical practitioners of medical institutions to provide or facilitate assistance in dying” should be protected in the bill if it passes, and he says he will work to have those protections included. He asks that only one vote per registered voter be sent back to him.
2015 audit results Howard Allan, from Allan Chartered Accountant, made a presentation to Council on April 20 to discuss his firm's audit of the County for 2015. “I think we can say that the 2015 audit went well for the County of Frontenac,” Allan told Council. “The management team of the County was very co-operative and I think the County is well served by their staff... Our firm looks after Leeds-Grenville and the County of Lanark, which are both in Eastern Ontario and kind of similar. I would say that the financial position of this County is as strong, or stronger, than those two counties.” Allen spoke out in favor of the county's long-term financial plan and its reserves policy. “Reviewing your reserves is a very positive step,” he said. The audit report shows the County sitting with just under $5 million in net financial assets at the end of 2015. “Our rates of taxation are continuing to fall as assessment increases and re-assessments happen every four years. Even in dollar amounts, the overall (tax) increases have been fairly modest, particularly when you consider our growth,” he said. He added that the rates of taxation in Frontenac County are much lower than in other counties because of the fact that the lower-tier municipalities look after the road works in Frontenac. “Often, in other places, there's a big county road system that is looked after by the upper-tier and that has budgetary implications,” he said. “We had some extra revenue from the OPP that we hadn't planned for,” Councilor Dennis Doyle said. “What happens with that money now that the townships incur the costs for policing? Does that eventually find its way down to the townships?” “Any amounts that are surplus at the end of the year follow our reserve fund policy,” County Treasurer Marian VanBruinessen said. “Council can consider where those surplus funds go. The reserve fund policy suggests the first order of business is to get the stabilization reserve up to where it should be. The next one is the capital asset plan.” Allan's report also recommended that the County review its processes regarding the security of electronic records. County approves new stretchers Council approved the purchase of new stretchers for their ambulances. After testing out two different brands they chose the Stryker Power Pro XT. The net cost of the stretchers is $735,000, after the County transfers $62,441 out of their equipment reserve. The balance of this is split with the City of Kingston, which will end up paying just over 78% of the cost, or $578,592, leaving $156,408 for the County to cover. The city portion will come to the County over the next eight years, as the County will be paying for the stretchers up front from their reserves. Planning advisory committee to be formed Council discussed new changes made to the Planning Act and how best to form a planning advisory committee. In a report prepared by Joe Gallivan, the Director of Planning and Economic Development, it says the intention of the amendments made to the Planning Act is to “improve community consultation” and to promote more “meaningful involvement for the public in the developmental approval process.” This committee would act as a “connection between the operations of the Planning & Economic Development Department and the strategic direction of Council.” One suggestion from staff is that the committee be formed by the four mayors as well as three citizens, with one citizen acting as the chair of the committee. “The composition of such a committee should include some influential members of the community, such as someone from the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation,” North Frontenac Councillor John Inglis said. “I'm generally concerned that we're missing out on larger scale environmental issues in big planning ideas. We all want economic development ... but I think there has to be influential input on planning issues on the environmental side.” “I want to discuss all proposals on this,” North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins said. “I'm not in favour of all four mayors (automatically) being part of it. We need people with expertise in planning.” “I believe the four mayors are the ones that need to be on this committee,” Warden Frances Smith said. “The sooner we get this in place the better, as there's already stuff coming to us that we don't have a lot of detail about.” “You really have to be cautious of the makeup of committees because it can really skew what happens in a township if they're going to make the recommendations for planning,” Deputy Warden Ron Vandewal said.
A group of 22 NAEC students and 4 staff went to a Sweat Lodge ceremony in Inverary at the home of Bernard and Tammy Nelson, on April 29. There was no cost for this trip, as it was paid for by NAEC’s “Speak Up” grant. The Sweat Lodge ceremony is a First Nations ceremony designed to promote personal and spiritual well-being. It combines story-telling, prayer and steam in a holistic approach. The students and staff were educated on the background of the Sacred Fire and the Sweat Lodge. The Sacred Fire is started several hours before the ceremony, and watched over by the fire keeper. The stones, which are placed in the Sweat Lodge and given water to drink (which creates steam), are called the Grandfathers and Grandmothers. They were introduced by the fire keeper, Burk Donio, and Lucas Parks accepted them and placed them in the centre of the lodge. By a strange twist of fate, one of the students, Emma Fuller, realized that she was in the former home of her great grandfather and great grandmother. This added a layer of meaning to the ceremony, which honours family members. As well as participating in the Sweat Lodge ceremony, the student helped prepare a feast. Because of Emma Fuller’s connection to the location, she was asked to prepare the Spirit Plate. This consists of a small sample from each dish, sprinkled with tobacco and offered to the Sacred Fire.
At a Special Inaugural Meeting on May 11, 2016, Lennox and Addington County Council acclaimed Henry Hogg, reeve of the Township of Addington Highlands as county warden for the remainder of 2016. The warden’s office became vacant with the passing of Warden Clarence Kennedy on March 13, 2016 after a brief battle with cancer. The Warden’s Declaration of Office was administered by her Worship Justice of the Peace Donna I. Doelman. Warden Hogg has previously served as county warden for the years 2003, 2010 and 2011. AH Deputy Reeve Helen Yanch congratulated Reeve Hogg over his appointment at a council meeting in Denbigh on May 16.
The North Addington community is saddened by the passing of Chris Curtis. Chris was the operator of Curtis Trailers in Kaladar and passed away due to injuries sustained in an unfortunate fire at his place of business. He has been a supporter to our local youth by employing cooperative education students from North Addington Education Centre since he started operating Curtis Trailers. In the past eight years alone, Chris has employed eight of our students. Because of Chris, some of our students are working in welding and other related trades. Chris Curtis was definitely a teacher at large in our community. He believed in the success of each student and did everything in his power to make sure they had the needed resources and support. He was always willing to help out, and Chris never hesitated when asked if he would take a co-op student. The answer was always “Yes, when can they start?” In addition to co-op, Curtis provided expertise to our welding and manufacturing classes, and assisted in obtaining material for projects and classes. He never overlooked an opportunity to help his alma mater. Chris Curtis was a valuable community partner to North Addington Education Centre's cooperative education and technology programs and he will be greatly missed.
Adult Protective Services Adult Protective Services would like to send a big thank you to the Mazinaw Community Fund and the Napanee District Community Foundation. The Mazinaw Community Fund was founded by Margaret Axford and Ian Brummel and is a chapter of the Napanee District Community Foundation. The foundation provided the APSW program a grant of $1785 to support 10 individuals, giving them the opportunity to participate in two organized sporting events. These opportunities may not otherwise have been available because of cost, transportation, and limited supports. The first event was a Blue Jays game last summer. Our group teamed up with Lennox & Addington Association for Community Living and Adult Protective Services in South Lennox & Addington to attend the game. The second event was an Ottawa Senators’ game in February of this year. The individuals who participated enjoyed both of the outings very much. Generous community initiatives such as this are essential to helping us provide opportunities for people in our community, and we are very appreciative to the Mazinaw Community Fund and the NDCF. Without this type of assistance, these opportunities may not have otherwise been available due to cost, transportation and limited supports. April Volunteer Appreciation: On April 14, the staff of LOLCS held their annual volunteer appreciation dinner in Flinton. The night saw 102 volunteers being thanked for all they do for the organization. The delicious meal was prepared by the Flinton Community Club and the toe tapping entertainment for the evening was provided by the Pickled Chicken String Band from Denbigh. If the smiles from all the guests are anything to judge by, the evening was certainly a great success! Annual Yard Sale We are having our annual yard & bake sale at the LOLCS office in Northbrook on May 21 from 8am until about 3pm. This has become a very successful event and all proceeds go toward our Christmas Hamper Program. Make sure to include our location on your list of sale stops – the May long weekend is the time to shop for all your summer needs and more! Afternoon Tea and Information Session On June 13, from 1-3 pm we are holding an afternoon tea at the LOLCS office, 12497A Highway 41, Northbrook. This is an opportunity for community members to come into the office, meet the staff, and have a look around. This is a good chance to see what types of services we provide and ask any questions you may have – or just come in for a visit and to say “Hi.” Cheryl Hartwick is the Board Chair of Land O'Lakes community Services