With a total of 81 athletes, the Sydenham High School track team was not only the largest at the Kin...
One of the conditions that were set out three years ago by South Frontenac Council when they agreed to support turning the former Hartington Schoolhouse, which is township property, over to the Portland District and Area Historical Society for a museum, was that the museum would be called the Township of South Frontenac Museum and will serve the entire township. The Society was happy to agree. One issue that they are facing as they prepare the museum for its grand opening in August, however, is that although it is a beautiful building that has been well maintained and upgraded, it is a one-room schoolhouse and is not large. The amount of material that has been gathered over the 14 years the society has been up and running, when added to items that are stored in garages and attics throughout the township, far outstrips the capacity of the new museum. A lot of materials are stored in members’ homes, and it will likely stay that way for quite a while. This embarrassment of riches means that the museum has the pick of the crop as far as what is on display, and will be able to change its display easily over time to feature different aspects of the past in the region. Barb Stewart and Irene Bauder met with me at the museum last week, as it is about to undergo some minor renovations in May. These will include the building of a new stoop and a fully accessible entrance, as well as the installation of new windows. The windows are being produced by heritage window expert David White, who happens to live in the township, and Barb Stewart said they “are perfect, exactly right”. The stoop, accessible ramp and door are being put in by township staff as part of the contribution the township is making to the project. The township also helped in securing a $50,000 grant for the project. “We hope to be back in the building by the end of June,” said Stewart, “which will give us six weeks to set up for the grand opening on the 15th of August.” By opening in mid-August, the museum will be up and running when the three-day Frontenac County 150th Anniversary celebration takes place August 28-30. The Portland District Historical Society had its roots in a series of meetings that took place in 2001 “Its charter members were Bill Asselstine, Inie Platenius, Enid Bailey and Jim Reynolds. They would meet over at a cottage on Rock Lake once or twice a month, and they would yak and talk about developing a historical society, and eventually having a building,” said Barb Stewart. In 2002 the Verona Heritage Society was founded, but soon afterwards, concerned that people were saying it was all about Verona, the name was changed to the Portland and District Heritage Society, and it has had that focus ever since. The focus on Verona at the start is a recognition of the central role that Verona held as a commercial hub in the post-war period. Photo left: Verona in the 1930's. Barb Stewart moved to Verona from the farm that her family ran on Road 38 at Cole Lake in 1949. Irene Bauder did not arrive in Verona until 1960, but they both remember how many businesses thrived in the village in those days. Barb Stewart's father built a cold storage plant in the location where Asselstine's Hardware store is now located. The storage plant included a butcher shop and lockers where clients could store their meat and other frozen food. “In 1949, fridges had very small freezers in them, and even later when the freezers went across the whole top there wasn't much room. So we had quite an operation there. My mother did all the butchering, and she had all the saws and hamburger machine and everything. She charged 3 cents a pound for butchering and the lockers were between $10 and $12 a year, which people think is laughable now, but money wasn't as good then. I made 50 cents an hour working at Walker's store,” Stewart said. “There were all kinds of businesses in Verona at one time,” said Irene Bauder. Where Topper's Convenience Store and service station is located, there was a motel. Eventually they built another big building, which was partly an extension of the motel and was also a health food store. However before all that there was Snider's Service Centre and a restaurant. The Heritage Society has compiled a list of businesses that were up and running in 1951. It includes two car dealerships: Revell Ford, which is still a thriving enterprise, and Verona Motors, which was a GM dealership owned by Jack Simonnett, who later moved it to Parham and then Sharbot Lake. There was a laundromat, E.L Amey's auction house and hall, Genge Insurance, a pool hall, a number of stores, the Bank of Montreal, which has been located in a number of locations and is still in Verona, and there were several restaurants, two barber shops, and more. “When I moved here there was any kind of trade and service you could imagine,” said Irene Bauder. Verona was the retail centre serving a swath of territory spread out in all directions, from Westport to the east, Harrowsmith to the south, Sharbot Lake to the north, and Tamworth to the west. Although compared to many of its smaller neighbours Verona has remained as a retail destination, with hardware, grocery and gift stores, government services and banking as well as restaurants, a pharmacy and the ever-successful Revell Ford Motors, the retail sector is a shadow of what it was in the 1950s and early 1960s. One of the reasons that has been pointed to in the past is the fact that Verona, and Portland, remained dry right up until amalgamation in 1998, with a liquor/beer store opening up only when the Foodland store moved to its new location a few years ago. “People did start heading to Sydenham and Sharbot Lake and Westport for alcohol and that hurt,” said Barb Stewart. Other factors included the closing of the K&P Railroad and the fact that people tend to travel more readily for shopping than they did 50 years ago. “We are less than 20 minutes from Princess Street and Gardiners Road as we sit here,” said Irene Bauder, “and people work in Kingston and shop in Kingston.” The former schoolhouse, which is in the final stages of conversion to a museum, started life in 1903. It did not have electricity installed until 1947, and it closed in 1954. It was used for meetings sporadically after it was closed as a school. In 1967 the Frontenac County Library opened a branch in the building. The branch moved to the new Princess Anne building just across the parking lot in 1982. Community Caring (now Community Caring South Frontenac) then opened up a thrift store in the schoolhouse. When Community Caring moved to the Princess Anne building as well in 2012, the township agreed to dedicate it for use as a museum. As the opening date of the museum approaches, there are reams of documents and numerous artefacts to be organized. The plan is to have several small exhibit spaces in the museum, each devoted to different themes, from agriculture to military history, to education, and beyond. Jim Reynolds, one of the original members of the group that met at the cottage on Rock Lake back in 2001, is one of two people who will be preparing a layout plan for the museum once the construction work is done. In the interim, the Township of South Frontenac Museum will have a display at the township offices in Sydenham as part of the Open Doors Frontenac County event on June 13.
Barb Sproule is not a lifelong resident of the Ompah area, but she has learned to fit in over the years. She spent her first seven years in South Porcupine, near Timmins, but when her father was injured while working in a gold mine, the family moved back home to Ompah, where both her parents were from. “It was a big change for me, moving from South Porcupine where there was an arena, stores and a big school, back to Ompah with its one-room school house. But I didn't mind, as far as I can remember. There was always lots to do, and that has never changed for me.” Her dad was not completely done with mining, however. Years later he was involved in a plan to re-open a gold mine near Ardoch that had been closed since early in the 20th Century. In the late 60s a couple of men approached him to help them open the Borst mine, and her father, who was a Shanks, took Barb and her husband to see the mine. They climbed down a 75 foot shaft, which Barb said “was not exactly something I enjoyed.” The two men died in a winter storm in Northern Ontario and that was the end of the last gasp of the gold mine industry in North Frontenac. When Sproule was young she also worked with her grandparents, the Dunhams, who owned the hotel in Ompah. There were three saw mills in Ompah in those days and she recalls that between summer traffic and logging, the hotel was “more or less fully occupied summer and winter". After finishing grade 8 at Ompah, she went to the new high school in Sharbot Lake, using the bus service that was also new, and graduated in 1954. By the fall of that same year she was teaching at Canonto School, at age 16. “I was too young to go to teachers' college, but they couldn't find a teacher for the Canonto school and they knew I was intending to become a teacher so they offered me the job and I accepted it.” Some of the 16 students were close to her age and one was the same age and bigger than her, so her solution to facing up to them was to not let on she was so young. That became harder to do when the Toronto Star send a photographer to Canonto to take her picture because she was the youngest teacher in Ontario that year. At that time teachers' college consisted of two summer courses and a full year course. Sproule went to Toronto for part of her education and Ottawa for the rest, and had her teaching certificate by 1956. She later transferred to Ompah and when Clarendon Central opened in the mid-1960s she taught there, and remained until she retired from teaching in 1989. Clarendon Central was a three-room school, and at the start there were 150 students at the school. Barb taught grades 3-5 and had 50 kids in her class. “It worked out fine. The older children taught the younger ones and everybody helped out,” she said. The biggest decline in the local economy took place in the 1980s. “The logging was in decline and people began going to Perth for work and the local businesses began to close. That was when all that really started to happen. It's too bad really that we've lost so much, and we really miss the restaurant; losing it has hurt everyone,” she said. Political career 1978-1997 It might not be the case that all politics in what is now ward 3 of North Frontenac and used to be Palmerson/Canonto Township revolve around the fire department, but it doesn't miss being so by much. So it is not surprising that Barb Sproule entered politics in the 1978 election in order to establish a fire department, which is something that the reeve of the day was reluctant to do. “We had a committee that had gotten together and was working on setting up a fire department and the council of the time would not support us in any way. So, we got some money and some property donated, and we bought a tanker truck and put a motor on it, which they got from emergency services out of Kingston. The reeve went and took the motor out of the truck. So I went to the reeve and said, 'Are you going to support it or not support it?' They didn't give it any support, even support in principle, so I told the reeve I was going to run, and I did and I won.” When asked who the reeve of the time was, she said “Well, I don't want to embarrass relatives” - an answer that doesn't really narrow down who it was, given the close knit nature of the community. Sproule served as reeve for five of the next terms, losing in one of the elections and winning the others, and was the reeve during the amalgamation process in the late 1990s. Like a number of the Frontenac County reeves at the time of amalgamation, she retired from politics instead of running in North Frontenac, although she has continued to sit on the Committee of Adjustment to this day, and regularly gets asked if she will run whenever election time approaches. “I enjoyed being in politics, but I like to travel nowadays, and I feel I've done my time,” she said. During her time as reeve, the first Official Plan for Palmerston/Canonto was brought in. In 1982 she served as county warden, the second woman to hold that position in the 118 years of the County's existence. The first was Dorothy Gaylord from Arden, who served as warden in the late 1970s and was still on the council when Barb had the position. When amalgamation was forced on the local politicians, there were a number of options on the table. “Those of us from the north end were really wary of the idea of one township for the entire county, which was one of the options, because we felt those from the south were really dealing with a different kind of community than ours. There was also talk of one township for the seven townships north of Verona, and we didn't like that either because we were worried that more attention would be paid to the townships that became Central Frontenac because they were bigger and we thought we might not get our share. So we set up North Frontenac and I think we did the right thing.” She recalls that the idea of eliminating the County level, which happened in 1998 and was overturned in 2004, was something that the four townships decided to do once they were established. “They didn't realise that by doing that they would be losing out on grants, so they made the right decision to reverse it, but they wanted to run things without the county interfering; that was the thinking.” Although she still follows politics, it is from a distance, as Barb Sproule has become somewhat of a world traveller in recent years. Her latest trip was to Australia last October, and she has made many trips over the years, with friends, on her own and once with one of her grand-daughters. She continues to live in Ompah, in the house she shared with her late husband, and still helps out in the cottage and campground business on Palmerston Lake that she and her husband started and her retired son now manages. Although the bright lights of South Porcupine were lost to her when she left (she did get to see the Olympic champion figure skater Barbara Ann Scott at the arena there when she was very young) there has certainly been enough going on at Ompah to keep her busy over the last 70 or so years.
Mel Good likes to say that he was born on Parham Fair Day, September 7, 1920, and “that was the only fair that I have missedsince then.”Mel ended up sitting on the fair board for 50 years and for many of those years he was the MC of the fair.“I never told any off-colour jokes,” he said, “but I did tell some corny ones, you know, like 'after you sit on them planks for a coupleof years your pants get sore'; that sort of thing.”He remembers a time when the fair was something that people spent the entire summer waiting for, and when there wasn't a lot of money around to spend at the fair.“One of the most important things I ever did as a director of the fair was to talk the fair board into making the fair free for childrenunder 12,” he recalls.He got the idea after noticing a young girl sitting on the fence at the edge of the fair one hot sunny fair day in the 1940s.“She had come down all the way from Sharbot Lake. I don't know how she got there, but at the end of the day I realised that she didn't have a quarter to get in. She just sat swinging on the fence all day, listening to the music. I don't think she even had anything to eat...I pushed that motion on them and they fought it a bit, but finally they went for it. The next year attendance at the fair doubled, so people said it hadn't been that bad an ideaafter all.”Before Mel's father bought a farm property near Parham in 1916 and began raising cattle and running a mixed farm, the Goods had been working as loggers, for some of the major lumber barons of the 19th century, such as HG Rathbun and John Booth.But Mel was raised on the farm. He remembers blowing the whistle to call the men to lunch when he was five years old, and he kept a herd of Simmental cattle until about 15 years ago.“I sold them for an average of a thousand bucks, which was pretty good because right after that the mad cow came in and they weren't worth half that. Still it was better than when I was a kid. We used to sell 10 to 12 a year for about $10 each, and those were 800 lb. animals."One March day in 1930 when he was nine, he was gathering sap with his father when they heard a plane.“It was a foggy day, desperately foggy, I remember. I was helping my dad make a sleigh that we used for gathering the sap. We heard a plane overhead and heard the motor shut off three times and then a big crash. We ran out there and saw the wreck. There was 22 inches of ice out on the lake and thetail end of the plane was all you could see of the plane; it was standing straight up in the ice. I got a glimpse of the two men inside the plane but their bodies were badly mangled and they were clearly dead. Seeing that really made an impression on me, and it showed me that there are a lot of rough spots in this world. It was a sad day for sure.”When Mel was 20 he started working in the shipyards in Kingston, and he remembers it was steady, hard work but the workers were considered crucial to the war effort.“I went to see about enlisting, and they said I was qualified but that I should go back to the shipyard where I could do more good.”In 1946, Mel returned to Parham to take care of his mother, keep up the family farm and to purchase the general store in Parham. With his wife Doris and her sister Jean he ran Good's store for 53 years until selling it to Hope Stinchcombe in 2009. Not only did they run the store, they also ran the post office and the train station for 25 years."We sold a lot of feed over the years, and a lot of everything that people needed. If there was something we didn't have, we could get it."They also gave credit, as many stores did in those years.“Most people were pretty good, but there were always some who took advantage,” he recalls. “One lady ran up $500 and then phoned over the next month looking to start another line of credit. But we kept good records.”One thing that Mel remembers is the numbers and prices of products, what he sold things for and what they cost him, and most importantly, how much he made and how much work he had to do to make it. Over the years, that understanding of the value of things has stood him in good stead, and ensured his prosperity even as Parham became less and less of a center of commerce.“When we had the train station and the truck traffic and all the farms were going strong, Parham was pretty busy, but the store kept us going all the way until the day we sold it, I can tell you that.”He also understood the value of real estate. The farm, which is 500 acres and has a significant amount of frontage on Long Lake, is still entirely in the Good name.“There were lots of people who sold waterfront lots for $200 in the 40s and 50s, which was a lot of money back then, but I told them they were selling off their most valuable thing for money that would be gone in a year. I still have all the value in the waterfront here.”The other thing that he has always done, and continues to do now, is collect and preserve artifacts from the past. Whether it is the wing of that plane that went down on Long Lake in 1930, which Hope Stinchcombe found in the store three years ago when she was re-doing the floors, or a crosscut saw from the late 1890s, which he donated to Central Frontenac Township and now hangs in the township office, to records from the past and all kinds of tools from the 18th and early 19th centuries, he has collected it all.He also has a story to tell about most of the items. He is pretty spry at 95 and is hoping to live longer than his mother did. She made it to 102.
Marcel Giroux has been a busy guy since he came to Sharbot Lake High School to teach French and Gym in 1956. The school he came to was eight years old and it was already showing signs of being too small for the demands of the local community. A few years later, with the baby boomers hitting high school, the school was expanded during a two-year period in which Marcel served as the interim principal. “The high schools were under the supervision of Frontenac County at that time and the public schools were under the townships. The problem in the high schools was overcrowding. When Sharbot Lake High School was expanded in 1962 it was built on the premise that it would be 100 students in grade 9; 70 in grade 10; 40 in grade 11; 30 in grade 12; and 20 in grade 13,” he said. Most jobs only required a grade 10 education at that time, but that changed to grade 12 just as the baby boomers were coming through. “The school was built for 240 students and 380 students showed up in September. We had that problem for years.” In the late 1960s the push was on to close one room schools and establish larger public schools. Marcel, who was the head guidance counselor at SLHS by that time, a position he held until his retirement in 1988, visited those schools every year to talk to the grade 8 students who were going to come to SLHS the next year. He supported closing the one room schools and expanding Hinchinbrooke, Sharbot Lake, and Clarendon Central Public Schools, and building Land O'Lakes Public School. “People have a romantic view of one-room schools, but the reality was that of the 14 that were in our townships, one or two were good, most of them were pretty poor, and a couple of them were horrendous. The good ones had established teachers and financial support from the township and community. But that was rare. I remember visiting a school that was being taught by a young girl who had just graduated from high school herself. She was taking chalk out of her purse in the morning because she had to supply it herself. That's the kind of thing that went on.” In 1969 the Frontenac School Board was established. It included two rural high schools, Sharbot Lake and Sydenham; Lasalle High School in Pittsburgh Township and Frontenac High School in Frontenac Township. The Kingston and Frontenac Board merged sometime later. Eventually Lennox and Addington schools were added and the Limestone Board was established. Marcel Giroux was elected to municipal council in Oso Township in the fall of 1972, and he had an ulterior motive for seeking office. Within six months of his election he was holding meetings with representatives from three neighboring townships to talk about building an arena, a project he had wanted to make happen for a long time. “We realised quite quickly that between the four of us we were only big enough to build half an arena. The people in Portland Township were also thinking about an arena and they concluded they were only big enough to build half an arena. So we all got together. “Portland came up with ten acres of land bordering the boundary road with Hinchinbrooke and we developed a plan and eventually got it built. I remember that since it was built closer to the south than the north and people from Kennebec and Oso had to drive further, it was agreed that Portland would pay 52% of the costs and the other four townships would pay 48% of the costs.” One of the reasons for the long-term viability of the arena, in Marcel's view, was staffing. “Jim Stinson was the first manager and he ran that place very well for 40 years. That's probably why it has been so successful. When Marcel retired from teaching on a wintry Friday in 1988, he took it easy for a day, and then on the Sunday formed a committee to start working on building a new Catholic Church in Sharbot Lake. The congregation had outgrown the 45 seat, unheated church on Road 38 and Elizabeth Street by the mid '60s but for a variety of reasons no new church had been built. “We had 80 people coming to mass in the winter and 300 in the summer. We said mass in the parking lot of the beer store one Sunday, in the bar at the hotel, in the township hall, until we eventually started holding mass in the high school for 15 years, but we needed a church of our own." The property where the church is now located had been purchased for $2,500 in 1962, but over 25 years had passed and the congregation had $22,000 in their building fund. In 1988, freshly retired, Marcel was in a position to jump in. “The reason it happened then and not before was that Father Brennan, who was new and enthusiastic, had just come to our congregation, and there was also a new bishop in place. Suddenly the things that were in the way disappeared. A two-year fundraising campaign raised over $430,000 and the church took back a mortgage for $169,000 and a new church was completed in 1992. One of the best fundraising activities was spearheaded by Doris Onfrachuk. A half-finished waterfront cottage was purchased for $60,000 and was then finished using volunteer labour and donated materials. $100 raffle tickets were sold and $132,000 was raised. In the late 1960s the push was on to establish a Frontenac County Library. In order to make that happen, according to Ontario regulations at the time, the majority of the townships in the county, representing over 60% of the population, needed to establish branches. Pittsburgh and Frontenac townships already had branches in place, and they represented 70% of the population. What was needed, however, was for seven of the other 14 townships to get on board. Different people took on their own councils to convince them to start up a library branch. Marcel was involved in Oso Township, but as he tells it, the success came from the fact that when a petition asking for a library to be established was brought to Council, the first three names on the petition were those of wives of council members, and the fourth was the name of a woman who was sitting on council herself. “They had no choice; it was brutal,” Marel recalls. The first branch in Oso was a not much more than a set of shelves in the United Church Hall in Sharbot Lake. Efforts in other townships were equally efficient and in 1969, 12 of the 16 Frontenac townships joined together to form the Frontenac Public Library. When municipal amalgamation was about to take place, it became clear that since Pittsburgh and Frontenac townships were joining with Kingston, the Frontenac Public Library was no longer going to be viable. Marcel was the chair of the Library at the time, and representatives from each branch began meeting in September of 1996 to work out the details of establishing the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. “We met monthly for a while and then bi-weekly, each time taking on a problem that needed to be solved - and there were many. We had different labour agreements than the city, a different computer system, different procedures. But by the time amalgamation took place, we had all the legal agreements in place, and all the politicians in Kingston and the four new townships had to do was pass bylaws establishing the KFPL - and they did." While it seems like Marcel Giroux has spent his whole life on public projects, he has also been a husband to Pam since 1968, and is the father of four adult sons.
We all have fire extinguishers in our home, but how many of us know whether they would work in an emergency, or if we would know how to use them under the stress of an actual fire. If you are like me, you don’t get around to having them inspected very often. Last summer I had an opportunity to try one out at an event put on by the Snow Road Fire Department. A controlled fire was set, and I was handed an extinguisher to try and put it out. You would think this was a straightforward task, but I assure you it wasn’t. I had to be helped to figure out how to get the extinguisher to deliver its foam, and then how to approach the fire to actually put it out. I’m very glad I had the experience, in case I ever do have to use any of my home fire extinguishers. On June 6, at the Ompah Community Centre, you will have the opportunity to have all of your home fire extinguishers checked by a professional, and to have them recertified, or fixed if necessary. Inspections will be done by Glenna Shanks from Perth Fire Extinguisher Service. She will be at the Community Centre from 9am to 12 noon. Eric Korhonen, Fire Prevention Officer for the North Frontenac Fire Department, will also be there with his fire extinguisher training set-up, so that you can get some first-hand experience using fire extinguishers. There will be a small fee for having your extinguishers inspected (repairs or recharging will also have fees).
by Betty Hunter Once again this year we will be having planned events at the North Frontenac Star Gazing Pad. This facility is located at 5816 Road 506 between Ardoch and Fernleigh. The Pad will be available for your own group viewings once the ARCAL Lighting System has been installed at the Helipad adjacent to the Star Gazing Pad; we hope in the very near future. The first event is being held on May 16 with a rain date of May 23. As I write this, the weather forecast is looking very good for the 16th. If you have not had the opportunity to attend one of these events let me inform you of what goes on: Our “amateur astronomers” have been star gazing since they were young and have decades of knowledge of the dark skies and all we can see. They are our guides and teachers for these events. They bring their telescopes with them so everyone has the opportunity to see what they are talking about. It is a great interactive evening with very enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers. The event of May 16 twilight will start around 9pm and will start with viewing Venus and Jupiter which provides a breathtaking showing on its own. As the sky continues to darken more stars and galaxies will appear. As written by one of our friends “This time of year the Milky Way lies right on our horizon in the evenings, so we will have to wait a few months to enjoy its treasures. Its absence now gives us an unobscured look at other galaxies besides our own. In other words spring is the Season of Galaxies. The spring constellations, especially Virgo, Coma Berenices and Leo are home to scores of galaxies of all sizes and shapes. Even though most of them are more than 50,000,000 light years away, they are well within reach of small telescopes. So they will be our main focus on the 16th.” This event will start around 9pm and continue until all participants have left (our astronomers are accustomed to being up all night). These events are for every member of the family and provide an amazing opportunity to learn about our beautiful night skies. There is an outhouse facility on site. Bring your lawn chairs, binoculars, telescopes (if you own one), warm clothing (as it cools down and gets damp as the evening moves on). You will also require insect repellants as the bug season has started. Come on out and bring a friend. You won’t be disappointed. Hope to see everyone there.
Janet Brooks of Ompah was one of over 60 protesters who attended the Enough is Enough Hydro One protest, which took place outside of the Hydro One offices in Perth on May 2. The event attracted local and area residents fed up with the high cost of their bills. Brooks described her financial situation as desperate, and says she has had to put the home she bought seven years ago up for sale. Presently her outstanding Hydro One bill is $4,000. “My second mortgage people are repossessing my home and I have nowhere to go,” she said in tears. Brooks, who is a single mother, said that unfortunately her situation is not unique. “I know of others in the Ompah area who are experiencing the same kind of situation and I know of 10 other home owners in the area who are going to have to walk away from their homes.” She approached drivers stopped at the corner of Highway 7 and Drummond St., asking them to sign a petition that will be presented in the Legislative Assembly at Queens Park on May 13 the same day that a large Enough is Enough Protest will be taking place there. “As a kid I used to be afraid of the dark, Brooks said, “ and now because of Hydro One I am scared of the light because I cannot afford it.” The Saturday protest in Perth was organized by Jeanette Kosnaski of Barry's Bay and Jenny Gates, both administrators of the Enough is Enough Hydro One group, which to date has over 21,000 members. Kosnaski said that the group is fighting Hydro One's delivery charges for rural Ontarians, as well as the HST charge, the debt retirement charge and smart meters. The petition that the group was passing around at the demonstration demands “The removal of all hidden charges that make up the delivery charge, and its replacement with one standard charge for all Ontarians." The petition also demands the immediate replacement of smart meters by analog meters. Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, spoke at the protest and blamed Hydro One's inflated regulatory and delivery charges on mismanagement and exorbitant wages. He said that the Green Energy Act is also to blame because FIT contracts “compel Hydro One to purchase renewable energy at inflated over market rates”. He listed a number of solutions that he believes would fix the problems. These included auditing the MDMR (Meter Data Management Repository) and either scrapping or altering it; trimming wages to employees at Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One; canceling the Green Energy Act; stopping all new FIT contracts and imposing a tax on the excess profits of FIT developers, with the proceeds reimbursing Hydro One customers. Hillier said that he welcomes “an end to the Hydro One monopoly to allow for competition in a free market place”. Tracy Stewart-Simmons of Carp also spoke at the event. Kosnaski encouraged those present to join the Enough is Enough Hydro One group and invited all present to attend a larger protest that will take place at Queens Park in Toronto on May 13 from noon until 3pm. The group is arranging bus transportation for out-of-towners, and speakers at the event will include MPP Randy Hillier, Steve Clark, Parker Gallant, Cindy Moyer and others yet to be confirmed. Kosnaski hopes to see many bodies in Toronto on May 13. “We need to get out there and make the Ontario government know that this is no longer acceptable.” For more information visit Enough is Enough Hydro One on Facebook.
Support for seniors in North Frontenac At Monday's council meeting in Plevna, Catherine Tysick, a Community Support Manager from North Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) explained to Council the many different services they provide to seniors and physically disabled people who live in the area. Caregiver counselling, foot care, volunteer transportation, and Lifeline - a 24-hour monitoring system - are only some of the services they provide in the Frontenacs. They also subsidize some housekeeping services for eligible seniors or disabled people. One of the goals of NFCS is to provide support so these people can continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible. “A lot of the seniors we serve are in their 80's and above...” Tysick told Council. “Oftentimes there is only one pension...we really want to be able to help people stay at home as long as they can and as safely as they can because they want to be here,” she explained. “I've never met anybody who wants to move out of North Frontenac.” NFCS was operating a Meals On Wheels program in North Frontenac for a long time but haven't been able to provide the service recently due to logistical complications with finding a local supplier, although they are starting up a nutritious frozen meals program that has seen financial support from Meals On Wheels. “The residents of North Frontenac are very independent...we haven't had enough people that want Meals On Wheels enough to bring it from Sharbot Lake...” Tysick said. NFCS depends on volunteers for many of their services. They offer transportation for people in need, at a subsidized rate. This can mean driving a senior to a medical appointment or to do grocery shopping. One of the challenges that the NFCS faces is the small population, and therefore a small demand. Tysick explained that although they are in “very good-standing” with their funders, she worries that in the future the rural population won't be safeguarded against funding cuts because the funding is based on usage. “We just want to spread the word that the services are available,” Tysick said. “If there are some holes...if there are some needs...there may be some things we can do...to get those needs met for your residents.” Solar And All That Jazz Bob Mady, from Jazz Solar, an Ottawa-based solar energy consulting firm, made a presentation to Council on Monday regarding the potential income North Frontenac could be making if they installed solar panels on some of their buildings in the township. The Feed in Tariff (FIT) Program, is designed for projects designated as generating between 10 kilowatts (kW) and 500kW of electricity. There is a program for under-10kW projects called the microFIT. These two programs, once controlled by Ontario Power Authority (OPA), are now controlled by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the same organization that is in charge of administering the proposed wind turbine farm in North Frontenac and Addington Highlands. Mady explained how a rooftop 10kW system, which costs approximately $30,000-$34,000 to get up and running, would provide the township with $4600 in annual income for the next 20 years, with the opportunity to profit over $55,000 in the long term. This system, under the microFIT program, provides the client with a protected rate, currently set at 38.4¢/kWh, that is locked in for 20 years. After the 20 year contract runs out, the owner of the system could, theoretically, stop feeding the grid and use the panels to power their building directly, with some additions to their system. When the microFIT program was first introduced in 2009 the OPA was paying participants 80.2¢/kWh. The rate has dropped steadily, and Mady told Council that this will most likely be the last time the FIT program is offered. (Note – the township has a micro-fit project in place on the roof of the township office) Community Grants Policy to Set Deadline and $1000 Limit Council voted on implementing a community grants policy on Monday. Non-profit community organizations sometimes request funding from the township. This policy would set a cap at $1000 per organization, and would set a deadline of November 30th, in order to be considered for the following year's annual budget. “I'm gonna be a grinch here and say I don't like this,” Councillor Inglis said. “I think it's too extensive and bureaucratic...it's going to add layers of paperwork,” Inglis voted against the idea but was outnumbered in the vote. “I want to see a very simple set of guidelines...no dollar limits, no follow up reports.” Corey Klatt, the Manager of Community Development, explained the reasoning behind the change. “It's putting some timelines on it so that we can do this at budget time.” The intention is that it will allow Council to better plan how they budget and allocate grant funds each year as well as better document what allocated grant money is spent on. Mayor Higgins Gets a Passing Grade on Report Card Mayor Ron Higgins presented the results of a survey he initiated requesting feedback from Council on his performance in his first quarter as Mayor. Overall the comments were positive, he said, and he himself echoed the main suggestion put forth that he “slow down” and not “expect too much too quickly”.
Since the start of February, the six members of the Granite Ridge School of Rock have been working together to learn to play musical instruments, build a musical ear, improve team-work and boost self-confidence. The students and their teacher, Julia Schall, have been listening to, playing and debating the merits of a wide variety of musical genres – from old time rock and roll, alternative, indie pop, country and rap. Their band, The Undecided, is composed of grade 8 students (L-R): Aurora McCumber, guitar; Esther Hoffmann, bass; Dawson King, guitar and vocals; Finn Limber, keyboards and vocals; Nic Smith, keyboards; and Maya Chorney, drums. The Undecided are very excited to be performing at the Celebration of Music at Granite Ridge on Monday, May 25 at 7 pm. Sharing the stage with the School of Rock will be the Granite Ridge High School band and the Young Choristers under the direction of Christina Wotherspoon, as well as other talented student and staff performers. The cost for the show is $5, with children under 12 free. We hope to see you there!
The new Amazing Dollar Store in Sharbot Lake attracted hundreds of shoppers looking for opening day deals at its official grand opening on May 16. Part of the success of the opening day could have been due to the fact that the store's new owner, Holly Davis, is no stranger to the area. She grew up in Arden and graduated from Sharbot Lake High School years ago. Davis took over the Sharbot Lake business from its long-time former owner, Cindy Warren, in March 2015. Warren, who owned and operated the Sharbot Lake store for over 20 years, in fact had helped Holly Davis set up her first Amazing Dollar store in Tweed in 1998, which she sold six years ago. Currently Davis has another store in Havelock and recently closed a former location in Campbellford. Taking a well deserved break from behind the cash counter on the very busy opening day, Davis said the timing to buy the Sharbot Lake store was perfect and when she found out that Warren wanted to sell, she jumped at the opportunity. Cindy Warren is continuing to work at the new store. Davis has completely remodeled the space and installed a series of long, single north/south facing aisles, thereby increasing the store's capacity for inventory. Guests were greeted not only by the renovated store, but also by number of opening days specials, which were up for grabs and included 25% off all gardening supplies as well as 50% off of a number of all-season items like candles and more. Guests also enjoyed free Tim Horton's coffee and donuts and took away free recycled shopping bags as a gift for their opening day patronage. Holly Davis, who lives half way between Havelock and Sharbot Lake, said she will be working at the Sharbot Lake store regularly along with three to four part time employees. For those who missed the grand opening, the Amazing Dollar Store is open Mon. - Thurs. from 9AM-6PM, Fridays 9AM-8PM, Saturdays from 9AM-6PM and Sundays 10AM-4PM. The store carries a wide selection of products, seasonal and otherwise. Davis would like to thank all of her patrons for the very successful opening day. The Amazing Dollar Store is located at 14583 Road 38 in Sharbot Lake.
Members of the team named The Dirtbagettes will be participating in the upcoming Mud Hero run, which will take place in Ottawa on June 6. The team was out in full force for a fundraiser they held on May 16, armed with loads of fresh home-made treats that they were offering up to the local community and lucky travelers on Highway 7. The eight-member team, which includes runners from in and around Sharbot Lake and Lanark, will be taking part in the Mud Hero event for their first time and they decided to support cancer research, specifically the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, since many of the team and their family members have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer. Team member Tammy Weiss of Sharbot Lake, who was diagnosed with melanoma last year, underwent surgery and was lucky enough not to have to undergo any further treatments. Autumn Cameron of Lanark, also a member of the team, was diagnosed with a type of uterine cancer five years ago and underwent six months of chemotherapy. She has been cancer free ever since. Tina Sickling, another member of the team, and her nieces were participating in support of Tina's brother, who is currently battling bowel cancer. It is the first year the team decided to do the run and they chose the Mud Hero run in Ottawa since, as Cameron pointed out, “It looks like a lot of fun and it is something we have been wanting to do for a long time now.” Tammy Weiss added that it seemed a no-brainer since the money they raise will support Ottawa cancer programs and research. The 6km run, which has a total of 19 muddy obstacles, also includes a huge party afterwards with live music, food, beverages and lots of fun in the mud. At the fundraiser on Saturday, the team offered up a wide assortment of baked treats including brownies, scones, cookies and more. The event also included a BBQ, lemonade stand and a car wash. A number of different Mud Hero events take place across the country annually and many of the donations go towards supporting local cancer programs where the events take place. For those who missed the fundraiser and would like to donate to The Dirtbagettes, visit http://bit.ly/1dcKGvg
Students from Land O' Lakes Public School put on the play "A Dragon's Tale" last week in performances at Granite Ridge Education Centre, and in the auditorium at LOLPS on Thursday night for parents and other family members, and again on Friday for students in the school. The show was produced and directed by teacher Danielle Harding, and featured students from multiple grades in the cast. A combination of live theatre and puppetry, A Dragon's Tale is a humorous take on the adventure genre. The students enjoyed putting it on and the audience enjoyed the performance as well.
Q: When Could a Tagged Bag of Garbage Cost $20 ? A: When you bring it to the Loughborough or Portland waste sites: there you will be charged the minimum dumping rate, even if it’s just one bag. May 5th, councillors Sleeth and Robinson brought a notice of motion that tagged bags of garbage should be accepted at all Township waste sites. “Why should we pay twice, once in our taxes, and again at the dump?” asked Sleeth. Public Works Manager Segsworth didn’t mince words. “It’s critical that Council knows staff’s view: we feel very strongly that it’s taking a step backward, to accept tagged bags at Loughborough and Portland. We can’t afford to extend alternatives for the convenience of a few. We’re not sitting on the fence in this one.” Residents can dispose of tagged bags for no extra fee at Green Bay, Bradshaw and Salem waste disposal sites: Green Bay is open Sunday afternoons for the convenience of weekend cottagers. Segsworth said that the three Bedford area sites no longer accept any other types of waste. Deputy Mayor McDougall agreed with Segsworth, saying that while increased efficiencies at the waste sites were originally a contentious issue, there seems to now be a lot more acceptance of the current system which provides weekly curbside pickup for all Township households on public roads and helps provide end-of-lane bins and bear-proof containers. Councillor Sutherland said he appreciated the vast improvements in the waste disposal system, but asked whether the Township could offer a year’s trial at permitting tagged bags at all sites. Mayor Vandewal said that many of the residents who opposed curbside pickup now seemed to appreciate it; “It could create more problems if we went back now. I don’t think we should ignore our staff.” The motion to change the system was strongly defeated. Trailers, Licensed and Otherwise The (twice extended) time period to comply with the Township’s 2004 prohibition of the use of trailers on private residential lots expires Dec 2015. Following a lengthy discussion at last week’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Council still could not provide a clear resolution to this long-running saga. Issues raised included: lack of ongoing public health enforcement, replacement of old trailers with new ones, new trailers still appearing on new lots without licences or enforcement, the cost of enforcement, the need to deal decisively with the trailer issue, and the social implications of removing trailers where people live in them as a year-round residence. Based on Council’s discussions and the reduction of the numbers of licensed trailers over the past few years, CAO Orr drew up a compromise recommendation with the following points: extend the compliance date for the prohibition of licensed trailers on private residential property to December 31, 2019; ask the Health Unit to reinspect the current 81 licensed trailers to ensure waste disposal systems are in compliance with environmental regulations, before their licences can be renewed; direct bylaw enforcement services to proactively enforce the prohibition of unlicensed trailers, and advise in writing all current trailer license holders of this change. A motion to accept this recommendation passed without discussion. New Leaf Link Support Council agreed with Corporate Services Committee’s recommendation of a one-time transitional grant of $3,980 to New Leaf Link to assist their relocation to a more accessible site. Councillors Sutherland and Schjerning said that although they agreed with the grant, they both saw this as a Provincial responsibility. Deputy Mayor McDougall agreed, but also suggested that it was possible that Frontenac County might be able to offer some transportation help for the group. Applewood Resort Council passed a bylaw permitting a revision to the Applewood site plan agreement that will permit the developer to build four rental units on the property (presently zoned Recreational Resort Commercial), where he is proposing a condominium development.
With a total of 81 athletes, the Sydenham High School track team was not only the largest at the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association (KASSAA) meet last week; it was also the most consistently competitive. SHS athletes won 22 events, ahead of KCVI (19), Frontenac (16), and Holy Cross (14). While SHS was competitive in all events, as you can see below, they were the dominant team in just about all the hurdles events, for both men and women in all age categories. SHS was the winning overall team for both men and women. Here is the list of top three finishers Among top finishers were Kayla Battler, 3rd in the 100 metre dash (midget girls) in 13.80 seconds; Brianna Burgess, 3rd in the 200 metre dash (midget girls) in 29.50 seconds and 1st in both the 80 metre hurdles in 13.70 seconds and the 300 metre hurdles in 50.50 seconds. Jocelyn Miles finished in 3rd in the women's javelin (midget) at 22.71 metres. Brianna McComish finished third in women's high jump (junior) at 1.40 metres, second in the Long Jump at 4.24 metres, and third in the triple jump at 9.46 metres. Madison MacPherson was tied for 1st in the pole vault (junior) at 1.90 metres. Morgan Hamilton finished 2nd in the women's shot put (junior) at 8.94 metres, and 3rd in the discus event at 19.58 metres, an event where Mackenzie Ryan finished 2nd at 22.20 metres. Sian Lloyd was 1st in the javelin throw (junior) at 23.37 metres, and Mackenzie Ryan placed 3rd at 22.14 metres. Brittany Campbell finished 2nd in the 100 metre dash (senior) at 13.40 seconds, and 3rd in the 200 metre dash at 27.80 seconds. If Danielle Gossage was disappointed with her off the podium 4th place finish in the 400 metre dash (senior) she made up for it with a 1st place run in the 800 metres in 2.38.20 minutes, and 2nd in the 1500 metres in 5.20.60 minutes. As a team, SHS was 1st in the 4x100 metre relay (senior) in 53.90 seconds, and 1st as well in the 4x400 metre relay in 4:30.90 minutes. High jumper Shawna Vanluven was 2nd (senior) at 1.50 metres. In the shot put (senior) Danielle Miles finished 3rd at 9.55 metres, and Katherine Newton was 1st in the javelin at 27.55 metres while Cassidy Trueman was 3rd in the same event at 23.36 metres. Shirley Hughes-Ryan finished 1st in two events, the women's 100 metre dash (ambulatory) in 16.40 seconds – breaking her own KASSAA record, and the 800 metre run (ambulatory) in 4:13.90. Dominique Hannah also broke her own KASSAA record, finishing 1st in the 100 metre dash (intellectually impaired) in 15.70 seconds, and Brianna Clow finished 2nd at 16.90 seconds. Among the male athletes, Liam Sands was 1st in the 100 metre hurdles (midget) in 17 seconds flat, while Lucas Pereira finished 2nd in 18.70 seconds. Pereira also finished second in the 300 metre hurdles in 50.70 seconds. Matt Caird finished 2nd in the men's high jump (midget) with a clearance of 1.60 metres, and Liam Sands finished second in the pole vault, clearing 1.80 metres. Zach Lollar was 2nd in the men's long jump at 5.20 metres, and third in the triple jump at 10.88 metres. Jared Amos was 2nd in both shot put, 11.24 metres, and the discus events, 29.54 metres. Thomas Lambert was 2nd in the 100 metre dash at 12.20 seconds. He finished 1st in the 200 metre dash at 24.40 seconds, and capped it off with a meet record tying time of 52.70 seconds in winning the 400 metre dash (junior) Continuing the SHS dominance in hurdles, Merik Wilcox set a meet record, 14.40 seconds, finishing 1st in the 100 metre event (junior) and also won the 300 metre event in 42.90 seconds. Sydenham also took the 4x100 metre hurdles in 48.40 seconds. Daret McKay finished 2nd in the pole vault (junior) at 2.40 metres, and took 3rd in the triple jump at 1.55 metres. Wil Sanderson finished 2nd in both the discus (38.66 metres) and the javelin throw (36.14 metres) Among senior men, SHS's Chad McInnes finished 3rd in the 200 metre dash in 25.20 seconds and 3rd as well in the 400 metre dash in 53.50 seconds. In the 800 metre run, Brady Robertson finished 2nd in 2:02.60 and Chris Adams finished 3rd in 2:03.20. SHS swept the senior men's 100 metre hurdles event. Brodie Latimer ran it in 15.60 to win, Eric Lusk was 2nd in 17.00, and Tyler Cancian was third in 17.10. The 400 metre hurdles event also yielded a sweep: Chad McInnes won it in 1:01.80, Ryan Gibson was 2nd in 1:03.00 and Ben Amos was 3rd in 1:07.10. SHS finished 3rd in the 4x100 metre relay in a time of 50.80. Brady Robertson finished second in the men's javelin throw with a 42.17 metre effort, and finally, the 4x400 metre relay team took first place with a 3:40.30 time.
This year's Inside Ride event, which took place at Sydenham High School on May 8, seemed bigger, brighter and more spirited than in years past. That was likely due to the fact that one of SHS's own, grade 12 student Sam Eastman, has been battling Non-Hogkins lymphoma since his diagnosis earlier this year. Soon after getting the news, friends at the school initiated the #Samstrong campaign and its force could be seen, heard and felt at the Inside Ride. The event, now in its fifth year at the school, is run by the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, a registered Canadian charity that raises money for children's cancer programs across the country. The charity is unique in that it follows a 100% donation model of fundraising, in which all funds raised go directly to the programs. Funds from the Sydenham event will be donated to the Children's Cancer Care Fund, a fundraising campaign run out of Kingston General Hospital and aimed at easing the financial burden on families facing a cancer diagnosis by funding the various related costs that come with a cancer diagnosis that are not covered by OHIP. The Sydenham Inside Ride attracted 26 six-member teams, with each team having raised a minimum of $300. During the one-hour event, each rider from each team took a 10-minute turn at the wheel of their bike as their team members danced to the throbbing tunes expertly spun by emcee Marshall Jeske. Altogether, an incredible $14,000 was raised! School spirit was running extraordinarily high, with teams boasting awesome costumes under team names like The New Groove, The Magic School Bus, and The Beach Babes, who sprayed loaded water guns and bounced beach balls throughout. Event coordinator Jen Davies called the Inside Ride “a one-hour party with a purpose” and she said, "These students really seem to get the idea that cancer is not just something that happens to somebody else, which is very motivating for them.” Prizes were awarded for best team spirit, best costumes, top distance cycled by a team as well as top male, top female, top volunteer and top team fundraisers. Other prizes included donated gifts from Goodlife as well as prizes collected through the school's parent council. Sam's family of course was out in full force as the #Samstrong team and Sam's mother, Libby Hearn, fittingly and bravely spoke at the start of the event, updating the students and staff on Sam's battle as he enters his fourth round of chemotherapy. “He is fighting really hard and he is doing it because he has the tremendous support of this school and this community. You are all making such a huge difference in his battle. We, his family, just wanted to say thank you and Sam wanted me to send his thanks to you all as well.” Sam had been planning to attend the event but an infection prevented him from making the trip to the school. For those who missed the event, donations can still be made until the end of November 2015 by visiting sydenham.theinsideride.com.
Tina Bailey, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area (CFKA) says the organisation, which provides grants for community organizations on a twice-annual basis, has been seeking to raise its profile outside of Kingston. At the announcement for its latest crop of 24 grants, for a total value of $106,000, a healthy number went to organizations outside of Kingston, most of them in Frontenac County. The list includes the largest grant given out, $12,200 to the Central Frontenac Railway Museum, which will be used to provide half the resources to construct a railway-themed play structure at Railway Park in Sharbot Lake. Slated for installation in 2016, the structure will consist of a steam engine, coal car and ramp surrounded by a safe engineered play surface. Other grants include $4,000 to the Elbow Lake Environmental Centre (ELEC), which is located off the Perth Road, to fund an outreach assistant this coming fall. This will allow ELEC to encourage all local high schools to visit the center and experience their expanded selection of curriculum-based programs. A related grant, for $7,000, is going to the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation. The money will be used to set up an invasive species demonstration at the ELEC. This partnership will provide the community with the tools and information to combat the growing problem of invasive species. Some of the target species in question include Purple Loosestrife, Dog Strangling Vine, Lilac, Zebra Mussels, Emerald Ash Borer and many more. The Howe Island Garden Buds have received $2,393 for the Howe Island Community Development Project, which will be an enduring legacy on the island. The enriched environment will highlight the natural surroundings, beautify the island and develop public access to the waterfront where the Bateau Channel meets the St. Lawrence River. Finally, the Blue Skies Community Fiddle Orchestra received $5,425 to support an outreach exchange trip for the orchestra to the Rollo Bay Music festival in King’s County, Prince Edward Island, this July. The festival gathers renowned Celtic, Acadian, and Olde Tyme Fiddlers from across the Maritimes. With over $31,000 of the $106,000 in grants, Frontenac County projects have been well supported this time around. “It really helps us to promote the opportunities we offer, particular outside of Kingston, to receive such a breadth of applications from projects in Frontenac County. We certainly hope this will help us get our message out and enhance our profile in those communities,” said Tina Bailey. The CFKA is a local, independent foundation affiliated with 191 other community foundations in Canada and worldwide, an association which now includes over 1,600 members. “We take a broad view of community , funding projects in all areas from heritage preservation to children's mental health but we are looking to fund more projects that address identified community needs ,” said Bailey, who referred to the recent launch of a new Smart & Caring Communities Fund to further those efforts. The foundation is always active. As soon as they were finished celebrating recipients of the spring grants at the May 14 announcement, they began preparing for the next application deadline ON September 9. They are also working towards offering some larger grants this fall, when the foundation will consider a select number of applications for between $10,000 and $25,000 for projects related to the following areas: getting started in the community, food security and community engagement.. The CFKA also produces Vital Signs, an annual report card on the health and well being of residents in Kingston, Frontenac County, Loyalist Township and Amherst Island. Photo by Garrett Elliott
John Fenik, who has been the mayor of the Town of Perth since 2006, and was acclaimed to the position during the last two elections, will be a familiar face in Frontenac County this summer and into the fall as the expected federal election date nears. On Monday, he announced that he will be seeking the nomination to be the NDP candidate in the new federal riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston. Until recently, Fenick was a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. “I believe our nation is at a critical crossroad,” Fenik said. “I have long been aligned with the Liberal Party, but I’ve decided to put my name forward to become the NDP candidate,” he said in announcing his candidacy. “I had considered running for the Liberals in the past,” he said in a telephone interview with the News. “but over time I've been increasingly concerned with Mr. Trudeau's poor judgement. I have been speaking with some members of the NDP in recent months, and I have been following Thomas Mulcair for a few years. He has the abililty and the vision to lead the country.” The new federal riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston includes about two-thirds of the soon to be former riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, which has been represented by Scott Reid of the Conservative Party since it was formed just prior to the 2004 election. The new sections of the riding, the Township of Mississippi Mills at the northeast corner and rural Kingston north of Hwy. 401 may be better territory for Liberals, but Scott Reid is the acknowledged favourite to bring home the new riding for the Conservative Party. The Liberal candidate is Phillippe Archambault, who lives near Inverary. Over the four elections since 2004, Reid has increased his vote each time, reaching 57% in 2011. At the same time, Liberal Party fortunes in the riding have been sliding. In 2004, Larry McCormick, who at that time was a sitting MP from a former riding that had been swallowed by the LFL&A riding, received 30% of the vote. By 2011, Dave Remington polled only 16% for the Liberals. The NDP finished in second place in the riding in 2011 for the first time with 20% of the vote, riding the Jack Layton orange wave. John Fenik said he considers Scott Reid a friend, whom he has been working with in his role as mayor of Perth and a Lanark County Council member for ten years. He also said he knows and respects Phillipe Archambault, and realises that he has a tough hill to climb in the new riding. He said his decision to run for the NDP has to do with his view of the needs of the country at this time. “If the Conservatives under Stephen Harper form a government for five more years, at the end of that term our country will be unrecognisable. I have decided to pursue the path to Parliament Hill because I sincerely believe that as a New Democrat I can make a positive difference. “My political and work experience has exposed me to the issues faced by the people of this riding, and I want to do something to address these problems on a larger scale. I think the NDP is in the best position to be able to do this.” he said. John Fenik began his working career with the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and worked in children's protective services in Smiths Falls and Lanark County before taking a job with the Upper Canada District School Board in 2007 as a special services counsellor. He is planning to take a leave of absence from his postion as mayor of Perth if he secures the nomination, and will be retiring from the Upper Canada District School Board this June. The NDP nomination meeting is set for Saturday, May 30 at the Crystal Palace in Perth. At this time, John Fenik is the only declared candidate.
by Jonathan Davies It was by all accounts a record turnout at Frontenac County's Sustainability Breakfast on May 8 at the Grace Centre in Sydenham. Interested citizens, representatives from each of the county's municipal councils, as well as people engaged in issues ranging from watershed management, social housing, services for the disabled, and agriculture, to name a few, took the opportunity to learn from presenters and network with potential partner organizations. The event, hosted annually to celebrate the diverse contributions across Frontenac's communities towards sustainability, is part of the implementation of the county's Sustainability Plan, Directions for Our Future. Desert Lake Gardens supplied a delicious meal, which included a range of locally-sourced products. Local food – an issue prioritized in the plan - would be discussed over the course of the morning, along with sustainable agriculture and watershed stewardship, but sustainability, in the context of the plan, goes beyond what usually comes to mind – matters of land, water, and air – and includes social and cultural dimensions. The priorities identified for 2015, for example, include a focus on low-impact tourism, the restoration of ecologically-minded farming, and supporting lake water quality, but the Official Plan also includes issues such as transportation and access to affordable housing, particularly for seniors. “Sustainability Plans are often thought of as being about green energy and energy conservation, and the social and cultural pillars can quickly be forgotten,” notes Alison Vandervelde, communications officer with the County and organizer of the breakfast. She also points out that the content discussed over the course of the morning is evidence that the community has taken to this broader view of sustainability, as cultural and environmental issues seemed to receive equal focus. While the county leads the discussions around Directions for Our Future, the process is not one of top-down directives but of community-coordinated initiatives. As Vandervelde points out, many projects are led by townships, community groups, or a combination of these, along with direction from the county itself. Within the past five years, projects have included a para-medicine pilot project in Marysville; a seniors' housing pilot project, and the subsequent establishment of council's Seniors Housing Task Force; and funding for a variety of “Small-Scale Community Funding Initiatives,” which have focused in part on infrastructure such as trails, bridges and hydrants. Susan Hall, vice-president and partner at LURA, a collaborative planning consultancy, spoke to the full hall about her experience working with counties and municipalities across Ontario and in other parts of Canada. Her presentation, entitled “Sustainability 2.0,” focused on the need for local governments and their partners in sustainability to step away from “silo-style decision making” and find ways of collaborating effectively. She also stressed the importance of having key people involved in projects who are connected to those with the power to make decisions. She noted that while shared resources and financial benefits are key to effective collaborations, of equal importance is having opportunities to network with and learn from potential and existing partner organizations and citizens. Furthermore, in order to be effective, those charged with addressing sustainability need not only to identify issues that are most relevant to the community's needs, but also to engage the public with the right message and the right media. Engagement efforts appear to have been well-received in Frontenac County if attendance at Friday's event are any indication. Two opportunities the county provides for public consultation, beyond the Sustainability Breakfast, are a fall workshop, where the community's input is gathered to help inform the following year's priorities, and monthly Sustainability Advisory Committee meetings, where members of the public may present on issues they would like the committee to consider.
Randy Hillier took a back seat during the Conservative Party of Ontario's recent leadership campaign. This was in stark contrast to the role the two-time incumbent MPP played the last time his party chose a leader. At that time he ran for the position and threw his support behind the eventual winner, Tim Hudak. “I felt that it was more important for the party membership to make the decision about the new leader rather than being influenced by members of the caucus,” he said. “I voted for Patrick.” Hillier said he is very encouraged by how the newly elected party leader, Patrick Brown, energized and re-invigorated the party through the leadership campaign. “To put it in context, in '09 there were four candidates who were in the election for leader, and combined we sold 35,000 memberships. This guy sold over 40,000 memberships. I know what it is like to sell memberships. It takes an astonishing amount of effort and innovation” he said. Hillier added that the public will see the impact of Patrick Brown over time. “With only three weeks left in this sitting and him not in the house, there is not much that will happen. It takes time to consult with the membership and come up with policies that reflect what the membership stands for. That is something we have been missing. We have waited for the leader and his group to announce our policies and that hasn't worked for us,” he said. Randy Hillier's standing within the party has improved since former leader Tim Hudak stepped down shortly after last year's election, which brought a fresh majority to the Liberal Party under Kathleen Wynne. Under Hudak, Hillier had been relegated to the back benches for challenging an internal party ruling over a leadership review. But since Hudak left, he said he is “back on the front benches” serving as party critic for the Labour portfolio. “Patrick won the vote in 80 of the ridings. He has a mandate to take his time and help us rebuild and reform the party, to take our time and bring forth a clear, coherent message to deliver to Ontarians in three years' time,” he said.
In 1965 a new business opened up at the corner of Glastonbury Rd. and Hwy. 41 in downtown Northbrook. It was located in an unassuming trailer, but it had a marquee name, Bank of Montreal, one of the oldest and most established companies in Canada, dating back to 1817. The branch was established after Robert Bell, the manager at the Tweed branch, noticed that a lot of customers at their location came from the Northbrook area, and would likely be better served with a local branch. Pretty much from the start, customers took to having a local bank, and BMO (as it is now known) certainly took hold with the local community. American-based cottagers opened accounts in order to change money and pay their taxes; it appeared that local municipalities were happy to be able to deal with a branch manager locally; and the permanent residents and local businesses jumped on board from the start A second portable building was put up in the 1970s and, finally, in 1991, a new stand-alone branch was constructed, all at the same location. An ATM machine, the first one north of Hwy. 7 between Perth and Marmora, followed in the mid-90s. Over the last 15 years or so, the necessity for office space to talk about the range of banking needs of customers has outstripped the need for tellers, so the number of offices in the branch has increased as the number of teller stations has been reduced. This was done to better serve the clientele, by bringing a personal and more private atmosphere to the banking experience. The current branch manager, Jennifer Baker, moved to the branch five years ago this week. Baker, who has local roots and lives in Tweed, says working at the branch is a dream job for her. “We are able to offer such a full range of banking services, and meet with people directly in their own community to talk about investing, commercial accounts, lending, financial planning and daily banking,” she said. Next week, on Wednesday, May 20, the staff will mark the 50th anniversary of the branch, which opened on May 17 in 1965. The BMO senior Vice-President, Sandra Henderson and the regional Vice-president, Danielle Williams will be on hand with branch personnel for the festivities, as well as a number of former branch managers. A BBQ celebration is open to all and starts at 11 a.m. and, yes indeed, there will also be cake. For further information, call the branch at 613-336-2696.
by Valerie Allan On April 23 NAEC hosted its annual Earth Day celebrations. The secondary EcoTeam organized the events for the day. Students from grades K-12 participated in a school yard and community cleanup throughout the day. The secondary Leadership class also ran a colouring contest for the elementary classes. The secondary students had a hard time judging the artwork, but in the end, the following winners were announced: Spencer Bolduc, Madison Madigan, Sophia Borger, Alyssa Thompson, Briahana Wilson, Dominique Shorts, Ally Maschke, Jenni Miske, Amanda Clancy, Josie Heyman, and Rachel Cumming. Students from the school also attended an Environmental Summit on April 22 which will give them information to bring back to the school and share. The EcoTeam has also been working hard on their renewal application for EcoSchool certification due at the end of April. NAEC has been a certified EcoSchool for the past six years and was the first gold certified school in the board. Just in time for the clean-up, heavy snow began to fall. Melissa Randle (EcoTeam staff advisor) remarked, “I’m proud of the dedication I saw today with the Earth Day cleanup. Students braved the elements to ensure that our school grounds and community were free from garbage.”
by Valerie Allan On April 24, the North Gym at NAEC was packed with contestants and spectators in the first National Archery in the Schools Tournament hosted by NAEC. Present were students, staff and parents from Granite Ridge Education Centre, Madawaska Valley District High School, and North Addington Education Centre. There were 32 participants in the Tournament, including NAEC students Devin Gagne-Baldacchin, Brittany Delyea, Madi Lemke, Greg Garey, William Cruickshank, Stephen Humphrey, Caleb Leoen, and Eric Chatson. The tournament was part of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), organized by Sarah Sproule. Ms. Sproule was certified as a NASP trainer and instructor this past August, and NAEC was one of the first ten schools in Ontario to be certified as a NASP school. NAEC placed first overall, with a total of 1300 points out of a possible 1500. NAEC students placed as follows: Girls’ competition: Brittany Delyea – 1st, Madi Lemke – 4th. Boys’ competition: Greg Garey – 1st, William Cruickshank – 2nd, Stephen Humphrey - 3rd, Caleb Leoen and Eric Chatson – 5th (tie). Next year, NAEC will be partaking in the provincial championships, and already has been invited to Madawaska Valley District High School for a tournament next school year. The sponsor for NASP is the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. The slogan of NASP is “Changing Lives one Arrow at a Time”.
by Valerie Allan A small group of Grade 10 Art students took advantage of the bus taking students to the Science conference at Bayridge Secondary School; they hitched a ride to The Glass House on Sydenham Road, as part of an extension of the Art Curriculum. As well as enjoying making a piece of art, the students loved the pets at The Glass House – two very friendly cats and a lovely dog made the students feel right at home. The students completed a piece from scratch, starting with cutting out a pattern from paper, then cutting the glass, foiling it, soldering it, and adding a patina. This process usually takes about six hours, but the students managed it in less than four hours, by concentrating hard on their task. The trip was made possible by The Glass House charging a reduced fee for their class, and a subsidy from the Artist’s Guild.