It was billed as a Special Council meeting to establish North Frontenac’s ‘Goals’ for 2019-2022’s Strategic Plan, but Coun. John Inglis opened up another topic — Mayor Ron Higgins’ interview on Lake 88 (available as a podcast on the radio station’s website) in which Higgins talked about the Township, his role as Frontenac County Warden and then his plans for One Small Township, a multi-faceted plan for economic development that Council has yet to buy into.

Inglis said it sounded like Higgins was talking about Township involvement in the project when he used the term ‘we’ in that part of the interview.

“You should have mentioned that the Township doesn’t support it,” Inglis said. “We agreed you would no longer imply the Township was behind this project.”

“You said ‘North Frontenac is the first Township to initiate the concept of contributionism,’” said Coun. Vernon Hermer.

Higgins apologized saying he was referring to the management team of One Small Township.

And then, Higgins said that financing is imminent.

“I’ll be getting a cheque in mid-February,” he said. “I’m expecting to break ground on some projects in early spring.”

Higgins said he couldn’t name his backers at this time, but urged Council to support them.

“Part of it is that the people (putting up the money) would like to be recognized with a plaque in the Township office,” Higgins said. “There’s going to be up to 50 jobs created and people moving into the community.”

“I’m trying to look at scenarios,” said Inglis. “I think we have a certain amount of responsibility to do that.”

“If Council doesn’t want any part of it, then we’ll go the co-op route,” said Higgins.

He said he had asked Township treasurer Kelly Watkins about the possibilities of setting up a trust fund to put the money in.

Higgins said the plan is to set up something like similar properties in British Columbia.

“I’m concerned about the true source of the money,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “I’ve heard about money laundering schemes.”

“This reminds me of the advice the OPP gives seniors,” said Hermer. “If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”


• • •

Council did establish its goals for the 2019-2022 term:

Economic/Community Development

Investigate incentives for business

Tourism Expansion

Volunteer Recognition

Support initiatives for Seniors to remain in the Community for as long as possible

Proceed with a multi-unit affordable residence for senior

Explore opportunities for Seniors to remain in their homes

Enhance and Sustain Capital Assets/Infrastructure

Maintain Asset Management Plan to ensure long term sustainability

Maintain Reserves/Reserve Funds

Enhance Communications Plan

Train Council on Social Media

Enhance communications mechanisms and information to reach all of the public

Attract a diverse Council.

Much of the discussion was focused on potential economic development but several members of Council were resigned to the fact that there really wasn’t a lot any Council could do.

“The Municipal Act says we can’t get into competition with other municipalities by offering tax incentives,” said Coun. John Inglis. “I personally don’t see a lot of opportunities for us.”

When it came to development, Inglis pointed out the “competing interests” of the municipality being a desire to expand the tax base while maintaining the “pristine nature” of North Frontenac.

Mayor Ron Higgins pointed out the lack of overnight accommodation available (most lodges and trailer parks get booked for the season) and suggested the Township might get involved in a small cabins project similar to what Bon Echo Provincial Park is trying.

“The cabins can pay for themselves in one season,” he said.

“But does the Township want to get into the accommodation business?” said Inglis.

“You have to find the land first,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry.

When it came to job creation, Coun. Gerry Martin had this to say: “Most people who come here are in the second stage of their lives. They’re not looking for jobs.”

In several cases, the wording of the goals was influenced by staff members Corey Klatt, manager of community development and Darwyn Sproule, public works manager, who said they use such things when applying for grants.



• • •

Council also passed a couple of other resolutions.

One was to get 24-hour ambulance service (particularly at Robertsville) and a potential septic waste disposal site on the agenda for the next Frontenac County Council meeting.

The other was a Gerry Martin request to look into changing the Township logo.

“I just don’t like it,” Martin said.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 12:46

Lions give the gift of sight this Christmas

Storrington Lions Club is giving the gift of sight this Christmas.

Located on the eastern edge of Frontenac County, the club donated $5,000 to replace an aging biometry machine at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston.

It is one of the biggest donations in the club’s history.

The gift was part of a campaign by Lions Districts A-3 and A-4 to raise $30,500 for a new IOL Master 700 Eye Measurement Device valued at $70,000. The new machine will replace an outdated IOL Master 500.

“This new machine will help with eye measurements and allow patients to get quicker results which in turn will help process more patients,” says John Beskers, President of Storrington Lions Club. “As a Lion, it’s wonderful to bring equipment to our area that improves our residents’ quality of life.”

Storrington Lions Club has been serving the communities of Sunbury, Inverary and Battersea for almost 50 years.

“This Lions Sight Service Project showed that the Lions Districts can work together to accomplish what is needed,” explains Bruce Johnson, Treasurer of Amherstview Lions Club and chair of the fundraising campaign. “This was a local project which greatly impacts our communities.”

Listing 15 Lions Clubs and several private donors, Bruce notes, “Without these clubs and friends, we could not have reached our goal of $30,500.”

Passionate about the health and wellness of his community, Bruce presented a large cheque in late 2018 to Dr. Mark Bona, an Ophthalmologist at Hotel Dieu Hospital.  The ceremony was attended by Lions Club members from across Frontenac County.

“Storrington Lions Club is working hard to make our community closer and stronger,” explains the club president. “This equipment will help thousands of people with vision issues. Our volunteers gave their overwhelming support to this campaign that will transform lives.”

To learn more about Storrington Lions Club, please contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or (613) 353-6920.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 12:46

H’art and Fairmount Home Celebrate Go Wireless

On December 13, representatives from H’art Centre, Rotary Club of Kingston and Empire Life gathered at Fairmount Home to celebrate the “Go Wireless” pilot project with Fairmount Home’s leaders, recreation staff and residents.

Five Smart TV monitors, multiple headsets and a creative resource guide were made available to Fairmount Home’s recreation staff and are now a welcome addition to the recreation services as well as to the H’art Accessible Arts Program, H’art’s outreach initiative. The investment was made possible through a collaboration between H’art, Empire Life and the Rotary Club of Kingston.

“Empire Life and the Rotary Club have made a remarkable contribution that will allow us to explore a new approach to artistic and cultural engagement for seniors living in long-term care homes,” said Katherine Porter, Executive Director of H’art Centre.

The Go Wireless pilot project’s aim is to create a meaningful connection to arts, culture and community through technology for seniors with disabilities who live in longterm care. The overall objective is to provide engaging programming as an alternative to short periods of inactivity and can also be structured to coincide with art activities happening later in the day or week through the H’art Accessible Arts Program.

Since 2015, H’art Centre has been initiating ways to involve seniors with disabilities in the arts. Most notably, the H’art Accessible Arts Program has been used by a variety of long-term care homes in Kingston to engage professional artists who can keep their residents active and engaged through the song, dance, storytelling, painting, and more. More than 300 seniors have been impacted by the effort. Go Wireless is seen by H’art as an enhancement or enrichment of its outreach program.

“We can imagine seniors engaged in pre-recorded HAAP workshops, listening to rehearsal instructions, participating in adapted yoga classes, and even watching live streams of local community or cultural events,” Porter continued. “The sky is the limit. By providing opportunities for seniors with disabilities to stay connected to the creative world, we can create a spark that ignites meaning and happiness.”

Long-term care recreation staff will be responsible for ensuring seniors engage in artistic, cultural and educational programs according to a weekly schedule that addresses issues such as visual and hearing loss, physical disabilities, or neurological conditions and also considers seniors’ diverse cultural backgrounds.

“We are looking forward to using technology to help supplement more programming and stimulation for our residents to enjoy for years to come,” said Chelsea Cawker, Assistant Director of Care (Resident Services) for Fairmount Home.

H’art Centre will monitor, evaluate and share the results of the pilot throughout 2019.


Edna Webb was quite young when she gave birth to Jennie, her first child, at home on Little Franklin Lake near Perth Road on December 6, 1918. WWI had just ended, and horse power still ruled on the roads.

The Webb’s - George, Edna and baby Jennie, soon moved to Ida Hill, at the Washburn Road in the southeastern corner of Storrington Township, in what would become South Frontenac 80 years later.

At the age of 82 Jennie was one of the recipients of the second annual South Frontenac Volunteers of the Year Awards in June of 2000. The award recognised her decades long commitment to the Women’s Institute, 4H club, the United Church and numerous other community efforts. The other winners that year included Mel Fleming from Bedford, Percy Snider from Loughborough and John McDougall, Portland.

A lot happened to Jennie Webb between 1918 and 2000, and a lot more has happened since.

As she reflected last week on the occasion of her 100th Birthday at Fairmount Home, with her eldest daughters Nadine and Linda at her side, a picture of a life of family, hard work, faith, and a love of the rural, farming life, emerged.

Jennie Webb grew up at Ida Hill, where she attended elementary school at the Ida Hill School. She was not an only child for long, as 6 younger brothers arrived in succession. Her father George worked for the telephone company as the service was being built out in the region, and was an active beekeeper. After leaving Bell, he had as many as 250 hives on his own property and the properties of many neighbours around the countryside. Jennie’s mother Edna was a midwife.

When Jenny was 15, a family from Desert Lake, near Verona, bought the farm across the road from the Webbs. John Abraham was the eldest son of that family. He was about 22. With his sister, he walked the family’s stock of cattle over from Desert Lake to Ida Hill in one long day.

There must have been a first glance, a first time when 22-year old John Cousineau and 15 year, Jennie Webb saw each other soon after the Cousineau family arrived at Ida Hill. That first impression is still alive in Jennie. It comes out when she looks at some of the family photos she keeps by her side, a sign of her enduring love for her John Abraham.

Two years after meeting, Jennie and John were married. When John passed ten years ago, at the age of 97, they had been married for 72 years.

Jennie and John purchased their own farm on the Battersea Road, and moved there in 1942. They have four daughters, Nadine, Linda, Shirley and Marilyn. They ran a Holstein Dairy Farm, and raised chickens for meat and eggs on the farm.

It took John ten years to build a new brick house for the family on the property, since he was running the farm while building the house, and they moved into the new house in the 1950’s.

In those days, there were four hotels in nearby Battersea. At the Cousineau farm, they would raise 500 chicks at a time. Calls would in from one of the hotels for 3 or 4 dozen broilers for the next day, and Jennie and John were pretty experienced and efficient at preparing chickens. It took them 7 minutes to kill, dry pluck and prepare a chicken for delivery. They would bring up the chickens in the morning, for serving that evening in the dining room. Local food was a way of life back then.

Jennie lived in the house until January of last year, when a month after her 99th birthday, mobility issues, hearing and vision loss had progressed to the point where it became necessary to move to Fairmount Home. The farm is still operating, as a cow-calf operation now, in the hands of one of Jennie’s grandsons, one of many family members who continue to live nearby, and her house has been sold, to her great grandson.

Jennie’s daughter Linda lives across the road, Nadine is in Inverary, and Shirley lives nearby as well. Marilyn lives in Guelph, but has a summer cottage in Verona. Jennie has 9 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and 6 great-great grandchildren, with another one on the way. Just as they visited at the farmhouse often, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren drop by Fairmount Home on a regular basis.

The changes that have taken place in the world during Jennie’s lifetime are unprecedented in human history. She has bridged the era of horse and carriage and driverless cars.

It is a tribute to her lifetime of hard work and devotion to community and family that the rural values she grew up with are still alive in her, and in her family as well.


Present and future Mayor Ron Vandewal made presentations to the three departing Council members at this last meeting of the current Council: Brad Barbeau, Marc Schjerning and John McDougall. Barbeau had come on board for the final year and a half, replacing the late Bill Robinson; Schjerning has served a full term, and McDougall is retiring after two terms on Council. All three had contributed to a wide range of Township committees and community groups. Reflecting on his past eight years, McDougall said, “When I started, I thought I had all the answers, but I quickly came to appreciate just how complicated (local government) really is, involving not only the Township, but the County, Eastern Ontario and the Province.” He spoke warmly of the leadership of both the Mayors, Gary Davison and Ron Vandewal, with whom he had worked. “I had not originally understood that Council has only one employee it can direct, and that is the CAO.” In reference to his longstanding goal of developing more affordable housing in South Frontenac for seniors, McDougall warned, “Seniors’ housing is not dead; I’ll be watching you!”

Planning Matters
Claire Dodds, the recently-appointed Director of Development Services brought forward five proposed zoning by-law amendments for comments at a public meeting. Four dealt with waterfront properties, either lot additions or lot creations on Sydenham, Bob’s and Green Lakes. The fifth related to a zoning change to permit a craft brewery on a property near Petworth. There were no comments from the public on any of these, which will come to the Dec 4th Council meeting as by-laws for approval.

Public Works Road Budget
Taxpayers have expressed dismay over the budget overruns on several road projects: the Harrowsmith Intersection, Bedford Road and Rutledge/Harrowsmith repaving. ($100,000 of the overages was created by an unanticipated increase MTO Asphalt Indexing.) In his roads department revised budget report, Public Works Director Segsworth showed that the year’s total roads construction costs had been brought into line with the amount originally budgeted for 2018: some projects, notably Petworth Culvert, Amy Road, Desert Lake Causeway and Sydenham Dam have been postponed, and an Ont. Municipal Commuter Cycling Grant of $80,882 helped offset costs of the Harrowsmith/Rutledge Road project.

Ontario East Regional Agility Competition
Council agreed to both noise and camping exemptions for a group wishing to use Harrowsmith’s Centennial Park for their annual competitions on the weekend of May 30-June 2. McDougall said that they have used the park for the past two years, and have been model guests. (One may assume that the individuals whose agility is being tested at this event are probably dogs, though this was never specified…)

Steady as she goes in building report
As of the end of September, the township was at almost exactly the same pace as it was last year in terms of total construction value and the number of permits issued. For the first 9 months of of 2018, 239 permits for $26.22 million in construction value have been issued. At the same point in 2017, 235 permits for $26.31 in construction value had been issued. This puts the township in line for its second consecutive year with over $30 million in construction value. The pace of new home building is a bit down however. With 52 permits for single family dwellings, the township needs a slight 4th quarter uptick to reach the total of 70 that was accomplished in both 2017 and 2016.


Life with Dick portrays one couple’s relationship - how they met, married had children, and have lived their lives together for almost fifty years. The author writes of the highs and lows in life, sometimes with a sense of the absurd.

Jan, a farmer’s daughter, is determined to reinvent herself. She meets Dick, a gentleman from London, England. It is an unlikely match from the beginning, but this book recounts how they use their incompatibility to create an unconventional life together.

This book is an entertaining look at the realistic ways in which we all can stay engaged, continue to be loving and kind to those we influence – our unsuspecting children, friends, and families.

Jan believes that we will become our stories, and warns us to be careful of the stories we tell about ourselves and our lives. Events can be tragic or they can be opportunities to learn important lessons. The same event can be a victim story and another version about the triumph of a life experience.

Jan lives in Verona, Ontario, with her husband Dick. They have two married children and four grandchildren.

She will be reading from Life With Dick – Unintentional lessons we gave our unsuspecting children at Indigo Books in Kingston from 1pm-3pm on November 22nd. The book will have its official launch on November 24 at The Seniors Centre on Francis Street in Kingston on November 24 from 1:30pm - 3:30pm. It will be available locally at Nicole’s Gifts in Verona

Monday, 24 September 2018 15:35

Countryview Care Retirement Home

Jennifer Clow has worked in retirement homes and long-term care facilities as a PSW and in other capacities for most of her working career and she knew that what she really wanted was to run a home that was more like a family home than an institutional facility. The ideas behind the Gentle care philosophy that the Fairmount Home in Glenburnie has adopted in the last few years were well known to her 15 years ago.

So, when her neighbours across Road 38 from the farm where she lives with her husband and family decided to sell their home, she quickly made a deal to buy it in order to open a retirement home.

At the time it was a challenge for the building and planning department of the Township of Central Frontenac to determine what was required in a private home for seniors and infirm people, operating outside of the healthcare system. That led to a fair bit of confusion and some interesting back and forth dialogue between Clow and the township.

Commercial banks did not have as much trouble. They just weren’t particularly interested in financing the venture.

The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation, which was then only a couple of years old, saw Jennifer Clow as someone who was going to start a viable business and provide an important local service.

“They told me that the loan I took out at that time, which was for $100,000, was the largest they had ever underwritten. It doesn’t seem like a lot of money today, but at the time it was a lot for me, and for them,” she recalls.

One of the smart things that she did back in 2006, was to invest in a sprinkler system for the addition that she was building onto the original house in order to bring the capacity of Countryview Care to 15 residents.

“The system was different then. We weren’t even licensed by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, but even if we had been, sprinklers were not mandatory at that time, but we put them in anyway.”

Clow has recently taken out a new loan from the CFDC in order to put a sprinkler system into the original part of the building, which does not have a system in place.

Countryview Care is now a licensed retirement home under ministry guidelines, but although this requires a lot of paperwork and other expenses for the business, people who live in the home receive no subsidy to cover their living costs.

Even though Countryview is a ‘retirement home’ and not a ‘long term care facility,’ Clow offers end of life care for her residents.

“The last thing people and families need when they are facing death, is to have to move to long term care. And the worst place to die is in the hospital. This is home for the people who live here. We might not have a lot of room, but we can accommodate family members when their loved ones need palliative care. We make it work. It might sound funny, but we have had many people die at Countryview Care and for me it is a privilege to be with them and their families at that time,” she said.

And her family at Countryview Care, which includes her employees and the homes’ residents, provided a haven for her about a year ago, when her own farmhouse burned down.

“Everyone was so upset that day, including me, obviously. All my staff came in to work as soon as they heard, even volunteers came in to support the residents and me. We all got though it.”

A few people, even some from the FCFDC, have encouraged Jennifer Clow to build on to the Countryview Care and make it a 40-bed home, and the demand is there for such a facility, but that is not the kind of home she wants to run.

“As it is now, I have a personal relationship with everyone who lives here. I take their well being, their happiness to heart, and that works for me,” she said. “It is a business, but it is more than that for me. I think people deserve to live in a place where they are treated well when they can no longer live at home and Countryview Care provides that.”

Monday, 24 September 2018 15:35

Perfect day for outdoor Warden’s reception

Frontenac County Warden Ron Higgins probably wouldn’t be offended if somebody said he tends to go about things a little differently from most politicians.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Higgins decided to hold his first Warden’s Reception outdoors, at Fernleigh Lodge on Kashwakamak Lake Saturday.

Also new to Wardens’ receptions was the inclusion of area business offering everything from local maple syrup to chocolates and boat tours of the lake.

Of course what wasn’t new was the Warden’s speech and Higgins used the opportunity to point out some of the highlights of his tenure in the position.

After thanking everyone involved including his wife, Wendy, Higgins said: “Recently our Council confirmed continuation of our strategic priorities which were initially set by the previous Council which focused on

• Seniors and the aging tsunami
• the future of waste management
• long range financial planning and economic development.”

Higgins said the County was able to secure rides to medical appointments for seniors and that each township would have affordable seniors housing in their township.

“In terms of seniors housing, the Islands have completed their project, South Frontenac has an approved business plan in place and North and Central are well underway in terms of developing a business plan to meet seniors needs.”

He said the County continues to “support the public works managers and their work with Cambium to assist Council with progress towards the Frontenac County Waste Strategic Goal” which resulted in a grant to fund a study looking for ways to optimize waste diversion.

On economic development, he said: “Economic development continues to thrive as the County moves into its final year of Rural Economic Development funding including the Ferry by Foot Promotion Plan, Local Food Awareness Campaign and the Uniform Trail and Wayfinding signage program.”


Emcee Bill Cox welcomed residents, staff, board members, family and friends as they gathered on the lawns of Pine Meadows Nursing Home in Northbrook last Friday afternoon to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Pine Meadow is a 64-bed facility.

“I don’t know how this happened, I haven’t been on staff here for 17 years,” joked Cheryl Hartwick, now board chair of Land O’Lakes Community Services. Hartwick noted that four employees, public service workers Nancy Gaylord and Tony Boomhouer-Wilson, office co-ordinator Christine Bolduc and RN Anne Grahm-Aholu, have been there for the duration.

“There have been four administrators and over the years, there have been $1,339,749.10 in donations,” she said.

And, she took the time to share one of her “pet peeves.”

“When people say ‘Pine Meadows,’ I get upset,” she said. “It’s ‘Pine Meadow,’ — singular!”

Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg brought greetings and congratulations from the Township. He also noted what the facility has meant to the community.

“Not only is it an essential service, it’s an important source of jobs and economic opportunity,” Hogg said.

Bringing greetings from North Frontenac Township, Coun. John Inglis said: “I’ve always been aware there is a significant number of residents from North Frontenac here.

“It’s a mystery as to why there is no financial contribution from Frontenac County.”

Sharon Gilmour, regional director for Extendicare, said: “I have 14 homes I’m responsible for and this one is my favourite.

“The home continues to enjoy the highest standards of financial responsibility and residents’ satisfaction.”

Land O’ Lakes Lions Club Red Emond said: “Twenty-five years ago, members of our club mortgaged their homes so this place could be built.

“We’ve donated $130,000 over the years and we’ll continue to support it.”

Representing the Family Council, chair Shirley Sedore’s voice began to shake as she offered her congratulations.

“I’ve been involved since before it was a dream,” she said.

Merritta Parks, president of the residents’ council who just turned 100, said she always she didn’t want to go into a nursing home until she came here.

“Our staff is wonderful,” she said. “They go from person to person, put their arm around your shoulder and whisper in your ear.

“I thank God we have a place like this.”

Ernest Lapchinski concluded the speeches by saying: “Persistence, cooperation and the need for a facility like this moved from what seemed to be impossible to become reality.

“Be proud, be very proud.”


Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith admits to taking a bit of a holiday this summer when it comes to planning for the next Council in November. After all, she won’t be facing an election herself, having been acclaimed as Mayor and as such hasn’t had to prepare a platform. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been thinking about things to come.

“For us, there will be a lot of things in the fire,” she said. “First, there’s working on a seniors housing complex.

“The septic reinspection program is ongoing as is updating the Official Plan.”

But first, there is that little matter of an election to attend to.

“We’re going to have at least one new councilor (from Olden),” she said. “And we could have as many as four new councilors (two from Olden, one from Kennebec and one from Hinchinbrooke).

“If that happens, we’ll have to have some orientation and training sessions.”

One other thing she’s been thinking a lot about is economic development.

“I think we have to work more with the business community,” Smith said. “I think a lot of good things came out of the gathering at (W.A.) Robinson’s earlier this summer.

“We may look at revamping our Economic Development Committee but I don’t think the business community wants much from the municipality.

“They just want us to look seriously at development that will help and advance the community.”

And, she said, she’d also like to work more closely with the Frontenac Community Development Futures Corporation.

“Ann Prichard does a good job and I think there’s potential there,” Smith said.

Other than that Smith’s looking ahead to the day-to-day operations of running a township.

“We’ll be buzzing along as we have been,” she said. “We’ll be doing the best we can to keep taxes down and roads fixed up.

“We got the Tryon Road done but we know we have work to do on the Crow Lake Road and the Henderson Road and the Zealand Road needs some work too.”

So, for Smith, it will be business as usual once the election is done.

“We’ve had a good Council for four years and I look forward to having a good Council for the next four years,” she said. “I hope we’ll have a lot of good thinkers.”

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