“Selling edibles isn’t legal yet, but if you want to make your own, it’s OK,” SSgt. Sharon Brown told the SALT lunch Friday at the Grace Centre in Sydenham. “So no bake sale brownies, OK?”

In fact, Brown used humour to make many of her important points during her presentation on what cannabis now being legal means in Ontario from a policing perspective.

“You can smoke cannabis in a private residence or anywhere it’s legal to smoke a cigarette or vape,” she said. “When you’re walking down the sidewalk in downtown Sydenham, don’t crack open a beer, but you can smoke a joint.”

Brown wasn’t being flippant, she was just making a point that one is governed by the Liquor Licensing Act and the other by the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and her audience certainly seemed to appreciate her candor.

“In vehicles and boats, you can’t have cannabis available to the driver, which means passengers can’t be smoking it either,” she said. “Now, in the case of an RV, it can’t be available while the RV is moving, but once you’ve stopped for the night, it becomes your residence and then it’s OK.

“There’s no charges applicable if you’re riding a bicycle because a bicycle is not considered a motor vehicle.”

She did say that passengers in a motor vehicle can consume edibles if they’re in the passenger seat.

She said people 19 and over are allowed to have .30 grams of dried leaf in public but more than that can get you into trouble in varying degrees depending on the amount.

You can’t have products that have been made with solvents such as butane but you can grow your own plants (maximum four plants per residence, regardless of how many people live there.)

“If I come into your house and see four plants, it’s OK,” she said. “More than that and you’re likely getting charged.”

She said that Oct. 17, the day cannabis became legal in Canada “came and went and it was pretty non-descript” in this area at any rate.

She said the best thing about legalization is the effect it should have in cutting down on the illicit drug trade, helping to make marijuana laced with things like cocaine and fentanyl less available.

“Right now, the only legal way to get cannabis is at the online government store,” she said.

When asked about all the ‘pot shops’ in Deseronto, she said: “I’m going to do a Gretzky-like pass and not talk about that.”

She did say that police are concerned about drivers impaired by cannabis and they are sending more officers for training in how to spot in and conduct roadside testing.

But, they aren’t going to be using anything like a Breathalyzer just yet.

“The OPP are not going with screening devices right now,” she said. “I don’t want a machine that ‘might’ work.”

There is another SALT talk on cannabis scheduled for Jan. 25 in the Verona Free Methodist Church at 11:30 a.m.

There is no charge for SALT talks admission and lunch is provided. The lunch at the Grace Centre was particularlly good.


On January 19, 2019, Bob Richardson Branch #496 of the Royal Canadian Legion will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of its founding Charter.

The Branch is named after Private Robert Miles Richardson, a Sydenham resident born in 1874, and who joined the Canadian infantry in January 1916, making him 41 years of age at time of enlistment. Having served at both Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, he was wounded in December 1917, and was repatriated to Canada where he lived until his death in May 1949.

While the Branch, which is located on Amelia Street in Sydenham, was granted its official Charter on January 14, 1949, the inaugural organization meeting took place in the basement of St. Paul’s Church in October of 1948, and the name change to the Bob Richardson Branch did not occur until December, 1960, the same year that the Sydenham Cenotaph was dedicated.

The current Hall was purchased in 1965, but was not officially opened until 1972; prior to that, the Branch met on the top floor of the local blacksmith shop, also located on Amelia Street.

The 70th Anniversary Celebration will take place on January 19, 2019 at 1130am in the main hall at 4361 Amelia Street, Sydenham. The event will include special presentations and awards to members and supporters of the Branch, as well as a luncheon prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary. The event is open to all Branch members, families, friends, and well-wishers. To assist with the cost of the luncheon tickets may be purchased at the Branch at a price of $10.00 per person. Please telephone (613) 376-6808 for further information, if needed.

We will Remember them…


Wednesday, 05 December 2018 15:00

Inaugural SF council meeting

Deputy fire chief says he's being pushed out
Bill Babcock, Deputy Fire Chief in Portland, addressed Council about his pending retirement: “I feel that I am being forced to retire: some of my duties have been removed, and I signed my agreement (to retire) under duress.” Babcock said he was 73, in good physical condition, and in the 48th year of service in the department; “April 20, 2020 is my 50-year mark, and I’d like to complete my service then.” He gave Council a document certifying good health, and letters of support from the community. Mayor Vandewal told Babcock that he had asked for a full staff report, in order to bring all council members up to date on the situation, before further discussion. Over 30 supporters left Council chambers with Babcock.

Swearing in
The inaugural meeting of South Frontenac Council opened with the swearing-in of Mayor Vandewal and Council members, three of whom, Ray Leonard, Doug Morey and Randy Ruttan are rookies: Pat Barr, Alan Revill, Norm Roberts, Ron Sleeth and Ross Sutherland were all on last Council. “South Frontenac Township is in a strong position, both financially and organizationally,” said Mayor Vandewal in his welcoming address; “but lots of work lies ahead. You will have to make many decisions, not always popular ones. It’s up to you to do what you feel is right.” He listed updating the Official Plan and hiring a new CAO as two of the many challenges ahead, along with the ongoing pressures of taxation and financing.

Warden Higgins brought greetings from the County.

Rezoning the Rezoning
A property on Bedford Road Sydenham had been rezoned last May to recognize a reduced road frontage and lot size for a new residential lot and a retained parcel. The intent was to remove a frame house and garage which were very close to the Bedford Road improvement area, and to permit two residential lots in their place. However this rezoning had been prematurely brought to Council by the then planning department, before the survey was completed. In October, when the survey was submitted, it was found that both lots had shorter frontages and one had a smaller lot area than had been indicated in the original information. The current rezoning is a largely technical correction, as the properties are within the Sydenham settlement area, and will be served by municipal water. Only one comment came from a neighbour: “I’d like to see them get on with (tearing it down!)” When Council passed the new amendment, they also agreed to charge the applicant only half the usual fee, for although the change required staff time and work, it appeared to have been a staff decision to initially bring the issue to Council with incomplete information.

Hartington-related Motions
Two motions related to the Hartington Subdivision, one requesting reimbursement of $28,792 to the Hartington Community Association for consultant fees, the other for Township funded twice annual private well testing, were deferred until the appeal period of the OMB decision is completed.

Recreation Committee
Tim Laprade, Township Recreation Supervisor, asked Council to authorize and include in the 2019 budget, the engagement of an external facilitator to help in the revision of the Recreation Committee structure in order to better meet the current and projected recreation and leisure needs of the whole Township. He also asked for budget approval for a new software  package to do program registration and facility booking. The current software has been discontinued. This would be a one-time capital cost of $6,000 and an annual operating cost of $8,650.

Council accepted these reports, and Laprade assured them that the review and revision will recognize the continued importance and involvement of community volunteers. Sleeth emphasized that he is opposed to any ‘centralization’ of recreation committees, and wants to keep the local rec committees.    

Private Lane Upgrades
Mark Segsworth, Director of Public Services, asked Council to approve payments totalling $78,109. for 2018 Private Lane Upgrading Assistance. It is the tenth year for this popular program which subsidizes up to 50% of completed private road work which will improve access for emergency vehicles. This year, 27 lane groups were approved to submit invoices for subsidy of completed work. Mayor Vandewal complimented Segsworth for all his work in having initiated and developed this very successful program.

2019 Budget Schedule
Council received the 2019 budget schedule which will begin Dec 11, and wind up in mid-February or early March. CAO Orr reminded Councillors that Saturday Jan 26 must be set aside for an all-day budget session.

Council Appointments
After some minor wrangling about procedure, Council selected Deputy Mayors, and agreed that each Deputy Mayor should serve for one year, in the following order: Sleeth, Sutherland, Barr and Leonard.

Councillor Revill was chosen to serve the next four years as Township representative on County Council, along with Mayor Vandewal. (Sleeth was also nominated, but respectfully declined.)

Staff Appointments
Angela Maddocks was promoted to Township Clerk and Division Registrar for South Frontenac, and the role of Deputy Clerk was transferred to CAO Orr. Maddocks has completed Clerk I and II training in the past year, as well as training in election operations.

Emily Caird was welcomed as the new Executive Assistant, and Michelle Hanna has been hired as a Planning Assistant.

Bale Wrap Recycling
Sleeth commended Mark Segsworth on his leadership in developing a means of recycling bale wrap. Segsworth reminded him that Councillor Larry York had been the one who had pioneered the idea.

Three-way Stop a Good Start
Council agreed with Mayor Vandewal’s motion to make the corner of Latimer and Round Lake Roads a three-way stop, until completion of projected construction to improve the intersection.

January 2019 meeting Dates
Acknowledging a reluctance to hold Council meeting on New Year’s Day, Orr announced the January meeting schedule will be moved forward one week: Council will be on Jan 8 and 22; Committee of the Whole will meet January 15.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 12:14

Santa Claus is Coming: to a Village Near You!

Sydenham opened the local Santa Claus parade season last Saturday with the most parade participants ever.

For a photographer, the best place to start is at the firehall while the parade is being assembled. Excitement is high, nobody’s chilled to the bone yet, people are happy to pose and chat.

I found out that Matt Trousdale hopes to use the ancient zamboni he drove in the parade to make a village rink on the lake near the boat launch this winter. “The ice had better be a foot thick,” said his father; “That thing weighs two and a half tons when it’s loaded.” Matt offered me a ride, but we couldn’t find a safe place for a passenger.

There was a live band from the senior class at Loughborough Public, well bundled up, but prepared to play with thin gloves. Ormsbee’s Merchantile had loaded a farm wagon with what must have been all the children in  Sunbury, along with their moms. Sydenham Lions were filling baskets with oranges to be handed out along the route. (The lion costume looked like the cosiest outfit in the whole parade. Perhaps Mayor Vandewal and Councillor Sutherland should dress in animal costumes for warmth next year?) Some very small Frontenac Flyers showed that it was possible to have all your teeth, no mullets and no beards and still play hockey. New Leaf Link had a float, as did Captain Canada: “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” This year, the customary Township snowplow was festooned with seasonal decorations.

As the last float headed out, the big firehouse doors opened with a dramatic flourish, and out rode Mr & Mrs Santa with their reindeer.

There were crowds of cheering watchers along the route. Some brought their dogs, most of which were sporting bows or fancy coats, but there were none to compare with Brother Brian’s patient Basset hound who used to be included in a nativity float, dressed as an angel or a camel.

This coming Saturday, there will be parades in Denbigh, Harrowsmith, Plevna and Sharbot Lake.


Watching helplessly as a child slips into frigid water under a broken ice shelf is a parent’s worst nightmare.

Speaking in Sydenham on a Sunday on Sunday, (November 25), Rob Pasch talked  about the device he has invented to counter the danger of open water in winter.

“It’s not about money, it’s about safety,” he said about  about his illuminated buoy that can prevent accidents and keep a person afloat or guide them to safety if they fall in.

A cottage owner on Knowlton Lake, Rob thought of the product when he couldn’t buy one.

“I was looking to purchase something like that for myself and there was nothing available on the market so I made it,” he explained. “It’s a device that’s quite unique in its own right. It saves lives and mitigates a property owner’s liability. From here to Florida, there is nothing that will safeguard people from open water systems.”

Called the RescueBubblerBuoy ™ , the product was officially launched Nov. 1.

The three main features are: • a bright blue LED light that shines from dusk to dawn • the ability to hold the weight of someone who has fallen into the water • a tether which can be used by people to pull themselves to shore or safety

“For the sake of $500, this mitigates the potential of a lawsuit and can save lives,” says the 66-year-old father of three.

Originally from Holland, Rob moved to Canada in 1969. He works as a travelling orthodontic associate for five dental clinics in the Greater Toronto Area.

“I came to Canada when I was 17,” said  the Queen’s University Alumnus, and University of Toronto Graduate.

“I’m an individual who enjoys the chosen path in life,” he said  when asked to describe himself. “I enjoy providing opportunities to my children and grandchildren because I know what it’s like to not be supported. Hopefully I’m able to do that for them which stems from my childhood days.”

Clearly passionate about the health and wellbeing of others, Rob’s device is insured, approved by the Canadian Coast Guard and pending a patent.

“It’s different. There’s nothing like it on the market,” he said.  “I’m proud of it. It’s definitely a product that has a need.”

According to Rob, many people are concerned about the increasing number of de-icers on the lakes which are used to prevent ice build-up around docks, boathouses and other

structures. The de-icers create open water which is often not visible to fast moving snowmobilers, despite warnings such as signs and possibly lights.

“They don’t know if there is a de-icer there or not,” says Rob. Citing section 263 of the Canadian Criminal Code, Rob says it is the property owner’s responsibility (or the person who creates the open water) to alert people to the hazard.

“If people don’t see the opening, they could potentially fall in,” he said. “The RescueBubblerBuoy ™ gives you an indication of something you want to be aware of.

“The mindset is changing now,” he said Rob. “It used to be that the fall was levied against the person falling in, now it’s the other way around. What has the property owner done to safeguard against potential injuries. It’s a different mindset now.”

“I thought the RescueBubblerBuoy would be useful. People need that stuff.”

To find out more, please contact Rob at 647-207-7398 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., “Rescue Bubbler Buoy” on Facebook or to order; Go to RescueBubblerBuoy.com


Being this year’s recipient of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association’s (OFSAA) Leadership in School Sport Award wasn’t something Sydenham High School’s Leslie Lawlor was expecting.

“I was surprised,” she said. “But I’m really grateful and appreciative.”

The award came at the opening banquet for this year’s OFSAA AA Boys Volleyball Championship, which Sydenham hosted.

The award is presented annually at each OFSAA Championship to a teacher-coach who has made a significant contribution to their educational athletic program. The recipient exemplifies the values of fair play and good sportsmanship, while promoting enjoyment, personal growth and educational achievement through school sport.

Lawlor was a student at Sydenham High school, representing them at OFSAA track and filed and cross country.

She went to Queen’s University where she played five years on the women’s soccer team.

She’s been at SHS for more than 22 years, teaching primarily phys. ed. but also students with special needs and English. Before SHS, she taught at KCVI and the old Sharbot Lake High School.

As a coach, she guides the cross country team in the fall and then in the spring, she coaches both the Boy’s Senior Soccer team and is Head Coach of the Track and Field Team — a team that regularly features more than 80 athletes.

“I have known Leslie personally for over a decade and have come to know the amazing rapport and mutual respect she has earned with the students at our school,” said fellow teacher-coach Mark Richards. “I have seen first hand how Leslie has truly made each of her athlete’s lives better in many areas.”

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 11:35

Impaired charge during parade, and 2 others

In Sydenham on November 24th at 10:21 a.m. Frontenac Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received information from a member of the public of a possible impaired driver in the Sydenham Santa Clause Parade. At 10:32 a.m. the suspect vehicle was located at the intersection of George Street and Wheatly Street.

As a result of the investigation, Peter Trousdale, a 37 year old male from Sydenham was charged with having more than 80 mgs of alcohol in his blood while operating a motor vehicle.

He was released on a promise to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston on December 13th, 2018.

In Inverary on November 24th 2018, at 6:31 p.m. officers from Frontenac Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a single motor vehicle collision on Latimer Road near Inverary. The male driver, who was walking in the raod, was located a short distance away from the collision and as a result of the investigation, Alain Jacob Doseger, a 28 year old male from Kingston was charged with impaired driving and having more than 80 mgs of alcohol in his blood.

He was released on a promise to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston on December 13th, 2018.

On November 24th 2018, at 2:56 a.m. an officer from Frontenac Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) observed a motor vehicle on McIvor Road in Kingston without working taillights. As a result of the investigation, David William Loyst, a 26 year old male from Verona was charged with impaired driving and having more than 80 mgs of alcohol in his blood.

He was released on a promise to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston on December 13th, 2018.


The holiday season can be joyous and exciting, but it can also be painful for those who are working through grief following the death of a loved one. It can make a person wonder how they will ever survive let alone be able to celebrate the holiday season ahead.

We at Southern Frontenac Community Services understand how lonely this time can be for you, and invite you to join us for a service that might help. Our Blue Christmas Bereavement Service will be on Thursday, December 6, at 1:30pm, at the Grace Centre, 4295 Stage Coach Road in Sydenham.

Blue Christmas is a special, non-denominational service. We offer a message of hope, meaningful readings, beautiful music and the opportunity to light a candle in recognition of your grief in a safe and supportive environment. Refreshments will follow this informal service. If you are unsure about attending on your own, invite a friend to accompany you.

The service is courtesy of SFCSC’s Hospice Program and Trousdale Funeral Home in Sydenham.

For more information, please contact our Hospice Palliative Care Coordinator, Sandy Whaley, at 613-376-6477 ext. 308. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Sydenham High School Golden Hawks were hoping to win the Eastern Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (EOSSAA) title last week so their berth in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) AA Championships wouldn’t be as host school.

That wasn’t to be as the home side bowed out in the semi-finals.

However, if anything, the EOSSAA loss has only strengthened their resolve.

“We’re definitely looking to put Sydenham volleyball on the map,” said power hitter Ethan Lucas. “We’re not just a football school.”

“Boys volleyball hasn’t done as well as some of the other teams but when we came to Sydenham, we realized there was a strong sports tradition here,” said captain Dan Callender. “We know we have to pick up the torch and live up to the name.”

“We may not be known but we have to prove we’re one of the stronger teams in this tournament,” said libero Colin Jones.

Coach Bryan English said “I think they may have put too much pressure on themselves (at EOSSAA) and this may sound a bit cliché but for this one, I just hope they come out and perform . . . and have fun.

“We’re the underdog at 13th seed (of 20).”

Maybe that’s for the best. Sometimes a loss or two can bring a team together and they certainly don’t plan to go down without a fight.

“Mr. English runs a strong program,” said Lucas.

“He’s the reason I’m the player I am today,” said Jones.

“If we play our best, we definitely have the pieces,” said Lucas.

It starts with captain Callender.

“He knows Sydenham culture and he sets an example both on and off the field,” said Lucas.

“We’re fairly strong on power balls and middle balls,” said Callender. “Our offense is strong.

“OFSAA is a big deal and everybody gets nerves but if we play as a team . . .”

“We do have three or four players 6’3’’ or taller,” said Lucas.

OK, offense is a strong suit, what about the other side of the ball?

“We might be taller but we have to use that to our advantage,” said Jones. “Serve response is most important.

“We have to get the ball to our centres . . . our middle is strongest so we have to key on our middle.”

Sydenham opens the tournament Thursday at 10:30 a.m. against Essex in the main gym. They play again at 1:30 p.m. against Lasalle of Sudbury in the new gym.

On Friday, day 2 of the round robin, Sydenham plays St. Mary’s of Cobourg at 10 a.m. at Regi and against Monsignor Percy Johnson at 1:30 back at Sydenham in the main gym.

The quarterfinals begin Friday at 4:30 and 6:30 at Sydenham and Regi.

The semifinals begin Saturday at 9 a.m. at Regi with the championship match set for 5 p.m.

If you can’t make the games, they will be streamed on the SHS channels on YouTube.

Callender, Jones and Lucas wanted to acknowledge the help Miss Walsh has given them with the tournament preparations as well as the donations and support from the community and the volleyball community.


“This is our 12th and it gets busier and busier every year,” said Leslie Reade, who along with Josie Steele, began the VisionSoup tradition in Sydenham more than a decade ago.

The concept is simple enough. You buy a custom made bowl (donated by local potters), fill it with the soup of your choice, and keep the bowl.

“The proceeds go to Christmas baskets,” said Reade, who also runs Sydenham Veterinary Services. “That’s done through South Frontenac Community Services and the Loughborough Emergency Relief Fund.”

The place was packed again this year, as it has been since it started. But things run well.

“We have about 25 volunteers,” Reade said. “Again, it’s friends and family who help out so it runs very smoothly.

“And the County has been very supportive.”

Another interesting aspect of the event has been the variety of soups available. When it first started, there was the more standard fare of chicken noodle, clam chowder and tomato vegetable.

But it’s evolved.

For example, at one given time, the choices were: creamy broccoli, spinach, hamburger, two varieties of spicy thai chicken, roasted cauliflower, fennel and spinach (glutton free & vegan), creamy cheese & cauliflower, chicken corn chowder, asparagus & garlic scapes, potato & onion, squash, tomato basil and carrot-ginger-parsnip.

“There seems to be a lot of ginger this year,” said Reade.

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