News Staff

News Staff

A small group has been meeting for over a year to talk about establishing a single agency, in line with a recent call from the provincial government, to serve about 500,000 people in Southeastern Ontario.

Duncan Sinclair, who lives on Buck Lake, is the former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Queen’s, and wrote a book about health care restructuring 20 years ago. He has been an advisor to the group.

Last week, the group met with 60 people from across Southeastern Ontario.

“The idea is to develop what the government is now calling a Health Team that includes hospitals, primary care, and home care services in one service entity that is responsive to community needs.,” he said.

The region that this group encompasses includes Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Lanark, and Leeds and Grenville Counties as well as the independent cites of Kingston and Belleville.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 11:57

Driverless cars on highway 7

The Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) was founded in 1894 as an offshoot of the “Good Roads Train” that pulled into Eastern Ontario Rail stations with the latest in road building equipment for local farmers who were in need of better roads for horses and buggies. One of its goals was to prepare municipalities for the transition from horse drawn to horse-less carriages (ie motor vehicles).

The Association remains in place today as a body representing municipal interests in road construction and maintenance to higher levels of government and industry.

The annual conference of OGRA and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association in February, known as the Good Roads Conference, has long been the most prestigious gathering place for rural municipalities each year. In recent years it may have been supplanted by the annual Association of Municipal Organizations (AMO) meeting in late August, but it still draws a large number of municipal council members to the venerable Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

OGRA now has its eyes firmly set on the future, and that means autonomous vehicles, also known by the more descriptive ‘driverless cars’.

In the summer of 2016, OGRA members from some of the technology driven communities in Ontario, most of them in Southwestern Ontario, with the notable addition of Elliott Lake, held a meeting to establish a group called the MACAVO (pronounced Muh-Kay-Vo) which is an acronym for ‘Municipal Alliance for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles in Ontario’.

The alliance has been meeting ever since with a view towards paving the way for the next wave of transportation technology, which is coming at a faster rate than had been anticipated, even a few years ago.

“We openly invite all Ontario municipalities who are prepared to start researching, testing and integrating these technologies in some capacity, to join MACAVO”, said Thomas MacPherson, York Region Manager of Transportation Asset Management and Chair of MACAVO, in November of 2017.

“Efforts across the province need to be co-ordinated to maximize the long-term benefits that CVs [Connected Vehicles] and AVs [Autonomous Vehicles] can provide our communities. At MACAVO, we are ready to work with all CV and AV stakeholders, including: the automobile industry; young entrepreneurs; the education sector; and local, provincial, and federal governments.”

Robert Burlie, then President of OGRA said, “… It is estimated that 50% of all vehicles on our roads will be fully autonomous in the next 15 years and will assist all municipalities who are making substantial efforts to improve road safety and ease traffic congestion. This technology is improving so rapidly that there will certainly be other benefits to all our communities and municipalities in Ontario, and will allow our roadways to be completely transformed for better use by pedestrians, cyclists, public transit, vulnerable users and vehicles."

Municipalities that have joined with MACAVO have been able to designate which of their roads they would like to see become part of a test corridor for CAV’s (Connected Autonomous Vehicles), naming them as “preferred” roads, and to choose which roads they would like to list as “avoid” roads for CAV.

Eastern Ontario is now becoming much more oriented to the issues that MACAVO is working on, ever since the “Windsor to Ottawa CAV (Connected Autonomous Vehicle) Test Corridor” at the most recent Good Roads Conference on February 24.

“Through the municipal and provincial collaboration on this project, we have now identified over 5,500 kilometres of specific municipal roadways across thirty-three municipalities in the area of Windsor to Ottawa”, said current OGRA President Rick Kester.

OGRA Executive Director Rick Tiernay said “based on our findings, this is by far the longest AV test corridor in the world today. Combining this with the fact that the province already has a solid AV Pilot Regulation in place, there is no better place in the world to grow and establish communities and businesses, than in Ontario.”

The test route in Eastern Ontario includes Highway 7, making Central Frontenac, Addington Highlands, and Tay Valley three of the municipalities who are included in the corridor.

In a report to Central Frontenac Council on the preferred route, Deputy Clerk Cindy Deachman pointed out that Central Frontenac has not been involved with MACAVO thus far, but since the test corridor is coming through the township, the township may want to change that.

The township has the option of remaining on the periphery of the project, seeking the status of a “friend of MACAVO” which would enable to the township to stay informed about the test corridor and have access to the mapping that MACAVO has developed, or to take a more active role.

“In order to have optimal information from, and representation to MACAVO, it is recommended that we request to have a staff member appointed. This appointee would have access to the mapping of the preferred/avoid routes, and if Council wanted to include other local roads on that route (either as a preferred or avoid route) we would then have the ability to add those routes to the map,” she wrote in her report.

Central Frontenac Council decided to join MACAVO and appointed Acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong as the township representative to the Alliance.

One of the most popular – and tastiest - annual events in the Kingston area begins Saturday, March 9, as the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority presents Maple Madness at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area. Take a tractor-drawn wagon back to the sugar bush to see how maple syrup was made by the early settlers of the region and how it’s made today. Enjoy delicious pancakes with maple syrup and even purchase some maple syrup or maple sugar to take home.

Check out some of the special activities taking place during Maple Madness, including all-new puppet shows for 2019, tree tapping demonstrations, self-guided Sugar Bush Tours, First Nations Display, the annual Conservation Foundation bake sale and ‘Old Tyme Sugar Bush Chores.’ With so much to do, you will want to visit the sugar bush more than once. A new activity this year is Face Painting, which will take place each Sunday throughout Maple Madness.

Back by popular demand is our photo contest. There will be ‘frames’ set up throughout the sugar bush. Take some fun, family photos in some of the frames, and post them to social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #MapleMadness and be eligible for maple-oriented prizes as well as a CRCA annual pass.

Maple Madness runs over the March Break, March 9 to 17, and the weekends of March 23 and 24 and March 30 and 31, with the sugar bush open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Check our Maple Madness page for the schedule of special events at

Help us reduce our waste. Planning on having pancakes or a hot drink during your visit? Bring your own reusable plate, cutlery or mug and you will be entered into a draw for a CRCA Annual Pass ($85 value).

Admission to Maple Madness is $15 per vehicle – fill your car or carpool!

The Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area is located on Division Street just two km north of Highway 401.

We’ve been covering Randy Hillier at the News ever since he was the leader of the Lanark Landowners. It’s fair to say he has always been an energetic, but divisive figure. His history with the Progressive Conservative Party, which we have covered from the outside looking in, has clearly also been a fraught one.

Back in 2007, he essentially forced his way into the party by winning the nomination as a candidate, bringing many of his Lanark and Ontario Landowner Association supporters with him.

Over the years he has given and rescinded his support for a succession of party leaders, and even ran for the job himself back in 2010. Early last year, he played a role in the removal of Patrick Brown as leader, and then he backed Christine Elliott in the contest for a replacement. When Doug Ford was chosen instead, and then went on to win the election, Randy Hillier expressed his strong support.

When I interviewed him just before the election last June, Hillier said “I can phone Doug Ford up any time and he’ll take my call. He wants to know what people think. We haven’t had a leader like that before”.

Doug Ford does not seem to be taking Randy Hillier’s calls anymore.

Again, looking at the situation from the outside, it seems that our MPP, who was elected under the PC banner, has been turfed from the government benches, at least temporarily, in order to send a message to the rest of the caucus. The Toronto press and the CBC claim that Hillier has run afoul with Doug Ford’s chief of staff. By shunting Hillier to the penalty box, everyone else in the Conservative caucus, and their staff and riding association members, will know what the consequences of defiance are.

His record of bucking to the party leadership, going back almost to the beginning of his political career, makes Hillier an easy target within the party.

We all know that politics is about power, and from time to time parties move to ‘keep the troops in line’.

The problem in this case is that the pretext for turfing Randy Hillier was thin, very thin. Even the people who accused him of saying “yada yada yada” to them didn’t seem to care that much. They said afterwards that they are concerned about the funding regime for autistic children, not Randy Hillier. And Doug Ford himself and his Minister of Children and Youth Services Lisa McLeod have made more defamatory comments to protestors in recent weeks.

It is strange that this, of all the things Randy Hillier has said and done over his political career, is the reason that the leadership of the Conservative Party has acted against him.

The Progressive Conservative Party has approved Randy Hillier as their candidate on four separate occasions. Under their banner, he has won each of those times. Now that, the party is in power, they are pushing our riding to the sidelines along with our MPP. We are just collateral damage in their move against Hillier.

This riding, much to the consternation of some of us, always elects the same party. Anyone carrying the Conservative banner will win the riding, just about every time we go to the polls.

By removing our member from their caucus, without justifiable cause, the party is telling all of those died in wool Conservatives in Frontenac and Lanark County that they don’t really count in Toronto.

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 14:45

Poet Laureate mentorship program

Kingston Frontenac Public Library is looking for six emerging or practicing poets aged 14 or older who are interested in an hour-long, one-on-one mentorship session in April with Kingston Poet Laureate Jason Heroux.

If that describes you, please submit a sample of your poetry (from five to 12 pages in length) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Don't forget to include your full name and your contact information with your submission.  To be eligible, your submission mustbe received by 5pm on Monday, March 11.  (Those without an email address may submit their verse as a print-out or typescript at any branch of Kingston Frontenac Public Library, marked to the attention of Poet Laureate Jason Heroux, c/o Isabel Turner Branch.)

Please note that the six mentorship sessions will take place at the following times:

Tuesday, April 9 at Central, at 10 a.m. and 11am.

Friday, April 12 at Calvin Park, at 2 p.m. and 3pm.

Tuesday, April 23 at Isabel Turner, at 10 a.m. and 11am.

When sending in your poetry, please be sure to list which of these six sessions you'd be able to attend, ranked in order of your preference.  Jason will review all the submissions and will schedule one-on-one meetings with six poets.  During your hour he will go over your work and offer both feedback and possible next steps.

KFPL acknowledges the support of the City of Kingston through the Poet Laureate program, increasing the profile of the literary arts within the City and beyond.

Please contact Anne Hall, 613-549-8888, ext.3528, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or responses.

Paul Charbonneau, Chief Paramedic at Frontenac Paramedic Services, announced his retirement in front of Frontenac County Council on Wednesday February 20.


“I’m very proud of what I have accomplished in my career and especially my time here at Frontenac Paramedic Services serving the citizens of the County of Frontenac and the City of Kingston,” said Chief Charbonneau.


"Chief Charbonneau is going to be greatly missed. He’s has been an inspiration to his team and is well respected in the paramedic community," said Frontenac County Warden Ron Higgins. “I’ve come to know the Chief as someone who lives and breathes his profession and truly cares about the patients and paramedics," Higgins said.


Chief Charbonneau joined FPS in September 2004 as Chief Paramedic and immediately oversaw the transitioning of Kingston Regional Ambulance (Hotel Dieu Hospital), Parham Ambulance and Wolfe Island Volunteer Ambulance Association into FPS. 


His paramedic career spans 44 years, beginning as a paramedic with the Department of Ambulance Services in Toronto in March 1975. He managed paramedic services in James Bay and Nipigon and oversaw the amalgamation of 10 rural services into one region of Superior North EMS.


“I’ve worked with Chief Charbonneau during my five years at the County and in that period he’s been an innovative and passionate leader overseeing the construction of new bases at Robertsville, Sydenham and Wolfe Island,” said Frontenac County CAO Kelly Pender. “He also led the introduction of power stretchers into the service and he is a strong advocate for the mental wellbeing of his paramedics,” Pender said, adding that Chief Charbonneau also introduced Collaborative Culture of Safety -sometimes known as Just Culture- to the County of Frontenac.


Chief Carbonneau has held positions with the Ontario Paramedic Association and the Paramedic Association of Canada – Benevolent Society. He is the Past President of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs (OAPC) and the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC).


Chief Carbonneau is the recipient of the Governor General’s Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal recognizing 40 years of service, the OAPC Lieutenant General Richard Rohmer Commendation and the OAPC President’s Award of Excellence.


About Frontenac Paramedic Services
Frontenac Paramedic Services operates seven paramedic stations to service a population of nearly 150,000 people in the Townships of North, Central, South Frontenac and the Frontenac Islands and the City of Kingston. FPS responds to approximately 22,000 calls for service each year.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 10:53

Sharbot Lake Criminal Court

Nothing was settled at Sharbot Lake criminal court this month, with most matters being deferred until April 1.A warrant with discretion was issued regarding John Badour, who is expected to return to court on April 1 to deal with 6 charges: driving while impaired by alcohol, possession of stolen property valued over $5,000, impersonating another with intent to mislead a peace officer, failure to comply with court ordered terms, assault, and assault with a weapon. He was not in court on this occasion, but did have a lawyer in place to speak to the matter. Judge Griffin is expecting him to appear on April 1.Trial date set (sort of) – Patrick Sundstrum is facing 11 charges. There is one charge of possession of an illegal substance, and two each of: trafficking an illegal substance, production of an illegal substance, careless/use storage of a firearm, failure to stop for police, and unauthorized possession of firearms. His lawyer appeared in court and reported that he will be looking at documentation that he recently received from the crown regarding the search and seizure that precipitated the charges. He said he will then be speaking with the crown to see if the matter can be resolved without trial. Judge Griffin decided to set a trial date, as a backstop in case the case does not get resolved earlier on.Since there were 8 officers on the list of potential witnesses, and some of them are assigned to the Napanee detachment, it was impossible to confirm their availability on the spot, so two dates were set: July 15, and September 23.The matter will return on April 1st to be spoken to, at which point the trial date can be firmed up, if a trial is still necessary.Patricia Crawford is facing a charge of Threatening Death/Bodily Harm. She is seeking legal aide, although it is unclear if the Crown is indeed seeking jail time, and legal aide is not available otherwise. She will return on April 1.WithdrawalA charge of theft under $5,000 against Leslie Dunham was withdrawn at the request of the Crown after Ms. Dunham presented receipts for $125 in donations to a local agency.

First Appearances
Tod Boutilier was charged with operating a vehicle while disqualified. He will return on April 1.

Kevin Fenner is facing a charge of Fraud under $5,000. He will return on April 1.

Jonathan Loerchner is facing one charge of mischief under $5,000 and two charges of theft under $5,000. He will also return on April 1.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 10:53

Good Food Stand coming to Verona

Good Food Stands are an initiative that is part of a poverty reduction initiative involving the United Way of Kingston Frontenac, Lennox and Addington and the City of Kingston. Produce is supplied by Tony Deodato and Sons for monthly discount Good Food Stands at location in Kingston and in Frontenac and L&A.

The first five stands in a year long pilot project were located at secondary schools, including one at Sydenham High School which is open on the second Tuesday of the month between 3pm and 5:30pm (except in March when it will be on the 5th because of spring break).

Starting next week, Verona will also be part of the Good Food Stand pilot. Because fresh food prices have risen dramatically and this affects senior’s in the community in particular, the Verona Free Methodist Church has invited Kathy Sturmey, the co-ordinator of the "Good Food Stand", to set up monthly, selling to people in the Verona area.

The stand is open to everyone. It is accessible at the rear of the church off of the parking through the doors to Gregory Hall. The stand is open on Wednesday, March 6 from 10:30am – 12:30pm.

Another service that has been operated out of the church for a number of years, the “Style Revival” Boutique, free gently used clothing, shoes and accessories for the whole family, will also be open that day.

Southern Frontenac Community Services will once again host free tax clinics for eligible residents, starting March 4, 2019 and running until April 30, 2019, on Mondays and Tuesdays each week (excluding holidays). These free tax clinics are for singles and families with modest incomes and are provided by volunteers trained by the Canada Revenue Agency.

People must call and book an appointment in advance, and need to bring all their income forms and identification. Call 613-376-6477 and press 0 to see if you are eligible for this tax free program and to make an appointment to have your taxes completed.

Locations of the free tax clinics: SFCSC main office, 4295 Stage Coach Road, Sydenham.

For more information, contact: Heather Rogers, Coordinator of Volunteers, 613-376-6477, ext. 306, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maple syrup season is right around the corner, and the Lanark & District Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (LDMSPA) is getting ready to kick the season off right, with a Tapping Out Party on Saturday, March 9, 2019. This annual event is hosted each year at a Lanark & District sugarbush, and this year’s event will be held at Golden Moment Farm, in Athens.

Open to visitors and producers, the tapping out party has been taking place since 1991 and is a way of commemorating the ceremonial tapping of the first maple tree of the season. The event typically includes family-friendly activities, and a maple-oriented theme.

This year, Golden Moment Farm will be offering a fun-filled day of activities for all ages, with maple syrup and candy demonstrations, taffy on snow, trail walking, wagon rides, samples, and more. The official tapping of the first tree of the season will take place at 11 a.m. by local MPP, Steve Clark.

Other activities throughout the day will include an Algonquin College display with information about a new agricultural program beginning in 2019, and a truck display by Tackaberry Construction. A barbecue lunch and live music by Fred Brown & Friends will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., with a cost of $6 for the meal.

Golden Moment Farm has been operating for more than 20 years, and has grown from a 300-bucket operation to a 1,200 tap system with pipeline and a stainless steel evaporator. Sugarbush owners, John and Norma Banford, explained they are pleased to be hosting this year’s event for LDMSPA, and are looking forward to marking the start of yet another maple syrup season, producing the very first farm crop of the year.

"We’re looking forward to offering visitors a fun time at the event this year,” John Banford said, “The tapping of the first tree of the season if always special, but after such a long winter it will have extra meaning this year.”

Visitors are invited to be part of the event at Golden Moment Farm, 140 Mother Barnes Rd., Athens, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on March 9, 2019, for a full day of activities and maple fun.

Admission is free for this family-friendly, wintry event. For more information please visit or

About Lanark & District Maple Syrup Producers’ Association:

LDMSPA is a group of over 90 maple syrup producers located in the Lanark, Frontenac, Leeds and Grenville Counties, as well as the Ottawa-Carleton areas of Eastern Ontario. LDMSPA is one of 11 local organizations that make up the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (OMSPA), a provincial organization that represents maple syrup producers across the province.

As a membership-based organization LDMSPA supports its members by providing a forum to promote the production of maple syrup products, assisting members to stay current on changing industry regulations, and providing opportunities for networking, and education on the maple syrup industry in Ontario. For more information please visit

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