News Staff

News Staff

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:37

March for Meals campaign hits Sydenham

The Community Support Foundation of Ontario joins with other organisations around North America to help promote the Meals on Wheels, which provides hot meals and a friendly face for seniors all year round in this region and across Ontario. Each year during March on Meals week (March 19-23 this year) local politicians and other community champions are invited to ride with dedicated Meals on Wheels volunteers delivering hot meals in the hamlets and the countryside.

The promotion aims to generate awareness of hot meal programs, the challenge of social isolation and its impact on health outcomes, and encourage support through volunteering and financial donations.

In our region, distance is a challenge, but Meals on Wheels volunteers are undaunted. Meals are delivered by Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS) in South Frontenac, Rural Frontenac Community Services (RFCS) in Central and parts of North Frontenac, by Land O’Lakes Community Services (LOLCS) in Addington Highlands and parts of North Frontenac, and Community Home Support – Perth Office in Tay Valley and Lanark Highlands.

Most MOW programs in Canada were started by local church groups or steering committees that saw a need to help feed elderly populations in their communities. Today, Meals on Wheels programs still operate at the local level. Programs vary widely in their size, service provided, organization and funding. In 2015-16, 2,899,292 meals were delivered to 38,800 Ontarians.

Currently in Ontario, there are 137 not-for-profit organizations receiving government funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide Meals on Wheels. This government funding covers only part of the cost the difference is made up by donations and/or client fees, which are kept as low as possible.

At the Grace Centre in Sydenham March for Meals was marked on Tuesday (March 19) A boisterous group gathered in the morning for coffee and treats before heading out. Southern Frontenac Community Services offers Hot Meals on Wheels every Tuesday. Meals are prepared by a professional cook to be nutritionally appropriate for older adults. Each meal includes soup or salad, an entrée and a side, and dessert.

A team of volunteer drivers delivers about 60 meals each week (sometimes as many as 75) throughout South Frontenac and rural Kingston. Drivers take a moment to check in with seniors, providing social interaction, and a chance to see how the client is faring.

SFCSC also offers a Frozen Meals program, where nutritionally appropriate, high quality frozen meals suitable for warming up can be ordered and delivered. Frozen meals cost $5 each, and Hot Meals on Wheels cost $7.

For more information on the Hot Meals on Wheels Program offered at SFCSC, call Joanne Silver at 613-3766477 ext. 303. For information about Meals on Wheels in Central and North Frontenac, RFCS call 613-279-3151. In Addington Highlands call LOLCS at 613-336-8934

Don’t miss a rare opportunity to enjoy award-winning nature photography and environmental stewardship on March 30 at 7 pm in Sharbot Lake.

Michelle Valberg (, a globally recognized wildlife and adventure photographer will present her images: “In the Presence of Nature.”

Michelle finds art in all of nature's most intimate moments and she will share the meaning of her images with you.

A Canadian Nikon Ambassador, Michelle has exhibited her photography internationally. A Fellow of the Canadian Geographic Society, Michelle was named their first Photographer in Residence. She is also a Fellow of the New York Explorer's Club.

Her photo of a polar bear graces the cover of the Geographic Atlas of Canada and her iconic image of a Nunavut drum dancer appears on a coin as part of a special series by the Royal Canadian Mint.

In 2009, Michelle founded Project North. This not-for-profit, dedicated to northern education and sports opportunities, has delivered $1,000,000 to more than 30 Inuit communities.

Join us on Saturday, March 30 at 7pm in the Granite Ridge Education Centre, 14432 County Road 38, Sharbot Lake; the event is free of charge. For more information, contact 613-335-3589 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:36

South Frontenac sued contractor

It is a case where the fact that something was secret ended up being more interesting than the secret itself.

Earlier this year a report from the township of South Frontenac’s closed meeting investigator urged South Frontenac to reveal details about a matter regarding the Sydenham Water plant.

After consulting with the township lawyer, the township is now revealing that it was “a party to litigation on the water plant” and has released a 400 word statement about the case,

The statement outlines how, in 2010, the township “undertook upgrades to the Sydenham Water plan to address deficiencies in the plant’s original design that were necessary to address environmental regulations.”

The upgrades including the introduction of UV equipment, a Granular Activated Carbon Filter, and a change to chloramination from chorination as the primary disinfection process.

The Chloramination process is where a new problem surfaced. It requires a serpentine piping system which acts as a wall mounted storage system as part of the chloramination process. A few months after the upgrades were finished, water plant operators noticed what appeared to be several pin-holes leaks in the serpentine piping.

The problem did not result in a safety concern regarding water quality or safety, but it had to be addressed. A temporary fix, involving the use of rubber gaskets, was put in place, and are still in place today. A permanent solution will not be attempted until the system is ready for another upgrade in the coming years.

There were warranty issues that resulted from the leaks and those issues could not be resolved, and the township launched legal action, which is why the matter came to council in an in camera session. In 2018, the entire matter was resolved without going to trial in 2018, and the township received a lump sum payment, for an undisclosed amount, which has been applied to the Sydenham Water Plant reserve fund.

With the release of this report the township considers that the matter is closed.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:35

Wildflowers and trees make a natural edge

The Natural Edge Program for shorelines is coming to Quinte Conservation’s Watershed with help from Watersheds Canada.

Maya Navrot, Education and Stewardship Coordinator for Quinte Conservation says, “Natural Edge is a well-established program that makes the process of restoring a shoreline easy and engaging for the landowner. We are excited to see this program come to our area.”

Residents living along waterways such as creeks, rivers, and lakefronts can beautify their properties with the help of Natural Edge. Areas of open shoreline will benefit from plantings of native wildflowers, shrubs and trees.

Susan Moore, from the Friends of Salmon River says, “There is a misperception that a planted shoreline will deter views. A well-planned shoreline planting offers open access to the water, with low growing wildflowers and small shrubs for maintaining views, and larger trees and shrubs to the edges at property boundaries.”

Naturalizing your shoreline has many benefits, including enhancing your property value and improving lake health and habitat. Navrot adds, “Naturalizing your shoreline provides important habitat for over 70% of land-based wildlife, 90% of aquatic life, and it improves water quality by filtering water runoff and controlling erosion.”

Eligible landowners will get a full-service restoration program, which includes the creation of a shoreline restoration plan with descriptions of native wildflowers, trees and shrubs suitable to the site. Watersheds Canada will provide the plants and implement the planting.

Moore adds, “Past participants have enjoyed the simplicity of this program and the beauty of their planted waterfront. Funding is provided by an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, so landowners pay only 25% of the total cost of the project, and the cost per property will depend on the individual site.”

If you are interested in learning more or connecting with project staff for a confidential free site visit, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 613-264-1244.

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at

Watersheds Canada is a federally incorporated non-profit organization and registered Canadian charity committed to providing programs in communities across the country to engage and help shoreline owners enhance and protect the health of lakes and rivers. More information about Watersheds Canada is available at

For more info: Susan Moore, Friends of Salmon River This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 613-379-5958

Photo of a natural shoreline through the natural edge program

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.

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