Editorials

There will be another Option for Brian, if he wants one

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:30  |  Published in Editorials
Brian Lipsin is surprised by the outpouring of community support after his record store was flooded last Saturday, ruining much of his stock of records, cd’s, tapes and posters. No one else is. Lipsin, who lives on a farm property near Harrowsmith, has been Brian of Brian’s Record Option to residents of Kingston and the surrounding area for 38 years. He was preparing for a street promotion Princess street in his store last Saturday when a water main break saw water fill the basement to his store, where he kept his over stock. The water then streamed along the floors of the store itself and started pouring out the front door onto the sidewalk, takings records, cd’s, and posters with i. It took an hour…

Programming, the rural challenge and the Basic Income Guarantee

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:30  |  Published in Editorials
I’m a programmer. I love the challenge, and I especially love how a few lines of code can save hours of monotonous labour. So much human potential is wasted carrying out mind-numbing tasks, and it’s my hope that one day technology will free us up to focus on the things that really matter. That’s the dream anyway. But recent tech scandals like the Cambridge Analytica data breach underline a need for those working in technology to carefully consider the potential consequences of their work, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. The conclusion that I’ve come to is that programming, even simple automation, is going to drain rural communities like my hometown dry. In truth, the real problem is income inequality. Cities like Toronto are…

Gone Fishin’?

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:30  |  Published in Editorials
Not if you are up at White Lake, just north of 7! On the south shore of this unique body of water sits the White Lake Fish Culture Station. Central Frontenac is fortunate to be home to one of only nine such facilities operated by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.   The ideal characteristics of White Lake make this Culture Station one of a kind. The lake has no inflow or outflow currents. This has protected the waters from the invasion of zebra mussels. As such, the lake trout, whitefish, splake, walleye and other species raised here can safely be used to stock lakes in Ontario without fear of introducing invasive species. The particular blend of rocky surface underlying and surrounding the lake gives the…

Toronto has too many Politicians? What about Frontenac

Written by  |  Wednesday, 01 August 2018 12:39  |  Published in Editorials
I have no way of knowing why the Government of Ontario decided to institute electoral reform in the City of Toronto a couple of days before the close of nominations for an election that is 21/2 months away. It does appear to be some kind of a personal agenda of the Premier, who sat on that council and ran for Mayor once upon a time, and it is odd to pick on one municipality in particular instead of looking at the entire province. That might also indicate where the premier’s focus is going to be for the next four years, which is something the electorate should have seen coming, as this is the first time in my memory that the provincial government is being headed…

Three way partnership on the table for an admin building in Frontenac County

Written by  |  Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:27  |  Published in Editorials
Frontenac County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender came to Council two years ago with a concern and a proposal about how to approach it. He said that the Frontenac County Administrative Office, which is located in what is known as the ‘Old House’ at the Fairmount Home, the county owned long term care facility, are inadequate. The converted house still looks and feels more like a house than an office, and is inefficient in terms of space and energy use. He said that the county should consider either a major renovation, or a new build, either on the same site or another location. Council did not exactly jump for joy at the prospect of having to raise funds for a new office, but they did…

About that little problem with the trail

Written by  |  Wednesday, 11 July 2018 12:34  |  Published in Editorials
As reported last week, construction on the K&P trail has cost more and taken longer than anyone thought it would and will require a new infusion of cash, and some careful engineering as well. And once it is done, the section that is currently flooded out will require a long-term beaver mitigation strategy. These last sections must be finished in order for there to be a Frontenac loop as part of the Great Trail (aka Trans Canada Trail) that runs 15,000 kilometres across Canada between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. If Frontenac County had not made the commitment to complete the K&P trail between Harrowmsith and Sharbot Lake, The Great Trail could have run directly along Highway 7 between Sharbot Lake and Glen Tay. If…

Saved from the Socialist Hordes

Written by  |  Wednesday, 13 June 2018 12:44  |  Published in Editorials
There was a moment in the Ontario election campaign when voters were telling pollsters they were seriously concerned about supporting Doug Ford for Premier. Ford has been a polarizing figure in Toronto City politics and has no history on the provincial scene, and is connected in many people’s mind with his brother, who was the most well known municipal politician in North America for a time, for all the wrong reasons. Doug Ford, or his party handlers, came up with a two pronged attack. They brought out the Tory team, other MPPs and candidates who have more solid reputations, to temper the idea that it is “Ford Nation” Ontario was being asked to buy into. And, picking up on the fact it was the NDP…

Where is Ontario headed now?

Written by  |  Wednesday, 23 May 2018 10:19  |  Published in Editorials
We have known about the June 7, 2018 voting date for four long years, and for at least two it has been the date everyone expects that the long reign of the Ontario Liberals will come to a quiet end. Just like Stephen Harper before her, on June 7 Kathleen Wynne will make a short speech thanking the few supporters who have stuck with her to the bitter end, congratulate the few Liberals who will have retained their seats, and will exist the political stage forever. Hopefully, for her sake, she will lose her own seat, saving her the necessity of hanging around for a few months before quietly resigning as an MPP. But, as a province, where do we go from there. With all…

If we build a home, it needs to be at home

Written by  |  Wednesday, 21 March 2018 11:47  |  Published in Editorials
Sooner or later, the Frontenac County office needs to be renovated or replaced. The office is located in a grand old house, but there is wasted space, a lack of accessibility, and other issues that will be expensive or impractical to deal with through a renovation. Also, as the result of an accident of history, the office is not even located in Frontenac County. Glenburnie, where the Fairmount Home Long Term Care Facility and the Frontenac County office is located, used to be part of the county but became part of the City of Kingston with municipal amalgamation 20 years ago, in 1998. County Council has done some work towards finding a long term solution for its staff, forming a committee a couple of years…

Save our Prison Farm members betrayed by Feds

Written by  |  Wednesday, 14 March 2018 10:32  |  Published in Editorials
Just as relief was sweeping over Kingston at the news that prison farms would be reinstated, the federal government announced it did not plan to bring back the now famed Pen Herd that had been separated following the closures in 2010. Instead, Corrections Services Canada will be looking to develop goat milking operations, manned by inmates, that will see product going to the nearby Feihe plant to be turned into baby formula for the Chinese market instead of back into the prison system as had been the case before the farms were closed in 2011. Since the prison farms were dismantled under the Harper government, advocates have been steadfast in demonstrating, holding vigil every Monday night, and pushing at every turn to see what was…

The new normal – syrup season in a fluctuating climate

Written by  |  Wednesday, 07 March 2018 11:55  |  Published in Editorials
There are a range of syrup makers in our part of the world. Syrup is, at its core, a very simple process, a lot of home syrup makers are able to make enough for family and friends with a one time investment of anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on how they want to go about it. It is also a bigger business. Commercial syrup makers can invest in the hundreds of thousands and bring in extended family or paid labourers for several weeks for 10,000 + tap operations, reverse osmosis machines and high end tanks and evaporators. We have the whole range in our area, and from the most basic to the most sophisticated, they are all equally…
The Save our Prison Farms activists, a collection of farmers, prison rights activists, and community activists of various sorts from Kingston and the surrounding region, began fighting what looked like a doomed battle when the Federal Conservative government, under Stephen Harper, indicated they were bound and determined to close the prison farms in Kingston and other locations across the country. It was 2009, and the Conservatives were entrenched in power and unafraid of a bunch of rag tag protesters parading around Kingston with placards, blocking the entrance-way to prisons, and packing meeting halls. The protesters were doubly angry. They were angry that the farms were being shut down, and they were angry that the government was saying agriculture was a dead industry that had become…

The Ontario Conservatives, #Metoo and the media

Written by  |  Wednesday, 14 February 2018 11:08  |  Published in Editorials
Remember Patrick Brown. Way back in time, almost three weeks ago now, he was the leader of the Ontario Conservative Party, the Premier in waiting. The upcoming Ontario election was ‘his to lose’. And then he was gone, so gone. The Ontario Conservative Party has moved on, and is now fully immersed in an open war between its Conservative, moderate, and Ford wings. But there are still a number of commentators who remain in hand wringing mode over the fact that Mr. Brown was “tried, convicted, and sentenced” by a mere allegation of sexual harassment. There certainly have been a number of politicians and celebrities named as alleged bullies, harassers and abusers in recent months, and the accusations have had a devastating impact on their…

Reader supported news

Written by  |  Wednesday, 31 January 2018 13:19  |  Published in Editorials
When the North Frontenac News was established as a not-for-profit enterprise in 1971, its stated purpose was to knit the small isolated communities together north of Verona. There were other information sources about the world ‘out there’ but none that focused on local issues and celebrated the joys and quirks of people in tons such as Parham, Sharbot Lake, Godfrey, Mountain Grove and Cloyne. Forty seven years later the world has changed. The Frontenac News, now a for-profit, independent community newspaper, is delivered free of charge to all households in South, Central, and North Frontenac, Addington Highlands and Western Lanark. But our purpose remains. There are many ways, through radio, tv, and print, to find out what’s going on in the larger communities outside of…

Can you compare taxes between Frontenac municipalities? Maybe.

Written by  |  Wednesday, 17 January 2018 11:13  |  Published in Editorials
I have often wondered why the tax rates in the Frontenac townships vary so much, and why it is that residents living in my own township, Central Frontenac, pay a much higher tax rate than anyone else. It should be easy to compare tax rates in neighbouring townships in the same county, because they all have the same mix of responsibilities. Frontenac County has no roads department, the local townships pay for all road maintenance costs (except for Hwy 7) themselves. In Lanark and Lennox and Addington Counties for example, there have county roads, making county taxes higher and municipal taxes lower than in Frontenac. But when we look at the tax rates in Frontenac, it is rather alarming, certainly for a resident of Central…
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