Editorials

What is this municipal election all about – part 1 (South Frontenac)

Written by  |  Wednesday, 10 October 2018 13:54  |  Published in Editorials
I spent the better part of the last week talking to candidates for mayor and council in South Frontenac. The profiles that resulted from those conversations start on page 6 of this edition. I woud first like to thank all of the people I talked to. They were honest and forthright about where they think the township is going and the role that the township should be playing. A couple of divisions emerged and depending on how the election pans out the township could be headed in a different direction. One of the divisions is over spending. All of the candidates are committed to controlling spending on existing operations, while maintaining services, paving roads, and so onw. But a number thought that the township needs…

'Cannabis free' is not a viable option for townships

Written by  |  Wednesday, 03 October 2018 11:18  |  Published in Editorials
The Ontario government has given a bit more time for the incoming municipal councils to think about whether they will permit cannabis retailers to set up shop within their jurisdiction. At first, they were faced with a decision in December, at their first or second meeting, but that has been pushed back to January. Still, it has given candidates for council a different kind of question to answer than they are normally used to during the municipal election campaign. It is simple on the surface; do you think your township should allow cannabis to be sold within its borders? But since it is a yes or no question, it tends to pack an extra punch. When asked at all candidates meetings, it tends to elicit…

Tay Valley debacle colours election

Written by  |  Monday, 24 September 2018 15:34  |  Published in Editorials
Disagreements and personality conflicts among members of municipal councils tend to remain in the background, coming out more often through innuendo and off the cuff remarks, delivered under people’s breaths or away from public view at all. The same is true for disagreements or personality conflicts between members of municipal council and township staff, and in that case there are a set of rules, laid out in the Municipal Act of Ontario, that limit what municipal councillors can say to and about township staff members. The so-called “chain of command” says that all comments or questions council members have about how township operations are carried out should be addressed only to the Chief Administrative Officer. In practice, things tend to be a little different, especially…

Is Sydenham on the wane as the centre of the South Frontenac universe?

Written by  |  Wednesday, 19 September 2018 09:53  |  Published in Editorials
There was a 100% increase in the number of stoplights in Frontenac County when the new light was switched on at Road 38 and the Wilton Road in Harrowsmith a couple of weeks ago. Both of the stoplights are located in South Frontenac. There is one on Perth Road in Inverary, along with the Harrowsmith one. The inauguration of the new light was front page news last week in our paper, so it must be a big deal. The last new stop light to be put up in our readership area was in Northbrook on Hwy. 41, in Lennox and Addington County, about ten years ago and it was front page news for us as well. It’s becoming a bit of an epidemic. But consider…

The Limestone School Board trustee election just got a lot more interesting

Written by  |  Thursday, 13 September 2018 09:27  |  Published in Editorials
(The following has been edited since being published in the print version of the Frontenac News on September 13, to include statements from PaulaMurray, the chair of the Board of Trustess with the Limestone Board) Eleven candidates for Limestone School Board Trustee, including one in South Frontenac, have signed on the #TRUSTee hashtag campaign, joining a call for more open communication and an end to what advocates call a muzzling of trustees when they assume their roles with the Limestone District School Board. Tom Mahoney, a sitting trustee from one of the Kingston districts, has become the lightening rod around which the movement for more open-ness has attained a focus. Mahoney is a one term trustee who is not seeking re-election. Indeed, he might actually…

One frivolous concern about the Ford government, and a more ominous one.

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 August 2018 12:31  |  Published in Editorials
The last time beer cost a dollar in Ontario, the price of beer was higher than it is today. Doug Ford’s “buck-a-beer” promise from the election campaign last spring had nothing to do with the beer market, fairness, or anything like that, but it had everything to do with promoting nostalgia for a simpler time. A time that, it turns out, never existed. The last time beer sold for a dollar a bottle in Ontario for what used to be called domestic brands, was in 1992. With slow but steady inflation over the last 26 years, a 1992 dollar had the buying power of $1.60 in 2018 currency. A similar brand of beer today costs about $1.38, a 32-cent saving for the 2018 consumer. The…

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…
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