Editorials

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…

Election Year

Written by  |  Wednesday, 10 January 2018 12:36  |  Published in Editorials
The last time we all went to the polls was for the Federal election way back in the fall of 2015, when the 10 year old Steven Harper led Conservative government was tossed out in favour of the Liberals under Justin Trudeau. This year the 14.5 year run of the Ontario Liberals, during which time Dalton McGuinty was elected 3 times and current Premier Kathleen Wynne one time, will be on the line on June 7th. Riding redistribution, which came into effect federally in that 2015 election, will be mirrored at Queen’s Park after this coming election. Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington Conservative MPP Randy Hillier will be contesting the new Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston riding against Amanda Pulker-Mok of the Liberals, Anita Payne of the Green Party,…

2017, a year to be remembered — for me at least

Written by  |  Wednesday, 20 December 2017 14:40  |  Published in Editorials
It’s generally a good sign when you manage to last an entire year with any organization. This is particularly true in the news business. Last year at this time, I was just preparing to give notice at The Frontenac Gazette. It wasn’t any specific incident, just that things weren’t the same. Somehow, Jeff Green got wind of it and the next thing you know, we’re talking about who’s going to cover what. So far, so good. I wasn’t really into the ‘retirement’ idea anyway. After all, I can’t afford a winter residence down south. I have thought about writing more books. But none of my novels went anywhere and I can’t really see anybody paying good money to read about my thoughts on why Stratocasters…

Mixed emotions over the demise of an old foe

Written by  |  Wednesday, 29 November 2017 12:10  |  Published in Editorials
On Monday afternoon, I heard that the Frontenac Gazette/Kingston Heritage had shut down. Soon after, I found out that the entire newspaper landscape in Ontario has been dealt a blow. The two major players in the market had agreed to cease competing with each other in a bid to make both companies profitable, or at least to cut some losses. I have mixed feelings about losing the Gazette. On one positive side we have been battling it out with the Gazette for ads and stories for as long as I have been working at the News, both as an employee and an owner, so it’s kind of nice not to have to worry about what they are getting up to. And in business terms we…

Fun with numbers again

Written by  |  Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:07  |  Published in Editorials
Readers who get their news from sources other than this one and who have a keen eye for numbers, may notice that we are reporting an increase of 4.5% in the Frontenac County budget, while official releases from the County itself and reports in other papers will peg the increase at 3.9%. Are we looking at the same documents? Yes, we are. The numbers we use in the Frontenac News are provided to us by the Frontenac County treasury department and they are the same numbers members of Council see and anyone from the public can see as well by going to the frontenaccounty.ca website and navigating to the council agenda directory. The difference is one of interpretation. It is our policy to base our…

Remembrance Day

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 November 2017 17:19  |  Published in Editorials
For years I attended, and covered, Remembrance Day events. I always feel the emotions, the weight of loss, but never thought much about the political implications of the ceremonies. To me, we paid homage to the old soldiers who fought on our behalf in the wars of the distant past, the two World Wars in particular.But as time has gone on and the veterans from those wars are harder and harder to find, the ceremonies have taken on a different meaning for me. I know some people who argue that Remembrance Day is too much of a celebration of war and does not offer enough of a critique against the decision to go to war, but while I understand that line of reasoning, I think…

Council makes generous donation, with our money

Written by  |  Wednesday, 01 November 2017 16:17  |  Published in Editorials
Frontenac County Council has approved, in principle, a plan to donate $55,061 each year for the next ten years to the University Hospitals Foundation of Kingston, the fundraising arm of the Kingston General, Hotel Dieu, and Providence Care hospitals.This decision came about after two presentations by board members of the University Hospitals Foundation earlier this year. This was the final year of a previous 10 year $54,000 annual commitment by Frontenac County to the hospitals.To continue what was, in 2007 as it is now, a mistaken way to spend municipal tax dollars, is a bad decision that will essentially tie the hands of the councils that are elected in 2018 and 2022. Unlike every other decision made by Council as part of the budget deliberations,…
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