Editorials

Frontenac County Council On The Brink

Written by  |  Thursday, 28 March 2013 17:11  |  Published in Editorials
Frontenac County Council had poked and prodded at their 2013 budget for a couple of months, and they had managed to get it to the point where county ratepayers would be paying no more than they did last year. The requisition to the townships was down by 0.34%. To get to this point, both Chief Administrative Officer Liz Savill and Treasurer Marian VanBruinessen had been told they could not hire extra staff to run their offices, as they had been requesting. So, in a sense it is not surprising that Warden Gutowski asked Council to pass the budget last week. The County needs to tell all of its funders, which include the City of Kingston and the Government of Ontario, as well as the four…

Editorial - It is time for a cooler head to prevail

Written by  |  Thursday, 13 December 2012 10:20  |  Published in Editorials
What can I say about the decision by Janet Gutowski to remain as warden of Frontenac County Council? On one hand she is fully within her legal rights to keep the position. While there has been a ‘gentleman’s’ agreement that the chain of office is to be passed on every year, that agreement was already dented, if not broken, a year ago. At that time North Frontenac Mayor Bud Clayton attempted to jump the queue, and he forced an election for the position of warden even though Gutowski was the deputy warden at the time and part of the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ until then had been that the deputy always gets the warden’s job. The councilors from Frontenac Islands and North Frontenac formed a voting block…

Editorial - How to Get Rid of A Mayor

Written by  |  Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:20  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green From a distance it has been a lot of fun watching the trials and tribulations of the City of Toronto and its outlandish Mayor Rob Ford. In the first instance, there was the outrage of the Toronto Star, whose editors still can't believe that the citizenry of Toronto refused to heed their unrelenting warnings by electing Ford in the first place. After that, courtesy of some of my old friends, who, judging from their Facebook posts, have become obsessed with every nuance of Mr. Ford's personality and political program, I have come to see the whole Rob Ford thing as a kind of small-town mayor issue set in a large city. The reaction to Ford is personal; it's as if everyone…

Editorial - How to Get Rid of A Mayor

Written by  |  Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:20  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green From a distance it has been a lot of fun watching the trials and tribulations of the City of Toronto and its outlandish Mayor Rob Ford. In the first instance, there was the outrage of the Toronto Star, whose editors still can't believe that the citizenry of Toronto refused to heed their unrelenting warnings by electing Ford in the first place. After that, courtesy of some of my old friends, who, judging from their Facebook posts, have become obsessed with every nuance of Mr. Ford's personality and political program, I have come to see the whole Rob Ford thing as a kind of small-town mayor issue set in a large city. The reaction to Ford is personal; it's as if everyone…

Editorial - Notes on pipeline 9

Written by  |  Thursday, 15 November 2012 10:18  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green One comment sticks in my mind from a meeting I attended last week about the ‘reversal’ of Enbridge oil Pipeline 9, which runs through our region. In the midst of his cautionary presentation about Enbridge, pipelines, and leaks, Adam Scott from Environmental Defence that the matter of Pipeline 9 would not normally be that urgent for members of the public. However, since the government of Canada has waived the requirement for an environmental assessment to be completed before approving changes in the operations of a pipeline, the public should be very concerned. The idea that no environmental assessment is needed for this project is staggering. Mr. Scott said that once the approval is granted, diluted bitumen (dilbit) from Alberta will be…

Premier Hudak, I presume - Editorial

Written by  |  Thursday, 18 October 2012 11:17  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green I have a theory that there is an eight-year "best before" date on governments in Canada. It comes from the fact that, quite apart from all of the machinations about independence and right/left splits that took place while I was growing up in Quebec, the provincial governments always lasted eight years or two trips to the polls. It was a regular pattern. We threw the bums out, then four years later, just as the warts were starting to show in the formerly fresh-faced government, we reluctantly gave them a second chance. Four years later we threw the bums out again and often elected the first set of bums all over again. Ontario politics haven’t followed exactly the same pattern. Until the…

Editorial: Québec question might just outlive me

Written by  |  Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:13  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green As I have looked in a cursory way at the results of the Québec election. it occurs to me that my own life has been measured out by the Québec question, and that the future of Québec in or out of Canada will likely not be resolved until I'm long gone. I was born in 1960, almost 52 years ago, a few months after the beginning of the Lesage era in Québec politics, a period of six years that has been dubbed “The Quiet Revolution”. When I was a kid there were mailbox bombings in the City of Montreal, acts of violence attributed to the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) and in 1970, I was briefly warned against going to…

Editorial: I’d rather be fishing, too

Written by  |  Thursday, 26 July 2012 11:10  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by  Jeff Green Let’s see. You have a chance to go lake trout fishing, and maybe fish for arctic grayling as well, at a remote, fly-in location on Great Slave Lake in the middle of the Arctic summer, or you can go to a Frontenac County Council meeting. I wonder what I would do? No, I don’t wonder what I would do. Were I mayor of South Frontenac or the Queen of England, I’d be out on the lake in a flash. I’ve been on Great Slave Lake in July and I’ve been at county council meetings in July, and I can attest to the fact that Great Slave Lake is an infinitely better place to be. That said, I think Gary Davison made…

Editorial: Musings on too hot a day

Written by  |  Thursday, 19 July 2012 11:09  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green I resisted the temptation to write an editorial about the hot weather, because I know nothing more about the heat than anyone else. Then again, if knowing more about a topic than others know is a prerequisite for writing about it, I would probably write about one editorial every five years. Nontheless, I have two short items this week that might be semi-topical if not semi-tropical Road closing will wreak havoc on commuters, tourists, next week Central Frontenac Township will be re-routing all northbound and southbound traffic between Parham and Sharbot Lake to Long Lake Road between midnight on Tuesday, July 24 and 2:00 pm on Thursday, July 26. That will add at least 30 minutes each way for commuters between…

Editorial: Garbage – what's a township to do?

Written by  |  Friday, 01 June 2012 11:06  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green Everybody is up in arms. Well not everybody, but some people - and those people are really up in arms - about the new clear bag garbage system in Central Frontenac. People have said a lot about the clear bags: they are unworkable; they are an invasion of privacy; it is unfair that the old bag tags can't be used any more. The whole fiasco demonstrates that the township is out of touch with the people. Why would a township council impose something like this on its residents? There is a reason. The recycling rates in Central Frontenac are abysmal. They are very low compared to all of its neighbors, and the township has been facing pressure from the provincial government…

You can’t do what Clayton did

Written by  |  Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:05  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green When Bud Clayton was elected mayor of North Frontenac I asked him if he was going to step down from the Pine Meadow Nursing Home management committee. He said that as soon as the shovel was in the ground for the rebuild of Pine Meadow, he would be resigning from the committee. Eighteen months later the shovel still isn’t in the ground, although that should happen within a few days. The reason that I asked Clayton about this is because Pine Meadow provides service for residents of North Frontenac, and the mayor of North Frontenac would be wise to sever ties with specific agencies that have a direct relationship with the township. I took it that he understood this when he…

Editorial: Don't Ask MNR for a Straight Answer

Written by  |  Thursday, 26 April 2012 11:01  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green A couple of weeks ago, we ran an article called “Deputy Minister sees diminished role for MNR”. The article was based on the transcript of a video statement by David O’Toole, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, that was viewed by staff throughout the ministry in the wake of the provincial budget, a budget that has now been approved by the Ontario legislature. The statement raised a number of questions, and I attempted to get some clarity from the ministry. I waited seven days, but when I received the response last week from the communications department at the ministry, I’m afraid I found it less than forthcoming about the ministries real plans. One of the key questions I asked was what…

Editorial: Occupy Lanark

Written by  |  Thursday, 26 January 2012 05:09  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green When the Occupy movement, as it has come to be known, sprung up in New York as a kind of North American response to the Arab Spring last summer, I, for one, looked at it as an urban phenomenon. Even the slogan about the 1% who have so much and the 99% who have so much less is a bit of an urban concept to me, because while there are rich and poor in our rural communities I don’t see the kind of tension that would spring up into a movement. The difference between rich and poor is only one of the differences we have to bridge in rural communities, and we are more likely to look at an urban/rural split.…

Policing: What do we get for the money?

Written by  |  Thursday, 19 January 2012 05:07  |  Published in Editorials
Editorial by Jeff Green About once every 12 to 18 months, Inspector Gerry Salisbury, the Commander of the Lanark County Detachment of the OPP, makes an appearance at a meeting of Central Frontenac Council. Each time, he brings a set of statistics about the activities of the Sharbot Lake sub-detachment, and each time he makes the same commitment, to come to meetings on a quarterly basis to keep the townships in the loop. Then he leaves. Each year the OPP requisitions more money from Central and North Frontenac for what is called “status quo” policing, a system whereby the OPP determines what level of policing is required and also determines how much the policing will cost. This year the increase is about $60,000 for Central…

Editorial:The Good Life

Written by  |  Thursday, 22 December 2011 07:08  |  Published in Editorials
The Good Life Editorial by Jeff Green Normally every year we print 50 issues of the Frontenac News and then take two weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s. Every few years, because of the way the weeks line up, we put out a 51st paper before having our annual holiday. That’s what happened this year, and although you wouldn’t think it should matter that much if you add one week to 50, it makes a psychological difference. When I trudged down to Glenburnie for the December Frontenac County Council meeting last Wednesday morning I was certainly feeling it. It was the day after issue number 50, and my body wanted to be on holiday, but I had no one to blame but myself for…
 

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