Editorials

South Frontenac Wastes an Opportunity

Written by  |  Friday, 03 February 2017 14:58  |  Published in Editorials
A number of well-meaning and reasonable letters have come in to the paper over the last few months about the decision South Frontenac Council made to change the way they charge residents for waste management. Instead of charging $125 per household as had been the practice, the cost of waste management is now being folded in with all other costs and applied to the tax rate. This makes the tax system simpler,  but it shifts the burden of paying for waste management to the higher valued properties. Owners of a home valued $100,000, if there are any left in South Frontenac at that value, used to pay the same amount for waste management as owners of homes valued at $400,000. Now they are paying 25%…

Cheery Thoughts on a Winters Day

Written by  |  Wednesday, 25 January 2017 12:20  |  Published in Editorials
South Frontenac and Frontenac County have both completed their budgets for 2017.  While it may not have been a picnic for either of them, they were both at a significant advantage when compared to what politicians in smaller, more remote townships will be facing over the next few weeks. Take the example of North Frontenac, which will certainly be hit with a monumental budget squeeze when they meet later this week to consider their 2017 budget. One of the factors at play is assessment. Any growth in North Frontenac due to new construction last year was offset by a drop in value for existing properties. In the most recent assessment cycle that was completed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation last year, property values in…

Sydenham to Sharbot Lake in Only Two and a Half Hours

Written by  |  Wednesday, 25 January 2017 12:18  |  Published in Editorials
Was anybody else stupid enough to be out driving around Tuesday night? I don’t usually write in the first person but for this brief report, I don’t have much else. Tuesday night was committee of the whole for South Frontenac Council. It was a productive meeting, a little long-winded for my taste, but knowing what the drive down through the mixed bag of stuff that falls from the sky was like, I left a little early. Not early enough it turns out. First, the drive to Tichborne was bad enough, almost an hour of essentially white-knuckles. And then, you guessed it, there was a train stopped in the crossing with all the bells and whistles going and a line-up of cars on each side.Now a…

Comings and goings

Written by  |  Wednesday, 11 January 2017 12:36  |  Published in Editorials
As we start a new year there are changes afoot with the News and across Frontenac County as well.First, readers of this paper will likely already have noticed a byline that is familiar to many but not in the pages of the Frontenac News. I have spent years sitting at the small press table at council meetings up and down the county trying to figure out how to coax Craig Bakay into a rant while we were working for different papers. It wasn’t that hard, as he is a pretty opinionated guy and he is not shy about sharing his opinion, especially on some of his pet topics (ie peeves), of which there are many. He also has a well earned understanding of the way…

Jule Koch – Brison 1951-2016

Written by  |  Wednesday, 21 December 2016 13:31  |  Published in Editorials
Last Thursday (December 15) Jule Koch died peacefully in her sleep at St. Mary’s by the Lake hospital in Kingston, two months after her 65th birthday. She took ill in late October with what she thought was Lyme’s disease, but found out on November 2nd that she had Leukemia. Treatments in mid and late November failed to halt the progress of the cancer.  A memorial service for her is set of Friday, December 23 at 3:00 at Sharbot Lake Pentecostal Church. A reception will follow at St. James Major Catholic Church Hall, also in Sharbot Lake. Many readers of this paper did not even know who Jule was. That was partly because a lot of what goes on at a newspaper and news website happens…

And the survey says ... (Part 2)

Written by  |  Wednesday, 07 December 2016 13:39  |  Published in Editorials
Last week, the governing Liberal Party of Canada received a comprehensive, detailed all party report on electoral reform which presents them with a set of options that they are not willing to undertake, including holding a referendum on electoral reform. In response, their representative to the special committee on electoral reform released a minority report which said that a referendum is not the way to go and that there is not enough time between now and the next election to put a new system in place. Therefore the promise made by Justin Trudeau in the election campaign of 2015,  “if we are elected to form government, this will be the last Canadian election that uses to first past the post electoral system,” cannot be kept.…

Randy Says He’s Sorry

Written by  |  Wednesday, 30 November 2016 15:56  |  Published in Editorials
Randy Hillier has said and done a lot since he stopped working as an electrician for the federal government, donned red suspenders and formed the Lanark Landowners Association (LLA). With the LLA he learned how to get attention, whether by driving tractors through the streets of Toronto or Ottawa, by ridiculing absurd regulations about sizing farm fresh eggs, and flouting deer hunting laws in Lanark County for local farmers.The LLA liked being politically incorrect, and Randy Hillier knew his audience well, and there were times when he said things that may have acceptable to some audiences but were frankly intolerant, unacceptable to the general public. Then there was the Dombrowsky email. As President of the LLA, Hillier emailed a photo of a dead deer with…

The survey says ...

Written by  |  Friday, 25 November 2016 13:41  |  Published in Editorials
I always love that line from the tv show where a family stands in order in front of a goofy host and tries to fill in a statement such as “Pasta is to spaghetti as pie is to ___? They give their answer and the hosts says, ... “and the survey says ...” I wonder who took that survey, where those hundred people came from. Imagine you are walking down the street and someone accosts you, asking what you think about the relationship between spaghetti, pasta, and pie. Do you run? Do you wave our hands in front of your face and cover your eyes? Or do you pause and think, should I say pumpkin? Coconut cream? Apple or cherry? Frontenac County and South Frontenac…

About that Elephant

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 November 2016 22:15  |  Published in Editorials
I was a bit distracted when putting the paper together last Tuesday. As the evening wore on the unease I had already been feeling due to matters close to home, began to mount and mount as the results of the US election rolled in. By 11:00 when layout was fully under way, it was clear that Donald Trump was likely to bet Hillary Clinton, and later it was confirmed. It was a shock, of course. I had been concerned about Clinton being not being as progressive force as is needed in times of change, but this was the worst possible outcome as far as I was concerned. But the US is not our country, and while a Trump Presidency carries implications for Canada, the whole…

Why Canada needs to be wary of President Hillary Clinton

Written by  |  Thursday, 13 October 2016 00:38  |  Published in Editorials
The noise from down south is deafening these days as Donald Trump is sinking in his own bloated ship of fools. That might all change, of course, but at this point it is unlikely and that is a good thing. I was surprised when the tape of Trump being Trump turned into such a game changer, however. I thought everyone knew what Trump is all about, and this would just be another bit of evidence, certainly not a game changer. At about the same time as the Trump tape was released, there was a Wiki-leaks release of emails from a senior Clinton adviser, which, it seemed to me at the time, would have done as much damage to her campaign as the Trump tape ended…

A matter of Trust

Written by  |  Thursday, 29 September 2016 07:45  |  Published in Editorials
When the K&P trail project was first being floated about 10 years ago, the fact that the section between Tichborne and Sharbot Lake is privately owned was discussed. The logic was to work from south to north, deal with all the complications along the way, and worry about that part when the time came. Well, the time came last week, and Frontenac County Council had to find some more money. Those landowners along Road 38 between Tichborne and Sharbot Lake all want to be paid for their land before they will turn it over to the county for the trail, and that is their right. About $80,000 had been set aside for this, and the county has already made deals to spend a lot more…

All Aboard!

Written by  |  Wednesday, 21 September 2016 16:04  |  Published in Editorials
Mystery Train. Slow Train Coming. Long Black Train. Morning Train. Night Train. Train to Paradise. Waitin' on a Train. Trains of no Return. There is an endless string of song lyrics that come to mind about the idea of a return of passenger rail service to the Highway 7 corridor that is being floated by VIA Rail. Trains make some of the best metaphors for life, and they tend to suggest things of the past, like those long-lost lovers who aren't coming back - gone forever as in “That train left the station” or “That train don't stop here any more”. All the reflections on trains in this region for as long as anyone can really remember have been through a rear-view mirror. We've done…

Time for some bold action from a county committee

Written by  |  Friday, 02 September 2016 14:12  |  Published in Editorials
Anyone who has been to the Frontenac County offices in what is known as “The Old House” will know that it is an apt name. The space still looks and feels like a house. There are large unused rooms, a round staircase reminiscent of Gone with the Wind, and small former bedrooms are divided to make up cramped desk space for workers. Accessibility is a major issue. The building was originally located in Frontenac County, in Kingston Township, when it was purchased in 1965 for $78,000. Frontenac County then built the Fairmount Home on the same property and the two buildings are connected by an annex. In 1998, Kingston Township joined with the City of Kingston, but the County maintained ownership of Fairmount Home and…

Adapting to a changing world

Written by  |  Friday, 02 September 2016 14:11  |  Published in Editorials
This August we are in the tenth consecutive month of above-record temperatures. Not only is it clear that global warming is real but it is also clear that climate change is characterized by vastly increased variability in resulting weather. Forest fires here, flooding rivers there and killing drought in unpredictable locations. Making good judgments becomes difficult when guidance from the past is made doubtful by strange new developments. In the face of this warming trend and the difficulty of predicting where unusual weather will happen, we try to operate with infrastructure and policies that were designed for the much less extreme climate and much less variable weather of the 1930's through 1950's. So culverts are too small and bridges are too low. They were designed…

The limits of municipal jurisdiction

Written by  |  Wednesday, 03 August 2016 22:35  |  Published in Editorials
It is no secret that North Frontenac's mayor, Ron Higgins, is convinced that installing wind turbines anywhere in North Frontenac would be a bad idea. Under his recommendation, North Frontenac Council declared itself a “unwilling host” at the first opportunity in the spring of 2015, before even hearing from proponents of an ill-fated project last year. Ever since, with explicit and consistent support from this council, Higgins has developed a profile as an anti-turbine municipal representative. His perspective on industrial turbines, as expressed through a growing media profile and on his own statements on twitter, have not stopped at opposing turbines. He is one of a number of rural politicians who are taking on the Ontario Green Energy Act. For North Frontenac, lining up against…
 

News From Across Frontenac

Click Here for More