Editorials

A Year to Celebrate Frontenac County and Reveal its Weakness

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 December 2015 17:07  |  Published in Editorials
This year in the paper, we looked backwards many times, running a year-long series of articles to mark the 150th anniversary of Frontenac County. Many of the articles, which will continue into 2016, were based on interviews with people from our communities who made their lives in this part of the world when it was a different world. At that time electricity was just coming in; communication infrastructure was just being developed; the world they lived in was smaller. But major global events, such as world wars, had an impact on their lives, and in the 1930s, people from all over Canada trudged up to meager farms near the K&P and CP railroad lines looking for a meal or a day's work. They came from…

The 2% Budget

Written by  |  Wednesday, 02 December 2015 19:26  |  Published in Editorials
This week South Frontenac passed their 2016 budget with a 2.00% increase in taxes. That sounds pretty reasonable. But when you look at the budget summary you see some other numbers. The first number that I look at with these budgets is the “levy to ratepayers”. That is the total amount of money that will be collected from the ratepayers In South Frontenac the number is about $16.5 million, up from about $15.5 million in 2015, an increase of 6.66%. How then, do we get 2.00% A 2.00 increase in the levy to ratepayers would mean a budget of $15.5 million, $700,000 less than the one that was approved on Tuesday night. That extra money is going to come from growth. South Frontenac's finance department…

On Pine Meadow funding

Written by  |  Wednesday, 25 November 2015 18:57  |  Published in Editorials
Two weeks ago, after years of fruitless requests, there was a chance that Frontenac County would approve a $105,750 grant, over 10 years, to support a capital project at Pine Meadow Nursing Home. The home is not located in Frontenac County. It is owned by a not-for-profit corporation and run by a volunteer management committee. However it has a unique connection to Frontenac County. A member of North Frontenac Council is appointed to the committee that oversees the home. Pine Meadow was built in the 1990s with the financial and volunteer support of groups and individuals from the former Kaladar Township in Lennox and Addington and Barrie Township in Frontenac County. That community support has remained constant ever since. Barrie Township (now ward 1- North…

Of Power Failures and Saying Goodbye

Written by  |  Thursday, 29 October 2015 08:30  |  Published in Editorials
It has been a strange week here at the News. A Tuesday power failure certainly put a kink in the works. Seven hours sitting around waiting for the power to come back so we could put the paper together was not exactly part of our plan. We attempted to fire up two different generators. The first one ran smoothly but did not put any power out. The second one certainly put out power, but just as the computers began kicking into life, one of the surge protector power bars popped, and seconds later sparks started flying out of another one. We shut the beast down and decided to wait it out. Some other odd things happened as well, nothing major, just enough to throw us…

Winners and losers in the 2015 election

Written by  |  Wednesday, 21 October 2015 20:09  |  Published in Editorials
It is not exactly news now that the biggest winner in the 2015 election was the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau, who have been given the right to push through their agendas without consulting any other party, even though they received less than 40% of the popular vote. Does that sound familiar? Locally, Scott Reid has won a sixth term in office in the new Lanark Frontenac Kingston (LFK) riding with a comfortable 48% of the vote. Adding Mississippi Mills and the portion of the City of Kingston north of the 401 to the riding in exchange for Lennox and Addington seems to have made little difference. The change did create an opening for the Liberals in the new Hastings Lennox and Addington riding, however,…

This time seems different, for what it is worth

Written by  |  Thursday, 08 October 2015 08:25  |  Published in Editorials
It would be a mistake to take the pulse of an election campaign, particularly one in a geographically diverse riding such as the new Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston riding, based on the tenor of a single meeting held in one of its corners. The riding is actually even larger, in a sense, than its wide boundaries would indicate. There is no community connection between Sydenham and Almonte, for example. Sydenham connects to Kingston, Toronto, Leeds Grenville, Lennox and Addington Counties, the 401 and Lake Ontario. Almonte connects to Ottawa, Montreal, Renfrew County, the Ottawa River and the 417. There is little or no overlap and if you ask people in Sydenham where Almonte is or vice versa you might as well be asking them where Pointe-au-Pic is. So,…

Time to focus on the election

Written by  |  Thursday, 01 October 2015 07:56  |  Published in Editorials
It's a stretch to say that election fever is about to grip the new Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston riding, but after going door to door for two months and appearing at dozens of events, the candidates are certainly campaign hardened. The rest of us have been enjoying some pretty good late summer weather, not too concerned with election issues. But like the buzz from a persistent mosquito, the election has been an unpleasant distraction from time to time. Now that, finally, voting day is almost within sight - we have Thanksgiving first after all - we need to pay it some attention. There are meetings scheduled this week and next to help us do just that. One was held last night at the Sydenham Legion, sponsored by the…

Do we have an election race in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston?

Written by  |  Wednesday, 09 September 2015 23:47  |  Published in Editorials
With three parties locked in the national polls, the outcome of next month’s election is clearly in doubt. Will the Conservatives pull out of their August slump and foment enough doubt in voters’ minds about the alternatives to return them to power? Will one of the other two parties pull ahead and put together their own alternative government? These are all open questions at this point, and in addition it looks as if it will be in Ontario where the break will come. All of the other regions of the country seem to be headed in a clear direction, towards the Liberals in the Maritimes, the NDP in Quebec and BC and the Conservatives on the Prairies. Ontario is not so easy to read, except…

Federal election: Angst in August

Written by  |  Wednesday, 05 August 2015 21:47  |  Published in Editorials
Thinking about an October 19 vote in early August is like worrying about your wood supply on the hottest day of the summer. You know winter will come and you know you didn't get enough wood cut last spring, but it would be crazy to fire up the chain saw because it is just too hot, so why not go for a swim instead? We know there is an election campaign underway nonetheless. The party leaders are wearing suits instead of t-shirts and are holding meetings in halls instead of setting up photo-ops and rib-fests and community barbeques. But isn't it too hot for this? Isn't summer too short too waste any of it on politics? I believe I speak for supporters of all parties…

Odds and sods as Flinton decision day nears

Written by  |  Thursday, 16 July 2015 12:38  |  Published in Editorials
A lot has been written and said about the proposals for wind turbines in Addington Highlands and North Frontenac. Most of the strongest, and certainly the loudest, points have been made by those who oppose the very idea of wind turbines in the region. One of the reasons for this is that the two companies that are involved have made their pitches at meetings and directly to Council, whereas the opposition has been making their case to the public in order to bring pressure to bear on council from the outside. Since North Frontenac made a pre-emptive decision on the matter in early June, Addington Highlands Council has become the main focus of the lobbying efforts. This pressure was apparent at the AH Council meeting…

It's coming 'round the bend – Flinton Community Jamboree

Written by  |  Thursday, 16 July 2015 12:36  |  Published in Editorials
The Flinton Community Jamboree, originally The Flinton Country Bluegrass Jamboree, is all set for another successful weekend with three days of non-stop entertainment from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2 at the Township Rec Centre. This year will mark the 11th consecutive festival, which was originally started by Donna, Duane and Willard Thibault in order to raise the money to build a roof over the skating rink at the Flinton Township Hall. The Jamboree has fully established itself since then, growing more and more popular each year, with last year having over 225 trailers in attendance. The festival has changed hands from the Thibaults to new chairman, Andy Anderson. This change has allowed the Thibaults to sit back and enjoy the jamboree after years…

Verona Still Reeling From Tragic Car Crash

Written by  |  Thursday, 09 July 2015 11:39  |  Published in Editorials
Everywhere in the Sydenham High School catchment area, the communities are still reeling from the car crash that happened on Rutledge Road at 10:45 at night on June 16. The crash took two lives and left Verona teen Tyler Parr in a fight for his life, a fight he is, thankfully, starting to win. In the village of Verona, where Parr and his best friend Kevin Grant, were raised, it's as if a fog rolled in as news spread on the following morning, a fog that has lingered. Kevin Grant, from Bellrock, and Abigail Sutherland, from Kingston, both died as the result of the accident. When police informed Carl and Laura Grant on that terrible night that they needed to go to Kingston General Hospital…

The Duel Over Wind

Written by  |  Wednesday, 01 July 2015 15:24  |  Published in Editorials
In recent weeks, we've had some interesting debates around our office about wind turbines in North Frontenac and Addington Highlands. To settle matters, we settled on a duel. Jonas Bonnetta has written a column opposing wind turbines, and I wrote one supporting them. Here they are, in alphabetical order by last name  - Jeff Green The No Vote by Jonas Bonetta Definition of BRIBE: money or favour given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust. It's difficult to describe Nextera's “community vibrancy fund” as anything but a bribe. They are offering cold, hard cash to Reeve Hogg and his fellow councillors in exchange for a letter of support saying Addington Highlands supports Nextera's bid to install 50-100…

Ranked voting could be a game changer

Written by  |  Thursday, 04 June 2015 00:46  |  Published in Editorials
Municipalities in Ontario will soon have the option to switch voting systems and adopt ranked voting. The impact of this on local municipal elections would likely be negligible, but if the system is applied to provincial or federal elections it would be a big deal indeed. Ranked voting is not particularly complicated, and unlike other proposed voting reforms it would not change the way legislatures or parliaments are made up. The ridings would remain intact, and voters would be electing local MP's or MPP's just as they do now. The only difference would be that instead of marking an x next to the name of one candidate, voters would rank the candidates. Their favourite would get a 1, second favourite a 2, and so on.…

Sydenham High’s Wild Parsnip Bed

Written by  |  Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:35  |  Published in Editorials
When the Sydenham high school addition was completed last year, part of the structure included an imposing stepped concrete retaining wall on the west side, looming over Mill Street. The three-foot deep terraces were filled with earth and planted. Landscaping is the last step in a construction project, when time and money are usually running short. In my experience this often leads to compromises in quality and execution, regardless of what the original plan may have been. By the end of last summer some of the plants had flourished, especially the grasses. But it was immediately apparent that the earth they were set in had not been the good quality sterilized potting soil and compost that an investment in a new planting deserves. Instead the…
 

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