Editorials

Highway robbery in Glenburnie

Written by  |  Wednesday, 25 February 2015 21:58  |  Published in Editorials
For about a year, and certainly since the most recent municipal election, Frontenac County has been a relaxed, even docile place. That might change. In a decision last week, six council members, who represent 42% of the population, out-voted two members who represent 58% of the population. The decision, about planning services offered under contract to the three smaller Frontenac townships amounts to a cash benefit for residents of those three townships at the expense of residents from the fourth, which is South Frontenac. The amount of money involved is not really significant. What is more important is the fact that South Frontenac Council, which is already wary of the way the county operates, will have no choice but to take what happened as a…

Official Plan battle may define Frontenac County

Written by  |  Wednesday, 18 February 2015 22:14  |  Published in Editorials
One thing that North, South and Central Frontenac all have in common is lakes. There are large and small lakes everywhere and in between there are more creeks and swamps than patches of land. Now those waterways are binding the townships in opposition to the Province of Ontario. The three townships, and Frontenac County itself, all are or soon will be at loggerheads with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs over two provisions in their respective Official Plans. Official Plans are deathly dry documents but they do provide the basis for all the local rules that anyone who wants to do something as simple as build a shed or expand their front deck is obliged to adhere to. Since just about all the economic development in…

Groundhog Day should be banned in Canada – Winter is here

Written by  |  Wednesday, 11 February 2015 23:03  |  Published in Editorials
I understand that the tourism department of the Village of Wiarton counts on Groundhog Day as the prime branding event of the year, but when you compare that lost opportunity to the cost of Goundhog Day on our health care system, the calculation is lopsided to say the least First things first. February is a winter month in Canada, even in relatively warm southern Canada regions such as ours. This is not a matter of debate. We all hold winter festivals in February, such as the two this coming weekend in Frontenac County. We skidoo, we ski, we snowshoe, we shovel, we empty ash cans, fill stoves and carry in wood in February. On a clear day it is beautiful and sunny and cold, on…

Remembering old times on a winter's day

Written by  |  Thursday, 05 February 2015 07:43  |  Published in Editorials
As I sat last week in the well-appointed new council chambers for Frontenac County Council (aka the Rotary Auditorium of Fairmount Home), waiting for Warden Dennis Doyle to be ushered in by the county clerk to preside over a civilised, if pretty boring meeting, I remembered a very different January meeting from long ago; well, two years ago to be exact. That meeting took place in another beautiful room, a much smaller one, at the other end of the horseshoe-shaped building that houses the Fairmount Home and Frontenac County offices. The council was meeting for the first time after the warden of the day, Janet Gutowski, had informed her colleagues that she was not going to follow the long-established tradition whereby the warden resigns after…

Looking forward to 2015

Written by  |  Thursday, 18 December 2014 01:07  |  Published in Editorials
This is our final issue of the year, and we hope you enjoy the seasonal content, colourful drawings and Christmas greetings in it. Even though we are taking our annual two-week break from publishing, we have lots in the works for 2015 and would like to give you a heads up as to what is coming. We launched a new version of Frontenacnews.ca, and because it was built using contemporary site software as opposed to software from 2000, we are planning to bring more capacity to the site next year, including more frequent updates to content, video and an enhanced business directory and events section. We will also work to make more use of Facebook and Twitter to connect with readers and link to content…

Change is afoot

Written by  |  Wednesday, 26 November 2014 23:47  |  Published in Editorials
A few weeks ago there was a municipal election, as some of us vaguely remember. However, because of the way things are set up by the province, the election is followed by a bit of a dead zone, a month or so when the soon-to-be-former councils continue to meet as the new council members wait in the wings. In early December that will all change and the full implications of the October elections will start to be felt. The changes that are coming are vast. Of the 16 council members in South and Central Frontenac, 12 will be new. The mayor-elects in both townships are new as well, although both Ron Vandewal (SF) and Frances Smith (CF) have significant municipal experience. While four of the…

Poverty is no one's friend

Written by  |  Thursday, 20 November 2014 09:36  |  Published in Editorials
An article we ran last week about families facing financial issues as winter approaches has engendered vigorous and varied responses from readers. Because the article focussed in part on two cases of people who are struggling, the responses have included offers of help as well as questions about the details of the particular cases. The response to the article also raises questions about what supports are available in our region and how they can be accessed, and about how sufficient the social safety net in rural Frontenac and Lennox and Addington is. These will be explored in the paper over the next few months, particularly in the context of a new program coming on stream in the new year to address the needs of individuals…

The numbers tell a story

Written by  |  Wednesday, 12 November 2014 23:28  |  Published in Editorials
It has occurred to me over the years that there is an office in Sharbot Lake occupied by about 18 people who do the administrative work for Central Frontenac, a jurisdiction that has 4,000 houses and somewhere around 4,500 full-time residents, and probably about as many seasonal residents. There is another office located between Ardoch and Plevna. Eighteen or so people work in that office and do the administrative work for North Frontenac, a township that has about 3,500 households and 1,900 permanent residents and about three times as many seasonal residents. By contrast there are about 24 people working at the South Frontenac Township office in Sydenham. South Frontenac has about 10,000 houses, 18,000 permanent residents and about 7,000 seasonal residents. My first question…

Fractured Limestone

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 October 2014 23:23  |  Published in Editorials
The most interesting aspect of the 2014 municipal election in Frontenac County and Addington Highlands thus far has been the races for Limestone School Board Trustee. In the Township of South Frontenac, the election has become bitter and personal thanks to the arrival of Kingstonian Lindsay Davidson onto the campaign scene, where she is doing battle with incumbent Suzanne Ruttan. (see candidate profiles and video at http://www.frontenacnews.ca/south-frontenac-municipal-election-2014) Essentially, Davidson is calling Ruttan a puppet of the school board's senior administration. Ruttan voted to close two schools in Kingston and build a new school at an as yet undetermined location. Davidson, whose son attends one of those schools, Kingston Collegiate (KCVI), sat on the committee that was set up to look at the future of secondary…

Bud Clayton – one memory

Written by  |  Wednesday, 03 September 2014 22:33  |  Published in Editorials
One of the sad parts of Bud Clayton's passing this week won't hit for another year or so. When the Pine Meadow Nursing Home redevelopment project is complete and the ribbon is cut, he won't be there to share in the accomplishment along with a handful of other people who wouldn't let the project fail, even though it took over 10 years of strategising, cajoling and lobbying to get it to the building stage. Funnily enough, in all the time I covered Bud Clayton's political career, it was the way he handled a funding issue over Pine Meadow while he was mayor of North Frontenac that led to the strongest attack I ever launched against him. And the way he handled that attack told me…

Marilyn Crawford made a difference

Written by  |  Thursday, 28 August 2014 08:09  |  Published in Editorials
Over the weekend, Marilyn Crawford died after a battle with cancer. From what I've been told, she had been dealing with cancer for several years, but apparently was able to do some travelling with her husband and co-conspirator, Buddy. For those who don't remember, she was a founding member of the Bedford Mining Alert and a major force in the revamping of the Ontario Mining Act as it is applied in Southern Ontario. She went on to become an activist for justice in mining, particularly the impacts of mining on women around the world, as a board member and co-chair of Mining Watch Canada in Ottawa. The truly amazing thing about changes to the Ontario Mining Act, which came about a few years ago, is…

Policing Costs Will Rise, Details to Follow

Written by  |  Wednesday, 20 August 2014 12:28  |  Published in Editorials
In North and Central Frontenac there are two police officers scheduled to cover policing needs at all times. In the daytime they sometimes patrol in two cars and at night they double up in one vehicle. The same level of service is provided in Tay Valley. In South Frontenac, where there is a policing contract, the service level is a bit higher. The police who serve all these communities also spend a lot of time working directly for the Province of Ontario by covering Highway 7 and Highway 401, which are not within the jurisdiction of the townships. These levels of service are not changing, but what is changing is how much people will be charged for policing on their property tax bills. Ever since…

A leopard is a leopard

Written by  |  Thursday, 17 July 2014 01:59  |  Published in Editorials
The published photo of Kathleen Wynne greeting Dalton McGuinty at the Ontario legislature with open arms on the day of the swearing in of her new government, coupled with McGuinty being quoted as saying the recent election was a vindication of his time in office, was a bit hard to take. After saying “I am not McGuinty; we are a new party, we will rule differently” from the day of her ascendance to party leadership until the day of the election 14 months later, Kathleen Wynne's smile in that photo had a Cheshire cat quality to it. Politicians are a cynical lot. They play a hard game of front page image control and backroom deals and counter deals, and Kathleen Wynne has turned out to…

Pride in Canada

Written by  |  Thursday, 03 July 2014 10:46  |  Published in Editorials
Far be it from me to praise the City of Toronto, under any circumstances. But I have to make an exception. Last week the City hosted the World Pride conference, which culminated in a parade that was attended by 2 million people. Compared with all of the difficulties that result from hosing just 8 world leaders a couple of years ago, by all accounts World Pride was a roaring success. We live in a time where nations as diverse as Russia, Uganda, and others, have ramped up institutional and legal persecution of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in recent months. LGBT people have faced persecution to the point of death in the most extreme cases for no other reason than their sexuality for centuries…

What came first, the sustainability or the resiliency?

Written by  |  Thursday, 22 May 2014 08:41  |  Published in Editorials
... if something has a lot of resiliency it is more likely to be sustainable, but even things that are very resilient are not always sustainable over time. Then again, how sustainable can something be if it is not resilient? When push comes to shove, is it better to push than it is to shove, or not ...? All of these questions, as fascinating as they are, point to a debate that is raging in sustainability circles and even at the Frontenac County Advisory Committee on Sustainability. You would think that the one thing that the committee would agree about is sustainability, but you would be wrong. Members of the committee have been taken aback, as have others, with the ubiquity of the word sustainability.…
 

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