Editorials

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…

Do the Ontario Conservatives really want us to be more like Quebec?

Written by  |  Thursday, 14 May 2015 02:01  |  Published in Editorials
That would be costly. I interviewed Randy Hillier on Monday about the new Ontario Conservative Party leader, Patrick Brown. He said Brown had stolen the show from Kathleen Wynne after Quebec Premier Couillard addressed the legislature early that morning and I should check out the media reports. Indeed, Patrick Brown managed to score a solid blow on Wynne at his very first opportunity, simply by congratulating the Premier of Quebec on his ability to both balance the Quebec budget and keep hydro rates low. The message Mr. Brown was not so subtly delivering was that hydro rates in Ontario are on the way up and the province has a budgetary deficit of almost $9 billion this year. There is a lot of history to hydro…

Scott Reid and baiting the left

Written by  |  Wednesday, 29 April 2015 23:47  |  Published in Editorials
It never fails. Whenever I see one the Scott Reid’s postcards in the mail, I think there will be a couple of extra letters to the editor to pick from next week, and I am rarely disappointed. After running the response letters there is the inevitable response from the pro-Scott Reid camp.Often Scott Reid’s information is on a controversial social topic and it takes a strong ideological position - the Conservative Party stance expressed in rather stark terms. It being an election year this year, and the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, the message this month was about JustinTrudeau and his widely reported response to the bombing from a year ago. At that time, Conservative politicians attacked Trudeau for being “soft on terrorism”. With all that has happened over the last year, that soft…

10 Signs of Spring

Written by  |  Wednesday, 15 April 2015 22:54  |  Published in Editorials
It's warm outside, not cold There is mud everywhere My road is flooded Where there is no flood, there are potholes All the messes outside from the fall are back, in spades Oh yeah, the geese are honking, the birds are chirping, the starlings are trying to nest all over my house, and the ducks and the herons are back. There are beavers swimming where my road used to be. Making maple syrup is a lot less fun than it was 2 weeks ago There are snowdrops in place of snow. I'm starting to cut wood for next winter.

What is it about wind?

Written by  |  Wednesday, 18 March 2015 19:38  |  Published in Editorials
Coincidentally, two power projects are being discussed this month at local councils. One is at the bottom edge of Frontenac County, near the border with the City of Kingston. Since it is a solar power field, little controversy is expected. The 106 acre site will end up being shielded from view by some vegetation and will silently produce up to 15 megawatts of power. By contrast, another project is being proposed at the far north western edge of Frontenac County and neighbouring Lennox and Addington County. Instead of being located in the fertile, sunny south, it is in the highlands of Vennachar and Denbigh. The population is a fraction of that in the south. There are a few dozen dwellings within a 20 km radius…

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…
 

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