Frontenac Paramedic services took some initiative a few years ago establishing paramedicine services, which involve making use of paramedic infrastructure and staff capacity to provide services aimed at preventing the kinds of catastrophic medical events that lead to 911 calls for service. To that end, with funding from the county and provincial grant money a wellness clinic in Marysville, on Wolfe Island, was established, and later visiting clinics at Diners clubs across the County have been set up. Now the province has established Paramedicine as an ongoing program and has tasked the Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN’s) with distributing funding to local paramedic services.
It’s all a bit confusing because the boundaries that the LHIN’s are using don’t correspond to our service boundaries,” said Frontenac Chief of Paramedic Services Paul Charbonneau.
While there is only $312,000 available for programming in the southeast LHIN territory, which includes 6 counties (Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Lanark, and Leeds Grenville) and the City of Kingston, $58,000 of that money must be allocated to Frontenac Paramedic Services to continue the programs that are already in place.
“We are glad of the guaranteed funding,” said Charbonneau, “and we will be preparing a submission for some new initiatives.”
One possibility is to set up a clinic in a social housing complex in the City of Kingston, where Frontenac Paramedic Services delivers service.
“One of the positive aspects of paramedicine for our paramedics is it can be a good fit for older paramedics,” he said.
Charbonneau is hoping Frontenac County will be able to secure $100,000 or so in funding out of the $362,000 that is available by designing highly effective programs for vulnerable population sectors in Kingston and Frontenac.
No user fees on K&P Traill
Last fall, Frontenac County Council entered into an agreement with the Eastern Ontario Traills Alliance (EOTA) to manage the soon to be completed K&P Traill between the southern border of the county and the trailhead in Sharbot Lake for an annual price of $400 per kilometre. The Tweed based Not-For-Profit Corporation manages a network of trails across Eastern Ontario, including the popular ATV oriented trails in North Frontenac. It has been very successful over the past ten years as an ATV tourism marketing and trail management agency. Most EOTA trail users pay annual trail fees, and the trails are motorised.
The K&P Trail is a hybrid, however. ATV’s are not permitted from Verona South and are permitted to the north.
The maintenance agreement with EOTA stipulated that no fees would be charged for the section of trail from Sharbot Lake to the South, but at a county budget meeting in November a discussion took place about the amount of funding that the County is spending on trails and some members of council argued that trails should be “self-sustainable”.
According to the staff account from that meeting “it was questioned if the County should start looking at charging a user fee as most other recreational areas such as Big Sandy Bay and other Trails charge a user fee. Subsequently, an action item was requested to have the Community Development Advisory Committee review the Trails Master Plan to look at including user fees”.
But in a report to Council from Clerk Janette Amini, the fact that a bylaw as passed establishing a no-fee contract, it would require a complicated set of procedures to unpack the contract in order to consider adding fees.
In response to Amini’s report, Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle, who speculated about a fee in the first place, did not comment.
South Frontenac Councilor John McDougall said “we can make it clear now to everyone that there will be no fee to use the trail.”