Bud Clayton dies

Bud Clayton dies

Written By: Jeff Green | Published: September-02-2014 | Category: NORTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: government, Municipal

North Frontenac Mayor and Frontenac County Warden, Bud Clayton, died on Labour Day, 2014. Clayton took ill while attending a conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario in London, Onta...

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Frontenac County Warden Hospitalized in London

Frontenac County Warden Hospitalized in London

Written By: Jeff Green | Published: August-28-2014 | Category: FRONTENAC COUNTY
Tagged Under: Municipal

North Frontenac Township mayor, Bud Clayton, who is also serving as warden of Frontenac County this year, remained in the Intensive Care Unit at the London Health Sciences Centre after falling ill ear...

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Crowds flourish at local fairs

Crowds flourish at local fairs

Written By: Julie Druker | Published: August-28-2014 | Category: CENTRAL FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Parham, Maberly, Arts & Culture

Locals and tourists took advantage of the sunny weekend weather to take in the sights and sounds of two traditional fairs that are both long past their 100th birthdays. On August 23 the 132nd annual ...

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Ardoch Lake Development Plan Faces Hurdles

Ardoch Lake Development Plan Faces Hurdles

Written By: Jeff Green | Published: August-28-2014 | Category: NORTH FRONTENAC
Tagged Under: Ardoch, environment, Municipal

Ever since the Ardoch Lake Development Corporation began planning to develop lots on a large section of Ardoch Lake about five years ago, there has been keen public interest in the project, mainly fro...

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Marilyn Crawford made a difference

Marilyn Crawford made a difference

Written By: Jeff Green | Published: August-28-2014 | Category: Editorials
Tagged Under: People

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 he...

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Official opening of L&A County Museum and archives kicks off 150th celebrations

Close to 80 guests attended the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly expanded L...

Passing on the legacy at W.A. Robinson and Associates

At a special ribbon cutting ceremony outside of the recently renovated W.A. Robinson and Associates ...

NFCS Community BBQ

On August 21, staff of Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) put on their annual community fa...

The Abrams Brothers attract a crowd at Snow Road

It was not only the brothers, John and James, but three generations of the Abrams family who enterta...

North of 7 Community Day on September 6

North of 7 Community Day on September 6 The brainchild of ecologist Gray Merriam of the Frontenac S...

Drew goes over the top

Aided by a donation of over $5,000 from a group called Groupies.com Community, Drew Cumpson's Indieg...

Riding the rails in Battersea

Keeping the steam engine heritage alive There is a small, rough dirt road next to the pristine Batt...

Sharbot Lake Lions Bottle Drive

Sharbot Lake and District Lions members Dave and Dawn Hansen along with Lions President Bill Pyle we...

Touch football a way of life for Sydenham man and three sons

Rob Moyse started playing high school football as a student at Smiths Falls High School in the 1970s...

2 Horses, 6 Goats: Where Do We Go From Here?

Last week, Central Frontenac Council decided to stay an order to remove two miniature horses from a ...

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Trillium funding means new program for Land O’ Lakes Community Services

Thanks to an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, LOLCS, along with other community partners, is developing a Child and Youth Transportation p...

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ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS

Addington Highlands Council -Nov 19/12

Unmaintained Road Request “My pick and shovel are wearing out,” said Erroll Ruth of Mallory Lake as he presented a petition to council aski...

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CENTRAL FRONTENAC

Parham Fair Highlights

 By Jeff Green & Julie Druker Photo: Parham Idol winner, Bram Hazelton Debra Smith of the Parham Fair Board had an idea, and with...

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NORTH FRONTENAC NEWS

North Frontenac Council - Apr 29/14

North Frontenac Council - Apr 29/14

North Frontenac passes budget amid looming OPP cost crisis After several months of budget-crunching sessions between staff and council, North Frontenac managed to square the circle - almost, coming up with a 2014 budget that established a reserve for long-term infrastructure whi...

North Frontenac Council - Apr 8/14

North Frontenac tax levy to go up by 3% Most of increase devoted to long-term needs While the levy to ratepayers in North Frontenac is going up by 3% this year, the operating budgets of township departments have been trimmed. As part of the asset management strategy that Council took on late last year, North Frontenac has set aside 2% of the money they raise from taxation to put in a fund to cover replacement costs for all roads, bridges and buildings that the township owns. That left a tax increase for township operations of $53,214 (1.06%), even as a number of fixed costs went up. “There was some new spending, including $15,000 as part of our doctor recruitment commitment for the Lakelands Health Team and $54,000 for playground equipment, which will only be spent if we get a grant that we have applied for,” said township Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson. “In order to keep from a larger increase in the levy each department was asked to find cuts, which they did. There were no cuts to service, but it will be a lean year this year.” The township's draft budget, which will include a total levy of $5.2 million to North Frontenac ratepayers, was approved in principle at a meeting of council on Monday (April 7) and will be presented for public comment at the beginning of the next council meeting on April 28. It is anticipated that the budget document will be approved by bylaw at that time. The two other components of the tax bill that goes to North Frontenac ratepayers, county and education taxes, are each up by about $35,000 this year, for a total increase of $125,000 to be split among all the township's ratepayers. Pine Lake It's been almost eight years since members of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation occupied a piece of public land adjacent to a boat launch at Pine Lake, off Ardoch Road. The small property, which is managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, (MNR) has continued to be used as a boat launch and there is a small road running over it between Ardoch Road and the lake. Back in 2006, the Ardoch Algonquins asserted an Aboriginal claim to the property by cutting trees and putting up a portable metal building. Their stated intention was to establish a band office on the property. But nothing has happened on the property for a number of years, except that brush has grown where the trees had been cleared. The portable building has remained but has not been used at all. In February, the township authorized CAO Cheryl Robson to write the MNR asking that the portable be removed. “Council requests that MNR remove this derelict portable from this property, at your earliest possible convenience,” said Cheryl Robson in a letter to Michael Gatt of the Bancroft ministry office. Last week a letter of response came from Suzy Shalla, Resources Management Supervisor in Bancroft. “I did want to respond to thank you and the Council for bringing forward your concerns regarding the structure located near the boat launch at Pine Lake. MNR is aware of the structure that is located there, however we will not be pursuing removal of the building at this time.” Township office remediation update - Township staff remain housed in portable offices as well as a temporary office in the Clar-Mill fire hall as Service Master and Concord Engineering continue to work on the heating oil spill that took place in early February. Council received a report from Concord Engineering which says that there is no evidence that the ground under the building has been contaminated, but a number of walls and some flooring has been removed as part of ongoing clean-up efforts. There is no time frame for the completion of repairs, which are all covered by the township's insurance policy. Ompah fire hall and community hall back to square one Council soundly rejected two proposals for upgrades to the Ompah fire hall/community hall property. The first proposal, which came in response to a tender for repairs and upgrades, would have cost $360,000. It was supported by Councilor John Inglis and rejected by the rest of Council. The second proposal, which was put forward by Councillor Wayne Good, would have capped spending on upgrades at $50,000, inclusive of a $10,000 accessibility expenditures that is mandated by the Province of Ontario. Although Council has put aside over $200,000 for the project, Good wanted to redirect that money to build a new township office. Good pointed out that there is only one trained firefighter living within a 5 km radius of the hall, and a limited capacity hall would serve the community needs. His proposal was supported by himself, and no one else. Councilor Betty Hunter then proposed that $180,000 be spent on the hall, and that the Ompah fire hall task force, which came up with the proposal that led to the $360,000 tender, be brought back together to figure out how to spend only $180,000 on the building, and do so this year. Her motion was accepted. An additional $50,000 has been pledged by the Ompah volunteers, and there remains an additional $10,000 available for accessibility features.

North Frontenac Council Feb. 3

Septic re-inspection program Ed Gardiner, from Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health, made a proposal to council for a mandatory septic re-inspection program. Until now the township has been contracting with the Mississippi-Rideau Septic System office for a voluntary program. But each of the last two years the number of systems inspected has lagged below the target because a number of landowners have been unresponsive to repeated attempts to engage them in a re-inspection. Changes to Ontario legislation have permitted municipalities to engage in mandatory programs if they choose to do so. One of the stipulations is that the re-inspections be done by the same agency that is responsible for approvals to new septic systems. In the case of North Frontenac that agency is KFL&A Public Health. Gardiner said that it would cost the township $12,000 per year for the health unit to complete 160 inspections, with a focus on inspecting high risk systems, properties with no record of approved sewage systems, or properties with systems that are over 20 years old. He said that the program would be run out of the KFL&A office in Cloyne and that inspection reports would be sent to the landowner and the township. As far as enforcement is concerned Ed Gardiner said that if a report says remedial action is required, “a reasonable amount of time, determined by the township chief building official,” should be given. “If no action is taken the chief building official or the inspector will issue an order to comply,” he said. The township has now received two proposals, one from Mississippi-Rideau and one from KFL&A Public Health. In order to proceed they will have to choose one or the other to do all of their inspection work, on new and old systems. Planner ready to go to the OMB if necessary Joe Gallivan, the planner for Frontenac County, presented the second draft of the Frontenac County Official Plan to Council. Gallivan said the plan, which sets out a policy framework and leaves most of the detailed information to the township plan, has been submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for comment. Based on the response of the ministry to the Renfrew County Official Plan, and the North Frontenac Official Plan, Gallivan said he is concerned about how the ministry will likely respond to the approach the county is taking. “Frankly I'm not that optimistic at this point. It might be that we end up with an OMB challenge on this.” Two issues are of major concern to Gallivan, and to North Frontenac, who are at an impasse with the ministry with their own plan. One is the ministry position that no new development shall be permitted on private roads, even if there are strong rules in place about the quality and width of those roads. The other deals with the ministry's insistence that development be oriented to hamlets and villages, “which is totally contrary to the demand for development on the ground in places like Frontenac County,” Gallivan said. Construction up in 2013 Building permits were issued for over $7.3 million worth of construction in 2013, including six new inland and 20 new waterfront residences. The total for 2012 was $6.3 million. Mayor talks about County Mayor Clayton, who is also the Warden of Frontenac County, said he remains frustrated about the county budget process. “I still feel there is some push back from some of the managers at the county. When we ask them to make cuts they come back with reasons why it is impossible to make any. All we are asking of the two major programs, Fairmount Home and land ambulance, is that they bring costs to the average of costs among services of comparative size, instead of above the average. I think the administration of both programs could be a bit top-heavy,” he said. In summing up a strategic planning session, Clayton said, “There is an expression that goes 'if the people won't change, change the people'. There may be something that needs to happen like that.” War memorial funding frustration Councilor Gerry Martin has been chairing a task force that has been developing a proposal for a war memorial in the township for the past year. The task force was planning to submit an application for funding to the Community War Memorial Program, a five-year granting program administered by Veterans' Affairs Canada that was set to run until 2015. However, when the task force contacted Veterans' Affairs in January, seeking an application form for the program, they received the response that “unfortunately the Community War Memorial Program is no longer accepting funding applications due to higher than anticipated demand.” Martin prepared a letter to MP Scott Reid asking for his assistance in dealing with Veterans' Affairs on the matter. Council approved the letter.

Clayton Doubtful in North Frontenac

“I don't know yet,” said Bud Clayton when asked if he was planning to seek re-election as mayor of North Frontenac after one four-year term. “If things remain the way they are now, I would say it would be no, but things can change.” Clayton added that he had not planed to run during the last election in 2010, but decided at the last minute to give former Deputy Mayor Jim Beam a run for his money since there were no other candidates coming forward. He ended up winning. “I don't want to hang on past my best-before date,” Clayton said this week, “but I have not made a final decision by any means.” Gutowski leaning towards running in Central Frontenac “In all likelihood I will be running,” two-time incumbent Janet Gutowski said when asked if she was going to run for a third term as mayor of Central Frontenac. “I'm very committed to this township and I think there is still a lot to be accomplished,” she said. Among the issues that Gutowski will be addressing during the election year are seniors’ housing and the future of service delivery in Central Frontenac. “I can see us seeking partnerships with other townships and a continued role for Frontenac County as well,” she said. “Provincial policies are always impacting us as a township, and the City of Kingston has an impact on our residents on a daily basis because they run our social services. It is only through the county that we can even talk to them; there is no other venue.”

North Frontenac Council - Dec. 17/13

North Frontenac pulls back from hall redundancy. After meeting with user groups from the Snow Road, Harlowe, and Clarendon and Miller halls, North Frontenac Council decided to rescind part of a bylaw they passed last July, which stipulated that the halls were to be declared as surplus property in the future. Mayor Clayton had maintained that declaring the halls surplus did not necessarily mean they would be closing, only that they would no longer be in line for re-building at the end of their useful life. However, he has also talked about a township preference for building a single, central hall and township office. Councilors have been hearing from hall users ever since the bylaw was passed in July, and at their meeting the clause about declaring the halls surplus was removed. Asset management plan finalized Vicki Leakey, from KPMG, presented the final version of the North Frontenac Asset Management Plan to council. Municipalities in Ontario are required to have these plans in place if they are to be eligible for provincial infrastructure grants next year. Some municipalities have produced basic documents that were created by sending data to a consulting firm and receiving a template-based document back. In North Frontenac's case, KPMG has met extensively with staff and council and the plan has been under development all year. The North Frontenac plan encompasses paved roads, bridges, equipment, and all township-owned buildings. Next year information about gravel roads will be added. Leakey's report concludes, as she told council last month when presenting a draft, that the township has done a good job of investing in infrastructure needs over the last 10 years, and by parceling off an added 2% in taxation towards infrastructure spending into the future, they will come closer to keeping up with the requirement for rebuilding roads, bridges, equipment, and buildings as they age and need to be replaced. Leakey costed out the rebuilding at $7.5 million. “There is not a municipality in Ontario that is not falling behind, at least to some extent, and North Frontenac is probably doing better than most,” Leakey said. One factor that is not in North Frontenac's favour is its negative growth rate, which among other things, means less money is available from property taxes. The report presented it in stark terms. “While the province's population increased by 19.5% between 1996 and 2011, North Frontenac's population dropped by 3.9%.” And those who remain in North Frontenac are ageing. Thirty-nine percent of the total personal income among township residents is derived from pensions, while the provincial average is 14%. “The greater reliance on fixed income pension reduces the ability of the municipality to raise funds through taxation,” said Leakey's report. OPP billing questions The township supported efforts by other municipalities to scuttle a proposed new billing system for OPP services that would see the township charged on a per household basis, including seasonal as well as permanent residents. Township staff calculate this would bring the North Frontenac bill from $205,000 to $1.15 million - a 458% increase. “It's funny how they bill us for the seasonal residents but when it comes to grants they look only at our permanent residents,” said Mayor Clayton. “They like to play both sides of the coin.”

CENTRAL FRONTENAC NEWS

Crowds flourish at local fairs

Crowds flourish at local fairs

Locals and tourists took advantage of the sunny weekend weather to take in the sights and sounds of two traditional fairs that are both long past their 100th birthdays. On August 23 the 132nd annual Maberly Fair saw hundreds of visitors pass through the gates at the Maberly fair...

Passing on the legacy at W.A. Robinson and Associates

At a special ribbon cutting ceremony outside of the recently renovated W.A. Robinson and Associates building in Sharbot Lake, guests witnessed the official handing over of a 31-year-old family legacy to a younger member of the Robinson clan. The ceremony took place on August 21 last week, when Wayne Robinson, who has been head of W.A Robinson and Associates for over three decades, officially handed over the torch to his son Matthew Robinson, the business’s new CEO. The ribbon cutting was aided by Central Frontenac Mayor Janet Gutowski, who spoke about how the family businesses, under Wayne's initiative and leadership, have had so much success and contributed so much to the local community. Long-time friend and colleague, Colleen Allison, spoke about Wayne’s legacy and history. Wayne is a graduate of Sharbot Lake High School and Queens University, and has had an extensive and diverse working career. Allison cited Wayne’s tendency to move on after every success to new endeavors. He was the first director of North Frontenac Community Services. Then in 1979 he formed a construction company and also worked as a plumber. His focus soon turned to propane and he established the company ICG Oconto Propane, which would eventually grow to sell 10 million gallons of propane to over 600 domestic clients and over 30 gas stations in eastern Ontario before being sold to Superior Propane. In February of 1983, Wayne, his wife Alison and Marcel Giroux, established a group self-directed RRSP where clients could invest in mortgages. The business immediately attracted interested investors looking to improve their investment returns, and in 1986 Wayne purchased the Simonett building, which now houses the many financial businesses that he developed and built up over the years. Over time, the businesses have grown from an initial $100,000 in investments to currently now over $140 million world-wide. Colleen Allison described Wayne as a “visionary and a problem solver” and as the “heart and soul of the corporation. She finished by wishing Wayne the best in his retirement. Wayne was then presented with a legacy plaque by Dawn Reiser and he thanked his family, friends and colleagues for giving him the opportunity not only to make a living in the community, but also to provide employment to many of its members and to support the local community in so many ways. Next, Bill Calvert, chair of the board of the Frontenac Mortgage Investment Corporation, introduced Matthew Robinson, the company's new CEO. Matthew is a Queen's University science graduate, an accredited real estate and mortgage broker, a chartered investment manager and portfolio manager. He has been the executive vice president at the company, and over the last three years has played a lead role in the multi-year succession and transformation plan at W.A Robinson Asset Management Ltd. Under Matthew’s direction staff teams at the company were strategically restructured and expanded; treasury management systems and regulatory requirements were refined and enhanced; and the lending policies, principles and procedures were also studied, advanced and refined. After being presented with an “Our Team” plaque that will be displayed in the building’s board room, the new CEO spoke briefly, citing his excitement over his new role. He said he believes he “won the lottery” on the day he was born. He spoke of the pride he takes in living and working in this special community and thanked his parents and the dedicated staff at the company. He said he was honored to be heading up the business and promised to “do his best to continue to build and grow the company.” Following the speeches guests were invited to enjoy refreshments and tours of the building.

NFCS Community BBQ

On August 21, staff of Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) put on their annual community family BBQ at Oso beach in Sharbot Lake as a way to thank the community for their support of the services and programs that the organization offers. As usual, Don Amos, executive director of NFCS, was one of those who manned the barbeque as guests enjoyed the free dinner, live music and numerous games and activities. Luckily, the threatening clouds earlier in the day had given way to sunny skies. Amos said that the organization and the community make up what he terms as “a true community partnership. .. Without the community who rally around us every year and enable us to do what we do, we would not be here. We hold this event every year as our small way of giving back to the community and saying thank you.” Valerie Wedden and Norm Herns provided free musical entertainment on stage at the park’s pavilion before being joined by talented local fiddler, Valerie’s daughter Jessica, who treated the crowd to an electrifying version of the Orange Blossom Special. Children and adults of all ages enjoyed a petting zoo, bouncy castles, pony and wagon rides, face painting and more. Staff, board members and a number of adult and youth volunteers numbering close to 30, helped organize another great community gathering that was enjoyed by all. Amos said that the event is not just for families and young children but for all members of the community, and this year staff made a special effort to include activities that offered something for everyone. “That is what our agency is about, offering services to all of the different types of people in the community and the people that we are seeing here today really reflect that.” Amos thanked the staff for all of their hard work for the event, which takes over a month and half to plan. Photo DCS 01437- several youths enjoyed a bit of time in the rabbit hutch courtesy of West Wind Farms of Westport at NFCS's annual community BBQ at Sharbot Lake beach on August 21  

Sharbot Lake Lions Bottle Drive

Sharbot Lake and District Lions members Dave and Dawn Hansen along with Lions President Bill Pyle were stationed outside the beer store in Sharbot Lake on August 16 accepting empties for the club's annual bottle drive. Funds raised go towards the Lions' Seniors' Night celebrations, which will take place this October. Donations will also help support a number of programs that the Lions support in the community including the recent purchase of a brand-new $7,000 auto refractor, an instrument used in the vision and hearing screening program that the Lions carry out every year at Land O' Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove, Clarendon Central in Plevna, and at Granite Ridge Education Centre and St. James Major Catholic School in Sharbot Lake. The Lions also support the No Child Without program, which provides children with Medic Alert bracelets, as well as the local food bank and the local summer swim program. The Lions also support families in need of emergency relief in the community. Empties can be donated all year long at the Lions bottle shed that has been set up at the Wemp Road Waste Site off of Crow Lake Road. Upcoming for the Lions is a $7 All You Can Eat breakfast at Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake on Saturday September 27 from 8-11am. The Lions are always looking for new members. For more information call Bill Pyle at 613-539-8190.

Live music at Center Stage Cafe again this fall

by Gary Giller Beginning Thurs., Sept., 11 at the Sharbot Lake Legion, the Center Stage Cafe will once again be providing an evening of live music on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Hosted by the Feral Five (Terry Reynolds, Jim MacPherson, Dennis Larocque, Dave Limber and Gary Giller) the Center Stage Cafe is designed to provide a venue for good quality, amateur, musical entertainment. The evening runs from 7-9:30 pm, and admission is $5 at the door. Running for its 3rd consecutive year, the Cafe has enjoyed a wide variety of local musicians, and has received great audience support from the community. Thurs., Sept. 11 will feature well known musician, Adrian O'Connell, who is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser with his resonant voice, wonderful musicianship and varied, folk-based repertoire. O'Connell is a former member of the Irish-Scottish group, The Clansmen, and the Irish Rovers group. Thurs., Oct. 9 will see Rob and Nancy Moore return again to the Cafe stage backed by their recently formed band made up of Gabby White (fiddle and vocals), Dan Keeler (lead guitar), Mike Dellios (bass) and Nathan Paul (drums). The audience is sure to be delighted by the combination of this accomplished group of musicians as they add a wonderful fullness to Nancy's angelic vocals. To close off the fall series, Thurs., Nov. 13 will feature the cover band, One Busted Ego. Consisting of Adam Lake (guitar & vocals), Joe Normalie (drums & vocals), Steve Curtis (lead guitar & vocals), Marc Giroux (guitar & vocals) and Tom Baird (bass & vocals), this newly formed band is really impressing its audiences with its easily recognized country and rock tunes. Opening and closing each evening, the Feral Five usually starts off with a set of eclectic songs for the audience's listening pleasure, but makes sure to end off the night with a set list designed to get folks burning up energy on the dance floor. If you enjoy live music, be sure to set aside the 2nd Thursday of the month at the Sharbot Lake Legion. It's well worth the modest price of admission.   

SOUTH FRONTENAC NEWS

Drew goes over the top

Drew goes over the top

Aided by a donation of over $5,000 from a group called Groupies.com Community, Drew Cumpson's Indiegogo campaign now stands at $37,638, enough so he will make the $35,000 he was seeking even after he pays the debit and website fees to Indiegogo. In a post marking the success of ...

Touch football a way of life for Sydenham man and three sons

Rob Moyse started playing high school football as a student at Smiths Falls High School in the 1970s and he hasn't stopped. This year he marked his 25th season playing touch football in the Kingston League and he has been playing on Sunday mornings in Brockville off and on since the mid-80s. “I got back into football when I moved back to Kingston and I have never stopped. In the early 90s the Kingston Touch Football League was very competitive and we competed in regional and provincial championships. In those years I was a rusher; my job was basically to chase the quarterback,” he said when interviewed last week from his home. In 1992 his team took the national championship, a highlight of his career. These days he gets to play with his three sons, Nathan, Oliver and Samuel who have all played high school football for Sydenham High School, where Rob and his wife Patti moved to in 1993. Rob works as an intensive care nurse at KGH, a job he has held since moving back to Kingston from Moose Factory in 1988. After playing at SHS, Nathan went on to play at Bishops University for two years and has been coaching summer football in Sydenham for the past two years. Oliver played on the now legendary 2010 SHS squad, which won KASAAA and went to the OFSAA finals, and Samuel is playing one more year with SHS this fall. This summer, all four of the Moyse boys headed to Kingston each week to play on the same team, which ended its season with a semi-final loss last week. Their favourite games are in Brockville on Sundays, and there are a couple more Sundays this summer before the older boys head back to school, and Samuel rejoins the Golden Eagles. As to how he has managed to keep playing for all these years, Rob said that his wife Patti is responsible for him being able to continue playing when they had a young family. Since then he continues to enjoy the game and playing with his sons is an added bonus.

Riding the rails in Battersea

Keeping the steam engine heritage alive There is a small, rough dirt road next to the pristine Battersea baseball field that leads to an overflow parking lot for the Battersea Pumpkin Festival. Last Sunday about 15 cars were parked in that field, which opens up to reveal the raised and ground level tracks that have been built by members of the Frontenac Society of Model Engineers (FSME) Members of the society, along with some of their compatriots from the Ottawa Association, were enjoying their monthly session running their miniature steam trains along the two tracks. The FSME owns a train that runs on the ground tracks and is becoming familiar to Frontenac County residents. It has been brought out to Canada Day in Sydenham and the Verona Festival to run on portable tracks and take children (and their parents) on rides. On this Sunday the train was running on the track that the FSME has constructed on the site. The track lacks one section to become a complete loop so the train was running to the end of the line and then backwards to the start, taking some visitors on rides in the afternoon, as the sun peeked through the clouds after a long stretch of rainy weather last week. FSME members are hoping to get the track finished by the time the Pumpkin Festival rolls around this fall. In the centre of the field, three men were working on their smaller trains on side tracks, making sure all the elements were operating as planned before setting off on the loop. When the coal was burning hot, and the steam was ready to push the pistons, the men climbed onto the seats behind the locomotives, let the throttle out and off they went around the track, slowly at first but eventually at a brisk clip around and around the track. The FSME began building their tracks and using the Battersea location about four years ago. Before that they were affiliated with the Steam Pump museum in Kingston but found they had to move. They approached the Township of South Frontenac and came to an agreement. They have the run of the Battersea site, and in exchange they are an attraction in at least two township events each year. They have followed all township guidelines, even undertaking an assessment for the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority before building their rail bed and track at the site. The hobby incorporates a love of making things mechanical along with a fascination with steam engines, which were a fundamental technology not that long ago in Frontenac County, and in Canada and the rest of the world - a technology that is gone but not forgotten by model engineers. One of the priorities of the FSME is to bring new people into the hobby. Members are keen to share what they have learned, and the club owns its own train so it is not necessary to spend money buying a train or building one from a kit before joining the club. Graham Copley, one of the engineers who came out to Battersea on Sunday from Ottawa, where he is on the executive of his own club, described the appeal of the hobby in an article he wrote for the Ottawa Citizen earlier this year. “Members have an enormous range of skills and so here’s your chance to build something, for example an engine or an item of rolling stock. The hobby of model engineering can be delightful and fulfilling. There is a very wide scope of opportunity for you to join like-minded souls and maybe it’s time to revive your long unused wood-working or metal-working skills. Or you can take advantage of the knowledge and experience of the diverse membership. If that’s not your bag there are still lots of other non-technical things for you to get involved in. Model engineers are a social bunch both at the track in the summer and at winter meetings in members’ homes, all of which fosters a great sense of camaraderie. For further information about the FCME contact the club president, Phil Ibbitson at

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Focusing in on the photographic arts at the Grace Centre

Two artists, both photographers, presently have their work on display at the Southern Frontenac Community Services Grace Centre in Sydenham. One half of the main hall showcases the works of Ryan Wilkinson, who unfortunately due to a family emergency, was unable to attend the artists' talk there on August 16. In his absence Wilma Kenny, a member of the Grace Centre Arts Committee, read an artist's statement by him in which he spoke about the importance of art and why he makes it. In the statement he said,” Art is something of beauty and it is something needed more and more in this world. It is a way to celebrate our successes; it's a way to showcase who we are individually though our eyes, our stories and our emotions. Art for me is a way to bring peace into the world. It is an opportunity to collectively see into the souls and hearts of our friends, loved ones and strangers.” Wilkinson's pictures include portraits, landscapes and urban scenes that are as wonder-inducing as they are carefully composed and their varied subject matter inspires viewers to look more carefully at the world and the people that inhabit it. One piece titled “Surf”, a black and white image of a couple in full stride heading to the water's edge, one carrying a surf board, captures a determination and eerie intensity perhaps not understood by those who do not surf. Similarly a portrait titled “Pondering”, of a smoker gazing upwards in what looks like a foreign land, speaks to the beauty, mystery and inspiration that can be found on a stranger's face, in a strange land. In closing his statement Wilkinson said, “Continue to make art in any form and, do it for you.” Photographer Louise Day was present for the talk and spoke about what inspires her work. Taught by renowned artist Kim Ondaatje, Day's best works tend to be more abstract and many of her best pieces take as their subject matter the beauty and intricacies of the marks of mother nature. Frost patterns are front and centre in Louise's half of the hall. Her large photographs of these intricate and colorful designs often captured on window panes are a sight to behold. Their lacy, sometimes symmetrical, but more often asymmetrical patterns look like abstract paintings, the colors subtle and dewy as though applied with an airbrush, the patterns wild and wonderful and encouraging the viewer to examine the work ever closer in the hopes of better understanding the mystery of these amazing natural formations. One newer work of melted frost bubbles is especially sharp and the bubbles seem to cling as if by magic to the background surface, looking as if they might just bounce right out of the frame at any moment. The Grace Centre continues to bring a wide variety of local artists' work to the general public and there is no better space for art lovers to behold fine art than at the main hall. The photography show will be on display until September 22. The Grace Centre is located at 4295 Stagecoach Road in Sydenham and since the hall is often used for regular daily programming it is best to call 613-376-6477 to find out the best times to visit.

Helping Drew get over the top

The Drew Cumpson Indiegogo fundraising campaign is set to end in 5 days, and the goal of $35,000 is within reach. As of Tuesday evening, August 19, the total raised was $28,370, only $6,830 short of the goal. That's quite a jump from the $7,500 that had been raised back in July when the first story about the campaign ran in the Frontenac News. Since then the campaign has been embraced in Kingston, where Drew lives, in Guelph, where he is enrolled in university, as well as in Frontenac County, where he is from. The original plan was to spend the money raised on the operation to implant a diaphragmatic pacemaker into Drew so that he would not need to be on a respirator. This would enable him to leave St. Mary's Hospital, move in with his family and continue his education at Guelph University. While the campaign has been going, he has heard that the cost of the operation may be covered by OHIP so some of the money raised may be diverted to other needs he has, which are many. He is still working on the fundraising campaign, but is also working to find a location and make further arrangements for his operation. The campaign is receiving a boost in its final days through the efforts of the Leaders in Training at the Sydenham Canoe Club summer camp. They ran barbeques at the camp and each camper paid $5 for the lunch. The $300 proceeds will be given to Drew. “Some parents even sent along some extra money when they heard that the proceeds were going to a good cause”, said one of the fund-raising team members Ian Ramzy. “It isn’t much, but every little bit counts” Some of the older campers, LIT and coaches remember Drew from when he used to work at the Township of South Frontenac Day Camp held at Sydenham Point. “He was very athletic. and  he was always smiling and singing”, said Kayleen Lambert of the Canoe Cub. “He was really good to the kids. The younger campers had never met him, but were intrigued by the description of the lung pacemaker, and were saddened to hear that he would be unable to go home until he has this device.”

FRONTENAC COUNTY NEWS

Frontenac County Warden Hospitalized in London

Frontenac County Warden Hospitalized in London

North Frontenac Township mayor, Bud Clayton, who is also serving as warden of Frontenac County this year, remained in the Intensive Care Unit at the London Health Sciences Centre after falling ill early last week while attending a meeting of the Association of Municipalities of O...

Seeking participants in naturalization program

The Centre for Sustainable Watersheds and Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority are seeking property owners to participate in a shoreline naturalization program for the Mississippi watershed. The “Natural Edge” project has received $60,000 over two years from the EcoAction Community Funding Program and brings together local communities on four lakes (Mississippi, Canonto, Kashwakamak and Patterson) in the watershed and 8 kilometres of shoreline on creeks and tributaries. The project involves planting native vegetation (trees, shrubs, ground cover, grasses, aquatic plants and wildflowers), which are preferred by local wildlife for shelter and food, to benefit the ecosystem and stabilize shorelines from erosion. Restoring, protecting and enhancing shorelines also contributes to improved water quality by filtering runoff. The pilot project is designed to be a model for future naturalization efforts. It aims to see thousands of native trees and shrubs planted on 20 shoreline properties on four lakes and on 5 km of creeks and tributaries. Various workshops are planned, including hands-on planting activities on each of the four lakes, shoreline education workshops and presentations at various events to promote the program. Educational materials are also being developed. Another key component is the creation of a demonstration site with interpretive signage. The project is funded by EcoAction Canada, but participating landowners are asked to contribute 25 per cent of the total costs for their site. Properties involved in the project receive a customized planting plan indicating the recommended areas for planting and a list of suitable native tree, shrub and ground cover species. The goals and wishes of the landowner drive the plan, and all advice is optional. The CSW will work with landowners to complete projects that are economically feasible on a case-by-case basis. CSW coordinates the ordering, delivery and planting, along with tools, materials and labour to complete the project. Landowners can participate in the planting, but it is optional and voluntary. The planting is slated for the spring of 2015. Several partners are participating, including Canonto Lake Association, Kashwakamak Lake Association, Patterson Lake Association and Mississippi Lakes Association. Any landowner within the Mississippi River watershed who is interested in a free site visit should contact Courtney Allison at CSW, 613-264-1244 or

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. www.watersheds.ca

Ribbons, cake and wagon rides at Trail opening in Verona

Close to 50 trail users and numerous members of staff from the County of Frontenac and Township of South Frontenac, along with other dignitaries attended the festive official opening of Phase ll of the Frontenac K&P Trail, which took place at the bridge at Hardwood Creek in Verona on August 9. The K& P trail is part of the Trans-Canada Trail in Ontario, which extends over 2000 kilometres and connects numerous communities across the province from Windsor to Ottawa. This phase completes one of the last gaps of the trail in Ontario. South Frontenac Councilor Allan McPhail, who has chaired the County of Frontenac Advisory Committee for Trails, has seen the trail expand from Orser Road in Kingston up to Verona in his four years as chair. Phase ll of the project extended the trail from Harrowsmith in an 11 kilometre stretch to Verona and included the rebuilding of the Hardwood Creek bridge, which had been removed by the trail's former owner, Bell Telephone. According to McPhail, the replacement of bridges has been one of the major obstacles along the way as they are by far the most expensive part of the rebuilding project. Phase ll was funded significantly through Trans-Canada Trails and the Government of Ontario through the Pan Am/Parapan Am Trails initiative. MPP for Kingston and the Islands, Sophie Kiwala, congratulated all the parties involved and said that the Frontenac County section of the trail is a great investment. It will not only link up sections of the Trans-Canada Trail but will also connect the trail to four major game venues and will incorporate trail markers at points of historical and cultural significance. "This trails investment is part of the broader $42 million Pan Am/Parapan Am Games promotion celebrations and legacy strategy, which will ensure a lasting legacy and will benefit Ontarians all across the province,” Kiwala said. Al MacPherson is president of the Kawartha Trans-Canada Trail Association and chair of the board of the Trans-Canada Trail Association. He is a professor and author and is passionate about Ontario trails. He spoke of the inception of the idea to build a Trans-Canada Trail, which came about in the year 1992 at a meeting he was at in Banff, Alberta. “Everyone in the room said yes, but everyone outside that room didn't agree. But now here we are, over 20 years later with the trail 75% complete.” He also spoke of the beauty of this particular section of the trail. He is committed to developing trails because, “They are gateways to nature, to active living and they also help preserve and showcase the natural beauty of this beautiful country of ours.” He credited the communities of Frontenac county that have enabled the Phase ll project to happen. The next phase of the extension, Phase III, will take place this fall and will include reconditioning the trail up to Cole Hill church located at White Lake Road north of Godfrey. After that the trail will be extended through Tichborne where it passes across private property before finally reaching Sharbot Lake. Regarding negotiations with the private property owners in that section, McPhail said that the county has been in contact with them through letters and other communications yearly in the hopes of beginning official negotiations in the near future. McPhail hopes that the county will be able to reach an agreement with those property owners so that the trail can proceed with as few obstacles as possible. His message to those property owners, "If the trail is not right beside your home, and you have a large property, please consider allowing the trail to pass through.” Following the ribbon cutting ceremony guests enjoyed cake and free wagon rides courtesy of Wayne Garrison and his able horse team of Prince and Skittles.

Calling all quilters: become a part of Frontenac County history!

To commemorate the County’s 150th Anniversary in 2015, the County is holding a Quilt Design Contest to solicit designs for, and commission the creation of a commemorative wall hanging quilt. Entries must be submitted by Friday, Sept. 26, after which judging will take place and the winner(s) will be announced at the October 15th County Council meeting. The artist who submits the winning design will be commissioned to create the quilt for unveiling at the Frontenac County 150th Showcase next year: August 28, 29, 30, 2015. The contract with the winning artist will include compensation of $2,000. Submissions will be evaluated based on originality and creativity, ability of the artist, and the quilt’s visual appeal reflecting themes of “past, present, future” in the context of the County of Frontenac’s unique pristine natural environment, lifestyle choices and strong, resilient, diverse, rural communities. The contest is open to all full- and part-time residents of Frontenac County. See attachment for complete contest rules, which are also posted on www.frontenaccounty.ca. The County of Frontenac’s 150th Anniversary Save the date for The Frontenac 150th Showcase: August 28-30, 2015. You will want to visit Centennial Park in Harrowsmith for this three day celebration, with a preliminary schedule of events including: an opening ceremony, parade, fundraiser barbeque, heritage exhibitions, vendor kiosks, food & refreshments, family activities, live music, plowing match, heritage ball, Sunday brunch, headlining concert and closing ceremony. Hundreds of community events happen every year throughout the Frontenacs. If you’re planning an event for next year in the County of Frontenac, turn it into the “150th Edition” and become part of history! If you want to make your 2015 community event part of Frontenac history or you’d like to volunteer for The Frontenac 150th Showcase, please contact Alison Vandervelde, Communications Officer at 613-548-9400 ext 305 or

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August long weekend- a music lover's paradise in the Frontenacs

The August long weekend is one of the best for music lovers in the area. Two of the music festivals we have been loyally covering for a number years celebrated their 10-year anniversaries last weekend. The first was the Flinton Jamboree. Founded a decade ago by Duane and Donna Thibault, the Jamboree has been growing exponentially since its birth. This year fans of bluegrass got more than their fill during three days of music at the Flinton Recreation Centre grounds. The line up included Saturday night headliner David Church with Steve Piticco & South Mountain plus numerous award-winning players including Bill White and White Pine, Dallas Daisy, The Tebworth Brothers and the Ducharme and Black Family bands.One bluegrass foursome that I was fortunate enough to see on Sunday afternoon just before the festival wrapped up was Randy Morrison & the Flatt River Band, who played a stellar and varied set. Early on they offered up classic old faves like “Faded Love” and The Stanley Brothers' "I Saw A Choo Choo" and later in the set Morrison did an instrumental version of "Listen to the Mocking Bird". A few lesser-known tunes by well-known giants were added to the mix - a Hank Williams' gospel tune called "When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels” and Merle Haggard's “Goodbye Comes Hard For Me”. Randy Morrison is an award-winning fiddler, and he opened and closed the set with two instrumental medleys that demonstrated his prowess. Guitarist and lead vocalist Richard (Dickie) Dugal was equally impressive. He was front and centre on tunes like “Roll on Muddy River” and he admirably blue-grassed up Webb Pierce's 1953 hit, “There Stands the Glass”. He played his original “Blue Grass for Fun” which was just that. Morrison and his band are a great example of what the best, tightest and most polished bluegrass foursomes have to offer: stellar fiddle and banjo talents, a solid and lively bass, good vocals and a friendly camaraderie that makes their playing together appear as easy as breathing. Meanwhile south of Sydenham at the Loughborough Lake campground, Del Vezeau was manning the lakeside venue for the 10th annual Canadian Guitar Festival. Many fans traveled countless miles by plane, train, bus and car to get to the eclectic three-day festival, which showcases the best finger picking and internationally renowned guitarists from all over the world. The event, as always, included an amateur finger picking competition that this year attracted 25 competitors, some from as far away as New Zealand and Japan. Contestants included Pino Forastiere from Rome, Italy, Jon Gomm from the UK, Michael Manring from the US and others. Opening this year was last year's competition winner Justin St. Pierre from Abitibi via Montreal.I caught Ray Montford and his trio on Friday night. Hailing from Ottawa, Montford plays in an atmospheric style and his powerful forays were equaled by drummer Ben Riley and bassist Russ Boswell, who together formed a tight knit trio. Montford's all-original repertoire covered every emotion and then some and he is especially good at building up his tunes from introspective starts to full throttle, over the top, climactic heights. Highlights on the heavier side of the set included “Shine On”, and “Big as the Moon”, both from his 2012 CD titled "Vintage is Now". Montford reined it in and played one acoustic tune from the CD titled "Summer Ride”.Del Vezeau, who founded the festival and continues on as its artistic director, said he will continue to man the helm “as long as people continue to show up.” One fan arrived at 9 pm on Friday night after flying to New York from Houston and driving directly to the festival from La Guardia airport. The Canadian Guitar Festival is a yearly must for its loyal fans.

ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS NEWS

Official opening of L&A County Museum and archives kicks off 150th celebrations

Official opening of L&A County Museum and archives kicks off 150th celebrations

Close to 80 guests attended the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly expanded Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives in Napanee on August 22. Stephen Paul, director of community and development services with the county, emceed the event, which took ...

North of 7 Community Day on September 6

North of 7 Community Day on September 6 The brainchild of ecologist Gray Merriam of the Frontenac Stewardship Federation, the Community Day is an attempt to bring people together who live North of 7 in North Frontenac and Addington Highlands to talk about the landscape and watershed where they live, how they use it, what they value about it. By inviting guests to talk about various aspects of the land and waters, the community day will also allow for knowledge to be passed around. “Everyone is invited to this event,” said Merriam, “and there will be a lot to find out, but it is really those who live North of 7 that we want to see, because we need to talk to each other about what we have learned, what works here and what doesn't, even what we need to worry about and what we don't need to worry about.” Merriam has called in a few favours to bring a large number of guest presenters to the event to give a full picture of the region. The event is being held at the Barrie Hall in Cloyne and at the Pioneer Museum next door. It includes a timely chainsaw maintenance session presented by the Ontario Woodlot Association, which will include information about boosting forest value. The Pioneer Museum will be open from 10 until 3, and will be hosting a question and answer session all day. Among the people who will be available at the hall will be some who have made particular studies of the area, including geologist Dugald Carmichael and writer Orland French, who will talk about the origin of Benny's Pond. Jenny Pearce and Matt Ellerbeck will present local snakes and salamanders. Other presenters include: Leora Berman, Mat Mertins from the Mazinaw Lanark Forest, Guy Nason, Anne-Marie Young, Ron Pethick and more. In addition to all this, Debbie Deline's famous Dead Creek tarts and muffins will be available. For further information, call 613-335-3589

LOLTA fishing tournament

The Land O'Lakes Tourist Association's second annual Land O' Lakes Large and Small Mouth Bass Fishing Tournament took place on August 16, with about 300 participants casting their lines into the water. Fishermen John Robert Greer and Peter St. Pierre, both of Sharbot Lake, were just two of many who weighed in with Victor Heese at one of two weigh in stations set up on Bobs Lake for the event. Participants could fish on five area lakes, which included Skootamatta, Stocco, Beaver, Bobs and Kashwakamak. The grand prize was offered up to anyone who bought a ticket and was a 2014 Legend 14 FT Ultralite Boat courtesy of North Shore Marina. Five first place prizes of $500 each were given out to the biggest large or small mouth bass caught on each of the five lakes. After weighing in one large mouth bass at 1.89 pounds, Greer and St. Pierre headed out again to see if they could beat that with just 2.5 hours remaining in the tournament.  

Cloyne Pioneer Museum pays tribute to those who didn't return

submitted by the Pioneer Museum The museum will only be open a few more weeks and many folks have not yet seen the special display about the First World War. In the words of curator Marg Axford: "Like many other museums, libraries and other cultural institutions across the country this year, the Cloyne Pioneer Museum and Archives is paying tribute to those young men who went from this area to fight in "the Great War". Their contributions are no less important than those in large centres; indeed, in many ways. the impact of their sacrifices seems greater, because they represent such small numbers of people. These were boys, really, who were out working the fields of their family farms when recruiters came along. Township and church halls, and perhaps the local hotel, were also canvassed. The lads were told by their recruiters that if they came to Kingston, or to Belleville, to join up, they would spend the winter in those cities doing training and would be home in the spring for next year's planting. So many signed up. So many did not return." You will see some of their photos in the museum, which is open daily from 10 am to 4pm in July & August.

LOL Petting Farm draws a crowd

If the number of cars parked on the lawn in front of the Land O' Lakes Petting Farm on Road 506, near Cloyne was any indication, the farm's Family Day fundraiser on August 10, was a resounding success. The event attracted residents and tourists from all over the area, who enjoyed a leisurely day exploring the outdoor pens, the barn and ponds that are home to the farm's over 50 rescued animals. Animal lovers of all ages petted and fed the horses, donkeys, mules, llamas, sheep, lambs and pigs, all of whom seemed as pleased to receive the attention as the visitors were to give it. Owner Barry Smith gave tours of the large barn, which is home to numerous ducks, geese, peacocks, rabbits and a gosling with a broken wing named Skeeter, the newest member of the bunch. One of the day's special draws was Zanzar the Magical Genie, who put on a show that included numerous tricky escapes, fire breathing and his showstopper - turning a dove into a rabbit. Another draw was the five piece band, the Original Slam Grass Orchestra, formerly known as the Tweed Twangers, who played a fabulous line up of what they call “poly-ethnic Cajun country slam grass”. The music was very danceable. The band also provided instruments for fellow twangers. The Smiths were some of the busiest people there, with Barry on tour duty while Donna had her hands full manning the main gate and the main kitchen area, where guests could enjoy a BBQ lunch, fresh corn on the cob and other sweet treats. Donna was thrilled with the turnout, which she estimated at over 400 visitors. Funds raised from the fun day will help the Smiths keep the animals well fed and looked after throughout the year, which is especially hard to do in the winters months, when they do not get many visitors. Donna said guests not only help the animals to heal by allowing them the chance to trust humans again, but also are therapeutic for people, especially those with developmental disabilities and other medical issues. Animals are known to bring a sense of joy and calm and well being to all who are fortunate enough to visit them. Donna said that the farm is constantly being inundated with sick, injured or unwanted animals and that she and Barry strongly believe that “These animals deserve to live a humane life and to be free from suffering.” The educational farm is run solely by volunteers, with many local students doing their community hours there. The farm is also visited regularly by school children at the North Addington Education Centre and is part of their grade 2 curriculum. Special needs students at NAEC are also regular visitors. The fun day was the farm's second fundraiser in its five-year history and Donna Smith is hoping to make the event an annual one. For those who would like to donate, call 613-336-0330 or visit the farm at 1200 Road 506 near Cloyne.

EDITORIALS

Marilyn Crawford made a difference

Marilyn Crawford made a difference

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 fo...

Policing Costs Will Rise, Details to Follow

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 policing costs were downloaded to municipalities almost 15 years, the way costs are calculated for municipalities who are not under a fixed contract with the OPP has been shrouded in mystery. When the province announced they were going to change the formula and make it transparent it was well received by the municipalities. Unfortunately, for the small municipalities in Eastern Ontario at least, it became clear when proposals for a new formula were introduced that increases were on the way. The problem is that the main piece of information the province is using for calculating charges is the number of households in a municipality. At first the proposal was to base all the cost entirely on this, and the figure that was floated was about $350 per household. This would be very expensive locally, in large part because the formula does not distinguish between seasonal and full-time residences. North Frontenac Township paid $234,000 for policing in 2014, and with 3,500 households, the cost would skyrocket to $1.25 million. Central Frontenac, which paid $794,000 in 2014, would jump to $1.4 million. Tay Valley would go from about $500,00 to $1.35 million. The province has moderated the formula, announcing last week that 60% of the billing would be based on the number of residences and 40% based on calls for service. Municipal officials whom I have contacted are unclear about what this will mean for their ratepayers, and they will find out in early September, when information sessions are scheduled. There will also be a four-year phase-in to cushion the blow, and according to a government press release the maximum a municipality will be charged is a $40 per household increase each year for the five years. The best case scenario then, for North Frontenac ratepayers, would then be an increase of $700,000 over five years, which translates to a 14% increase in taxes over the time period just for policing costs. Central Frontenac could see a smaller increase, somewhere in the order of 10%. South Frontenac's policing contract will be affected by this change, and the details will be released in September. Since there are about 10,000 households in South Frontenac, and the township budgeted $2.7 million for policing in 2014 (up from $2.3 million in 2013) there is every reason to believe that costs will go up to about $3.6 million over five years, a $900,000 increase that represents a 7.5% increase in taxes for South Frontenac ratepayers. In conversations with some of the township treasurers about this, it was clear that they do not yet know what the announcements from the province actually means for their budgets in 2015 and beyond, but they do expect large increases. As we are about to go headlong into a municipal election campaign, these figures might temper some of the candidates' election promises.

A leopard is a leopard

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 be a master at that game. All of us, the electorate, participated in the ruse, to be sure. We knew what had gone on under McGuinty and we knew Wynne was a loyal member of the cabinet that moved two gas plants, setting off a chain of events that resulted in a $1 billion loss to taxpayers. She sat at the cabinet table as the ORNGE air ambulance debacle unfolded. She was there all along and we know she was there all along. As his replacement, she profited from McGuinty's most cynical act, a prorogation of the legislature for a full six months after his resignation, for no other reason than to create distance for his party as they selected a new leader. By all rights we should have chucked the Liberals out of power, but since the other parties, for different reasons, did not provide a safe haven for many voters, enough of us decided to swallow Kathleen Wynne's claim that the new Liberals would give us good government, keep up our social programs and somehow balance the books over the next four years. Even so the decision to rehabilitate McGuinty right after the election came off as a slap in the face. I recall another Liberal politician, one who in his heyday demonstrated toughness and a common touch in a bit of the way the Kathleen Wynne does, Jean Chretien. At one point he was asked about the Liberal party's past and all the miscues it made when governing in the 1970s and 80s, while he was a cabinet minister “I will not apologize for the past; I was part of it and I am proud of it,” he said. Kathleen Wynne made a point of apologizing for the past during the recent election campaign. Now, if we ever had a doubt before, we know that it was the thinnest of apologies. In fact she was simply saying whatever she had to in order to give her party the best chance at re-election. No wonder then, that voices as disparate as Susan Delacourt from the left-leaning Toronto Star and libertarian MPP Randy Hillier are now questioning the political party system. Hillier wants parties to respect the electorate by granting MPs and MPPs a greater role in all aspects of political decision-making, while Delacourt wrote about the idea of eliminating political parties altogether and running provincial and federal governments the way municipalities run, with independent representatives voting their conscience on every proposal that comes forward. In the short run at least, neither of those things are likely to happen. We live in an era of power politics. To the victor goes the spoils and Kathleen Wynne now holds all the power in Ontario in her own hands.  

Pride in Canada

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 and still do. For Canada to be at the vanguard of those nations whose legal systems have closed the door on institutional persecution of individuals on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as race and religion, is a point of pride for me as a citizen. For the City of Toronto to host such an event as World Pride and to demonstrate a willingness to celebrate diversity is even more gratifying, and I daresay Toronto is ahead of many other communities in Ontario and Canada in this regard. Watching coverage of the parade also jogged a personal memory for me. As it happens, I found myself in the middle of one of the first Pride parades in Toronto in the early 90’s, and the contrast between the this most recent parade and that one could not be more stark. I was with my wife Martina and our young daughter at a small art show in a courtyard behind a church near the corner of Bay and Bloor on a cold Sunday in June. It was 22 or 23 years ago. Someone said that a parade was coming by and the show opening would be delayed, so we went to the corner to see. What we saw was more of a low-key march than a parade. A hundred people or, some of them with placards, walked by. They waved, called out a few slogans, and kept on walking. Many of them were thin, even gaunt, and were walking with the help from friends. 20 years ago AIDS was in full swing in Canada. What I saw on that day was a community fighting for its life against a deadly disease that at that time had no effective treatment. No none lined the street to watch the parade. The busy City carried on its business as usual. What has since been dubbed the LGBT community has developed and thrived in unexpected ways over the past 20 years, to the point where, in Toronto at least, Pride is a celebration and a premiere tourist event in the City Canada Day in our communities is about pancake breakfasts and the parades and games and food and music at ball-fields and beaches. It is about wearing red and white and the maple leaf and family and friends and enjoying the official start of all too short Canadian summer. And it about fireworks at the end of the day. It is also a time to reflect on all the benefits we enjoy as Canadians. Of the things we can be proud of in Canada on Canada Day, chief among them are the personal liberty we enjoy, our commitment to live together in peace, and the celebration of diversity has become the hallmark of this country. As the world threatens to slip into intolerance, this is something we all need to protect in our words and deeds throughout the year.

What came first, the sustainability or the resiliency?

... 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. In fact, many of the job titles at Frontenac County have had the name Sustainability stuck on to them in the recent past. Instead of a planning department, there is a sustainability planning department, and instead of economic development it is sustainable economic development, for example. The suggestion at the committee was that "sustainability" should be phased out or at least limited, and a new word would be used to describe all those activities that the county would like to be involved in but which are not, strictly speaking, in their mandate. Anything to do with social well being, environmental concerns, culture, community improvement, tourism - they are all covered under the umbrella heading Sustainability. The logic is that these diverse enterprises that are carried out by individuals and groups in their own communities and across the county are what build a sustainable place to live and work. There are those, and I can sympathize, who are sick of the word, and there is now, finally, an alternative on the horizon. For a couple of years, slowly but surely, the concept of resilient communities has been gaining momentum. It has more grit than sustainable communities, suggesting the strength to withstand the inevitable pressures of modern life. These include attacks on personal and community well-being that will come with rising oil and gas prices, climate change, continual migration of jobs to the city, the ageing tsunami (people are ageing in a huge tsunami-like wave that could swallow us all up if we aren't careful) and much, much, more. Sustainability is just too nice a word, too much of a soft concept. Resiliency on the other hand, is tough; it is strong; it is what we need. When I think of resiliency I think of my mother. My mother says she no longer hopes for things to go well, instead she hopes for the strength to handle the situations that will inevitably arise in her life. Sure enough, those challenges are coming fast and furious as she and her family and friends age. So, if Frontenac County wants to be more like my mother it had better stop talking and start getting its act together. The woman hardly sleeps. Until she broke her wrist she played tennis every day. Six weeks and two metal pins later she was back on the court; that is, when she's not taking care of everyone in her world. If the sustainability committee want to talk resiliency they had best get off their duff, establish a plan of action and make things happen. Resiliency never sleeps.

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