Letters

Re - Septic inspections

Written by  |  Wednesday, 15 March 2017 13:03  |  Published in Letters
I want to provide my opinion, as a senior, of the mandatory septic systems inspection program as conceived by the Central Frontenac council. I understand their desire to be seen as contributors to the "Green Revolution”, but their timing is all wrong.We have a receding population density, not a growing one. And using the cookie-cutter approach, lumping industrial, commercial, urban, and rural residential properties, families and singles, together potentially leads to the dilemma of how to deal with seniors, many of them in the rural residential sector, that are financially unable to affect repairs or replacement, as well as having to spend hundreds of dollars every five years on inspections. The solution is quite simple. Make the present group of seniors exempt. Seniors are lucky…
Last week’s letter from David Daski reflects a commonly held belief that septic systems in locations with   no proximity to either neighbours or water bodies could not be a threat to either public health or to the environment. Unfortunately, the nature of the geology and the topography of our area indicate that this is far from reality. Seams in the fractured bedrock can provide ready access for contamination from any source to make its way into ground water. In combination with our very limited soil overburden, which if deeper would act to filter contaminants, the result is that any faulty or failed septic system, regardless of how remote, can pose a threat to ground water. This reality has been recognized by the four local Conservation…

Re- NF Council

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 March 2017 14:16  |  Published in Letters
How arbitrary, sad, chilling and undemocratic it seems that North Frontenac Coun. Vernon Hermer could be compelled by a government entity--the council--to publicly apologize for Hermer's opinion and protected communication to a constituent that resident views had not been considered or respected by council in deciding on municipal building renovations. It is significant that the apparently sensitive renovation topic might originally have been relegated to closed session debate by council but for Hermer's insistence that the discussion be open. Thank you, Coun. Hermer. It is regrettable that some council members may have felt disrespected by Hermer's comment to his constituent, but government and political leaders must put on the thinking caps and big boy/big girl pants required in political leadership positions. Even with perhaps genuine…

Re Septic inspection

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 March 2017 14:12  |  Published in Letters
Last fall I had the displeasure of unearthing and reburying four septic tanks on three properties I own in the township. Each one is radically different from the others and yet they all perform their function. Only one of the four is located close to an active water body and neighbours. The others are not. And only one of the ones, not near water or neighbours, had a problem that had to be rectified. The outflow pipe had come disconnected and the effluent flowed into the ground. This had no noticeable impact on drinking water or even the functioning of the waste system, and I was unaware of the problem till the tank was pumped. I fail to see how, in cases where there is…

Goats or Retirees

Written by  |  Wednesday, 01 March 2017 15:10  |  Published in Letters
Excitement about factory goats raises basic questions. Is the goal profit? For whom? Feihe will enforce contracts to guarantee amounts and qualities of goat milk to assure their profits. Small, part-time herds won't fit. Perhaps county representatives should visit some Mediterranean islands to assess the quality of a goat-impacted landscape. Goat desert! So only in big barns. Where to source the feed supply? And then there is the other end! The Netherlands' intensely planned pork industry expansion was down-scaled because the feed was all imported from elsewhere. So the manure output could not be used locally, could not be sold, and did devastate local waterways (and airways). Our other development opportunity is retirees coming to the Frontenacs. Attracted by the superior landscapes and lakes, they…

RE: Candidate ANSI Redesignation

Written by  |  Wednesday, 01 March 2017 15:04  |  Published in Letters
I am writing to express the serious concern of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) regarding the proposed Amendment to Lanark County’s Official Plan (OP) that would remove candidate ANSI (Area of Natural Scientific Interest) designation from a number of provincially or regionally significant natural areas and re-zone these areas, partially or entirely, as rural. Such action would put at risk ecologically significant lands and is contrary to the importance that the County attaches to the natural environment in its current OP. The proposal is inappropriate as an example for natural heritage protection for lower tier municipalities. MMLT is a non-profit charitable organization that works in and on behalf of the people and communities of the region to preserve ecologically sensitive lands for the long…

Re- OMB

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 February 2017 13:36  |  Published in Letters
Just read your piece about the OMB hearing and have some comments from my own experience. When the OMB heard appeals on the 2002 Official Plan and, a year later, similar appeals on the Zoning by-law, it was clear that the Township had not done any “rigorous” study (the Board’s word) but a just a cut and paste of some other Township’s by-laws. The Planner’s evidence was that the increase in lot size and frontage was to protect the lakes in the northern two-thirds of the Township. It has never been clear why the minimum lot size for non-waterfront lots was doubled and there has been no study done in the intervening years even though the OMB “urged” the Township to do one. So we…

RE- NF Council Shrinkage

Written by  |  Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:14  |  Published in Letters
Oh, dear, here we go again. That old notion of a smaller municipal council is being trotted out once more in North Frontenac. Well, a five-member Council was a bad idea in 2013, and it’s a bad idea now. The new proposal is slightly different, but the arguments against it are just as valid now as they were then. Cutting the number of councillors from seven down to five would reduce both the effectiveness and the responsiveness of our local government. Good government requires a critical mass and a diversity of perspectives. Having fewer voices at the council table would limit the range of ideas and the scope of dialogue and debate on the many issues townships have to deal with. And consider the highly…

Re - Electoral Reform

Written by  |  Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:10  |  Published in Letters
Did I wish/hope to see a different electoral system than First Past The Post?  You bet your socks I did!  Am I disappointed that will not be the case for the next election, yes, very.  The real question I should have asked and answered however, is,  “Was I surprised at the seeming turn around to explore different options?”  That would be a no.  In April of 2005 I was visiting family in British Columbia.  All over were large highway signs promoting electoral reform options in the May referendum.  I was excited.  I was so pleased to see a jurisdiction actually addressing the discrepancy of First Past The Post and doing something about it.  The question in that referendum was heavily defeated  60% to 40%. How…

Going Backwards in SF

Written by  |  Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:06  |  Published in Letters
ln a short sighted decision, the South Frontenac (SF) Council approved the budget of 2017 and simultaneously undermined one of the major tenets of the SF Waste Management Bylaw 20050098: '... The Township of South Frontenac deems it desirable to collect revenues for waste management services in an equitable fashion based on use rather than through the imposition of special rates or an increase in municipal taxes. Previously, residents had paid a solid waste (user) fee of $120 per dwelling unit. Now, the fee will no longer reflect the number of dwelling units per property, but simply the assessed value of the property - the higher the assessed value the more you pay, whether you produce a lot of garbage or none. The cost is…

Down The Garden Path. Oh, Mr. Trudeau, how could you!

Written by  |  Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:00  |  Published in Letters
So you didn’t get your Alternative Vote system. I agree, it would have helped to ensure Liberal victories. You would be in the middle between the ‘godless communists’ on the left and the ‘fascist capitalists’ on the right. But, to quote the Rolling Stones, “you don’t always get what you want.” It seemed like if I can’t have it my way, then no one gets to play - a grade school hissy fit. The Prime Minister also canceled his election promise of electoral reform mainly because there was no consensus. Liberals, meaning Trudeau, want the alternative ballot, the NDP and Green Parties want proportional representation, and the Conservatives want a referendum. Is is not the Prime Ministers role to find consensus and compromise? Clearly, he…

Re Electoral Reform

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 February 2017 14:14  |  Published in Letters
I’m feeling disheartened and angry about the Liberal decision to abandon their promise of electoral reform. Having rejected the recommendations of an all party task force, the government put out a nonsensical survey to the Canadian public last Fall. Now, while our attention was on the Quebec City massacre and the immigration ban in the U.S., it was revealed last week that there will be no electoral reform under their government. The timing of this announcement, along with the ineptitude of the survey, is suspect. I believe Trudeau never intended to bring about electoral reform, even though he campaigned hard on it this past election. Our electoral system is flawed and needs fixing so that all votes count, and so that many of us voting…

Re: South Frontenac Wastes an Opportunity

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 February 2017 14:12  |  Published in Letters
I would like to address some of the points raised. The “inequality” of waste management tax is no different than any other fee. Does the waterfront property owner expect better snow removal, better policing or better fire protection? Yet, they do pay more in taxes. A 2015 US study from the JPMorgan Chase Institute concluded that consumer spending, hence consumption, does go up with income although it is not linear. With more consumption there will also be a proportional increase in waste; therefore, pay more. Who says the bag tags are “free”? Yes, we don’t pay for them directly but I have no doubt that the cost of the tags is present in the waste management budget. If we were to pay more for the…

Thanks to Community

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 February 2017 14:10  |  Published in Letters
On January 14 we suffered the devastating loss of our home, when it was severely damaged by fire. On that day and on every day since, we have received amazing support from family, friends, and the community, and we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone. Thank you to the firemen who spent over 7 hours putting the fire out and who made sure they brought out every photo and picture they could retrieve, my purse, my husbands wallet, and many other items that meant so much to us....thank you for the donations of clothing, and to the neighbours who gave us coats on the day of the fire; thank you to everyone who has stopped us in the street or in a store…

Open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 February 2017 14:03  |  Published in Letters
I am profoundly shocked by your government's decision to renege on your commitment to meaningful electoral reform. Your father and my father, the late Hon. Eugene Forsey, were friends. And so many of us trusted you. When you came to office we had hope. We thought you would respect Canadians' clear desire for an electoral system based on proportional representation – a desire on which the Special Committee found extensive agreement: "71.5% of respondents either strongly agreed (59.1%) or agreed (12.4%) with the statement “Canada’s electoral system should ensure that the number of seats held by a party in Parliament reflects the proportion of votes it received across the country”:[258] (from the Committee's Report, referring to their online consultation. An even higher percentage of submissions…
 

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