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Feature Article - September 15, 2005

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Feature Article

September 15, 2005

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Letters to the Editor - September 15, 2005

Re: Walleye Spawning rehabilitation at Bobs & Crow Lake

I would like to put in a rebuttal concerning the article on Walleye Spawning Rehabilitation in your Sept. 1 edition.

The article stated that the Greater Bobs and Crow Lake Association has not done any walleye stocking on the lakes since 1992. It also states that the walleye levels have been increasing over the past 10 years, with the Walleye Netting index showing 2.5 Walleye per net captured in 1997, and 3.12 Walleye per net in 2002.

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However, although the GBCLA has not done any stocking since 1992, the Can Am Fishing Club of Bobs Lake has. In 1997, 1998, and 1999, the Can-Am Fishing Club stocked over 9000 walleye fingerlings in Bobs Lake, and I submit that the increase in the Netting Index was due to this stocking.

I have spoken with several elders, with whom I fished in the 70s and 80s, and they say that this lake will never be able to restore itself because of the number of cottages that have been built. The fishing pressure has increased that much and this lake will have to be stocked or Walleye fishing will fade away.

Bob Daok, Vice President

Can-Am Fishing Club

People of Sydenham still at risk of losing homes

The recent Water Aid benefit concert featuring Dan Aykroyd was a huge success, raising $25,000 to assist families in Sydenham at risk of losing their homes due to the exorbitant costs of a new municipal water treatment system. Unfortunately this will only scratch the surface of the substantial financial need.

The people of Sydenham are caught between the knee-jerk reaction by the provincial government to the Walkerton tragedy, the municipality’s quest for infrastructure and the more reasoned approach to ensuring sustainable water outlined in a recently released government requested report. Although over 90% of the 273 affected residents petitioned against this $8 million system, construction got underway this spring.

The irony is that the Province’s own Water Strategy Expert Panel supports the position of the people of Sydenham. The panel’s report, entitled Watertight: The case for change in Ontario’s water and wastewater sector contains many recommendations, some of which highlight the flaws with the system being installed in Sydenham:

Ideally municipal water systems should have a minimum of 10,000 customers. The Sydenham system will have 273 customers!

Small communities with high costs should use newer ‘in-home’ technologies (such as UV lights and reverse osmosis.) Residents of the village petitioned the township council and consulting engineers to consider these systems as alternatives to the system being installed. Their petitions fell on deaf ears.

The smaller the system the more water quality issues are likely to occur and the more costly the system is to sustain. The Sydenham system will be among the smallest in the province.

If the Township of South Frontenac had followed the wishes of the people in the village, now supported by the aforementioned report, the average cost per household would be more like $3,000 to $5,000 instead of $10,000 to $15,000 and up to $25,000!

The provincial and municipal governments should recognize this unfortunate set of circumstances. As representatives of the people they need to be accountable for their decisions (including their mistakes) and make amends for the difficult financial situation in which they have placed the people of Sydenham – many of whom risk losing their homes or their life-savings.

The Sydenham water project, as it is being installed needs additional funds, needs alternative financing arrangements and needs to have the cost of this system spread across the whole township. If the Township of South Frontenac were to function as an amalgamated township and spread the costs across its tax base, each taxpayer would have a one-time expense of $180!

- Alastair Lamb

for the Sydenham Safe Water Association

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