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Feature Article - October 13, 2005

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October 13, 2005

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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enright

Letters to the Editor:October 13, 2005

What can't we build on Sharbot Lake?

Nothing--according to our local councillors--9000 square feet or 9 feet from the water, it does not seem to matter to our local council. When are they going to start following the guidelines, you know--the guidelines and by-laws that are put in place to be followed? These by-laws are not recommendations--they are requirements, set in place so that if we have a council that cannot make an acute decision, they can fall back on the laws that are written in black and white. Our council does not use the by-laws, I guess? The days of breaking the law are done...I thought.


An update from the town council meeting held on September 27 regarding a minor variance for a building being built 15 meters from the high water mark on Sharbot Lake: Yes, Sharbot Lake, that sensitive ecological lake that is soon to become overcrowded with row housing such as the area in question on the west basin. Maybe the problem is with the definition of the word ‘minor’ meaning "as small as possible, lesser or comparatively small in size or importance." This was a major variance which there is no application for! Fifteen meters of a 30 meter setback is not a minor variance; thus the simplicity of a quick and majority ruling. I thought once again. The probability of Frontenac County going to a 60 meter set back in the next few years is imminent and yet we are approving 15 metre setbacks. We don't even need to talk about the rear and side setbacks, which look like something right out of an urban planned subdivision.

We need to nurture the lake, as it is a living and breathing organism that interacts with its physical surroundings. The interaction of people with the lake is critical to the future of our town. Hence the development of the Conservation Authority, who also missed the boat on this, as did council. I am glad I do not have to look back at the overcrowded lake and account for any of the decisions that were made to lead it to its demise.

My apologies are sent out to all the neighbors of the newly approved sub-division and all residents who live on Sharbot Lake.

- Eric Dinelle, Sharbot Lake

Lower the gas taxes

While soaring gas prices at the pump are a function of an international market there are still things that our government could, and should do to ease the burden on Canadians. Lower the gas taxes!

The Federal Liberal Government is currently awash in surplus tax income (over 9$ billion) and yet the government is refusing to return any of it to the Canadian taxpayer. A great deal of this surplus is due to gas taxes - we pay the 7% GST on top of the 10% gas excise tax (a tax on a tax). We are also still paying a 1.5 per litre "temporary" deficit-reducing tax, introduced by Paul Martin back in 1995. Martin likes to brag that he eliminated the deficit, so why won’t he eliminate the temporary tax?

Canadians deserve, and should be demanding, an overall tax reduction, and specifically a gas tax reduction. Canadians have the right, and the intelligence, to decide how to spend their own money -and surplus tax dollars belong to Canadian taxpayers, not to the Government!

- Bill Dyke

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