| Aug 17, 2006

Feature Article - August 17, 2006

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Feature Article - August 17, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Re: Walleye regulations

Regarding the front page article, “MNR softens Walleye Regulations” (Aug. 3, 2006), I have the following comments:

The regulations proposed add restrictions to the existing rules and softens possible changes in rulesonly. I can understand the pressure MNR is under with low quantities in most southern lakes except for Wolfe Lake , which now has other problems with Zebra Mussels to contend with.

To suggest that the ministry has only applied one tool is wrong. Among the other rules applied are: no walleye stocking into lakes with existing populations (to avoid genetic differences, possible reductions in propagation, potential disease transfers, resulting cannibalism,and no measureable improvemnts in walleye fishery, etc.); spawning area (habitat) rehabilitations; regulationschanges; FWIN projects to determine quantities, maturing, age,and growth rates, etc.


Certainly, MNR is lacking in funding, with significantreduction in staff and funding resulting from the previous conservative government, and seems to be getting additional shortfalls from the current liberal government. Staffing of more fishery biologists is needed now, along with additional conservation officers to enforce the rules. Returning to previous CFWIP and other funding priorities are also required. With walleye stocking not identified as a viable measure to improve the long term fishery,what is next? If MNR has the science and the rules, indeed, what is next?

Mel Fleming

Pine MeadowNursingHomeI am writing this letter to assure people within the community that the rumour that the staff of Pine Meadow Nursing Home are planning a work to rule campaign is untrue. Local 343 United Steelworker's Union does not uphold the practice of work to rule regarding nursing homes.

Furthermore our members care too much about our residents at Pine Meadow to take part in such a thing. Recently the staff at Pine Meadow were accused of not caring about our residents. This accusation was levelled by a member of the Home's Management Committee during talks at the bargaining table.

Perhaps this member and some other people are not aware of the amount of caring that we do there. Some of the staff bring in body sprays, aftershave, body lotions at our own expense to make our residents feel good and smell good. Staff have also bought clothes, treats, and taken residents out for the day. We have also attended funerals, given eulogies, traveled to Ottawa , Renfrew, Kingston , and Tweed to pay our respect to resident's families. Others will give a donation to the home.

We all consider the residents to be part of our extended family. There is not a resident there that is not special to the staff, whether those staff personswork in nursing, activities, kitchen, laundry housekeeping or management. Through donations, contributions from community and staff, we have furnished a beautiful palliative care room. One of our former staff members started an Alzheimer's library that people can use at any time to help them better understand a love ones condition. The shelving that houses this library was made by another staff member.

Staff at Pine Meadow have taken upgrading courses at their own expense and time, either to benefit themselves, residents or to comply with recent Ministry requirements. Some have qualified for the Ron Roberts Bursary, and management is very good about working staff schedules around the time that is needed to complete this upgrading.

When you walk in the front doors you will see a painting that was done by one of our staff member that we all take pride in. It is a picture of a home that is titled Home with a Heart.

Does this sound like we are a staff that does not care about our residents?

Valerie Bird Unit Chairperson

Re: “ Algonquin Land Grab”

I have read several newspaper articles on the construction of the native community centre and I have yet to see any documentation to prove this land is or is not native or crown lands.

The native community has snubbed their noses at all forms of government and their neighbours of Pine Lake . If the day comes and it is proven this indeed is crown land, will the centre be torn down? Will there be fines levied and taxes collected? I think not.

Don’t put the cart before the horse, prove ownership and you’ll get more support from the general public and governments.

I want to build a hunting camp on crown land and refuse to pay any fees, taxes or permits. There are probably hundreds of guys out there that would like to. Why don’t we just do it? What do you think would happen?

- Dennis Hannah

Re: Algonquin Centre

Thank you foryour coverage of the currentdiscussions and issues around the planned Algonquin Cultural Centre at Pine Lake . The News has been diligent in following up on the limited information initially available, and you haveobviouslymade every effort to provide space fordiffering views.

Of course, some of the input isfactually wrong, notably various assertions in Ron Pethick's letter in the August 3rd paper. The Royal Proclamation (nota "Proclamation Act") of 1763 dealt both with lands beyond the boundaries of (then) " Quebec ", and with those lands within the boundaries "which, not having been ceded to or purchased by Us, are still reserved to the said Indians." Sincethe Algonquins neverceded or sold their lands to the Crown, those landswere clearly "still reserved to the said Indians". The debate about the boundary of " Quebec " is therefore irrelevant to this discussion.

Moreover, the suggestionthat treatieswith the Mississaugas in the early 1800s "surrendered" Algonquinlands to the Crown is, asAlgonquin researchers have pointed out, rather like saying thatI could buy Toronto City Hall from the City of Ottawa .With non-Algonquins willing to "sell",it is hardly surprising thatthe colonial "government of the day" chose not to recognize Algonquin ownership.

Present-day federal and provincial governments have thoroughly researched all their options in this whole affair. If theyhad any legal leg at all to stand on, why would theybe going toso muchtrouble and expenseto try tonegotiate a settlement?

On the local level, Isympathize withPine Lakers'frustration at the lack of prior information and consultation, andappreciate the points and questionsthey bring to the discussion.But I can also understand the Algonquins' decision to act first andexplain later,given the history of aggressive and damagingprovincial governmentactions during the "Rice Wars" (and elsewhere). In difficult situations, decisions sometimes have to be made that seem "the lesser of two evils". I don't think that constitutes "double-speak", especially when the explanation follows promptly and a more open, cooperative process begins.

That processhas now begun, through your paper and face to face. At Saturday's meeting in Ompah,I was impressed by the patience and willingness to listen shown on all sides. I believe that more real, honest communication is almost alwaysbetter than less. I'mvery encouragedthat the Algonquins and their neighbours are nowstarteddown that path.

Helen Forsey

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