| Jul 27, 2006


Feature Article - July 27, 2006

Back toHome

Feature Article - July 27, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Beautifying VeronaRe:PineLakeSubmission to Central Frontenac Council Re Permitting ATVs on Township RoadsRe: Negotiator weighs in on AAFNA actionsIncredible Jenna LambertRequest for CF Township Support for Road MaintenanceBathurst Burgess Sherbrooke Township had history and prideRe: “Development after… and beforeRe:Permitting ATVs on CentralFrontenac Townshiproads

Beautifying Verona

Here’s a big thank you to all the people who sweated in the dirt to make Verona a more beautiful place.

Susie Ralph organized the planting of flower barrels (bought by the VCA and tended by local businesses) that line the Main Street . Jen Bennett, Al Parkin and Doug McIntyre lent their backs and their green thumbs to that project. Louise Day once again planted the lovely display at the cenotaph in McMullen Park , and rumour has it that someone in her household waters them. The floral display at the post office is particularly beautiful this year. Kornerstone Kastle’s Steve Johnson won the Canada Post tender to create that. Thanks also to whoever keeps a rein on the huge planting in front of Prince Charles P.S. It’s an enormous task to hold back the weeds and keep the sides mown. Dave & Angie Gard have created a gem of a meditation park behind their place which is used by passersby.

I’ve noticed that it only takes a few places with flower displays to start a snowball of others in the village, and what a difference it makes to our sense of who we are!

Inie Platenius[ back to top ]Re: Pine Lake

While my heart truly grieves for the cutting down of mature trees on a quiet lake, I suspect there is a lot more going on at Pine Lake than what meets the eye.

While we may feel deeply offended that white man’s protocol may not have been followed, we must also admit that the legal system itself is not free of guilt.

The North American Aboriginals do not deserve to be kept in a defensive position where they must continually be required to fight for the honor and dignity which is already rightfully theirs as forefathers of this country.

- Peter Thomas Rivera[ back to top ]Submission to Central Frontenac Council Re Permitting ATVs on Township Roads

The June 29th issue of the Frontenac News reported on the discussion at the previous council meeting about a possible bylaw permitting the use of ATVs on Township roads. This discussion was initiated by the Frontenac ATV Club. I am concerned that because the club is an organized group, it, and its members, will be the main source of opinion before council.

Summary of my views: ATVs do not belong on public roads.

ATVs on public roads are in competition for the right-of-way with much larger vehicles.

ATVs do not have the many safety features built into, and required in, passenger and commercial vehicles. ATV riders are therefore much more vulnerable to injury than passengers in other types of vehicles.

Then add in the behaviour of some ATV riders that I have observed over the years: no helmets, with children as passengers without helmets, travelling faster than the vehicle/road features support, driving (e.g., in the middle) as if the road was a private driveway.

Cf_council

Then add in the nature of some of the roads in Central Frontenac: gravel roads that are much less than two lanes wide (and certainly, no shoulders), with blind hills and corners reducing visibility of oncoming traffic, soft dirt surfaces that are torn up by ATVs.

Finally, there’s the legal/enforcement element: the OPP are not able to deal now with ATV activity which is clearly illegal, so why would enforcement be better when a bylaw allows ATV use of public roads and it’s a less clear issue of legal vs. illegal? It doesn’t make sense.

ATV use of public roads is a public safety matter and any decision should be based on a wide consultation of taxpayers, not on the biased view of an interest group. Council should allow sufficient time for public input before it is prepared to make an informed decision.

Response to the ATV Club’s views as reported in the Frontenac News

1. Statement: Patricia Dawson, the ATV Club’s secretary, pointed out that other townships permit certain kinds of ATVs driven by people with G2 or M2 licences.

Response: Because one municipality does something, does not mean we should. We should consider our own unique circumstances, as well as the health and safety of all our residents and visitors.

2. Statement about the successful implementation of a bylaw in South Frontenac - the ATV Club representative said that the bylaw improved the situation because “Instead of ATVs riding illegally on township roads, they are riding according to safety regulations that can be enforced,”

Response: “can be enforced” does not automatically mean “will be enforced”.

3. Statement about the issue of driving ATVs on gravel roads, Pat Dawson says that ATVs are expected to ride on the far right - on the shoulder if there is one, or on the road where necessary.’

Response: Similar to point #2, “are expected to ride on the far right” does not mean “will” do so.

4. Patricia Dawson cautioned council that they consider the will of the majority when they think about whether to pass an ATV bylaw. “Most of the people who live in your township year round and shop in the stores and volunteer in the fire departments are in favour of this,” she said, “you might want to consider their interests over those of a minority who might oppose it.”

Response: First, where is the proof that the majority are in favour? Second, just because a majority approve of something that might be harmful to people does not mean that responsible elected officials should embed it in the law.

- Gail Burgess [ back to top ]Negotiator weighs in on AAFNA actions

Several weeks ago Mr. Robert Potts, Chief Negotiator and Legal Counsel for the Algonquins of Golden Lake Land Claim issued a media statement in response to the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation’s initiative of building a Cultural Centre and Pow Wow grounds on Algonquin land near Ardoch , Ontario . While Mr. Potts concedes that Algonquins have the unilateral right to develop land in their homeland he suggests that the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation has chosen the wrong time to do so. He also attempts to portray the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation as “some persons who have chosen not to participate” in the ongoing Algonquin land claim. While Mr. Potts’ statement is half true (Algonquin people and their communities have an unquestionable legal right to develop land as they choose) he once again undermines the legitimacy of the Algonquin claim by supporting a process that is flawed and inequitable.

Mr. Potts has cobbled together a coalition of individuals and the Band Council of Pikwan in an effort save a failed process. At best the representation of so called “non-status” ANRs is questionable in that they have no other political responsibilities to their communities than going to negotiation meetings and collecting their per diem. The so called representative of “Ardoch” was never elected and his constituency consists of a mailing list stolen from the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and names borrowed from other ANRs. This representative and Mr. Potts have been challenged publicly on numerous occasions to resolve this issue with the legitimate Ardoch Algonquin First Nation but they both have refused.

“Wrong time”? One begins to wonder when the right time will be to find the truth. The present Algonquin negotiation team consists of six Band councillors from the Pikwan community and one representative from some of the other historical Algonquin communities. Some Algonquin communities have been ignored altogether. Why does this inequality exist? In reality Band Council is a federal incorporation under the Indian Act; in reality one branch of the federal government is negotiating with another branch for Algonquin land. The Indian Act does not support the rights and title of Aboriginal people in Canada . In fact, it has undermined and hobbled the self-determination of Indian people for the last 130 years.

“Wrong time”? Let’s get rid of the Indian Act first in law and in our own minds before we negotiate with a government that still wields the instrument of oppression.

The Ardoch Algonquin First Nation was one of the first historical Algonquin communities engaged by Pikwan 16 years ago at the beginning of their land claim. Band Council was told by Canada that they needed full participation (total extinguishment) before a final deal could be reached. After careful study and through experience the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation has determined that it is not in the best interest of their 700 plus members to take part in this claim. We do need a Cultural Centre and a gathering place for ceremony and Pow Wow?

This is the right time for our community to move forward.

- Robert LovelaceCommunications Team LeaderArdoch Algonquin First Nation[ back to top ]

Incredible Jenna Lambert

Jenna Lambert certainly is an incredible young woman.Proper acknowledgement should also be given to Jenna's coach, Vicki Keith.The raw passion of this amazing young lady was honed by Vicki.She counseled Jenna regarding this challenge, the required endurance, and the intense media engagement that would follow Jenna's unquestionable landing at Ontario Park . Jenna's effort surpasses all published descriptions.This young woman gives us hope, and she is a formidable athlete in her own deserved right. She demonstrates not only incredible physical strength, but she possesses something she will never lose in the water, in life, or on land: an absolute beautiful zest for life.In today's world, this is something most able-bodied adults either never attained, or somehow lost along the way.Jenna Lambert is already a much more beautiful and confident person than most of us ever hope to be. You will notice I have never mentioned disability, neither did Jenna.. "quitting was never an option." - Ian Fanning[ back to top ]

Request for CF Township Support for Road Maintenance

The Blue Heron Ridge Road Association welcomes this opportunity to clarify and supplement the information in the article "Private road residents open up dialogue with CF township", The Frontenac News, July 27, 2006.

John DuChene, Guenter Nitsche and Michael Wise approached Central Frontenac Council, at its July 25, 2006 meeting, on behalf of our members, the owners of the 76 properties accessed using Blue Heron Ridge and Thrush Trail, to request that council enter into discussions regarding the township contributing to the maintenance of those roads.

Both Blue Heron Ridge and Thrush Trail are public roads, as shown in Judge's Plan 1608 and Plan of Subdivision 1751, they are not private roads. They differ from most public roads in Central Frontenac in that they are maintained by the local property owners rather than the township. They are similar in that they are owned by the township, the township has jurisdiction over them, they are freely available for public use and the local property owners can neither limit nor control their use. Private roads, on the other hand, are owned by individuals or corporations, are not subject to the same government controls and are not freely available for public use. Given the differences between public and private roads, we do not believe it to be appropriate to include the latter in our request.

We knew when we purchased our properties that the township is under no obligation to maintain Blue Heron Ridge and Thrush Trail. However, economic conditions have changed and expectations have evolved. Equity and fairness are the bases of our request for township support. We are not the only persons to benefit from the development that has taken place along these roads. Our fellow township residents enjoy, with us, the improvements in services funded by the resulting increases in tax revenues and our township businesses benefit from an expanded customer base. We are, however, the only persons paying to maintain them. This is in addition to our contributing, along with all other property owners, to township operations through municipal taxes. We are, in effect, being levied a "surtax".

We are not asking that the township cover the full cost of maintaining Blue Heron Ridge and Thrush Trail. Nor are we asking that the township roads department assume the additional burden of undertaking this work. We ask only that other Central Frontenac tax payers now share with us in the cost of maintaining these two public roads that are benefiting us all.

Wemade our request to council as property owners living on public roads. We know that several matters pertaining to private roads are currently under consideration by council; however, we see these as being distinct from our request. To make progress on all matters, the distinction should be maintained.

We cannot take credit for preparing the Report on Private Lanes. It was prepared by township staff and presented to council by Heather Fox as part of her Report to Council.

We appreciate the reception given us by council and their undertaking to consider entering into a dialog on this matter. There are, understandably, a number of issues council wishes to look into before discussions can proceed, and we need time to obtain the information requested by the mayor. We will follow up with council in a few weeks. - The Blue Heron Ridge Road Association.[ back to top ]

Re: Development after… and before

I have just read your article, “Private road residents open up dialogue with CF township” in this week’s “News” and would like to point out an error that occurred in a similar article, “Development after …and before” which appeared in the June 29th issue of The Frontenac News.

There is a significant difference between the Blue Heron Ridge road in Central Frontenac, a private road and Sunday Lake Drive in North Frontenac. Sunday Lake Drive is NOT a private road as was stated in your article but, rather, it is a North Frontenac Township road that is not maintained by the township. Councilor Dave Smith was either misquoted in the article or didn’t realize what he said when referring to, “….. our concerns about developments on private roads.”

The Sunday Lake Property Owners’ Association president was only asking for financial assistance to maintain a township road that has seen a large increase in traffic after the township put in the new boat launch. This increased traffic has resulted in higher maintenance costs for the residents and the association has felt it necessary to purchase insurance for the road.

Jim Beam, Sunday Lake [ back to top ]

Bathurst Burgess Sherbrooke Township had history and pride

Drummond/North Elmsley Township has some prominent new township entrance signs. Five stars to Drummond North Elmsley for showing pride in heritage and keeping the old township names.

One sign is just outside Perth on Highway 511. On the opposite side of the road is .

Bathurst Township , now part of the amalgamated township currently called Tay Valley Township , (TVT) or Bathurst Burgess Sherbrooke (BBS) before name change.

Bathurst and Drummond were founded by soldiers and settlers arriving at Perth in the early 1800's. The concession roads run the same direction. Balderson is located at the junction of the 8th line Bathurst , the 8th line Drummond and the Lanark Road . Farmers from both townships participated in making the Mammoth Cheese of 1893.

Driving to Balderson from Perth the traveller is greeted by another sign.- "Welcome to the

Mississippi Valley ". Balderson is in the Mississippi Valley . So too are Harper, Fallbrook, and Playfairville. By Highway #7 from the west, travellers enter TVT along the shore of Silver Lake . They can stop at a provincial park or at Maberly on the Fall River . Both are in the Mississippi watershed. In the south in Burgess is Murphy’s Point Provincial Park on Big Rideau Lake .

TVT has new township/tourism signage (grant money) with name, logo, and words "Support

Local Business". To me the message is mixed. I believe in supporting local business, but I do not support the current township name and this branding. There is a lot more to a community name than promoting tourism. The old townships have almost 200 years of community and family history and pride. BBS was a compromise to respect the old townships when amalgamation swept Ontario . BBS is a big name for a big, beautiful and diverse area. There is no pride in the high-handed manner in which the TVT name was adopted by the previous council. Branding does not make the name issue go away.

Yes, "Welcome to Bathurst " - "Welcome to Bathurst Burgess Sherbrooke".

Catherine McCann[ back to top ]

Re:Permitting ATVs on CentralFrontenac Townshiproads I would like to provide my comments in respect of the Central Frontenac proposal to allow ATVs on township roads and to rebut the opinions about ATVs and ATVers offered by Gail Burgess.

Foremost, I think permitting ATVs to use township roads would be a benefit to tourism. Presently, townships north,south and west of Central Frontenac allow such use and I would suggest tourism in these areas has benefited substantially.One only has to look at the number of ATVs on trailers traveling north on Hwy 41 to confirm this suggestion.I believe the Town of Madoc also promotes itself on the ATV Ontario website as a tourist destination for ATVs.If council permits theuse of Central Frontenac roads but restricts ATVs from accessing Hwy 38 and the Village of Sharbot Lake, then effectively council cuts the Eastern Ontario Trail in two (as it passes through town) and the ATVers I saw staying at the hotel in town would be in violation of the law as they have to pass through town and travel a short distance on Hwy 38 to access the hotel(I recently saw 8-10 ATVs parked in front of thehotel for what I can only presume was an overnight stay).

I would suggest that Gail Burgess allow some credit to the responsibility of ATV riders and their respect for the law.I certainly agree that ATVs will compete with vehicles for the right-of-way with larger vehicles.Thishappens today when two vehicles meet; however,I fail to see how the ATV will be any different.I also agree that ATVs don't have many built in safety features.Neither do motorcycles, yet they are not restricted from any road access. Not wearing helmets is a responsibility issue similar to thewearing of seat belts.I believe enforcement statisticsindicate that in many provinces/areas, 10% or moreof the drivers of cars and trucks still refuse towear seatbelts or fail todo so all the time.Using Gail Burgess' argument against ATVs because some riders don't wear helmets is synonymous withprohibiting private vehicles from using thesesame roads because some drivers don't wearseatbelts or drive too fast. Again, using her same argument for enforcement, this prohibition against vehicles should be put in place immediately because we cannot expect police to be always available to do trafficenforcement, nor should we.

Owner responsibility should not be confusedwith safety.The majority of ATV riders, like car drivers, areresponsible- they wear helmets and visible clothing (traffic vests) and they respect the law.There are also those that break the law (fail to wear helmets / drive too fast) similar to manycar drivers. However, unlike car drivers,such irresponsiblebehavior usually results ininjury or death to the rider - not toinnocent pedestrians orpassengers,as isusually the case withirresponsible car or truck drivers.

Finally, in terms of noise, the majority of ATVs are stock and contain mufflers designed to eliminate high decibel noise.The majority of ATV riders don't modify their muffler systems. Most motorcyclists or car/truck owners don't modify their exhaust systems either.Noise from any vehicle is annoyingand that is part of traffic enforcement - not general prohibition against the vehicle itself.

It is time that municipalities gave respect to ATVs, their owners (many whom are your neighbours and friends) and the fact that the Government of Ontario has seen fit to pass laws allowing use of ATVs on provincial highways and roads in general. Municipalities should also consider thetourismbenefits that legalizing ATV use would provide. Brian Hilton[ back to top ]

Other Stories this Week View RSS feed

Support local
independant journalism by becoming a patron of the Frontenac News.