| May 18, 2006


Feature Article - May 18, 2006

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Feature Article - May 18, 2006

NorthFrontenac approves Sunday gun hunting

by Jule Koch Brison

At its meeting last week, North Frontenac Township revisited its earlier decision against Sunday gun hunting and joined the ranks of municipalities that have approved the practice. A delegation consisting of taxpayer Chris McNamara, and OFAH representatives Greg Farrant and Mike MacDonald gave presentations to council on the issue. McNamara said that Sunday gun hunting was allowed when he was young; he grew up with it, and it formed a powerful bond for families. Farrant and MacDonald gave statistics about the high cost of crop damage and livestock predation by wildlife. Farrant also said the OPP reports that there is one car-wildlife collision every 38 minutes in Ontario and that the MNR is confident that Sunday gun hunting is the answer to all these problems.

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Councilor Betty Hunter said there are no crop farmers in the area. She is opposed to Sunday gun hunting because the people she has spoken to are all against it. They enjoy the peace and quiet of gun-free Sundays; some people leave the area during hunting season. Councilor Dave Smith agreed, saying the people he has spoken to are glad to get a day off after six days of hunting. They visit other hunt camps and socialize, and the wildlife can rest for a day.

Councilor Clayton and Deputy Mayor Lemke said, however, that the people they had spoken to are for it, and Councilors Perry and Good were also in favour.

Betty Hunter asked for a recorded vote, and the motion to allow Sunday gun hunting passed 4 to 2, with Mayor Maguire abstaining.

Robin Riddell and Stan Seitz gave a presentation to council on preparing for a flu pandemic, which experts say is 100% certain to happen, although no one knows when. The prediction is based on a maximum observed interval of 38 years between flu pandemics. Concerns are centering around the avian flu, which, however, is not spreading right now very effectively between humans

Robin Riddell said there would be limited outside help in a pandemic and North Frontenac must make plans to be as self-sufficient as possible in such a case. It must make preparations in conjunction with the emergency plan it already has in place. The three things that residents can do are: 1) Get informed and stay informed; 2) create a store of enough emergency supplies to last a month; and 3) get a flu shot. Although existing flu vaccines may not be effective against new strains of the virus, the latter will help.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has a checklist of the items that should be stockpiled. They include: canned and dry foods; bottled water (at least 2 litres per person per day); pain relievers; cough and cold, anti-diarrhea and stomach medicines; flashlights and batteries. For more information visit pandemicinfluenza.gc.ca/

Stan Seitz pointed out that the preparations for a possible flu pandemic would also help in any kind of emergency.

Council acknowledged a donation of $62,000 towards the new fire hall from the Volunteer Ladies Fire Auxiliary. The group has raised $100,000, and the balance will be forthcoming shortly. Mayor Maguire said the donations represent years of hard work and dedication, and the group’s achievement is absolutely astounding.

The township’s waste water inspections will continue, with the target being 100 this year. As it’s late in the year, the township will stick with Mississippi Valley Conservation, which did the inspections last year for $60 each, but may switch next year to the Department of Public Health, which does the inspections for free.

Council endorsed a resolution from Frontenac County petitioning the Ontario Ministry of Labour to exempt paramedics from the Employee Standards Act (ESA), which requires that employees have a break to eat every five hours and limits the number of hours employees can be required to work each day. The County argues that the requirements could place patients at mortal risk, and that the industry itself wants these issues to be negotiated in local contracts. Frontenac County spent $450,000 extra on Land Ambulance services in 2005 to meet the ESA requirements.

The Waste Diversion Task Force recommended that a plan to deal with hazardous household waste be implemented; that waste site attendants be better trained; and that the municipality undertake an educational program for taxpayers. The Task Force wishes to continue, but Mayor Maguire asked them to give a final report on June 8 and disband. Councilor Perry asked if the municipality could give an incentive, such a free bag tags, for local businesses to provide garbage bins for the public. No decision was made on the suggestion.

The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) will hold a public meeting on May 26 at the Clar-Mill Hall. Council agreed to waive the $10 rental fee and Mayor Maguire joked, “We should ask for a donation.”

Council authorized the mayor and clerk to sign a contract with Northbridge Group Inc. to implement a marketing strategy for the Crown Land Stewardship Program

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