| Dec 06, 2007

Feature Article - December 6, 2007 Back toHome Feature Article - December 6, 2007 South Frontenac Council to revisit Sunday gun hunting by Jeff Green

After hearing presentations from Carl Grant, a dairy farmer from Portland District, and Greg Farrant from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, South Frontenac Council unanimously agreed to bring the issue of Sunday gun hunting back for consideration at a future meeting of the township’s Committee of the Whole.

In the spring of 2006, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources embarked on a campaign to convince rural townships to permit Sunday gun hunting in time for the popular deer hunt in November. Many councils in townships bordering on South Frontenac agreed, including North and Central Frontenac, Addington Highlands, Stone Mills, Tay Valley, Rideau Lakes, and Leeds and a Thousand Islands; but South Frontenac Council rejected the proposal.

Carl Grant presented a petition with 261 names on it, urging council to reconsider. Greg Farrant presented several points, making similar arguments to those that were made a year ago.

Injunction _served

“There are four overriding reasons why this issue was brought forward by the MNR and the OFAH,” Farrant said.

The first reason is crop predation. Farrant said that, “Each year approximately $45 million in damage is caused by wildlife, most notably deer, raccoons, coyotes and waterfowl … In 2004 the Federal Agricultural Advisory Committee recommended the addition of Sunday gun hunting to Ontario as a means of reducing wildlife populations and losses suffered by farmers.”

The second reason is wildlife management. “The Ministry of Natural Resources has repeatedly stated that hunting is the most effective wildlife management tool,” he said.

The third reason is that of public safety. Greg Farrant referred to Ministry of Transportation statistics that calculate there is a deer/car collision every 38 minutes in Ontario; that one of every 18 collisions in Ontario involved some form of wildlife; and that the number of vehicle/wildlife collisions has increased from 13,700 in 2003 to over 15,000 in 2006. Ninety percent of these collisions occur on two-lane roads outside of urban areas.

The fourth and final reason is economic. “Hunting in Ontario represents $15 billion in annual economic activity,” Greg Farrant said.

Council did not have any questions after the presentation, and quickly agreed to bring the matter back for consideration.

Council briefs

Long-serving Portland District Councillor Bill Robinson is the new Deputy Mayor of South Frontenac. Tthe practice of council is that the position rotates annually, going to the councillor from each district that received the largest number of votes in the previous election.

Tire rebate proposal rejected – A request for support from the Township of Morris-Turnberry only led to confusion among councillors and was ultimately denied. Morris-Turnberry proposed that the province set up a rebate program for tires. Councilor David Hahn thought this did not make sense. “Tires aren’t a rebate item; they cost money to dispose of,” he said.

Hahn proposed the motion be amended to ask the province instead to support townships in dealing with the cost of recycling tires, but both the amendment and the original motion were defeated.

The matter will be referred to the Sustainability Committee for a made in South Frontenac proposal to come forward.

“Let’s let them come up with something, and then we’ll reject that,” joked Councilor Ron Vandewal.

Photocopier – the Planning Department’s colour photocopier is finished, and the department cannot wait until the new year to buy one in the 2008 budget year. Council approved the purchase of a new photo-copier/scanner at a cost of $919.

Christmas holidays – The township office will be closed from December 24 to 26, and December 31 and January 1.

Sydenhan Water Rates - Because of rules set out in the municipal act, Sydenham water rates must be renewed this month even though information from Kingston Utilities is not yet available. So rates identical to the current ones will be set at the next meeting. New rates will be determined in the New Year.

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