| Mar 01, 2007


Feature Article - March 1, 2007

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Feature Article - March 1, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Signs of the Times

To be fair, this rant might have waited until spring, but circumstance has brought the matter to a head, and it’s a situation that’s been bothering me for a long, long time.

It’s about those signs with the moveable letters. You know the ones their rows of blocky black capitals with backwards N’s and S’s line our highways and loom over our shops and schools. Graceless and unsightly though they are, I watch for them every day because at least they are informative. And there’s the rub.

First of all, some information is more permanent than others, and for that information we should be making permanent signs. BINGO EVERY FRIDAY could be posted in a clever design with attractive font that actually serves to enhance the look of the town. So could DAILY LUNCH SPECIAL $4.99 or WE SELL SHOES. Imagine how much more interesting our villages would be if signs like these were creatively designed and hung. Think of the view!

Of course, some information is so changeable that an ugly box sign is really the only good option. So, fine, I can live with that - until the information is no longer useful. Lent is days away, so why am I still driving past signs that read HAPPY NEW YEAR and SALE ENDS DEC 24? This is one step beyond ugly. It screams that the sign owners couldn’t really care less about what information they feed us. Frankly, I’m not very interested in entering a place whose sign is weeks or months out of date.

I know, I know. It’s cold out there. And as someone who has had the unenviable job of rearranging those ugly block letters, I can sympathize with the frostbitten fingers and scraped knuckles. Still, if changing the letters causes too much hardship, just leave the sign blank. Better yet, don’t have the sign at all. Which brings me to why I am forced to write this screed in the coldest part of winter. A couple of days ago I passed Verona RONA Hardware one of our village’s most reliable sign changers, even though its signs are hung high above the store. Posted on the north sign was this message: MY BOSS TOLD ME TO CHANGE THE SIGN. SO I DID.

Inie Platenius

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To Central Frontenac Council: I wish to draw to YOUR attention Hydro One's intentions for their high voltage power line. Unless we stop them they will be spraying herbicide SOON. People that suppose this is harmless have yet to examine the 50 + year NON-Growth where the line crosses my property. Nor have they listened to Dr. Cathy Vikil ("Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment") explain linkage from 2, 4-D to leukemia and lymphona cancer. If Council cares about the health of those persons (like me) living on the Wheeler - Depot Lakes- Napanee River watershed, this is the time for you to act. Let's get with it! Call Wayne Preston, Area Forestry Technician 1-877-236-4111 X1. NOTE : South Frontenac acted last October to stop them spraying along roadways. They have a committee examining herbicide use near lakefronts. Jerry Ackerman

Kwey Kwey Neighbours, On February 26, at the regular monthly meeting of the traditional Family Heads Council of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation I was asked to write this letter concerning recent articles in the Frontenac News. This letter represents the views expressed by consensus of our Council. First of all we want to say how much we respect Ron Maguire for his honesty in the face of ridiculous criticism and his unselfish attempts to steer the Township of North Frontenac toward a responsible position regarding the Algonquin Cultural Centre development at Pine Lake . Mr. Green's article in the February 15, 2007 issue of the News really shocked members of AAFNA Council. Our Council was surprised to see that Mr. Wayne Cole, a North Frontenac councilor, was so ready for "confrontation" over an issue that Mayor Maguire has already made substantial efforts at resolving. We don't understand how Mr. Cole would undermine what Mayor Maguire had worked so hard to achieve over the last year. Mr. Cole is wrong in saying that Algonquins are "squatters".The Ottawa Valley is the homeland of the Algonquin people and has been since time immemorial.Algonquins have historically been military allies of the Crown and had a higher level of enlistment than any other group of people in the last two world wars.Algonquins have suffered the destruction of their environment and way of life as early loggers and miners pillaged the Ottawa Valley for its resources. If Mr. Cole was inclined to educate himself with real historical records he would discover that Algonquins petitioned the Crown for the protection of their homelands for over 150 years and were met only with apathy by government officials.In the face of racism, discrimination, and harassment, Algonquin people have survived.They have maintained the dream of using the land in a respectful way and in sharing the land and the prosperity it offers with those who have come here in the recent past.Mr. Cole's comment, as reported in your newspaper, is derogatory because it is founded in base ignorance. Ignorance of history is one thing; ignorance of the law is another.Mayor Maguire knows the law and is willing to respect it whether it serves his own interests or not.This is what is meant by "respecting the rule of law".Mayor Maguire is a courageous man and deserves our respect.In the Algonquin homeland the rule of law has been ignored for a very long time by both Ontario and Canada because these governments have profited by the exploitation of the Algonquin homeland.If Mr. Cole will read the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Constitution Act of 1982, sections 25 and 35, and then ask whether Canada has acquired a legal transfer of Algonquin land to the Crown he will find that he is wrong. He talks, as quoted in your newspaper article, of being willing to lead his mob into a "confrontation", but he is misleading them by refusing to respect or even acknowledge the rule of law. Ontario and Canada have all but washed their hands of our development at Pine Lake because they know that they do not have a legal disagreement with Algonquins taking possession of their own lands.Over the past 25 years the courts of Canada have struck down the old racist policies that undermined Aboriginal peoples' rights and land tenure. What has been lacking are politicians who will express leadership in explaining this to their constituents.Lack of political leadership perpetuates ignorance and is what leads to confrontation. The Algonquin Heritage Centre will be built at Pine Lake and people will come from far and near to enjoy what it will offer.Neither Canada nor Ontario can stop it from being built because they do not have legal title to the land.This does not mean that the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation will not respect the legitimate and constructive concerns of neighbours. We have listened to our neighbours.AAFNA has hired a Biologist to conduct a thorough Environmental Assessment which will include community input.We have retained an Architect and Engineer to design the Heritage Centre so that it will be safe and accommodate environmental concerns.It has been Mayor Maguire's honest recognition of Algonquin rights that has helped move this process along in a good way.Mr. Cole has had really nothing to offer toward a positive resolution. There are those who say that the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation should be taking part in the Algonquins of Golden Lake Land Surrender if we want our rights recognised. AAFNA has rejected the present "Land Claim" as just another effort to steal land and pay off those who would sell their birthright.AAFNA has determined that there is no future in selling the land or compromising what people have suffered so long to preserve. Ignorant politicians have been bashing Algonquins for a long time claiming that it is unfair for Aboriginal people to have rights beyond those of ordinary Canadians.We have studied this issue for a long time and arrived at the conclusion that ordinary Canadians really don't have many rights.Just stop paying taxes and see if you really own your century farm or your cottage. Try to protect your land from a multi-national company that is staking your property for uranium mining.Try to protect clean water, fish or plant species. Try to protect local game from sport hunters. Ask local politicians where Ontario spends the royalties acquired from local resource extraction.In the future, Algonquin rights will be what protect our environment and everyone's interests as well as keeping revenues obtained from resource development local.The emphasis should not be on limiting Algonquin rights but in extending the rights of Canadians to insure that they can live as human beings.We would suggest that if Mr. Cole truly wants to be a "leader of the people", that he share in the courage that Mayor Maguire exhibits in facing the future instead of playing on the old fears of some folks. Written by Robert Lovelace on behalf of and approved by the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, traditional Heads of Family Council.

Re: Pine Lake

In recent articles regarding the ongoing controversy surrounding AAFNA’s planned development at Pine Lake , it has been stated that the Pine Lake residents’ association is opposed to the development. As this situation continues to escalate, needlessly and inappropriately I might add, it is important to reiterate that all the residents of Pine Lake have ever asked for, and continue to seek, are assurances that the development will be governed by the same health and safety regulations to which we are all subject. The residents of Pine Lake have done their best to clearly articulate our concerns and engage all interested parties in meaningful dialogue.Our continued efforts in this regard have been met with silence from the mayor and a vicious letter alleging racial hatred from AAFNA. This, after we were assured AAFNA “wanted to be good neighbours” (Residents’ Association Meeting, August 2006). This is not about Native rights.To turn this, which is a community discussion, into such would be a very misleading and mendacious step. Our argument is now, and has always been, about unregulated, unsafe development in our township. Lisa Goos, Pine Lake

Dear Editor,

I amsaddened by what I saw and heardfrom the North Frontenac Council at its meeting last Thursday in regard to the Pine Lake situation.At various pointsand fromvariousseats at the table,I saw examples of ill will, ignorance, insensitivity and cowardice - all in petty doses, but all adding fuel to an already smouldering fire.

Probably the worstpart was the mayor's unnecessaryreference toan apparent complaint to police.Whoever instigated that foolishness,and whoever gives it legitimacy by repeating it, should be ashamed of themselves.

None of this isa matter of criminality. It is a matter of a failure - so far - bya lot of people with different histories and concerns tolistento each other, communicate respectfully, and problem-solve together.

I think there are alsopeopleinvolved who aretrying to resolve things in a caring way, andthey deserve recognition and support. But Iam very disappointed in council and inwhoever else is contributing to making this situation evenmore tangled and painful.

There's no question of giving up. I urge everyone involved to try again, and possiblymembers of ourcouncil could try offering humane and sensible leadership this time.

Helen Forsey

Pine Meadow undertaking enhancement projects

About 5 years ago, Pine Meadow Nursing Home in Northbrook embarked on a plan of expansion. The home is now nearly 14 years old. In the original plans, facilities like a chapel and increased storage and administrative spaces had been cut out, because of financial constraints. The Administration and Management Committee felt that the time had come to address these shortages, as well as to add a very modest number of beds to prepare for the rapidly Increasing elderly population,

Although the first 5 years of the nursing home had been very difficult financially, because of a

large mortgage burden, a $1.6 million grant in 1998 from the Ontario government eased the situation and allowed an era of financial stability to begin. By this time as well, the home had begun to bloom into an exemplary faculty, unrivalled by any In Eastern Ontario.

The time was thus opportune. The Ministry of Health had acknowledged that Eastern Ontario

needed more Long Term Care (LTC) beds, and our MPP was a cabinet minister. Plans were drawn up which would have included a physiotherapy department, a kidney dialysis unit and transitional accommodation for elderly residents who could no longer live In their own homes but did not need the full care of the nursing home. These were all Initiatives which would have greatly benefited the local population. The projected cost was estimated at $2.5 million.

While these plans had very positive verbal responses from various governmental people, including ministers, and other health and social service agencies, the end result has been disappointing. In two rounds of bed-allotments from the Ministry of Health in 2006, Pine Meadow was not granted any LTC beds, nor any financial assistance for capital Improvements.

After much discussion, the Management Committee and the Board of Land o' Lakes Community Services, which holds the license for Pine Meadow, have opted to go to Plan B. This will entail building a chapel for the spiritual needs of residents and their families and increasing the storage space for products and necessary equipment. It is estimated that the cost of such developments will be approximately $500,000, to be financed through savings, re-mortgaging, and a local fund raising drive.

As we continue to plan, we will keep the community Informed through our local media.

Ernest Lapchinski

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