| Feb 22, 2007

Feature Article - February 22, 2007

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Feature Article - February 22, 2007

Study proposed on effects of climate change in Addington Highlandsby Jule Koch Brison

Robert McLeman, a professor of Geography from the University of Ottawa , came to council to seek support for a study he proposes to do on the economic, social and cultural impacts of climate change on communities in Addington Highlands. Professor McLeman is not seeking financial support from council, but he hopes for council’s assistance in publicizing the study. He said he chose AH for the study because he used to own a cabin on Sheldrake Lake and is familiar with the area, and also because small communities like AH often get overlooked in these types of studies.


The goal of the research project is to document how the unusually warm winter has affected the economy and well-being of the community, and McLeman is looking to speak with AH residents in April, after the winter is over, to determine how conditions affected them, whether positively or negatively. The study will produce a report that will be available for council to use. The federal government has allocated $1.5 billion to help communities adapt to climate change and McLeman said that communities that have done their homework would be in the best position to access the funding.

Councilor Helen Yanch asked Professor McLeman if he would look at past winters to determine what a typical AH winter was like, but he said that might be in the longer term right now he is looking to do a baseline study just on this winter. Yanch also asked if he had a list of the questions he is planning to pose to residents, and he replied that he was hoping to get input as to what those questions should be.

Other councilors then started to give some input on the effects of the warmer winter - Councilor Louise Scott said that trappers had to start much later than usual, and that the ice still isn’t safe, as it is only 12” thick compared to 30” last year. Councilor Eythel Grant mentioned the effect on the local economy of the lack of enough snow for snowmobiling, and Building Inspector Wayne Kivell said that contractors have lost a lot of time because they can’t get to building sites over the ice. He also said that all the rain last fall slowed building starts down a lot.

McLeman said that those comments were exactly the type of input he was seeking. Council will place a link on its website to the project’s website, and will also include an article on the study in their next newsletter. Professor McLeman can be contacted at 613-562-5800 x 1051; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Council has received two estimates to survey the Denbigh Waste Site: one from P.A. Miller Surveying and one from McDonald & Eberhart. Township Clerk Jack Pauhl said that the Miller quote was the better one, but council deferred a decision until the next meeting in hopes of pinning down the costs more exactly.

Roads Superintendent Royce Rosenblath will contact loggers to see if they would cut the large trees on the Hughes Landing Road in return for the lumber, so that planned work on the road can proceed more efficiently. Rosenblath said that having to cut the trees down had really slowed down work in the past.

Pine Meadow Nursing Home has requested that the township do ditching to deal with an ongoing problem of water in the parking lot in the summer. Royce Rosenblath said the work would be done when there is time.

Several councilors expressed concern about the cost of animal control for the township. Jack Pauhl said the costs were broken down on the invoices and he would make them available for councilors to look at.

Wayne Kivell told council that he has been working with the OPP for 2 years on the problem of methane labs and people growing pot. He said that mould becomes a health problem in such houses, and although he couldn’t divulge too many details, certain houses are flagged.

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