| Dec 04, 2008

Dec 4/08 - Letters

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Letters - December 4,2008 Letters: December 4

And So It Goes, Robert Lovelace

CF Road Capital Improvement Plan, Logan Murry

Open Letter to CF Council and Public Works, Juergen Reinecke

And So itGoes

After centuries of failure, some things never change. Canada and its provinces have yet to learn that colonial muscle only leads to more resentment and conflict. The recent agreement between one First Nation, a surrogate First Nation, Ontario and a prospector have left a bitter taste in the mouths of honest people. For the most part, Shabot Obaadjiwan will be permitted to look over the shoulder of Frontenac Ventures while deep core drilling for lucrative uranium deposits takes place. Ontario calls it a victory, while many residents know that it was a defeat brought about with the threat of a $77 million lawsuit, court costs, fines and jail sentences.

The agreement between these colluding parties allows Frontenac Ventures to do what they intended to do in the first place. If they are not stopped the results of their exploration will be sold to a larger mining company that will develop an open pit uranium mine. That mine will operate for a decade or so and then close, leaving behind toxic tailing that will poison the Mississippi watershed. The most conservative research indicates that no environmental or health protection regulations have ever limited the development of an open pit uranium mine in Canada. Governments just don’t care to get involved. The aftermath is as predictable, every uranium mining site opened in Canada remains a toxic wasteland. There is no technology for containment of radio-active tailings that is good beyond 30 years; just long enough for your grandchildren to grow up.

The affects are already obvious. Beautiful land near Crotch Lake has been scraped clean for drilling and roads (called trails) have been forced across cold water streams and wetlands. Local real estate values have plummeted around the exploration area and lifelong tourists are relocating or looking elsewhere for other “little pieces of heaven”. People who are the “salt of the earth” have been threatened and feel powerless as Ontario ignores their petitions and intelligent concerns. I suppose for some, the fortunate few, Shabot Obaadjiwan, can at least relax now, their fight is over, they have played their part in the colonial dance with Ontario. For the rest of us it is not over, our responsibilities to the land and one another will continue.

Robert Lovelace

CF Road Capital Improvement Plan

I have a serious concern about the Road Capital Improvement Plan (RCIP) that will be discussed during the next meeting of council. It seems, from information gleaned on the township’s web site, that the public works department is proposing a long-term road budget that will effectively ensure that no money is available for approximately one third of the roads in the township. If it is passed, those of us who live on D and possibly some C classified roads can look forward to no monies being budgeted on our roads. The plan is very vague in certain areas and does not seem to deal with the roads from primarily a safety issue, and secondly from a cost benefit issue.

As an example there are several very unsafe areas of the Cranberry Lake Road and several areas where, given any significant rainfall, the road surface washes away. Surely fixing such problems brings a great degree of safety to the citizens who use that road and saves us from trucking gravel to the same areas over and over and having to grade those areas constantly. Fixing these types of areas properly and quickly insures that greater resources would be available on the rest of the road system and eliminates a significant waste of material and fuel.

The preamble to the plan recommends that council should “consider consultation with the public with regard to the implications of a RCIP”. Do we consider posting the plan the web site consultation? Do we intend to have this consultation when a significant number of ratepayers are not in the township? And on top of it all we paid a consultant to facilitate the plan. How much did that cost?

A number of these roads are already in abysmal condition and very poorly maintained, it would be ridiculous to exclude them from potential upgrading. If we simply dealt with road issues with some common sense and made sure the work, wherever we choose to upgrade our road stock, was done well and efficiently, not the case in way too many circumstances I have personally witnessed, then we can improve our roads at a sensible cost.

Logan Murray

Open Letter to CF Council and Public WorksI live on the Clarendon Road in Central Frontenac Township. After much conversation with various members of the community, I decided to voice my concerns in this form.

The subject is fairness and equality for all the residences of this township. I cannot give you an opinion on the road condition of the whole of Central Frontenac. However, I can give you the facts on the road system in my immediate proximity.

Starting in June there were multiple phone calls made to the public works department about the potholes, washouts, and general disrepair of the Willis Armstrong - Clarendon Road.

No return of my calls. Nothing happened. IGNORED.

After several more calls a grader was sent to grade the road but only part of it. Fed up, I tried to improve the rest of the road (2 miles) as best as possible, which I had to do another three times. Because of the horrendous roads, my farm equipment incurred damage costing $300. Thanks!

In August the road was graded the day before Blue Skies festival began (I guess so the locals couldn’t ruin the road before the festival). On that day the grader wanted to turn back again but my wife BEGGED him to complete the rest. He actually did and this was the first time that road was completely graded. Many thanks to the driver.

After the Blue Skies festival was over, the road was worse than before. Calls to the road department go unanswered - IGNORED AGAIN. All that time there is major roadwork on the Zealand Road and lots of times there are two graders sitting beside the road for days - 10 minutes from a road that is unsafe to travel on.

After more calls, nearing the end of the summer the roads finally got graded - that was the last time we saw a grader. Now the snow is flying and we are BEING IGNORED again. After seeing the snowplow not plowing some of the roads, which are connecting roads to other townships, I was informed that the duty to maintain these roads has been given to private contractors - undoubtedly to allow the roads manager to keep the promise to have all the roads serviced in under seven hours after a snowstorm.

Let all the roads be done by contractors and the township crews will be breaking records in snow clearing.

The township plow went by and six hours later the contractor came. It took him four trips to clear this part of the road. We now have a single lane road with no sand, making it nearly impossible for emergency vehicles to respond to any of the residences.

All the side roads were cut off for six hours because the township truck deposited snow banks blocking every intersection. Meanwhile I saw dead end roads with one residence on it close to town being plowed and sanded Thursday morning.

Saturday morning here. Single Lane - No Sand! The property owners in this area pay their share of the taxes and should get their fair share of services. People’s rights are being trampled on. They live and work here and these problems need to be corrected now.

As I complained to a township official, we spoke on my opinion that the closer you live to the main populated area the better service you get. I actually got to hear that people with half million dollar cottages expect proper service! I guess we little guys in the bush should pay our taxes and repair our damaged vehicles. Meanwhile our services should go to ****.

Juergen Reinecke

[Editor’s note: this is a condensed version of a letter that was sent to the township]

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