| Mar 13, 2008

Letters - March 13, 2008

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Letters - March 13, 2008 LettersMarch 13

Development Would Not Pollute Sharbot Lake, Larry Chairot

Now That's Commitment!,Leo Ladouceur

Property Owner Responds Re:Cross Lake Rd, Brian Shier

Greetings from Christian Peacemaker Teams

Development Would Not Pollute Sharbot Lake

That some councillors would “cave” to a very few property owners in Central Frontenac who are opposed to a zone change is very disconcerting. The majority of the questions asked at the February 27th council meeting (Condominium Proposal Subjected to Public Scrutiny) held at the Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake had been answered by the presentations of Planning Consultant, Glen Tunnock, and Developer, Cameron Chiarot - had those questioners listened attentively.

Some council members truly understand that Sharbot Lake will experience growth and that a

wide variety of dwellings are necessary to adequately address the needs of those who wish to become residents of our hamlet.

There was a great lack of understanding on the part of some questioners as to what defines a condominium development. Perhaps some research into this area by these questioners would have been helpful to them. The comments made, in some cases, bordered on rudeness, not professionalism.

I expected questions from informed individuals. There were too many comments as to the precedent-setting acceptance of this zoning change. Did these questioners not hear the reiterated answer that each project stands on its own merits?

A fresh idea - an idea about the inevitable future growth of Sharbot Lake and a sound plan that is environmentally-friendly was presented. Some questioned the possibility of pollution to the lake. To these questioners, I propose that if they were truly, seriously concerned, they would be petitioning to check every island and waterfront property for any signs of polluting substances presently contaminating our lake. The self-contained, non-polluting, high technology sewage treatment system proposed by the developer was to have a professionally paid overseer to make sure the system operated correctly, and to repair any problems that may occur. How many of the questioners have that service for their own septic systems?

A questioner wanted to know if the new residents would have motorized boats. If the concern is about more boats on our lake, I would suggest that a law be enacted that would stop all non-resident anglers and boaters from using Sharbot Lake. Only waterfront property owners would be allowed to have boats on Sharbot Lake. Let's get tough on those anglers and leisure boaters who brought Zebra Mussels to Sharbot Lake.

Prior to the developer purchasing the property in question, the developer met with the township to request what was required of him to proceed with a zone change. Several items were listed and every item was complied with to the “letter”. The understanding was, when all items were completed, the Zone change would go to a public meeting with Council. There, the people spoke - the loud minority of Sharbot Lake - for if you were in favour of an attractive, inviting, non-polluting, well-planned, and keeping with the planned growth of Sharbot Lake, you would probably not attend this meeting.

Am I in favour of the development? Yes! Will the development be good for the hamlet of Sharbot Lake? Yes! Would the development pollute Sharbot Lake? No! Real research - not gut-reaction and hearsay, will lead to results that benefit the inevitable growth in Sharbot Lake.

The medical centre is presently being expanded because of the anticipated increase in population of Central Frontenac. Perhaps one should ask the people who made the decision about this expansion the reasons for this undertaking. Could it possibly reflect the inevitable growth of Sharbot Lake?

Larry Chiarot

Now that’s Commitment!This is a story that needs to be told – it is about the commitment of a group of volunteer firefighters. Remember Saturday night, March 5 and the big snow storm? It was around 9:10 PM.

The ambulance service was requesting medical assistance from the Clarendon-Miller Fire Department to aid a person in medical stress somewhere in a cabin on a lake off the Mountain Road north of Plevna. Not an unusual event in our part of the country except it involved the use of skidoos, ATVs and sled equipment to get to the patient and transport him to a spot the ambulance could get to. The additional complications of blinding snow, wind and impassible roads just added spice to the scenario.

As the story goes, Ompah station volunteers were busy getting ready to respond, because whenever the emergency tone goes off for our sister station in Clarendon-Miller we expect to be called out as well. Sure enough, at 9:15PM Emergency Services requested that Ompah station respond to assist with the rescue sled, ATV, trailer and 4X4 pickup truck to aid in getting to the patient. Eight Ompah volunteers responded to the fire hall and a parade of private trucks, emergency vehicles, ATVs and sleds on trailers rolled through 13km of blinding snowstorm to Plevna.

We knew nothing about the wilderness area we were entering, the storm was deadly and we had to worry not only about finding, aiding and rescuing the patient, but about the health and safety of eight volunteers spread out in this unknown dangerous environment. The process included setting up stations with trucks and vehicles along the route to control rescuer and communications traffic, getting to a specified address 8km up the wilderness road, following a trail path 2km by ATV to a lake, crossing the unfamiliar lake about 1km in the dark with its deep snow and top water, finding the patient, the reverse journey by transporting him by ATV back to the Mountain Road, moving him and an EMS attendant by private pick up truck back to Road 509 where the ambulance had decided to wait in the safety of the village.

By the time we got back to Ompah and unloaded, it was 1:30 am

So, why do I tell this story? This is just another example of the dedication and commitment of Volunteer Fire Fighters. Every township and town has them and Ompah Volunteers are no better than any of the others. But there is another more important reason and that is the attitude of some members of our North Frontenac Township council.

By letter, Ompah volunteers suggested politely that action could be taken towards a promised new fire hall and consideration for the purchase much needed equipment. Township’s response was “What commitment are the volunteers willing to make if we build a new fire hall?” From my personal point of view and my twenty-nine years of volunteering, Ompah Volunteers don’t make any commitments to Township Council. Our commitment is to serve the community and our citizens who depend on us. We make this commitment 24 hours a day every day of the year. When the emergency tone goes off, Township Council doesn’t look to the police, the ambulance service or to their paid employees to help.

The Fire Department is the first to be summoned, first to respond, first on scene, first to give emergency help and it costs Township Council literally nothing.

What commitment? The story above is an example of our commitment. Council’s commitment should at least include some appreciation for what we do. It should include a safe building and working environment. It should include certified safe and dependable trucks and equipment so we can continue offering this free, volunteer service.

Again from my personal point of view, the Ompah Volunteers have shown you theirs! Where is yours?

Leo Ladouceur

Property Owner Responds Re: Cross Lake Rd

I am writing this letter to address the dialogue that has been going on publicly concerning my property and the township property. Because of all the controversy I have spoken to people at the Municipal Control Office in Kingston. They have assured me that if the township owns a designated roadway that is not passable because of poor maintenance it cannot steal my property just for the purpose of saving money; in fact, under the circumstance the township does not even have the right to expropriate. I have offered to sell my property in its entirety but township officials have rejected that idea. I have spoken to lawyers who are quite familiar with the situation and they have advised me that the people who are causing all this kerfuffle would be doing me a great favour by taking this to court.

I want to explain just how this controversy got started because of the malicious gossip that has been circulating. One of my neighbours was using a small part of my property for parking for her customers, and I did not mind that at all, however one day these people erected a barricade on my property to prevent my son from having access to that area and even scolded him because he was using my property to play on. I put up a barricade to prevent her from using my property; this aroused her anger and she came to my house on more than one occasion claiming squatters rights and threatening legal action. This caused me great concern, so I consulted Provincial Authorities for advice. I was told what my rights were and was also told what my responsibilities were.

I also became concerned that others would try to steal my land so they could have access to Cross Lake road so I also inquired about closing that passageway also. The Road Access Act of Ontario spells out in very plain English what I had to do to close a passageway across my property. I put up a notice in compliance with the Act. Anyone who wished to had the right to challenge me in court. If there were no legal challenges within 90 days, I then had the right to close that passageway to the public, which I did.

The township realised its responsibility and participated in opening up a section of the Old Addington road so that people could have access to Cross Lake road.

Myself, my family and some of my friends have been the target of harassment, threats, and malicious gossip. We have endured all we can.

Here are my comments and challenges: To the people along the Cross Lake road who claim they can not get around the corner that has been created, I suggest it is time to have your driving skills tested by MTO. And too you claimed that service trucks cannot get around that comer, but that is not true, because my neighbours have watched them do so.

To the township officials, I suggest it is time for you to decide whether it would smarter to spend tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on lawyer, court and surveyor fees, or spend considerably less on opening the Old Addington road to connect Addington Road to Neal Road.

Here is my challenge to those of you on the Cross Lake road who are harassing me in your attempt to steal my property: go to the Township and work something out so that the people responsible will create proper access for you. Your other choice would be to take this matter to the courts.

If we end up m the courts I will be asking the judge to entertain the idea of opening the Old Addington road and closing that section of the Oliver road that presently spans my property. I will also be asking the courts that those people living along the Cross Lake Road prove that their residency is legal by presenting proof of permits for all structures and also proof of occupancy permits as well as confirming that all wells and septic systems have been properly inspected by a provincial inspector. For those of you who have been following this story as it evolved I would like you to keep in mind the amount of persecution that has been put upon us as a family and the distress it has caused us. There have been many lies and innuendoes circulated and we would like that to stop.

For those of you who have listened to the malicious gossip and rumours circulating around the community and believed them, and have passed judgement on me because of it, I say, "I hope someday you have to endure like lies about you”.

For those of you who have been spreading this malicious gossip and those untrue rumours, I say, "not one of you have had the courage or the decency to come and confront me face to face". For those of you who have causedTeresa so much stress while she was dealing with serious health problems I say, “Shame on you!”

To all of you people who like off road entertainment, exploration an fishing in hard to get at places, I would like to mention that the Cross Lake road (which is a public roadway) gives you access to hundreds of acres of unexplored crown land just waiting for your attention.

Brian Shier

Greetings from Christian Peacemaker Teams

A Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT)is maintaining a presence in the region as the conflict between the Algonquin First Nations and the Province of Ontario continues. At present, team members include Joel Klassen, Toronto; Rosemary Milazzo, New York; and John Funk, Armstrong, B.C. Local residents Carolyn and John Hudson of Snow Road Station recently trained with and joined CPT, and are working closely with the team.

CPT, an ecumenical organization, sends violence reduction teams to conflict areas in order to foster right relations through peaceful non-violent action and dialogue. CPT is currently fielding teams in Colombia, Palestine, Iraq, the U.S./Mexican borderlands and Sharbot Lake.

The Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations invited the team to the area. We thank them for their invitation. CPT has worked with various First Nations communities across Canada who have been subject to violence as they exercise their rights. The team recognizes the Algonquins’ inherent right and responsibility to protect their traditional territory from uranium mining while they pursue their legal land claim with the Ontario and federal governments.

The province’s failure to abide by Supreme Court rulings to “consult [and] accommodate” First Nations’ interests prior to development of unceded aboriginal land causes us deep concern. Ontario is missing an historical opportunity to negotiate in good faith, and thus renew its relationship with the Algonquins. It plays fast and loose with the highest law of Canada, and meanwhile provincial courts condemn those who invoke that law.

On the other hand, at the community level, we are profoundly encouraged by the collaboration of Algonquins and non-Algonquins to protect the land so essential for Algonquin identity and environmental integrity. The level of cooperation here is far beyond what we have observed in other areas of conflict in Canada. We have heard that the donated food brought to the Robertsville site filled several rooms after the autumn events! We wish to thank Reverend Patsy Henry for graciously making her residence at the Centenary Pastoral Charge United Church manse available as a home base for us. We very much appreciate Patsy’s generosity. We have felt welcomed by people with diverse perspectives on the issues facing the community.

The commitment to disciplined, persistent non-violence displayed by First Nations’ leaders and communities, and by settlers, inspires us. The demanding path they have taken is challenging and often frustrating. We sense a hopeful vision guiding it, a vision that helps assume the difficult responsibilities.

As we come to know different people in the community, we have come to understand that many are experiencing pain. We look forward to becoming better acquainted with people here, and hold everyone in our hearts and prayers. We know a peaceful resolution with justice is within the grasp of all people of goodwill.

For more information, see www.cpt.org, or call 613-331-0969. We welcome all visitors to the manse, located on Elizabeth St. in Sharbot Lake, across from the Freshmart.

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