Gale Chevalier will take over as Chief of Frontenac Paramedics on July 1st.
She shouldn’t have any difficulty fitting in, however, since she will be heading a service where she has spent her entire 25-year career as a paramedic.
She began working as a Primary Care Paramedic at Hotel Dieu Hospital Regional EMS in Kingston in 1994 and progressed to Advanced Care Paramedic in 1997. In 2004, after the Frontenac Paramedic Services took over the Hotel Dieu operation, she became the Operations Supervisor with the new service, and advanced to Supervisor of Quality Assurance and Training in 2009. She became the Deputy Chief of Performance Standards since November 2010 and Deputy Chief of Operations in April last year.
She also serves as the Acting Chief while Chief Paul Charbonneau was off on a leave of absence in late 2018 and early 2019. In February, Charbonneau returned from leave and announced his intention to retire, and the job was posted widely.
According to a Frontenac county media release, Chevalier “was the unanimous selection of the recruitment panel in a highly competitive field of candidates.”
With his replacement named, Paul Charbonneau is set to retire on July 1.
“I’m very excited and honoured to become the next Chief at Frontenac Paramedics, and I’m looking forward to leading a great team of professionals, and an organisation where I’ve spent my entire career,” said Chevalier. “I want to make sure we remain an employer of choice and continue to be leaders in the industry.”
The announcement of her appointment came one day after the news came out that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for Ontario intends the reduce the number of ambulance services in the province from 59 to just 10.
The potential impacts of the changes that the ministry is planning were not lost on her when she very briefly addressed Frontenac Council on Wednesday afternoon.
“It is an interesting time to take this on,” she said with a bit of wry smile when introduced to Council as the next chief, “but we will continue to provide the best service we can and we’ll see what changes come about.”
Out-going Chief Charbonneau reported to Council about what he had learned in the roughly 36 preceding hours since he found out about the Ministry’s unexpected plans.
“They said they will be consulting with the Paramedic Service providers, but it will be a quick turnaround for consultation, maybe a week or two, then we expect they will set up some sort of request for proposal process, similar to what they have done in other parts of the health care system,” he said.
“We have always been pro-active at Frontenac Paramedic Services, when it came to community Paramedicine or to addressing mental health issues among Paramedics, and we intend to be pro-active in this case.”
Charbonneau also said that when it was announced in the provincial budget that dispatch services were going to be rationalised into 10 dispatch centres it was widely applauded by Chiefs of Paramedic Services across the Province as a way to improve service.
“That was something the we had been asking for, but we never talked to them about cutting the number of providers. For our service, … It’s one of those cases where we need to decide if we want to drive the bus, be on the bus, or wait at a bus stop hoping to be picked up.”
Charbonneau said he will keep Council informed about decisions they may have to make “over the next 72 days and 2 hours before I retire, not that I’m counting the days.”
Leonard Chan started working in his uncle’s pharmacy, as a volunteer, when he was just a kid. Later he worked in local pharmacies in Mississauga, where he is from, as a part-time and summer job.
When he went to University of Waterloo in 2006, he took a science degree with a pre-health option, and then took a pharmacy degree in the co-op program. Between co-op placements and work in the field since graduating he has worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals and for Health Canada as a program officer in the medical marijuana division.
As his career has progressed he has focused on bringing some of the modern aspects of pharmaceutical medicine to an independent, community based practice.
“Out of all the places I worked, I always found myself drawn back to the community setting and always wanted to open my own Pharmacy one day. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals,” he said, when interviewed a couple of weeks ago as he was putting the finishing touches on the new Inverary Pharmasave.
For the past three and a half years Leonard has been working at the Gananoque Pharmasave as a clinical pharmacist.
Taking the job in Gananoque meant moving to the Kingston area for Leonard and his wife Rachel. The proximity to nature has been a welcome change for the couple, allowing them to enjoy the outdoors more.
“We love the outdoors and often camp, fish and hike in our leisure. It was these hobbies which attracted us to the South Frontenac area as we often canoe at South Frontenac Park and in neighbouring lakes.”
Leonard knew that he wanted to open his own pharmacy at some point, and when he got to know the region a bit better, he saw an opportunity.
“We realised there was a void that could be filled by opening a pharmacy in Inverary, with all the surrounding areas such as Perth Road Village, Battersea, Sunbury, Davidson's Beach and Glenburnie which could potentially utilize our services. The Inverary area is also growing at a rapid pace with the construction of new homes and developments, two new commercial buildings and a recent return of the LCBO outlet.”
The new Inverary Pharmasave is located just south of the hamlet on the east side of the road at 3810 Perth Road, in a new building that is set back from the 24 hour automated gas station.
The pharmacy is open Monday to Friday, from 9am – 6pm. Leonard’s vision of the pharamacy is as more than place to pick up medications, vitamins and household supplies.
“We want to be a healthcare hub, where people come to get advice and utilize some of the services our Pharmacy has to offer,” he said.
Among the services that Inverary Pharmasave are bringing on right away are: smoking cessation counselling; travel health counseling to ensure people are fully prepared and take the right precautions when traveling out of the country; medalign to ensure medications are filled on schedule; and strep throat an urinary tract infection testing.
Also, the store offers MyDNA Personalized Medication Test.
“Everyone has a unique genetic profile determines how their body processes certain medications. Some people process certain medications too quickly and receive little or no benefit. Others process some medications too slowly and have an increased risk of dangerous side effects. The myDNA Medication reports can help us personalise treatment by selecting the medications and doses that may work better for individuals.”
Inveray Pharmasave is also committed to being part of the resurgence of local business in South Frontenac and rural Kingston. As he was setting up the store, Leonard asked around and used social media to find products he could use in the new store.
Among those that he found were farmacy bath and beauty products from Harrowsmith, Litsie Creations from Perth Road who make artisan fabric bags, will be providing flax seed heat packs and maybe epipen bags at the pharmacy. The pharmacy also worked with Westwood Rustic Living of Glenburnie who are making the exterior sign for the store, and Rust and Roses Design, or Elginburg, who make metal signs.
Opening a new store is a big step for Leonard Chan, and along with a baby on the way 2018 is a year of big, positive changes for the Chan family.
Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue (CFFR) will soon be equipped with a potentially life-saving tool to deal with opioid overdoses.
CF FR fire trucks will be carrying naloxone for use by trained ﬁreﬁghters to treat patients.
"The administration of Naloxone by trained CFFR personnel will enhance the level ofservice CFFR provides to the public". Fire Chief Greg Robinson said.
Acknowledging the increase in opioid-related emergencies in Ontario, CFFR. in alignment with current Tiered Response protocols and with the suppon of Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health, will enhance service delivery through the administration of Naloxone.
CFFR Fireﬁghters are currently receiving training to deliver Naloxone. The program will be implemented once all training is completed and the Naloxone kits are put on first response ﬁre trucks, which is anticipated to be March l, 20l8.
Diane Dawber is living the good life these days. She is feeling strong and healthy, enjoying living on Wilmer Road next to Sydenham Lake
But that has not always been the case. In 1990, while she was working as a teacher and living in Amherstview, she had a foot injury, but tried to ignore it and carry on with her life.
“Gradually, the pain spread and we found out I had other injuries which all contributed to the pain,” she said, when interviewed last week at her home.
By the mid 90’s, the pain was pretty much all consuming, and she found it difficult to get around or even to sit.
Things did not improve much, if at all, and in 1996, with 5 other people in similar circumstances, Diane formed a study group.
“It was made up of nurses and teachers with chronic conditions who wanted to figure out how to improve our health,” she said.
The group’s focus was on reading and researching and sharing information. It was a self-help group of a sort but, as Dawber said, it was not about commiserating and sharing coping mechanisms, it was about finding solutions.
“We read books, and followed recommended therapies of all sorts. We tried every diet known to man, we tried environmental clean ups, we tried vitamins and mineral supplements, bio-mechanics, exercise and every strategy we could find.”
In the first six years during which the group met, they calculated that collectively they had spent $250,000 on supplements.
Gradually, through more and more focused research, the group, whose numbers began to increase, began to have success. One by one the original members found their way to better health.
The solution, which is tailored to each individual, has to do with nutrition and “gut bacteria” and the way to determine what will help an individual makes use of the sense of smell.
The group of friends and fellow travellers has become a charitable organisation, which is called Health Pursuits Reading and Research: MEND, which has developed a kit that is available to the public from the website healthpursuitsgroup.com.
The kit includes 56 vitamins and minerals, and instructions. The process is based on two simple premises. One is that individuals are unique, and the second is that our sense of smell can provide valuable information.
“Take one of these, say vitamin D for example,” Diane Dawber said, pulling open a small plastic bottle with a vitamin D pill in it. “If it smells bitter to you, you likely have more vitamin D than your body needs. If it smells sweet, you are low, and if it doesn’t smell at all you are likely OK for vitamin D.”
By using a combination of substances a picture can emerge of what issues are at play for an indvidual, and those can be confirmed by blood or other medical tests.
Over the last few years, Diane has been compiling all the information that was used to put the kits together into book form. The result is a new book, the Nutrient Scent test, which is a resource volume that includes sections on each of the substances in the kit, their interactions, and examples of individual cases.
The back jacket includes this short description of subject matter: “The Nutrient Scent Test provides you with a tool that is relatively inexpensive, easily accessible, and wide-ranging to determine when nutrients are adequate of deficient using your body’s nutritional intelligence.”
For Dawber the book is a culmination of years of effort, and marks the end of a chapter in her life as well. The original group does not meet any more because they are all doing well, and the website and Facebook groups are where meetings take place between people who are working on their own health issues and sharing information between each other.
A celebration event is set for December 11th from 12:30pm to 5pm at the Isabel Turner branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library to celebrate the completion of the book and the 15 years of research that went into its creation. The public is welcome to meet all of the original members of that group that began meeting 22 years ago.
“It’s more of a celebration of the fact the book has been completed than anything else, and a chance to inform more people about the Scent Test,” said Dawber.
The Land Between charity in partnership with Watersheds Canada (makers of the Love your Lake program) are piloting the new Blue Lake ecolabel program for Cottage Country! It is poised to be the gold standard in lake stewardship. The Land Between has spent 7 years in developing and testing a new interactive database that combines water quality data, with fisheries information, and shoreline development data. This new database can also accommodate Love Your Lake data and other data sets and it is able to receive and instantly process new data entered from lake stewards, landowners, anglers and biologists. The database can already assess trends, highlight issues, and also be used for research. For example, we have been able to test and highlight shifts in lake health for many lakes in Haliburton county, and allude to what areas within the lake that need attention. Therefore, too we can highlight stewardship actions to take in order to help. “It is the first time in Ontario’s history that we have put all the key pieces of information that relate to lake health together in one digital warehouse.” Says Leora Berman, CEO of The Land Between charity. The database was developed with support of Sir Sandford Fleming geomatics students and using the best available science.
It has been peer reviewed by a team of biologists from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) and Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (OMOECC). Now, The Land Between and Watersheds Canada are poised to pilot a new ecolabel called “Blue Lakes Program” that will use this database (and companion app) as a core part of its framework. Lake associations that agree to adopt stewardship principles and actions will receive the ecolabel and with it, access to the database and app, as well as all the scientific data that is housed in the database, and also the realtime information that it generates about their lake. Ecolabel stewardship actions will include providing education to lake residents on best management practices, water quality monitoring, improving boating practices, and advancing natural shorelines on their lakes through planting projects. While enrolled lakes are recognized under the label and have access to the database, the platform will also contain educational content and links to news, research, and resources, and other cool and emerging features such as the Natural Edge shoreline restoration app. Enrolled lakes will also have ready access to ongoing stewardship programs, such as The Land Between’s Design Your Own Shoreline Garden Before launching the program across the region and beyond, the team are looking to partner with interested lake associations in order to pilot the program, to ensure that it is state of the art and effective.
Both Leora Berman and Watersheds Canada, Executive Director, Barbara King, agree that there are many benefits to cooperation under this new program; “This new project is a perfect complement to the Love Your Lake Program that has been so successful in raising awareness about lake health in Ontario. It is a stewardship-based ecolabel that combines the best of science and modern technology. We hope that it will empower landowners to take informed actions in order to sustain the health of our lakes for the foreseeable future.” If your lake association is interested in piloting the ecolabel, or for more information, contact Leora Berman or Barb King by visiting www.bluelakes.ca
When Kerri Pringle’s mother, Sharon Horgan, died of Sarcoma 9 years ago, she was understandably devastated. Among the ways that she dealt with her grief was to stasrt up a fund raising event to donate money to the University Hospital Foundation for research into Sarcoma, which is a rare form of cancer.
Kerri is a Pampered Chef Consultant based in Sydenham and at first she set up an annual fundraising sale for her customers in her own home.
Over the years the event has grown and moved to different locations. This year the evening is set for the Community Room at the Sydenham branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, and in addition to the Pampered Chef, five other businesses are participating.
They include: Hayley Hudson - Independent Consultant with Steeped Tea, Leann Benoit - The Crafty Gardener / Mrs. Bee, Amber Gustavel - Independent Consultant with Thirty-One Gifts, Amanda Kaiser - Independent Wellness Advocate with doTerra, and Jenn Kent - Independent Consultant with Arbonne.
“We are all friends and we thought by having us all there it will make for an enjoyable evening for all of our customers and the whole community,” said Kerri, “I’m looking forward to it.”
In addition to raising money for research, there will be material available about Sarcoma in order to raise awareness about patient care and research.
The vendors will be offering samples as well, and there will be raffles as well at the two house event, which runs from 6:30pm – 8:30pm on Thursday, November 9th.
The Community Foundation of Kingston and Area (CFKA) marked the release of its annual Vital Signs report by hosting a kickoff on Monday morning (October 2) event at the Kingston Seniors Centre, which is located at a converted school on Francis Avenue (near Portsmouth) in Kingston. The location of the release in a building where seniors participate in recreational programming day in and day out fit the theme of the presentations well. The report itself points out that the local region is ahead of the national curve in terms of aging.
As of the most recent census there are more Canadians over 65 than there are children. Twenty per cent of Kingston residents are over 65 and that figure is projected to increase to 30% by 2026. With an even older population than the City of Kingston, the issues surrounding aging are also a challenge for Frontenac County. Apart from the need for more services and stresses on existing infrastructure, the region may have a labour shortage to deal with. The population of Kingston and Frontenac is projected to grow from 160,000 in 2016 to 171,000 in 2026 but the number of adults of working age (15-64) is projected to drop from 106,000 in 2016 to under 100,000 by 2026.
Housing designed for seniors at different levels of need, whether it is seniors focused rent geared to income housing, assisted living units, or beds in long term care facilities such as Fairmount Home, are all lagging behind demand currently with long wait lists in each sector.
On the other hand the report indicates that a large proportion of seniors are maintaining social and family ties, are exercising and living independent lives well into their 80’s and 90’s.
For a perspective on aging and social planning, Dr. Jennifer Ingram, a specialist in internal geriatric medicine, the founder of the Kawartha Memory clinic, and the Seniors Physician Lead with the Central East Local Health Integration Network delivered an address.
In a wide ranging talk, one of her topics was dementia. She said that dementia, on a population scale, is something that the health care system and communities of care such as families and networks of friends and neighbours are least prepared for, but that some of the research that is going on might make a difference.
“We can now identify dementia when it is coming. We can distinguish dementia from normal aging, and we can now do this up to 15 years before the decline in cognition is apparent. It is similar to identifying and treating people when they are in a pre-diabetic state.
“We need to change our thinking, we need a dementia strategy that calls for supports and a better dementia workforce, which includes changes in primary care,” she said.
She also said that she agrees with the current government’s reluctance to build more long term care beds to deal with a bubble of need that will eventually pass.
“We built schools on a massive scale and now we are closing them and leaving empty buildings and we don’t want to do that with long term care.
“The solution is to provide supports for seniors, families and caregivers to continue living at home. The costs are so much lower and the outcomes are better,” she said.
Paul Charbonneau, Chief of Frontenac Paramedic Services talked about the paramedicine initiatives on Wolfe Island and elsewhere in the county that the service he manages have been able to start up, and about the movement towards making more use of the skills of paramedics for health promotion.
“The program has been taken up by the Ministry of Health” he said. Paramedicine programs were first developed in Australia and were pioneered in Ontario in Renfrew County. Frontenac Paramedic Services operates a clinic on Wolfe Island and they work with Rural and Southern Frontenac Community Services to meet with senior’s at Diners events each month.
The report card aspect of this years’ Vital Signs Report is not as important as it may have been in previous years, because the premise of the report is that issues around aging well are going to be front and centre in the minds of social service agencies, the health care system, municipal governments and so many others over the next 10 to 20 years that the intent of this report is more to identify issues that will been to be addressed rather than evaluate how well the systems that are currently in place are faring.
That being said, some current gaps in the system were identified, particularly as regards housing.
At the Denbigh meeting of Addington Highlands Council on Monday night, Reeve Henry Hogg and Deputy Reeve Helen Yanch reported that Lennox and Addington County appears set to re-visit its commitment to maintaining a 12 hour a day ambulance service based in Denbigh and build a new base to house that service.
“The new CAO of the County [Brenda Orchard] has some ideas about replacing the ambulance with an emergency first response vehicle. That vehicle would not be able to cross county lines like an ambulance so there are implications for our neighbours, and there are big implications for our own residents as well because those vehicles can’t take patients to hospital,” said Reeve Hogg.
“Mark [Chief of Paramedic Services Mark Shjerning] has looked at it and does think it is viable, but I know that it is being pushed for sure,” said Yanch. “My thoughts are that the CAO of the county should sit down with our ambulance committee and talk to them.”
“When is this going to come up?” asked Councillor Bill Cox.
“November, I think,” said Hogg.
“Maybe Tony [Councillor Tony Fritsch] should approach the CAO, as chair of our ambulance committee, and ask if there is anything formal coming up about this, because we haven’t heard anything about it,” said Cox.
Reeve Hogg said “They are wearing us down with this. It comes up at least once a term, and it never seems to end.”
Hogg’s assertion. In 2012 the service was cut in half, from a 24 to a 12 hour service. In January 2016 a staff report at L&A County proposed cutting the service entirely. This was not acted upon by Council and in November, 2016 a search was initiated for a suitable piece of land to build a permanent base in Denbigh, but that base has not been built as of yet.
“They said at our county meeting last week that the new base was ‘not a priority for the former CAO’ [Larry Keech] which confirmed what I always thought was going on,” said Yanch.
“I’m sure County Council is tired of hearing from us and from Denbigh residents over and over about this,” said Fritsch.
“They are wearing us down,” said Hogg.
“Doesn’t the south already have what they want,” asked Bill Cox, referring to a new base that was built in 2016 in Loyalist Township.
“They are buying land right now in Stone Mills for a base,” said Hogg.
Currently there are two 24 hour ambulances based in Napanee, and 24 hour ambulances based in Odessa (Loyalist Township) and Northbrook (Addington Highlands) in addition to a 12 hour service based in a temporary station in Denbigh.
Those who have advocated for closing the Denbigh base talk about the lack of calls for service in the remote rural area, tying up personnel and equipment.
Those who advocate for keeping the service talk about distance and the role the Denbigh service plays in serving a large under-served area in neighbouring jurisdictions (Renfrew and Frontenac Counties) as well as Lennox and Addington.
The Denbigh service was initially set up by the Province of Ontario because of the communities location at the junction of two provincially significant arterial roads (Hwy.’s 41 and 28) in order to serve the vast, underpopulated region. Ever since ambulance service was downloaded and the Denbigh service has come under the budget of Lennox and Addington County, questions about its financial viability have been raised. Overtures to Frontenac and Renfrew Counties’ to help fund the service, beyond paying a fee for service for cross-border calls, have been rebuffed.
Other items from AH Council
Waste Disposal fees
A revised waste disposal fee schedule was presented to Council. It includes a fee of $15 for a truck or single axle trailer load, $30 for a dual axle load, and fees of $35 for a trailer/truck load of shingles, $100 for fiberglass boats, etc. Clear AH logo bags are required for all waste not covered in the schedule, and tires, e-waste and freon-free appliances can be disposed of for free. Large loads of construction waste, anything larger than a dual axle trailer, are no longer accepted at Addington Highlands Waste sites.
The new schedule will be presented to waste site attendants for comment, and will be back before Council for adoption, likely at the October 2 meeting at 1pm in Flinton.
Fees waived for NAEC
In response to a request from North Addington Education Centre staff, fees for use of the Flinton Hall for Christmas and Spring formals, and for use of the ball diamond rink for tournaments and other uses, will no longer be charged to the student council.
Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund Top up Component application.
AH has applied for a $877,500 to cover 90% of the costs to rehabilitate 2.8 kilometres of the Mattawatchan Road, which runs north from Buckshot Lake Road into Renfrew County. If approved the township will be required to find the other $97,500 in the $975,000 project.
Addressing concerns at Weslmkoon Lake – After an ambulance had great difficulty finding an island resident on Weslmkoon Lake, CAO Christine Reed said the township needs to look at re-doing the insufficient and inaccurate civic addressing system on the lake. The project will be slow and expensive as the lake has over 100 islands and 50 of them contain cottages, but Reed said it is something that the township needs to get started on, and council agreed.
Dog Strangling vine not accepted at waste sites
On the recommendation of Public Works Supervisor Brett Reavie, the township will not accept the invasive plant “Dog Strangling Vine” at waste sites. Residents are encourage to deal with the plant themselves.
Ten years ago Frontenac County Council committed $540,000 over ten years to help fund the re-development project at Kingston General Hospital and the Cancer Care Centre of Eastern Ontario. In the spring, the fund raisers from the University Kingston Hospitals Kingston foundation came back to Frontenac County with an update about the kinds of upgrades that are being planned for the hospital over the next few years, and said they would be back with a formal funding request.
They came back this week, and the ask is $200,000, which is what the presenters back in the spring predicted it would be. On a per-capita basis, if Frontenac County Council agrees to the request, its residents will be paying, on the basis of number of hospital visits per resident per year, the same as the City of Kingston pays. Looking at it another way, with 40,000 visits per year, Frontenac County would be kicking in $5 per resident visit as an annual donation.
While this seems like a large increase for the foundation to ask for, the request is actually lower than it was in 2007, when they asked for $220,000 per year of the council of that day. Council decided to pay just under 1/4 of the amount requested, $54,000 per year.
Council is expected to consider the request when they consider their 2018 budget later in the fall.
A popular swimming hole has been closed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
Gilmour Point in Battersea was officially closed Aug. 30 due to possible blue-green algae in Dog Lake. The beach is located at the end of Wellington Street and is a busy summer gathering place for local families.
“It’s not uncommon for there to be challenges on Dog Lake,” confirms Wayne Orr, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for South Frontenac Township.
A public servant with the township for eight years, Orr says the closure only impacted the last two-week-session of children’s programs at the beach.
Of the townships four public beaches, Gilmour Point is the only one closed. Samples were taken at the beach and were submitted to a lab for analysis. As of press time, results were still unknown.
Speaking on behalf of the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health Unit on Sept. 6, Andrew Girouard says the turnaround time for testing is 10 to 14 days.
An experienced health inspector, Girouard has seen blooms in Kingston and other parts of the health unit’s catchment area.
“We want to educate people more, to take their own precautions,” says the Manager of the Environmental Health Team about the potentially harmful blooms. “I think this (Gilmour Point Beach) is a case where it’s so visible and present, people won’t go in that water.”
According to officials, cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, are primitive microscopic organisms that have inhabited the earth for more than two billion years. They are bacteria, but have features in common with algae.
Blue-green algae occur naturally in a wide variety of environments including ponds, rivers, lakes and streams. During an algal bloom, people are encouraged to avoid activities such as swimming and bathing in water near the bloom to reduce the risk of exposure to algal toxins.
“We want the public to be aware this bloom exists and not go into the water,” says Girouard who calls the blooms a product of heavy rains and warm weather.
“As soon as the water temperature changes, it will make a difference,” confirms the township CAO.
Located a few minutes from the lake where he worked as a fishing guide, Storrington Councillor Ron Sleeth notes, “Dog Lake turns over every year. This is a natural occurrence.”
Describing the lake as drowned land from the building of the Rideau Canal, the well-known community activist notes, “The problem appears to be worse this year due to the heavy volume of rainfall. The water level is extremely high for this time of year.”
To protect residents against possible exposure, people are encouraged to take a cautious approach if they encounter a blue-green algal bloom which can be dense and solid-looking clumps. Fresh blooms often smell like newly mown grass and older blooms may smell like rotting garbage.
Although many varieties of blue-green algae are harmless, some can produce toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals.
During an algal bloom, health experts recommend avoiding activities such as swimming and bathing in water near the bloom to reduce the risk of exposure to algal toxins. Residents are encouraged to contact the health unit for swimming advisories as well as information on health risks associated with the blooms.
If you suspect a blue-green algal bloom:
• assume toxins are present
• avoid using the water
• restrict pet and livestock access to the water, and
• call the Ministry’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.