North Frontenac passed a resolution at its regular meeting Monday morning in Plevna to hire a consul...
What comes up when you hear China these days? Dictatorship, authoritarianism, human rights violatio...
“We’re still looking for jumpers,” said Janet Barr, organizer of this year’s...
With the exception of July and August, there’s country music at the community centre in Sunbur...
North Frontenac passed a resolution at its regular meeting Monday morning in Plevna to hire a consultant to conduct interviews with its Ward 1 firefighters. Director of Emergency Services/Fire Chief Eric Korhonen told Council that “our Ward 1residents aren’t getting the same level of service the other two wards are, for one thing, there are a number of different bylaws” and “I do believe there is a cost savings to be had.” The measure wasn’t on the original agenda, which led Coun. John Inglis to ask “it’s a bit of a news item to me — am I alone on that?” North Frontenac has a joint agreement with neighbouring Addington Highlands Township to provide fire and emergency services to the former Barrie Township, North Frontenac’s most westerly ward through the joint Kaladar/Barrie Fire Department. North Frontenac took a look at how it delivers these services in Wards 2 and 3 previously, a study that included interviews with firefighters and support staff. Coun. Gerry Martin supported the idea. “We got good results interviewing Ward 2 and 3 volunteers,” Martin said. “We should do the same with Ward 1. “We got a better fire department because we talked to those people.” But other councilors weren’t so sure this new study would be such a good idea. “I’m not in favour,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry. “We’ve improved this agreement over time and I don’t want a witch hunt. “If you make the wrong move, you’re going to have an issue.” “We might be poking a bear here,” said Coun. Vernon Hermer. “We could be alienating some people.” Inglis asked how this proposal came about and CAO Cheryl Robson said: “this was all discussed during the Fire Master Plan debate. “We’re not asking Addington Highlands for any money, we’re just asking the joint committee for approval and I’m looking at whether to put this in the budget. “I don’t know what the recommendations will be.” “So this isn’t coming about because somebody is screaming at us about service,” said Inglis. Korhonen tried to argue for more latitude for the consultant but Council was leery of that. “I think the consultant will need a little more freedom than just interviewing staff,” Korhonen said. He also said that he wasn’t aware of any similar joint fire committees in the Province. • • • During a rather routine zoning amendment procedure, it was noted that the property was on a private lane with a locked gate. Fire Chief Eric Korhonen was asked if that presented a problem in the event of an emergency. “We either roll over them (locked gates) or we cut the lock,” he said. “There isn’t much that can stop our equipment.” • • • Council approved the hiring of a summer student to help with the efforts to study and control the infestation of Eurasian Milfoil on Malcolm and Ardoch Lakes. “It’s an experiment the MNR has approved,” said Mayor Ron Higgins. “I’m not sure if we’re throwing money away but if they learn something, that will be applicable to our other lakes,” said Coun. John Inglis. “The major (tax) contributors are our seasonables and this addresses their issue.” • • • Coun. Gerry Martin took exception to the existence of the Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection Committee and how its members are selected. “This is just bureaucratic system creep and what Randy (MPP Hillier) was talking about,” Martin said. “There’s some empire building going on.” “Is this the thing where they’re going to tax our private wells?” said Coun. John Inglis. “Ottawa has two members, Perth, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place have one,” said Martin. “They all have municipal water supplies.” “I’ll talk to the other mayors and come back with some information in February,” said Mayor Ron Higgins.
“We’re still looking for jumpers,” said Janet Barr, organizer of this year’s Polar Bear Plunge which is now in its ninth season as part of the annual Frontenac Heritage Festival. “We have four people signed up already.” The Plunge has become a highlight of the Sunday festivities of the Festival, which is held on the Family Day long weekend in February. This year’s plunge goes Feb. 17 at noon. Besides being one of the Festival attractions, the Plunge also raises money for local charities. This year’s recipients will be The Treasure Trunk, Northern Connections and the Central Frontenac Fire Department. Pledge forms are available at The Treasure Trunk, Community Living North Frontenac or by calling Barr at 613-279-2113. There are prizes for best costume, most pledges, youngest plunger and oldest plunger, she said. Barr said they’d like to get more than last year’s 20 participants and maybe even beat the all-time record of 45 plungers.
It was billed as a Special Council meeting to establish North Frontenac’s ‘Goals’ for 2019-2022’s Strategic Plan, but Coun. John Inglis opened up another topic — Mayor Ron Higgins’ interview on Lake 88 (available as a podcast on the radio station’s website) in which Higgins talked about the Township, his role as Frontenac County Warden and then his plans for One Small Township, a multi-faceted plan for economic development that Council has yet to buy into. Inglis said it sounded like Higgins was talking about Township involvement in the project when he used the term ‘we’ in that part of the interview. “You should have mentioned that the Township doesn’t support it,” Inglis said. “We agreed you would no longer imply the Township was behind this project.” “You said ‘North Frontenac is the first Township to initiate the concept of contributionism,’” said Coun. Vernon Hermer. Higgins apologized saying he was referring to the management team of One Small Township. And then, Higgins said that financing is imminent. “I’ll be getting a cheque in mid-February,” he said. “I’m expecting to break ground on some projects in early spring.” Higgins said he couldn’t name his backers at this time, but urged Council to support them. “Part of it is that the people (putting up the money) would like to be recognized with a plaque in the Township office,” Higgins said. “There’s going to be up to 50 jobs created and people moving into the community.” “I’m trying to look at scenarios,” said Inglis. “I think we have a certain amount of responsibility to do that.” “If Council doesn’t want any part of it, then we’ll go the co-op route,” said Higgins. He said he had asked Township treasurer Kelly Watkins about the possibilities of setting up a trust fund to put the money in. Higgins said the plan is to set up something like similar properties in British Columbia. “I’m concerned about the true source of the money,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “I’ve heard about money laundering schemes.” “This reminds me of the advice the OPP gives seniors,” said Hermer. “If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.” • • • Council did establish its goals for the 2019-2022 term: Economic/Community Development Investigate incentives for business Tourism Expansion Volunteer Recognition Support initiatives for Seniors to remain in the Community for as long as possible Proceed with a multi-unit affordable residence for senior Explore opportunities for Seniors to remain in their homes Enhance and Sustain Capital Assets/Infrastructure Maintain Asset Management Plan to ensure long term sustainability Maintain Reserves/Reserve Funds Enhance Communications Plan Train Council on Social Media Enhance communications mechanisms and information to reach all of the public Attract a diverse Council. Much of the discussion was focused on potential economic development but several members of Council were resigned to the fact that there really wasn’t a lot any Council could do. “The Municipal Act says we can’t get into competition with other municipalities by offering tax incentives,” said Coun. John Inglis. “I personally don’t see a lot of opportunities for us.” When it came to development, Inglis pointed out the “competing interests” of the municipality being a desire to expand the tax base while maintaining the “pristine nature” of North Frontenac. Mayor Ron Higgins pointed out the lack of overnight accommodation available (most lodges and trailer parks get booked for the season) and suggested the Township might get involved in a small cabins project similar to what Bon Echo Provincial Park is trying. “The cabins can pay for themselves in one season,” he said. “But does the Township want to get into the accommodation business?” said Inglis. “You have to find the land first,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry. When it came to job creation, Coun. Gerry Martin had this to say: “Most people who come here are in the second stage of their lives. They’re not looking for jobs.” In several cases, the wording of the goals was influenced by staff members Corey Klatt, manager of community development and Darwyn Sproule, public works manager, who said they use such things when applying for grants. • • • Council also passed a couple of other resolutions. One was to get 24-hour ambulance service (particularly at Robertsville) and a potential septic waste disposal site on the agenda for the next Frontenac County Council meeting. The other was a Gerry Martin request to look into changing the Township logo. “I just don’t like it,” Martin said.
You go in, pay your $9, tell them how you want your eggs done and then grab a coffee and a date square while you wait for them to bring your eggs on a plate. Then you go up to the warming table to add beans, fries and/or hash browns, bacon and/or sausage. This is breakfast at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club house on select Saturday mornings. “This is our fundraiser because we don’t get any money from trail fees,” said spokesperson Alice Gilchrist last Saturday morning. “We still have to pay for hydro, propane, taxes and toilet paper. “Last year, we managed to make enough to buy a dishwasher and that’s been great. This year, we’re hoping to buy a generator for when the power goes out.” They also manage to find funds for various charities, including melanoma, wheels of hope, Alzheimer’s and last year they hosted a snowmobile Ride for Dad fundraiser for prostate cancer. (They won’t be doing that this year because of unpredictable snow/trail conditions and lack of volunteers to handle such a large event.) “We’re always looking for volunteers,” said Gilchrist. “Our trails aren’t open yet, a lot of that is because many of them are in swampy areas or cross lakes/rivers. “But SNOW is our biggest problem. Mother Nature on our side would really help out.” Gilchrist said that there were no such things as groomed trails when they started out. “There used to be a group of five clubs that formed the K & P Trails Association that began in 1976,” she said. “One by one they folded and we’re the last one. “But we’re still covering all the trails, just not in an association.” But they’re hoping Mother Nature will cooperate soon. Until then, there’s still breakfast. “We’ve gone through more than 20 dozen eggs and that doesn’t count the scrambled eggs that come in bags,” she said. “We have great community support and people come from as far away as Kingston, Smiths Falls and Stittsville. “It’s a great family sport/activity.”
This Sunday (January 13th) will mark the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of Debra Hill, outside of her home near Tichborne, after being dropped off by OPP officers. The case generated a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) investigation because of the involvement of the OPP, and it took over 11 months for the SIU to report back. The report, which is dated December 3, was released on December 20th, and concluded that charges are not warranted against the two officers who dropped her off at her home. “I am unable to find that the subject officers showed a wanton or reckless disregard for the life of the Complainant, nor am I able to find that their conduct amounted to a marked departure from the standard of a police officer,” wrote SIU Director Tony Loparco. The SIU report included a chronology of police communications from that evening, as well as a narrative based on interviews with the two police officers who were involved, as well as 5 other police and 12 civilian witnesses. A set of unusual circumstances form the backdrop for Hill’s death: The weather that night was extreme. A rain, freezing rain, and snow event followed by a sudden temperature drop and high winds resulted in a cold, icy night. Police were on the rural side-road late on a Saturday night to investigate a series of break-ins at cottage properties at the far end of the road. Hill and her husband, Kevin Teal, were at a relative’s house, and as they were pulling out of the driveway to go drive a short distance to their home, a police cruiser spotted them. The car pulled into a neighbouring driveway, and Teal exited the vehicle and ran off. Here is how the SIU report describes what happened next. “An officer called out to him, but he did not stop. The subject officers investigated the truck and noticed the Complainant crouched next to the passenger side of the truck. The officers yelled at her to not move and drew their service pistols. The officers re-holstered their pistols when it became apparent that the Complainant was not a threat.” They did take her into custody, handcuffed her and placed her in the back of the cruiser, and reported to the Communications centre that she was “heavily impaired”. Eventually police took her back to the relative’s house, and talked to family members there. They were told her husband was not there, but had been, and a discussion took place about whether she should stay there overnight, but she said she needed to go home to feed her wood stove, so the police officers decided to drive her home. When they got to her house, they were aware that she did not have her key, but she told them she would be ok. Here is how the report describes that final interaction. “Before the officers left, the Complainant realized that she did not have the keys to her house. SO#2 asked the Complainant if she could get into her home and she replied matter-of-fact and with confidence, ‘Don’t worry, I can get into my own house.’ She hugged and thanked the officers.” (SO#2 refers to Subject Officer #2, one of the two police officers who were the subject of the investigation) The SIU report then says “SO#2 believed she was capable of getting into her home, and the officers returned to their vehicles and drove away. The Complainant walked toward the porch and was last seen by the officers standing next to her front door.” This was at 1:20am, 80 minutes after they found her at the truck. She was found on the front porch of her house early the next morning. Paramedics arrived at 5:37, reported “vital signs absent” and transported her to Perth hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Cause of death was listed as hypothermia. She had injuries that were consistent with a fall, but “there were no injuries to indicate an attack by a 3rd party. Her blood ethanol level was 232mg/100ml, enough for severe impairment but not enough to cause her death. Alcohol use is known to accelerate the onset of hypothermia, and the report concludes; “Death was due to hypothermia with alcohol intoxication as a contributory factor.” The main question for the investigation relates to the decision made by the two officers to leave the scene before ensuring that Debra Hill had made it into her house. The investigator looked into whether leaving the scene at that time constituted a “wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons” to use the language in the law. Citing case law, which “sets out the test for criminal negligence as requiring ‘a marked and substantial departure from the standard of a reasonable person in circumstances’, the investigator said he is “unable to find that the subject officers showed a wanton or reckless disregard for the life of the Complainant, nor am I able to find that their conduct amounted to a marked departure from the standard of a police officer.” At the very end of the report, SIU Director Loparco is a bit harsher. He noted that Debra Hill’s death has been heartbreaking for her family and has deeply affected the officers who were involved. He said the officers “made a very unfortunate decision by not ensuring that the Complainant had entered her home after leaving her on her porch, before reiterating his finding that “the Complainant’s death was unforeseeable and the officers’ conduct does not amount to criminal negligence in the circumstances.”
Last year when the word came out through the grapevine that Ann Goodfellow was not well, and this was followed by a difficult diagnosis and prognosis, it shook a lot of people in the Parham area and beyond. By the time she died last week (January 5th). It was not a surprise, but it was still difficult news for all of those who knew her. Ann was a force in the community for many years. Many people knew Ann well, and she touched their lives. I knew her as an advertiser in the paper through the funeral home and Goodfellow’s Flowers shop that she used to run, but mostly I knew her in her role as a school board trustee. She became involved with the school board by serving on the Parent Council at Hinchinbrooke Public School. Somewhere along the way, that involvement led her to run for the position of trustee, and she was elected or acclaimed every time she ran. I saw a lot of her during the elections in 2006 and 2010. Because of the size of the territory she represented, she was invited to appear at all-candidates meetings in Central and North Frontenac and Addington Highlands, nine evenings over a three week period. Each time she gave a 3-minute speech, and sat through a two hour meeting, rarely being asked any questions. In my recollection she never missed a meeting. Although it would not be true to say that she never complained about driving around the countryside after working all day, only to be ignored for two hours, but she always kept a sense of humour about it all. She ran four times, and served 14 years. The last four were the hardest but it was also the term where she made a lasting mark on the board and the community. Ann was nervous during the 2010 election, much more so than in 2006. The PARC (Program and Accommodation Review Committee) that resulted in the construction of Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake, was underway. Ann was committed to seeing it through before stepping away from the board, and that's why she felt it really mattered that she get re-elected. She won the election and spent the next two years playing a pretty delicate role. She had to stand by the board at public meetings, as parents learned their community schools were destined for closure and blamed her for it, while advocating for the interests of those same families behind the scenes. And all within the confines of a prescribed, bureaucratic process. It was clear early on that her own Hinchinbrooke School in Parham, where her kids had attended and where she got involved with the board in the first place, was destined to close. It also became clear early in the process that the new school was going to be built in Sharbot Lake, and not in Parham. Whatever she felt about that reality, Ann never let on, ever the realist. However, when all was said and done, not only was Clarendon Central in Plevna maintained, which was not a surprise because of the distances involved, but Land O’Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove stayed open as well. And the Granite Ridge build was funded. The Frontenac News article about the final PARC report that confirmed all of this, revealed a bit of the pressure Ann had been facing. The final paragraph of the article reads like this: “... a relieved Ann Goodfellow made reference to the stress this has caused for her as a community member and a school board trustee as the prospect of multiple school closings was being considered. She said, “This is good. Now I don't have to move.” Ann was convinced, even before the whole process got underway, that the only way to secure the future of education in what the Limestone Board calls “the North”, was to have a new school built. She knew it would cost more than the board could really afford or could easily justify to the Ministry of Education, which was fixated on a cost per pupil ratio for all of their expenditures. She took a lot of pride in the role she played in getting Granite Ridge built. She played that role with a combination of discretion and commitment, patience and good will, and it took a toll. When I phoned her in January of 2014, a week after Granite Ridge had opened, to ask if she was going to run for Trustee again, she laughed pretty hard and long before getting one word out. NO! She was certainly ready to return to working with her husband David at Goodfellows Funeral Home and enjoying the rural life that she loved, a future that only lasted four years instead of the twenty or thirty 30 that she had been hoping for.
Central Frontenac’s first Council meeting of 2019 Tuesday evening at Oso Hall was pretty quiet as these things go. The Township is considering changing how it allots computers and/or compensates Council members for computer equipment. However, when estimates for new laptops were given at $1,500 per computer (times nine for the number of Council members or $13,500), the matter was tabled until budget time to allow staff to acquire more information (read find a cheaper solution). “There are three people around this table (Coun. Bill MacDonald, Elwin Burke and Nicki Gowdy) who don’t have computers here,” said Smith. “I think deferring this today and looking for something cheaper is the way to go.” Cannabis retailing a goFor the record, Central Frontenac officially voted to opt-in on cannabis retail outlets. Coun. Tom Dewey asked for a recorded vote which was unanimous. EOTA updateCindy Cassidy from the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance was at Council for an update on their activities and to ask Council for its regular contribution. Coun. Bill MacDonald took the opportunity to ask Cassidy if she’d heard anything on the rumoured VIA Rail line that might come through the area and how it might affect the east-west trail given that much of it is the former rail line. “They (VIA) met with us and told us that they haven’t had federal funding approved so it will take awhile if anything is done,” Cassidy said. “But they did tell us that if a new rail line is built, they’ll build a trail right along side of it.” In-house plowingCoun. Brent Cameron asked acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong for his thoughts and perspectives on how taking back several winter maintenance routes inhouse has worked out. “I’ve only gotten one call that was a complaint,” Armstrong said. “Cost-wise, it’s too early to tell but quality-wise, it’s as good or better.” “I don’t think we’ll be able to get an answer for a couple more years because our contracts used to be for three years,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald. Hospital askRepresenting the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospitals, Gardner Church was at Council asking for a donation — to the tune of $63,073. Meeting time change?Notice of motion was given to have a change in the times of Council meetings moved to 6 p.m. from the current 4 p.m.
Rural Frontenac Community Services has been awarded $952.83 from Blue Skies in the Community to continue the Frontenac Skies bucket drumming ensemble. With the Blue Skies funding new percussion instruments were purchased for the group. Frontenac Skies is a percussion ensemble that features children and youth using bucket drums to create sound, rhythm and songs. This project continues to address the need for free, fun musical activities in the area that encourage rural youth to learn an instrument, be active and connect with a group in their own community in a fun environment that promotes inclusion. Children and youth interested in joining the ensemble, join Lily at the Child Centre (1004 Art Duffy Rd., Sharbot Lake) on Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00 pm. Upcoming: Join Lily and the Frontenac Skies on Sunday, February 10, 2019 during the Heritage Festival to try out the new percussion instruments and listen to the ensemble. The Child Centre will be open from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm with lots of activities for families to enjoy, including snow shoeing.
The Frontenac Park Christmas Bird Count took place on an unseasonably warm day on December 15th. There were a record 59 participants out enjoying the weather this year, 53 field surveyors and 6 bird feeder watchers hiked 85 kilometres of laneway/trail and drove 385 kilometres of road. Despite many surveyors describing this as a slow year, the 2018 count tallied 3,346 individual birds from 49 different species – almost three hundred more birds than the previous record (3,053 birds) in 2017. And although the total number of species was unchanged from last year, the group added seven new species on count day plus one new species on count week to the Frontenac Circle list. The new species included: merlin, peregrin falcon, evening grosbeak, field sparrow, hoary redpoll, pine grosbeak, and redhead. The commonly sighted species were blXK capped chickadee (550) closely followed by Canada geese (538). Among other plentiful birds were European starlings (245) blue jays (240) wild turkeys (172) rock pigeons (151) and morning doves (147). The 2019 Christmas Bird Count is set for December 14th.
With the exception of July and August, there’s country music at the community centre in Sunbury. It’s been going on for 17 years, although it’s really been going strong for the past 10 years or so. “The lady who started it off was Margaret Smith,” said guitar player John Kott. “They didn’t have too many people back then.” But about 10 years ago, with the advent of Jack’s Jam in Plevna and the Bedford Jam (nee Piccadilly Jam) as well as a few others, Kott, along with fellow aficionados Wayne Eaves and Elwood Rollins took it over and it’s been a going concern ever since. “Yeah, we’re the ‘executive,’” said Kott, laughing. “But we usually have 25 to 35 entertainers and play to three-quarters to a packed house.” Kott, who still plays with Jeff Code’s band, said there’s a lot of reasons he keeps doing it into his ’70s. “Well, it keeps me practised up,” he said. “I’ll keep doing it for a few more years anyways. “But it’s a good opportunity for those who are just learning to get up and play in front of an audience. “We’ve had one lady, Thelma McMacken, who just started at 91.” He said any money raised goes back to the audience in the form of prizes. “And it’s good for the mind and body,” he said. “It gets you out of the house.” Barry and Sheila Calthorpe, who show up at many of the open mikes and jams in the area are regulars here too. “It’s good to see everybody, it’s like a family,” said Sheila. “And we really like to encourage the newcomers.” “We’ve encouraged all we can,” said Barry. “Some of them to the point they’re better than us.”
Frontenac Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind members of the public that regardless of where you live; to lock your home, garage and vehicle. On 6 January 2019, the OPP responded to 12 reports of unlocked vehicles that were entered and items were stolen in the town of Verona, South Frontenac Township. The thefts occurred sometime overnight and into the early morning on the 6th of January, 2019. Items reported stolen include a purse, wallet, laptop, tools, sunglasses and loose change. The OPP would like to remind everyone to make these suggestions a habit: At home, lock the doors, garage and shed. Park in the garage and lock the garage door as well as your vehicle. Always park your vehicle in a well-lit area. Always roll up the windows in your vehicle, lock the doors and pocket the key. Always put valuable objects in the trunk. Never leave your vehicle unattended while it is running. If anyone that has been effected by these thefts and would like to report it to the Frontenac OPP, the public can either make a report on-line on the www.opp.ca website under Report a Crime for just reporting the incident or call 1-888-310-1122 to make a more detailed complaint to the Frontenac OPP detachment. Please do your part and take precautions, because locking it up is your best decision.
Both North and South Frontenac gave cannabis fans in their municipalities a green Christmas present at their final meetings of the year, deciding to permit private cannabis retailers access to their market, subject to the restrictions that are set out by the government of Ontario. But the chances of a pot store opening up within the next six months within either township are remote, as the government has limited the number of private stores in the entire province to 25 when stores will be allowed to open up on April 1st, only 5 of which will be located in Eastern Ontario. The problem is one of supply, and once that is sorted out the government has indicated they will let the market determine how many stores are viable in Ontario. Both townships received staff reports that outlined the pros and cons of permitting private stores in their jurisdictions before debating the issue at a council meeting. Claire Dodds, the Director of Planning Services for South Frontenac, summed up the benefits of cannabis sales in her report: “It is broadly recognized that the legalization of recreational cannabis creates a new sector in the economy. While projections of users and sales vary, it is anticipated that the market will be sizeable. It is also expected that the market will grow over time as Canadians begin to participate as legal consumers. “Opting out of permitting retail sales in the Township would mean that the only legal sources of purchase will be online or through retail outlets in neighbouring municipalities. If retail stores are not permitted in South Frontenac, any associated jobs related to retail stores will occur in neighbouring municipalities.” The Province has stipulated a 150 metre buffer around schools in any municipality that opts-in to retailing, and has also said that there can be no further restrictions on locations other than commercial zoning. North Frontenac opts in by Craig Bakay North Frontenac Council voted 7-1 to opt in with retail cannabis outlets at a special meeting last Friday in Plevna. The lone nay vote came from Coun. Vernon Hermer. Although he didn’t get a vote, Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP Randy Hillier, who came to Council on another matter (his letter questioning the role of conservation authorities), stuck around to see how the cannabis question resolved. “I was glad to be here so they could hash it out,” Hillier said. As it turned out, Council engaged Hillier right off the bat while it ‘hashed out’ the question asking him about the provincial government’s recent decision to limit the number of store licences to 25 in the initial round. “That’s only the first round,” Hillier said. “It’s because of supply. “It’s not a cap we’re imposing.” “I’m aware a lot of people grow it and use it,” said Coun. John Inglis. “Our benefit initially is $5,000 (a government grant when a municipality opts in).” “Sounds like a bribe,” said Hermer. “It’s legal now, so if somebody wants to have a business, that’s OK with me,” said new Coun. Fred Fowler. “It would be a great summertime business,” said Coun. Wayne Good. “Maybe we should open one here in the office.” “It’s going to be available anyway,” said Mayor Ron Higgins, not necessarily referencing, Good’s comment. “I think we made the right decision to let municipalities decide if they want to opt in or out,” said Hillier. “I think there will be a benefit by reducing revenue for criminal activities. “I can see there being lower policing costs from less criminal activity.” Clerk Tara Mieske pointed out that a retail store cannot be a home-based business. “So I can’t run it out of my basement?” said Coun. Gerry Martin. Cannabis Debate: South Frontenac by Wilma Kenny In bringing the staff report on cannabis to Council, Claire Dodds, Director of Development Services, said there have been some further changes in the provincial regulations since her report was circulated to Council last Thursday. Not more than 25 retail outlets will be phased in ‘at any time’, of which a maximum of five (of the first 25) will be allocated to the Eastern Region of the Province (ie from Lindsay to Quebec). Most of these will be directed to municipalities of 50,000 or more. “Therefore, if we (South Frontenac) opt in, it’s unlikely we will have an outlet here (in the near future), but it keeps us in the conversation.” Councillor Sutherland proposed that a motion to opt in be amended to stipulate that any outlet should be located in the LCBO stores, “so we would know where they are.” Councillor Barr said that the Province has already decided that cannabis outlets would not go into LCBO stores. Dodds said the Province has given the municipalities only one choice: to opt in or out, with no additional criteria. No one supported Sutherland’s proposed amendment. Councillor Revill said he was reluctant to opt in, for he was not in favour of enhancing the use of cannabis, but he recognized the danger of encouraging the black market, and respects those who need cannabis as a medication. The motion brought to Council was to opt in, and to direct staff to develop a policy statement for Council’s approval, which would assist staff with providing comments to the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Corporation of Ontario) in line with the municipal public interest on proposals for cannabis retail stores in South Frontenac. This passed in a non-recorded vote, with Councillors Sleeth and Roberts opposed.
Suzanne Ruttan has been the South Frontenac Township trustee to the Limestone District School Board since 2010. She has served as the Board Vice Chair for the past three years, and when the new Board was sworn to office last night in Kingston, she assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Trustees for 2019. “We held elections for officers and committee appointments at a working meeting last week,” she said when interviewed on Tuesday, and I put my name forward and ended up being the only candidate. There was an election for Vice-Chair and the position ended up going to Laurie French, another veteran trustee who represents Napanee. Ruttan and French are two of only three returning members on the 9-member board, the third being Karen McGregor from Central and North Frontenac and Addington Highlands. “We have a lot of new trustees,” said Ruttan, “and my goal is to make sure that they have the best start that they can. There were orientation sessions for the new board of trustees in November, and one aspect of the training was to clarify for the trustees that we function as a governance board, and as such do not have a direct role in the day to day functioning of the board and its schools. “As a governance board, we are totally focussed on the big picture of the whole board, making sure we are following our strategic directions at all times. As a Board, we have one employee to oversee, the Director of Education.” As board Chair, Ruttan is responsible, with help from the director, for setting meeting agendas and ensuring the smooth running of the board. She will also be called upon to speak on behalf of the board from time to time. However, she pointed out, only under explicit instructions from the board. The position also includes ceremonial responsibilities, representing the Limestone Board at meetings and public events. She said that new board could be dealing with some major issues in its first year. Community consultations are underway for changes to the health curriculum, which should be coming out early in early 2019. “The minister spoke to our provincial group last weekend, and I believe her message was that the group ‘will be pleased when we see what comes out’ of that process. We also know that when the government is looking for budget savings, they are going to look at education, so that may have an impact on our board. 2019 is also a bargaining year for education,” she said. There is a one-year term for the position of Chair of the Limestone Board of Trustees. Ruttan can run again for 2020 if she chooses to, as can any of the 8 other board members.
Among local councils, Addington Highlands has been the most pro-active over cannabis regulations. This is, at least in part, because the township was notified by residents several months ago that two separate growing operations were up and running within its borders. One of them is an open-air plantation, and the other appears to be a greenhouse operation that is just getting going. The township heard about one of the operations from a resident who expressed a concern over the smell. After making inquiries to the OPP and the federal government, the township found out that the operations are federally regulated medical marijuana operations. Not only does the township have no jurisdiction over them, but the federal government will not even respond to requests for information. “The only group that has any control over medical marijuana is the government of Canada,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. “I don’t mind saying I find this rather frustrating.” Council met this week in a special session to talk about cannabis retailing, and once again they found their options are rather limited. “We have the ability to opt in or opt out,” said Hogg, “but if we opt in, we can’t pass any kind of zoning restrictions. The stores, which must be free standing, also need to be located 150 metres away from a school or a community centre, but we can’t impose any other limitations on numbers or on location. Any commercial location is available.” The township will be receiving $5,000 to cover added costs related to cannabis, and if it says yes to cannabis retailing it will receive another $5,000 next year and will be eligible for funding in future years. If the township says no, it can say yes later on, but once it says yes it can never rescind that approval And any jurisdiction that turns down cannabis retailing before the January 22 deadline, may also be forfeiting eligibility for further funding. “The Province is setting aside $10 million of the municipal funding to address costs from unforeseen circumstances related to the legalisation of recreational cannabis, and priority will be given to municipalities that have not opted-out. Further details will be provided at a later date,” said Ontario Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, in a letter to municipalities on November 20. A week later, the Deputy Ontario Finance Minister Greg Orencsak sent a letter to municipal treasurers containing further details about municipal funding. The total amount of provincial funding has been set at $40 million, to be doled out over 2 years. Orencsak’s letter underlined that municipalities that opt out will be forfeiting provincial money. “If a municipality has opted-out of hosting private retail stores in accordance with the Cannabis License Act, it will receive a maximum of $5,000. Please note that if a municipality opts-out by January 22, 2019, and opts back in at a later date, that municipality will not be eligible for additional funding,” said Orencsak. The money that will ultimately be allocated from the $40 million fund, is restricted to specific uses as well. It can only be used for increased enforcement costs, increased responses to public inquiries, increased paramedic or fire services, or bylaw/policy development. At their meeting this week, Addington Highlands Council decided to consult the public before making a decision on the matter. They will be holding public meetings, one in at the Flinton Recreation Centre at 6:30pm on Monday, January 8, and another at the Denbigh Hall at 6:30pm on Wednesday, January 10th. North Frontenac Council will be discussing their position on Cannabis retailing at their meeting later this week. Municipalities are not required to consider the question of Cannabis retailing in detail. The opt out option is the only one that requires municipal action. Municipalities that do not act will automatically opt in.
The Township of Addington Highlands awarded the Community Builder Awards at the Township’s Annual Christmas Dinner on November 23, 2018. The Committee added new categories to the list of awards this year and named a Sportsperson of the Year and Emerging Youth Leader. Joel Hasler was presented with the Sportsperson of the Year Award, this award is to recognize an individual who has dedicated their time to sport in our community. These are individuals have demonstrated leadership, encouraged sport ethics and fair play and contributed to improving sport opportunities in the community. These individuals are positive role models or have made exceptional contributions within the sporting community. Avery Cuddy was presented with the Emerging Youth Leader Award, this award is to recognize an individual who has been a positive role model, who demonstrates strong leadership qualities and who has contributed to the community individually or as part of a team. Individuals who inspire volunteerism in others through their own initiative, enthusiasm and commitment. The Township of Addington Highlands thanks all those who help build a better Community and congratulates this year’s recipients.
Addington Highlands Township seems to be a bit ahead of its neighbours on the cannabis question and last week held a special Council meeting to determine what its options might be. To that end, Council invited Nancy Wartman, a planner with the IBI Group, to run them through what the rules are as they currently exist. Wartman outlined the various governmental roles — federal, provincial and municipal — as well as cannabis for medicinal use, and cannabis for recreational use. But most importantly, she outlined the issues municipalities have to consider, including cultivation, processing, personal cultivation, both recreational and medical, retail stores for recreational use and the opt-in/opt out aspect which municipalities must decide by Jan. 22, 2019. “When regulating the following — cultivation, processing, personal cultivation, retail stores (coming April 2019) — we need to be thinking about land use compatibility, odour, noise, traffic/parking, secutiry/safety and servicing,” Wartman said. All of these pertain primarily to recreational marijuana. “The federal government regulates medical marijuana,” she said. “And Health Canada is to inform municipalities when there is a a grow-op in their jursidication.” “Except that they don’t,” interjected Reeve Henry Hogg, referring to grow-ops on Upper Flinton Road and Clarke Line Road. “The biggest issue we’ve had is grow-op. “I’ve been told there are 8,000 plants in the Township.” “We’re not entitled to know the exact number of plants under the Protection of Privacy Act,” said CAO/Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed. Still, when it comes to medical cultivation of cannabis, there likely isn’t much a municipality can do, Wartman said. For federally licensed producers, the considerations are, she said: • Do you want large scale producers to come to your municipality • Do you want farmland to be utilized for growing of cannabis • What level of servicing is required for indoor/greenhouse/outdoor growing • Do you want to differentiate betwwenn indoor growing versus greenhouse growing versus outdoor growing • Are there lands available for these types of uses/where do you envision them locating. And, when it comes to medical cultivation, local regulation of medical cannabis potentially engages Charter (of Rights and Freedoms) issues, she said. When it comes to personal recreational use cultivation, it could be handled in the Official Plan, Zoning Bylaw, a new licensing bylaw or a nuisance bylaw (for odour). “But can we really regulate where it is grown or if it has to be grown in a greenhouse?” said Hogg. “We’ve had odour complaints about a pre-existing operation but how much control can we have?” “I guess we have to realize we have quite the underground economy here and of course you can get it online,” said Dep. Reeve Helen Yanch. When it comes to retail operations, there are some incentives to opt in, such as $15 million in funding available from the provincial government, job creation, tax assessment and tourism. However, they require a municipality to opt in before Jan. 22, 2019. Wartman said she thought a municipality would have considerable control over the location of retail operations through zoning, either by treating it as retail use (ie C1 Zone) or defining a Cannabis Retail Facility and permitting it only in new, use-specific zone or existing zones where appropriate. Such a new zone would likely include provisions to regulate separation from sensitive land uses, separation from other retail cannabis stores, parking, signage, lighting, hours of operation, etc. Reed pointed out that if you opt in, that’s it, you’re in for good. If you opt out (ie prohibiting retail sales), you can opt in at a later date, but it’s likely that the $15 million in funding would no longer be available. “My recommendation would be to opt out to buy some time,” said Reed. “It would be good to have some more public input which could be a survey on the website,” said Coun. Kirby Thompson. “We enjoyed the presentation but It just kind of makes our water a little more murky.” “I don’t think this going to work out the way the federal government thinks,” said Coun. Tony Fritsch. “If you can grow your own, why would you buy it?”
(Napanee, ON)- On Thursday, November 15th, 2018 an officer with the Kaladar Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police responded to a report of a break and enter in Cloyne, Township of Addington Highlands. The victim reported that sometime overnight between 9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14th and 2:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 15th an unknown person(s) stole a Stihl MS362 chainsaw, with a 20 inch bar, orange and black in colour, from their garage. Further police canvassing of neighbours in the area revealed that a full 5 gallon red gas can was stolen from a nearby residence as well. Anyone with information in relation to this incident is asked to contact the Kaladar OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.