The Big 40 for the Wolfe Islander III The Wolfe Islander III has served Wolfe Island for 40 years. The original Feb. 5, 1976 date of the ship’s arrival in Kingston will be marked by an event at the Barrack Street dock and terminal building in Kingston on that date Friday Feb. 5 th, at 1:30 pm. Do come down to CHEER her in… Special flags flying and horn blowing perhaps, to announce her presence, just as on her original arrival in Kingston and more recently on her return from Hamilton not that many weeks ago.… The point is that the ferry is back, in service and there is a 40th Anniversary to commemorate and celebrate. In the spirit of the occasion Mayor Doyle had this to say, “There will be a celebration with cake , coffee, tea etc. at the ferry building at the Kingston side dock on February 5 at 1:30 pm. I hope to see many of you out for this important occasion.”
2.Policing Costs and Towers. There have been recent news articles regarding the fact that towers, such as cell and wind, are charged the same policing rate per structure as residential dwellings. According to Mayor Doyle Frontenac Islands with its 86 towers understands and accepts the need to have a fair allocation for OPP policing costs across all municipalities. “But we feel that structures without people should not be charged this fee, a fee that resulted from MPAC information showing wind towers as billable properties just like any other building. We are analysing this issue thoroughly and will meet with our provincial representative shortly to ask that these structures, that do not require policing, be removed from the billing formula,” he said. “Given we cannot charge commercial taxes based on the true value of our towers, the amount we receive annually through taxes will barely cover the cost when the new policing billing system is fully implemented in 2019.”
3 Patients First Discussion Paper: Mayor Denis Doyle, a member of the KFL&A Health Unit Board (made up primarily of local politicians) is enthused with a discussion paper titled “Patients First” proposing changes to the current delivery of services. That is, that the work done by Community Access Care Centres (CACC’s), which is not part of the Health Unit, will be carried out directly by the LHIN’s (Local Integrated Health Networks).
With significant funding for the Public Health Units coming through taxes from local municipalities, the Health Units will continue to operate independently. They will negotiate Accountability Agreements and receive their funding through the South East LHIN, according to Doyle. “I was concerned, but having read the proposed document in detail I feel it will help streamline health delivery. As well as health inspections and approvals, the major work performed by the Health Unit is heath problem prevention including promoting healthier life styles, such as no smoking, flu shots, and so on. As the chair of our board, Charles Symonds, always says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
“Promoting the healthy life style by integrating our efforts with all other health professionals through the LIHN's will receive a higher level of focus which can only help to get the message out.” Mayor Doyle looks forward to working more closely with the South East LHIN. And there are still questions to be answered.
4. The Frontenac Wolfe Island Refugee Support group continues to prepare for the arrival in Kingston of their 12 member Syrian family. “There is much to do, but all participants in the process agree the challenges are worth it,” according Wolfe Island resident Judith Kinghorn. “One can only imagine the hardships and challenges the family has endured thus far with more challenges to come when they arrive in Canada with language training, education options, employment readiness and the weather to acclimatize to.”
The Refugee Support Group is comprised mostly of residents from South Frontenac and Wolfe Island, is open, in need of more people and funds. They are setting up the financing, negotiating for a house, finding space for donated clothing and household effects, making lists and completing tasks. And fund raising is an ongoing task with a very exciting event
taking place in Kingston on Sunday afternoon February 21st a 2:30 pm, at the First Baptist Church, located at 110 Sydenham St. The SHOUT SISTER choir has planned an exciting two hour concert to be followed by a Silent Auction including many interesting items. There will be no ticket charge but donations are welcome. For more information contact : Committee Media Contact, Ruth Allen.. email@example.com
Around town: * The word is, Tim Hortons is scheduled to re-open on February 15th, as a drive-in, walk-in, no seating facility. * No ice in the bay, many unusual birds passing through.. *Hundreds of deer and turkey vultures.
Coming Events: *‘Shout Sisters Refugee Support Fund Raiser Sun. Feb. 21st First Baptist Church, Kingston 2:30 pm * Frontenac Islands Council Mon. Feb.8th 6:30 Howe Island. , * Winterfest Sun. Feb. 7th 1-3 pm WI Rink. “* WI Medical Walk In Clinic Tues 4:45, Thurs. 9:00 am Para Medic Wellness Clinic Feb. 5th 8:30 am. Specimen collection monthly 1st & 3rd Friday 8-10 am.
A few weeks back a Wolfe Island Take Back the Night Rally in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence was organized by a group of local women including Sarah Eves, Community Education Coordinator at the Sexual Assault Centre of Kingston (SAC), “to raise awareness about rural communities and gender-based violence.”
Choosing WI was due to an incident of sexual assault that occurred on the island but did not involve islanders. In spite of rain, there was a strong community turn out at the event, holding candles, to shed light on the reality of sexual violence.
Presenters from SAC Kingston included Elayne Furoy, Executive Director, and Sarah who spoke about specific challenges that tight-knit rural communities commonly face regarding trauma and disclosure of sexual violence. The Rally was used to begin conversations about what is often considered “too close to home.”
With the Wolfe Island Fire Department’s assistance, residents raised over $1500 for the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston (SAC Kingston), which will help fund essential services such as rural transportation for clients/counsellors, awareness and prevention initiatives, programming (group counselling) and update Crisis Line equipment.
For more information about the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston www.sackingston.com
The Holiday period left little space for keeping readers informed of the work of Frontenac Islands Council. What follows is intended as a catch-up. Mayor Doyle reminded me of the strong support and the work of Deputy Mayor Nossal and the councillors during the past year as he handled the Warden role.
The December meeting was held on Howe Island, chaired by Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal, (in the absence of Mayor Doyle), and was attended by a number of interested members of the public.
1. Council received for information a planning report concerning ‘Unopened Road Allowance policies’ concerning roads that have been surveyed, and the notice of (2) two public meeting dates: Howe Island Council Chambers February 8th at 6 pm, and Wolfe Island Town Hall March 14th at 6 pm, prior to regular monthly council meetings, to provide information about those policies. Planner Joe Gallivan in response to a question by resident W. Knott , confirmed the recommendation that that those roads that lead to water are not to be sold and that a public meeting is required prior to any road closure. (Private roads are different issue.)
2. Howe Island Speed limit changes: a) To reduce speed to 50 km per hour on Howe Island Drive from Civic No. 790 to Civic No 1387, Frontenac Islands 22. b) to decrease speed to 60 km per hour on North Shore Road from Lower Side Road to Byrne Point Road.
3.Frontenac Islands Christmas Season closure dates announced and annual bonuses approved.
4. The townships of Frontenac County will work toward submitting a joint project funding application to the RED program , (RuralEconomic Development), of benefit to rural Ontario. CAO Plumley will join the other townships and the county in drafting the application.
There were items of interest brought to the attention of council under Other Business at the end of the December meeting including:
1. Councillor Springgay requested a sign Road #7051 indicating approximate ferry capacity limit. Also signage at gates of community centre indicating ice conditions and yes or no to skating.
2. WI Resident Doug Franks suggested as a RED Project the continuation of the KP trail project from the City of Kingston to Wolfe Island then on to Cape Vincent. W. Knott suggested the opening of the WI Canal.
3. Deputy Mayor Mayor Nossal, following up on communications issues with Bell Canada, said that Bell had indeed found deficiencies with lack of service cluster areas on the island with the (5) hot spots identified as 2016 projects.
4. Also Nossal and Deputy Clerk Carol Dwyre took the Lean Sigma Six Training (offered at the County) regarding fare collection at the County ferry.
5. Councillor Higgs thanked the HI Fire Service for raising funds and gathering food for the Food Bank. He also announced another meeting of the new HI Waste & Recycling Committee.
Following the meeting Deputy Mayor Nossal commented on two Howe Island Committees. “I am so heartened by the institution of Howe Island Ferry, and the Howe Island Waste & Recycling Committees, that incorporate interested individuals from the community who bring a wide variety of skills and experience to these two areas of concern,” she said. “Instead of having Council members as chairs, we asked that a community member serve as chair to ensure that these committees are firmly rooted in the community. With the support of township staff and council, I think we can expect to see improvements in service and communication as the result of the work of these committees.”
1. The Howe Island Ferry Committee’s purpose is to gather and discuss information pertaining to the Township (Foot Ferry), and to advise Council on ferry issues, operation and planning. An engaged group of committee members have met monthly since September 2015 and post a communiqué after each to keep the Howe Island community and, as a committee of Council, council receives their minutes. Members include Mike Quinn (chair), Ed Beseau, Robin Craig, Jennifer Medves, Jim Mills, Natalie Nossal and Bruce Higgs, with invaluable support from township staff, Rob Dillabough, Pat Quinn, and Darlene Plumley/Carol Dwyre.
2. The Howe Island Waste and Recycling Committee has met twice, is similar in scope and purpose to that of the Ferry Committee, t o advise/inform Council on issues, operation and planning but with regard to the island’s waste and recycling operation The committee is devising a series of educational flyers to distribute to the community, and a June open house ‘meet and greet’ . Members include Bill Robertson (chair), Steve Alls, Paul Beseau, JoAnne Forsythe, Natalie Nossal and Bruce Higgs, ably supported by Rob Dillabough and Carol Dwyre.
Around Town : * Did you know that the Wolfe Islander 111 is celebrating her 40th Anniversary. She was launched into Service for Wolfe Island on February 5, 1976 by then Ontario Minister of Transportation, James W. Snow .Watch for notices, twitters, face book, web site advisories of a daytime event to mark the occasion Maybe. Check with Tom, Jarda, Brian* Work continues to support a refugee family Watch for posters. For more information, contact Judith Kinghorn: firstname.lastname@example.org or Clara Lovatt: email@example.com
Coming Events:** Noisy Locomotive & Catriona Sturton, Jan. 14th @ the WIPP 7 pm. *Frontenac Islands Budget Meeting: Mon. Jan. 18th, 10am WI Town * WI Winter Fest Feb. 7th at the Community Centre 1-3 pm. Chili, etc. & fun.
Last week it was about the Frontenac Islands. This week he is speaking of the highs and lows of his term as Warden in a Year End Review. Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle had much to say about Paramedic stress. “Going back to late summer 2014 when I assumed the Warden’s position at Frontenac County, one of the first requests I made was to see what could be done to help the Frontenac Paramedics better cope with stress on the job,” Doyle said. “We had a strong indicator there were issues as sick time was unusually high. I concluded this was likely a symptom of stress and we needed to better understand and do something to help our employees cope with what they see, and deal with on the job. With County Council support, the leadership of CAO Pender, and Paramedic Services Director Paul Charbonneau, and working closely with our professional Paramedic employees, I am pleased with the cooperation and progress we have made thus far,” he said. “ To ensure we understand the issues thoroughly and have some factual information on the mental health of our staff and the extent of Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) within the Paramedic community, we are working with Queen’s and Wilfred Laurier Universities to quantify just what we are dealing with and the extent of the issue “We have started the process to understand PTSD and to assist our employees in handling and recovering from, whatever the cause of stress on the job, and to avoid PTSD.”
FYI The county will be equip all Paramedic service vehicles with systems that automatically load stretchers in and out . The service is also one of five worldwide, testing a new fuel efficient vehicle, which if proven, will replace current vehicles as required.
“Perhaps the biggest challenge and success at the county was that with the assistance of our capable planners and working through our local MPP Kiwala, and other MPP’s in and outside the county, we did get the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to agree to continue allowing houses to be built on private roads, using strict guidelines, a policy they were looking to discontinue. We developed the guidelines and expect their adoption by other similar jurisdictions across Ontario,” Doyle said. “While not all municipalities shared our concerns, this was very important in our area as we had determined 40% of our housing is on private roads.”
Doyle said another success has been the greatly improved working relationship between County Council and staff achieved, with the assistance of CAO Kelly Pender, through a unique liaison done by assigning a County Councillor to each of the major departments. “Regular formal meetings with their assigned departments has resulted in a Council that has a better understanding of issues as they come up, and better relations with staff, other municipalities, as well as the province and federally. I hope this will continue. We can do much better working with our partners, rather than going it on our own,” Doyle said.
Acknowledging much discussion at the county about aging infrastructure and what needed to be done to address the issue, Doyle said “many municipalities completed an asset management plan that identified all assets , and documented them with their current market value. In the 2015 county budget we came up with a plan on how to maintain or replace assert as they age,” he said. “ For short life assets such as ambulance vehicles we decided to reserve 100% of the replacement cost over the life of the asset. or example if we buy something with a life of 5 years that the replacement cost is expected to be $100K we would reserve $20K each year. However something like a building, or heating/cooling systems expected to last 25 to 50 years, we decided to set up a system that calls on financing 50% of the value when they need replacement, and to ensure the other 50%, is from ‘set aside money’ each year. We considered all county owned assets and by setting aside .065% of the total budget every year we will be able to accomplish this.”
Were there low lights…? “With over 400 employees and three unions you have to expect some issues, and there were a few to deal with,” Doyle said. “ But with excellent union representatives and dedicated county staff issues that arose during the running of various operations, the two largest being the Frontenac Paramedic Service and Fairmount Senior Care Home, issues were resolved quickly and professionally by all parties.”
Doyle noted WI had Ontario’s last volunteer ambulance service, but with new training levels required it is not sustainable. “The service was more focussed on getting the patient to the hospital, now we bring the hospital to the patient, and sadly no longer practical to expect volunteers to handle this Paramedic Service..”
Future Hopes. “ I hope the County will continue building relationships with Provincial and Federal political representatives, Kingston and adjoining municipalities, and taking a more regional approach to such things as Waste Management, Economic Development, and Policing, etc. I also hope that County Council will continue to provide good service across the county and keep the annual tax increase close to the inflation rate,” Doyle concluded.
Around Town:*Lovely events during Christmas Season. Thank you. **Congratulations to Take Back the Night Organizers. Very impressive. ** Watch for posters, information about Syrian Refugee Family Fund Raising event (Date Feb.21st?) Long list of needs required for family is posted at WI Network Facebook… Thanks to the WIPP for the fun and laughter and for staying open through it all. ** WI Medical Clinic Dr./NP Walk In Clinics, Wellness Clinic, Life Labs clinics etc. all back on regular schedule .
Coming Events: WinterFest Sunday Feb, 7th 1-3 pm at the WI Community Centre, Chili Cook Off (sign up sheet at Fargo’s)
As the year draws to a close, it is fair to say that 2015 was a busy one for the Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle. He also served a term as Warden of Frontenac County during what was its 150th Anniversary year. In a year end review, Mayor Doyle highlighted transportation as both a high and a low of his tenure thus far.
”The first high that comes to mind involves our local MPP, Sophie Kiwala, who arranged a meeting with Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, where Loyalist Township Mayor, Prince Edward County Mayor, and myself had an opportunity to explain our inadequate regional ferry capacity issues, especially with the Wolfe Islander III out of service for 7 months, rather than the usual 2.” Doyle said. “Our friends on Amherst were more severely impacted,” he added.
“As a result of the discussion Minister Del Duca came to a meeting on Wolfe Island, announced and chaired by MPP Sophie Kiwala, and committed to building a backup ferry which will be used to replace the Wolfe Islander-III and the Frontenac II when they are out of service (5 year inspection, etc.) We took this as an opportunity to work together with the MTO representatives who listened to our ferry service proposals and have committed to many improvements and of course, with MPP Kiwala.”
Mayor Doyle noted that since then the Preliminary Design and Environmental Assessment to commission a second, larger ferry for Wolfe Island has also formally started.
There were other issues pertaining to transportation during the course of 2015. One involved the Federal Department of Transport, that because of the Lac Megantic situation, barring passengers and vehicles on a ferry trips carrying dangerous goods. “By working through former MP Ted Hsu, and his work with then Federal Minister of Transportation, Lisa Raitt, we can once again carry passengers and other vehicles on these trips,” Doyle said. “It was heart warming to see federal representatives from different parties set aside their differences and work cooperatively to solve problems that affect individuals lives, and we owe those two professionals a great deal of thanks.
Mayor Doyle also noted that during 2014 the bubbler system on Howe was one of the worst issues that had to be dealt with. “But with MTO’s committed assistance we are now satisfied that the bubbler system issues for the Howe Island County Ferry have been addressed and the system is better than ever before. We are also working with them on resolving maintenance requirements for the docks on both Howe and Simcoe Islands,” he said.
“ The Howe ward established a Ferry committee which has been very successful in working with MTO and we have recently decided to do the same in the Wolfe ward with the prime objective of helping with the EA underway and determining how we can cope with the traffic until we get the new and larger second ferry in operation. We will also be working with the province political representatives, and MTO staff, to prioritize building the backup ferry which hopefully will be available in the two year time frame, while the larger ferry may realistically take 4 to 5 years. It’s obvious by working with our provincial partners to solve the issues we can come up with positive and significant improvements,” Mayor Doyle said.
Mayor Doyle was enthusiastic in his thanks to the Wolfe Island Waste Management Committee. “We have successfully transitioned the Wolfe waste site to a transfer station within budget. We are also diverting bio-waste to the De Bruin bio digester, an improvement which other municipalities have told us, can reduce normal waste by 35 to 40%. If everyone participates in this program that means up to 40% fewer trips to haul garbage across on the ferry.” There was mention of road improvements and of course the establishment of a community Keylock Gas pump station. Aspirations for the future of Frontenac Islands include moving forward on as much road work as is affordable, the senior housing project, improvements to the Howe Foot and Simcoe Island Ferry systems, increase of By-law enforcement, continuing to implement best management/business practices, and continuing to improve waste management and recycling, and looking for more cost effective ways to provide policing, which has increased by nearly four times our previous cost ( of major concern to all townships.) ”We hope to do all of this while keeping tax increases close to the inflation rate and will continue with the special levy of setting aside 1% of the overall budget to assist with asset replacement to address our current infrastructure deficit,” Doyle said.
In summarizing his term as Warden of Frontenac County and his ongoing participation as a member of County Council, Mayor Doyle commented on a very busy year. “We transitioned to a new Council with 5 new County Councillors, negotiated three union contracts, finalized the first Official Plan, worked on a senior housing plan, established a better working relation with the City of Kingston and our Provincial and Federal politicians, extending the K&P Trail to Tichborne, and various other activities. To Be Continued.
Around Town: Delighted winter has come.. * Great weather for the busy rink.* Wolfe Island Refugee Support group is now working in partnership with Frontenac Refugee Support Group. For information contact Judith Kinghorn: firstname.lastname@example.org or Clara Lovatt: email@example.com Watch for Posters A fund raiser is planned **. The Lifelabs Specimen Clinic is January 8th , the next Jan. 15th, then 1st & 3rd Fridays. Paramedic Wellness Clinic is Fri. Jan.8th as well.
Coming Events: Hatha Yoga with Marlie 7 pm (4)Tuesdays beginning Jan. 5, 2016… St. Margaret’s Hall.**Winter Fest set for Feb.7th .