by Margaret Knott
Recent Entries
Monthly Archives
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003

Annual Archives
Margaret Knott's What's New on Frontenac Islands articles appear with the kind permission of the The Kingston Heritage Newspaper.

May 23, 2013
It was delegation after delegation at Frontenac Islands Council meeting

Holding their council meeting in the Wolfe Island Community hall rather than the much smaller council chambers was a good idea considering the size of the crowd that had turned up.

*1. Representing Frontenac County's 150th Anniversary Planning committee, (South Frontenac's) Phil Leonard and Jim Vanden Hoek advised council of the planning underway for the 2015 (3 day) anniversary event. “We have a great Frontenac community and we would like everyone to come together to celebrate it.” Leonard said. “We are visiting all the communities and committees to encourage their participation.” Mayor Doyle suggested island groups who might be interested. VandenHoek reminded council of a 1988 well attended WI Country Festival, brought out the Lt. Governor, included a costume ball, tried to relive the past a bit. “That's part of what we are trying to do in the county.” A questionnaire to raise interest and ideas has been issued for response by council and citizens. (available on the township's web site and municipal buildings) *2. Council received a report from the County's Sustainability Advisory committee. The committee will attend the June meeting on Howe Island.

*3. KPMG's Vicki Leakey outlined the Asset Management and Road Study, a provincial requirement to be completed by 2013 year end in order that the township remain eligible for provincial infrastructure funding ($21,000). “Every municipality must evaluate all of their assets in terms of life expectancy costs and their current status (roads, trucks, buildings etc.) They want to know where you are in assets and road assessments, your 10 year game plan for replacement, and if there new projects in the works and how does that all fit. You have to do this to get provincial funding. We work together on long term strategy. Build your plan remembering that every year at budget time that plan may change, and determine how you are going to do it, build reserves etc.” Council accepted the KPMG proposal. Also accepted Interim CAO Burns' asset management report and passed a further resolution that the AECOM fee will be prorated between Howe &Wolfe Islands. Leakey will assemble the final report from the road work, be done by the AECOM Group, and work with council and township staff.

*4. WI Fire Chief Tim Hawkins and Deputy Chief Tom Berry were on hand to discuss the purchase of a “a very good, essentially brand new, with safety and extras”'1996 Rescue Unit from Front Line Fire. Chief Hawkins said taxpayers are asking why it should be paid for through donations and not by the township. “The township has never bought fire trucks but this is more than a fire truck (assist ambulance, etc.) and I think it should be paid for out of Township reserves, ($20,500) $18,000 with tax back),” Councillor Grant said. “Sounds good” Mayor Doyle said. “I thought you were going to ask for a $300,00 fire truck. “. Hawkins quick retort , “in a minute Mr. Mayor.” In fact they would like to look into a pumper truck utilizing reserve money, thus eliminating one pumper truck and one tanker. Council approved the first ($20,500) request from fire reserves. Regarding the 2nd request the WI Fire Department will confirm prices for a used larger tanker truck, to be presented at the July meeting on Wolfe Island. Information regarding use of Development Charge funds will also be clarified *6 Simcoe Islands Yelda Miedema presented a proposal to save the island's Nine Mile Point Light House. He was looking for “an expression of interest” from Frontenac Islands Council that the township is “considering working” with the (NMPLPS) Nine Mile Point Lighthouse Preservation Society, a group of citizens wanting to save the lighthouse. The request was in order to meet the government June 1st deadline date for plans to be identified. Council agreed that the NMPPS may say the township “is considering” the NMPPS proposal, (with no commitment at this time). They will see the letter and proposal from the

NMPPS proposal before it is submitted to DFO.

The proposal was a partnership where Frontenac Islands would buy the lighthouse for $1.00 (becoming the legal organization owning the lighthouse) and the MPLPS, a non profit group (eligible for grants) become its caretakers, fund raising ,restoring, maintaining and preserving it voluntarily on an ongoing basis into the future.

*7. Wolfe Island resident and business owner Marianne Anne Walker presented a case for maintaining the island's Information Centre. Opened in 1988 (formerly operated by WIBTA) and was staffed by summer students and a few regular volunteers. She outlined tourist and visitor numbers, economic benefits to the community in providing information as well as providing toilet facilities. She indicated her willingness to undertake management of students. Mayor Doyle noted that there are fewer government supported student positions eligible for hire for this year. Councillor Springgay noted an increased number of public toilets (portapotties) available around the village. Ms Walker asked that the council support the salary of a student. Councillor Grant wondered aloud about county sustainability funding. Planner Gallivan indicated there are grants (not for salaries) he would look into. The cost to the community has always been pump outs. *8. And finally there was a request made by WI Community Medical Clinic board members, Liz Crothers and Hugh Cowan, that Council approve a request for a Priority Loading Ferry Pass from MTO for use by

ONE VEHICLE (and a trained volunteer) Saturday, June 08 every second Friday, to facilitate the transport of blood and other specimen samples from the Medical Clinic to the Life Labs patient care centre at 800 Princess Street and the vehicle's return only if unable to board the next ferry coming back. Council approved the request.

That was it for delegations…

Around Town, Euchre , WI United Church Hall every Thur. at 7 pm. Coming events:*WI Horseshows , Community Centre Sat. May 25th, June 22nd , 9:30 am WI Community Garden Car Wash Fund Raiser May 26, 10-3 pm Gen Wolfe Parking lot *Osteoarthritis Take charge. WI med. Clinic May 30th 7:00 pm.+WI United Church Rummage Sale Sun. June 1st 9-2pm SHELLS & SAILS TRY-IT DAY @the Wolfe Island B O AT H O U S E

Posted by M Knott at 09:10 AM
December 27, 2012
t's on the record... A vote of non confidence

That's right, a motion of non confidence in the Warden of Frontenac County Janet Gutowski, passed (7 to 2) at the Frontenac County December council meeting. Even she acknowledged embarrassment to have this (non binding resolution), and request for immediate resignation, recorded on the county records. It needn't have happened when all that was required was for the Central Frontenac Township Mayor Gutowski to immediately relinquish her seat as warden to another , as has been done traditionally for many years. The motion would have been withdrawn. But she would not, citing continuity in the position (on committees/functions) as an imperative. Warden Gutowski and John Purdon, both from Central Frontenac, opposed the motion.

The current procedural by-law indicates the warden is elected by county council for a 4 year term.. However South Frontenac Township Mayor Gary Davison , who served as warden in 2011, resigned after one year, following a tradition which acknowledges that each mayor has something unique to offer the position. Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle has resigned his position as the county's deputy warden respecting the same principle. Normally the deputy warden would then be elected warden.

The non confidence motion reads that ” the council has lost confidence in the Warden's ability to lead,” includes references to the need for team work, respect and co-operation and states that ” by not following the long-standing tradition of stepping down from the Warden's position, after one year, (Warden Gutowski) has affirmed her duplicity and deception, shown disrespect for Council.” She refused the request to immediately resign. Words like a dysfunctional council came up in the brief discussion and it was Mayor Davison who suggested that the situation has made a farce of the strategic planning process the county has been involved in.

“It's total disrespect for a 146-year-old tradition of county council where the chair of county council sat at the pleasure of the council itself,” South Frontenac Township Mayor Gary Davison.said.. It flies in the face of democracy. In the resolving grace of history dictators don't last that long..”

Warden Gutowski was adamant in her decision to remain as warden citing research, homework and exceptions to tradition and the meeting continued moving through many issues

However when it came to receiving and accepting the recommendations of the Strategic Plan Report presentation in a recoded vote, 7 to 2, council would not receive the Strategic Plan report presentation or accept its recommendations. “I think without total co-operation we should cut our losses and spend no more time on this. Frontenac Islands Mayor Doyle said. “As councillor Davison says,we should put it on the shelf and maybe dust it off when things get resolved. Mayor Doyle also noted that Wolfe Island (often identified in the report) was named for the General ,not the wolf animal as listed in the report. At the end of the meeting, Mayor Davison called upon Warden Gutowski to declare her position for the record and she declared, . No, iI am not resigning as Warden at this time

The question now becomes 'How Can County Council Continue To Be Effective', if 6 persons (with 7 votes) are opposed to the person sitting in the Warden's Chair.

Posted by M Knott at 09:22 AM
December 13, 2012
Budget talk with the Mayor of Frontenac Islands

At budget time every community regardless of size face similar decision- making processes. How much must be raised in taxes to fulfill the requirements, in this instance of Frontenac (Wolfe & Howe) Islands, municipal operating and capital budgets for the coming year and the needs of its 1,800 1,900 permanent residents. Needs much the same as those of its largest neighbours, i.e..roads-fire -police- ambulance-transportation -social services - garbage (landfill) parks-recreation, etc, etc. Islanders are inclined to ask: “what do we get for our tax dollar other than ploughed roads and the landfill site…

In conversation with Mayor Doyle he said budget talks began earlier this year, with a look at last year's expenditures and departmental plans for 2013. “There is always a need to replace one or another of our aging fleet of fire and roads vehicles but now we must reserve money for these purchases. Now each municipality must have an Asset Management Plan in place by 2013, and determine the life of each of its assets, whether that be equipment, roads or buildings. By 2014 we have to use the plan's information to start reserving money, enough to buy a replacement at the end of the life of that asset.” Doyle, offering an example, said th at to replace “a snow plow/dump truck purchased this year for $175,000, estimated to last 10 years, a replacement truck price estimated at $200,000 in 2022, we would then have to set aside $20,000 a year to have the money to buy a vehicle at the end of it's useful life.” This approach (long used in private business) is new to municipalities and will be closely monitored by the province to ensure a plan is in place, without which the township will not be awarded any Provincial grant money that might arise for infrastructure programs. The township did submit a successful application for funding available for outside assistance receiving ($21,990.18) to prepare/complete the islands Asset Management Plan

” But Wolfe Island roads are the biggest, most difficult budget item,” Doyle said, adding “that independent ward discussions will be held to consider needs, wish lists and then meet to discuss, prioritize and determine just what we can afford.” He noted that the Wolfe Island winter dock road needs improvement, better organized parking on west side of the line up closer to the fence, shoulder surface treating, parking line painting, etc. south from the dock to Whitmarsh gate. “Of course, we also need estimates of what it will cost to re-do the entire length of the road, and see what can be done to make it safer for bicycles.

Further, he said, “we want to continue to surface treat gravel roads on WI that service a high number of tax payers, per kilometre of road, that needs to be paved. This is the cheapest option, but takes a lot of money up front to get it done. Some Municipalities have set targets on what percentage of roads will be surface treated at the end of each year.” Most high use roads on Howe Island are already hard surface treated, according to Doyle

Another topic for budget discussion centered around what can be done with the Simcoe Island and Howe Foot Ferry docks because of the very low water levels, a subject that would not have come up if water levels had remained normal.. Ministry of Transportation engineers have already visited the sites. No plan is in place as yet although the feeling is the ramps need to be rebuilt at a lower angle and go out much further into the water and could be an another expensive budget item according to Mayor Doyle.

Thus far, other high priority budget items discussed were some paving requirements in Marysville and the need for more boat launching ramps at the end of public roads, (one was recently done on Howe Island.)

And, finally, WI residents will have seen by now the notices posted locally that Council wants to further discuss cyclists safety primarily on the Wolfe Island's winter dock road, at the Jan. 14th meeting on Wolfe Island . “Public concerns have been raised regarding near misses of bicycles now that it gets dark so early, especially at the corners just south of the ferry line-up area. We would like public feed back and hope people will offer some some good, constructive ideas,” Mayor Doyle said.

For your information: To be included on the agenda of the Jan 14th Council Meeting, and to speak, please advise the Wolfe Island Township Office by Jan. 8th and provide an outline of what you want to discuss.

Around Town: *Families are eagerly waiting to welcome absent members home for Christmas. *The Community Centre Board hopes the weather settles so that winter skating can begin at the rink before Christmas. *Official Learn to Skate, Mixed Adult Recreational Hockey, Broomball all beginning of January 4th-6th-8th. ( Call Lesley 385-1671 *The General Wolfe Hotel has closed for the season.

Coming Events: *Nine Lessons and Carols Annual Ecumenical Christmas Service at Trinity Anglican Church Sunday, Dec. 23rd at 7pm. *Community Euchre Thus.7 pm WI United Church

Posted by M Knott at 09:13 AM
December 06, 2012
Odds and ends from the Frontenac Islands November meeting

Very few Frontenac Islands council meetings are ever concluded without some issue surrounding ferry service. The November meeting saw the establishment of Howe Island ferry fees . HI resident Terry Botten reminded council they need also to revisit commercial vehicles, motorcycles, including sticker and pricing policies.

A further discussion came up initiated by Councillor Springgay regarding bicycle unloading off the ferry at Wolfe Island's Dawson Point winter dock and the dangers that arise with cyclists leaving the ferry first in the dark and the safety issues that result as automobiles must pass the bicycles on the very dark narrow road. (There have been complaints). The proposed resolution asking MTO to establish a policy of unloading the cyclists was lost. Council will be looking for input from cyclists. Public notices have already been posted indicating that the issue will be on the agenda of the January 14th council meeting on Wolfe Island.

While a resolution to a establish a Municipal Employee Policy Manual, a first for the township, was lost because certain areas of the manual have to be further clarified and added to, Deputy Mayor Jones wanted it made perfectly clear that the day a bylaw IS passed that any/all previous policies are repealed .

Deputy Mayor Jones had concerns about a budget over expediture that had not come before council although controls have been put in place.” I believe there is a weakness. However rationalized, this expenditure, well over budget, never came before us..,” he said. Councillor Springgay referred to the situation as “communications issue”.. that need not have happened.

Councillor Grant who was adamant that the desire expressed by the WI community for a Seniors residence not get lost simply because the Frontenac County report seems to focus on Sharbot Lake. He said, “we cannot let it drop.”

Music Fest organizers are expected for a meeting early in the new year.

FYI: Budget meetings are now underway with further meetings in early December and in January when, according to Mayor Doyle, the municipality hopes to finalize their household target for maximum tax increase, (an approach used by Kingston) “We talked about this concept, and said we should pick a number some place between 2 and 4 %. Then we know what we can afford to do, as we will have our total township revenue.”

Council meets next: Mon. Dec. 10th , Howe Island at 6:30 pm

Wolfe Island Post Office a treasure for Islanders

The 'Christmas Elves' on Wolfe Island have been busy decorating Marysville in time for the Santa Claus Parade and Christmas. Not to be outdone, Islanders Janice Frost and Doris Eves joined Catherine Crowe (acting postmaster) in decorating the island's rural Post Office for the Holiday Season.. The Post Office is recognized as one of, (maybe) the busiest of the smaller offices in the region. Not surprising really. Anything available at the Kingston Post Office is available on the island. It is a lovely size, accessible , brightly painted and full of light. It has a well controlled bulletin board and most importantly, wonderful staff including those who come in to sort the rural mail, and deliver it, those who fill the lock and key boxes, serve at the counter and those deliver the mail to the city for the rest of its journey. But the Post Office is even more than that.. Here I go again remembering…. this time about the late Clifton Fargo who provided much sage (kind and wise) advice following our decision to live on the island. “It is good to get out every day,” he said. “Come in to Fargo's to pick up the paper and go to the Post Office to pick up the mail, great places to meet people and to catch up on the news, or to break the dreariness of a dark day.” Clifton said. And he was right. The Post Office as well as fulfilling all postal needs, including gift purchases (unique stamps etc), has provided many happy/sad moments to stay in touch with people locally, to hear what's going on, offered opportunities for lively discussion, and of course to meet new residents . So it is no surprise as the Island prepares for Christmas that the Post Office would get ready too.. It's a community event…

Around Town:*The WI Community Hall, for too long without heat, now new quiet heater, was the perfect place to be following the Remembrance Day event and for the Christmas Market… Lovely , lovely….. *The HI County Ferry has been undergoing regulated shut downs for repairs. An unscheduled shutdown caused Kim Nossal (HIRA) to call for a (County) Alert for Ferry Outages involving a residential 'listserv' to be used by operators to immediately announce a ferry outage (also for back in service). “an email can be sent to a 'listserv' from any smartphone -” he noted. *Frontenac County has chosen a logo for its 150th Anniversary. Check it out.

Coming events: WI Santa Claus Parade, Saturday, Dec. 8th at 4:30 pm. *Fundraiser Yoga Class Sunday, December 9th St. Margarets Hall cost: $10.00 * Nine Lessons and Carols (Ecumenical service) Sunday Dec. 23rd at 7 pm Trinity Anglican.

Posted by M Knott at 09:09 AM
November 29, 2012
Horses are indeed part of Wolfe Island Heritage...

One of the first stories I heard about Wolfe Island, at about the time of our arrival 22 years ago, was one told me by islander John O'Shea. It was about a very smart horse named Minnie (if I remember correctly) that would at the urging of her owner travel across the ice pulling a sleigh without a driver to Kingston to deliver island goods and would return to Wolfe Island with supplies. Another incident that remains strong in my memory about the high regard Wolfe Island has for its heritage as horsemen and women, came from the late Deanna Greenwood who encouraged me to attend WI Horse Association events at the community centre grounds. There I learned about Barrels & Keyhole, Flag & Poles and saw adults, and even very young children, riding enthusiastically in particular events. Perhaps it was then that I became fully aware of how important horses were, and continue to be, to the culture and heritage of the island. In times of joy.. in times of sorrow…for transportation,..for pleasure, and for business.

My neighbour loved to ride and took advantage of days off to ride HER horse. Our grandson, with us summers learned to ride on the island. Our granddaughter and her husband were carried to their wedding reception in a WI horse drawn carriage. I saw that every island event included single riders, horse drawn wagons, carriages, sleighs, and cutters. I think often of the (late) Alzina King's description of what it was to be all hunkered down under blanket in a horse drawn sleigh in the cold of winter to ride from Breakey's Bay to church on Sundays. I remember well the first time I saw the horse drawn hearse on its way to the cemetery, the tall black hats worn by the drivers. I think often of an image I have of a Wolfe Island dad and his son (all grown up now), in white shirts and straw hats driving a wagon to the city to provide rides for a Kingston event, or to be part of a parade. And of course the island's 150th Anniversary parade brought out every island rider, young and old and every horse drawn vehicle buggy, carriage, cart, kind of cab, jaunting car, and wagons. An unbelievable array.

As I understand it now, from Horse Association members, more island children than ever are learning to ride, have horses and yearn to join in…

But recently issues with Frontenac Islands Waste Bylaw affecting horse owners and operators were brought forward by them at the November meeting of council. The by-law covering all public roads has had the unintended result in its current wording of extending animal excrement rules beyond Marysville village. “With all the wild animals in the country side, cattle crossing, horses etc. it is not practical to enforce the same rules outside Marysville,” Mayor Doyle explained following the meeting. “It was brought to our attention and we need to see how we could reword the By-law, to limit the sections related to animals to Marysville while maintaining the sections related to garbage on all public roads across Frontenac Islands. The mayorand councillor Grant will meet with 3 community representatives very soon. “I hope to have a reworded document for 1st & 2nd reading at the December Council meeting on Howe Island, and hold the final or 3rd reading until the January meeting of Council on Wolfe Island,” he added.

Posted by M Knott at 12:03 PM
November 22, 2012
Passage of Bylaw violates Values and Traditions, Island Horsemen say

Members of Wolfe Island's Ken White family, operators of White's Horse-Drawn Carriage Service along with a group of horsemen/women attended the November Frontenac Islands council meeting to register their frustration with the passage of a bylaw to Regulate Waste on Township Roads . Their opposition centres primarily on .. Sections # 2 related to domestic animals and the disposal of excrement from public property including sidewalks and municipal roads and #3 which states: no person shall drive, lead, walk or ride a horse, pony or similar animal on a sidewalk in the municipality.

“Wolfe Island is a community built on strong values and traditions violated by the passage of the bylaw, “spokes person Rob White declared.”We are here to challenge and seek the amendment of sections 2 and 3. Their implementation will change the Rural community that we call home.” His presentation which included references to how other rural townships dealt with 'horse manure on the roads' without bylaws. “It's the way the bylaw is written,” he said.

Mayor Denis Doyle indicated that that there had been no intent to cause difficulty or punish with the bylaw but to deal with garbage issues that had arisen. “We don't always do it right,” he said. Councillor Grant and other council members acknowledged an error with the bylaw's quick passage and a need to clarify its boundaries with the village as the big issue. In conclusion Council agreed: 'that no action be taken with regard to bylaw sections 2 & 3 until a meeting has been held between horse owners, interested parties, and council and proposals to amend the by-law have been agreed upon.'

2. MPAC Assessment: WI residents Edward and Gail Kenney were in attendance to discuss issues around their MPAC property assessment appeal, denied by the Assessment Review Board, potential appeals, and dissatisfaction with the appeal process. Reading from a prepared statement Ed, alternating with Gail, questioned council's absence at the hearings, their expenditure of $50,000 of wind farm money for a lawyer at the hearing as a misuse of funds, and their loss of equity, comparing MPAC assessment levels and broker information of a lower property value level.

“MPAC approached us to negotiate initially with the township's lawyer who was adamant the township would not agree to a settlement, if the wind turbines were mentioned. We were not prepared to disguise the issues,” Ed said. They have been granted leave to submit a motion requesting a review of the decision of their appeal based on “withheld MPAC and township information. We are looking for compensation for loss of our investment.” MPAC is not prepared to acknowledge wind turbine impact and has no criteria established to guide its assessment of properties affected by nearby turbines ,”Gail read “This council has continued to follow a policy of alignment with the wind corporation on this issue. ” Council members questioned some figures outlined in the presentation, the intent of amenities agreement, costs of hiring of a lawyer etc. It was noted not all assessments of properties adjacent to wind towers have been lowered, while others remain high. Mayor Doyle said that in the event of a further MPAC appeal, the decision to spend/or not spend money for legal council will be a budget decision made by the whole council. Councillor Springgay confirmed all legal expenditures for services were clearly identified in previous year budgets with no complaints The Kenney's left a package of information supporting their position.

3.Wolfe Island Network (WIN) for a Healthy Community: committee members Donna Ivimey and Kayo Murakami Wood, presented a report on the work of the WIN including its history, 2012 annual report and a proposal for continuing and expanding WIN activity (sustainability) beyond the March 2013 grant period. “WIN encourages healthy lifestyles and social development (with a focus on youth and seniors), gathers and shares information among community organizations,” Ivimey said. “Coordinating local resources results in better programs and strengthens community capacity. Based on the Community Inventory we propose the creation of a Health and Social Development Committee of Council to continue engagement with community groups .” Kayo Murakami had prepared a number of posters showing the interaction between community groups and organizations. The WIN report suggests a $7,500 part time co-ordinator contract and $2,500 operating costs. Mayor Doyle thanked them for their presentation.

WIBTA (Business & Tourism Association: VP Curtis Ireland informed council that WIBTA is continuing to wind down in preparation for dissolution of the organization. The township has taken over responsibility for the public facilities and Information Centre, hiring etc. “We are currently looking at ways to keep the website going,” Ireland said. (WIBTA AGM, Nov. 20th, WI Town Hall, 7:00 pm)

Other Business:1.An update of the grant request to the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund received from WI Community Centre Board Chairman Paul Hogan led to the passage of a resolution stating that: regardless of whether or not the municipality receives approval for the Province of Ontario FIT Program the Township intends to make the construction of a roof for the outdoor arena a main priority.

2.Bylaws passed: 1. to establish Howe Island annual ferry fares. (annual pass $220.), 2. Animal Control & Bylaw Enforcement Services by Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc

3. Council committed $ 15,000.00 for a Howe Island Transportation Study. Contract awarded to AECOM.

Items of interest: *Payments for livestock damage approved (3calfs, 1 heifer), *The township will: request MTO funding/engineering advice about Howe /Simcoe Ferry's low water boarding problems. Fire Chief's Quinn and White very concerned, contact Kingston about repairing the Ontario St. entry at WI ferry dock, post notices that Council will be discussing the unloading of bicycles from the Wolfe Islander III, Congratulate Henderson Farms for successes at Royal Winter Fair.

Members concerns:* Councillor Springgay was unhappy with the removal without permission of the Canadian flag from the Town Hall pole by a citizen and requested a letter be sent to the offending citizen. *Councillor Grant wants WI Senior housing kept front & centre. Planner Joe Galivan will be invited to present Frontenac County's Senior housing study results *Deputy Mayor Jones questioned how a large cost overrun of costs for the surface treatment of WI roads could happen with internal controls that are in place. Township's system of internal controls.

Around Town: *Trinity Anglican “Beef Supper,” St. Margaret's Hall Sat. Nov.24th, Doors open 4:30 pm. *WI Christmas Parade Saturday, Dec. 8th - 4:30 pm

Posted by M Knott at 12:00 PM
November 15, 2012
Once Again Islanders gather to Remember

The main street of Marysville was very quiet on the glorious Sunday Morning that was Remembrance Day 2012. A large crowd gathered in front of the Town Hall, the largest crowd since the inauguration of the island's original November 11th observance in 1994.

That year it followed the erection of a plaque dedicated to the residents of Wolfe Island, by the Island's Township Council of the day as a tribute, the plaque says, “to the men and women of the community who answered the call of their country to help preserve the peace and freedom we now enjoy” words referenced to by Ken Keyes who led this year's observance.

Joining the observance were the clergy from the island's 3 churches with an opening prayer offered by Fr. Ray de Souza Pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary and a biblical reading read by Rev. Gerry Moore of Trinity Anglican. Wolfe Island United Church Pastor Erin Burns offered the reflection on this day. Rev. Canon Chris Carr offered the closing prayer and blessing and Wolfe Island United Church Pastor Erin Burns offering the reflection on this day. War Dead commemorative Certificates where they are buried or where they fell in battle

This year there were two RMC Officer Cadets, in scarlet, present on Wolfe Island. Officer Cadet Coche opened the observance with the reading of “In Flanders Field” while Officer Cadet Bennett was the Piper .

The names of islanders who lost their lives and all those who served Canada in war and in Peacekeeping, including some present on this occasion, were read by Theresa Broeders and Diane Hawkins. An Act of remembrance was read by Jenni Johnson, Remembrance by Kristen Mattson and a final Canadian Reflection by Liz Crothers (islanders all). Officer Cadet Bennett played the Reveille following the two minutes of silence, and wreaths were laid by Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle, Merchant Navy Veteran Vern Yott, Peacekeeping-Peace Making Veteran Sgt.(Ret.d) Joseph Sanford, Canadian Forces MWO Denis Chercuitte and Cpl. Simon Berry, the island's St. Lawrence & Wolfe Island Women's Institutes, the WI Historical Society, WI Emergency Services, and the school children, all were escorted by the cadets.

Perhaps is was Pastor Erin Burns who touched the hearts of young and old as she reflected on the words of her grandpa, a 2nd World War veteran spoken to her as a 9 year old who said with sadness in his face, I hope you never see war . “To which I said, yes grandpa, war was a long time ago. (We had troops on the ground in Somalia, Bosnia and Croatia definitely places of war,”) she said. “I recently heard a statistic, not sure if it is true that I in five Canadians is a veteran which means that most of us know someone directly or indirectly who has served. For me it was first grandparents, now it is friends, people I went to school with, kids I baby sat. The veterans I know would probably say I was a naïve 9 year old. Peace is not something that just happens it is something we have to work for, and sadly means sometimes through armed conflict. We know that God is on the side of the oppressed, the suffering, the hungry and afraid and is calling us to remember and in that remembrance to stand in solidarity with our veterans. Remembrance Day is one day we pause to say thank you to those who have fought, for those who have suffered and live with that experience, to those who have died and to those who mourn.. So today, we are reminded once again we have 364 days to work for peace and that hope by my grandfather that our children never have to see war,” she concluded.

At about the same time a local fly past organized by island resident Tony Tifenbach (Kingston Flying Club)consisting of 4 small craft, flew by overhead with one plane circling the area.

This year's Remembrance Day Observance and the reception that followed was organized by Pat Sanford with MWO Denis Chercuitte, president and members of the WI Historical Society. Of particular significance this year were the War Dead Commemorative Certificates of eleven islanders, where they are buried or where they fell in battle in the 1st and 2nd World Wars hanging for this occasion in the Community Hall.

And of note at the reception, along with the wonderful food, were the framed pictures and profiles of the many island residents who have served Canada over the years. As the township's plaque says: 'Some made the supreme sacrifice. Others suffered from severe wounds and hardships. Still others continued to serve in Canada's Forces and still do today.”

Around Town: *Congratulations to WI's Robert Henderson, Awarded Grand Champion

Jam & Jelly Maker at 2012 Royal Agricultural Winter Fairand won the Judges Choice Award for his Raspberry and Pear Jam.Henderson Farms has been making jams for the past 25 years. * George Horne is home. We wish him well as he recuperates. * Linda Whitfield “Savour Big Sandy & Beyond is guest speaker at the Friends of BS Bay AGM Wed. Nov. 21st 7pm WI United. *The location of the Christmas Craft show has been changed to the WI Community Hall, Nov. 18th 11-3pm. *The WI Santa Claus Parade will happen, Saturday, Dec. 8th starting at the Fire Hall at 4:30pm.*Indoor walking happens Sundays from 11 am to 12:30 pm at Sacred Heart School.

Posted by M Knott at 09:52 AM
November 08, 2012
A Community Improvement Plan for Marysville

Following a brief welcome, by Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle, to the 50 or more people in attendance at a community meeting, Frontenac County's Director Anne Marie Young, and Planner Peter Young (not related), got on with what the meeting was all about. A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for Marysville. The move forward to developing a plan had received approval from the Township council in July. This was the first public meeting set up to hear from the community at large. (It was noted that only 3 of the 7 businesses in the village were represented.)

A CIP is tool under the planning act to encourage economic development with incentives to the private sector to encourage community projects. They are different for every community and are put together by the community, business, organizations, etc.

“There are many areas that might be considered for a plan according to Peter Young,” such as affordable housing, senior's housing, façade improvement (storefront), structural upgrades, and property tax incentives to encourage property development, converting space, etc. A CIP would encourage a vision for Marysville and focus the community priorities for its future,” he said, noting that developing a good CIP can promote action among businesses, residents, community groups and the township, to accomplish projects that they would otherwise never achieve.

“There are focal points in any community, points that create a lasting impression. If they reflect the community's values, if it looks like an exciting place, then all that can translate into more economic activity, promoting small business development and increased options for goods and services. ( CIP,s have been used in Kingston, Loyalist Township and Sharbot Lake).

As a case in point were pictures of building façade improvements and new business developments that became the anchor for the main street in Gananoque. Funding opportunities for façade improvement, municipal project grants, accessibility grants for projects were outlined.

Already gathered in four groups, Peter posed three questions about Marysville for the participants to consider.

1. What qualities do you like about Marysville? 2. What are its most pressing needs? 3. What are the key goals and objectives for the village in the next five- ten years? The responses were:

Like most about Marysville: people, comfortable- safe, secure, pace of life- great main street lots of potential, history small town atmosphere…..

Needs most: more commercial space, a central space, water and sewage , traffic calming, beautification of streets , revitalization of buildings, on island employment, permanent public washrooms, better lighting, garbage pickup, a development plan, bicycle paths, improved sidewalks, change of attitudes, address seasonality, signage.

Goals : update zoning bylaws, better lighting (consistent), better parking, develop water front, more public space, improved public washroom services clean up main street , address seasonality, festival that identifies us, capitalize on heritage, gain waterfront access, welcome new businesses, encourage walk on traffic, beautification through flowers, more winter activity. Along with the obvious implication for municipal involvement in the CIP, the final goal was: that the Township hire a business development officer to direct the process (funding, zoning, space, work directly with the public etc. ).

(As an aside, a resident expressed some disillusionment with the condition of a number of Canadian flags in the village as an example of simple things that need to be done.)

“It is evident that Wolfe Island residents clearly appreciate the village of Marysville and see many areas for change and improvement,” Anne Marie Young said following the lively discussion. “We will consolidate the material over the next few months and continue our visits to residents and businesses to obtain more opinions, ideas and proposals, and report to the community in the new year.”

For further information contact: Peter Young, Community Planner, County of Frontenac 613-548-9400

Coming Events: *Remembrance Day on Wolfe Island Sunday Nov. 11th Please arrive by 10:45 am This occasion has become more and more important over the years. Every year it has been a little different. This year Pat Sanford has been collecting pictures of islanders who served Canada in the military. A reception will follow the ceremony in the WI Community Hall. Plan to attend. You will be glad you did…. *Wolfe Island Christmas Craft, Art, local products & baked goods. St. Margaret's Hall Sun. Nov. 18th 10 am- 3pm.

Posted by M Knott at 09:49 AM
October 25, 2012
Concern for ferry operator weighs heavily with islanders

Wolfe Islanders as well as residents of Cape Vincent, NY are in a state of shock and disbelief over the accident which occurred on the Horne's Ferry near the Cape last week. The Horne's ferry service located on Wolfe Island is owned and operated by brothers George and Bruce Horne.

The accident involved a vehicle , empty at the time which, according to news reports, was left in the neutral position and rolled off the ferry. The crew's quick action caught the vehicle with a rope and with the help of a Cape Vincent Seaway Pilot Boat got the ferry, still with power but with affected steering due to extra weight, to a marina on the Cape Vincent side.

More concerned however is the closely knit Wolfe Island community over the condition of George Horne, Captain of the ferry, the MS William Darryl, who suffered what appeared to have been a serious heart attack on the ferry at some time during the accident and who was transported to Watertown's Good Samarian medical center and later to Syracuse. According to blogs, emails, calls, news items etc residents and friends, relatives cottagers on both sides of the river, and frequent travellers are praying for George's quick return to good health, to the island and to his ferry once again.

Islanders are concerned also about the future of the ferry service so important for tourism, international travel and to the economies of both Wolfe Island and Cape Vincent. The Horne's Ferry service is spoken of as an international link (with customs, immigration facilities , now known as Border Security Services, since its very beginning in 1802 ), between Canada and the United States. The Horne's have invested heavily into providing the required facilities for the ongoing operation of the ferry service annually from May 1 to the end of October.

A Horne has been at the helm of the service, which has seen many changes over the years, since its very beginning. George and Bruce joined their Uncle William Horne on the MS William Darrell in the 70's following the death their father George Darrell Horne and have maintained the family's heritage at Point Alexandria now known as Horne's Point since then. The ferry resumes service May 1,2013.

Marysville Community

Improvement Plan Meeting Nov. 1st

Frontenac County's Peter Young will be hosting a public meeting about a Community Improvement Plan for Wolfe Island's 'Marysville' A CIP is a (Planning Act) tool used to stimulate development and community revitalization. Marysville with its commercial activity, pubic facilities, tourist appeal, and waterfront make it eligible for consideration

According to Mayor Doyle the County has been working this CIP process for a few years and have done work in Verona, and are now in Sharbot Lake. “We lobbied for Marysville to be next on the CIP list, and there is money in the County budget already levied from the townships, for some work towards community improvement projects,” he said. (ie store's front's, accessibility, commercial building improvements, etc.) “The actual work would not start until at least next year, but there will be some pre-planning to be done to see if village merchants, and others are interested in participating. The way it normally works is the people who want to participate have to put up 50% of the cost of the improvements. We need to determine local interest.”

Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend the meeting Thursday, November 1st, Sacred Heart Catholic School 6:30pm - 8:00pm to discuss their vision for the future of Marysville and if there are those interested in participating. Come prepared to shareyour vision on the future of Marysville and how to support economic development in the village.

Wolfe Island Wind

participates in United Way

Mike and the staff of WI Wind continue their ongoing support and participation in the Wolfe Island Community. Recently they held a Anniversary barbecue at the Community Centre grounds for Wolfe Island residents providing lots of food , fun for the children, and gifts for all in the form of bright GREEN bags. It was a great day..

Now WI Wind staff are raising money for the 2012 United Way campaign. Join them at the Wind Plant facility, 4th Line road for a “CHILI ” LUNCH between 12-2pm on Thursday, October 25th Cost for Lunch is by Donation.. As much as you can… Everyone Welcome! Let's support this effort…

Anniversary Bash

Congratulations to James and Linda and to the WI Pub & Pizzeria, on 2nd Anniversary/ Halloween Bash to be held Sat. Oct. 27th at Sacred Heart School with Rudy& Saddle Up Band, buffet,, prizes for Best Costumes (not a requirement) Tickets: $15.00 at the WIPP.

Coming Events: * Turkey Supper, WI United Church Hall, Sat., Oct. 27th, *”Walk Talk & Art” Big Sandy Bay, Oct 28th. Meet at Gate by 11:15 am. Contact Nancy: 385-9949 * Musical Afternoon WI United, Sun. Nov. 4th 1:30 pm Living Titanic & More with Rosalee Peppard . Tickets $20 -Fargo's & Niles Store or Margaret Pyke 613-385-2900 *WI's Flu Shot Clinic at Community Medical Clinic, is on Sat. NOV. 3rd 9-12. FYI- All Events are posted at:

Posted by M Knott at 09:47 AM
October 20, 2012
Keeping public informed of council decisions of concern to councillor

Frontenac Islands Councillor Barbara Springgay is concerned that news about council decisions are not sufficiently made public . In this instance bylaws. ” How do citizens become aware of the by laws,” Councillor Springgay asked. “If people are charged with a violation how can it be enforced if they don't know there is a bylaw or what regulations are in effect? Are we just creating another bylaw we can't enforce?

The question came after the passage of a bylaw to regulate the deposit of any waste (rubbish, refuse,) and its removal from township roads including sidewalks, and in particular the immediate removal of animal excrement, (horses, dogs, etc.) and proper disposal to avoid health hazards.

At the present time Bylaws are posted on the township's web site at,, at the municipal buildings, on the ferries, at the post office, bulletin boards etc. “We will also list them as they come up in the Township's newsletter that goes out with tax notices,” Mayor Doyle added. A resident suggested that if a passed bylaw is of particular significance such as the one above, it should be announced in the newspaper.

Frontenac County Report: Frontenac Islands Deputy Mayor Jones (Howe Island ward) does not consider the issue of rescheduling the July Frontenac County council meeting to accommodate another County Councillor's “last minute a fishing trip” over yet. In his report to Frontenac Islands council he reiterated his discontent with the rescheduling resulting in his inability to attend , having planned his schedule around the original meeting date. Both he and Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle represent the township at the County, (the Mayor as County Deputy Warden). Reading from a prepared statement Jones said that a number of County councillors share his concern.

According to Jones, the Warden Mayor Janet Gutowski trivialized council and acted presidential when she arbitrarily rescheduled the July meeting for another councillor's last minute fishing trip. He said previous council's had what has been loosely referred to as a gentlemen's agreement not endorsed by the present (county) council. “And besides I did not sign up for an old boys club,” he added noting that Council's standing orders were disregarded and the definition of quorum as defined in the Municipal Act was transgressed. “Warden Gutowski said the Procedural bylaw is due for review, I will keep you informed,” Jones said.

(FYI: A July 26th Frontenac News' article quotes Frontenac County Warden Janet Gutowski in response to a question by Deputy Warden Denis Doyle regarding the procedural bylaw re changing the date saying, “I made the call. I am aware it isn't in the procedural bylaw. We might want to reconsider our procedural bylaw to give clear direction on this kind of situation.”)

2, Deputy Mayor Jones also informed council that he and Mayor Doyle had lobbied for the establishment of a Finance Committee to enable more detailed discussion, transparency and awareness of County expenses, why so much in reserves. The committee will meet October 15th. Deputy Mayor Jones will represent Frontenac Islands and will keep council informed.

3, Finally Jones noted that the County's Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) workshop was well attended and included more than a dozen persons from Frontenac Islands. “Our contingent made it clear what it thought of the array of tax absorbent projects, many which are mainland centric or just plain irrelevant, “he said.

In other Business, Paul Hogan, WI Community Centre Board chairman informed council that that a grant application has been submitted for a federal grant for a roof on the rink. “If we are successful we would like to put a roof over the rink and put solar panels on the whole roof surface (300 kilowatts),” Hogan said. “To do that we would apply to the FIT program and in order to apply to the FIT program we have to have a resolution from council supporting the project as part of the process. The grant application for this round must be in by Nov. 30th.” The township passed a resolution in support of the FIT application.

“What we are going to have to get our heads around, if that doesn't fly and we don't get the government grant is that we are going to have to lay our commitment on the table in support of this project,” Councillor Springgay. “We have already spent a lot of money on the rink, we have to make a decision, I'll say myself, to support it and put a plan together to move forward,” she said.

The November meeting of Frontenac Islands Meeting will be held on Wolfe Island - Mon. Nov. 12th- 6:30 pm

Coming Events: Music Friday Oct 19, General Wolfe Hotel with Chris Brown& Kate Fenner (7-9pm) Other guests to follow Turkey Supper, WI United Church Hall, Sat., Oct. 27th, Doors open at 4:30 *”Walk Talk & Art” event Big Sandy Bay, October 21st & 28th. Meet at Gate by 11:15 am. Contact information: 385-9949 (Nancy Steele) * At the WI Community Medical Clinic a talkon 'Cancer Screening and Prevention - what you need to know, Tues. October 23. 7:00pm. * Musical Afternoon WI United Church, Sun. Nov. 4th 1:30 pm Living Titanic & More with Rosalee Peppard . Tickets $20 -Fargo's & Niles General Store or Margaret Pyke 613-385-2900 *WI's Flu Shot Clinic at Community Medical Clinic, Sat. Nov. 3rd 9-12. FYI-All Events are posted at:

Posted by M Knott at 09:00 PM
October 14, 2012
Gardening Expert Ed Lawrence welcomed to Wolfe Island

Gardening guru Ed Lawrence, who recently retired after 30 years as Chief Horticultural Specialist at Rideau Hall and for the NCC's six official residences was a recent visitor to Wolfe Island. Lawrence is the voice, so familiar to the many listeners of CBC radio's Ontario Today's, Monday noon time gardening phone in, where he continues to offer gardening information and advice.

He came at the invitation and to the delight of the members of the island's newly established Wolfe Island Blooming Gardeners Club and an interested audience including many Kingston residents among them Marg Forbes ( who loves roses).

“I met Ed Lawrence 20 years ago at a Garden Show at Rideau Hall in Ottawa when we were both younger and I wanted to come and hear him again” Ms Forbes said, prior to the evening's presentation, with a photo in hand of their original meeting. “Can you believe this?” Ed said as he laughingly enjoyed the picture (“Lots of black hair . I was slimmer then”), and the memories.

Ed, introduced by the club's Linda Thomas, wowed the audience gathered at the Wolfe Island Community Hall with his knowledge of plants, trees and shrubs, (Latin names and all), offering soil, planting and pruning advice in his own friendly and enthusiastic way. Lawrence stayed to answer every question posed to him by the attentive an equally enthusiastic audience. The information he offered was down to earth, of value to all gardeners at every level of experience.

Without a doubt , a wonderful evening for all. Ed's book “Gardening-Grief and Glory”, was available for sale and willingly signed by the author. Great gift for anyone interested in gardening.

Around Town: 1. Fibre Fest was another wonderful event held recently on Wolfe Island at the Community Hall . It brought members of a variety of creative groups including the Kingston Handloom Spinners & Weavers, Cornerstone Fibres, Topsy Farms, VanWagner Farm, Wolfe Island Shetland, Wolfe Island Quilters, Pullans Woolans, Ambleside Farm, Sheperd's Hill Farm, Whats Weft, and many more, who demonstrated their craft, spinning wheels etc. and offered unique and beautiful items for sale.

Just as people are going back to growing their own food or buying locally, so too are people returning to the natural fibres for creating beautiful things by hand. For Further information about Fibre Fest and possible future events contact Nicole at:

2.Wolfe Island Christmas Art & Craft Show, Sunday, November 18th 20123St Margaret's Hall

Vendor Registration is required Or mail to Bx 163 WI K0H 2Y0

Posted by M Knott at 08:52 PM
September 27, 2012
The Wolfe Island ferry at this time of year

It is at this time of year, as the water recedes, that Islanders begin planning for the relocation of the Wolfe Islander to the winter dock. Some residents look forward to the move, as it means not a shorter run from the east end of the township, but line -up and parking ease etc. But without public transportation on the island, for many who live in and around the village and are without a vehicle and some cyclists it means they must arrange rides to and from the ferry or hitch a ride to get to work, school, appointments. And for all those who normally park and ride the ferry from the village, where coffee, breakfast and the newspapers are available, it means instead parking at the winter dock. Having a second car for many becomes an absolute necessity and arranging for pick up if you don't. And of course we are all aware of the effects moving the ferry has on local business establishments and the anxiety it causes.

It certainly means islanders must coordinate pick up times with young people who want to stay in the city after school for activities and sports, provide transportation for visitors coming to the island (without a car) for events, skating at the rink, youth programs, bird watching, night skies, hiking, etc.

The winter dock is very efficient, parking is easier, loading and unloading is a roll on roll off process without delay , in fact saving time. MTO does provide basic amenities, telephone, cameras, a warm building and has increased lighting in the area. But it is a lonely place, a very lonely place. Moving there means more cars on the road, increased use of fuel, idling long periods ,environmental issues, village business anxiety etc. etc.

Through their most recent study MTO determined that Wolfe Island needed a new second 75 car ferry, operating with the Wolfe Islander III, and eventually a bridge (?) shorter route (?), etc. All dependant on what happens in Kingston (3rd crossing, military, etc.)? Dare I say we've heard it all before.

MTO continues to make improvements at both docks on the island and at Barrack street and provides a dependable ferry service, but that dependable ferry service does not adequately fulfill the growing needs of island residents, or of the island itself as a tourist destination, or as an international link to the USA, or for economic development growth.

Moving the ferry to the winter dock is another irritation that elicits a variety of opinions for and against. However, have no fear. Wolfe Island does not shut down because the ferry moves… So as islanders watch water levels…. Visit and take note of the many activities and events that take place as fall begins and join us.. . You are welcome.

Around Town: In last weeks paper. (EMC Sept.19th), I extolled the good work of the young people hired by MTO for the summer period to help make lining up for the Wolfe Island ferry and boarding it, if not a short, happy experience, at least a fairer one, which they did in good spirit and generally with a smile. And I named those students. In fact, in my enthusiasm, I also included the names of students who were with us last summer and, to top it off…..I left out the name of Queen's student, Linay Repath, who WAS with us this summer. To her I extend my sincere apologies for the omission, and say once again to Linay, Camille, Pamela, Laura and Mike, THANK YOU.

Posted by M Knott at 12:44 PM
September 13, 2012
Frontenac Islands Catch-Up!

Recently I took a road trip to Manitoba, in this instance to Gimli, that province's recognized Icelandic Community, at what is perhaps, its most beautiful time of year. The sight of crops still waiting to be harvested in fields that stretch for miles, an immense blue sky overhead, the vastness of Lake Winnipeg in view, an incredible night sky and the sight and sounds of the West, all kept me from the task of keeping you up to date with Frontenac Islands news. So I will attempt a bit of a “Catch-Up.”

- The August meeting of Frontenac Islands Council held on Howe Island brought forward a number of issues. 1. Ken Gilpin of Frontenac Bylaw Enforcement's was on hand to describe the (re-active) service he provides to the township at this time and his request for a $400 monthly retainer (liability, employees) billing change and to have them available pro-actively, (No retainer has been paid by township since 1997.) “You caught us between budgets,” Mayor Doyle commented. Good discussion, many issues raised, animal control, trailers, property standards, traffic violations, etc. 2. The township will erect the six no littering signs provided by the HI Resident's Association on Howe Island. 3. WIBTA's Carlyle Crothers presented a number of alternative ecotourism project options for the use of $26,000 from the County in lieu of the township funding the KP trail. The preferred option is for a trail on Howe Island. 4. The WI Historical Society will spend some of their reserve money repairing the township owned Old House (Larush) Museum and submit an application for further funding to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. 5.Investment options with respect to the “One Investment Program” entered into by the township will be presented at the September meeting. 6. WI Community Centre Board will submit a grant application to the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund for a roof over the rink. 7. MTO is asked to continue priority boarding, as in past years, for agricultural commodities on the WI Ferry. 8. The Centre Street property in Marysville, owned by the township is set aside for public use as a small park. Also - New ferry line signs going up.- Congratulations to Oueen's Jubilee Medal recipient Perry Chesney. Council meets Sept. 10th.

Around the Township: 1. WI's Sacred Heart of Mary Parish held a parish social honouring both native sons, Fr. Stewart (Tod) Laverty, OFM on the occasion of his 40th Anniversary as priest and the 10th Anniversary of their pastor Fr. Raymond De Souza. That same weekend the Pastor of the island's Trinity Anglican Church, Rev.Canon Chris Carr and Mrs. Connie Carr celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary family and friends. Congratulations to all. 2. The township held town hall meetings on Wolfe (EMC Aug. 23rd) and Howe islands offering residents the opportunity to question their council members. The Howe Island meeting was attended by 65 people and held in conjunction with the HI Ratepayers Association's AGM which included a presentation on coyotes presented by Ministry of Natural Resources representatives Monique Charette and Steve McNevin. The Town Hall meeting included a presentation by Mayor Doyle and a Q&A period with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor David Jones. (As on Wolfe Island, transportation was a major topic ) 3. Repair work on the Frontenac County-Howe Island ferry transfer bridges requires that it will be out of service overnight on approximately 14 nights over the next two months(with 3 nights' notice of closures provided.) On those nights the Township foot ferry at the eastern end of the island will operate overnight. While sufficient for regular traffic this arrangement would lengthen the response time for possible medical emergencies on the western end of Howe Island. To minimize emergency response times on those (approximately 14) night closures, the Frontenac Paramedic Service will station an ambulance and two paramedics at the Howe Island Fire Hall. Please note that to report an emergency you should still call 911. 4 The consultants report for Frontenac County's Senior Housing project , is available at (Housing for Seniors is a priority area of concern on Wolfe Island.) 5. With the presence of Emerald Ash Bore confirmed in the county Frontenac Islands council noted that to prevent ash materials from being moved there is a need for vigilance about fire wood brought to the islands . 4. Lowering water levels raise islanders concerns that the ferry might be moved to the winter dock earlier than later…

Coming Events: 1.Gardening Guru Ed Lawrence, Retired Head Gardener to 6 Governor Generals and Prime Ministers and long time gardening expert for CBC's Ontario Radio phone-in is coming to Wolfe Island on Wednesday, Sept. 26th , Wolfe Island Community Hall at 7 pm. Tickets:$15.00 are available. Call 613-385-1947, 613-385-2929, 613-385-2910 and at Fargo's. For more info:

2. Beat the Winter Blues- What is Seasonal Affective Disorder ? SAD? Find out what is 'normal' in the Winter and what are evidence-based treatment options for SAD with Dr. Michela David Ph.D., C. Psych., Psychologist, Mood Disorders Research and Treatment Service, Providence Care, on Thursday, September 27th at 7pm at the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic, 102 Road 95

3.Spinners, felters, weavers, anyone looking for local fibre- Wolfe Island's 1st Fibre Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 29th, 10 am-4pm at the WI Community Hall in Marysville Something for everyone with weaving and quilting demos, needlework and rug hooking, learn to spin with a Drop Spindle(workshop). For more information: contact: 613-385-1774 OR OR 613-385-2641

Posted by M Knott at 08:34 PM
August 23, 2012
Frontenac Islands Council Faces Residents at Town Hall meeting

A first question directed to Frontenac Island's Mayor Denis Doyle at a town Hall meeting on Wolfe Island pertained to the use of the funds from the WI Wind Plant. The meeting was held to provide the public with the opportunity to quiz council members, ( the mayor, Deputy Mayor David Jones, Councillors Barbara Springgay and Wayne Grant), outside of a regular council meeting.

A portion of the money has been used on island roads in lieu of collecting taxes for that purpose and on the rink. “We are also putting $100,000 of it every year into an (AMO) investment fund to cushion the blow when there is no wind power money.” said Mayor Doyle. (The wind power contract is for 20 years with a renewable clause.) Some island organizations request and receive small amounts. “The first year of receiving the annual $645,000, taxes were reduced by 12%” he added.

- What about the original questionnaire regarding its use? The results were prioritized indicating roads first, WI rink improvements and savings in that order. Road resurfacing comes in at approximately $70,000 a kilometre. Wolfe Island has 150 miles (240 km) of roads, none of which can be closed. “The township's major investment (spending) has been in roads,” Councillor Springgay said. “We have a Capital Roads Plan to keep up with the required road surfacing since roads require renewal.” Mayor Doyle also confirmed that before the Wind Plant money the township was running out of money particularly for roads which would have led eventually to major tax increases. The planned bike paths on Rd.#95 (both sides) did not go ahead when it was determined that the road sides would requiwre rebuild and pavement on the paths, different and far more expensive compared to the resurfacing material used on the roads. The $30,000 budgeted for bike paths would have paid for only 30 metres.

- What about for Senior Housing? The file remains open. A Frontenac County study report suggesting different models was recently tabled and will be made public.

- What is the longevity of the island's landfill site? “The MOE will direct over the cliff or off the island,” according to the Mayor. “The costs are always there.” While much that could be recycled or composted still goes over the side, credit for the success of the Recycling Centre site was noted for Site Manager Mae Etmanski, and also to Megaly's store for accepting for return more bottles than it sells. A Land Fill site committee is being formed, (re-activated.) Mayor Doyle will be promoting the idea of an incinerator suitable for a municipality “our size” at the Green Energy Task Force.

- Is there a long range plan for the Community Centre site and rink (funding, land use allocation)? Linda Van Hal asked. The community needs to know.” FYI The township's Community Centre Board (CCB), a committee of council is responsible for the site, the only major township owned piece of land other than road ends, and 1 or 2 island properties. The CCB will be submitting a federal grant proposal for a rink roof with solar panels, costing $1.5 million, with the idea that the revenue from the panels would recover the repayment of the roof and the operating costs within 8 years. The federal grant of one third would be $500,000. If not approved the roof alone would cost between $6 -700,000, with a maximum grant of $200,000, the rest to be raised.

- Do we still have a Volunteer Ambulance Service? Yes and No. Recent fully qualified college graduates coming from Kingston serve the island as volunteer paramedics along with only two local volunteers. It was noted that all properties must have a visible '911' address.

- Ferry Service came up as the island's most glaring problem. The discussion ranged from drive way markings in the ferry line up lane, restarting the Transportation Committee, to establishing an Islands Bridge Authority. Will things ever improve without a 2nd ferry or a bridge? But with either which route from where to where?

As the meeting concluded Dep. Mayor Jones expressed frustration with some Frontenac County dollar allocations, for instance to the KP trail, not part of Frontenac Islands. He and Mayor Doyle negotiated 10% ($26,000) of it for local purposes. He is also concerned with the $150,000 budget for a Frontenac County Anniversary party. He noted also that the county planning services are of benefit to the islands.

Frontenac County Official Plan meetings will be held: Wolfe Island, Wed. September 5th, WI Town Hall,

6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and Thurs., September 6th at the Howe Island Office, 55 Baseline Road 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

A similar Town Hall meeting will be held on Howe Island, Thurs. Aug. 23rd, in conjunction with the Howe Island Ratepayers Association AGM 6:30 pm at St. Philomena's Parish Hall .

It would be a gamble, but Maybe, just maybe, the answer to all of this IS a destination Casino on Wolfe Island!

Coming Events: - WI Historical Society AGM with Guest Kim Lunman: Island life in the 1000 islands. Wed. Aug. 22nd WI United Hall 7 pm - The 3 A's for Anaphylaxis (Life Threatening Allergy), a presentation with Carol Sleeth (Allergy Association) & Sally Kane, WI Paramedic Services Thurs. Aug. 23rd , 7 pm at the WI Community Medical Clinic. - HIRA AGM/Town Hall Aug. 23rd, 6:30 pm, St. Philomena's Parish Hall. - Wolfe Island Ploughing Match, Morningsight Farms, 1227 Reeds Bay Rd. ,Sat. Sept. 8th. 2012. Vendors welcome.

Posted by M Knott at 08:28 PM
August 16, 2012
Wolfe Island's Family Ball Tournament felt the heat

Once again the August long weekend saw family members and friends from far and wide return home to Wolfe Island for the 27th annual Family Ball Tournament Twenty-seven teams were registered to play. And as has been the case all summer it was not easy. The traffic was heavy, line- up's long and a full parking lot saw people carrying their gear and running to get on the ferry to meet their game schedule. Wolfe Island is one of the few remaining communities where a tournament is held and it is said the Family Ball Tournament sponsored by the Community Centre Board (CCB) is an event, bigger even than 'coming home' for Christmas.

Play began Friday evening in the A & B Divisions and ended late Saturday as dusk began to fall, cheered on to the end by the many visitors to the games. Perhaps the hottest tournament in its 27 year history, temperature wise, players in the final hours of play were visibly tired but happy. Happy with the tournament. Happy with the results and ready for the rest of the weekend.

At the awards ceremony CCB board member Amanda Kyle presented trophy's to “A” Division winners, the Brian Hulton family team. The “B” Division winner was the Geoff Sheridan Team. The Bill Kyle Sportsmanship Trophy was presented to the Janzer/McAllister family. The Joe Reitzel Memorial Trophy for Oldest Average Team was presented to the Hulton Team, (Gene and Rita).

A highlight this year was the presentation of the '1st annual Frank Lollar Family Trophy for Volunteerism on Wolfe Island. Its first recipient was Ben Woodman, a member of the CCB who devoted every spare hour to the care and maintenance of island's new rink. baseball-2012-034.gif

baseball-201241.gifbaseball-2012-045.gifbaseball-2012-048.gifFYI the Family Baseball Tournament was founded by Jim Kyle, Bernie Fargo, Elwin McKenna. Teams consist of 9 members each plus back-up. Four women must be in the field at one time. A larger (Melon) ball is used for play.

Please also take note:Wolfe Island’s Community Centre Board invited Todd Muller, a professional photographer to take pictures of all of the teams, plus more, at this year’s Family Ball Tournament held recently. To view and obtain prints, please contact Todd Muller Photography:

Posted by M Knott at 10:51 AM
July 23, 2012
A Roof for the Rink- "Let's Do It !"

Frontenac Islands - Wolfe Island ward, in conjunction with it's Community Centre Board, will attempt to meet a funding application deadline of 5:00 p.m. August 24th, to the recently announced new Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund in Ontario, (Fed Dev Ontario) . Community and recreational facilities are now eligible for repairs and upgrades through the Fund on a 50/50 basis.

Wolfe Island wants a roof over its new rink but as yet has no firm plan or firm costs of such an endeavour. However Mayor Doyle indicated it was a project worth pursuing, noting the support of Councillors Springgay and Grant to move forward.

Eligible projects must leverage a minimum of 50 per cent of funding from other sources. Priority may be given to projects that leverage 66.6 per cent or more, and be substantially completed by March 31, 2014. If the Wolfe Island ward wants a roof on the rink it has to come up with the money but how, and how much. (township dollars, grants, donations of money, materials, & in-kind?)

WI's Community Centre Board representative Paul Hogan stated that there would be a 'cooling plant electrical cost' savings with a roof, and he had received one quote of $185,000 for such. “Delivered on the ground, with no construction, lighting, anchors etc,” He offered a ball park figure of a total of $600,000 plus, plus, for an engineered roof (not including solar panels). “Is council looking seriously at this?” Hogan asked.

” I think so,” Mayor Doyle said. “Sixty six percent of that would be $400,000, (or at a $900,000 cost, some $600,000), and there may be other sources of funding. Solar panels would certainly be an advantage to the application.”

Hogan, along with an engineer and staff, will put together as many of the required figures as possible, including a plan for presentation at a special council meeting in a concerted effort to move forward with an application. While the process does not preclude a 2nd application from the township, Councillor Norris suggested that Howe Island might forego applying and instead of a ward split of the $26,000 gas tax dollars they could go to Howe (this year) for a trail ready project.

Back to the roof….

A roof over the WI rink with its ice making (refrigeration) equipment is a priority right now. First to reduce power costs for its operation, and second to maximize its community use, start earlier and last longer in the year.

If the township meets the deadline in a bid for the most recent grant opportunity but it is rejected, will a roof continue to remain just a dream with no end in site? The question is, do we have to rely on a grant to make it happen?

I say not. What we need to hear is that the Township is ready to make it happen NOW. Surely between the township and the community the level of funding required can be put together to do the job. MK

Posted by M Knott at 07:54 AM
July 22, 2012
Wolfe Island Music Fest - Township will pay extra policing costs

In spite of concerns islanders support the Music Festival held on Wolfe Island. “We recognize that the festival has become an important part of the island's summer schedule and we have tolerated the noise etc,” said resident Rick Lindgren at the July Frontenac Island council meeting. His homes sits next to the festival site.

A road closure request was set aside in June until security issues were clarified with event organizer Virginia Clark . The township had asked that the festival provide security beginning at 5:30 pm,

“We are not here to shut it down and appreciate council's efforts regarding OPP presence (low keyed, highly visible) at last year's event resulting in fewer off site problems.” The community wants more OPP presence (3:30 pm to last boat).” Regarding who pays for OPP services, Lindgren noted 3 options: organizers pay, the township pays or, they cost share.

Mayor Doyle said it was important to respect the community's 3:30 pm request. “Like Rick we all want to keep Music Fest going,” Doyle said, noting the possible $100,000 it has brought in over the years, ” but we have been trying to deal with the policing issue for some time. “Much is said about the Don Cherry and Ducks Unlimited contributions to it, but little is said about the festival's. Should we pay for the extra hours? “

Festival organizer Virginia Clark was present with friend and supporter Mark Mattson.

Matson reminded council of the festival's history (1997) and of the relationships and handshake partnerships that have led to its success as national musical event ( with attendance constrained by the ferry) and its benefits to island businesses, etc. He recommended the township take more ownership of it.

Ms. Clark outlined her requests to the OPP (beginning 5:30 pm, 2 cars, etc). She has also engaged private security at per hour rate. She noted increasing costs, location requirements, licences , liability and stage insurance, etc

Business owner Steve MacIntosh urged council to support Music Fest, (perhaps through a cost sharing formula) noting its value to the business community. “Visitors frequent businesses during Music Fest,” he said, ” but it is often repeat business.” Deputy Mayor Jones questioned the land lease and township liability.

Council passed resolutions to support of part closure of Road #96 , (7:30-10:30 pm) Aug. 10th, payment by the township for 2 extra hours of OPP services, camping (2 nights), and a 'Vendors Village' on the CCB grounds.

Council agreed it is time for the township,with the CCB and Festival organizers to go over their relationship, ( financial, hand shake agreements, budgets, insurance, liabilities, etc) and requirements for the festival's continued success, well in advance of 2013's event. The WI Music Festival is a commercial, unincorporated event undertaken in cooperation with the township's Community Centre Board.For further information about this year's event:

Concerns over HI Transportation Study

The draft RFP (request for proposal) and supporting resolution for a Howe Island Transportation study brought forward differing opinions by HI councillors Pat Norris and David Jones. The RFP for a Technical Study that looks at the limits of the ferry over the next 20 years and how to minimize expected ferry demand with the expected growth was presented by Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan.

Presumably to be undertaken by transportation engineers studying population projections, vacant / severed lands, township policies etc. and finding solutions based on existing ferry service, with results offering a heads up for MTO (no data after 2009) in planning the next decade.

Councillor Norris did not agree with the approach. “The present ferry can't be there for 20 years . There have to be upgrades to the system . You can't stop growth to accommodate present service . A bridge has to be considered in any solution.,” he said

” We are damned if we do and if we don't,” said Deputy Mayor Jones who brought the issue to the budget table because of residents concerns about growth and ferry capacity. “The study will give us the analysis to know impact of growth and come into any discussion regarding a bridge . While not a proponent of a bridge, I'm all for a study.” Jones said.

Discussion revolved around the study's ' frame of reference' and the proposed resolution supporting it. Deferred to the August meeting on Howe allows time for HI councillors to meet with Planner Gallivan (as originally intended) to “hash things out” and rework the RFP and resolution.

Marysville proposed for CIP: Planner Gallivan also presented a Community Improvement Plan proposed for Marysville, endorsed under the sustainability banner by Frontenac County inviting the township's endorsement. A CIP is a (Planning Act) tool used to stimulate development and community revitalization. Marysville with its commercial activity, pubic facilities, tourist appeal, waterfront make it eligible.

Gallivan said the CIP process has benefitted other communities financially and community wise (improved physical appearance, new investment, etc,)

After all requirements for meetings with the public, stakeholders agencies and a public workshop are met, to move forward requires a decision by the Township. Council endorsed the invitation from the County to form a CIP for presentation in September. Also present from the County Anne Marie Young, and Peter Young.

In other business:1. Ducks Unlimited Canada's Erling Armson presented DU's plan to rebuild and certain existing wetland areas at the Big Sandy Bay Conservation Area. Recent funding and the township's support allows them to move forward. They will also renew agreements (now 25 years old), with affected landowners as part of the renewal project. Much of the work will focus on rebuilding the dyke and control structure, adding a pumping station to keep habitat moist, clearing culverts, etc.

2. WI's Youth Engagement Strategy project coordinator Kelly Maracle presented a plan for a park at the Community Centre. Planting trees part of the initiative and defining boundaries, usage, maintenance, etc. with CCBoard.

3. The bylaw enforcement officer Ken Gilpin will be invited to August meeting to further discuss contract arrangements. more signs needed along ferry line up. FYI Leaving cars parked in the ferry line up, and unattended , is a fineable offence.

4. The township will look into issues raised in a residents letter related to signage, brush/ditch clearing, cleaning up after horses,(bagging),etc etc.

Council meets next- Aug.13th- Howe Island.

Posted by M Knott at 07:43 AM
July 12, 2012
All about the Ferry Ride - Café Tenango & the WI Classic Road Race

A ride on the Wolfe Island ferry seems to be what people are doing these days to cool off from the extreme heat of this 2012 summer. GREAT FOR TOURISM ON Wolfe Island and encouraged for the region (Kingston -Wolfe Island-Cape Vincent) to promote businesses, events, and activities, just waiting for people to attend. The Wolfe Islander III, as well as Horne's ferry service to Cape Vincent, NY, welcome visitors, those coming by car, walk-on's, cyclists and just passing through, to stay awhile to enjoy their sounds, sights, and flavours. The outcome of the invitation to Linger Longer these days is that the ferry is constantly full, and sails away, and more often than not, leaving vehicles behind whether coming to or leaving the island.

The 'down side' for islanders (who must board the ferry in a vehicle) are the very long waits, quiet frustration and anxiety. The ferry ride, a tourist attraction for visitors, and a boon for business, is for Islanders “the highway” to and from their isolated rural community home to work, school, hospital, etc. Howe Island is seeking ways now to deal with future island growth and ferry capacity requirements. Wolfe Island never has, while allowing annual housing growth, encouraging tourism, opening Big Sandy Bay (all good in and of themselves),but leaving it to MTO to deal with the ferry. Maybe it is time for our council to come up with a plan to deal with the ferry capacity problems before they get worse, and to work with MTO and the province in resolving them. Now, not later….

New business opening on Wolfe Island

Café Tenango will open its doors to the public on Wed. July 11th at 9:30 am.

Islanders have been watching with interest the extensive renovations going on to an existing building in the village, aware for some months that it was to become a take-out coffee shop and wondering, if in fact it would really happen. And it has

Café Tenango will open its doors to the public on Wed. July 11th at 9:30 am. Located three doors to the left from the ferry dock the Café will feature eco-friendly,fair trade, organic coffee and offer brewed coffee, hot and cold espresso drinks and organic tea.

Islanders have been watching with interest the extensive renovations going on to an existing building in the village, aware for some months that it was to become a take-out coffee shop wondering, if in fact it would really happen. And it has. Congratulations and Good Luck

And that's not all. Café Tenango will join a number of island establishments in offering ice cream cones, an acknowledged feature of any trip to Wolfe Island. Their's Slickers pure homemade. Owned and operated by Mike Phillips, the Café will also feature local organic milk, water, quality soft drinks and a variety of cookies, muffins and squares. Café Tenango take-out is open seven days a week from 9:30 am - 8 pm. For more information contact: Mike Phillips, 613-391-3402

Another Year, another successful Wolfe Island Classic 5k-10k Road race.

This year's 32nd annual race brought 305 runners to the island coming from places in Ontario, Quebec, New York State,Massachusetts, Delaware, California and Shanghai. Runners ranged in age from 8 to 80 years. “Thank you to all the participants. volunteers and spectators who made the race a success. Jim Gore race director said, “but we have to live up to our reputation tough course, great people.”

Hot weather greeted the runners, very hard on the way out, better on the way back and wonderful for all those had a swim at Pat and Tom's shoreline. Thanks to Tom and Pat also for once again offering their front lawn as the place for water, fruit, etc. as well as for the presentation of awards by an enthusiastic Ken Keyes along with Linda Thomas and Celina Walker. In fact not only the runners, but the volunteers and island residents were happy with the race and enthusiastic in their praise. Special Thanks to the many generous sponsors, volunteers and to all who contributed to the success of the event, Joe Sanford for road work, and as always Jeanne and Donna. Special Thanks to the “Running Room” and the Cataraqui Optimist Club who donated the beautiful medals for the increasingly popular “Kiddie Kilometre”, and to Doug Franks caretaker at Marysville Public School “for all of his help early on a holiday Sunday morning and to the school for hosting the event once again.” (For full race results :

Around Town: * Due to the arrival of the Voltigeurs de Quebec and an Ecumenical Service at Sacred Heart Church with the Regimental Band at 11 am on Sun. July22nd, Sunday Mass on this occasion only will be celebrated at 9 am. * Sign up date for the WI Family Ball Tournament: Sat. July 21st at the Town Hall *For further events: * As always Euchre Thursdays 7 pm WI United.

WI Race results
Wolfe Island Classic 5-10K RACE Results 1st 2nd 3rd (For full race results :

5K Men

Clay Patterson, Kingston 16.25

Gregory Fennell, Sandiego, CA 19:38

Jay Yakabowick, Toronto, 19:42

5K Women

Seanna Robinson, Toronto, 19:20

Nadia Tatlow, Toronto, 20:42

Helene Fiore, Toronto, 21:18

10K Men

Kevin Coffey, Kingston, 35:05

Nick Cosman, Kingston, 38:09

Richard Raaflaub, Amherstview,39:37

10K Women

Megan Kiley, Kingston, 44:26

Margarita Babkova, Kingston, 44:52

Lesley Quinlan, Kingston, 47:47

Senior Runners:


Female: Marilyn Wardrop 79 Kingston

Male: Robert Beeney 80 Amherstview


Female: Mary Cousineau 60 Burlington

Male: David Wilson 81 Kingston

Youngest runners 5K:

Jennifer Howse 8,Wolfe Island

Patrick Wood 8, Ottawa.

In the 10k, youngest runners were in their late teens, 18 and 19

For complete race results:

Posted by M Knott at 05:53 PM
July 05, 2012
Long time 'vision' becomes reality for MetalCraft's Tom Wroe

MetalCraft Marine Inc. is in the news. The company has partnered with the New Zealand Marine Industry Training Organization to begin the first aluminum specific boat building apprenticeship program in North America.

MetalCraft president Tom Wroe made the announcement at their Wolfe Island Research and Development Centre at a gathering to highlight the opening of a new, high tech training area developed for the program. He also acknowledged financial support from the Community Futures Development Corporation for the project.

“All boatbuilders do some training ,” Tom said . “But we've been trying to have a formalized program at MetalCraft for decades In 2005 I met with the Nova Scotia Boat builders Association who had a New Zealand (wood, fibre glass, metal) program but we wanted specifically aluminum. In 2008 we made contact with New Zealand's Marine Industry Training organization, world teachers in the art of boatbuilding, partnered with them, and bought their program. The classroom portion will be offered right here in our new training area and, I always had islander Joe Calnan, a classically trained (wood) boat builder(Bristol, England) in mind to coordinate the program,” Tom said. “He has a certificate is a high school teacher, and he said yes.”

“Tom has talked about a training program for years,” Joe said. “I always said, yea sure and here we are ready to go I am proud to be its coordinator. I had a positive experience in the boat building training which led me to teachers college. Working in various boatyards and with tradesmen from New Zealand I was impressed with their competence and level of technical skill. Now having seen the program I know the secret.”

On hand was Keith Hammond- Team Leader Field and Training, N Z Marine industry Training Organization . “New Zealnd has fantastic boatbuilders, known because we had an intense boat building program. Being so far away we had to build everything ourselves eventually developing with industry the required standards and the program in all aspects of boatbuilding MetalCraft will experience,” Hammond said.. “Good things will come out of this partnering not only for the company and the trainees but the community as well. We will continue to support MetalCraft Marine in any way we can.”

Prior to the aluminum ribbon cutting to formally open the training facility Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle commented on the value of MetalCraft to the economy of the community. “We are fortunate to have them in the area Kingston, Wolfe Island and Cape Vincent,” he said, noting the presence from Kingston Councillors Dorothy Hector, Bill Glover and Sandy Bird. “We congratulate Tom on this new apprenticeship program and ongoing development of the WI location. Mayor Doyle suggested MetalCraft may now be the island's largest employer. The ribbon cutting was followed by cake and tours of the building. (MetalCraft acknowledged receipt of a CFDC grant for the building project.)

MetalCraft Marine Inc. is the first individual company licensed to administer the New Zealand Marine apprenticeship first to employees and later to candidates outside the company, (apprenticeship for trainees includes on the job experience, classroom sessions, self study (on line courses), all preceded by a 6-month Boatbulding Foundation Skills program. For more information: Joe Calnan, MetalCraft apprenticeship coordinator,: joe.c@metalcraft

Posted by M Knott at 01:27 PM
June 29, 2012
A dock, a proclamation, county planning, public meetings all on Frontenac Islands agenda

It is not often that anyone comes to a council meeting to say “Thank You.” But it happened at a recent Frontenac Islands council meeting on Howe Island. Resident Mike Quinn, representing in this instance not the Fire Department, but the Howe Island Dock committee (Don Thompson, Joe Beattie and Mae Squires) and island residents who saw the value of a small dock at the east end, township property, boat ramp used for recreational purposes for the launching of small boats, personal watercraft, etc.. The self appointed committee worked to have the dock project happen seeking the advice and direction of Councillor Pat Norris, the support of Deputy Mayor David Jones and finally council's approval. Through that initiative to complement the use of the boat rap, the dock happened

“We came here to thank you for the (public) dock which you now own,” Quinn said. “We got together and saw the value of a dock as part of the recreational activities of Howe Island. We thank you for seeing our point of view on this project. It is being well used and is making the launching and taking out of watercraft much safer, better organized and in our view a worthwhile project. Our commitment as a committee is to work with the township to make sure the dock is taken out each fall, safely stored and put in each spring there after.” Much laughter accompanied Mike Quinn's presentation of a picture to Council taken the day the dock was installed of the workers who accomplished the task (wallet sized photo for Councillor Norris).

*In May council was advised that at the invitation of the WI Business & Tourism Association (WIBTA) Les Voltigeurs de Quebec, (celebrating their 150 anniversary) are coming to Wolfe Island to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 at a number of events July 21st and 22nd. WIBTA requested that a Proclamation document be prepared extending 'Freedom of the Island' to Les Votigeurs, and that Mayor Doyle and present it and a ceremonial key to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment,. To that end Council issued a proclamation which grants “Freedom of the Island and all its rights to enter and march there with Regimental Colours, music playing and bayonets fixed, as long as the waters of the St. Lawrence lap its shores” at the June meeting. It should be noted that a portion of Road #96 in front of the Town Hall in Marysville will be temporarily closed on July 21st to accommodate WIBTA's outdoor dinner with Les Voltigeurs.

*Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan was on hand to update council on the progress of the County's Official Plan (OP). ” I am here and will be out in other community's to make sure that everyone is up to date about the Official Plan. Approval to develop an OP came with conditions so now I have a road map. Gallivan said. One being that the plan recognize that (the County's) 4 Township Official Plans are all up to date, another that it be truly regional in nature and, that once approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, County Council becomes the official authority for any amendments (ie.. subdivisions, condominiums, etc.) The advantage being that two of the eight members making the decisions will be from your township. The direction endorsed was that there be a draft plan ready for adoption by 2014 during the tenure of the present members,” he said. (A 'basis' document is available on the county web site.) “Now its all about consultation (on line survey, information booths) and in August, Open House meetings. OP timeline: 1st draft (released)-spring/ summer, 2013, 2nd draft - late 2013, draft for adoption-spring 2014 at the latest, giving the province time to review it. Our message is that we are trying to deal with the problems we have here recognizing we are truly a rural community,” Joe said. “We don't want create policies that are not necessary,” he concluded.

*Deputy Mayor Jones sees the value in having Town Hall meetings (maybe on a weekend to include summer people) where residents can air grievances, question their elected representatives, look to the future, “or throw tomatoes.” He also suggested Town Hall meeting dates: Howe Island- Sat. August 11th, 2-4 pm, Wolfe Island - Sat. August 18th, 2-4 pm . A Notice will go out with tax bills

In other business:

1.A discussion about the WI Music Festival, its value to the community, OPP presence and use of the Community Centre grounds, led to a decision that until the (OPP) policing issue is resolved with the organizers, council will not pass a by-law to close a part of Rd.#96 2. The draft Entrance by-law regulating entry/access, to township roads now under review returns to July agenda. 3.Work on WI Investment Fund continues with One Investment. 4 . D.Cruickshank's letter concerning staffing changes at WI's Marysville Public School will be forwarded to the School Board without comment. 5. The $294,210.10 payment voucher was approved (but not without questions). 6. The McLellan Water Systems report regarding the WI Library and Howe Island's water treatment system where iron causes the alarm to go off and the system to shut down led to a request by council that staff obtain other opinions on the options available for improving the water treatment system. If light left on water from treatment systems runs hot. (WI Library staff will be advised to run water/ flush toilets on arrival to flush out hot water. 7. Deputy Mayor Jones and Councillor Norris will work with Joe Gallivan on the HI Transportation Study 8. Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Services has submitted a new contract proposal. Council wants a summary of their activity on the islands and information about enforcement options. 9. A Volunteer Parking sign to go up at WI Craft Shop entry (old tank removal), a larger washroom sign on Rd. 96 in front of Public washrooms, a parking bylaw amendment to deal with the many parking issues comes up in July. Council Meets next: Wolfe Island, July 9th, 6:30 pm

Coming Events:* Sun. July 1st- The annual WI Classic 5K-10K Road Race begins at 9:30 am * Friends of Big Sandy Bay Annual Book Sale begins July 6- July 8th at the WI Old Fire Hall. * Les Voltigeurs de Quebec coming to Wolfe Island July 21-22nd. For info:

Posted by M Knott at 01:19 PM
June 28, 2012
Island's new accommodations building formally opened

It was a perfect day for the ribbon cutting ceremony held on Wolfe Island to celebrate the completion of the new accommodations building built to provide the volunteer paramedics who serve the island community the amenities of home during their long shifts An essential service in this rural, isolated community, the Wolfe Island volunteer paramedic service is one of only six of its kind in Ontario.

As the community gathered for the event, dignitaries including Gordon Brown Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, Janet Gutowski, Warden, Frontenac County, and other members of County Administration and Council including South Frontenac Councillor John McDougall arrived at WI's Emergency Services area and the new facility in a horse-drawn wagon.

Paul Charbonneau, Frontenac County's Director of Emergency and Transportation Services welcomed the guests and introduced speakers at the ceremony held outside the new building.

“Volunteer paramedics provide a vital service to local residents and thanks to Canada's Economic Plan, Wolfe Island volunteers now have a comfortable, safe and secure space to call their own,” said Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our Government is proud to invest in infrastructure projects that contribute to the local economy and promote to the health and safety of families in this region.”

(The governments of Canada and Ontario each contributed $34,000 through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund toward eligible project costs. The County of Frontenac contributed the balance of the total project cost of $236,402. )

The Frontenac County Warden Janet Gutowski , wearing the county's elegant Chain of Office round her neck had this to say, “the ambulance accommodations building has improved the quality of life for Wolfe Island volunteer paramedics and in turn has made it easier to attract quality volunteer paramedics to the service. “The project is a great example of successful collaboration between the three levels of government.” She noted this occasion as another in the quest for the county's sustainability Project.

While John Gerretsen, MPP for Kingston and the Islands was not in attendance Warden Gutowski read from his written statement that the province is committed to investing in infrastructure projects and in this instance, the importance of the new building to the volunteer paramedics and the community.

And last but not least was Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle (Frontenac County Deputy Warden). “This building in very important to our ambulance service. It's a rule if you want to volunteer you have to be within 7 minutes of the station and few can make it,” he said “Paramedics coming from Kingston now have a place to stay during long shifts.With our medical clinic next door and our volunteer ambulance service, people will be less nervous and not feel (as they age) they have to move off the island to receive good medical care. He noted the importance of volunteers to the island. “They make it what it is today.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony followed. (The new building includes sleeping space, washrooms, a small kitchen and a common room.)

The celebratory cake was cut, a plaque to mark the occasion unveiled, and an incredible luncheon, prepared by the Island Grill served.

(In conversation with Chief Charbonneau he said that six new college trained, fully certified volunteers are slated for Wolfe Island. He will also further pursue a discussion (begun last year) regarding services that the Paramedic Services could offer in collaboration with the Community Medical Clinic.)

Posted by M Knott at 05:34 PM
June 26, 2012
Wolfe Island author launches 1st book

Wolfe Island resident Rebecca Broeders will launch her first book at the Frontenac County Library, Wolfe Island Branch on June 23rd. Rebecca, 25, is the author of a number of children's books. However, “How to Survive a Thunder Storm” is the first to be published by authorHouse Book Publishing Company.
Rebecca Broeders, holds a copy of her book, 'How to Survive a Thunderstorm'

The book was illustrated by Samantha Granger, Becca's Regiopolis Notre Dame Highschool friend. Presently Sam is 'somewhere' out west tree planting.
The book launch will be held outside the library (weather permitting) beginning at 10 am. Rebecca will sign copies and read from her book, a paperback selling for $18.00. She will be donating some of her sales to Kingston Literacy for Kids.

Rebecca, is the daughter of Theresa and Jack Broeders and one of eleven children. Can you just imagine the stories she has to tell? A graduate of Queens, with an honours degree in Religious Studies Rebecca has travelled and worked in Scotland, toured Ireland, Germany, France and Holland and made service trips over the years to Jamaica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Her Book , “How to survive a Thunder Storm” is the first in what is to be a series of “How to ” books for children.

Posted by M Knott at 07:57 AM
Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 with The Voltigeurs de Quebec - July 21st-22nd

It now has all become very official , the Township of Frontenac Islands Wolfe Island ward will honour the 150th anniversary of the formation of Les Voltigeurs de Quebec who are coming to Wolfe Island July 21st-22nd to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812.

Frontenac Islands issued a proclamation on June 11th granting all members of Les Voltigeurs the Freedom of the Island and all its rights “to enter and march there with Regimental Colours, music playing and bayonets fixed, as long as the waters of the St. Lawrence lap its shores.” All this in recognition of the regiment's service in war and peace and all those Voltigeurs who gave their lives during the war of 1812. .” The proclamation issued by the Township of Frontenac Islands also states the Voltigeurs Canadiens saw service on Wolfe Island in 1814.

The Voltigeurs de Quebec is a primary reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces. The name of the regiment commemorates an older Provincial French-Canadian light infantry unit, le corps des Voltigeurs Canadiens (the Canadian Voltigeurs) disbanded in 1815. Since then, the Voltigeurs de Quebec now consists of a light infantry unit and a regimental band.

The July 21st arrival of Les Volitgeurs to the island marks the beginning of number of public events organized in conjunction with the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association and members of the island's Historical Society.

Come out to the first event (July 21st), a 'dinner celebration with music by Les Voltigeurs,' to take place ( under canvas) at the Wolfe Island Town Square in Marysville, a short walking distance from the ferry. A reception starts at 5:30 pm with dinner to be served at 6:15 pm. Dinner tickets, ( $45.00 each) and includes a souvenir gift! Tickets are available from the Kingston Tourist Office and at Fargo's on Wolfe Island or by email: or by calling 613-385-2507.

AT 10 am on Sunday July 22nd, led by their CEO the Voltigeurs de Quebec will march to the Wolfe Island Town Hall, where the CEO will ask for the Freedom of the Island. Once granted they will then move on to Sacred Heart Church for a ceremony with music by the Voltigeurs de Quebec Band.

For more information contact: Martine Chercuitte, Coordinator of the 1812 celebration on Wolfe Island 613-385-2507 email:

  • Interesting to note that the Voltigeurs Canadiens was a regular, uniquely Canadian unit of full-time soldiers and was not part of the regular British Army. Early in the war they were assigned to the defence of the Eastern Townships. The units assigned to Kingston were to assist in the defense of Upper Canada.

The Government of Canada thanked the Voltigeurs de Quebec for more than 100 years of loyal service to the country on November 2000 by formalizing the release of a stamp and a coin bearing the image of Voltigeurs de Quebec.

Around Town: * Wolfe Island's 7th Annual Barrett's Bay Regatta, sponsored by the WI Boat Club is Sunday, June 24th and begins with 8:30 am registration ($15.-non members, $10.-members, kids free with 1st race at 9:30 am) at that the WI Boat Club “HOUSE” located in front of the Marysville Village dock, (close to the General Wolfe Hotel ). The 'kid friendly' regatta includes 3 sailing races, 1 human powered race, and along with that lunch, prizes, medals and trophies. More info at: or call 613-385-2222 / 1762. * WI's Old House Museum will host a new exhibit co-ordinated by Barbara Brown of the many various forms of needle work, (knitting, crocheting, tatting, redwork,embroidery, macrame, crewel, petit point, candlewicking, samplers,created locally that you are prepared to lend to the exhibit, to be on display from July 1- Sept. 3rd. Call Theresa Broeders @ 613-385-2729 if you have items for display and/or for pick up. * The Friends of Big Sandy Bay are looking for help(to set up/take down and/or volunteer) at their annual “Big Sandy Bay Book Sale” fund raiser, to be held the July 6 -8th weekend at W.I.'s Old Fire Hall fund raiser for the year. Volunteers are needed for each time slot. (Good student volunteer hours.) For info contact V. Johnson: *Wolfe Island students at Regiopolis Notre Dame scored high at recent Athletic Awards event in a variety of sports. They included: Jake Hulton,Senior Athlete, Devon Joy, Erin Corrigan,(both senior letters), Anthony Broeders, MVP (jumps). Erin and Anthony both received Paul Halligan Alumni Cup Awards for students contributing the most for athletic endeavours and exhibiting the best qualities of a Regi student. Congratulations to all. Included in the numbers recognized were sons and daughters of Wolfe Islanders living in Kingston. *The Grand Opening Ceremony of the
WI Ambulance Accommodation Project takes place Friday, June 22nd, 10:00 a.m. at the Emergency Services (Ambulance-Fire Hall) building.* Lots of activity by the “Bloomin Gardiners” going on in Marysville.

Posted by M Knott at 07:21 AM
June 14, 2012
MetalCraft Marine U.S. and partner Brunswick Commercial awarded contract

EMC news -About the same time as MetalCraft Marine founder and president, Wolfe Island resident Tom Wroe was being inducted into the the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame in the visionary category , it was also announced that MetalCraft Marine US Inc (MCM) and partner Brunswick Commercial and Government Products (BCGP) had been awarded a United States Coast Guard (USCG) High Speed Patrol Boat Contract. The contract is for the design and production of the new generation Long Range Interceptor II (LRI II) for the Coast Guard The boats will be an integral part of the National Security Cutter's 'Over the Horizon' Program. The five year contract is valued at $10,189,166.00. (10 boats at approximately $800,000 each). To qualify for U.S. federal contracts, the major components of the hull and superstructure must be built in the U.S. (Metal Craft Canada will provide design and engineering, etc.)

The LRI II is powered by twin Cummins Tier III 6.7L diesels and Ultra 305 waterjets with electronic joystick controls and can reach 42 knots. The engines are JP-5 or alternative Bio-Fuel optional and have a 5 minute run dry feature. All systems are designed for equatorial and arctic conditions and has a fully integrated standard Coast Guard Furuno electronics package. MetalCraft Design has incorporated a heavy duty Gilman Corp closed cell foam fendering system. For a complete description of the LRI II and specifications visit : or contact Bob Clark at 613-542-1810 or

“We are very pleased with the contract and what it means to our Cape Vincent location (metal and propulsion construction) as well as for our Canadian operations ( engineering, sub-assemblies, etc.)” Tom Wroe said. “But it is one boat at a time When the prototype is completed , it will be delivered to the (US) Coast Guard for testing. If any modifications are required we will do them before we can move on to do the other nine.”

MetalCraft Marine of Cape Vincent NY where in part these boats will be crafted is a designer builder of high speed aluminum patrol, fire & rescue boats and is designer of the Brunswick Line of Sentry Patrol Boats. They moved to the larger location from Clayton in 2011. (U.S. Senator Charles Schumer toured the facility, acknowledged the company's contribution to the economy and vowed to encourage federal investments and contracts for them.

Brunswick Commercial & Government Products (BCGP), owned by Brunswick Corporation, has been providing crafts to commercial and government agencies including homeland security, law enforcement, special operations and combat, and fire and rescue agencies.

“We joined forces BCGP the world's largest boat builder in 2010 Wroe said “In the US, they rely on the Boat Builder. If it works they want more, and the best for their buck.” Wroe added that in Canada the process to achieve a contract is much more complicated with many layers of oversight .He noted a more recent approach to who was doing what in Canadian boat building suggested an improvement to the process. MetalCraft is awaiting word on a further possible lucrative US boat building contact.

These days anything that happens at MetalCraft Marine-Kingston or at MetalCraft Marine- Cape Vincent, a short trip on the Horne's ferry from the island, impacts Wolfe Island where the Research and Development component of the firm continues to evolve. The Grand Opening of an Apprenticeship Training Centre for current and prospective employees is slated to take place at the island location in late June. Islander Joe Calnan will coordinate the program.

“MetalCraft which had it beginnings in 1978 will continue to grow in Canada and the US I am sure, Wroe said. “We are looking at hybrid technology, diesel electric, prototype hulls. We want to diversify and determine what is the newest market and we continue to build a strong committed, workforce.” MetalCraft Marine Inc. celebrates its 25th Anniversary Sept. 14, 2012. Watch for details..

Posted by M Knott at 02:09 PM
June 07, 2012
A new book club blossoms on Wolfe Island

The “Bloomin Gardeners” club, an enthusiastic and energetic group of men and women has sprung up on Wolfe Island. Responding as it were to this year's very early spring they are ready and raring to bring flower power to the village of Marysville and around the island. Through word of mouth the club already has 18 members who have come together to exchange gardening knowledge, successes and failures, extra plants and to hear more from guest speakers. They have had information sessions on growing directly from seed as well as a session on Ontario's wonderful wildflowers.

Most recently club member Suzanne Paquette presented a very informative session on the growing and drying of a variety of herbs and using herbs in cooking whether meat, vegetables, fruit or fish. Suzanne grows a variety in her own garden and was able to show them to fellow gardeners new to herb growing.

Wolfe Islander Linda Thomas who initiated the first meeting of the Bloomin Gardeners noted that they will be undertaking beautification projects in the village, tree planting, flowering pots, etc. Generously funded by the Township of Frontenac Islands and the WI Business & Tourism Association they have also begun a landscape clean-up at the Information Centre and the Town Hall. “We want to help show off our community at its best” Thomas said. “New members of all knowledge levels are welcome and encouraged to join us,” she added. For more information contact Linda at 613 385 1947 or Suzanne 613 385 2929. FYI- Howe Island has its own Garden Buds who for a number of years have undertaken and continue to undertake many beatification projects on Howe.


Its hard to believe that this year, 2012, marks the 32nd year for the running of the very popular 5k 10k run or walk on Wolfe Island. This year's race, with its beautiful lakeshore route and optional dip at the end, falls on Sunday July 1st Canada Day. It starts at 9:30 am. Register on line at: - or applications are available from the Running Room Kingston, and on the island at the WI Information Centre and Fargo's General Store. If you wish to receive an application by mail or email, send a request to or call 613 385 1947. Registration is $25 until June 30th - $30 on the day of the race.

There are medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in all categories - lots of door prizes - a fun day for all.

Registration is free for a Kiddie Kilometre, open to all kids ages 2 - 6 begins at 9:00 and includes bibs and medals. Come early for the free breakfast. When coming from Kingston, plan to leave your car behind which guarantees leaving the island without a long wait


A few weeks ago Frontenac County held their annual sustainability breakfast in support of their Integrated Community Sustainability plan (ICSP) and in acknowledgement of sustainable development initiatives already undertaken (and financially assisted) by a variety of groups, associations, businesses and individuals as well as plans for the future involvement.

Of special interest to this column was Frontenac County's Economic Development officer Anne Marie Young's reference to a $50,000 “small initiatives fund” under her direction dispensed in $5000 amounts available for community projects on a first come basis and meet certain criteria. The Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic was the recipient of a $5000 for the development of a washroom (presently under construction)in the lower level of the clinic facility made available for rent to support ongoing clinic expenses (heat,power,internet,water, insurance, etc.) WI resident Walter Knott, represented the WI Community Medical Clinic Board, updating for the ICSP group, the progress being made at the clinic, their long term hopes and their vision for the future. The WI Community Medical Clinic (The WI Community Medical Clinic, a not for profit charity facility, owned and operated by an elected board of directors, depends on fundraising, donations, etc. to remain open )

Also at the very informative event County Planner Joe Gallivan spoke of a county Official Plan now under discussion, and Consultant Laura Bradley gave a presentation on broadband availability in Frontenac County thus far.


Rain , rain at last..

Coming Events:* Music with TREVOR WALSH Live Wed. evening's 8 p.m.-12 p.m. at the W.I.P.P. * Mosier-Kane Memorial Golf Tournament June 9th * WI United Church Yard & Bake Sale, June 16th -9am to 2pm WI United Church Hall * Barrett Bay Regatta, Sun., June 24th, 9:00 am Registration . *Les Voltigeurs de Quebec coming to Wolfe Island July 21st All this and more at:

Posted by M Knott at 02:07 PM
May 26, 2012
Frontenac Islands brings in 2012 Budget

While not the first by law of the evening, a bylaw to levy taxes for the year 2012 passed at the May meeting of Frontenac Islands council. Taxes for Frontenac Islands are set out at a different rate for each ward, Howe Island and Wolfe/Simcoe Island based on need, and include County and school taxes.
“I should point out,” Mayor Doyle said, “there has been some questions and much discussion going back and forth about the tax rate in the WI/ Simcoe ward because of the wind plant money,” adding that an earlier document had indicated a 4.05 % increase but, on its own it did not mean that the average rate payer will be increased by 4.05%.“Information from MPAC indicates some $33,000 coming from new construction will help to offset the total tax increase of $79,914 for the general public. WI/Simcoe taxpayers should expect on average an increase in the range of 2.4 %,” he said.
The MPAC numbers on Howe indicate extra to be collected of $12,044 coming from new construction offsetting the total $27,000 . Taxpayers on Howe Island can expect an average increase of 1.4%. Take note however, that actual changes in tax bills are dependent on MPAC assessments.
Some budget highlights: for Howe Island a Transportation study and dock at the island’s east end . On Wolfe Island, surface treating WI’s Road #95 (Base Line to Pykes Corner), re-doing Holiday Point Rd. , also Joy Road; a culvert on Victoria Street; a 5 ton truck, wood chipper, air pipes at Simcoe Ferry, a furnace (Community Hall) and an oil tank at Fire Hall. Savings came through Insurance COST reductions, (County and local). No decision has been made on use of $26,000 from County.
Dep. Mayor Jones echoed Councillor Grant’s appreciation to staff members Treasurer Carol Dwyer and Theresa Quist, and from the County Marian Van Bruinessen for their efforts particularly in light of CAO Terry O’Shea’s absence due to illness through much of the budget process. “I think this is fiscally responsible budget,” he said noting that with a procurement policy council will continue reviewing large expenditures and develop a comprehensive and capital plan “so that our reserves are targeted for future purposes as Councillor Grant alluded to,” Jones said. He commended Mayor for driving the budget and getting it done. Mayor Doyle also had high praise for staff.
Council passed a second bylaw designating the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic as a Municipal Capital Facility and as such, taxation exempt effective Jan.1,2012 for as long as the facility provides health services, and entered into a agreement with the “Clinic”, that it is not responsible for any costs incurred to operate, maintain, repair, renovate etc. the facility. The agreement contains certain other requirements. Present was Medical Clinic Board President, Kathy Gilbert, Walter Knott, treasurer, and County Planner Joe Gallivan.
“Kathy, Walter and Joe have been working on this for some time,” Mayor Doyle said. “When the old clinic (which never drew taxes) burned down and new clinic was built, it began to draw taxes (triggered by the building permit) which was not the intent. As a Municipal Capital facility it will be exempt,”
Knott informed council that MPAC had advised the Clinic Board that this was route to take and would not change the Clinic’s status otherwise, which led to the preparation and vetting of this by-law. The township will send a copy of the by-law to MPAC and the school board. (The WI Community Medical Clinic, a not for profit charity facility, is owned and operated by an elected board of directors. It depends on fundraising, donations, etc. to remain open and operates according to requirements as defined by LHIN. A doctor comes to the island to see patients registered with her and a foot clinic is also provided, along with health programs.)
And then there was a 3rd by-law passed to regulate the construction of fences in the township. The by-law deals with zones for fences, types of fences (electrical, barbed,etc.), height, general fence provisions, maintenance and contravention. For or against a fence, well worth a read .
A policy for the Procurement of Goods and Services by the Township was the 4th by-law passed, at the meeting. The new by-law amends a previous bylaw with regard to township purchasing. Council will look for further clarification on certain specific clauses (discretion, disciplinary action etc.)
And in other Business: 1. The payment voucher in the amount of $181,152.42 (including price of chipper $15,264) was approved.. 2. $1414.00 in Livestock damage approved. 3. The Township will respond to G. Manion’s concern with having two Howe Island Ferry Road’s advising him that since the roads are in Kingston and Leeds and the 1000 Islands they should be contacted.
4. WI resident Larry Bolton was present to defend his letter requesting the township consider a by-law that would ensure that all household garbage accepted at the Waste Disposal Site is in garbage bags and at the same time encourage more recycling. Larry voluntarily maintains the roadways from the 7thLine to the winter dock keeping it free of debris and litter.. Councillor Springgay asked if a by-law was passed how could the site be monitored. “Before a bylaw, education,” Councillor Norris suggested. The Waste Management Committee will meet. L.Bolton was invited to join. A notice encouraging better waste management/recycling to be included in a newsletter with tax bill.
6. Dep. Mayor Jones praised HIRA’s Pitch-In Day success. Cheers on Howe Island’s Garden Buds and their Plant sale June 2nd at the Howe Island Municipal Building.7. At the request of Councillor Grant the Wolfe Island Investment Fund will be on council’s June agenda. Council moved to an In Camera Meeting. Council meets next on Howe Island, Monday, June 11 at 6:30 pm
Around Town; *Congratulations to Therese Greenwood ,founding member of WI Scene of the Crime, who won CBC Canada Writes, Crime Writers of Canada Fiction Contest for her story about Sir John A.*WI’s Trinity Anglican to join others at K-Rock Centre, June 3rd to celebrate 150th Anniversary of the Anglican Archdiocese. * We welcome back to MTO’s summer students. who keep the traffic moving.

Coming Events: *Kane/Mosier annual Golf Tournament Sat. June 9th, WI Riverfront Golf Course *WI United Church Yard & Bake Sale , Sat. June 16th. All event Information at: *Euchre, Thursday’s WI United Church Hall, 7 pm

Posted by M Knott at 02:03 PM
May 17, 2012
The money comes in - The money goes out

Budget Deliberations in every community in Ontario are no doubt nearing completion or are already completed and by-laws to levy taxes for the year 2012 have been approved and passed. In advance of the passage of the Township of Frontenac Islands budget it seemed like a good idea to remind islanders of the budgetary process itself. There are two parts to the process, one - where do you have to spend money and where do you want to spend money. The second part is of course is where does Frontenac Islands gets the money it wants to spend.

For Wolfe and Simcoe islands the money comes from Wolfe and Simcoe tax payers primarily. Money also comes from the province of Ontario for a significant operating portion of the Simcoe Island ferry and the Township receives wind power money as a contractual grant every year with TransAlta . For Howe Island money comes from Howe Island taxpayers, also from the province for the Howe Island (foot ferry).

Of the money collected a portion goes to Frontenac County, a portion collected on both islands goes back to the province for school boards. Frontenac Islands administrative costs are divided 70 percent from Wolfe Island and 30 percent from Howe Island. And of course there is revenue from other sources listed under fire, ferries, roads, waste, recycling, culture and recreation building including organizations, etc. (fundraising, donations, reserves) There are major expenses in all of those areas to be considered.

Frontenac Islands spends the bulk of its money on roads, and the two ferry operations. A new expenditure includes power costs for running the ice plant at the Wolfe Island rink and how to deal with that into the future. Every year the township sets aside money for new equipment (provincial requirement and other), as well as dollars for the eventual closure of the Wolfe Island Landfill site and for any major road or environmental crisis or specific study. ie. water. Policing is a major cost for the islands. As well there is everything else listed under a raft of headings… Of interest also may be some of the requests and expenditures that came up and were dealt with during the budget meetings. They included high costs of vehicle maintenance, furnace for WI Community Hall, Playground equipment at Marysville Public School,St. Lawrence Street drainage on WI,, WITA concerns re public washrooms, etc, signage, road painting, review of land and cellular phones, building maintenance at WI town hall and library.(painting etc.), repairs at info centre, spider spraying, among many, many other budget items and including council remuneration. The budget bylaw comes up in May..

Around Town: * A wonderful Birthday Party was organized by the O'Shea family to celebrate the 80th Birthday of John O'Shea, father, grandfather, and friend to absolutely everyone he knows. And they came, relatives, friends, neighbours -co workers from different periods in his life, MTO, Council, his coffee klatch, organizations parish members, etc., etc. to the event held at the WI United Church Hall where people fill the hall all afternoon to extend best wishes and of course to exchange memories and stories. John, born and raised on Wolfe Island is a raconteur , a man with a story for every occasion, a memory for absolutely every detail and a sense of humour like no other. An islander through and through, he is a faithful husband and father, a loyal citizen, a fine human being, an exceptional Canadian and a good friend. Best wishes now and always John .

Coming events: Sacred Heart School ANNUAL SPRING FLING May 16th 5:30 - 6:30 pm…*Annual Fish Fry, WI United Church Hall, May 19th Doors open 4:30 pm. ** Stone Hero Gallery Opens Friday, May 18th at 6:00 pm at the WI Community Hall , not many STEPS away from the ferry dock

Posted by M Knott at 01:51 PM
May 10, 2012
Frontenac Island budget deliberations not easy to conclude

Once again council remuneration was on the table at a Frontenac Islands special meeting held to finalize the townships 2012 budget. Dep. Mayor David Jones led the discussion. “Have you received many comments emails about council member salaries,” he asked , adding that he had sent out 50 circulars referencing an (EMC) article on the subject, to which he had received 12 replies.

Councillor Sprinngay said she had faced a number of direct inquiries about the issue. “When I explained that a councillor receives what amounts to $43.50 a week, people say that can't be right,” she said. ” Described that way, they say it is not enough.” All Council members noted similar for and against responses. Councillor Grant said there was a need for short term committee to look at the issue. Mayor Doyle also noted a dislike for the percentage increase concept and reminded members of the many volunteers who receive nothing, not even mileage, noting other areas such as per diems etc. that should be considered. Councillor Norris reiterated his concern regarding the ripple effect the discussion would have on volunteer groups. “In almost 40 years of service I have never asked for a raise and I won't now,” he said

Howe Islander Austin Page speaking to the issue that council members should be properly remunerated.. “I know it is a delicate subject politically for council to deal with and suggest a committee of residents from both islands to look at it”, The Mayor suggested that for budgeting purposes a dollar figure should be considered now and also the formation of an ad hoc advisory committee.

Jones continued outlining some of the (supportive as well as negative) responses he received regarding remuneration, concerns about a percentage increase, and the need to review inequities including those of volunteers. He concluded that any increases would be “More than covered by the economic initiatives taken by the Doyle administration at the county, (0% tax increase, gas tax, KP Trail, etc.) and including local township savings “already achieved.”

CAO O'Shea, (welcomed back after an extended period due to health issues ), reminded council that more than council's pay had to be looked at . “This came from the staff review” he said, adding that “there is a by law that defines what you get for attending meetings, per diems, mileage, for which meetings, for which conferences, pensions, etc. that also needs to be reviewed,” he said. “It is more than one issue.” (The Human Resources review was awaiting for the CAO's return to be completed.) Following some further discussion, the issue was left in CAO's hands, who with the assistance of the County's Colleen Hickey, will bring it all together (staff, council) for council including whatever recommendations might come from an ad hoc advisory committee.

Confirming a budget figure for a Howe Island ferry study to be directed by the County planner, assisted by MTO brought forward real concerns about growth on the island and the adequacy of the service into the future from Deputy Mayor Jones, Councillor Pat Norris and Howe Island ratepayer Austin Page.

“There is nothing to say if we continue to issue building permits that we wont end up waiting for an hour to get on the ferry. A study would correlate population and transportation on an off the island,” Jones said.

“Nothing to do with improved ferry service,” Norris queried Jones? ” Stagnating growth and no new tax money would greatly impact the municipality.”

Page noted that the island has constituent farmers who want to sub divide land, and sell, the (Frontenac) Howe ferry is not the one contracted for and foot ferry is out of date. “We have to look ahead, he said suggesting a permanent standing committee be set up.

“This study will allow all three, MTO the County and the township to be involved,” Mayor Doyle declared. “Everything will need to be looked at. We need the county planner to get back to MTO.” Councillor Norris reminded council that Howe Island was to have been included in the Wolfe Island ferry study surveys but was excluded. As well , he noted the present Howe ferry, had already lost 3 percent capacity due to an unannounced and unexplained design change when it arrived. County Planner Joe Galivan will lead the study

*Les Voltigeurs de Québec a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces is coming to Wolfe Island as part of War of 1812 activities the weekend of July 21-22nd. Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association (WIBTA) member Martine Chercuitte attended the meeting to request closure of the Main street in Marysville from Fargo's, Saturday July 21st to Sunday, July 22nd for a dinner for 300 held under tents along the street. Guests will include a contingent of the Voltigeurs de Quebec. Sunday morning, Les Voltigeurs and invited guests will be welcomed at the Town Hall by Mayor Doyle before moving on to Sacred Heart Church for further events and a service. While permission was granted for the road closure Councillor Springgay was adamant that the street open as early as possible on Sunday morning.

Also on hand from WIBTA was Carlyle Crothers who made a presentation regarding the efforts of Kingston, KEDCO, Wolfe Island and Horne's (ferry operation from the island to Cape Vincent NY) to market the area as an “experience rather than a destination, as a the region rather than 3 individual destinations” building on the Linger Longer logo long used by WIBTA. focussing on what the region has to offer. (Originally Wolfe Island concerned about extra cars on ferry). Our focus is visit “with bicycles for a whole lot of reason.” A sign going up on Hwy. #81 (a field of daisies with a person on a bike saying “Linger Longer”) and at the bottom saying Cape Vincent, Wolfe Island, Kingston will change seasonally offering people the opportunity to think about coming to the Region in the future. Crothers request was for $3000. to update cycling maps to include local business advertising. Mayor Doyle noted Kingston's support for a 2nd ferry to the island and acknowledged the focus on bikes rather than extra cars on the ferry.

Budget deliberations were completed at this meeting . The Budget and what it means will be presented at the meeting of Frontenac Islands Council , Mon. May 14th , Wolfe Island.

Posted by M Knott at 01:23 PM
May 03, 2012
Services continue at Wolfe Island United Church

Wolfe Island’s United Church congregation is without a full time minister at the moment. Their minister, Rev. Erin Burns, is on maternity leave and not due to return until July 1,2012. Her absence however has not shut down the church.
In fact, Rev, Burn’s joyful situation offered members of the church’s Ministry and Personnel committee an opportunity to consider different ways of offering Sunday Services (supply ministry) for the small but faithful church community, a congregation not unfamiliar with change.
The history of the United Church on the Island came about through change culminating in 1925 when the island’s Presbyterian and Methodist congregations fully joined together, associating themselves with the United Church of Canada.
Supply ministry has been arranged until July 1. Many of those conducting the services are Queen’s students , working toward their Master of Divinity degree. They included through April, David Colwell,
Janet Kennedy, Tom Watson, Elizabeth Amirault, Janet Kennedy (May 6th) and Robert Lawson (May 27)
Among that number are mature students who have come to the ministry program from previous careers.Rev. Mac Stienburg, retired from a career as prison chaplain will lead the Mother’s Day (Communion) service May 13 and the Victoria Day weekend service, Sun. May 20th.
Through the Sundays of June a series of ‘alternate faith’ guest speakers has been planned. While the services will be conducted by the Ministry committee of the WI United Church, the guest speakers have been invited to give insight into their different faith /religions. They include: June 3- Alia Hogben (Muslim); June 10 –Michael Rumack (Orthodox Jewish); June 17 Paul Carl (Aboriginal); The alternate faith speaker June 24th will be a representative of the Baha’i religion.
The WI United Church congregation invites you to join them for Sunday morning worship at 9:30 am. The church is located a pleasant walk east from the ferry and right at the church sign, up the hill.

(FYI—A Presbyterian Church, St. Andrew’s, was built in 1879 on the site of the present location of Marysville Public school . In 1886 a brick Methodist Church (WI UNITED) was erected where both congregations gathered, with St. Andrew’s serving as the Sunday School and hall. In 1951 the hall was moved and adjoined to the United Church serving as a church hall, open to the whole community.)

Around Town:*Fr. Raymond de Souza pastor of WI’s Sacred Heart Church is the keynote speaker at the annual National Prayer Breakfast ( Protestant in its roots) of the broad Parliamentary Community in Ottawa, brought together to consider the role of faith in common life. The title of his talk: Faith in Our Common Life: Why Politics Needs “Religion”. “It is an honour for me and for Catholics,” Fr. De Souza noted in the parish bulletin.. The Howe Island Ratepayers Association thanks volunteers for picking up their roadways during Pitch-In campaign weekend April 28/29. Much less litter than in previous years. *Join in for Thursday Night Euchre WI United Church Hall 7 pm. For more information regarding all of the following notices visit : 1.Frontenac County Paramedic Services seeksVolunteer Paramedic for Wolfe Island; 2.Benefit Dance for Jonathon Eves, May 5th; 3. Mothers Day Walk Big Sandy Bay May 13th; 4. Scene of the Crime Short Story Contest Deadline May 15th; 5. Spring Fling at Sacred Heart School, May 16th; 6. WI United Church Annual Fish Fry May 19th,

Posted by M Knott at 11:06 AM
April 23, 2012
Island Councillors Underpaid! What do you think?

At a special meeting of Frontenac Islands Council held to continue budget deliberations, it was revealed that members of council are underpaid as compared to townships of comparable budgets and population. According to Dep. Mayor David Jones the results of the HR review undertaken for the township by Frontenac County illustrated numerous deficiencies in HR administration. “None the least being remuneration of its Councillors,” Jones said. The results, including a table indicating remuneration for mayor/councillor positions in townships, were presented to council at this meeting. Frontenac Islands numbers now are: Mayor $5,644; Dep. Mayor $4,15; Councillor $2,122. For the other 7 townships, the remuneration ranges were: for Mayor $9,331 to $23,073; Deputy Mayor $8,087 to $19,612; and Councillors $6,843 to $17,305. The averages for those 7 townships were: Mayor $18,085; Dep.Mayor $14,028; and Councillors $12,023.
“It’s easy to see the inequity I’m talking about,” Jones said. “I’m suggesting that we be fully transparent, discuss it today, include it in the minutes, and encourage commentary. He presented 3 scenarios for resolving the inequities and the affects on the township budget of any of a 100%, 75% or 50% increase to the averages. “I think if this inequity requires a rationale, the rationale is there. If not addressed now, someone will at a later date.”
“A good approach,” according to Mayor Doyle, ”might be to determine at what level we want to be as compared with other townships. He suggested setting up a committee of residents to look at it and determine an appropriate level increase. “But I wouldn’t be opposed to minimal increase of up to 50% of what is paid in comparable townships to get it on the table. I don’t think many people know what we earn. Until the County provided the chart, I had no idea we were so far behind.” Councillor Grant saw value in a committee of residents, two from each island to look over the review options. Councillor Springgay noted that the township had paid for the County review,” so it would be a matter of looking it over, not doing it over.” Councillor Norris expressed some concern about the vibrations through the Volunteer Fire associations who are making minimal amounts as compared to others. “This could have quite an impact ,” he said. Council members will ponder options and the issue will be on the agenda of the next budget meeting.

Dep. Mayor Jones also spoke to the rationale behind a $15,000 budget request for a proposed Howe Island Transportation Impact Study (as estimated by Frontenac County Planner Gallivan). The study could involve a traffic engineer to consider the impact of island growth (vehicles, houses) on the ferry service and working with MTO on existing and future capacity and possible mitigation strategies. This proposal stems out the Official Plan review that identified increasing island growth and comments made by Howe Island Ratepayers Associations (HIRA) that ferry service had not been looked at the same time. The Deputy Mayor invited HIRA’s Brian Humphreys to comment. “HIRA expressed to the planner at the time that there should be a correlation between growth and ferry capacity,” Humphrey’s said. “We also determined that a study would be Council’s opportunity to say what would be a reasonable service and that Council should be armed with the information to determine what growth will do.. It would be unrealistic to say no growth. The study would ensure that with whatever growth there is, an off setting strategy or adequate funding is available to address the problem, whether it be through more ferry capacity or more efficiencies. “While the Howe Island ferry service is adequate now, Howe does not want to be in a situation Wolfe Island now has,” he said. Also present from HIRA, Jim Mills & Terry Botten. Mayor Doyle concurred . “Growth and capacity must go hand in hand. A study was done to get the present Howe ferry,” he added. The $15,000 was left in the budget for the Transportation study to be lead by the County Planner with the general agreement of council that iyt should go ahead, but the decision will not be finalized until the budget is passed.
Council continued with budget decisions line by line, area by area, including a $300 “Pat Norris” sign for the Howe Island Ball Park. The next budget meeting will be held May 2nd on Wolfe Island .
Around Town: “Louie” our friendly Wolfe Island postmaster has left us for Bath…He will be missed. * Horne’s Ferry Service opens for the season May 1st * Mother’s Day Walk Big Sandy Bay, May 13.

Posted by M Knott at 10:51 AM
April 15, 2012
Frontenac Islands Mayor Leads Charge for Better Deal at Frontenac County

Frontenac Islands council meetings can be full of surprises. The April meeting, held on Howe Island, was no exception when, during the regular course of business, Deputy Mayor David Jones credited Mayor Denis Doyle for his efforts at Frontenac County council, where both represent the islands.
“The Mayor has been leading the charge at the county table to recognize that not all townships are the same and that a number of (county) programs are mainland centric, like the KP Trail,” Jones announced. “We’ve won a small battle whereby the islands and North Frontenac can apply for like funding for programs like the KP Trail considered mainland centric for a similar eco tourism project, with the money (potentially $26,00) coming to us out of the Federal Gas Tax bucket.”
Jones noted that another small victory was achieved following a rather heated debate when Mayor Doyle and he, along with North Frontenac, challenged the county bylaw of accruing and storing any year end surpluses of taxes raised over expenses into a ‘working fund account.’ “The stockpile equals a working capital ratio of one to two meaning that the county could operate for an entire half year without having any income, and Mayor Doyle is doing an exceptional job in stopping the spending at the county where very little net tangible benefit is received on the islands,” Jones said. “ The argument being we would like to see that surplus going into something like infrastructure.”
Mayor Doyle added that a county finance committee which includes two county council members has been formed to come up with better ways of managing reserves which have grown to about $15 million, with a first report due in mid May. “But this year is a net on the levy. It will be reduced by 0.3% over last year,” he said.
*Another surprise came by way of Councillor Barbara Springgay, who expressed concerns about Marysville. “We have talked about this before but there are so many places in the village now that are getting out of control in terms of the way they look. If we really care about maintaining the village we have a responsibility for trying to get people to clean up their properties (in breach of bylaws, & even safety standards). I’m just raising it here, but we need to have a special meeting or some real thinking on this . We have had the Bylaw Enforcement Officer before and I don’t need to mention properties, but it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse. I know it’s ‘opening a can of worms’ but we need to open it,” she said. “We say we want to keep the boat in the village, to keep the village alive, but you know it is slowly dying with the way some people keep their homes. I think this needs to be addressed. I know it needs to be addressed.” Property safety standards will be raised at April 17th Special meeting. (With regard to construction going on without a building permit, the protocol is to notify township staff who will notify the Building Inspector.)
In other business ,*Council acting as a Committee of Adjustment confirmed the recommendation of the Planner , Peter Young, and rejected a zoning variance request to construct of an architecturally designed eight metre boat house on a vacant Howe Island property owned by Robert Rashotte. The height of the boat house would violate the township zoning bylaw as would building the boathouse in advance of building a home. “Even if we did approve it,” Mayor Doyle commented,” OMB would throw it back as it clearly violates our zoning bylaw and is way beyond a minor variance.”
*Howe Island’s Lindy Howlings confirmed the permanent locations for 8 turtle signs to be installed 3 metres from the edge of the road and maintained according to the sign bylaw
* Council: Dealt with the payment voucher which led to a series of questions around specific items requiring clarification; Approved lottery licenses (Marysville School; WI Horse Association); Approved appointment of Big Sandy Bay Management & Stewardship Committee; Approved large livestock damage payments (recoverable from the province, and fyi, MNR is not in favour of a bounty on coyotes); Will meet with XCG Water Services in May; Will consider procurement and fencing bylaws and submit changes, suggestions before May meeting.
Before adjourning to an In Camera meeting, council heard questions from the floor. Howe Islands Terry Botten asked about the monitoring of load restrictions, noting heavily loaded trucks coming from the quarry. He also applauded Councillor Springgay’s initiative. “I think it should go further because we need a trailer by law with many more containers coming on the island for storage to properties without a house.
WI resident W. Knott reminded council that the township had assumed a “Passive” position with regard to the By Law Officer rather than an “Active” one where he could roam and make judgments, (trailers, 10×10 buildings.. etc. ) “The decision was it would be on Complaint basis. If you want things done differently, you need to move away from that approach.” Council meets next May 14th on Wolfe Island .
Around Town: *Dawson Point dock parking area has been repaired. * Horne’s , Wolfe Island- Cape Vincent ferry returns to service May 1st; *Student Applications being received for employment at the WI Information Centre opening weekends beginning May 24th ( ); *The Island Grill is also now staffing for the season. *Metal Craft Marine on Wolfe Island busier and busier. *It sure would be wonderful to see water flowing through the WI Canal. *On a personal note, our granddaughter, Violet Stafford (16) who sails at KYC and RCYC in Toronto , winner of last year’s Canadian Youth Nationals (under 17) in a Laser Radial, will represent Canada at the World Youth Sailing Championships in Dublin, Ireland in July. Violet who spends summers with us, began sailing at KYC at age 7.
Coming Events : Wolfe Island Boat Club Open House, St. Margaret’s Hall Thurs. April 19th, 5:30-8:30 pm Registration for many summer programs. ( ) The popular children’s Learn to Sail programs still have a few openings. Kids can now register for multiple weeks,

Posted by M Knott at 10:36 AM
April 10, 2012
We have been waiting a long time, Islanders say

Frontenac County CAO Liz Savill was surprised at the turn out on Wolfe Island Town Hall for the next to last public meeting held to find out from seniors what they would identify as a preferred senior community housing project in the county. (The last of 8 was held on Howe Island).
“We have done this before through a well documented Island study and amore than 200 person survey about the needs of Island Seniors,” Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle said in his words of welcome to the County team and the islanders in attendance. “There is a keen interest in seniors housing on Wolfe Island. There was then. There is now.” Present from the county, Joe Galivan, Planning; Anne Marie Young ,sustainability and Allison.
CAO Savill went on to describe what the county study was all about: firstly looking at what makes a strong community( ie. strong social cultural and strong economic elements), Within our planning seniors needs have been identified and more importantly the need to look at seniors housing and identify a seniors housing project and we have began looking at this in the fall, recommend a preferred option and a best fit location for a county pilot project including a financial assessment (funding,costs).
Everyone listened patiently as CAO Savill presented the statistics that indicate an increase in the number of seniors, lower senior household incomes in the county with most spending over 30% on housing (mostly owned) low vacancy rate for rental ($500-$1200). She noted retirement homes, seniors housing and long term care homes, are much more expensive with options range from independent, semi-independent to dependent living and offer differing levels of care and support. The meetings have identified increased housing affordability issues and the need for increased support services which could allow seniors in remain in their homes. Ms. Savill identified some existing models Adair in Tamworth, Abbeyfield, the Sharbot Lake model, (five private one-bedroom rental units for independent living.) Opinions were expressed, questions asked and concerns identified. Everyone had something to say and to add to the discussion
What was clear on Wolfe Island was that islanders want independence and assistance in whatever ways that makes that independence possible. There seemed to be a preference for a privately owned facility located in a (well sidewalked) Marysville, (maybe in two distinct forms): smaller bed sitting rooms within a unit with common room and some amenities(exercise space, kitchenette, garden space, etc.); another with small apartment sized units and common room, other amenities etc. added. Islanders want choices. …
With the public meetings now over, County staff will be looking over the information they have. They then will be come up with a proposed pilot project location for seniors housing with a draft document to be presented to County Council which includes the needs of seniors as identified by them. Wolfe Island with its well established community believes it would be the perfect place for a pilot project. What do you think?

Circle of Life Ceremony Remembers Victoria Stewart
By M. Knott
A Circle of Life Ceremony, Honouring the Life of Victoria Stewart was held at the Katarokwi Native Friendship Centre recently attended by friends and co-workers. Victoria was the founding member of the Wolfe Island Historical Society. Vicki died March 5th at the age of 64 after a short illness.
In a written tribute to MS. Stewart, her friend Captain Brian Johnson reminded us that she was born and raised in Pointe Claire, Quebec, was the daughter of Montreal philanthropist the late David Macdonald Stewart and his wife Rita McMenemy, and followed her father’s passion for Canadian and aboriginal history and heritage and eventually while raising her own 2 children joined her father at the Macdonald Stewart Foundation where she became “a tireless workhorse” responsible for many conferences, many historical writings, clarifying Scottish heritage, First Nations etc. as well as guardian of North American fur Trade Conferences. Captain Johnson added that her road to the island had been a rocky one.
Victoria Stewart came to Wolfe Island in 2005 where she bought and moved into the Armstrong house on Button Bay, painted it yellow, named it Buttercup, created a very beautiful garden and immersed herself into the Wolfe Island Community and its history. Through the Historical Society which she founded, the Old House Museum she pushed for, and into the many historical events she encouraged, Islanders now more than ever proudly share their heritage and their stories, all unique, all part of Canada’s vibrant history. Thank you Victoria.

Posted by M Knott at 10:32 AM
March 28, 2012
Frontenac Islands Council Catch Up

These last couple of months there has been little news concerning the work of Frontenac Islands council mainly due to the more “news exciting” activities going on in the community that made the paper. But, Council has been busy with all members attending meetings here there and everywhere and Mayor Doyle and Deputy Mayor David Jones making their voices heard on behalf of Frontenac Islands at Frontenac County meetings.
As well, aside from the many duties and regular meetings as well as special meetings specifically at this time 2012 budget meetings council members also serve as representatives to local island organizations and boards with the mayor serving as ex officio member on all of them. This year’s appointments were made at the February meeting of Council. Councillor Barbara Springgay’s include - Wolfe Island Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee; WI Historical Society; WI Community Centre Board; WI Business and Tourism Association; Marysville Waterworks Class EA Steering Committee. Deputy Mayor David Jones - Howe Island Schoolhouse Group; the Cataraqui Source Water Protection Authority Board. Councillor Wayne Grant - Wolfe Island Community Centre Board; WI Recycling and Waste Disposal Committee; WI Volunteer Fire and Rescue Committee; WI Community Medical Clinic Board; Marysville Waterworks Class EA Steering Committee. Councillor Patrick Norris - Howe Island Recycling and Waste Disposal Committee; HI Fire and Rescue Committee; HI Social, Cultural and Recreational Activities Committee. (FYI..Committees of Council operate according to the Township’s Procedural By Law.)
Items of interest to the community passed at the February meeting include the placement of AED’s from the Heart & Stroke Foundation on the township ferries at Simcoe and Howe Islands; approval for the purchase of a furnace for the WI Community Hall; deferred a Howe Island resident’s request for turtle signs ; (deferred again to April on Howe Island.)
Council is reviewing the township’s procurement policy at this time. Requested by Deputy Mayor Jones, Council members receive email notifications for action reminders re certain items, also identified in minutes.
At the March meeting acting as a committee of adjustment and in consultation with Planner Joe Galivan, council supported the request to allow property entries from an abutting Unopened Road (Nokomis Property,Howe Island) Allowance and Development Agreement with the Township. Deputy Mayor Jones has lingering concerns.
In other business:1. Deputy Mayor Jones requested the Howe Island Quarry item be deferred (allowing Planner Galivan opportunity to become current with the file)., also Turtle signage due to his concerns that the overuse and inappropriate location of signs on Howe rectified by their removal during last year, will happen again. Jones thanked Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Carol Dwyre for making requested changes to minutes.
2. Council supported the circulation of a resolution that the four Fountenac County Public Works Managers in Frontenac County, ( Leo Greenwood), meet to jointly discuss challenges in areas of transportation management; waste management; possible joint purchasing cost saving opportunities; other funding sources. Outcomes will be distributed to the four councils, including recommendations. The resolution was the result of a report by Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) “Facing our Fiscal Challenges.”
3. WI resident Pat Sanford will once again rent the WI Community Hall to operate the Stone Heron Gallery from June 22nd to September 3, 2012, with access available to her from May 1st.
4. Council approved a $5000., 2012 budget request to the WI Community Centre Board to deal with current electrical bills. Councillor Grant thanked the CCB’s Paul Hogan for his efforts and the addition of a zamboni through a FCFDC grant.
5. Kathy Rothermel, WIBTA president presented a letter for the next budget meeting which calls upon the township to assume responsibility for Info Centre and Public washrooms,
6. AECON’s Guy LaPorte presented the Annual Wolfe Island Waste Site Report. “ Does anyone want to talk garbage,’ was his opening line. He commended recycling efforts, noting that it along with the continued site’s low use the site itself, it could last 2019. “Covering is an issues and should be done every other week in the summertime and at least 16 times a year,” he said. Golder and Associates presented a report and cost estimate for 2012 Groundwater, Residential Drinking Water and Surface Water Monitoring for the site.
Council concerns: Councillor Grant noted concerns re Township newsletter funding for the rink funding which will clearly identified as donations, fundraising and reserves next time. He noted DaWSON Point Dock in need of some repairs by MTO. Councillor Springgay raised concerns about recent hiring process . (length of interviews). Council members are looking for Senior of the Year Award recommendations.
FYI: Frontenac Islands (ongoing) budget meetings are long and sometimes difficult. Facing heavy infrastructure, equipment and community needs, and the fact that WI’s residential tax rate was reduced by 11 % , in 2010 deliberations are focussed at not raising taxes (too much) this year.
Council meets next Howe Island Tuesday. April 10th , 6:30
Around Town: * Watch for news of WI’s new Gardening Club. “Great 1st meeting with lots of ideas. “ The General Wolfe Hotel has opened for the Season… New menu, refreshed facilities… big plans .. * Visit the WI Boat Club for a list of summer sailing, boating courses etc, at
Coming events: * Easter Egg at the rink Sat. am April 7th, 11 am * Wolfe Island Boat Club Open House, Thursday April 19th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm St. Margaret's Hall, Wolfe Island, Registration is open!

Posted by M Knott at 11:00 AM
March 24, 2012
DeBruin completes Iditarod - The Last Great Race from Anchorage to Nome

Dogsledder Hank DeBruin , born and raised on Wolfe Island successfully completed the 2012 Iditarod Race in Nome, Alaska on March 17, 2012. after 12days,22hrs.13 min.50sec. Originally registered as a rookie musher he is will now be classified as a veteran of the race.
DeBruin and his wife Tanya McCready-DeBruin, also from Wolfe Island own and operate “Winterdance” a dog sledding tour company that operates out of the Haliburton Highlands near Algonquin Park.
News of his success at Iditarod came by way of family members, who announced that Hank had completed the race from Anchorage to Nome - over a 1000 miles of rugged trail through unfathomable weather conditions.
“Hank finished yesterday afternoon at approximately 5:20pm eastern time,” according to his sister Maryanne (DeBruin) Walker. “With over 3000 Facebook members from literally around the world we were able cheer on Hank and the Winterdance team. For 13 days we followed his progress through frigid temperatures, difficult trails, blizzards, frozen tussocks, blow holes, mountain ranges and valleys,” she said. “With tears in our eyes and a lump in our throat we watched Hank go under the Burly arch where his wife Tanya and four children, Logan (12), Dustyn (10), Michaela (5) and Jessica (3) were waiting to see him realize his dream.” (Hank’s Dream).
Maryanne noted that Tanya's brother Ward McCready who had accompanied Hank to Alaska was not there at the finish as he was in Anchorage looking after dropped dogs. “It was an emotional finish for anyone who was watching and following along. Hank has made history,” she concluded.
Hank Debruin reached Nome Saturday afternoon at 1:13 pm crossing the finish line in 49th position with 10 dogs on his gang-line running well.
Further information can be found on the Winterdance Facebook Fan page at: Time records at

Posted by M Knott at 10:24 AM
March 22, 2012
Mount Kilimanjaro- Rwanda Trip rewarding at every level

“ I dreamt of going to Africa, of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, its tallest peak, so when to the idea of a an (RMC) expedition to Africa, to happen during Christmas break (2011-12) came up during the summer, I knew I wanted to be part of it.” said RMC Officer Cadet Jennifer Allen, a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student, a keen scuba diver and a climbing enthusiast. Jen, 20, the daughter of Island residents Kathy Rothermel and Bill Allan, was speaking at a gathering organized by the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute (for her) to share her Kilimanjaro adventure/ Rawanda impressions.
“When we got back to RMC in September, we hit the ground running to plan the “Kili Project”, put the paperwork together ( a foot high) to prove its worth, submit an application for funding and wait. A month later, ‘Kili” was approved. We had money and a plan and set out to select a team.”
Jen said the tryouts involved military leadership, physical fitness and general motivation towards the subject area, interviews basically. The trip was to provide strong educational and humanitarian components. “Logistics before and during the trip were big and every one had a job. No one was a floater. My job was equipment and transport coordinator( tents, food, airfare etc. But this trip wasn’t only about getting to the top of a mountain,” she said. “We wanted something more than that so we decided to pick a charity and raise $20,000 for it. We chose to establish a “Summit Scholarship” for Canadian university studies by a former child soldier, in partnership with Child Soldiers Initiative founded by LGen (Ret’d) Romeo Dallaire.
Cadet Allan went on to describe the three-week expedition beginning with the physically fit team’s departure, kit in tow, money in their pockets Toronto to Amsterdam and on to Nairobi. The team included 10 Officer Cadets from across Canada, (6 young men 4 young women) at varying ages representing different faculty’s , a number very fluent in both French and English.
“On our first day, our tour guides took us to the largest slum in Kenya, a terrible place with so many people living with nothing, in terrible conditions, garbage, sewage everywhere but it was amazing , happy children who loved to have their pictures taken, came to greet us. There were smiles and easy conversation and somehow the place seems to work,” Jen said following up with pictures. The team also toured a medical clinic, and other projects in the area.
“The following day was filled with wildlife sanctuaries and sad stories about endangered species,” Allan said. “ Poaching of elephant tusks still goes on and every effort is made to save the very sensitive young .”
Day three included a bus trip (“it would not pass an emissions test”) from Nairobi to Tanzania through not very fertile land taking the team to the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro where they met their main guide, Charles, for the journey up the mountain and his team of guides and porters. He was not happy that the Canadian team intended to carry their own complete kit: back packs (food,water, tents,etc.) weighing some 75 lbs., set up on their own, without the assistance of porters and their choice of the shortest and most difficult route to the top and shortest route to the bottom to begin the educational portion of their trip.
Cadet Allen took us through the days of the climb. Nine and a half, hot, steamy hours, in a changing altitude, settling down at 10pm ( on a muddy patch with terrifying monkey noises during the night,) the First Day of the actual climb. No one quit. It was onward and up ward:
“ Blisters on our backs; tired and sore; huge spectacular panoramic views; need to focus as we climbed with no ropes. Day 3 most technical arriving at a level with the clouds; a like being on Mars; Day 4 hard to acclimatize; needed extra time; left a flag; then rocky terrain the last spot before going to the top; precarious washroom hanging on a ledge, ate at 5pm, slept,( hale/cold) till 11pm, ate chocolate, etc. ready then to climb to the top with red headlamps to keep night vision in tact; very cold, moved slowly, kept singing. Got to peak- 5895 metres at 8 am raised a flag, left at 8:30 am. Everyone was surprised and happy for us,” she said. Jen’s descriptions and pictures drew uhs and ahs. “The trek down the mountain took 18 hours with the team stumbling barely (not) able to walk.”
“But the journey was not over as the educational part of the trip began (after a 2-day break to recuperate) at the Kigali Genocide Memorial where we tried to come to grips with the genocide then and still going on in the Congo, involving child soldiers” Cadet Allan said. “We also visited a Rwandan rehabilitation centre for former fighters and heard many tragic stories.”
There was also time in those last days to visit the town, the markets, mingle with the people and play with the local children before the Team went on to the last planned visit. “Probably the most difficult,” she said, “it was to two genocide memorials that are churches in what was a Tutsis area during the 1994 genocide, where 2000 people were taken into them and killed. There was even a room to kills babies.There was evidence everywhere, clothes and belongings taken from them left in piles, blood stained walls, bones. People my age did it. Cadet Allan said. “You could feel the horror of it all. Humankind gone wrong.”
“We live privileged lives in Canada so all the Team experienced on this Rwanden trip has been life changing for us in every way. As Officer Cadets we are grateful for what we have learned. “ With a quick look at the clock and ‘a thank you for listening’, Officer Cadet Allan left to catch the ferry back to RMC.

Posted by M Knott at 10:17 AM
March 18, 2012
Being Active at every age important to Islanders

It is hard to believe that with spring upon us Wolfe Islanders can look back on a winter where water levels stayed well up and the ferry, the community’s life line remained in Marysville, not once forced to pull in to the winter dock. And what a winter it was. Little snow, fluctuating temperatures, rain and lots of wind leaving downed trees and broken branches everywhere.
In spite of the weather, the Community Centre Board along with WIN the (Wolfe Island Network for a Healthy Community) and the WI Community Medical Clinic offered a variety of activities and programs for everyone throughout the winter and continue to do so. At the new rink, ( closed now due to warm weather) there were skating programs for children and adults, lots of free skating and hockey. As well, a number of visiting teams came to the island to take advantage of the NHL sized rink for hockey practice and a game or two. (Next year with a better winter there will no doubt be more of that.) And of course there was Chili Fest held at the Community Centre for the first time, which was a wonderful success. (A spring and summer line up of activities, dates and times is being finalized.)

The Community Medical Clinic which features a lower level , was the location for 2 sessions of quilting, one night weekly for 10 weeks each . Both sessions were followed up with a mini quilt show. The Community Medical Clinic itself has been the location for a number of meetings and programs offered through the KFL&A Health Unit and the Kingston Seniors Association which also holds a Foot Care Clinic every 6 weeks .
And now WIN In conjunction with the Kingston Seniors Centre is offering a new 8 session program ‘Movement for Life’ focusing on wellness through movement. Further, with Lyme Disease on the rise, the KFL&A Health Unit will once again alert the public to signs and symptoms , testing for and prevention of Lyme disease at a meeting also at the Clinic. (March 28th, 7 pm) . And finally, Cooking for One (or two) a four-week series designed for those over 60 begins at the WI United Church Hall.
A Youth Strategy program is underway, a Community Garden is planned . Add to the list many community information meetings, (ie. the Emerald Ash Borer, tree planting project , upland habitat through Tall Grass Ontario),
At the same time the very popular WI Historical Society continues its Speaker’s Series most recently with Dan Haslip of Explorer Diving and The WIPP continues to offer music and fun events. All this to say that Wolfe Island with its small population and very active and committed volunteers, works hard at keeping people active and engaged. For more information about coming events and WIN visit the web site

Posted by M Knott at 07:55 AM
February 17, 2012
The Emerald Ash Borer is on the Move-

The Emerald Ash Borer is wending its way across Ontario killing ash trees. Aerial surveys in 2010 in southwest Ontario identified 35,000 hectares of dead or dying ash trees. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is known to exist from Windsor east to Toronto in the Ottawa area and is on the move. Can Wolfe Island and the Kingston area with their beautiful mature stands of ash escape ?
The Emerald Ash Borer is known to impact all varieties of ash trees. The invasive insect, a bright green beetle moves quickly on its tree killing spree. The borer destroys the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the bark. Infested trees exhibit canopy die-back usually starting at the top of the tree.
“The arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer in our area is pretty much inevitable,” according to Cam McCauley, Frontenac Stewardship Council. Coordinator. “Wolfe Island presents some unique possibilities for control of the borer, due to its restricted access. We want to fully inform landowners, so they can formulate a plan,” he said.
To that end the Frontenac Stewardship Council is hosting a meeting on Wolfe Island Tuesday March 6th, at the Wolfe Island United Church Hall beginning at 6:45 pm

Guest speaker, Martin Streit, Leeds & Grenville Stewardship Coordinator, will describe the EAB’s life cycle and the history of its spread, provide the necessary information for landowners to identify signs of EAB infestation damage, and to devise plans for their properties before the ash borer reaches this area.

At the same meeting The 50 Million Tree Planting Program will be presented by Rick Knapton, Forestry Technician for the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. The program ( familiar to Wolfe Islander’s) offers landowners the opportunity to have trees planted on their property for pennies a tree. Committed to planting 50 million trees by 2020 to help fight climate change, the Trees Ontario and Ontario government program is designed to significantly reduce costs of large-scale tree planting. Landowners, in return for agreeing to maintain the trees, receive native seedling trees planted on open land by an experienced crew.
“Its all about trees. If you want to combat climate change - planting trees is the easiest and most effective way,” McCauley added
The meeting will also include a discussion about The Assisted Migration Project by Gary Nielsen and Barb Boysen. The question being: Will tree species from the southern United States adapt to a colder climate and further adapt over time to our warming climate?
Remember the date: Tues. March 6th, Wolfe Island United Church Hall, 6:45 pm. All are welcome at no charge.
Coming from the mainland, consider walking onto the ferry, After departing the ferry, turn left walk to Victoria St, turn right on to the church.
For more information, contact Cam McCauley, Frontenac Stewardship Coordinator at 613-531-5714 OR contact Barrie Gilbert, FSC member and Wolfe Island resident at 613-385-2289

Around Town: WI resident George Merry wants to set a date for a meeting to hear all about “Tall Grass Ontario” and how it could benefit Wolfe Island. Call him at 613-385-2816 or 613-888-8555 . Leave suggestions. “There is no work, no executive, no committee. Just your interest ,” according to George.

Posted by M Knott at 06:37 PM
February 09, 2012
Islanders .. Always Aware of the Up’s and Down’s of the St. Lawrence River

Some 22 years ago I spent my first year living in a waterfront home on the river. Having never lived so intimately with water, I was totally unaware of its moods or what to expect of it. Each day brought a new insight. That first winter , the coldest I remember, the bay in front of our home froze like a plate of clear glass. Trudging out onto the ice with my husband and the family members who had come to visit we looked down through the ice and could see the fish. Powerful winter winds filled that first winter, which lasted well into spring. The ice began to break and melt, the water began to rise up over our shore line reaching the height of the dock and the boat house which was there. That boathouse was taken down by those same strong winds a couple of years later following usually very high water levels that continued through July (due to heavy rainfalls). In our first summer the water remained relatively high through June. By July we had a shoreline once again and sufficient water to launch a power boat with ease. The “up and down” of the water levels has caused much damage our shoreline that new environmental regulations and high costs make hard to fix. As a rule the water begins a very slow descent through August/September followed by a very rapid descent in the fall. It is that rapid descent and high winds that sees the Wolfe Islander ferry move to the winter dock.
During that second year on Wolfe Island I attended a community meeting where transportation was on the agenda. I asked about the changing water levels and was told the annual “up in the spring and down” was the way it is. Island resident Sandy McCready set up a meeting with Peter Yee from the International Joint Commission to talk about water levels in the Lake Ontario and Upper St. Lawrence as part of the International waterway and the when and why’s the water is let out. It provided good information but still the water went “ up and down.”
And complaints about the damage caused to shore lines, fish and wildlife, etc. and problems for recreational boaters, commercial fishing and tourism that the controlled water regulations have caused, have gone on for years.
Recently however, we have been made aware of a NEW plan to control water levels titled Plan BV7 released by the International Joint Commission which aims to restore the natural flow of the river , address environmental concerns, improve life for river residents as well as satisfy commercial shippers and Hydro producers. Watch for dates set for ‘Public consultation of the Plan BV7’ with possible implementation by 2013. Islanders and all those interested in the welfare of the St. Lawrence will find more information and an outline of the plan at: Save the River is an organization dedicated to saving the Upper St. Lawrence River, and is located in Clayton, NY
Around Town: The grade 7 and 8 class at Marysville Public School has entered a Parks Canada Contest Parks Canada. They have submitted their Canadian history video about “The Mounties of Fort Walsh”.They need votes. If they make “Top Ten”, they have a chance to win a class trip to Banff National Park. To vote:

Posted by M Knott at 06:55 PM
February 02, 2012
The Wolfe Island Network 'encourages activity and involvement'

Anyone coming to Wolfe Island these days probably thinks the island has gone into hibernation despite the fact that the ferry continues to operate from the village of Marysville. Traffic to and from the island, except at morning and late afternoon peak periods, is down…. Way down.

Like other tourist destinations where businesses close up for the winter, Marysville has come to a standstill except for Fargo's, Megaly's, and the WIPP. A canon ball could course its way down the main street without hitting a thing…. Or so it appears.

But in the big scheme of things Wolfe Island is perhaps experiencing its busiest winter in years. Aside from the regular winter activities, church and school functions, AGM's, and regular meetings of its many organizations, committee planning for summer events, and dining at the WIPP (WI Pub & Pizzeria) there has been a surge in community participation, involvement and activity among all island age groups.

Some might say the surge has come as a result of the new, hockey sized artificial ice rink, proudly maintained by members of the island's Community Centre Board. And indeed the rink, dreamed about for many years, has brought about a new enthusiasm and excitement about the skating programs, hockey and free skating opportunities, and programs for children and youth that were not available for years due to changing winter weather conditions.

But a new group, The Wolfe Island Network for a Healthy Community (WIN), brought together community (not for profit) and municipal (Frontenac Islands) organizations along with the City of Kingston and Frontenac County to find ways of promoting islanders health and well being and is now active on the island. Based on information collected from an ad hoc group to form the Network (WI Medical Clinic, Friends of Big Sandy Bay, WI Boat Club, the Early Year's Centre WI Transportation Committee), they included results of a health needs assessment, a community profile, and a Rural/Urban Health Status Report from KFL&A Public Health, and they submitted an application to the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, Healthy Communities Fund. They received a grant to plan and carry out initiatives focused particularly for youth and seniors. A WIN management committee oversees Network activities with the project coordinator, Kayo Murakami-Wood. Their email address is

While the island boasts Euchre and Ping Pong groups, it has added to the list a number of new initiatives including Fall Harvest Community Lunches with the school children, a series of workshops/talks (hobbies,travel) led by members of the Wolfe Island community, partnerships with Kingston Seniors Association and the KFL & A Health Unit, smoking cessation initiatives, foot care/blood pressure checks, Kingston Gets Active in Partnership with WIN encouraging healthier choices, a pedometer (walking) public library program., quilting classes, a weekly walking program at Sacred Heart School, broomball, and an exciting program of activities at the rink and, finally, a new initiative will be undertaken to develop an after school program that incorporates physical activity and healthy eating. All in all it has been an interesting fall and winter on Wolfe Island. Amazing what one small community can achieve. For further information check out the Wolfe Island Network at:

Around Town: Council meets on Howe Island, Monday,Feb. 13,2012 6:30 pm

Chili Fest Sunday Feb. 19th , begins at 1 pm at the Wolfe Island Community Centre .

Posted by M Knott at 10:45 AM
January 26, 2012
Frontenac Islands council meetings never dull

Frontenac Islands council meetings are never dull, and the January meeting was no exception.
Among many items of interest, Mayor Denis Doyle's updated council on a meeting he and Howe Island Councillor Pat Norris had with the Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli and Attorney General MPP John Gerretsen, regarding island ferry services: i. e. the MTO recommended WI (75 car) ferry and a rebuild of the County's Howe Island Ferry. ( “Re-Drive Project).

” Instead, we heard that the Province is in dire straits financially, and will cut expenditures and budgets,” Mayor Doyle said. ” The Minister suggested that if the Township wanted to proceed with a new ferry that the matter be dealt though our Official Plan, and with our planner, to determine what we can do locally to raise the money for a ferry ourselves . Improvements for Wolfe Island are in the future unless we chose to keep the pressure on. We will stay current and we will be in touch with our planner,” Councillor Norris added that in his view, “Minister Chiraelli was reinforcing what Mike Harris said pre-amalgamation, basically there was no more free ride. Its status quo, but anything beyond that, you pay.”

Regarding the Howe ferry refit, Doyle said the Minister was not happy that the MTO plan had progressed so far without public input. “The County will be in touch with MTO, but we will let them know our concerns, the risk being that the service could get worse instead of better. The plan is ferry dust to me,” he said. Councillor Norris added that “MTO wants to spend $500,000 on a battery pack. There are no costs savings to the plan, no consideration for heat under the deck.”


*Anne Prichard, Exec. Dir. of Frontenac CFDC was on hand to update Council on the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP changes to the program, and opportunities available for funding, noting that the township can apply. “It's all about sustainable long term job creation, innovation and collaboration, with time lines to March 31st 2014.” The first round will be February 6, 2012 for projects with a start date of April 1st. EODP information is available at the township offices and at, (Non profits, municipal groups, corporations, economic development groups, commercial enterprises etc. may apply)

  • Cataraqui Source Protection Committee members Karla Maki-Esdon and (WI resident) Rick Lindgren came to update council on the Draft Source Protection Plan and the approach for Frontenac Islands, including times lines for 2012. The plan highlights the protection of drinking water, an initiative under the Ontario Clean water Act. Lindgren advised that it is important for council to examine the draft policies for Kingston as well for Frontenac Islands, and to inform the committee “if the Kingston policies do not go far enough to protect your municipality from combined sewer overflows.” It was noted that some policies are mandatory for some municipalities. Most of the policies for Frontenac Islands at this time are categorized as strategic action policies. There will be a Public Comment period, and Public Meetings will be held in March. For information:
  • After nine years of service Linda Thomas, president of the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association (WIBTA), announced that she was stepping down as a member of the board of directors. Citing fatigue and certain frustrations, Thomas made the announcement following her presentation of WIBTA's 2011 year end review of activities (WI Road Race, Photo Contest, Food to Table Dinner, etc), a budget for 2012, and a ($4500.) funding request for certain fixed coasts. “We expect further costs will be covered by the Classic Road Race although its numbers are down” she said. Speaking for the board of directors Thomas asked that the Township to take over responsibility for the Porta-potties on Victoria St and the operation of Tourist Information Centre “I have worked hard for WITA because I value the village but fewer businesses are involved. It is time to ask where do we go from here,” she concluded citing a Business Improvement Area (BIA) model under the Township as a structure for organizations that promote local business and tourism. “The more we able offer locally, the more people will stay around and use the boat far less.”

Mayor Doyle thanked Linda for her service to the community and took her report under advisement. At the same time he indicated the township will support ($500) a new regional promotion initiative by KEDCO with Cape Vincent and Wolfe Island.

In other business: 1.The Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic was be rezoned from Residential to Community Facility. 2. December Council minutes amended to also include OPP Constable K. Lamacraft's suggestion for rubber traffic calming humps, further that Council did not support the LOON group regarding the Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals Project. 3. The Procedural By-Law as requested by Councillor Norris will be amended to include that a council representative from each district make up the quorum for a meeting unless agreed upon by the council. 4. Accumulated surpluses or deficits in any area rated department will be transferred to area rated reserves, and the $50,000 for Howe Island roads/ferry from Frontenac County be put in a reserve for Howe Island Transportation. 5. No decision yet on council committee representatives.

There were questions about payment vouchers, trucks and truck safety, culverts and roads, as well as recreation costs, separate budgets, policing estimates etc., etc. all to come up in budget deliberations. (The first meeting was held January 18th ).

*One issue came up at the end of the meeting. Mayor Doyle said that a land owner is creating roads up at the eastern end of the village, “too narrow, not ditched, culverts too small, poor drainage, etc. And now a Quonset type building is going up. Was there a permit? We should have addressed this before,” he said. “Is that what's causing flooding on some of the streets? A letter will be sent to the developer outlining minimum township road standards. Council meets NEXT on Howe Island, Mon, Feb. 13, 2012 at 6,30 pm.

Around Town: Please take note that a CFB Kingston (10 person) military team will set up at the Big Sandy Bay parking lot Feb. 7th through 8th to conduct a simulation program.

*Chili Fest Feb. 19th at the Community Centre and Rink Begins at 1pm.

Posted by M Knott at 10:37 AM
January 12, 2012
Come on now, what do you think? Will it be just another study?

“Come on Margaret, you of all people should know it is not going to happen” were the words directed to me by a fellow Frontenac Islands taxpayer, a Wolfe Islander. His words were in reference to the results of the Wolfe Island ferry study recommending a new 75 car ferry operating from the winter dock in conjunction with the Wolfe Islander III. I had said that based on the depth of the study, the oversight by MTO, the urgency of the situation for increased service, and the lack of complaint by Wolfe Islanders, indeed satisfaction with the study results, along with the ongoing improvements around the docks etc., that this time, the project WOULD move forward. That happened in September. *The idea of a bridge to Wolfe Island was set aside at this time (20) years as Kingston awaits approval for a bridge over the Cataraqui River referred to most often as “the 3rd crossing.”

More recently Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle sought and received the support of the City of Kingston for the WI ferry project, and its fast tracking . As we all know, the WI Ferry Service is the life line for islanders to work, education, health care, etc., as well an important tourist attraction for Kingston. Travelling on it also provides access to Cape Vincent NY, from Wolfe Island via Horne's Ferry. Interesting to note that Cape Vincent is also a 'US- Metal Craft Marine-Canada' location across the river from Metal Craft Marine's active Kingston facility. So what now?

With the way things are going in Ontario at this time, perhaps I was wrong to be hopeful, to dream in colour…. The news is that that the province has an incredible debt and deficit, that must be reduced and that Ontarians had better get ready for slash, cut and burn, suggesting that “only hope based on need” remains that a new ferry will come our way. On a theory of creating jobs in the ship building industry, maybe that could happen. .but who knows, and that who is Premier Dalton McGuinty (and maybe our Kingston and the Islands MPP John Gerretsen).

However he, John, was not very forthcoming when asked about the ferry study and MTO's recommendation at the City of Kingston's New Year's Levee. “Well, the study is done isn't it,” he said , while to another he said, “You have a ferry that gives you hourly service now.” A lot was left unsaid and unexplained as he moved quickly to perhaps friendlier visitors to the levee.

Perhaps it was not a good place to ask about the future of the WI ferry service but after reading news statements by Ontario's Minister Duncan and most recently by Don Drummond, an economist, enlisted by Premier McGuinty to report on the finances of the Ontario Government, I couldn't help myself.

In advance of his report, Drummond is reported to have said that most government ministries face cuts, as much as 30 per cent. And things will have to be done in a different way to get more value for every taxpayer's dollar. (Will it be NDP 'Ray Days'? 'Draconian Mike' Harris cuts? Status quo? )

Statements carry me back to past governments, different ministers, and past ferry studies and presentations on how things could happen on Wolfe Island, (shorter routes/bridges): Public Private partnerships was one way, contracting out another, Chanel Crossing Joint Ventures, a casino on the island to support improvements etc, etc. But then all for naught.

So here we are, Wolfe Islanders remembering the 2011 MTO presentations acknowledging the island's need for improved transportation and recommendation for a new 75- car ferry. (Was money been set aside, a shipbuilder selected, a date of delivery confirmed?) Faced with possible cuts in all provincial ministries what will MTO do, how will they do it or can they do it at all? Could all MTO's plans to make it happen be confined to the shelf as just another study? Will this to have been, once again all for naught?

Around Town: Due to higher water levels and very little ice in Barrett's Bay the Wolfe Islander continues to operate from Marysville. * The Wolfe Island Network (WIN) has set up a new series of presentations on Hobbies.* Check out dates and times for' Hobby Talks' as well as the new Skating Schedule at the island's (incredible) rink at : * Community Euchre at the WI United Church Hall Thursday evenings at 7 pm. * Euchre at St. Margaret's Hall, Monday evenings at 7:30 pm sponsored by WI's Trinity Anglican Parish, prizes, lunch, etc.

Posted by M Knott at 07:12 PM
January 05, 2012
Plans for Howe Island County Ferry cause great concern

Following a Ministry of Transportation (MTO) presentation to Frontenac County Council in November with regard to upgrading the Frontenac-Howe Island Ferry's propulsion system, MTO's Stuart Jones and Paul Papps, attended the December meeting of Frontenac Islands Council to outline what was supposed to be a good news story, about sustainable improvements to the county ferry as designed by a marine architect. The MTO project however, has left Frontenac Islands councillors surprised and perplexed instead.

In summary, the project includes the replacement of the diesel engine with high efficiency batteries (20 year life spans) to power an electric motor and the replacement of the single drum hydraulic winch system with a double bull wheel drive, requiring a change only once a year. The ferry would have a backup generator to charge battery if required. Battery charging would go on overnight and two regular half hour periods will also be required during the day to ensure adequate charge. The changes would effectively eliminate direct diesel emissions, result in a quieter operation, reduce ferry downtime and save some $50,000 annually in fuel costs. “An increase deck width at drive house by 4-6 inches might be achievable,” Stuart Jones said, noting that MTO assumes 80% of the operating costs as well as fuel costs, ramp, and land based moving parts of the ferry. “The major costs are for fuel and power for hydraulics and the province is looking for efficiencies,” Jones said. “The changes will mirror what is in place,” he said.

Councillor Pat Norris was not happy. “Has this concept been tested in ice conditions,” he asked. “Are we to be guinea pigs once again? This is not what we asked for. The on demand nature of the ferry particularly through the summer does not allow for down time. Save money fine,” Norris said , “but don't cut back on service.” Deputy Mayor Jones saw much uncertainty in what was being gained from “such a dramatic change”.

In general council opinion was that the changes would offer little reduction in operational costs, no improvement in speed, and would simply be (as was stated), a mirror of what they have now rather than reducing the problems that confront the community regarding transportation. Council will further consult on this project together and with the public . Council will also meet with the operator of the ferry ,Frontenac County.

In other Business: 1. Constable K. Lamacraft of the Ontario Provincial Police was present to discuss in particular speeding on Township roads. Constable Lamacraft said little could be done if proper signage was not in place. “You might also need to change speed limit , but until signs are properly posted at right distances etc., I can do nothing .,” he said . “Public education is another measure. There has to be an attitudinal change regarding speed, the safety of residents, particularly the children.”

Measures talked about which could be taken by the Township include a review of all signage to ensure compliance with MTO regulations, public consultation on speed limits, changes to school bus pick up stops as required, sign purchase or rental showing rates of speed, maybe local citizens committees. A request by WI resident Claire Muller requesting speed bumps in Marysville was considered. Since the speed limit in Marysville was recently changed to 40 km/h and signs posted,no further action will be taken at this time to see change is acknowledged. Howe Island speeding concerns suggest formation of a community committee

2. Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan attended the meeting to enlighten council members regarding the County's stated priority to establish a Official Plan for Frontenac County. Gallivan has submitted reports to County Council citing what a plan would look like, its advantages and type either detailed or more high level crossing every boundary i.e. environment, natural heritage, transportation. “Because council mandates end in 2014 it is important that all councils be involved in the process from start to finish,” Galivan said . “We hope to have a plan finalized and approved by the province within your term of office.”

3. In response to a letter from the WI Community Medical Clinic a zone change application “institutional or community facility” will be prepared. Council will seek legal advice on designating the property as a 'municipal capital facility' as allowed by the Municipal Code. This was because of the change in assessment from an exempt status to 'residence' and taxable.

4. The domestic waste collection (tendered) contract for Howe Island went to Stark Battams. The Township will advertise for Howe Island residents interested in serving on a waste management committee.

5. Council formalised a Reserve for the Wolfe Island Historical Society and Old House Museum to receive donations for either group. A letter from the National Wall of Remembrance Association will be forwarded to the WI Historical Society.

6. Council supported, Town of Richmond Hill resolution concerning chronic lyme disease, and by Huron County related to restrictions on use of farm buildings.

7. Many thanks to the City of Kingston, Downtown Kingston Business Association and KEDCO for their support of the Wolfe Island Transportation Study following a presentation by Mayor Denis Doyle. Further thanks to Theresa James for a beautiful Christmas tree and Roly Jansen for its installation, beautifully lighted, at the Wolfe Island Town Hall.

8. A Christmas Bonus for staff, permanent employees ($50.) and part time ($ 25.) were approved.

9. Council held an In Camera session concerning a municipal property matter and potential litigation.

And finally, due to a lack of planning time, the custom of a New Year's Levy Mayor Doyle hoped to establish for Frontenac Islands was set aside for this year. Perhaps next year?

So on that note let me say that It has been my privilege to keep you informed of at least some of the 'Goings On' in Frontenac Islands. I wish a Happy New Year to All!

Posted by M Knott at 07:06 PM