A few weeks before Christmas, during Advent as a matter of fact, I read a sign outside a church in Kingston that reminded anyone who read it that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees. I did a double take. I guess I knew that but I had never seen it expressed so directly. Perhaps it struck me even more because of Canada’s present focus on bringing into Canada 25,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year. I am aware that there are more than 25,000 refugees who arrive in Canada annually (Christians, Muslims, Jews, black, white, coloured) from many other parts of the world other than Syria, also in a state of conflict, many from the camps they escaped , many of them sponsored, others coming simply in search of work, a better life and safety for their families. T
Waiting for the ferry home to Wolfe Island I reflected on the concept of this Holy Family. Why were they refugees. What was it that compelled Mary and Joseph to take their new born baby and travel to another place ? I had to think awhile and remember that they had already travelled from their town to Bethlehem to register in a census called for by government. There the baby was born in a stable because the city was crowded and there was no room for them anywhere. Shortly after the baby’s birth as they were starting home Joseph had a dream where in he was urged by an angel to take Mary and baby Jesus not home but to “flee to Egypt because King Herod was about to search for the child, to destroy him any way he could.” And Joseph did just that taking Mary and the baby to a safe place, until the death of Herod at which time they would return home. They went as refugees with nothing to start a new life.
Those thoughts of course led to thoughts of my own parents who originally came to Canada as visitors from Europe for a specific period of time to serve others settled here of the same languages and religion as their own. They were victims of the depression of the 30’s in Canada during which time my brother and I were born.. They did not have the money it took to return “home” at that time. When it became apparent that war in Europe was going to happen they chose to stay in Canada, to take refuge if you will, for the sake of their Canadian children. My father never saw his family again. My mother visited her home at the age of 73. (We never met our grandparents). No family reunification then.
It would be easy to speak of the miseries experienced by many who came from elsewhere to Canada. Life was far from easy. Nothing came free. Two world Wars and others followed. Racism was a reality, (religious, linguistic, colour). Strict discipline, even cruelty was a part of life. But much has changed, continuously evolving for the better.
While all Canadians proudly claim origins that began elsewhere, and either came here or were born here, we all cherish the freedoms and rights that Canada offers the opportunities to live together in peace and harmony regardless of religion, race or skin colour, to work educate and raise our families. The flight of Joseph, with Mary and Jesus into Egypt presents a situation not much different than for today’s refugee offering us all food for thought… and opportunities for good. Thinking of my community with thanks..…. and prayers for Peace on Earth. Happy New Year 2016 to ALL.
The 2011 Wolfe Island Planning Study recommended improvements to the Wolfe Island and City of Kingston ferry terminals, for a dual ferry operation with a new 75 car vessel as well as: marshalling, queuing, parking improvements, pedestrian, cycling, passenger amenities, and intersection improvements (Kingston-Marysville).
Now, although it is close to Christmas, it is none the less important to once again remind Wolfe Islanders as well as all those interested in the island’s future that the “Preliminary Design and Class EA for the WI Ferry and Docking Improvements,” presently in the hands of Morrison Hershfield Limited, is ongoing and looking for your input. Ms Tina White is MTO’s Senior Project Manager for the Class EA.
The purpose of the study, once all deficiencies are identified, is to look at alternatives for increasing ferry capacity and docking improvements, recommend one option, consult with the public, and finally identify and design an acceptable cost effective alternative to move forward. A Study Design Report (SDR) is available for review and provides background information for review and comment by the public, agencies, etc. and outlines the planning process including information on the generation of alternatives and how they will be evaluated. “As part of a Class ‘A’ Environmental Assessment (EA), public consultation is essential,” MTO’s Tina White said. “The SDR was developed early in the EA process to obtain input from the public on the proposed planning process and consultation. We are very interested in hearing public feedback on the SDR. The Study Report serves as an important opportunity for the public to ask questions, offer comments or ideas that will help shape the consultation process. We also seek to hear any feedback regarding the ferry and dock improvements throughout the course of the environmental assessment and preliminary design study,“ she said.
At the present time the Morrison Hershfield Limited Study Team has been meeting with municipal and county officials, MTO engineers, as well as special interest groups, individuals, agencies etc. (Probably a public meeting on Wolfe Island would be useful—editorial comment!.) To date the study has not progressed enough to determine where docking will occur and possible the impacts or what impacts there are to any internal road network, whether the new ferry will operate all year long and/or to what dock it will go. These and many more will be looked at and determined as part of the present study according to MTO. “This EA study will provide a plan that will last into the future. The ministry does not have any plans to initiate another study regarding the Wolfe Island Ferry.”
Currently, the Study Design Report is available for public review and comment at several locations and online. Later as the study further progresses , Public Information Centres will provide an outlet for public consultation and feedback. At the study conclusion, a report called a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) will be prepared and made available for public and agency review and comment before environmental approval can be obtained to proceed to construction. For more information about opportunities for input please visit www.wolfeislandferryea.ca
Around Town: 1. Pretty unnerving to have someone assaulted confined, near to the ferry dock at Dawson Point. While there is security it is pretty dark there these evenings. dark shadows, no moon , easy for anyone to slip away up the road unnoticed, unseen. Without a bus waiting, I wonder how safe it is for walk-ons going way up the road to their cars, or waiting for a lift home? 2. WI Friends of Feral’s say “Thank-you!” to everyone who contributed to on going cause to move forward with spay-neuter initiative. To date 48 cats were spayed, neutered and vaccinated and returned to their colonies from the waste site, the foot and the interior of the Island…. Interesting to note many islanders favour the project. On the other hand many do not! Their concern is for birds! . Frances Smith, Mayor of the Township of Central Frontenac, was elected Warden of the County of Frontenac replacing our Mayor Denis Doyle who recently completed histerm of office. This marks Smith’s second term as Warden of the County. 5. Wolfe Island Refugee Support group is now working in Partnership with Frontenac Refugee Support Group. For more information, contact Judith Kinghorn: firstname.lastname@example.org or Clara Lovatt: email@example.com Watch for Posters .. 6. What's Not Happening at the WI Medical Clinic during the Christmas Holiday: No Nurse Practitioner Walk IN Clinic Thurs. Dec. 24th or Thurs. Dec.31st. Also, NO Office Hours nor Walk In Clinic with Dr. Russel Tues Dec. 29th. The Friday January 1, 2016 Lifelabs Specimen Clinic will be held January 8th,the next Jan. 15th, then 1st & 3rd Fridays. The Jan.1st Paramedic Wellness Clinic is Fri. Jan.8th. 7. Unfortunately, warm temperatures have kept the ice at the rink difficult to maintain & ice making equipment running full time at great cost… The rink has closed until further notice.
Coming Events: Hatha Yoga with Marlie 7 pm (4)Tuesdays beginning Jan. 5, 2016… St. Margaret’s Hall.**Winter Fest set for Feb.7th .
Before the province took over full responsibility for the ferry service in 1964, the ferry service for Wolfe Island ceased operations when winter ice conditions made it impossible to continue . ice travel was the only link to the mainland for anyone living on Wolfe Island. The stories that surround that era continue, fascinating for young and old alike. Since it inception the WI Historical Society has committed itself to capturing the island’s history, its wonderful and compelling stories best told by those who have lived them. Most recently WI horsemen Kaye Fawcett and Ken White talked about ice travel during the years when the ferry shut down and how islanders risked travelling on it for reasons much the same as they are today, health,work, provisions. WIHS’ Brian MacDonald and Hank Connell ‘beamed up’ the remarkable pictures of cars, boats, horses and sleighs stuck, partially submerged and sinking into the waters off Wolfe Island, and of islanders of those days.
Kaye Fawcett held a copy of what he wanted to say. And with every paragraph there were questions and “I remember’s” from a very engaged audience. Kaye said that it was generally in late December “when the ice would start to ‘take’, and the boat would have trouble, that people started walking, the 3 miles across the ice to Kingston. Then when the ice got to 6” thick they would start driving.” With one horse and sleigh, Tricky McDermott and Bob White they would check it. “If there was a crack Tricky would build a bridge of wooden planks over it. He would stay all day so people could cross.” Casey McAllister and Gary LaRush ploughed a road , people donated their Christmas trees and others went out and bushed the road. “That way if it was storming people had something to guide them home and to keep them from getting lost.”
Kaye talked about drawing hydro poles from Kingston with teams and sleighs at $1. a pole, for hydro at the foot of the island. “Eve Lawrence was the one looking after it,” he said. Bill Bolton, Ed and Jack Flynn, Tricky and Bob White began installing the poles in the spring . Kaye worked with the team drawing poles off the flat bed to the fields. He talked about taking working men to town at 7 am and picking up the mail. “Tricky usually took the mail to the Post Office run by Duff Cosgrove and I’d bring the bread, he said, adding that the next trip from the Island was at 9 am and returned at 11:30 am with passengers and supplies for the stores, Howard Tarrant, Charlie Coffey and Baker’s. On the 4 pm trip to the island they usually brought stove oil for the schools.
“We brought gas for Jimmy Hawkin’s garage, feed and supplies from Topnotch for Hank Quist, supplies to Coffey’s grist mill from Peter’s Seed and coal to Leo Hogan. We did sleigh rides in the evenings for Queen’s over to the Hotel from West Street. Sometimes we left the team at Mark McRae’s or Doug Seville’s barn. When the ice was good people drove their own vehicles. But many times people got stuck in the snow and slush and needed to be pulled out. There were many stories, exciting, frightening and sad about travelling the ice, stories that few will forget…
Ken White (White horses , wagons and sleighs), joined in the story telling and reminiscing. He also read from the book “Growing Up on Wolfe Island”, in which Islanders themselves are the storytellers. About island life in the past, crossing the frozen three mile channel of dangerous ice with ‘Tricky’ McDermott. and Minnie the mare, tired of waiting so she struck out across the ice on her own; being hauled out off the ice, and along in your car by a team of horses; reminders to jump out as far as you can but hang on; keep the car doors open so you get out; keep the horse from drowning with a board across her chest under front legs; the convenience of the ‘ice road when the boat was tied up; & dangerous come spring thaw. And John O’Shea, an island story teller, added to already exciting evening with his memories of crossing the ice when the boat was tied up till spring and a baby was due… for instance. Copies of ‘Growing up on Wolfe Island’ are available from the WIHS through B.MacDonald: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Around Town: 1.Looking forward to Christmas, family coming home, ice at the rink, snow on the fields?..2.Saw the tiniest of tiny Snowy Owls. 3. Adjusting to the ferry being at the Dawson Point dock.(No shuttle service), and with no snow or lights (after the turn) the road is dark and dangerous.
Coming Events: Annual Ecumenical Advent Service of Readings & Carols at Trinity Anglican Church Sat.,Dec. 19th at 7 p.m. A wonderful way to prepare for Christmas. A reception follows.**WI United Church Annual Christmas Pageant: Sun. Dec 20th at 7PM at the Church.** A Jubilee Year of Mercy Mission at: Sacred Heart of Mary Church, at 7:45 pm. Dec. 20, 21, 22nd.
For the last couple of weeks, included in this weekly column, there has been a reminder that MTO has retained Morrison Hershfield Limited, for a Preliminary Design and Class EA Study for WI Ferry and Docking Improvements, and is looking for public comments and concerns about the Study Design Report regarding the design and the EA process by a Dec. 23rd deadline. The SDR is available for review at: www.wolfeislandferryea.ca, (hard copy at WI Town Hall, library, etc.) The request for comments, notes that improvements to terminals, may include changes to the marshalling areas, larger dock/mooring facilities, improved pedestrian/ cycling facilities.
After a long difficult seven months, perhaps Islanders are just so happy to have the ferry back and operating from Marysville. They just do not want to look at what the future will bring as a result of a long EA process. They simply want the ferry running on time, many from the village for as long as possible, and for the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca to come through with a back-up ferry as quickly as possible in advance of a 75 car, ferry built (2019-20?), and bridge study possibly in 20 years.
Thus to date few comments from islanders have crossed the Hershfield Limited desk.. Even though right now is the opportune time to point out different situations and concern, at the island, and city ferry docking areas These became clearly evident particularly during ‘Wolfe Island’s months of discontent’ waiting for the return of the Wolfe Islander III, and to have them considered in the preliminary design of the project.
Some of those thoughts related to the ferry itself, docks and marshalling but others were about too little lighting and the dangerous road conditions from the Dawson dock to the village of Marysville for cars, trucks, cyclists and walkers. Also an on going need for shuttle service, operating cameras and increased security, concerns for the disabled, distance from amenities while waiting in line, more overnight island and city parking. The continuing need for the earlier ferry run. And of course, security and public communication with Internet access at the docks and on the ferry were seen as a necessity.
Over the last few years there has been far more communication between the public and MTO. Township representatives and MTO meet. The public feels freer to call MTO if there is a problem. And MTO certainly responded to issues that arose at Dawson Point during the difficult summer months. And now MTO is seeking input from Islanders for the Preliminary Design and Class EA Study as it gets underway. And who better than Islanders, young and old, , renting or permanent, summer or full time, emergency service providers, health providers, farmers, business/tourism operators, and event providers, and of course never forgetting the importance of Horne’s ferry to Cape Vincent. They can speak to the islands transportation needs and assist in the design of the EA. Transportation is the Island’s Life Line. Island Transportation is about moving people and vehicles between places. It is it is not just about the ferry and the docks. Call, email your comments….. MTO’s Tina White is Senior Project Manager( 613) 545-4871 email@example.com, Morrison Hershfield Ltd. Mr. Edward Li, (416) 495=4228 firstname.lastname@example.org
FYI—— Due to low water levels, the ferry Wolfe Islander III is NOW OPERATING from the Dawson Point Terminal for the winter. Also, the 4:45 am trip from the island has been discontinued. Please Note: The Ferry will be out of service Wed. Dec. 9th (9:30 am - 2:00 pm) for regular maintenance. MTO is on Twitter: Wolfe Island Ferry @WolfeIslander3
Around Town: 1. Wolfe Island’s 2015 Christmas Village was a wonderful success. The Organizing Team of Linda Thomas, Pat Sanford, Carolyn Wiens, Christina Pyke, Kayo Murakami (MPS), Diana Moore (Fishtale Shop), Martine and Denis Chercuitte (My Old Her), & Nancy Steele (Ferry Lane) share this message with you: “What a successful and beautiful day it was! Families & friends enjoyed strolling in the village of Marysville and shopping for nice things for Christmas. Thanks to All vendors with their wonderful offerings. Thanks also to all visitors who came over! We hope to hold a Christmas Village again next year! Comments and suggestion are much appreciated. Email us at: email@example.com
2. It was a full house at the recent Wolfe Island Historical Society meeting. Kaye Fawcett and Ken White presented a talk about “Ice Sailing” on Wolfe Island for the many years before the Ferry service was taken over by the Province of Ontario in 1964. No one at the meeting was in any hurry to go home in spite of bad weather. Some fascinating pictures. Hope to write about it soon.
3. For information about the WI Refugee Support Group Contact: Clara at 613- 840-5077
Coming Events : .***WI Community Centre Winter Programming Registration Friday, December 11th from 5:00-9:00 pm @ The WIPP **WI Christmas Pageant at the United Church 7 pm December 20th. Everyone Welcome… ** At the WI Medical Clinic: Dr. Russell's After Hours Walk IN Clinics Tuesdays 4:45- 6:15 pm. Nurse Practitioner Walk-In-Clinic Thursdays 9:00-11:30am
Frontenac Islands Council Rides the Roads Only one island citizen took up the invitation to participate in Frontenac Islands Wolfe Island Ward tour of the municipal facilities and road network on Wolfe and Simcoe Islands. The tour included areas of concern with work to be done, or to be completed, or planned for the future. It was not a walking tour and a school bus was on hand for each stop along the way. (A similar tour of Howe Island’s municipal facilities and road network was held Nov. 19th.)
Frontenac Islands Public Works Manager (PWM) Rob Dillabough set up the comprehensive agenda and conducted the tour attended on Wolfe Island by Mayor Doyle, Councillors Barbara Springgay and Wayne Grant, CAO Darlene Plumley, Deputy Clerk Carol Dwyre, and, from Howe Island Councillor Bruce Higgs.
PWM Dillabough provided listings of all places on Wolfe Island that needed to be looked at, what needed to done and a time frame for doing it, some in a 5 year (2016-2020) period, many in 2016. This includes a 5-10 year plan for the Nine Mile Point Road with culverts and rebuild. Listed for replacement in 2016 are sidewalks, guiderails- new and replacement, signage, road construction, and surface rehabilitation. Included in the listing were those things that had been done since his arrival , signs, guide rails etc. A complete list will be brought forward during 2016 budget deliberations. Dillabough ‘s intent is to provide council with a detailed work plan of what needs to be done, what needs to be changed. (A similar list was prepared for Howe Island tour)
During the Wolfe/Simcoe Islands tour of every road Dillabough pointed out many things requiring rehabilitation, identified areas such as a large sink hole on the 8th Line road used for drainage, the lack of road ditching, tree/brush cutting requirements, need for more signage, etc. and Simcoe Island ferry road- dock needs, all important as liability issues . He offered insight into such things as snow ploughing methods for safety and to lessen road damage, and including lowering speed and adjusting depths to protect the equipment. It was a thorough review with clearly identified requirements, which he linked to the Frontenac Islands Asset Management Review process done a few years ago. That process identified Frontenac Islands facilities and road assets (Howe, Wolfe, Simcoe) and what has to be done to keep them up to standard, maintain and/ or replace over the next 5-10 years.
2. Land Fill Site Then… Recycling Transfer Station Now: “And the green grass grows all around, all around. And the green grass grows all around.” It is amazing to see the broad expanse of green grass that has covered what was until recently an enormous hole filled day by day with the community’s garbage (and hopefully not with recyclables). Once upon a time a gravel pit now it is a hole no more. From a distance it looks instead like a miniature golf area. That’s not to say the Transfer Station is pretty. The much-in-need-of paint-containers are rather dismal although on occasion when one is full and trucked away, a newly painted one replaces it making the place look brighter for awhile. The place is so tidy, nothing out of order. Accessing the recycling bins becomes easier with each relocation change made. Residents continue to donate their bottles for the benefit of community organizations. Many more people are bringing in materials for composting. At this time Mae has Christmas Decorations and lights on her office door and at the gate, and always a smile to greet us. Come spring we will probably see flowers planted, and maybe? even a stall erected for perfectly good give aways, along with special days at the site. Special thanks to Mae and the Land Fill Site Committee for their ongoing effort to make it all work.
Around Town:1.** FYI Frontenac County Council will hold a special meeting Dec. 2nd, a part in closed session, to consider additional solicitor advice, employee negotiations and deployment options with respect to the Wolfe Island volunteers ( ambulance). 2.** Morrison Hershfield Limited, retained by MTO for a Preliminary Design and Class EA Study for WI Ferry and Docking Improvements is looking for public comments / concerns until Dec. 23rd about the Study Report available for review at: www.wolfeislandferryea.ca, also at WI Town Hall, library. Improvements to terminals, may include changes to the marshalling areas, larger dock/mooring facilities, improved pedestrian/ cycling facilities. MTO Tina White is Senior Project Manager( 613) 545-4871 firstname.lastname@example.org Frontenac Islands Mayor Doyle encourages WI residents to submit their comments, suggestions and to get involved in the Ferry EA process. “Better now, when what you say may make a difference rather than later when its not possible,” he said….
COMING Events:** ‘Ice Travel’ with Kaye Fawcett & Ken White presented by WI Historical Society Wed. Dec. 2nd 7:30 pm United Church Hall. If you have pictures of that time bring them along.***WI Community Centre Winter
Programming Registration Friday, December 11th from 5:00-9:00 pm @ The WIPP **Wolfe Island Christmas Pageant at the United Church 7 pm December 20th. Everyone Welcome… ** At the WI Medical Clinic: Dr. Russell's After Hours Walk IN Clinics Tuesdays 4:45- 6:15 pm. Nurse Practitioner Walk-In-Clinic Thursdays 9:00-11:30am Bring OHIP card ALL welcome (including American residents)…
At this time of year Wolfe Island takes on a whole new image… The ‘Christmas Elves’ suddenly appear and the island takes on a festive appearance with Christmas wreaths and decorations throughout Marysville. Notices go up announcing the Santa parade, the Christmas Pageant, the Lessons & Carols Service, CHILIFEST and the registration day notice for programs planned for ”The Rink” held at The WIPP, and closer to Christmas another notice with a Holiday Skating schedule
But before all of that, WI’s unique Remembrance Day Event was attended by more and more people. Unique perhaps because in a tradition of ecumenism established many years ago, the clergy from the island’s churches are all involved, Rev. Canon Chris Carr, and Rev. Gerry Moore from the Anglican Parish, Fr. Raymond deSouza, Sacred Heart RC Parish and Rev. Mike Bohler, WI United Church. Father Ray in his presentation focused on three elements of John McCrae’s Poem in Flanders Field, the poppies, the quarrel with the foe and , “if you break faith with us who die we shall not sleep. “McCrae’s poem reminds us that their peace depends on us keeping the faith. By the grace of God, may it be so for them and for us,” he concluded.
The schools and Early Years children were also involved, presenting wreaths, reading poems and listening attentively to all that was said before the modest Memorial Plaque in front of the Town Hall, as were many members of the community. That included, on behalf of the township Mayor Doyle, Merchant Navy Veteran Vern Yott, and Allied Services John Posthumus. Ken Keyes was the Master of Ceremonies.
Over the years military personnel from the island, active and retired, not only attend the service but volunteered to be involved. Brig. General David Patterson again brought news about one of WI’s own, John Alexander Rogers, born in 1891, enlisting in 1914 in the 2nd Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, and who was killed (no known grave) April 22nd at Ypres. The names of Islanders who lost their lives, served during war, in peacekeeping and peace making missions were read by Capt. (retd) Katherine Rothermel, LCol (retd) Billy Allen. Thirty five RMC Cadets were on the island on this occasion. Many serving as an honour guard, others to accompany wreath laying to give a salute. Officer Cadet Spaulding played the ‘Last Post & Reveille.’ There was a fly past over the island. Howe Island’s Robin Craig organized the presence of four antique military vehicles: ( Ferret, Iltis, Land Rover & ?). A reception organized by Pat Sanford and Linda Thomas followed with music provided by Rob Douglas.
2. Frontenac Islands November Council - Business: *Councillor Grant said the 4:45 am ferry should be continued allowing people to get to early work shifts. He asked that a letter of thanks be sent, on behalf of islanders, to MTO staff in the Kingston office, the crews manning the Frontenac II, and those who managed dock traffic flow, commending them for their efforts through a very difficult time. Thanks also to Hulton’s for exemplary bus services.
*Councillor Springgay reviewed a Community Centre Board Meeting stating that as of now the board’s focus should be fundraising , program/ event coordination of the facility and grounds, “to achieve its maximum potential.” “The responsibility for operation and maintenance should rest with the municipality with a percentage of the overhead for this cost charged back to the Board.” she said.
*Councillor Higgs noted work had begun on the Howe Island County ferry dock and expects fewer night time shutdowns. *Deputy Mayor Nossal will update council in December about Howe Islands Bell telephone service level. *C.A.O./Clerk Plumley stated that the Grand Opening of the Card Lock Facility on Wolfe Island was well attended. *Mayor Doyle stressed importance of maintaining political pressure with regard to the back-up (contingency) ferry promised by Minister Del Duca. “Ministry officials should be lobbied for a work plan and specific project completion dates.”
From the public: Tom St. Laurent glad to see the ferry back in the village but “For how long?” Doug Franks sees value of 4:45 a.m. ferry for those seeking employment with earlier start times. W Knott suggested that the MTO EA input include a larger culvert under the canal, along the route to the Crawford Point dock. There was a request for clearer roadside definition along the shoulder width of the curve at Metal Craft Marine to ease difficulty when two vehicles meet. Council meets next: Dec. 14th Howe Island 6:30 pm.
Around Town: 1. Morrison Hershfield Limited, retained by MTO for a Preliminary Design and Class EA Study for Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking Improvements is looking for comments / concerns from the public until Dec. 23rd about the Study Design Report available for review at: www.wolfeislandferryea.ca, also at Town Hall, library. Improvements to terminals, may include changes to the marshalling areas, larger dock/mooring facilities, improved pedestrian/ cycling facilities, including terminal facilities. MTO Regional Director Kathy Moore encourages you to read the document and submit your comments. MTO Tina White is Senior Project Manager( 613) 545-4871 email@example.com. 2. Rev. Chris Carr has retired as Pastor. We thank God that he was here to do so. YEA! 3 Do ask Marjorie Bousfield about an exciting trip coming up for her.
Coming Events: * Lunch Bunch Nov. 25h WI United Church 11:30 am. *** WI Christmas Village- Craft and Goods Bazaar Sun. Nov.29th. 10 am -3pm something for everyone in 4 different locations, ***Wolfe Island's Christmas Parade Sat. Nov 28th begins at WI Fire Hall at 1PM…. For Info/Entries call: Chief Tim Hawkins 385-2829 or Greg Johnson 548-6319 ***WI Community Centre Winter Programming Registration Friday, December 11th from 5:00-9:00 pm @ The WIPP
As a follow up to news about changes to Wolfe Island’s Volunteer Paramedic Service projected to begin in 2016, Frontenac County CAO Kelly Pender, accompanied by Acting Chief of Paramedic Services Gale Chevalier, brought members of Frontenac Islands council up to date at their November meeting. Also present was County Planner Joe Gallivan. Surprisingly, few members of the public attended.
In his remarks CAO Pender reminded council that the WI Volunteer Service (the last of its kind in Ontario) is 40 years old . “ In 2004 the County of Frontenac was designated by the Province as the service delivery provider for Frontenac County and the City of Kingston - including Frontenac Island’s (WI)Volunteer paramedic service. Current W.I. Volunteers work a 12 hour ‘on call’ shift with a 10 minute response time (24/7/365, and make minimum wage, plus an amount per call,” he said. (Historic call volume on Wolfe Island is 100+/-.) Pender noted that the balance of Frontenac County Paramedic Service are union members, covered by a collective agreement with OPSEU, and Frontenac County Council has agreed to work with the union to implement an 8/16 hour shift coverage (24/7/365), that is 8 hours on-site coverage and 16 hours on call. “ Subject to the outcome of negotiations with the union beginning in December, implementation will follow in 2016. The new model will provide for a larger pool of staffing and the opportunity for more integrated training,” he said.
CAO Pender added that the move from a Volunteer service to the 8/16 model will have a tax impact for the Township, City of Kingston and the rest of the County.“We will provide Frontenac Islands Council with an update prior to any change over. And the volunteer service will be commemorated prior to that.”
Councillor Springgay requested steps be taken to ensure that the seniority of volunteers be grandfathered in, and years of service recognized. Councillor Grant was concerned about Nov./Dec. schedule. CAO Pender stated that at this time it would be strictly volunteer staffing with a goal to have two on per shift. The protocol for days when there is only one per shift, the dispatch on the island would be immediate, but to transport it is necessary to wait for the second Paramedic. anywhere between a half hour or more wait depending on the ferry. When there is a first response call, the Coast Guard is notified. Mayor Doyle acknowledged the outstanding work of the volunteer service through the years and offered high praise.
Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority: Planner Joe Galivan presented an overview of Frontenac Islands agreement with the CRCA to provide plan review services, as required, focussing on the natural hazards, natural heritage, and water quality and quantity components of Provincial policy. Planning Act applications would be reviewed on both a site-specific and broader landscape basis .
Marysville Senior Housing Project Update: Council received for information Gallivan’s verbal report that he met with Marysville property owner John Weatherall, long time supporter of senior accommodation, who is prepared to donate land to the municipality (15-20 acres) to allow for the possibility of three five unit developments, near the EMS services, Clinic, Fire Hall area. A crossroad allowance from Road 95 to the Seventh Line is also proposed. The environmental investigations have begun and a due diligence report is expected by the end of November. A Division Street extension will be a 2016 budget consideration. Severance and Official Plan amendments will be required to allow for high density development. The Municipality will be required to create a Board of Directors who will act as stewards for the project, with a mandate similar to that of the WI Community Medical Clinic. More next week.
FYI: Frontenac Islands will hold two Public Facilities and Road Network Tours The first beginning at Howe Island Municipal Building Nov. 19th, 8:30 am ending around noon. The second at the Wolfe Island Town Hall Nov 24th, 8:30 am and ending around noon. Each tours begins with a short meeting, and ends with discussion and a wrap up. The public is welcome to attend and join in to see what needs doing around the Islands.
Around Town: * a personal flash back- twenty six years ago our first island contact was with RF (Richard) and Marette Fawcett who welcomed us on a cold November day. And who over the years gave friendship, offered kindness and sage advice, not only to us but our children and grandchildren. Now both are gone. First RF and now dear Marette. A sad time for their close family and the community. We are grateful to have known them and will remember them.
Around Town: * The 2015 Wolfe Island Flu Clinic was a great success, according to Clinic Board president Linda Thomas.”There were over 150 people out – a great social gathering. The house calls for those unable to come worked out well, to be repeated next year, so keep it in mind. Thanks to nurses Jackie Bird, Danielle Hogan, Judy Greenwood Speers and Bev Sherman.”
Coming Events: * Lunch Bunch Nov. 18th WI United Church 11:30 am. ***Turkey Dinner St. Margaret’s Hall Sat. Nov. 21st 4:30-7 pm. Take Out: 613 385 2202 Craft & Bake Sale. **** WI Christmas Village- Craft and Goods Bazaar Sun. Nov.29th. 10 am -3pm Check website at wolfeisland.com
Thanks For Bringing Her Home!
Captain Brian Johnson let it be known Saturday Nov. 7th that he would be Wolfe Islander III would be leaving Hamilton for the 16-18 hour trip home to Kingston (weather permitting) and would arrive, horn blasting sometime on Sunday and, that she would be flying her 40 year old original flags. “ She is so beautiful , passed the Transport Canada inspection and runs like a dream. It will be a wonderful trip,” Johnson said. And the Wolfe Islander did arrive on Sunday after a long, painful, 7 month absence (April-November) to be welcomed back by MPP Sophie Kiwala and MTO Eastern Regional Director Kathy Moore. News about the ferry’s return “before the end of the weekend” was also announced by MTO and by MPP Kiwala on social media.
After a short ‘Thank Goodness she’s back’ Welcome, the Wolfe Islander resumed service to Wolfe Island where a huge, collective sigh of relief could be felt across the water as the ferry returned to its shores. The Wolfe Islander is now operating from the Village of Marysville, rather than the Dawson Point Terminal. As the Wolfe Islander approached Kingston, the Frontenac II was seen sailing home to Amherst Island.
Better late than Never In the early days of living on Wolfe Island I was introduced to the wonders of the Wolfe Island Plowing Match. I learned a new vocabulary about furrows, crowns and lands, about the quality of the grounds being plowed, about the machinery used (conventional and reversible plows) and about those plowing, and got to know many of my neighbours. I loved the horses decked out in their finery and the effort involved for those manoeuvring the walking plows. I was surprised at the numbers including young women and men among the plowmen.
In 2003 I wrote: “Very dry conditions greeted participants to Wolfe Island’s 47th Plowing Match held at Broederdale Farm. The youngest plowman at the event was 4 year old Hunter Chown riding a tractor in the Novelty Class. The tractor was built by his grandfather Dennis Mosier, well known ploughing match judge.” In 2012 : “ In spite of the weather people wandered the fields to watch first hand and up close the exactness and skill of what it is to turn a furrow. The 4 Chown boys, Hunter , Cole , Reid and Orrie (all under age 16) were ploughing this year.”
And at the Aug. 2015 International Plowing Match in Finch, Hunter Chown ( now 16) ploughed his way to win the Overall Ontario Junior Championship in the 16-19 yrs Class 2 Group 2, Tractors, 2 Furrows. “He had to do it all alone, not even his grandpa was there, and it is all about timing. It was strictly up to Hunter,” his mother Nicole said. His success garnered him the Barb McAllister overall (1 year) scholarship as well as other awards, and makes him eligible to plow in the 2016 Canadian Plowing Match to be held in Ottawa.. Hunter , Grade 11, and Cole (15) Grade 10, are students at Regiopolis Notre Dame. His Brothers,, Reid and Orrie are at Sacred Heart School. Belated Congratulations Hunter.
2. Island Refugee Interest Group: Recently islanders, concerned about the plight of refugees fleeing their countries, were invited to a meeting organized by Judith Kinghorn and Clara Lovitt. They and a small group (9) are interested in engaging a larger number of islanders (church groups, women’s institutes, not for profits etc.) in helping sponsor a refugee family through another organization, that is off the island. “The government has made it so that it has to be a group that has already been stamped approved.. “We want to partner with ‘Save a family from Syria’. That’s the group partnership between Islamic Society of Kingston and First Road United Church, and Dawn Clarke. The Sponsorship Agreement holder is the United Church of Canada. They already have families in Canada,” Clara Lovitt said. ‘We have not determined how we can assist, fundraising or settlement perhaps. There will be another meeting on the island in a week or so. Watch for the date. We are looking for participation from all areas of the community.” Call Clara 613 540 5077 or firstname.lastname@example.org
3. The Wolfe Islands Feral Feline Project continues: Many colonies of feral cats were identified on the island over the last year. Many of them have already completed the spay neuter program as it became available. On a regular basis volunteers attempt to live - trap feral cats (last week another 7 ) for transport to the mainland for spaying, neutering as well as rabies vaccination. Five cats were from the ‘foot’ and 2 from the interior of the island. Since October 19, 20 feral cats have been spayed, neutered, and vaccinated, all due with thanks to the kind donations of many who have helped WIFF volunteers make this possible.
“We need to identify the Feral Cat Colonies:” If you know anyone who has a colony of cats in their area and sees the value of the program, or would be interested in volunteering to help , please contact Cheryl Gurnsey at 385- 2532. The aim is to deliver 8 cats per week, or a number the vet is comfortable with. If interested in being part of the newly organized WI committee, call Jana Mills, (613-385-2792) email@example.com line “feral cats” or Linda Thomas (613)385-1947. The WI committee will be applying for grants and funding.
FYI- Last week I wrote about the Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service and efforts to work in harmony with MTO to help ensure that the ridership receives safe, reliable and fair ferry services. I did not add a reminder that there have been previous community ferry service committees working with MTO. CAO Plumley is also a point of contact as well.
Around Town:* Haven’t seen the WIslander III coming our way as yet. Expect by the time you read this the ferry will be here. **“Plans for the Christmas Market are moving forward. Check out wolfeisland.com . Lots of good information.**WI Ferry Study Design Report (SDR) is available for a 45 day review and comments in hard copy at WI Library, Town Hall and web site: www.wolfeislandferryea.ca<http://www.wolfeislandferryea.ca
Coming Events: * Lunch Bunch continues Nov. 18th WI United Church 11:30 am. ** Remembrance Day Nov 11th 10:45 am WI Town Square. Reception to follow. ***Turkey Dinner St. Margaret’s Hall Sat. Nov. 21st 4:30-7 pm. Take Out:613 385 2202 Craft & Bake Sale. **** WI Christmas Village- Craft and Goods Bazaar Sun. Nov.29th. 10 am -3pm Check for Website at wolfeisland.com
Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service In advance of the anticipated ‘end of July’ return of the Wolfe Islander III ferry from its 5-year refit in Hamilton, notices were posted on the Frontenac II ferry, locally throughout Marysville and on Wolfe Island face book networks inviting Islanders to a meeting to form a citizens group interested in the ferry service and its operation. Some 20 persons attended the July 8th inaugural meeting chaired by resident Tom Wroe, and held at the island’s Metal Craft facility. Indeed, part of that first meeting was dedicated to planning a “welcome back” for the returning ferry. By the 3rd meeting (Sept. 15th) however, it was clear there was a problem regarding the ferry’s return. ( It is still not back on this day Oct.29th)
Since that first meeting the interested citizens continue to attend regular meetings , adding others to their number. They have confirmed a name for the group as the ‘Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service’ (FotWIFS), and reference themselves as “The Friends.” The idea of a friends group was suggested by one participant who was familiar with Friends of Ferry groups in British Columbia. “So why not one on Wolfe Island where the largest challenge is its transportation link to the mainland and being able to communicating with MTO?”
The Friends have also defined a mandate which reads: The Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service advocate for efficient transportation services and will work in conjunction with all levels of government agencies to help ensure that the ridership receives safe, reliable and fair Wolfe Island ferry services. The group is governed by their mandate, meetings are open, the agenda is published and consensus (verbal and internet debate) is sought for any decision or action. There is a keen interest in receiving information, offering ideas and proposals and working in harmony and cooperation with MTO, the Township of Frontenac Islands and for the citizens of Wolfe Island. Meetings were held on July 21st, Sept. 15th, Oct. 7th and Oct. 28th
The Friends experienced some frustration, wondering what to do next about communicating with MTO following their September meeting (still no Wolfe Islander). A presentation about MTO’s long, chronological, four stage EA Process(Planning/Needs/Purpose; Preliminary Design; Detailed Design; Execution) leading to a new, 75 car ferry, perhaps by 2020, provided time line information and identified a number of opportunities for citizen participation spurring the group to continue their information gathering. (The new ferry is expected by 2020.) To ensure no confusion between long term strategic planning for ‘FotWIFS’ and MTO, the various documents relevant to the four stages, currently at stage one, were made easily recognizable and available to ‘FotWIFS’,as required for any discussion opportunities with MTO as they arise and input into the EA process.
“The Friends” has also established an ongoing dialogue with Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala, providing information and insights into difficulties, hardship, loss of time and money, experienced by island citizens and business owners in the long absence of the Wolfe Islander III . She is aware of the devastating impact WI’s use of the Frontenac II has had on Amherst Island and its citizens (even more so as the weather changes) and the trickle down effect at Glenora. She was alerted to the lack of a back-up ferry in the event of a breakdown and is aware of the time involved in an EA process for a new 75 car ferry. “ The Friends” have sought her support as an important “ go to person” with regard to communicating with MTO. She attended the meeting the three mayors, Mayor Denis Doyle, Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff, Loyalist Township Mayor Bill Lowry, along with Amherst Island Councillor Duncan Ashley, had with the Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, to discuss serious ferry issues at Wolfe, Amherst, and Glenora.
Much has transpired. MTO held a meeting in September attended by MPP Kiwala, MTO’s Project team, staff and invitees to outline the EA process for the new Wolfe Island ferry. ‘ FotWIFS’ Tom Wroe was in attendance as was Frontenac Islands CAO Darlene Plumley. More recently Minister Del Duca along with MTO Senior staff came to Wolfe Island for a public meeting at the request of MPP Kiwala and chaired by her. Through it all, the members of the Friends of the Wolfe Island Ferry Service continued to meet, study, discuss and search out ways and means to be supportive, objective and creative and as stated in their mandate, as they wait for the return of the Wolfe Islander III anticipated the week of Nov.1st (barring something unusual?). For Information contact Tom Wroe To find MTO Tweets re ferry : https://twitter.com/wolfeislander3
Coming Events: **Lunch Bunch Wed. 11:30 am WI United. ** Flu Shot Clinic Saturday, November 7th. 9am - 12pm. @ Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. Bring your OHIP card. Difficult to come to the Clinic? Contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org **Frontenac Islands Council Nov. 9th 6:30 pm Wolfe Island Town Hall. **Remembrance Day Nov.11th 10:45 am WI Town Square. ** Christmas Market Nov. 29th. To book table
While it is true that ferry service is a ‘Major focus for Wolfe Islanders, it is not their only focus. The island’s Emergency Services ( volunteer ambulance service) offering emergency medical first response, patient stabilization, and transport as necessary off the island to medical services available in Kingston is as important as “the boat.” These two services make it possible for anyone to live on Wolfe Island safely. Any disruption to either service is noted and creates feelings of unease. So is it any wonder that the smaller Frontenac 11 ferry operating from the Dawson point terminal since April, leaving cars behind with every trip, has been hard to take even with the amenities that MTO has provided, and has certainly diminished the summer tourist business island business owners count on.
Of course the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca heard all of that, and more from islanders on Wolfe and Amherst when he was here. And islanders are counting on the return of the Wolfe Islander III the first week of November…. maybe. That’s what he said. And it’s great to see the Frontenac II being spruced up to go home to Amherst Island, which also means the Loyalist going back to Glenora. Del Duca said a back-up ferry for the regional ferry service was possible in 2-plus years. No answer to what happens in the meantime.
More recently islanders have heard about, and seen, ambulances and personnel coming from Kingston to the island which would presumably cause delays in getting island medical emergency patients off the island. Both situations so visible while sitting in the line –ups and have caused frustration, and worry.
You might remember that Frontenac County Council passed a resolution Aug.25th for a new on site/on call deployment plan for paramedics for the Wolfe Island Ambulance Station, which has been placed in the hands of management to implement, according to Paul Charbonneau, Chief of Paramedic Services. He noted that the present model will continue until all details are worked out through the various meetings scheduled with the volunteers, the union, and management to the transition to a better paramedic model.
The new model, when implemented, will see 2 trained paramedics on site every day responding to calls for eight hours per day. For the remaining 16 hours, those two paramedics will be on call-back (in the building behind the ambulance station) to respond to calls. (The aim of the plan is to reduce the time it takes to get the ambulance rolling after a call, from 10 minutes to 2 minutes.) The exact date for implementation has not yet been determined. However at this time, the township has been informed that all shifts (except one) until Nov. 1st will have two paramedics.
But rumours that all is not well with the Wolfe Island Ambulance Service persist. WI Paramedic Sally Kane (always counted on to be there) is down with health issues and her return is not guaranteed. There were indeed two ambulance calls, back to back on one day, with ambulances and personnel coming to the island when only one paramedic was on duty. Residents have begun asking questions and want answers from members of council. Council members want information from Frontenac County, and the WI Medical Clinic Board is also seeking information.
Good News. * Mayor Doyle had this to say, “Given there is a lot of misunderstanding on what caused the recent ambulance issue, and there are questions on the plan to move to a new model with one 8 hour shift covered by onsite Paramedics, and the other two shifts each day covered by on-call staff, I asked County Management to attend our next Council meeting to give us a presentation and answer questions. It has been confirmed that Frontenac County CAO Kelly Pender and Acting Chief Gale Chevalier will attend the meeting the November 9th Frontenac Islands Council meeting on Wolfe Island at 6:30 pm.”
Around Town: ** Not once but twice I have wrongly identified Howe Island Councillor Bruce Higgs. My apologies Councillor Higgs. ** Successful evening for WI Medical Clinic Theatre Night fund raiser to benefit clinic sponsored NP program. Thanks to Simon Berry for his help. ** Great sign clean up following election.
Coming Events: **Lunch Bunch Wed. 11:30 am WI United. ** Join group to support a refugee family Oct. 29th at the WI Town Hall 7pm. ** Flu Shot Clinic Nov.7th. Frontenac Islands Council Nov. 9th 6:30 pm Wolfe Island Town Hall. **Remembrance Day Nov.11th 10:45 am WI Town Square. ** Christmas Market Nov. 29th. To book table call Linda 385-1947
It was a first for Wolfe Island to have the Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca standing up there, facing the music so to speak, in front of a disgruntled audience of some 300 persons from Amherst, Wolfe and Simcoe Islands. They came looking for an end to their ferry grievances all due to the prolonged absence of the ferry, Wolfe Islander III at Heddle Marine since April. They came at the invitation of Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala who arranged for, and chaired, the town hall meeting giving the public the opportunity to share their frustrations following a difficult summer of long ferry waits, and loss of time, and money, not only for residents but for businesses and tourists.
At Wolfe Island with Minister Del Duca and MPP Kiwala, were MTO senior staff members, Regional Director Kathy Moore, Stewart Jones of marine services, and Tina White, EA project manager . “This meeting is for the public. It offers an opportunity for everyone to be heard, and for the Minister to respond. We all share disappointment about the dry dock delays,” Kiwala said at the outset.
Minister Del Duca in his opening remarks said that he had been well versed on the ferry difficulties, had met with the mayors of the townships involved, and had been to Heddle Marine where he saw the Wolfe Islander III. “In most other town hall meetings I attended outside of Toronto there have been broad transportation issues but of course the primary source of concern and frustration impacting this community and all of the islands, relates to the Ferry Services. I want to let you know that I see it and I feel it. I do understand what you have been through, that there is frustration with what has taken place and a lack of communication from the government about the repairs and upgrades to the Wolfe Islander III and about what has been going on,” he said.
“As you know Sophie and I were at Heddle Marine so I guess your first question will be when is the ferry coming back. You have had dates provided before and those dates have not materialized. What we have been told is that the work on the ferry will be complete and it will be back here, in service, the first week of November.” Del Duca said to clapping, and to groans of disbelief. “I will say this however. There are factors, weather, wind and testing, beyond the ministry’s, Transport Canada’s, or Heddle’s control. None the less I feel optimistic about the first week of November.”
Del Duca talked about the EA process for a second ferry increasing capacity (2017) with a design process could begin in 2016. Regarding a replacement ferry ( i.e. a backup ferry) “we have searched and can’t find one so we are looking for financial approval to build one ( since it wont increase capacity, no EA is required) in two and a half years.”
With that the questions began: ‘Why was the ferry was out of service during the summer? Is there a back up Plan? Will the ferry come back to the village? Why did ferry leave Wolfe Island before the wheel house was built.? What happens if the Frontenac II breaks down? What if the Wolfe Islander does not come back in November? What about the dangers of breaking mooring lines? How about a bridge ? ‘
There were crushing situations presented regarding Amherst Island and use of Quinte Loyalist 18 car ferry (grain losses, milk losses, difficulty getting crops off, ramps to low, side loading, low water levels etc.) Frustration…tears…anger. ‘We don’t trust you.. What are you going to do for us? ‘
There were questions about parking, increasing the number of daily ferry trips, fixing the bubble system and there was even some laughter between the answers.
Minister Del Duca and MTO staff members answered many of the questions, few to the satisfaction of those in attendance but with thanks for the information. And in closing , Mayor Denis Doyle thanked Minister Del Duca, MPP Kiwala, and MTO Senior staff for coming to Wolfe Island.
One final question to you Minister Del Duca, If the ferry is not back the first week of November will you come to Wolfe Island again?
The Minister of Transportation, the Honourable Steven Del Duca, is coming to Wolfe Island. The announcement made by Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, came just days after she and Frontenac Islands Mayor Doyle, Mayor Lowry(Loyalist Township) and Mayor Quaiff Prince Edward County, met with Minister Del Duca to discuss the far reaching impact of being without the Wolfe Islander III (still in dry dock) for all of them, the serious need for a back-up ferry, and the EA to add a larger 2nd ferry for Wolfe Island. “I would like to invite our citizens to do the same,” MPP Kiwala said in a news release. “On Wednesday, October 14th, I am hosting an evening town hall at (Wolfe Island) with special guest Minister Del Duca for members of the public to share their experiences and concerns, ask questions and find out more information about the dry-dock process and the recently announced environmental assessment for a second ferry,” she announced indicating the minister wanted to hear directly from the residents about the challenges faced as a result of the dry dock.
“The Ministry of Transportation regional office and the municipalities have been working together to help alleviate some of the transportation pressures for residents and tourists, and share up-to-date information with our community ,” Kiwala said. “ While this has certainly improved the current situation, I know many commuters still face long line-ups and are worried about access to emergency services.”
Mayor Doyle on hearing the news of the island meeting had this to say. “Given that Minister Del Duca is making a special effort to come to our community, I encourage Islanders to come out and participate . As far as I know this is the first time that a Minister of the Provincial Government has ever come to the Islands to participate in a public meeting to hear feedback directly from all residents , and where hopefully he will announce actions that will be taken,” he said.
FYI- MPP Kiwala said she continues to follow the ferry situation very closely working with the township, the city, the regional MTO office, the Minister's office and islanders to help resolve issues. “I have greatly appreciated islanders patience, understanding, and cooperation,” she said in announcing the meeting to be held Wednesday, Oct. 14th Wolfe Island Community Hall (behind the Town Hall) The time to be confirmed. Shuttle Bus from the ferry to the Town Hall.
2. Frontenac County Warden Denis Doyle meets Federal Candidates running for Office.
The discussion notes, prepared for these meetings, clearly state that the county provides its residents paramedic and long term care, regional planning and economic development and operates the Howe Island Ferry. Economic sustainability and prosperity are strategic goals. For the 2015 election, Frontenac County is covered by the federal ridings of Kingston and the Island, and Lanark-Frontenac-North Kingston.
“County Issues for the candidates consideration are broad themed centering on - Infrastructure- including cellular networks;
health care and social housing, and economy,” Doyle said . “ I have meet with the four major party MP candidates in the Kingston and the Islands riding, Daniel Beals NDP, Andy Brooke Con., Mark Gerrestsen- Lib., and Nathan Townend Green to discuss priorities, and explain what assistance we need from our Federal Government elected representative. With part of the County in the new North Kingston, Frontenac and Lanark, I met with Philippe Archambault-Lib. and sitting Conservative MP Scott Reid thus far. A senior member of County staff joined me at most of the typically one hour meetings.”
“When it comes to infrastructure, 57% of all Canadian infrastructure is owned by municipalities while they raise only 8% of taxes. Gas tax helps but not enough. We need help with aging infrastructure that used to get financial support
from the Federal and Provincial governments, but in recent years this support has been cut back dramatically ,” Doyle continued . “Much has been down loaded to the municipalities, like major responsibility for the Ambulance Service, and Senior Care Homes like Fairmount, and roads, like 95and 96 on Wolfe, and Highway 38 that runs South to North through the County.”
Concerning Local infrastructure issues, the county supports Kingston efforts to secure funding for the Cataraqui River crossing and the expansion of the airport. “We are looking for Federal participation in the WI ferry EA, also for any future bridge to Wolfe Island that may involve CFB Kingston,, and also in enhancing the WI to US under utilized connection .” Doyle is amazed with the enthusiasm and dedication of the candidates. “They understand our local issues and would support our requests. We will plan to meet with the elected MP’s in early November to remind them of our priorities.”
Coming Events: *Lunch Bunch Series at the Wolfe Island United Church Wed. Oct 7th at 11:30 am. ** Bus Stop a play by Wm. Inge Wed. Oct 21st 8 pm Domino Theatre Play proceeds to benefit WI Medical Clinic **WI United Church Turkey Supper Oct. 24th Doors open 4:30pm, Adults $15.00 / under 12 $7.00, 'Take Out' available Craft / Bake Table, Ferry leaves Kingston on the hour -Shuttle service to church available WI Medical Clinic Walk
Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle, Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff, and Loyalist Township Mayor Bill Lowry, with Councillor Duncan Ashley (Amherst Island), met with the Minister of Transportation, the Honourable Steven Del Duca, to discuss serious ferry service issues at Wolfe, Amherst, and Glenora. Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala attended the meeting.
“ It was a good open meeting”, according to Mayor Doyle who noted that the discussion included a request that the minister support the purchase of a used backup ferry to ensure continuous ferry service and safety in the three communities. And further with regard to a new 75 car ferry for Wolfe Island that the minister allow the design for it to start during the EA process (rather than at the end) ensuring an earlier completion date.
“Minister Del Duca was not only sympathetic to our situation but also apologetic about the present situation.” Doyle said “It was obvious that MPP Kiwala has been lobbying hard on behalf of the Islands and the existing ferry problems and has kept the minister well informed. The ministry will look into the EA process and consider use of a previous boat design . In industry it is not uncommon to use a previous design and alter it as required. They will also continue the search for a used ferry,” he said. “But we have to keep at it . One meeting can’t solve the problems. Hopefully we will get over the present situation with the Wolfe Islander III very soon and bring some relief to Amherst Island and continue to move forward.” Doyle concluded. The challenges of the ferry services have existed for more than 20 years.
2. WI Gas/Fuel Outlet. The response to the opening of the McKeown Wood Gas Pumps on Wolfe Island September 18th has been overwhelmingly positive. Except for a couple of glitches the first day, fixed in very short order by McKeown Wood, Wolfe Island residents are happy to access gas locally. Rather than using up 2 to 4 hours of the day in travel time, just to get the grass cut or to fill the boat to go fishing or to maintain the generator ever ready, they now can find it on the island. The Township of Frontenac Islands agreed with islanders this was a quality of life issue and an urgent need. The Township entered into a lease agreement with McKeown Wood Fuels Ltd. and with an expenditure of $150,00 plus the $50,000 from CFDC, moved forward in the best interest of the community. The Card Lock Gas & Fuel facility is located in the WI Municipal Works yard and is open to the general public.
3. The Land Fill Site (referred to as “The Dump”) on Wolfe Island is now a Recycling & Transfer Site. The ‘Great Hole’ that was, is now filled and topped arriving ever closer to being capped and seeded once and for all time. Recently the WI Historical Society in there annual Journal ‘Windword’ dedicated a page to the Quarry that became the “Dump”. Many tales are told about the place. “We used to skate there,” said one long time resident. Others commented about family members working there in years gone by. According to Vernal Yott , 92 who worked at the then quarry, the pay in 1939 was 25 cents an hour, the same price as a gallon of gasoline. When the quarry closed (1951) it was sold to Ernie Whitmarsh who in turn sold it to the Township of Wolfe Island in 1952 for use as a municipal dump.
4. And speaking of the Historical Society , their recent journal also pays special attention to the Dutch Connection and the arrival of families from the Netherlands following WW II (29 during 1948-49) with names ever familiar throughout Kingston and the Islands, De Ruiter, Vandenhoek, Hasselaar, Posthumus, Sjongers and many, many more all listed in “Windword”. The Historical Society offers history of the island to newcomers, refreshes stories and memories for life long islanders and safeguards the island’s past at WI’s Old House Museum with its increasing number of artifacts, through their annual speakers series, and of course, through “Windword”. For info Brian: email@example.com.
5. Federal Election- An All Candidate Debate will be held at the Gen. Wolfe Hotel (pub side) Friday Oct. 2nd , 7-9 pm. Organizers will accept questions from Islanders only, written in a civil manner (on paper provided). Coming from Kingston you are encouraged to use the free Shuttle Bus Service. For Info: Judith - 613-876-9015.
6. Extra ferry run: An additional WI ferry run at 4:45 am to begin Mon. Sept. 28 th until further notice specifically to take fall crops (2 trucks per ferry) off the island. Passengers and other vehicles can also board. This extra run is welcomed by farmers and by those who regularly take the 5:45 am ferry and struggle to make it to work by 6:30.
Coming Events:** WI Early Years Applefest at Horne’s Orchard Oct. 3rd 1- 4 pm. **Lunch Bunch begins Wed. Oct. 7th, 11:30 am WI United Church Hall. ** WI Walk In Clinics Tues.pm with Dr. Russell Thurs am with NP Sparrow ** WI United Church Turkey Supper, Oct. 24th Doors Open 4:30 pm
- It was announced, at the September meeting of Frontenac Islands Township Council, that the Card Lock Gas Outlet on Wolfe Island will open “by the end of the week.” (Sept.18th) The final requirements for the new facility are expected to be completed by then. So as you read this, gas will once again be available to the public for the first time since the closure of the gas pumps at Mosier’s always busy Service Centre on the island. Particularly grateful are residents who will no longer have to board the ferry for the sole purpose of getting gas for pieces of equipment, boats as well as motor vehicles. An official Opening is planned .
2. Howe Island’s Fire Chief Mike Quinn accompanied by members of HI’s Marine Unit Committee, Marg Renolds and May Squires, presented an updated research committee report and a request to move forward to establish a Marine Rescue Unit on Howe Island. The idea was presented first in 2014. The recent report noted the many times that HIFR responded to incidents on the water in borrowed equipment. HIFR now has a donated 21-foot boat, motor and trailer Money for a new motor has also been donated by an appreciative resident, ($10,500). A further analysis of the proposal include determining sufficient space for patient transfer and room to install an already available fire pump /hose and determining docking locations for easy transfer, as well as Operating Guidelines and Requirements. HI Councillor Hobbs expressed appreciation and amazement for the HIFR initiative. Seconded by Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal who noted it as “just another of the many proactive initiatives undertaken by HIFR in the past,” citing for instance fund raising for a 4-wheel drive vehicle for use on the HI Trail in the event of a medical emergency, “ if someone should have a heart attack.” Council supported the Marine Unit Project, and accepted the outboard motor replacement donation. Once trained ( training to begin spring 2016) and certified, the Marine Unit will be placed in service. (South Shore between Howe and Wolfe Islands).
Chief Quinn also provided Council with an outline of a contingency plan for coverage of emergency medical issues which includes a staffed ambulance on the island when the County Ferry is out of service while MTO completes dock work.
3. IT & GIS (mapping) services will consolidated for all 4 townships at the Frontenac County level. The County will undertake to provide these services on a shared cost and utilization basis. Two specialists will be assigned for Central and North Frontenac and two for South Frontenac and Frontenac Islands, with a core group at the County Office. The complexity and specialization of this work was the basis for this decision.
4. Frontenac Islands has awarded the contract for a new Township of Frontenac Islands Website to ‘Floating Point’ . The website will be in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act , and is expected to be up and running no later than December 18, 2015. It is expected the new site will affirm the township’s commitment to communicating with the public.
5. A substantial part of the agenda package included pages related to the Wolfe Islander III refit and the work to be done while it was in dry dock with a completion date of June 23, 2015 from MTO Regional Director Kathy Moore. An accompanying letter indicates winter ice conditions caused a delay in the Wolfe Islander’s departure to Hamilton and the extent of damage identified once the ship was out of the water and the hull exposed. Council received all this as information but is calling upon MTO to further explain: “Why was there a delay in starting the manufacture of the wheel house? The Municipality understood that it was being fabricated over the winter months to expedite the Wolfe Islander’s time in dry dock?” The date for the return of the Wolfe Islander III continues to be indefinite.
6. It was announced that MTO will operate a 4:45 am ferry for undetermined period of time to take large grain trucks off Wolfe Island. During that period (start date to be announced) along with 2 (two) large grain trucks, other vehicles and passengers can also board to fill whatever space remains. Watch for it…
7. Concerns of Council: *Mayor Doyle , the Mayors of Loyalist Township, Prince Edward County with MPP Sophie Kiwala will meet with the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Ducca in September regarding the ferry services and the serious lack of a back up ferry. The Islands Council further is seeking an answer to why and what caused the delay in the ‘bridge’ construction
*Councillor Springgay acknowledged the efforts of the WI landfill site committee as the site transitioned from waste disposal to a “Recycling and Transfer Station. . Newsletters to follow.. *Councillor Higgs wants his concerns about the Howe Island bubbler system on record. That’s it for now.
Coming Events: *The Wolfe Island Lunch Bunch Series begins Oct.7th WI United Church 11:30 am. * WI Fiesta at the Island Grill Sun. Sept. 27th 1:30-5:00 pm (Central American Solidarity ) Check for Full schedule of dates at the WI Medical Clinic. Wellness, Specimen collection, Physician/NP walk in clinics etc, Check at “wolfeisland.com.”
As summer draws to a close Wolfe Islanders appreciate the time to take a deep breath, turn to each other and say,”It’s been quite a summer.” And it has. Not what tourist dependant businesses in Marysville had hoped for and counted on but pleasant in a different sort of way. Tourists strolled through the village, enjoying what many saw as stepping back in time to a quieter gentler way of life. Fewer visited the Art Gallery but those who did stayed longer as they did at the Old House Museum and the local shops and the restaurants. It was wonderful to see many stop and enjoy a picnic at the picnic tables here and there around the village and MacDonald Park apparently in no great hurry to catch the next ferry. Visitors greeted local folks as they too waited at the Shuttle Bus Stop going back. Big Sandy Bay as always brings visitors, as does the Corn Maze and the lovely Riverfront Golf Course.
We are still with no clear picture on when the Wolfe Islander III will return or how long the Frontenac II can stand up to the pressure or “What, no back-up!” On the other hand those frustrations have not discouraged Islanders. Not to be deterred regular local summer events have taken place and flourished. The Community Garden offers gardening fun. The successful Ball Tournament brought islanders home. The Canadian & Local Ploughing matches were successfully held on the island. WI Wind welcomed islanders once again. And as fall approaches, the Feral Cat Project is off and running with a fund raiser in the offing also Apple Fest… Church Suppers AMBUSH… Pumpkins & Photo Contest….Christmas Market etc. etc. The WI Community Medical Clinic has a new sign reminding of days and times of walk in clinics and other health opportunities . And A quiet drive around the island at this time highlights the beauty of the crops ready for harvest, apples ready to fall, grapes ready to pick, vegetables, pumpkins, corn in season, and honey near ready to bottle. And finally enthusiasm for the coming season at “The Rink” is in the air…..
2. Speaking of the Friends of Ferals Fund Raising Event, it will be held at the Island Grill on Saturday September 19th beginning at 3 pm. . It will include music featuring islanders Chris Brown, Teilhard Frost and Dhyani and a live auction of community donations led by James Kirkham. A fun event. All funds from the fundraiser will go towards their initiative to stabilize feral cat numbers on Wolfe Island through a livetrap/spay/neuter/vaccinate release approach. If you are coming from Kingston, the Shuttle Bus will get you to The Grill and back to the ferry. The wonderful poster announcing the event was painted by local artist Nancy Steele.
3. A 1st on the Island: The FIRST Wolfe Island Ladies Invitational Golf Tournament was held at WI Riverfront Golf Course on Aug. 28th. Twenty six players enjoyed a wonderful day of golf followed by a BBQ dinner at The WIPP with entertainment provided by James Kirkham. Prize winners with the lowest scores of 36 by team were Nancy Snaar, Eva Hulton and Charlene Breen.. Longest drive Nancy Snarr. Straightest drive Mary Quist. Closest to the pin was Carol Fargp and Nancy Snarr.
4. Wolfe Island Waste Site: The dreaded day, Sept. 8th, which saw the closure of the WI landfill site due to Ministry of Environment regulations, came and went with out incident to become instead a Recycling and Waste Transport Station with waste transported “off” the island. On hand Sept. 9th when the changes came into effect was Waste Site Transition Committee Chair, Frontenac Islands Councillor Barb Springgay. She joined WI Waste Site Manager Mae Etmanski, Bill Speers and Nancy Snarr to assist islanders in the new approach to disposing of waste and recyclables without turning to the “great hole” now to be covered and capped. For any questions, contact C.A.O./Clerk Darlene Plumley or or Councillor Springgay 613.385.1259
Around Town: * Dr. Russell’s Tuesday and NP Sparrow’s Thursday “Walk IN”, Weekly Clinics began Sept.8th (not Oct. 8 as previously stated) * The I Am Strong Women’s 5K-15K run/walk on WI is supporting in part Sailing Team members Danielle Boyd and Erin Rafuse’s Rio 2016 Olympic goal.
Coming Events: Ferals Fund Raising Event, WI Island Grill 3 pm, Sept. 19th ** AMBUSH Concert Sept. 18th 8 pm at the Rink Tickets local businesses. **Howe Island Terry Fox Run Sept.20th 9:30 am. ** WI Community Garden Planning Session Oct. 4th WI Medical Cinic 6:30 pm** Lunch Bunch Series, begins Oct. 7th 11:30 pm WI United Church.** A Play “Bus Stop” in support of WI Medical Clinic @Domino Theatre Oct. 21st 8pm.
There is no doubt about it, Heddle Marine in Hamilton is busy. Last week the largest of the Canadian Coast Guard ships was there and out of the water. And hidden away behind a number of other vessels was the Wolfe Islander III.
We weren’t able to see her as security is tight but there was an opportunity to talk to a number of the workers off for a coffee break. Their assessment of when the Wolfe Islander would be back in service is much as Islanders have concluded as the months go by. Thanksgiving? Christmas? Who knows for sure? Not even MTO?
The Frontenac II, Amherst Island’s 33 car ferry has worked overtime at Wolfe Island during the WI Islander III’s absence. It has been worked hard and to capacity on nearly every trip throughout the summer, in most instances leaving vehicles behind. Who knows really what condition the ferry is in now. The ferry crews are tired. It has been a long hot summer for them. They have had to deal with the frustration and anger of visitors, travellers from the US and from island residents who are just about done when it comes to the amount of time they must wait to get to and from the city, and for the costs involved to have goods, services or materials come to the island, that is, IF vendors will come .
And that’s not all, though not much talked about, there is no backup ferry should the Frontenac II breakdown. Local residents suggest the Horne’s 9-10 car ferry the William Darrell served as a back up ferry for Wolfe Island in years past and may still be listed for that purpose… can you imagine with present traffic levels. One has to hope, trust and believe that MTO has a plan and a ferry hidden away somewhere. (Mayor Doyle’s “finds” in Quebec are not available MTO says)
The summer tourist season has proven devastating for Wolfe Island businesses some loosing more than 50% in sales. One has to wonder if those relying on sufficient sales to remain open in the winter achieved their objective this year.. The Gallery, Bike Rentals, Island Tourism operations, organizations and events have suffered as well but they Carry On.. finding ways to entice visitors to the island.
Perhaps if MTO had taken a page from the WI Music Festival Planning Book and rented a Passenger Only Tour Boat operating on a regular schedule back and forth to Marysville, Rather than or Along with the Shuttle Bus to the winter dock, it could have saved the tourist season for WI businesses and provided tourists coming from Kingston ‘the walk- on the ferry- experience’ and the village visit they look forward to and are encouraged to make..
As fall approaches, and school begins, and water levels decline and Islanders prepare for the fall and winter season, concern remains high as to When and IF the Wolfe Islander III will be back and what will replace the Frontenac II if it should break down in the meantime and, does MTO have an Emergency Plan in place?
2. The Good News from the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic is that Dr. Deanna Russell returns to the island October 8th for regular patient appointments Tuesdays from 2:30 pm to 4:45 pm followed by an after hours clinic till 6pm. Further Good News is the fact that Nurse Practitioner (NP) Bonnie Sparrow will continue to hold weekly Thursday Clinics from 9:00 to 11: 30 am. It is anticipated that these will clinics will be increased if there is sufficient demand. It should be noted the summer NP clinics were very popular and much needed. The WI Community Medical Clinic Board urges residents to keep an eye out for a notice ( in the near future) inviting them to a public meeting to determine the community’s interest in seeing the NP Clinics continue and even expand. Providing more and more in the way of health care services locally is their hope.
Around Town:** Wonderful news in Sacred Heart’s Church bulletin that Canon Chris Carr has been feeling much better this last while. **It is odd that a few of Conservative Candidate Andy Brooke’s signs disappeared. Maybe it had to do with grass cutting…* The rock in the bay going east out of the village keeps getting bigger which must mean the water is going down, Right George.** The new deployment model for paramedics (on-site 8 hours/ on-call 16 hours per day) at WI’s Ambulance Station is expected to improve emergency response time.
Coming Events: AMBUSH Sept. 18th 8 pm Tickets village businesses *HI Terry Fox Run Sept. 20th 9:30 am Info: 613 542 1905 ** Support the Medical Clinic A Play”Bus Stop” Domino Theatre Oct. 21* Frontenac Islands Council 6:30 pm WI Town Hall,Oct. 12th.
OP for Frontenac County nears completion
Some four years ago work on creating a “Made for Frontenac County Official Plan” was undertaken by the County’s Manager of Planning Services Joe Gallivan. Gallivan hoped to create a short document that would comply with Provincial policy and also recognize the unique aspects for development that arise in Frontenac County and each of its four townships. (North, South, Central and Frontenac Islands). Last week provided the opportunity for Frontenac County Council’s first look at what changes the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) was asking for in the county’s plan.
“The Plan was submitted last October,” Warden Denis Doyle Mayor of Frontenac Islands said citing the many meetings, discussions and e-mails of the past 10 months between MMHA and the County Planner. .” “Both Joe and MMAH are to be commended for their excellent work and cooperation. In fact they have jointly suggested changes that will make the document much clearer and avoid future disputes over wording, leaving us much further ahead in the process with a regional document that will help our townships deal with common issues.” (Much involved in the OP planning is Planner Peter Young and FYI - Frontenac County CAO Kelly Pender who in earlier years was a Planner.)
In their draft response to the Official Plan, county council accepted most of MMHA’s suggested revisions (50+). The most contentious issue being that the Ministry did not want any further building on private roads, which Mayor Doyle said would seriously reduce potential growth in the Frontenac's and other Ontario townships with a lot of waterfront. “Cottage life is attractive to many city dwellers on their time off,” he said . “Many end up retiring to their cottages, becoming full time residents of the community that they built in, on a lake somewhere in rural Ontario.”
For the past six months, the county has worked with other municipalities outside the county, and lobbied local MPP's on both sides of the house about the implications of that decision and called for changes to the OP legislation. Renfrew Highlands Mayor Brian Stewart and Mayor Doyle also spoke with the Minister Ted McMeekin at the AMO conference and received his support for changes, and his subsequent agreement on the words now in OP clause 184.108.40.206., worked out in conjunction with his staff and county staff, avoiding a possible appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. “Private Roads” The County is undertaking a private road study in 2015. The results will assist the County and its lower tiers in developing a measurable and enforceable mechanism aimed at creating reasonable and safe development of private roads.”
“This was the first time in my now 9 year’s in municipal government that I have seen a resolution so quickly,” Doyle said. “This was the one issue so important to the future of all Townships across Frontenac County that had to be resolved.” He noted that other changes are more to ensure there is a workable Official Plan that places prime planning at the Township level while the County will assume the day to day planning responsibility when it comes to overseeing land use across the County.
“When we started this OP project at the county, “Doyle said, “ our objective was to have a high level plan that
supported planning in our four municipalities, and not to duplicate efforts at the lower level, and we have accomplished that. With only a dozen clauses left to resolve we are confident that we will reach agreement quickly, finalizing the document, within the next two or three months,” he concluded.
2. Ferry Up Date. Well Folks , I was not going to do this But…. You will have read, heard or viewed MTO’s most recent announcement that the Wolfe Islander III will not be retuning the week after Labour Day as previously announced (but most of us knew that
Coming events: Domino Theatre A Play: “Bus Stop” Tickets $20. in support of WI Medical Clinic Oct. 21st ** AMBUSH CONCERT Sept. 18th…. A Fund Raiser, WI Community Centre ..tickets at island businesses.** Howe Island 10th Annual Terry Fox Run Sept. 20th beginning @ 9:30 am
Yes, ferry transportation is the single most important issue facing Wolfe Island, and, on an ongoing basis, Howe Island. Recently I was reminded by a member of the community that as far as the Wolfe Island service is concerned, islanders would not be struggling if the Township had agreed years ago that “a lengthened ferry” was the best solution to increasing much needed capacity. Perhaps in hindsight that solution offered by MTO should have been immediately accepted. A major concern was a possible increase in turn around times and reaching capacity very quickly again, which led to a township resolution for a two- boat -solution (The Wolfe Islander and a 2nd new ferry).
The recognition by the township that a lengthened ferry was MTO’s preferred solution came too late. Township officials went back to MTO with a request that the province move forward with the plan to lengthen the Wolfe Islander III which , we were told, was rather unceremoniously refused. So what happened was neither a lengthened boat nor a second one. Now Islanders wait for the Wolfe Islander, with a new bridge, to come home, and for a second ferry, of 75 cars.
Many things have changed over time. All land facilities are being updated and improved. Frontenac Islands officials and the public enjoy a good relationship and more transparency with local MTO personnel and meet with them on a regular basis. All of which led to the extras offered to island residents (shuttle bus, extra parking) and the service of wonderful students during this difficult period. Marysville businesses are struggling because the Wolfe Islander is out of service to the village and Amherst Island’s smaller, Frontenac II, ferry is in service not to the village but to the winter dock. WI residents believe the Wolfe Islander III will not be back until Thanksgiving. “Which one,” they ask, “theirs (American) or ours?”
2. Amid all this Wolfe Islanders are preparing to transition from having an incredible land fill site to a Recycling and Transfer Station. The date for closing the waste site is September 8th and its reopening with waste bins instead, is Wedneday Sept. 9th. Waste disposed of must be in bags, nothing loose is permitted. If it doesn’t fit in a bag it does not go in a bin. Shingles are no longer accepted. Organic compost bins are at the site. It is hoped that using them reduces the amount of waste for transfer (countertop organic waste containers are for sale at site or township office). Brush disposal is Saturday at the site
This is a big deal… This is a Big change … Long time islanders remember years past when garbage was left outside the gate for bird and rodents, whatever, to tear apart before it was cleared away and dumped into the great hole in the ground. Now they have been working hard for quite some time, with the dedicated help of Mae and her team, at recycling and reducing what is actual garbage from what in the future will be hauled off the island. Summer residents for the most part come from places where recycling , reducing and composting , tagged bags and bins are the norm, setting an example for others new to sorting, etc .
Capping of the waste disposal site has been awarded to Joe Smith Excavating and Haulage while the haulage and disposal of waste from the Wolfe Island Transfer station was awarded to Howard Jones Salvage. Transition Project Manager Guy Laporte, (AECOM) now retired to the island, knows the site well and stays involved. The site will be seeded for coverage before freeezing.
FYI: The Township recently passed a very comprehensive anti littering by-law, available at Frontenac Islands website. The By-Law may be referred to as the “Littering By-Law.”
Coming Events: *Canadian Plowing Championships on Wolfe Island August 26-29th Pykeview Meadows & Lollar Farm Conventual, Reversible and Junior. ** Photo Contest entries Now till Aug. 31st Info Centre/Town Hall **Nurse Practitioner at WI Medical Clinic Tuesday Aug. 25th, Sept. 1st (2:30-6 pm) & Thursday Aug. 27th; Sept. 3rd, (9-11 am) **AMBUSH CONCERT Sept. 18th…8 pm Tickets at local businesses. **Howe Island 10th Annual Terry Fox Run
Sept. 20th Jog, walk, or bike the 5km route beginning at How Island Drive $ Spit Head Road at 9:30 am Opening Ceremonies at 10: 15 am For info call 613 542-1905
Transportation Concerns Always Present
Frontenac Islands Mayor Mayor Doyle shared his greatest concern regarding MTO’s Regional ferry Services at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands council. “Imagine what could happen if any one of the three ferries presently in Service (Wolfe, Amherst, Glenora ) was out of service,” Doyle said as he revealed to council and members of the public the details of his personal visit to Tadoussac Quebec, where two NEW ferries will be coming into service in the near future, (Frontenac Gazette Aug. 12th) which could mean the availability, possibly “For Sale”, of the two 75 car ferries presently in service there . He reminded council members of the precarious situation that exists particularly for Wolfe and Amherst Islands if a ferry was damaged and rendered unserviceable. He has generated the interest of MTO in the possible availability of the Tadoussac-Baie-Sainte-Catherine ferries. He will meet with the Mayor of Loyalist Township (which includes Amherst Island) at the AMO conference, will also meet with the Warden of Prince Edward County at the Eastern Ontario Wardens meeting, to emphasize the impact of the present ferry situation. He hopes to meet with the candidates in the forthcoming federal election to gain their support for an more immediate ferry transportation solution for Wolfe Island and the region being made by MTO, such as the purchase of an already built ferry ( or two) at the completion of the EA or sooner.
2. ‘Garden Suite’ Approved. An interesting item came up during the public planning meeting when County Planner Peter Young described a proposal for the rezoning of a plot of land to permit the establishment of one temporary garden suite, for a temporary use of lands, and the erection of a building on Howe Island. According to Young, these kinds of proposals for ‘Temporary Garden Suites’ , usually for aging relatives, is being encouraged by the province, “originally proposed for 10 years , now can be approved for 20 years” on a property at which time it must be removed or a further extension applied for. The temporary use by-law is required to ensure that the suite is occupied by specified person (s) for a designated period of time.
An interesting discussion took place since the structure to be converted to a temporary garden suite already exists as an 850 sq. ft mobile home which will, with certain changes, meet required standards. It must be one storey or 4.5 m, no larger than its present size. In this instance, a permanent dwelling will also be built on the 45 acre property, an opposite situation to the usual. A series of regulations- time frame, occupancy ,right of way access etc, are to be drawn up in a contract. It would be built into the project with the township, the by-law officer and the county planning department , in conformity with the Townships (comprehensive) Zoning By-Law). The Garden Suite by-law was approved by council. Deputy Mayor Nossal expressed appreciation for the Temporary Garden Suite concept but noted that vigilance will be required in monitoring further development, occupancy and time frames, now and in the future.
Along with a number of other planning approvals, council also supported in principle a proposal that the Cataraqui Conservation Authority provide as-needed peer review services for Frontenac Islands planning applications.
3. Planning for the formal closure of the WI Land Fill site continues, as does the work required to organize the site as the WI Waste Transfer Station. Council awarded the tender for capping the site to Joe Smith Excavating and Haulage.. The haulage and disposal of waste from the Transfer Station was awarded to Howard Jones Salvage. Guy Laporte was present for the discussion and contract decisions.
4. The meeting agenda package received by members of council contained a notice from MP Daryl Kramp, that Frontenac Islands will receive funding in the amount of $53,350.000 for a total project cost of up to $106,700 through the ‘ Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program’. The township applied and received the grant is for some renovations to Wolfe Island’s historic and centrally located Community Hall (located behind the Town Hall) on the Main Street of Marysville.
5. The establishment and importance of No Smoking Regulations came up for discussion. Mayor Doyle will bring the issue to the County for a possible county wide decision on policy. Council Meets next in September
Around Town : * Walk-in Clinic, with Nurse Practitioner Sparrow, at the WI Medical Clinic Tues. & Thurs. till Sept. 3rd. is a wonderful addition to island Health Services. If offered on a permanent basis would reduce hospital wait times, anxiety , ferry trips and reduce health care costs.
Coming events:*Historical Society An Untold Story The Navy’s Role in Winning the War of 1812 Aug. 19th 7:30 WI United Church Hall. *Canadian Championship & WI Plowing, Pykeview Meadows Farm Aug, 26-29th.
A few weeks ago, news heard by a few Wolfe Islanders on the streets of Marysville was that a 75 car/ passenger ferry was for sale in Quebec’s Tadoussac region. Considering the kind of summer it has been for islanders transportation wise, and the news that the return of the Wolfe Islander was delayed yet again, it sounded like a great idea had been dropped our way. Don’t wait for the a plan to be completed or for the recommended 75 car passenger ferry to be built, suggest to MTO that they buy the one for sale and put it into service… as quickly as possible not just for Wolfe Island’s benefit, but for Amherst Island and Glenora, but there was no follow up at that point.
Since then, however there is also information available about new ferry development underway by the Davie Shipbuilding (Chantier Davie Canada Inc.) a leader in building harsh environment passenger /car ferries. Working with the Societe des Traversiers du Quebec (ferry operations) Davie Shipbuilding has two new ice-class ferries that will use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), plants nearing completion, and slated for operation at Tadoussac-Baie-Sainte-Catherine. That could mean of course that the existing two ferries presently on that route at this time might be: For Sale. .”
* Interesting to note that a 3rd smaller ferry is in service at Tadoussac if traffic is too heavy.
Frontenac Island’s Mayor Denis Doyle and WI’s Winfield Woodman, retired Chief Engineer for the MTO ferry services and a wise and experienced Boat Man, recently drove to Tadoussac . “We wanted to have a look at the JOS-DESCHENES and the seemingly identical ARMAND-IMBEAU, the two 75 car ferries that are being replaced,” Doyle said..“We travelled on both of these ferries and they looked to be in excellent shape. We were impressed with their efficiency of the operation, the loading of two lanes at a time on the 6 lane wide vessel (13-14 cars per lane). The only thing that might need modification are the ramps or the dock. With the experience that our ferry crews have loading the Frontenac II looking at the size of the deck, it looked substantially larger than the Wolfe Islander III, I am sure that they could get more than 75 cars on the boat.”
Mayor Doyle said he had spoken to MTO about the possible availability of these two ferries.”They checked it out and said it is certainly worth considering, with the only the ramps needing modification. I hope to get the photos we took to MTO quickly, and to discuss the possibility of picking up one or both of these ferries to avoid the kind of strife experienced this summer by residents of Amherst, Wolfe, and those crossing on the Glenora ferry.
Doyle suggested this (much less expensive than a new ferry) solution might speed delivery of the 2nd ferry for Wolfe Island in that once the EA is complete there would be no need to wait for the new ship to be built. He also noted that the Frontenac II came from the Davie shipyard , has served well and will continue to do so for many more years. “I am sure these previously used 75 car ferries would also last for many years,” Mayor Doyle concluded.
2. Wolfe Island Hosts 2015 Plowing Championships
Wolfe Island’s Ken Keyes and his team are ready and waiting to welcome elite plowmen and women from across Canada coming to the island for the Canadian Plowing Championships (CPO). Competitors from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick are scheduled to arrive for the event to be held August 26th- 29th at Pykeview Meadows farm. The Canadian Plowing Championships held annually consist of three national plowing contests. They are the Senior Plowing Championship with conventional plows, the Senior Plowing Championship with reversible plows and the Junior Plowing Championship with conventional plows. Keyes last welcomed Canadian Championship competitors, friends and plowing enthusiasts in 2008 when Wolfe Island hosted the CPO. “It is a privilege for Wolfe Island to be hosting this national event for the second time,” he said.
A series of meetings and receptions as well as a site review/ practice will take place before the official 2015 CPO Opening Ceremony (which includes celebrity plowing ) Wednesday, August 26th at 10 am. The Wolfe Island Plowing Match, usually held in September, will also be held Aug. 26th with registration at 8:30 am. The actual CPO competitions takes place over 3 days Aug. 28, 29, 30.
Much is planned for the event days including an auction, a barbeque, displays, arts and crafts and vendors showing their wares and more. An Awards Banquet with prize presentations and entertainment will close the national event.
And, as Frontenac County marks its 150th Anniversary in a three-day celebration at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith, August 28 – 30, Warden Denis Doyle is encouraging all county and neighbouring municipality residents to attend this “once-in-a-lifetime event, a time to celebrate our past, present, and bright future, and for visitors to discover our region. I hope you will join us, starting the week on Wolfe Island at the Canadian Plowing Championships, and cap off your summer at Frontenac County’s 150th Anniversary Celebration!”
A full schedule of 150th Anniversary activities is available at www.FrontenacCounty.ca/150.
Coming events: *Nurse Practitioner Sparrow at the Medical Clinic Tues. & Thurs. till Sept. 3rd. * Barrett Bay Regatta Aug. 16th Check WI Boat Club on Facebook.
The July 13th date arrived and with it as promised, news of the Wolfe Islander III from MTO. Not the news Wolfe Islanders , (Amherst or Glenora for that matter) wanted to hear announced within minutes of receipt of a press release, says it will instead return, “the week following Labour Day….”
That of course means much of the tourist season so important to Wolfe Island Businesses, the success of events, recreational activities, festivals, galleries, historical sites, local craft sales and the, not often mentioned Riverfront Golf Course, the Corn Maze, WI Wind Farm and Horne’s Ferry to the USA will continue to be affected by the delay in the ferry’s return one way or another….. But the ferry’s delay in returning might lead MTO to put in place, further creative ways to bring visitors to the island. How about Kingston Trolley buses going to Marysville as part of their route occasionally.
Frontenac Island’s Mayor Denis Doyle is discouraged with the delay and broken promises. “While I don’t want to dwell on this setback, we were concerned when told by MTO the ferry inspection would be done in the spring of 2015 not in the fall of 2014. We insisted the ferry had to be back for the May long weekend. A new bridge for the ferry was to be built during the winter and be ready for installation when the ferry arrived in Hamilton and the old bridge was cut off,” he said. On a visit to the drydock June 2nd Mayor Doyle noted very little bridge work and was told the steel required had not been ordered prior to the ferry’s arrival. “None the less it was hoped the ferry would be back in service by the end of June, or the July long weekend, then mid July and a week ago the end of July, in time for Family Ball, and Music Fest the next weekend. “You can appreciate our disappointment when informed , not to expect the Wolfe Islander until after Labour day. We don’t know what to believe.”
Doyle noted that with MTO’s track record of not meeting any project dates, the greater concern is with the EA for a new 75 car ferry, confirmed by MTO in Aug. 2014, and now underway with a consultant hired to carry it out. “It took until late June to get that far, and now they are saying 18 to 24 months to complete. We will continue to lobby for the 18 month time frame (early 2017) with a new ship by 2018. Mayor Doyle commented that islanders can’t wait much longer. Previous studies over the last 20 years have shown the Wolfe Islander is under capacity. “We will try to stay positive and work with the province to speed up the EA for the new ferry and to get over this latest, delayed return of the ferry from Hamilton.
2. The Wolfe Island Waste site will close September 8, 2015 It will be capped and seeded before the ground freezes. Beginning Sept. 9th bagged waste (no loose garbage permitted) must be deposited in waste bins. … if it doesn’t fit into a bag, it doesn’t go in the bin. The Township urges residents to reduce, reuse and recycle to reduce the amount of garbage going into the bins. Take advantage of the Organic Compost Bins at the waste site - thus reducing the amount of waste that needs to be transferred (off the island). Countertop Organic Waste Containers can be purchased at the Waste Site or Township office*As of August 15, 2015, shingles can no longer be disposed of at the waste site. ** Brush will only be accepted on Saturdays from 10 am until 5 pm.
3. During this busy summer season and in the absence of Dr. Deanna Russell the WI Community Medical Clinic is offering a Summer Walk-In” Clinic with Nurse Practitioner (NP) Bonnie Sparrow 2 half days a week, Tuesdays: 2:30 – 6:00pm & Thursdays: 9-11:30am.( June 30 until September 3) Canadians of all ages can be seen by a NP without interfering with the doctor to whom they may be rostered. American summer residents are welcome and are encouraged to make use of this (no charge) service. NP’s can diagnose illness and injuries, perform physical check-ups, order and interpret diagnostic tests, provide treatment, order procedures, refer clients to other health care professionals, prescribe medications and provide care to individuals of all ages, Manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, COPD and asthma
*The Medical Clinic bears all costs associated with Bonnie running this service, so there is no charge to see her and no charges to the Ontario Health Care system. The WI Medical Clinic Board encourages you to visit Bonnie have a health issue. To offset some of thecost to the clinic, donations are graciously accepted.
4. Laurie Hogan, daughter of Sharon and Owen Hogan is is at the Pan Am games participating as a Judge for the Men’s Field Hockey Team. Her love of the game began at Regiopols Notre Dame in the 90’s where she played for 5-years. During that time she started a league at the new dome complex that included girls from Regi and local high schoools. She also played Varsity Field Hockey during her 4 years at Carleton and remained active at the Canadian University level for the next 11 years. The Canadian Association felt she was ready for the international level and nominated her as an official with Pan Am federation and accepted in the fall of 2014. In May, Laurie attended a 3-day conference for judges from North and South America and the Caribbean held in Los Angeles. Exciting Times Laurie.
Coming Events: Fish Fry St. Margaret’s Hall July 31st , 4:30- 7:00 pm Adults $15.00 Take Out. Cash only at the door.*WI Music Festival Aug.7-8 Check website *John Sands Concert, WI United Church Sun Aug. 9th $10. Barret Bay Regatta Aug. 16th Check WI boat Club on Facebook ** Have you taken a picture yet for Photo Contest?
Wolfe Islands Tourist season is now fully Open for Business with island events and activities coming up weekly. Canada Day has come and gone…along with the US Independence Day weekend. Registration for the annual (August) Family Ball Tournament was held last week.. The Stone Heron Gallery opening hosted by owner Pat Sanford was a beautiful success. The gallery is open for the season as is the WI Information Centre. A Strawberry Social and a Canada Day Pancake Breakfast were held. The Pancake Breakfast offered WI’s Ken Keyes the opportunity to promote the Canadian Plowing Championship to be held on Wolfe Island prior to Frontenac County’s Anniversary festivities. And for WI’s Jim VandenHoek, vice chair of the County’s Anniversary Committee, to encourage attendance and participation at Frontenac County’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith, August 28th – 30th. www.FrontenacCounty.ca/150.
And, as the interest in horse events on the island gains momentum, the 2nd annual “Round Up” was held last week, as was the 35th Annual 5k-10k road race/walk in support of the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. .
The Boat Club has a full roster of programs, a book sale on the go, and their 10th annual wind & water festival takes place Aug. 16th. Bicycle rentals are available. The WI Historical Society welcomes visitors at the Old House Museum. The Wolfe Island Music Festival is eagerly anticipated as is the Ball Tournament and, of course, there is Big Sandy Bay, the Corn Maze, & the Wind Towers. Cyclists take advantage of the island’s rural roads and visitors enjoy travel on Horne’s ferry, going to and coming from Cape Vincent NY. And so it goes. One thing after another. AND…… of course everyone loves THE WOLFE ISLAND RIVERFRONT GOLF COURSE
2. It is a difficult summer for Wolfe Island businesses with the ferry service operating from the winter dock at Dawson Point until the return of the Wolfe Islander III. But the Ministry of Transportation(MTO) has provided shuttle bus services, increased its hours of operation, and has provided extra amenities at the dock as well. The Frontenac II is fast and, in spite of extra time involved in loading (to maximize its use), operates on time, but there are long lineups.
However it is the fact that the ferry is NOT operating from the Marysville dock that has village business owners and community event coordinators deeply concerned, particularly at this time when water levels are high enough.
MTO answers why not: “MTO has received inquiries from residents and others pertaining to water level and the ferry service,” according to MTO’s Brandy Duhaime, Regional Communications Coordinator, in reference to an MTO release that indicates the water level at the Marysville dock has increased by about seven inches in the past three weeks. “However, as in past years, the levels are expected to decrease into July and August,” she said. “Due to concerns expressed by the Wolfe Islander III captains regarding water levels and safely docking in Marysville, and the Ministry’s responsibility for offering a safe service, the Frontenac II will continue to dock at Dawson Point until the return of the Wolfe Islander III from dry-dock, anticipated the last week of July with possible confirmation by Monday, July 13th. If we risk docking the Frontenac II at Marysville and happen to damage this boat, there are no other ferries available to service the island while the Wolfe Islander is at dry-docking,” according to the MTO release.
But MTO is also aware of business loss concerns due to the ferry docking at Dawson Point raised by Marysville business owners. The ministry has a business loss claims policy and advises business owners wishing to discuss it to contact: Nancy Sinclair, Head of Property at 613- 545-4739.
**Further to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Regular Passengers: MTO was issued a Temporary Department of Transport (D.O.T.) Certificate valid until June 30, 2017, allowing regular traffic/passengers on ferry trips with gas trucks to begin when ALL D.O.T. conditions have been met. (Heritage July 2nd) MTO can not commit to a specific date for the first run carrying dangerous goods and regular passengers. MTO will provide a one week notice before it begins on the existing Thursday schedule. Wolfe Island ferry operating costs have been consistent for the last 2 years at $4.8 millions which includes staffing, fuel and other related costs.
Around Town:**Fr. de Souza, Pastor Sacred Heart Church, appointed Chair of External Advisory Committee (EAC) on religious freedom advising to the Office of Religious Freedom, Office of Foreign Affairs.** Lots of activity at the WI Land Fill as preparation for its closure and change to transfer site continues.** Work underway for gas tanks.
Coming Events:* John Sands concert at the Wolfe Island United Church August 9 at 7:00 p.m. His keyboard expertise allows him to create musical moods that foster peace and gladness. Reception. Tickets $10. For information: Margaret Pyke 613 385-2900.
You have heard the news on radio, seen it in print , on screen, announced at a press conference by Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala, that Morrison Hershfield Limited has been hired to undertake and complete the Preliminary Design and Environmental Assessment Study for a new, 75 car ferry for Wolfe Island by 2017. The study paid for by the province, will also determine docking improvements/ wildlife impacts at Wolfe Island (Marysville /Dawson Point) and at the Barrack Street Dock. While not originally announced, the $1.8 M value of the contract was later confirmed by Kiwala’s office. Only one other bid for the second ferry EA to Wolfe Island was received. The exact cost of a new ferry won’t be known until designed. (Once upon a time the estimated cost of a ferry was $30 M).
According to MTO this is the first time that an environmental assessment study has been undertaken for a 2nd ferry on an existing route . A study in 2011 acknowledged capacity issues with the Wolfe Islander III. It can’t meet the demand of the ever increasing number of vehicles waiting in line for longer and longer periods of time. It was determined that a second ferry will increase capacity . But when ? Mayor Doyle hopes for the new 2nd “boat“ by 2018 . The EA announcement suggests a 2nd ferry between 2018-2020. “Maybe this means we’re closer to seeing the launch of a new 75 car ferry.” Good News if all goes well….
But Bad News for those who don’t believe it; for those who say they have heard it all before.. many times… And Bad News particularly for the Marysville Business Community struggling already because the smaller Frontenac 2 continues to operate from the winter dock in the absence of the Wolfe Islander. Will it, the Wolfe Islander on its return, operate from Marysville? The number of cyclists arriving at Dawson Point is on the rise but the number of walk-ons from Kingston is down, Americans coming to WI by way of Horne’s ferry, going on to Kingston are frustrated by waiting times. Although use of the welcome “Shuttle Bus Service” provided by MTO is on the increase, could/can WI’s Business Operators survive another 4/5 years, let alone the Summer of 2015 without a ferry operating from the village? But….
Hope springs eternal on Wolfe Island- Some time ago a petition went from Wolfe Island calling upon MP Ted Hsu to intervene on behalf of Frontenac Islands to the Federal Minister of Transport, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, with regards to removing the dangerous goods restriction presently on the Wolfe Island ferry service. And for the Ministry to issue a certificate permitting the ferry to carry vehicles once again along with the empty gas trucks returning to Kingston. According to Mayor Doyle, Minister Raitt listened to MP Hsu, understood the importance of the issue and called upon her staff to ‘get it done.’ “And they have. The dangerous goods restriction has been removed and a certificate issued requiring completion of certain work on the ferry… Our MP Ted Hsu has worked very hard on our behalf and we are grateful to him,” the mayor said.
Clarifying what needs to be done, Regional Communications spokes person Brandy Duhaime, said MTO is working towards implementing the changes approved by Transport Canada allowing regular traffic/passengers to travel on the ferry with dangerous goods. “We need to finalize the appropriate staff training, install portable foam firefighting equipment and adhere to all the conditions in Transport Canada’s Certificate. We are looking to implement toward the end of July, pending any delays,” she said. “The portable, foam fighting equipment, which can be used on the Wolfe Islander III and/or the Frontenac II is ordered. However, staff training and the implementation of a “No Smoking” policy must be in place prior to the first run carrying passengers and dangerous goods. MTO will inform the public of the changes and expected time of implementation closer to the actual date.”
Around Town: Senior MTO Captain Brian Johnson retired this week. As the ferry’s horn sounded loud across Kingston, Capt. Johnson with his wife Cathy close by, slowly walked off the ferry, threw his cap high overboard and with tear filled eyes walked into the embrace of a waiting crowd there to thank him for his many years of service , his friendship & dedication to the island he loves, and to the ships he sailed, and to wish him well at whatever he chooses to do.. no doubt not far from the water, whether that be with the “ferry tales” he tells or with the ”boats” he finds to sail. Thanks Capt. Johnson. …
Coming events:**WI Classic 5k-10 k Road Race in support of WI Medical Clinic Sun. July 5th. If you can’t run, show support by walking awhile. ** Stone Heron Gallery is Open.**Wolfe Island Round UP July 4th. **WI Boat Club book sale June 25- July 5th.** WI Yard-Vendor Sale July 4th Community Centre grounds. **Visit the Craft and Gift shop at the Wolfe Island Community Hall behind Town Hall Open Daily. ** July/August, Sacred Heart Church, Sat. Evening Mass 5:00 pm. Visit: wolfeisland.com.
Members of Frontenac County Council along with county staff members travelled to Wolfe Island on the Frontenac 2, for their regular June meeting most leaving vehicles behind to get there. As part of Frontenac County’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations, council is rotating meetings through the four Townships: North, Central Frontenac, Frontenac Islands, and finally, South Frontenac in July. County Warden Mayor Denis Doyle, Betty Doyle and Frontenac Islands staff greeted county council as they arrived at the island’s newly decorated Information Centre offering coffee etc. before they moved to the WI community Hall, set up for the meeting. Joining Warden Doyle were Deputy Warden Frances Smith (Central Frontenac) and Councillors John McDougall (South Frontenac); John Inglis (North Frontenac);Frontenac Islands Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal; Tom Dewey (Central Frontenac); Ron Vandewal (South Frontenac). CAO Kelly Pender, Jannette Amini, Legislative Services, along with staff members. The meeting, held in the community hall, had already begun its annual, summer transformation to become the Stone Heron Gallery (June 26th) with art pieces large and small and beautiful stained glass already in place. that beautiful morning.
Frontenac County’s Anne Marie Young dressed in period costume, and referred to as” Millie Murphy”, brought greetings on behalf of the County’s 150 Anniversary Planning Advisory Committee, urging all citizens to attend the150th Anniversary Celebrations coming up Aug. 28-30th in Harrowsmith.
1.Presentations: a) Ms. Denise Cumming, University Hospitals Kingston Foundation addressed County Council regarding Kingston’s hospitals and how support from the County of Frontenac has helped to further healthcare for the region.
b. WI’s Dr. Barrie Gilbert brought information about Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Cities Initiative and its value to the county faced with water resources issues. “It is important to remember it not just about the number of lakes, we have to pay attention to shorelines where things are happening, development, pollution, agricultural runoff, septic, etc. We are inclined to look at lakes and fish and water quality but all of the materials from our industrialized society also come down into Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, resources the county relies on. Right now a major concern is phosphorus, and it effects on the water,” which Gilbert described as he continued his presentation. County Council acknowledged the value and importance of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Cities Initiative to protect the waterways, and communities close to them and will become a member of this initiative
2. It was at this point Warden Doyle gave over his chair to Deputy Warden Smith as they entered into a committee of the whole. .”We do this a little differently now, “ he announced. “ It’s a little more relaxed part of the meeting allowing greater participation.” What followed then was CAO Kelly Pender’s monthly report, with staff members (planning, finance, sustainability etc.) providing information and answering questions.. There followed reports by Council Liaison Appointees Emergency and Transportation Services - Councillor Nossal (also Youth Justice Advisory Committee); Long Term Care (Fairmount Home) - Councillor Inglis; Corporate Services - Councillor Dewey; Planning and Economic Development - Councillor McDougall. And so it proceeded…
It did not take long for Frontenac Islands Council to pass a resolution that will allow the township to move forward with the proposed WI Seniors Housing project, The Housing project took centre stage at their meeting on Howe Island when Frontenac County’s Planning Director, Joe Gallivan, reminded council of the county’s Strategic Plan prioriies to upgrade senior housing and transportation. That decision was followed by the establishment of a Seniors Housing Task Force and with Frontenac Islands – Wolfe Island ward stepping up first (for 1 of a possible 4 county projects). Following a study process initiated by the county, public meetings etc. SHS Consulting presented a Business Plan for Seniors Housing – Marysville project (March). “This meeting provides the next step between endorsing the project and getting to what we call the pre-development stage, Gallivan said. “ In between you need to make some commitments to show county council your preparedness to move forward that includes extending roads, land acquisition for this and further projects, and the establishment of a non profit organization to oversee it.’’ Council’s resolution and acceptance of the recommendations, once received by county council (July), will allow the county to provide monies for WI’s project. (already set aside from gas tax ?). Following discussion about occupancy eligibility , future projects and costs to taxpayers, council accepted the required commitments and resolved to move forward.
2. Public Works Manager Rob Dillabough presented his first report to council since his arrival 3 weeks ago. Dillabough said that he had been touring the islands Howe, Wolfe, & Simcoe. “In July I will be bringing back a number of issues for council’s consideration and decision as to what should be dealt with in the short term.” His report identified pending issues in numerous areas including Simcoe ramp access, spill kits at township pumps, and uniforms. Councillor Higgens asked if he was aware of Howe Island ferry issues. A resident asked who is responsible for the HI Trail. (All Council members had issues for consideration). Manager Dillabough said he is only aware of some issues at this time. CAO Plumley expressed her satisfaction with having Dillabough on board.
3. WI “Friends of Feral Cats”, an association of island residents formed in March, want to stabilize the feral cat population on the Island, estimated to be over the 300 already identified. Group members Jana Mills and Linda Thomas sought council’s support to carry out plans to organize and undertake a Spay/Neuter program for the island. They have been in touch with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, and Welland’s Spay Neuter Clinic, to determine possibility of bringing their spay/neuter mobile to the island. If it happens , they are asking to use the community centre building as a recovery unit. Chris Brown and Teilard Frost, local musicians, will hold a fund raising concert (July) for the program using the rink to increase revenue possibilities. The group, not yet registered as a “not for profit”, asked if they might apply for grants under the township’s umbrella. The Township will issue a letter of support for the project, pay for issuance of a flyer ($75) and consider their latter request for the next meeting.
4. MTO is prepared to offer ‘Priority Boarding’ for: * Agricultural commodities, one truck per sale provided the truck is in line 20 min. before trip, except at 3, 4, 5, and 6 pm departing from Kingston and 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 & 9 am departing from Wolfe Island. * Asselstine Milk Transport Ltd. ‘ as needed’ basis June 1-Sept. 30th * Specific boarding opportunities for trailers during Rob & Erin’s Round Up weekend. * Priority for attending Nurses on case by case basis; for transport of Blood products. The number of trips Thursday’s Dangerous Goods has been reduced to one only per day at 6:15 am from Kingston; 11 am from Wolfe Island. (This will return to 2 trips a day in the fall.) MTO and the Township continue to discuss furthers options.
FYI: In advance of the council meeting, Frontenac County Planners Joe Gallivan and Peter Young held a Frontenac Islands Phase 2 meeting to continue updating the townships zoning bylaw amendment to ensure its conformity to the Township’s Official Plan. “With Phase 1 technical corrections completed, Phase 2 was an opportunity for review and to hear from the public what could improve the by-law . We also received letters/ emails from residents. This is an important process,” Young said.
Around Town: *MTO announced that the Wolfe Islander III will not be back until the end of July. Earlier maybe or later perhaps ? ** Speaking of the Wolfe Islander, its much respected senior Captain Brian Johnson is retiring after 34 years . Come out and celebrate with Capt. Johnson, Tues. June 23rd, 7.pm at the Kingston Dock, later at The Merchant. ..** Friends of Big Sandy Bay-WI Boat Club 10 day Book Sale starts at the Boat Club in Marysville, Friday June 26th to Sun. July 3rd. Visit www.wolfeislandboatclub.ca .** During May Shanti Retreat collected and matched donations for Canadian Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. Visit shanti retreat.com
Events: ..** Friends of Big Sandy Bay-WI Boat Club 10 day Book Sale, Friday June 26th to Sun. July 3rd. at Boat Club Visit: www.wolfeislandboatclub.ca *** Robert Graham and band at The Grill: Saturday, June 27 at 9:00pm ** WI Medical Clinic-WI Classic 5k-10 k Sun. July 5th. Two (2) Shuttle buses hourly all day from winter dock. Register at Running Room. Visit WI Medical Clinic Facebook ** WI Round-Up - Team Sorting Competition July 4th and 5th at the WI Community Centre.
Busy Days ahead on Wolfe Island as the summer season of events begins in earnest. At this time Howe Islanders who want to know why their taxes are so high, have been invited to a meeting organized by the Howe Island Ratepayers Association (HIRA), with Frontenac County CAO Pender, and Warden Denis Doyle, (also Mayor of Frontenac Islands), Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal and Councillor Bruce Higgs, to be held on Howe Island Thursday, June 18, 2015 at St. Philomena Parish Hall at 7:30 Pm to find out why. Wolfe Islanders are welcome.
Howe Island is not a tourist destination in the same way as is Wolfe Island. Cyclists, bird watchers and fund raising events (Terry Fox run for instance,) and an annual dinner are popular. Howe Islanders have undertaken the establishment of a park, and anniversary memorial and revamping their community centre grounds. Many maintain an interest in local politics and attend council meetings on a regular basis.
*On Wolfe Island right now, although the smaller Frontenac 2 ferry is operating from the winter dock at Dawson Point, the number of visitors to the island is increasing daily. Cyclists are coming in droves. Walkers take the distance from the ferry to the village of Marysville in stride. And of course the ‘Shuttle Bus’ supported by MTO, provides a much needed service for visitors who Park and Ride or just walk on from Kingston. For some events extra transportation is provided.
*The bells at the Wolfe Island United Church will have been rung 90 times Wed. June 10th (along with UC Churches across the province) to acknowledge the 90th Anniversary Celebration of the United Church of Canada established in 1925. The church’s small, but mighty parish, will make a joyful noise that day and serve cupcakes on the lawn when it is over.
*WI’s OLD HOUSE MUSEUM in Marysville, right beside the Island Grill, has been identified as one of 14 county locations for Frontenac County’s “Doors Open” event Saturday, June 13th —opened for the public to discover the county’s history during its 150th Anniversary Year. The museum, owned by the township, is thought to be the island’s oldest building. It is operated by the WI Historical Society and offers many different displays. But it is perhaps the stories you will hear about island life in the past from enthusiastic volunteers that will keep you spell bound. The Museum will be open from 10 am-4 pm. on that day (as are all other locations). www.FrontenacMaps.ca/DoorsOpen
*A former WI resident musician Robert Graham, (vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter) is bringing his 6 piece band “The Fairest and Best” to the “The Island Grill” on Sat. June 27th at 9 pm. “I hope you can come,” Robert said in a note. ”I have a bunch of new songs. I would love you to hear them! Robert and Kerryn became part of the community following their arrival from Australia. Robert played at church/community events and volunteered when music was required. Kerryn offered her distinct artistic talents. It will be great to see him at “The Island Grill” and to hear him sing and play. Join us…..
*WI Horse enthusiasts were busy in early spring tidying up the community centre grounds, along with other community volunteers, for regular events and the regular season of the Horse Associations ‘Barrels & Keyhole’, ‘Flag & Poles’ where even children participate. More island children than ever are learning to ride, have horses and yearn to join in.
- Rob and Erin White, the 4th generation of White's on a family farm, will welcome horse men and women to their 2nd annual WOLFE ISLAND ROUND UP to be held 4 & 5 of July, at the WI Community Centre Grounds. Deadline for entries, Friday June 12th. A ‘Round Up’ allows a team of 3 on horseback 60 to 90 seconds to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd and put them into a pen. The first ‘Round Up’ in 2014 had more than 70 participants. The White’s also hold regular ‘ Ranch Sorting’ and ‘Team Penning’ events on their farm that involve moving specific cattle on horseback by riders in timed events, all intended to preserve the traditional skills of working cow horses and handlers. Check their website: www.whitelanefarm.com FYI. White Family members operate the well known White’s Carriage–Sleigh-Wagon Ride business popular on the island and in Kingston.
*Coming in July is the Wolfe Island Classic 5k-10k Run Walk sponsored by the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. The date is Sunday, July 5th at 9:30 am. All profits from the WI Classic support the WI Medical Clinic. The Clinic operates through fund raising, donations, gifts and a grant of $5000 annually from Frontenac Islands Township. It has a volunteer board of directors. Past President Liz Crothers encourages island residents and friends of whatever age, who do not, or cannot run, to Come Out to the Race and Walk instead, for whatever distance you are able….. in support of the Clinic ‘s objectives to provide as much health care as possible locally. Hope YOU are planning to participate
Around Town: *Summer appears to have arrived. Wind Tower maintenance underway, *Rain has blessed the fields. *We pray for our much loved, very ill, Rev. Canon Chris Carr.
A contract for services with Bonnie Sparrow NP (Nurse Practitioner) was announced by president Liz Crothers at the WI Community Medical Clinic AGM. The contract for two, half -day clinic’s per week (Tues. PM-Thurs. AM) with NP Sparrow will cover the 10 week summer period, (during Dr. Russell’s personal leave from late June to Labour Day) Ms Sparrow is not replacing Dr. Russell. The Clinic will pay for her services. “In my practice in Sydenham I did everything,” Sparrow said. (Diagnose, prescribe, refer, dispense etc.) “But I do not have access to Dr. Russell’s patients , so what we will have is a drop-in clinic on Tuesdays as usual, and a different kind of clinic on Thursday’s .” It was noted that there is no rostering, no cost for islanders and U.S. A. guests who use the service. “This our opportunity to demonstrate the need for a Nurse Practitioner permanently on the island. If we can, perhaps the Medical Clinic can get funding to hire a NP full time. We have to,” Liz said.
She outlined the programs that the clinic presently provides. and thanked the many volunteers, nurses, Mae, receptionists, blood transporters. and so many others who step forward with donations, or to help in some way. Services include: flu shot clinic, specimen collection service monthly 1st & 3rd Friday’s, Dr. Russell’s walk-in clinic, the paramedicine clinic, & a athletic therapist weekly at a cost. It should be noted that the WI Classic 5-10 k is the Clinic’s main fund raiser . “ Support the Clinic., enter and walk if you can’t run,” Liz suggested. Donations, bottle refund and support from the township provided other income. Treasurer Wilma Sjonger said in her report. We are doing well.
Changes to the board: Liz has completed her term as president. Leaving the board are Sue Bowers & Linda Van Hal. Remaining members include Hugh Cowan, Wayne Grant, Sally Kane, Wilma Sjonger, & Suzanne O’Reilly. New members elected: Linda Thomas, Jackie Bird, Jane Woodman, and Paul Taenzer reelected.
.Health care has always been a concern on Wolfe Island, as an isolated rural community dependant on a ferry for hospital and physician care. Before regular ferry transport island history tells us that in the early days, before regular ferry transport midwives tended to births and when the island’s population was at its highest in the mid 1800’s, a number of physicians lived and practiced on the island. Perhaps all islanders are aware of the name of Dr. Wm. Spankie who maintained a practice from 1885-1930. and those of nurses, Carmel Cosgrove, Louise Flynn, and many others who over the years were called upon to tend to the needs of ill or maimed islanders separated from hospital and emergency health care, for all of those recorded early years, which improved only as the ferry service improved.
The first Wolfe Island Health Clinic, a 12’ x 52’ mobile home opened in 1972. It was located on the property of clinic founder, Dr. George Mary, and his wife Catherine, an RN. It was bought and paid for through fund raising, and donations from Garden, Simcoe, and Wolfe Island residents, and cottagers. Also from Kingston businesses , all enthusiastic about the project and encouraged to do so by the Clinic Committee.
Dr. Merry’s vision was that the clinic would eventually be staffed by a Nurse Practitioner and /or a doctor full time and provide a variety of services.( FYI Dr. Merry also initiated the Island’s first Volunteer Ambulance Service again through donations, & fund raising.)
Since then much has occurred. The Clinic was moved (1981?) to property beside the Ambulance /Fire Services Building, donated by Mildred Hawkins- Walton, a driving force in the clinic’s viability. City Doctors serviced the island over the years, notably Dr. Hugh McBride in the 80’s, followed by the arrival of the Victorian Order of Nurses. The township hoped an isolated community designation might lead to hiring a Nurse Practitioner. Instead the Clinic closed for a time until Kingston’s Dr. Hans Westenberg began holding a weekly half day clinic beginning in 2003, until the WI Clinic fire in May of 2008.
Under the leadership of Mildred Walton and a strong board of directors the replacement of the WI Community Medical Clinic began on the same site and with the same enthusiasm from the community. There were donations of time resources, and money which the clinic, not a provincially funded facility, continues to rely on to operate. The new building is paid for…. The dreams of what it could become, remain. And todays clinic board of directors continues to search out ways of providing services locally so residents , those not requiring an ambulance, need not take the ferry to Kingston to receive care, perhaps a prescription, whose issues could be dealt with in a staffed clinic by a health care professional. Maybe this time with Nurse Practitioner Sparrow to help, the WI Community Clinic Board will finally be able to prove the value of providing medical care locally, as much possible .
Around Town: *We need rain very badly. * The numbers using the Shuttle Bus are on the rise.. sort of. * Good to see so many out walking in spite of little mayflys (?) buzzing round. *WI Friends of Feral Cats will hold a fund-raising concert and silent auction this summer in support of their spay-neuter initiative. Anyone with items to donate could
contact Gail Kenny 613 385 2365
Coming Events:*Specimen Collection Clinic 1st & 3rd: Friday June 5 & June 19 – 8 to 10 am *Paramedecine “WELLNESS” Clinic monthly 1st Friday June 5th 8:30 am to 12 *WI United Church Hall Rummage Sale –Silent Auction. Sat. June 6th, 9am- 2pm. Contact :Diane 385-2411 - Linda:385-2665
More than 50 persons attended a special Wolfe Island meeting called by Frontenac Islands Council to determine whether municipal funds in the amount of $ 180, 000 should be spent to provide a private gas outlet on public land on Wolfe Island. The island has been without a gas outlet since Mosier’s closed that part of their service centre in 2014. The tenor of the meeting as it got underway certainly indicated a strong wish by the public to resolve the problem of “NO GAS”. It was a meeting to say YES to a gas outlet on the island, in this instance a card lock system at the Municipal Works yard for use by the public and YES to spending tax payer dollars to do it. And in the end, it got done..
FYI- A survey conducted in February 2014 indicated high public interest in establishing an outlet. CAO Plumley received an “unsolicited “ proposal from McKeown Wood Ltd for a card lock facility. A grant submission for $100,000 was made to CFDC by the township confirming community support and provisions for a lease agreement for fuel at the island’s Public Works property. A grant of only $50,000 was approved and hd to be accepted within a 30 day time frame or is lost. The McKeown Wood Cardlock proposal is also constrained by a time element expressed clearly by Jim Wood at a recent council meeting.
Early in the meeting meeting Mayor Doyle invited comments from a public who expressed anger and frustration with the process. Each in turn pleading with council to get on with it for the sake of the community, its survival, its viability.
George Merry put it this way” I’ve read what the bean counters have to say but my concern is for this community. We have lost so much through regulations. We have lost a gas outlet, a camp ground. We are down to one grocery store and housing sales are slow. Try to build a house on your own property and you will be so regulated, you can’t afford to build. I love the island and I will stay but we can’t keep losing. We are not viable any more.”
Mike Hawkins called on council to think about islanders. “I pumped gas in my uncle’s place when I was a kid. It was important for the island then. It is important for the island now. We need gas. . We’ve lost a store, the sewage truck, we have to bring water over. I want my Wolfe Island back. Don’t be afraid . Make a decision. Just do it,” he said.
Another quiet voice called on the mayor to live up to promises made on the campaign trail. “The community is going down the tubes. Do what you said you would. We need this outlet. “ However Jarda Zabarovsky , a gas committee member believes it will be hard to reach the 100,000 litres of fuel, unless every one uses the proposed system.
At this point, Mayor Doyle called on Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal to take over the chair explaining that he wished to bring forward additional information ( perhaps too late in the process) regarding a possible 2nd unsolicited proposal for a municipally owned gas outlet slightly different in its financial structure. “This is not to slow things down . Council wants to see gas on the island as much as the community does,” Doyle said.
Resident Hugh Cowan spoke about the McKeown Wood Ltd. Business Plan that he and CAO Plumley had worked on and outlined the cost to the township of a municipally owned facility. “This is a perfect time for council to rise above numbers, to go ahead and take a risk based on community need.” He noted gas transport requirements and survey results identifying gas as a major priority next to transportation.
Questions were asked and answered between some shouts (nasty and nice). “Spend the money was the plea.” Councillor Springgay and Councillor Grant were solidly behind the project without further delay in response to requests during the election campaign. There were time line reminders from the company and ‘use it or loose it’ reminders from CFDC ‘s Anne Pritchard.
Mayor Doyle’s repeated concerns about elements of the municipal act, spending taxpayers money wisely , due process and of course whether it would be better to wait, go for an RFP (request for proposals). frustrated islanders. All of which came up between loud cries for “Let’s Keep going. We need this now. Vote for it.. You don’t have a choice…” Councillor Springgay… said again, “Its time to vote. It’s the right thing to do… CAO Plumley said she is comfortable with the solicitor Tony Fleming’s report ”but I will confirm everything with him again,” she said. tomorrow, “ she said.
Finally a unanimous ,recorded vote to go ahead with the project was passed. Frontenac Islands will enter into an agreement with McKeown Wood Ltd. for a cardlock system and further that the grant from FCFDC be received for this purpose. Deputy Mayor Nossal reminded all in attendance that “we are required to do our due diligence and as difficult as that may be we accomplished that tonight. In the end it is clear every one wanted the same thing.. “A Gas Outlet on Wolfe Island.”
Around Town:* Thanks to MTO for the Shuttle Service, Washroom services and of course the diligence of the ferry crews. *Marysville is beginning to buzz as workers/tourists adjust to using the bus . *Fishing has begun and boats are in the water.*The Boat Club is looking for help and participants. * Stone Heron Gallery opens Late June. * Check out the Island Grill web site also that of the WI Music Festival, WI Community Centre, WI Riverfront Golf. Horne’s Ferry to Cape Vincent, *Shanti Retreat *
Coming Events: WI Medical Clinic AGM Wed. May 27th 6:30 at the Clinic Come celebrate successes of the past year meet Bonnie Sparrow a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner, who will operate the walk-in clinic two partial days per week 30 June to 3 September *Pickell Band to Play at Trinity Anglican, Friday, May 29th, 8pm. $20 at the door
Frontenac Islands Council will be holding a public meeting at the Community Hall on the Holiday Monday May 18th , to get the process for establishing a Card Lock Gas Delivery System back on track. This came about at the regular May meeting of council that included a By-Law to enter into a Card Lock System Lease agreement with McKeown and Wood Fuels Ltd. The passage of the by-law was deferred much to the displeasure of many of the residents in attendance. Others questioned the process and the costs to the community for the service. One person noted that the municipal funding was not included in the 2015 approved budget and it should require public input before it is committed.
In his presentation, Jim Wood representing the McKeown Company, said he had approached CAO Plumley to see if there was a way to provide fuel to Wolfe Island residents . It was determined that the only way was through collaboration with the municipality in a card lock system. The municipality would purchase and own the fuel storage and dispensing system on township land, and would lease the facility to McKeown and Wood, who would operate and manage the site and set up accounts for island residents. “ Profit lines and numbers are tight,” Woods said, “ but I see it as a worthwhile project.”
The information sheet noted fuel at an average price of 2.5 cents per litre above the average retail rate. At this time, only the island’s Ambulance and Fire Services could make use of the proposed service, neither could personal cards, other than debit cards, be used together with a Card Lock card. Payback to the municipality would be based on litres sold plus annual rent. The total cost to the Township for the project would be $200,000, of which $50,000 has been received from a grant, and the balance would come from Wind Tower reserves. Jim Wood stated it was a very tight timeline for the project.
It was at this point, following the Woods presentation, that Mayor Doyle expressed concerns about the project relative to the Municipal Act that covers circumstances under which a community can support a commercial operation, noting the need for a detailed Business Plan that would indicate how long before there is payback to the municipality. “Then there is the new Bill 8 that calls for complete transparency and outlines that the Provincial Auditor has the right to come into any Municipality at any time, review any decision of council and reverse it,” Doyle said. “We need to make sure that we have done our homework and completely understand what we are getting into with a business plan
outlining our assumptions and risks. Did we put out an RFQ, have a detailed business plan, etc. If we voted on this tonight we would have a difficult time saying we have completed all that’s required”
Councillor Springgay was clearly frustrated.” We know what we want. Legally we can proceed. It seems we are going backwards on this issue. ” she said.
FCFDC’s Ann Pritchard spoke to the urgency of completing what needs to be done to proceed and the value of the gas project to the community. There is a 30 day acceptance period for the $50,000 grant (received May 4th)
Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal said community values accessibility should be considered as well. “I don’t know how you quantify that for your analysis, but the non financial benefit and what it accords the population is important. So How soon can a business plan and public meeting be done?”
Acknowledging the anxiety of the public at that point , the Mayor Doyle said, “I don’t want to rain on this parade. We all agree there is not a person on this island who does not want a local gas station,” he said. “The question is do they want to invest $200,000 in the project. Do we have all our facts together to move forward.”
In Other Business:1. Council appointed Rob Dillabough as the Public Works Manager for the Frontenac Islands. 2. Frontenac By-Law Enforcement Inc. was appointed as the service provider for Animal Control and By-Law Enforcement. 3. This year’s 17th Annual Music Festival organizers have been authorized use of the Community Centre Grounds from Aug.6th- Aug.9th with overnight camping Aug. 6 and 7.
Around Town : WI Bakery is now Open also Mosier’s Variety * We Welcome Summer students to the Ferry Service. *The Shuttle Bus Service supported by MTO is now in Full Operation available for Residents and Visitors. As of Monday, May 11th, a free shuttle service on Wolfe Island is carrying ferry riders between the Dawson's Point Dock and Marysville. The shuttle runs continually during the week from 7:30am - 7:30pm and on weekends from 9:45am - 8:45pm. There are two stops in Marysville: one for pedestrian traffic right in the village at the summer dock and one at the Sacred Heart of Mary Church parking lot. The shuttle will operate while the smaller Frontenac II replaces the Wolfe Islander III currently in dry-dock. It requires higher water levels so must use the Dawson Point to dock. “Residents, visitors and businesses are feeling the impact of the smaller ferry. I strongly encourage people to take advantage of the shuttle service, as it reintroduces the option of parking and walking on the ferry,” according to Mayor Denis Doyle.”It will also allow our tourists to hop on the ferry, take the bus and explore Marysville by foot.
EVENTS: ** Feral Cat Rescue Meeting WI Town Hall on Sunday, May 24, from 1- 3 p.m. **The Brian Pickell Band plays at Trinity Anglican Church, Friday, May 29th, 8pm. $20 at the door, Children Free Shane Cook, fiddle; James Stephens, fiddle, mandolin and viola; Pat O’Gorman, flute, whistles and pipes. Julie Schryer, piano. Brian accomplished composer, guitarist, and banjo/mandolin player.** Robert Graham and Band coming to the Island Grill Sat, June 27th at 9pm. Mark your calendar,
I recall an editorial in the Kingston Whig in 2003 or 2004 that suggested if golf and tourism generally took off on Wolfe Island, Islanders would have to decide whether they really wanted change and if they did what about transportation? No, I am not going to talk about transportation, not really. How about tourism instead.
We are well into the month of May and Marysville on Wolfe Island has begun to come alive in anticipation of another busy tourist season. The winter entrance to the WIPP is gone, the sound of happy voices is heard through the open windows. Across the street a billboard announces that at the Island Grill is now open weekends, Thurs/Friday 11 am, and Sat./Sun. 10 am all to midnight. The General Wolfe Hotel is open. Fargo’s is gearing up for the first large influx of summer guests over the May long weekend. At the same time the Wolfe Island Riverfront Golf Course, on the south shore of the Island facing the United States and the international shipping channel, is open and welcoming golfers. And the Horne’s Ferry to Cape Vincent (with Customs both sides) has begun its regular “May 1st to Thanksgiving” service. At the same time Big Sandy Bay is staffed and opens to the public, weekends only from May 16th to June 20th, and full time daily after that till September, all with full time security.
Looking across the many open fields the cows and beef cattle with their romping, playful calves have been enjoying the fine weather and the outdoor grazing. The commercial fish nets are in the water. At the same time at Joy Boatworks, Bill and Michelle Joy are working hard to get the many stored boats ready and launched. (they, by the way, have taken over the Boat Works from Dave.) The Wind Towers are turning. Metal Craft Marine appears busier than ever. The Shanti Retreat has begun its new spring/summer season. The WI Day camp for children 5-12 is taking registrations. The Info Centre will open as will the Stone Heron (summer art gallery), and the Gift Shop as well, The Old House Museum, the Boat Club and White’s Wagon’s always in service.
There has been No Change to a long list of events scheduled for the summer months including a Fish Fry, the Island Classic Road Race, The Round Up, The Music Festival, Sorting Horse events, Canadian Plowing Match , the WI Plowing Match, Apple Fest, Pumpkin Fest, Barrett Bay Regatta, Book Sale, Family Ball, Music events, etc., etc. No doubt there are more.
And of course the seed trucks are arriving daily with corn, soy bean, hay, grains, etc., and incredible equipment is at the ready to continue planting them in the fields. Canada Geese, wild turkeys, & deer roam those fields devouring what was left on the ground before the snow in the late fall. O’Kee’s organic vegetable farm is selling shares at this time. Landscaping and gardening have begun in earnest. Trillium and crocuses have ventured out of the ground after a cold hard winter. Birds of many varieties are back. Swans and even frogs can be heard late evening and during the night. Fox and their playful kits are fun to sight. The osprey seem without fear as they fly high and low swooping regularly over the line of vehicles waiting for the ferry.
It is quite obvious with all that, TOURISM IS IMPORTANT TO WOLFE ISLAND, in spite of capacity problems with the ferry. Problems made even worse this summer with the Wolfe Islander III in dry dock and not expected back till late summer, and the smaller Frontenac 2 landing at the winter dock away from Marysville, the heart of most of it.
An Islander once said “the island needs to become totally self sufficient.” Great concept but it has never been that way. Islanders have always gone to the city to work or to bring the fruits of their island labour to the city to sell. So here we are with enthusiasm to showcase the island, but dependant on the Province to make that possible… One way or another, sooner than later, two boats, a bridge, a shorter route…. Please.
Around Town: A gas facility for the island is on Frontenac Islands Council agenda. * Also the hiring of a Frontenac Islands head of Public Works. *Approved by MTO, CAO Plumley is finalizing with Hulton’s Transportation a bus service plan from the winter dock to the village 12 hours daily. Also MTO is planning upgrades to toilet facilities at the winter dock.. Yea! *Traffic is heavy. walk-on’s, cyclists, cars, trucks, trailers . The road from the ferry seems so much narrower-be careful. *Frontenac County declared May3-9 Emergency Preparedness week (Frontenaccounty.ca for kit). Stay alert for Ticks (Lyme Disease) * There is a New City Bus Stop at the ferry terminal. *Visit WI Music Festival.
Coming Events: * WI United Church Fish Fry : Saturday May 16th Adults $14.00. Under 12 $6.00 Doors open 4:30 pm Take Out available. * WI Friends of Ferals meeting: Sun. May 24th 1-3 pm, WI Town Hall to organize a solution to increasing feral cat population Council members to attend. Come, share your views. *WI Medical Clinic AGM May 27th 6:30 pm at the Clinic. Welcome.
I remember as if it was yesterday, the first time we travelled to Wolfe Island on the ferry. Would the island become our home? Could we accept the ferry schedule as a way of life?
The ferry that September day did not leave cars. Travellers seemed happy. People walking about were in a holiday mood. I took note of women, I assumed were islanders quietly knitting/ crocheting, who to this day offer items for sale at island events and Craft Shows. And, of course, I noticed the many readers on the boat.. Islanders obviously not new to the ride. Interesting to note the Island library, rates as (one of) the busiest in Frontenac County. And in the cabins both sides, Islanders were sharing conversation, catching up on the news, and making the best of the daily ferry ride home from work or school, appointments, medical and otherwise, or from shopping. Very many of them walked off the ferry as it docked in Marysville fanning out to different streets. Obviously they lived there. Tourists wandered off through the village
It was a different time. There were many dairy farms still operating. The Kraft Plant was then open. There were more working farms. Tourism was important but it was the Island’s “Cottager” guests the island seemed to welcome. … those that stayed awhile. There were more Bed & Breakfasts and a Camp Ground. The General Wolfe Hotel was the place of choice for graduations, special dinners. There was Woodman House and Ernie’s. There was excitement around events, the annual Road Race, the Plowing match, Crime & Pumpkin Fests etc., Big Sandy Bay was still a private gem. There was even a “should we open the canal period.” A doctor came from the city, there was a volunteer ambulance service. Church and school communities worked together. A new Library and Ambulance Fire Hall were built.. The Tourist Centre opened.
With amalgamation Wolfe and Howe Islands became Frontenac Islands. The Province downloaded the highways. More houses are being built annually. There is more work on the island. And more people work off the island. A new Medical Clinic and County Paramedic Service are in operation.. Big Sandy Bay, Riverfront Golf Course, the Corn Maze, Horne’s ferry are very popular tourist destinations. The Island Grill has been revamped. We have Metal Craft. Wind Towers and Solar panels dot the island. White’s Horse Rides, a Boat Club, Music Fest, Horne’s Ferry, bicycle rentals, Village walks, a summer Art Gallery, the Old House Museum a covered rink, and more are there to attract visitors . But there is a problem.
And it is the ferry . Since our first idyllic day on the ferry to the island there have been two public service strikes that deeply affected islanders. The Wolfe Islander has gone out for refit 4 times (7-10 weeks). The Charlevoix became the 33 car, Frontenac ferry for Amherst Island, replacing the Wolfe Islander III as required.
At least 7 studies about the ferry service have been undertaken by the Provincial Government ( MTO) under the leadership of Premiers Peterson, Rae, Harris, McGuinty and Wynne. The option each time has been for a lengthened “boat.” most recently for a new faster boat operating with the WI 3, and (maybe) a bridge when Kingston has a bridge over the Cataraqui, but when?
There have been improvements. Docking mechanisms were replaced on both sides; improved parking at the winter dock. Cameras at Marysville/ Dawson Point. Newer trailer at Dawson Point and a new Marysville passenger waiting area, flower boxes benches. etc. Better communication between MTO and the Township regarding ferry demand management (park & ride, cycling, parking, etc.) But as the Frontenac II continues to operate from Dawson Point Islanders are stoic about it all. They say very little about it. But hose who can’t take/risk the long wait in line ups’ may leave the island for awhile or move outright. Too much to loose in time, jobs, appointments. All this while the population mix has shifted to fewer children, more off/on Island workers, more seniors retired, which has added to ferry demand.
Even with the effort of the crews to stay on schedule, the regular 55 car ferry service does not meet the demand and has not for years. While grateful for the use of the 33 car Frontenac II, now it’s even worse. Islanders wait in line and hope … Maybe this time, with a government that has transit projects on its mind, Wolfe Island will finally see the recommendation, and the end of studies, with a larger, faster ferry fulfilled sooner than later…… It’s been 26 years, Imagine..
Around Town: The signs are up announcing the 2015 Canadian Plowing Championships August 26-29 th to be held at Pykeview Meadows, 1495 Road #95, Wolfe Island . during Frontenac County’s 150th Anniversary Aug. 28-30th, Centennial Park, Harrowsmith. * The WI Classic 5-10 k Run/Walk Sunday July 5th , sponsored by the WI Medical Clinic. .* The May1st Wellness Clinic and Specimen Collection Dates coming up. The Art Gallery opens in June.
Following a recent article about the Wolfe Island Land Fill site and the announcement of its closure as a Dump in early September, Island history buff Brian MacDonld informed me with a picture taken in the 1920s that the site was originally an active quarry. The Wolfe Island Landfill site is soon to become instead , a serious “Recycle Centre and Transfer Station”, a goal the township has been working toward over many years under the direction of engineer Guy Laporte - AECOM. For many, all this has come too quickly. For others, it can’t come soon enough. The rule however is that it “the dump part of the site” must close.
In 1991 Guy Laporte then with Totten Sims Hubicki undertook a detailed assessment of the site. “Wolfe Island has been dealing well with the recommendations for the proper management of a landfill site and is planning for a recycling depot,” his report said. The landfill site always under close scrutiny by the Ministry of the Environment at the time, caused Reeve Hasselaar to say , “we are very serious about all this in spite of the difficulties that arise.”
Personally I remember the Wolfe Island waste site the way it was when we moved from Toronto to the island. Very busy with regular burning, and garbage left at the gate for the site attendant to pick up, many times particularly over weekends spilled out and blowing in the wind. That was then, 20+ years ago. And this is now.
Early last month Laporte, now a Wolfe Island resident presented an outline of the (Sept. 8 th) site closure with temporary alterations allowing for the Transfer Station to operate until its re-constructed re-opening before the end of October 2015. AECOM will provide the draft and final design for the landfill cap of the pit and for the Transfer Station (hauling and disposal of wastes) with input from the Wolfe Island Waste Management committee. AECOM will also provide part time inspection as work is undertaken.
Recently Councillor Barb Springgay chaired a Waste Site Transition Committee meeting where Guy Laporte provided an overview of key areas to be concluded: site closure itself; Transfer Station design/operation; waste hauling/disposal; waste acceptance levels; a schedule and Public Notification. He said some levelling at the site needs to happen; fencing is in poor condition and a swale designed to manage water runoff is required. Design, moving the hut, the fence , entry and exit locations as well as the placement of the many bins (paper, cardboard, metal, electronics, glass , bottles, plastic, Styrofoam ,compostable waste) will all be considered. CAO Plumley will research prices of compactors to reduce haulage trips.
Springgay noting the the importance of reducing waste presented ideas from of a brainstorming session: clear bags; bag limits, User fees, hours of operation, signage, roadside dumping fines. She was quick to acknowledge that developing a long range plan for communicating with the public and providing information and education is of prime importance as the township moves forward.
Frontenac County Warden, Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle, is the elected County Caucus representative to AMO Waste Management Task Force “We have been doing behind the scenes work at the county, and the Eastern Ontario Warden’s caucus (EOWC) and had asked to participate with AMO at the provincial level,” he said. “We are looking for support from cities to work together on a long term collective approach to waste management, how to handle our garbage 15, 20 years down the road. Municipally it has been too easy to dump the garbage in a hole in the ground. We have to change. County Council solidly endorsed that we must address this issue,”Doyle acknowledged.
Islanders who may not have expected the closure of “the dump” so soon, have come a long way in dealing with garbage. Slowly but surely it’s the environment , the reuse of resources and the future that are considered.
Around Town:* You have to see it to believe it. The line up’s for the 33 car Frontenac II ferry particularly at Peak Periods are quite incredible. Congratulations to the ferry Crew for taking the time to load so efficiently and for the little if any time lost.. Park and Ride is becoming increasingly more popular on both sides. Parking spots are limited in the city… difficult on the island particularly if you have a lot to carry…** Howe Island’s Pitch In, April 25 is a wonderful introduction to spring on Howe Island - please contact Bill Worona (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to volunteer to tidy up a stretch of road. *** Howe Island’s Community Yard Sale will be held at Howe’s Township Municipal Building parking lot on May 9, 2015 - for further info or to book a table contact Bruce Burgess (613.544.3079), George Hughes (613.531.8631) or Dan Truesdell(613.549.3304). *Take note there is no formal Pitch In program on Wolfe Island announced so far this year. However as in the past Islanders who have always Pitched In with road side clean up will continue to do so as they walk their regular stretch of road each day. Thanks. * Check out the Community Centre on Face Book for Spring Time programs. **Local WI Artist Debora Krakow has a new Face Book Page. Look for it..
The Heritage- Frontenac Islands will “approve or reject” the township’s 2015 budget at their April meeting of council on Howe Island. Budget meetings, five in all, were held to meet with department and board leaders and to review and discuss operation costs. All of these meetings were advertised and open to the public. Throughout the final meeting budget numbers were closely scrutinized in order to present a tax increase that is palatable to the taxpayers of Frontenac Islands. With the increase in the price of policing plus the costs involved with asset management along with the increased costs of regular municipal services, a tax increase was inevitable.
1. Mayor Denis Doyle reminded council members of the successful ‘Senior housing’ meeting. What was of greater concern to him was a Ontario Rural School Alliance meeting he attended where he heard that the Minister of Education was threatening to close rural schools, based on enrolment, of anything under 650 students.“That’s for elementary. I am not sure what it is for high school,” he said, “but we have two elementary schools on Wolfe Island. Mayor Doyle was looking for a $500. membership funds to participate in a coalition forming to save rural schools.
2. Roads: Mayor Doyle invited Dan Fencott, an engineering consultant, to review the proposed public works projects in the 2015 budget for the purpose of preparing tender documents for roads surface treatment. Fencott said that no projects, other than regular road maintenance will happen on Howe Island but recommended that funds be placed in reserves for work as it comes up (Spithead/ North Shore). Since the Ontario Community Infrastructure funding (OCIF) must be used for capital projects Howe Island’s estimated amount of $6000. will be used on Wolfe. Deputy Mayor Nossal and Councillor Higgs believe some of the concerns with regard to Spithead Road could be dealt with using one way trafficsigns. Fencott reminded council that all asset management projects have to be handed into the province, “so you have to determine if a particular project is a priority and undertake saving for them (roads, vehicles)” How much to set aside? Increase Taxes? Its now at 1 % . The township authorized the continuation of 7th and 8th line Wolfe Island road work as originally proposed. Ditching and culverts on Oak Point Road will also continue.
Deputy Mayor Nossal summed up the question of asset management and priority projects this way. “The fact that we have a Howe Island plan and roads identified, added to the fact that we have begun to contribute to a capital replacement fund, and increasing taxes brings us to where we want to be positioned,” she said, “ because we may be paying a 1% tax increase this year but in 3 years, if we successfully compete for funding, this 1% will seem like nothing because it won’t be grant money we have to raise from taxpayers.”
3. Councillor Springgay brought council up to date on the closure of the WI landfill site and the costs involved in its change over to a Recycling and Transfer Station. The Landfill as a land fill site is slated for closure Sept. 8th.
4. Council will seek funding through the Echo Tourism Fund to proceed with a dock, community garden changes and for further eligible projects. *WI Fire will repay their $50,000 amenities loan over 5 years rather all at once as originally proposed in 2014. *The township will tender for the Howe Island foot ferry deck and railings replacement.
5. The township will undertake the development of a business plan for the purchase and installation of a Card Lock System for the provision of fuel on Wolfe Island and will authorize the municipal solicitor to determine the terms of a lease agreement. A grant proposal has been submitted to FCFDC. Amenities (wind) funding will also be required to support the project. More information to follow when available…
6. WI Community Rink. The Township will use $150,000 of the monies transferred to them from the Community Centre Board account to reduce the amount to be borrowed for the Rink ‘ROOF’ When a 2014 completed audit, the net difference will be transferred to a reserve for capital Community Centre projects. Rust proofing is a priority. A difficult search for appropriate ‘surround’ curtains is ongoing.
7. FYI: * There was a Transfer from wind monies in the amount of $160,000 to offset a further 7% WI tax increase * Also A 1% Asset Management levy of the net overall budget amounting to $19,541.19. *Approximately 2% can be attributed to increased policing costs. *The Howe Island percentage increase 7.49 = increase per $100,000 assessed value
$46.46. * The Wolfe Island Percentage increase is 7.499 = increase per $100, 000 assessed value $54.52
Around Town: *WI welcomes back the Osprey. *The Frontenac 11 from Amherst Island is operating from Wolfe Island’s winter dock as of April 9 while the Wolfe Islander is in Hamilton, dry dock. The MTO cameras are working so it’s possible to keep up with the traffic. * Water still low so ferry will stay at winter dock.. instead of moving to the village just yet.
Coming Events : WI HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS ASTRID MUSCHALLA MASTER GARDENER, The Organic Land Care – The Science behind Best Practises, Wednesday, April 15th at 7:30 pm Wolfe Island United Church Hall. * WI Walk In Medical Clinics Tues. 4:45 pm; Athletic Therapy Thurs. 2 pm ; Specimen Collection Friday April 17th at 8 am.
The continued planting of diverse tall grasses and flowers on Wolfe Island and throughout Ontario remains imperative for the birds and the bees and their conservation. That was the reminder brought to the island by Kyle Breault, biologist and former program coordinator for Tall Grass Ontario.
“ I’ve been a volunteer for Ducks Unlimited for 29 years and met Dr. George Merry who was on the board,” Breault said. “So when we had an opportunity for grass lands in Eastern Ontario George was the first one to raise his hand and say come out to Wolfe Island we will find you some donors and, I have some grass land you can use. So four years ago we did, found some interested land owners, and established grass lands on a number of properties including at (Mayor) Denis and Betty Doyle’s property. I am now working with Barrie Gilbert to find some more or less public lands.” (Breault was present at the invitation of Barrie Gilbert Frontenac Stewardship Council)
Breault has had a varied career with Ducks Unlimited, Tall Grass Ontario, etc. but now works as a free lancer in conservation and grass lands development. In the last two years he and DU have put in about 600 acres of rare and native grass lands, “ incredibly rare and so important for grass land birds, such as the Bobolink, Meadow Lark and for the pollinators.”
“ But for as much lands as we may plant, there is as much or more land ruined in a week by bulldozing in Ontario, even large tracts of Carolina forest, home for so many different species of birds and animals.” Breault said. “We have to do more to offset this kind of mind set although, some municipalities have set a minimum level (30 percent) of forest cover in their county, perhaps a happy medium between conservation and development.”
He noted a shift from a grass land focus on birds to pollinator habitat because of the Neonix, the pesticide coating every raw seed (canola, corn, soybean) used by farmers, (needed or not) blamed for bee die offs. He believes that if native flowers were planted in every nook and cranny, every roadside available honey bees would not have a problem. “The grassland I would plant for Bobolink and Meadow Lark would be what I would plant for bees and butterflies.. Expensive to do ? I don’t believe it is.” Breault added that the US is far ahead on conservation, grass land and roadside planting “Just Google Iowa Roadside for Wild Life to see what they do with the 66 feet from telephone post to telephone post.
“So how do we put in these native grass plantings on road sides or any where?” Breault referred to a a book, now out of print but availablke on line as the place to find out everything needed. “The book is called Planting the Seed by Allen Woodliffe. From start to finish it is where to go to find what is required for wetland meadow to tall grass prairie planting and conservation.”
At this point the slide show focused on the variety of plants and flowers some known, others not familiar and to Walpole Island “ where the most diverse (6’) tall grass prairie on the planet grows due to cultural management The island people have set fires to their fields every spring for hundreds of years. And every year the fields came back lush, diverse and healthy,” Kyle Breault said. “Now because of new rules, they continue with what are called ‘prescribed burns’ so important to maintaining that diverse land growth.“ He spoke of Big Blue grass, Virginia wild rye, etc. and of the 100’s of different species of wild flowers noting that a grass land out performs a rain forest in the hundreds of species of wild life that are dependent on it for survival.
Breault noted a change in attitude, that many companies doing heavy construction, involving digging up land for wind farms, roads ,housing, etc. have been eager to pay for the cost of developing habitat and conservation lands. (Bobolink, Meadow Lark). And home owners have begun to see the possibilities the parks and buildings in their communities in terms of tall grasses, specific flowers, plants and shrubs can all contribute to protecting wildlife, birds, bees, butterflies, “for instance the Monarch It is possible to turn a field to grass land with seed collected each year,” he said. A Show& Tell of plants, flowers, grasses and a Q &A rounded out an informative evening.
For more information; contact Barrie Gilbert
Around Town: + The General Wolfe has opened.* All are on watch for departure of the Wolfe Islander to dry dock.
Coming Events: Budget Time - Frontenac Island Council meeting April 13th, 6:30 pm. Howe Island.
Frontenac Islands many budget meetings provided the opportunity for those requesting consideration for specific projects, community boards or events to do so. Wolfe Island Community Centre Board (CCB) member Paul Hogan and Howe Island’s Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Quinn were among them.
1. With Paul Hogan much of the discussion revolved around WI’s artificial ice pad and the annual Music Festival. It is expected that the CCB expenditures for 2015 (rink, ball diamonds, shed, etc. ) will total some $107,423, with revenues coming from user fees. Donations and the net of fundraising/costs will be placed in reserves. No decision was made with regard to the rink-roof-loan repayment, (a $600,000 grant was applied for; $445,000 was received) although a payment of $200,000 was suggested. The roof cost $542,069. To date there have been interest charges and interest earned on the loan. That will change when repayment begins. Further, with the CCB now fully a part of township operations, all funds formerly held by them ($271,755) mostly donations, user fees and fundraising, were transferred to the municipality as recommended by the auditors.
In an interesting discussion Mayor Doyle spoke of the merits of heavy curtains around the rink to cut wind and snow thus providing better rink and less electricity use. The Mayor believes that since the rink loan was “half a million” and given the low interest rate (and public opinion), it might be better to buy and install the curtains ($90,000) and put the remainder of the loan toward the loan. Councillor Grant favoured returning the unused portion of the loan to the lender to reduce the debt and save or borrow for curtains. Councillor Springgay and Paul Hogan both members of the CCB want quotes for the coverings but no installation until 2016.
Hogan also brought forward a number of options regarding services and maintenance related to the Community Centre grounds and facility, presently done by volunteers or contracted out. He suggested using a township employee and charging the CCB budget. That approach would require the purchase of an industrial mower for overall township use.
**Before formalising the amount to be repaid from the loan for the rink roof, the approximate cost of curtains and for painting and rust proofing the facility will be determined.
With regard to Music Fest, Hogan said that the financial benefit for the event as a fund raiser is about $10,000 , and is very labour intensive for island volunteers, thus runs the risk of their burnout. The Question :Are there other options such as renting out ? C.A.O. Plumley will research options with Music Fest organizers.
2. Howe Island Fire Department Budget.
Chief Quinn provided a summary of the communications issues (in particular pagers-phones etc.) all due to frequency changes facing the municipality related to Ambulance, Police and Fire intercommunication. He also identified increased expenses for a tower relocation and rental fees and additional Bell lines. Vehicle maintenance cost reductions were identified with a long term strategy being developed for their replacement, to be provided to Council for comment.
3. At a March 18th budget meeting an intense review of the Howe Island ferry budget was undertaken and amended with reductions in lubrication, fuel costs and increased spending for its inspection by a marine engineer.
There was discussion regarding MacDonald Park, a boat ramp,(for and against); a revamped possibly re-located Community Garden; Bleachers at the WI Community Centre. Staff will purchase :* a wireless portable sound system; arrange a meeting with XKG re status of Maryville Waterworks EA project. And finally,
*Council hopes to present the 2015 Budget at the monthly Frontenac Islands Council Meeting April 13th Howe Island.6:30 pm.
Coming Events: Saving Feral Cats meeting Sun. April 12th WI Town Hall 1pm. WI Classic 5-10 k races Sun. July 5th,. Online registration @Running Room soon. Check wolfeisland.com.
Around Town: * Breaks in the ice here and there. * Concerns about Wolfe Islander 3 leaving. The sooner gone, the sooner back one can only hope. * The WI Photo Contest returns ! Its all about the Island, 4×6 Photos will be received at the WI Tourist Office from June. 1st- Aug. 15th . (3)Age groups: Children 10 & under; Youth 11-17; Adults:18 & over . For 3 categories: Watch for Poster… Check wolfeisland.com. * May this Blessed Easter Season be a time of Peace, Joy and Love for you and your families.… Alleluia! MK
The closure of Mosier’s Gas outlet, the only one on Wolfe Island (WI) has left many islanders strapped for gas. Larger users have personal tanks at their farms, homes and businesses. Residents however have little choice but to travel to the city, using up space on the ferry to have tanks and extra containers filled for mowers, snow blowers, 2nd vehicles, etc., a situation which will only get worse when the Wolfe Islander is replaced by the smaller Frontenac 2 and as the very important tourist season begins and our cottagers return. The good news is that Frontenac Islands CAO Plumley has submitted a funding application (Eastern Ontario Development Program Application) to the Community Futures Development Corporation . The application proposes a lease agreement to house a Card/Lock System for fuel distribution at the WI Municipal Public Works location. The importance of this initiative is seen by the township as a means to sustain, improve and grow Wolfe Island’s economy. (Also an important initiative for ferry demand management.)
And speaking of transportation demand management, a resident at the meeting suggested that who may use the MTO parking lot at the Kingston ferry dock needs not only to be clarified but to be monitored. He also suggested a need for much more MTO parking not only for islanders but for guests going to Marysville.
2. At the March Frontenac Islands council meeting where AECOM’s Guy LaPorte brought news concerning the planned closure of the WI Landfill site (Sept 2015.) and its importance instead as a recycling depot and waste transfer station, he also brought news of the DeBruin Farms organic waste diversion program (brought to the attention of council last year by Kenny Godin.) LaPorte said that with the quick turn around to amend the site’s Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA), he has prepared an addendum to the operation plan to allow the waste diversion process to move forward. Godin, responsible for collection and delivery of organic waste to DeBruins already has the extra large bins ready to be put in place at the site. A list of items, acceptable and unacceptable for the bins will be available soon. The program is considered easy to implement and important for the community. FYI Mayor Doyle, Frontenac County Warden has been appointed to the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) Waste Management Task Force as the County Caucus elected representative. Mayor Doyle acknowledged that a lot was going on with regard to waste management at the county level and through the Eastern Ont. Wardens Conference (EOWC) and the province at AMO.. “The hope of EOWC is to work together on a long term collective approach to waste management.
3. Other Business:**Councillor Grant that Half Load Restrictions signs be put in place. Councillor Springgay requests seasonal vehicle /equipment inspections to avoid unexpected breakdowns/costs. *Councillor Higgs wants ongoing monitoring of the Howe Island east side bubbler system and to help remove ice the purchase of a small, support armed backhoe for the ferry. Deputy Mayor Nossal and Councillor Higgs will work together as a Township Ferry committee to determine needs and life expectancy of equipment and plan to communicate with constituents through a Howe Island newsletter.*CAO Plumley clarified that the mandate for the new Frontenac Islands Parks & Recreation Committee for all township facilities. is not yet completed.
Around Town: * A number of WI’s are caring for feral cats and are hoping to have a spay/neuter mobile come to the island through the Kingston Spay/Neuter Coalition. If interested in being part of the newly organized WI committee, call me, Jana Mills, (613-385-2792) email@example.com re line “feral cats”. or Linda Thomas (613)385-1947. They are planning to apply for grants and funding. “We need to identify the Feral Cat Colonies.” ** Did you know the Canadian Plowing Championships will held on Wolfe Island August 26-29th Pyke View Meadow Farm on Road #95 Those days will include Conventional, Reversible and Junior Plowing. Linda Green is the contact for accommodation: 613-385-1210. * How amazing to watch the snow banks disappearing so quickly and it seems they are melting right into the ground. **Thanks to the Women’s Institutes (both) for the Wonderful St. Patricks Day Luncheon, to Ken Keyes the master of ceremonies, to Joyce and Special Thanks to James Kirkham for the antics, singing and laughter he provided.
Coming events:1. Social Media Workshop Thursday, March 26th 6:30pm - 8:00pm in UTC+09 —2.Restoring Grassland Biodiversity: A talk about the Birds & Bees on Wolfe Island sponsored by the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation. Thurs. March 26th, 7pm at the United WI United Church Hall.— 3. Seniors Housing Meeting , Mon. March 30th 1pm, WI Community Hall. Please Plan on Attending.— 4. Check out Shanti Retreat .
The first order of business at the March meeting of Frontenac Islands Township Council was the swearing in of Mr. Bruce Higgs recently elected as a Councillor in a By-election for the Howe Island ward. The seat was left vacant with the resignation of David Jones. Councillor Higgs was welcomed by all members of council and the public.
2. Landfill Site: Guy Laporte / AECOM and and Caitlin Cook/ Golder Associates attended the March meeting to present the 2014 Wolfe Island Disposal and Ground/Surface water monitoring reports. Both reports indicated that the site ( monitored continuously since 1994) is generally operating in compliance with its certificate of approval, and in terms of ground water quality is in compliance with MOE Guidelines.
Laporte also updated council regarding the (2015) closure of the site and the application submitted July 14, 2014 to amend its site’s Environmental Compliance Approval, for a waste transfer station, The Township had determined that the site would take no waste after April 30, 2015 and would be capped by August 2015. (A public meeting to discuss recycling strategy, a Landfill Closure Plan and waste transfer Information was held in August 2014.)
“Processing of the application is going much faster than anticipated,” Laporte acknowledged. “The MOE reviewer has issued a draft ECA accepting everything that was submitted, including the proposed April 30th closure date which is not feasible now, and closing in summer is not desirable.” Guy will recommend a new closing date of September 8 (right after Labour Day) to MOE .” A September closing is necessary to ensure re-vegetation of the site before winter.” An extension would require further MOE and neighbouring property owner approval according to Laporte.
3. Last year the White’s (Rob & Erin) held a successful ‘1st Wolfe Island Round-UP’ . Plans are underway for a similar event July 3-5th. With concerns about ferry service (Frontenac II) at that time, their request to council was for priority boarding for trailers (20+ last year), Friday July 3rd 2 trailers per trip, 9:30 am to 2pm; 1 during am-pm commuter times; 2 after 8 pm. Going home, July 5th-, 1 trailer per trip. The White’s offered this request as a way of reducing wait times, moving trailers in non busier times, and in support of Round Up. (MTO welcomes ideas to reduce congestion) . CAO PLumley will compile a list of those who have been granted priority boarding status for MTO.
4. WI resident Jarda Zaborovsky requested Water Delivery Service to Wolfe Island residents. The township offered little hope of such a service but will research the liability issues concerning the request.
Increasing concern over Ferry Transportation led to major council decisions at Budget Meeting March 11th
1. Frontenac Island Council is calling upon Transport Canada to harmonize the definitions of a short run ferry to align at 5 km found in the Shipping Act for making risk assessments for hazardous goods . “What that’s all about is that Transport Canada has two different documents . One says 5km, the other 3.5km. We want to change it back to 5 km on both documents to end the confusion. MP Ted Hsu has been working with us on this,” Mayor Doyle said. The idea is that this would allow MTO to exclude the winter dock from that restriction when the propane gas trucks are on board, and the township would further encourage MTO to allow for an additional 25 persons when the ferry is at the summer dock where the run is greater than 5km.
2. A petition is being prepared for presentation to the House of Commons, by Ted Hsu M.P., that Transport Canada harmonize the definitions of short-run ferry with the Canadian Ferry Operators Assn and Frontenac Islands Township. This again relates to the 5km distance which regulates the transport of hazardous goods on the ferry .
3. The Township of Frontenac Islands is calling upon the Province of Ontario to deem the Wolfe Island Ferry an Essential Service. This in anticipation of a labour withdrawal and the move to the Frontenac II with a 35 vehicle capacity service while the Wolfe Islander III is in drydock, already reducing service by 20 vehicles. Combined with the loss of two round trip runs a week for “dangerous goods” the service would be significantly reduced and create very serious if not dangerous social and economic hardship for the island community. Next Budget Meeting March 18th 4:30 pm Wolfe Island
Coming Events:* Social Media/Technology a fun workshop Hosted by Marysville Public School Parent Council,
Thursday, March 26th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm in UTC+09, 53 Victoria Street, *Restoring Grassland Biodiversity, Biologist Kyle Breault talks about the Birds & Bees on WI (tall grass projects) hosted by Frontenac Stewardship Foundation, March 26th WI United Church 7 pm Contact firstname.lastname@example.org 385-2289.**WI Classic 5-10K Check it out at the Running room.
You heard it on the new. There was an ad in the newspaper. Its come up on face book. And now you will read it here. A new urgent approach to reducing vehicular traffic on the Wolfe Island ferry has been announced,
The Wolfe Islander III must go into dry dock for its mandatory 5–year refit, to be replaced in the interim by the much smaller Frontenac 11. Already facing insufficient ferry capacity for present traffic levels, islanders are in various states of anger and panic.
The departure date of the Wolfe Islander is the first week of April to return the end of June. Its departure is dependant upon on weather, ice issues, or dry dock delays, according to MTO.
Looking at the calendar , that means the ferry will/could be gone more than 12 weeks, rather than returning after the six weeks (before the May long weekend) as was initially presumed. As in the past during the Wolfe Islander’s absence, the Frontenac II ferry from Amherst Island will go into service at Wolfe Island. Water levels will dictate whether it will operate from the village dock in Marysville or the island’s Dawson Point winter dock.. However at this time MTO does believe it will operate from the winter dock as it has done in the past. Of course that’s not there is to think about.
The Wolfe Islander is a 55 car ferry, built and launched into service at Wolfe Island in 1976. It’s passenger capacity is 294 plus crew as compared with the Frontenac II’s smaller capacity of 35 cars and 276 passengers. (FYI: The smaller Quinte Loyalist, a boat from the Glenora Ferry Service will serve Amherst Island during this same period.)
Islanders know that the ferry must be serviced. Each time it has gone to dry dock, it has always come back improved in one way or another. The refit this time will include a new, larger bridge according to MTO. All wonderful, but it does nothing to increase capacity or decrease waiting times between ferries. New regulations regarding ‘Dangerous Goods’ transport reduced the number of ferry trips carrying vehicles. Our tourist attractions bring increasing numbers of visitors to the island, golf, corn maze, boat club, horse/agricultural/special events, wind towers, Big Sandy Bay, the important American connection at Horne’s, Community Centre (Rink), shops, restaurants etc., all good by the way, but the Wolfe Islander is unable to meet present demands. The smaller “boat”, the Frontenac II, will mean even longer wait times as it has much less capacity. But what to do?
During the last few years a WI island transportation committee encouraged residents to park at the Sacred Heart Church lot during the week and walk on the ferry if they are able. Or to park a car in the city permanently if it is needed to get to work and walk or bike as an alternative to waiting in a long line up on the island. In other words, it was “a leave your car behind, reduce traffic and walk/bike on to the ferry” approach already.
The present MTO Demand Management group, which includes Frontenac Islands CAO Plumley, has been looking at ways to further reduce ferry traffic line ups. An urgent approach to reducing vehicular traffic on the Wolfe Island ferry was announced: the recent campaign, “Wolfe Island Residents: Stay Calm, Walk/Bike on” encourages islanders not only to park vehicles, bike or walk on the ferry, but to use the BUS when they get to Kingston. Transit Service is available near the Kingston Ferry dock, and the good news is that a new Express Route 601/602 begins May 4th (daytime week day every 15 minutes; weekends- evenings 30 minutes.) with bus stops at the Ferry Terminal, and across from the Rogers K-Rock Centre. Information is posted at kingstontransit.ca
As a small incentive to use the bus, two transit coupons (redeemable at Fargo’s for tickets) are to be made available for Islanders inviting them to ‘Take Kingston Transit’ to commute to work or their Kingston destination.’
Make no mistake, ferry capacity is already stretched “to the max”. A new ferry is years away. Think the Frontenac II. (and imagine a strike.) There is not enough parking space at Dawson point, or in the village There is no public transportation on the island. There is an excellent Paramedic Service with priority. So… Islanders can do no more than ‘Park, Ride, Stay Calm and Give the Bus a Try’…
Around Town: * Winter Fest was wonderful. Great Chili. Thanks to Frontenac players for spending time with us. Proud we are to show off the Rink…. * Bird feeders empty pretty quickly these days. How beautiful the birds look against the pure white snow. * Our Claire in Marysville who is enthusiastic about her new Bluetooth hearing aids wants to encourage others to find out about them.
Coming Events: Shanti Retreat Opens for Spring Season in April. Check wolfeisland.com
Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle recently attended the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus (EOWC). The caucus met with Eastern Ontario MP’s to lobby for funding support and advice on key infrastructure projects in rural Ontario. “There are serious infrastructure deficits across the country related to roads downloaded to municipalities over the last 15 to 20 years, but we did not focus much of our discussion on that,” Mayor Doyle said. “ But locally in the Islands we have in the neighbourhood of $88 Million in assets most of which is the value of roads should they have to be built from scratch at this time.”
Mayor Doyle talked about EOWC successes. “Over the past 4 years they have completed a project to greatly improve Internet reception across Rural Eastern Ontario, at a cost of nearly $200 million. and supported by both the Province and the Federal government, each contributing one third of the cost. With that done we want to address inadequate or non-existent Cell Phone coverage in about half of our rural geography.” Mayor Doyle noted that in the case of the Islands down to the Quebec border the “stronger USA cell towers overpower the Canadian towers (Bell-Rogers). It is estimated that 130 more cell towers would be needed across the 13 counties in the EOWC area at a cost of $170 Million.” Doyle noted improvement in rural internet service but added that rural, isolated community health care services, ambulance and emergency services already demand even better, consistent internet and cell phone coverage. “Rural development, rural home sales, rural business ventures depend on it now. Without it rural communities will fail, cease to exist.”
According to Doyle the EOWC is currently working on a business plan with regard to the issue. “ Since there are so few customers in the rural areas of Eastern Ontario one thing is certain that we will need Federal and Provincial assistance as the private sector could not justify the expenditure.” Doyle noted waste management as an Eastern Ontario region concern, “say from Cornwall to Trenton, we are not sure what the long term solution will be, but we do know that Durham region opened a modern, expensive Incinerator plant south of the 401 east of Oshawa, with much of the
operation costs covered by selling electricity generated from the heat sold back to the power grid.”
And wearing his Frontenac County hat, Warden Dolyle said county budget discussions focused on how to manage the long term asset management plan. “The county adopted a plan to set aside a special levy of 0.65% of the budget for long term asset replacement, mostly buildings in the case of the County,” he said. “Short life assets such as ambulance vehicles will require building up reserves to cover 100% of the cost before purchasing, but long term assets, such as Fairmount Home we would plan to save 50% of the value before rebuilding, and finance the remainder.” He described the program approved for new light weight ambulance vehicles to be built with automatic stretcher loading and unloading systems (smaller outside, same dimensions inside, weighing half a ton less than current vehicles) with automatic shut down – restart engines to maintain appropriate inside temperature and having an estimated 40% fuel cost saving.
According to Mayor Doyle, Frontenac Islands greatest budget challenge is the increase in OPP costs from “$100K to $300K and planning for asset management primarily of our downloaded roads.”
Coming events: Budget meeting dates: February 27th, 10:00 am; March 11th, 10:00 am; March 18th, 4:30 pm. #2. Council meets Mon. March 9th- Wolfe Island #3 WI Medical Clinic No Specimen Collection Clinic Friday, March 6th. New Dates: Friday’s, March 13th & 20th. Clinic CLOSED Good Friday April 3rd. Friday April 17 is the month’s only Specimen Collection date. Wellness Clinics WILL BE OPEN March, (6th) and also on Good Friday (April 3).NO WALK IN CLINIC:with Dr. Russell on Tuesday, March 17. #4 And don’t forget Wolfe Island’s Winterfest 2015 Sunday March 1st at the WI Community rink beginning at 1pm. Bring your skates…
Around Town: Too often the Wolfe Island community has faced the loss of loved ones who died much too young, through illness or accident. Last Thursday there was a funeral liturgy at Sacred Heart of Mary Church on Wolfe Island for Gerald Eves whose sudden death, came as a shock to all who knew him. The liturgy was celebrated by Fr. Malcolm Burke who was joined by Rev. Canon Chris Carr and Deacon Gerry Moore from Wolfe Island’s Trinity Anglican Church. And in the company of Gerald’s grieving wife and children, his mother, his entire family, friends, co workers, the island community mourned with them and thanked God for Gerald’s life. He was one of their own and he died too soon.
There is no doubt about it. There are serious concerns at this time about the provincially operated ferry service (MTO) to Wolfe Island. Although talking about it has a tendency to cause concern for island business operators about the future of their island businesses, tourism and economic development generally . The hope being that in not talking about concerns, they might just all go away.
But instead, Frontenac Islands Councillor Wayne Grant brought forward a new and significant concern at the February council meeting where he introduced correspondence he received from islander Dr. Janine Handforth (Posthumus) on behalf of the dairy producers on Wolfe Island, addressed to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, and written to raise awareness of potential issues that could arise “in the next short period of time” should an OPSEU strike come to pass. Dr. Handforth pointed out that as one of four Wolfe Island dairy farms, the only link to Kingston is via the MTO ferry.
“The employees of MTO are members of OPSEU and could walk off the job if a strike occurs,” she says noting certain essential factors. One that the milk transporter, from the mainland, comes every other day to pick up the milk from the four milk producers. Without an island outlet, livestock feed is delivered from the mainland, as is gasoline and diesel fuel twice weekly for the operation of farm machinery since there is no island fuel depot. If there are veterinary services, or issues pertaining to milking equipment and machinery etc., service providers must come from the city. Their fees include travel and time spent on the island. These service providers receive no preferential travel status on the ferry
There were clear reminders by Dr. Handforth about the last strike, when picket lines were set up and the Essential Services Agreement, established between the OPSEU union and the province, set three round trips in the morning and three in the late afternoon. The remainder of the time the “boat” was anchored whether there were vehicles waiting in line for transport or not. (The regular schedule of the Wolfe Islander III ferry from Wolfe Island is 19 roundtrips per day and any extra emergency trips.)
Following some discussion it was determined that the Township of Frontenac Islands will send a letter to the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca, M.P.P. Kiwala, & MTO Regional Director Kathryn Moore, identifying the negative impact of reduced ferry service on Wolfe Island residents, farming operations, local businesses and those in need of medical support. They will also be reminded that the impact “will prove to be even greater” when the Wolfe Islander III goes into dry dock for approximately 12 weeks at which time use of a smaller ferry see the reduction of vehicle capacity from 55 to 35 during this period compounded by the ‘Dangerous Goods’ restrictions and the lack island fuel supplier, the township is requesting that in the event of a strike , essential service trips should be determined by vehicle capacity rather than ‘the number of trips’ as was the case during the strike in 2002. Most islanders remember it, all too well.
In other business: #1. Dates for Frontenac Islands budget meetings , all to be held on Wolfe Island are as follows;
February 27th, 10:00 am; March 11th, 10:00 am; March 18th, 4:30 pm. #2.The By-election for a Howe Island councillor will be held March 2nd. electronic voting only #3. Council received information re Frontenac Islands Fire Department/Emergency Services: *a Fire Prevention Policy; *a Fee for Services policy; *and adopted the Simplified Risk Assessment report presented by Fire Chief Quinn. #4Council meets Mon. March 9th- Wolfe Island
Around Town: WI Medical Clinic announces cancellation of Specimen Collection Clinic Friday, March 6th. New Collection Dates: Friday’s, March 13th & 20th. The clinic will be CLOSED Good Friday April 3rd. Friday April 17 is the month’s only Specimen Collection date. Wellness Clinics WILL BE OPEN March, (6th) and also on Good Friday (April 3).NO WALK IN CLINIC:with Dr. Russell on Tuesday, March 17.
Welcome to Wolfe Island’s Winterfest 2015
The Frontenac’s Team Captain, Roland McKeown , will be a Special Guest at Wolfe Islands “Winterfest Sunday, March 1st beginning at 1pm.. Some favourite Frontenac’s (6-8),” will be playing along with young WI hockey enthusiasts at a hockey game, a highlight of the day’s activities at the covered rink. They will also have an opportunity to meet Islanders who faithfully attend Frontenac’s games at the K Rock Centre.
Of course Wolfe Island’s Winterfest includes the Chilifest challenge (sign up sheets at Fargo’s) to make a little chili, taste a little chili, and have a whole lot of fun regardless of how chilly it may be.. Along with the chilli, the popular Wolfe Tails , a sweet sugary confection, sausages and more, will be available. The day also includes, music, Free skating, and 50-50 draw with all proceeds for WI Community Rink. Celebrate winter with us March 1st and remember..the ferry lands at Dawson Point… not Marysville…
In his first 2015 address as Frontenac County Warden, Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle said that the role of council is to set the tone for leadership, stewardship and respect, outlining very broadly what those roles require. At the same time he outlined Frontenac County’s three strategic priorities for the next four years including * meeting the needs of Seniors,* the “post landfill” Waste Management challenge for Frontenac residents and * reducing the burden to residential taxpayers. “We must focus on a critical few items, do them well, then add another,” he said.
Mayor Doyle offered similar insight at the beginning of a local strategy and priority planning session undertaken by Frontenac Islands Council and staff in late January. The meeting was led by CAO Darlene Plumley.
Throughout the meeting council members were clearly focused on local community needs and concerns they became aware of during the election campaign period. Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal spoke of a meeting place for Howe Island (as part of seniors initiative perhaps), establishing certain health initiatives (wellness programs), and better communications in every area, signage web sites, general information. Nossal said residents there assume that much of what happens on Wolfe Island is township generated when in fact most of the community activity and events are volunteer initiatives undertaken through local associations and volunteer committees of council.
The Wolfe Island Medical Clinic is community owned facility (not the township) supported and maintained through donations/ fund raising and a grant from the township. It has an elected volunteer board of directors.
While all issues were considered important, of high priority to Councillors Springgay and Grant were the ferry services, roads/ infrastructure and waste management now, and post land fill site closure, and communications with the public, The ferry (4) issues were identified as individual in each case, requiring the appointment of a Committee of Council, increased regular communication with MTO regarding traffic demand management (dangerous goods, providing gas for residents, ticketing) and other options. Communication with the public through web site re-design, Frontenac Islands promotional materials, public education, , communications committee mandate, etc. all came under discussion . Market surveys with residents are seen as a very important way to determine a community priority/preference.
Roads and infrastructure require the hiring of Township Public Works Supervisor/Manager . Developing a criteria for road development and a financial strategy for surface treatment to be considered. And of course Waste Management is a of high priority with further efforts regarding recycling /reducing the garbage generated, possibly accepting organic waste, developing a user fee policy and moving to eventual transfer station.
Policing costs, determining a proactive service delivery and how to reduce cost of calls per service all came under discussion. As did the idea of having an economic development/recreation coordinator. Staff will begin a review of township facilities and programs, those tasks presently assigned to volunteers, to staff and at staff workloads as first steps. All members of council were well pleased with the session and expressed thanks to CAO Plumley
FYI- Members of council serve on Township (Howe-Wolfe Island) Community Committees, all of which have volunteer boards and operate with volunteers, township staff assistance and in some instances summer staff. Frontenac Islands (Wolfe Island) owns the Historical Museum Building, the Community Centre (rink, grounds), Info Centre and other Howe/ Wolfe Island municipal facilities and operate Big Sandy Bay.
Around Town: Much activity at the Rink… Cold but wonderful weather, many visitors, the roof , the lights are so impressive. * Many thanks to the WIPP for staying open all winter in all kinds of weather and hanging on to the bright lights since Christmas. * Power failures, heavy winds and lots of snow has been the order of the last few days.. * Many Snowy Owls sighted on WI of late. * Check out wolfe island.com, * Wolfe Island WinterFest March 1st *Watch for Council budget meeting dates coming soon.
You have read all this before elsewhere but it bears repeating…..
The new Wolfe Island ferry service policy for responding to land ambulance emergency calls on Wolfe Island has been in use for months. As a pilot project the new protocol proved reductions in ferry system disruptions. It was formally supported at Frontenac County council in January. During the 6 month project, Wolfe Island paramedics responded to sixty-two requests for service on Wolfe Island resulting in forty-five ambulance trips off the island. Of those, twenty-seven ferry trips (60%) met the protocol resulting in no interruption to the ferry service. MTO also reported that the Captains of the Wolfe Islander III support the protocol as a permanent solution.
The policy states that *for all Wolfe Island land ambulance response calls, where the Wolfe Islander III is enroute to Kingston and has passed the Point Fredrick Buoy, the vessel will continue its voyage, disembark cars and passengers in Kingston; load and return to the Wolfe Island dock. *When a request for an ambulance response is made, the Frontenac Paramedic Services supervisor is to be notified by dispatch and the supervisor will initiate direct contact with the Captain of the Wolfe Islander III to determine and coordinate ferry movements.
“The direct contact between captain and supervisor is the important part of this protocol,” Mayor Denis Doyle said. “For many ambulance calls, it will help reduce long delays for ferry passengers at both sides and reduce disruptions to the ferry service and, it already has. “
WI Medical Clinic member Hugh Cowan, noted instances where island residents did not call the ambulance when they should have because of the ferry disruption it would cause to the community and ferry disruptions lasting longer than was necessary “I think that is just simply wrong. There had to be a better way.” He and Mayor Doyle raised their concerns with Ferry personnel and learned that the Ferry receives instructions from the Coast Guard with no direct contact between the Ferry and the Paramedic Supervisor to coordinate likely timing of the needed Ferry, or in fact, if no ambulance run was necessary. “I believe the revised Protocol is critical to improving the situation. I am glad it has been approved,” he said “Choosing a buoy as the “point of return/no return to the Island” makes the best sense, though I suspect having the Paramedic Supervisor be in direct contact with the Ferry Captain is likely to prove more important in terms of getting back to the Island ASAP or continuing on to Kingston. Much depends on where the Ambulance call is on the island and its nature,” he concluded.
Concern has been raised locally that residents requiring ambulance transport on the ferry might be put at a disadvantage with the new protocol. Frontenac County’s Chief of Paramedic Services Paul Charbonneau said: “The patient is and will always be the priority. Our response to calls, is the same as always. This new protocol does not change the emergency response to the patient and is fluid — in critical cases, when the patient requires immediate transport to KGH, it can be waived altogether. The FPS Supervisor will communicate with the Ferry Captain directly in order to meet the needs of each call.”
2. Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal Excited with Liaison position
Frontenac Islands Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal (Howe Island) attended her first regular meeting as a member of Frontenac County Council where Mayor Denis Doyle serves as County Warden. Perhaps most exciting according to Nossal is the establishment of “ County Council Liaison positions for each of the second member County Councillors, one for each of these departments, Emergency and Transportation Services, Corporate Services, Long-Term Care (Fairmount Home), and Planning and Economic Development. A 4-year appointment, the Council Liaison, acts as a conduit between Council and the Department¹s senior leadership, and will be the primary spokesperson for issues related to the operation and direction of the department, as well as provide monthly overviews of Departmental activities to Council,” she said. “I have been drafted as the Liaison for Emergency and Transportation Services. The institution of these four liaison positions will be a very effective way to support planning and communication between the departments and the Council, “ she added.
County Councillor Nossal also volunteered for the Frontenac County Youth Justice Advisory Committee “It has as its objective to ensure collaboration between those working within the youth justice services, and to promote the provision of effective services for young people in conflict with the law. She has volunteered to join the 150th Anniversary Planning Advisory Committee I feel somewhat of an interloper she said. so much has already been put in place for these anniversary celebrations. Hopefully I can help in some way.”
Around Town: Much activity at the Rink… Cold but wonderful weather. Many Visitors. The roof , the lights are so impressive. * Many thanks to the WIPP for staying open all winter in all kinds of weather and hanging on to the bright lights since Christmas. * Cable break shut down Frontenac HI ferry. MTO on the job quickly. Ferry operational by 5:30pm. * Many Snowy Owls sighted on WI last week……
Coming Events : *Workshop Farm & food Entrepreneurs 9-5 pm Feb. 5th, Sydenham Public Library Contac tAnne Pritchard: (613) 372-1414 *Specimen Clinic,8 am-10pm & Frontenac Paramedecine Wellness Clinic 8:30-12:30 pm at the WI Medical Clinic.
Frontenac Islands council approved a 15km-5km Road Race for women only, planned for Sept. 13, 2015 at 11am on Wolfe Island, to raise funds for two members of the Canadian Women’s Sailing team who are hoping to win a medal at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 2016.
Sheila Kingston, a volunteer from Kingston, attended the January council meeting to seek approval for the request by the Canadian Sailing Association to hold a road race fund raiser on Wolfe Island for Danielle Boyd from Kingston, and Erin Rafuse of Halifax, who have been training and competing together since early 2013 in a new class of boat, the 49er FX with a goal of representing Canada.
“ Road races are an enjoyable experience, an excellent way to raise awareness and women’s races have gained approval in recent years drawing participants locally, and from out of town,” Kingston said, adding that the Kingston Running Room and volunteers will help with the running and promotion of the races planned to start and finish at the WI Town Hall. “We expect strong support from the sailing community as well as local runners and promotional support from the Queen’s Sailing team. (The WI community Medical Clinic board, sponsors of Wolfe Island Classic Road race held annually in July, in support of the Clinic, have offered their assistance and expertise.)
In other business: 1. Frontenac Islands Committee appointments were confirmed. It should be noted that Mayor Denis Doyle is an ex-officio member of all committees. Community Centre Board: Councillors Wayne Grant, Barbara Springgay. * Emergency Services: WI-Councillor Grant, HI- Dep. Mayor Natalie Nossal. *Ferry Services : WI- B. Springgay, HI- N. Nossal. *WI Historical Society: W. Grant. *Waste Management : WI_Grant, Springgay, HI Nossal. *Big Sandy Bay: Springgay. *WI Medical Clinic: Grant. *Parks & Recreation: WI- Grant, HI- Nossal. *Marysville Waterworks: Grant, Springgay. Seniors Housing: Grant. CAO Plumley joins the Cataraqui Source Water Protection Committee. The successful Howe Island candidate elected in the coming by-election will also have committee duties.
2. The report from Greer Galloway, concerning WI’s Reeds Bay Municipal Drain inspection, says that much is in good order but some further improvements are recommended. A spring site visit will be scheduled to assess what is needed.
3. A Frontenac Islands-(Howe Island District) waste agreement has been made with Stark Battams for weekly garbage collection along township roads to a transfer site, from Feb. 1, 2015 - Jan. 31,2018.
4. Not a month goes by without a loss of livestock with the township authorizing a $1,130.00 payment for the loss of a beef calf, based on its condition, to a coyote.
5. Frontenac Islands has entered into an agreement with OMAFRA to access the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund over the next three years. The province has calculated it is eligible to receive $32,120 per year for capital projects and maintenance for roads, bridges and culverts, water and wastewater systems. Applications must be filed by March 31st of each year for the specific projects involved, with a report filed each year end.
*Interesting information was brought to the attention of council: a) AECOM’s Guy Laporte notified council that presently there is a slow down in the WI waste site’s conversion to a waste transfer site. At the same time he indicated that he had been in touch with Kenny Godin of Debruin farms Ltd. (Wolfe Island) regarding the use of their organic waste facility for the diversion of organic waste from the WI Waste Disposal site. Debruin Farms is offering an excellent opportunity to divert organic materials without “need for export it off the island.” Laporte will approach the Ministry’s Approvals Branch about an island ‘pilot project’.
b) WI resident Margaret Darling submitted a letter (in October) by outlining her frustration with cars butting into the ferry line up . She was able to get on the ferry but 4 cars behind her did not “ because of cheaters”. She noted cars parked in laneway entrances, and in spots left by those who had parked and then left the WIPP, and serious problems on hazardous goods days. Darling asked council to discuss her concerns and possible solutions. Township staff will review process of monitoring vehicles in line and defining parking spaces.
c) A partial funding request for the Howe Island VON managed Smart (Seniors maintaining active roles together) exercise program, has been referred to 2015 budget discussions.
d) A WI resident has called upon council to consider a “Wild Places” policy and process for determining needs of resident and migrating wild life before considering or making decisions on the sale or development of Township properties, and proposes a committee to outline recommendations focusing on natural resource protection, economic development and an informed public, that could inform decisions. Action pending.
The Howe Island District By-Election for one council member is March 2, 2015. Advance voter cards coming soon.
Telephone & Internet Voting ONLY. Advance voting begins Feb. 27th. Candidates: Edward (Ted) Besseau; Bruce Higgs;
Randy Pilszak. Council meets next: Mon. Feb. 9th , HOWE ISLAND 6:30 pm
Around Town: * Most Islanders are aware that the Wolfe Islander III’s 5-year refit is this year and presume it will leave in the early spring (maybe???) with a smaller boat taking its place, and so prepare for a difficult period. And most islanders are aware that negotiations between OPSEU and the Wynne Government apparently are not going that well, according to the OPSEU notice distributed by union members at the ferry dock recently. While islanders may be sympathetic should negotiations end in a strike, they also wonder about the scope (trips) of any Essential Service Agreement that might be negotiated between the Province and OPSEU for ferry service to the island, as there is no other means of transportation. ** Visit the WI Medical Clinic NEW face book web site: https://www.facebook.com/WICMC
Priority setting was the “agenda” for a recent special meeting of Frontenac Islands council. It was setup by CAO Darlene Plumley who in just a few months, during a difficult year including an election, has brought much order and efficiency to the operation of the township. CAO Plumley circulated a chart to council members requesting perceived township priorities and those heard from electors while by those campaigning. “So what you have before you is what you relayed to me as priorities, and I’m hoping we can prioritize them and determine what is manageable and how to accomplish them within a timeframe. This is an opportunity for council as well staff input,” she said. One section indicated common Howe and Wolfe Island priorities.
Councillor Springgay called for a high, medium low ranking priority plus a code for payback (defined as essential for township, financial, other). “ To be determined as we go,” she said. Marketing Wolfe Island is important but she recognizes its difficult because of the ferry. “We have a lot of homes for sale on both islands and unless we do something we could have a lower tax base. If we want to grow, we have to think about how to communicate (market) what we have here. Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal agreed that the good news stories about the islands must be told…. reminding all that Howe Island has a “24/7, 365 days” ferry service and Wolfe Island has done well with recreation and parks.
While there was agreement that transportation and the ferries are the township’s highest priority, Nossal noted different transportation requirements for each island that can’t be put under one umbrella. “There is some similarity between Howe’s Foot Ferry and the Simcoe Ferry , “but not really. Different solutions are needed in each case,” she said.
While CAO Plumley meets with MTO regularly, it was concluded that MTO and council members must meet more often. MTO has yet to decide whether to allow at least some cars and passengers on the WI ferry ‘Dangerous goods’ days as requested by the township. A WI Committee for local transportation issues, parking, ticketing, etc. is a consideration. Mayor Doyle reminded council that the township has little control over what happens with the provincially operated Wolfe Islander. Locally the township will continue to plan for a new Howe Island foot ferry and how to improve Simcoe services.
*Roads and Infrastructure are listed as the 2nd highest priority concern. The township presently calls upon Jewell Engineering Inc. regarding roads, evaluation, budgeting. Mayor Doyle said the township must plan for surface treating some roads when economically feasible. Jewell Engineering will be invited to advise council on next steps (in preparation for budget meetings). Other concerns included need for radar type speed signs, village parking , snow fencing and so on.
* It was also determined that the township requires a “go to” supervisor staff person to manage township operations (roads, waste management etc.) and will proceed to do so..
*No gas station on Wolfe Island is a major concern. Efforts are underway by CAO Plumley to move a considered to be ‘doable’ project forward, which would result in fewer vehicles on the ferry.
*Waste Management is a high priority even if the closure of WI facility is delayed, as is recycling on Howe Island. Community committees / education /future initiatives were discussed. Mayor Doyle spoke of possible regional solutions.
*OPP cost increases and Asset Management are two major, critical, costly and mandatory items facing the township requiring public explanation. OPP costs must be understood and services clarified. *Asset Management requires both a roads supervisor and engineering services to determine a long term plan. Is it an annual 1% special levy? A Tax increase? Is it borrow and buy? or save and buy? Communication with the public must be a priority at all times, about all issues but particularly on these latter two.
All members of council and staff contributed to the discussion For instance a tax preamble was suggested as critical to bring realities of needs to taxpayers was suggested. Also suggested was a clarification and defining of WI Community Centre use, the Community Centre Board and the need for a hired manager for it and Big Sandy Bay, and for island promotion and development. *Howe Island is interested in more community health resources (wellness,blood clinics) and a permanent meeting centre. A market survey was suggested.
*The Frontenac Islands Township website will be upgraded using county and local help so that it becomes the ‘where to go ‘ site for matters of importance to taxpayers and the public.
A discussion regarding taxes took place. Members were reminded that no provincial grants for anything were forthcoming last year because from the province’s perspective Frontenac Islands taxes are low compared to other jurisdictions. Deputy Mayor Nossal said there is need for a dramatic change in how the township budgets in the future. “We should have increased taxes in the past,” she said.
Around Town: An early morning completely destroyed the WI home of the Bob & Lynn Brown family. A neighbour seeing an unfamiliar light in the Brown’s home as she was passing at 5:15 am going to the ferry, stopped, banged at the doors and windows until she got some response, probably saving Mom and children. (Dad at work) The community has begun to collect funds for the family, who have lost everything. For more information contact: Lesley Mosier at (613) 385-1671. * FYI: MTO has posted a request for expression of interest (EOI) for acquisition of a design consultant to do a Preliminary Design and EA Study for the Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking Improvements.
Frontenac Islands does not hold a New Year’s Levee. So attending the City of Kingston’s New Year’s Levee is not a new to us. Walter and I have attended annually for quite a number of years. It offers an opportunity to be in touch with Wolfe Island’s closest neighbour, and perhaps closest political associate, the Mayor of Kingston at this time Bryan Paterson. At the same time it offers the opportunity to catch up with the MP for Kingston and the Islands, the Honourable Ted Hsu and as well as our MPP, Sophie Kiwala.
Of course, I was personally delighted to see our former Member of Parliament, Peter Milliken, whom I met when he first campaigned on Wolfe Island and later when he visited the children at Marysville Public School, and writing about him on many different occasions there after. The same applies to our former MPP John Gerretsen, now “sort of retired”who has stayed in touch with island concerns over these many years and is known as a friend of the island. Both joined the line up to meet and greet the members of Federal and Provincial parliaments, the newly elected city council members, and Mayor Paterson at whose public invitation we were all there. Due to poor weather we only had time to wish Mayor Paterson well as he begins his 4 year term, before we left to catch the ferry home.
Islanders particularly those from Wolfe Island see Kingston in an entirely different way that most Kingstonians. They come into the city over the water towards its beautiful architectural landscape. They come into the downtown. They encounter the 4 sets of lights within a two block radius, and confront the city traffic as the ferry unloads. They walk into the city, on their way to work, to appointments etc. and see the many vacant buildings, have experienced probably more than most Kingston residents the loss of the S&R, the general store that held the down town together. They use the City, particularly the downtown provincial and federal services (health ,education etc) as well as the recreational, retail and food services. They notice the changes good and bad.
For Frontenac Islands in particular, 2015 is to be the Year of the Ferry, with improvements to Howe Island’s provincially owned Howe Islander and hopes for a new municipally operated foot ferry there. For Wolfe Island, the selected alternative is for a new 75 car ferry to operate from the island’s Dawson Point dock to Kingston’s Barrack Street all year, along with the Wolfe Islander III coming from Marysville to the same city dock during the high tourist season a particularly important time for both. These are the proposed solutions for Wolfe Island’s continuing transportation problems, specifically its lack of capacity. Oh really? Islanders have heard it all before.
Although they are aware that much effort is being made by MTO and Frontenac Islands to keep these options open and on track, they are also aware of Ontario’s huge debt, some of it caused by what many perceive as wasteful spending. How will Ontario pay its bills? On the backs of smaller cities such as Kingston, or smaller municipalities like Frontenac Islands? What happens in the event of public sector strikes? Does Frontenac Islands stand a chance. Will much needed infrastructure, including the proposed new ferry, fall by the way side ? Those are their concerns.
Interesting to note that Kingston’s Mayor Paterson attended the inaugural meeting of Frontenac County where Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle was installed as warden. At the time Mayor Paterson said that Eastern Ontario is stronger when it is together and his door, is open for discussion. Transportation is a major issue for both Kingston and Frontenac Islands… Is that topic open for discussion? Will this be on the agenda for the first meeting of Frontenac Islands council in this new year? Similarly there are many other issues of mutual concern that warrant open discussion between the township, the city and the county. Will it happen?
Around Town: The Wolfe Island Rink schedule is listed at wolfeisland.com Winter programs are underway.* Check also for WI Medical Clinic dates. *WI’s WINTERFEST is slated for March 1st at the WI Community Centre Rink. Watch for details.
Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle is now serving as Warden of Frontenac County for the year 2015. South Frontenac’s Mayor Francis Smith is serving as Deputy Warden. All members of Frontenac County Council (2014-2018) were sworn in by Madam Justice Anne Trousdale at a prestigious event attended by family, friends and constituents .
A number of politicians also attended the ceremony including MP's Ted Hsu and Scott Reid, MPP Randy Hillier and City of Kingston’s Mayor Bryan Paterson all of whom extended their good wishes and support. Greetings were presented on behalf of MPP Sophie Kiwala .
The role of Frontenac County Warden is a one-year term, filled by one of the four County Mayors. Frontenac Islands Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal (Howe Island) is also a member of county council.
During his inaugural address following the swearing in, Warden Doyle added many significant comments to his prepared address highlighting some things he hoped would be accomplished or set in motion during his term as warden and as a member of the 2014 - 2018 county council…
“Looking back in history the County has a proud heritage,” he said referencing Frontenac County’s 150th Anniversary in 2015 and the plans to celebrate that history in Harrowsmith in August as well as in other parts of the county. He spoke of Sir John A. Macdonald as a major driver in the development of the City of Kingston and indirectly the Frontenacs “certainly impacting our way of life in the region. We ask all to join us for a Homecoming to celebrate the 150th Anniversary.”
With reference specifically to Frontenac County council Warden Doyle said “our role as Council is to set the tone through respectful dialogue for leadership,(responsible governance); stewardship, (quality of services, mindful of taxpayers’ abilities to pay, value for every dollar spent); and respect, (for taxpayers, for each other, for staff, for other Governments, the Townships, Kingston L&A, the Province and the Feds… and the political process by supporting the decisions of the majority of council.”
Warden Doyle referred to the present, three county priorities 1. Seniors accommodation in each of the 4 townships; 2. Meeting the emerging “post landfill” Waste Management challenges facing Frontenac residents, and working with Kingston and others in our region, and the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus to arrive at solutions 3. Reduce the burden of Residential taxpayers with focused economic development to bring in more Commercial and Industrial tax revenue. “As we make progress on these three, ,” Doyle said , “we can add more priorities, but we must focus on a critical few items, do them well, then add another. Frontenac County and Kingston have had preliminary talks to find a solution for the garbage needs of both municipalities post landfill site closures.”
When it came to shared services Warden Doyle had this to say. “Rationalizing costs through shared services across the Townships and County emerged as a theme during the last term of Council and will remain a top priority. Partnerships will be increasingly important as we face tough challenges,” he said. “We need to make use of each other’s expertise, buying power, and look at ways of sharing services across the County; promoting working relationships with the Townships and initiating County-wide programs that can help us achieve economies of scale. We also need to continue strengthening partnerships with neighbouring municipalities, especially the City of Kingston. Our delivery of services is interconnected and so too are our constituents – many County residents work in the City and many City residents spend recreational time in the County. It’s for the benefit of the whole region that this mutually beneficial relationship should flourish,” he concluded.
Doyle acknowledged in addition to the Townships and the City of Kingston other partners such as the Library Board, Health Unit, CFDC, Northern and Southern Frontenac Community Services among others as well the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus… and Volunteer and Citizen appointees to committees.
The final minutes of Warden Doyle’s speech addressed the relationship between county council and county staff and their efforts to provide service to their customers. “By working together and fostering good relations at this table, and with staff, we will be better equipped to find solutions,” he said. “I will promote Team work to support taxpayers in Kingston and the Frontenac’s.”
Around Town: The January Meeting of the Frontenac Islands Council will be held : Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, 6:30 pm, WOLFE ISLAND. *Check out WI Community Centre on Face Book for WI Rink Schedule.