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

June 08, 2017
Coming to Marysville on Wolfe Island? Consider This...

As Wolfe Island gears up for the busy summer season of activities and events, I was struck at just how busy the island already is. So much activity at the Wolfe Island Grill, with boats coming this way to make use of the new docks that were stored over the winter, and now are in place in spite of the still high water levels. And it’s a similar situation at the General Wolfe Inn. With their doors now open most days, and work progressing beautifully at the dock side the area is alive with people. And the WI Bakery , the WI Pub and Pizzeria, and Fargo’s Store, continue as important places to go. Along with the WI Information Centre, the Stone Heron Gallery, opening once again in the WI Township Community Hall for the summer, the “Old House” Museum, the Dreamcatcher B&B, Bill Speers “Cycle Wolfe Island” bicycle rental, and the WI Boat Club, all are on Main Street. And with the WI Community Garden and the Community Centre Grounds, (ball diamonds, covered rink, horse ring etc.) where the WI Music Festival takes place, ALL ARE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF THE FERRY, requiring NO Vehicle to get there, if physically able.

Of course there are important locations all over the island, too numerous to mention, requiring transportation to get there. For instance Big Sandy Bay, presently closed due to high water, and the international crossing to Cape Vincent via Horne's Ferry, and Riverfront Golf , the Corn Maze…..

During the summer months the population of Wolfe Island increases from 1400 to perhaps 3000, when cottagers and summer residents return. That alone increases traffic on the ferry. But already this early in the season the lineups are long both sides, often leaving vehicles behind, not just on weekends. Add to that Emergency Calls causing the ferry to go off schedule. With no stop light in the village when the ferry unloads, and non synchronized lights in Kingston, how can it stay on schedule? Consider too all the service vehicles, agricultural, construction, and the transport of water, waste, fuel etc., that must come and go to the island.

Wolfe Island welcomes visitors to the island any time of year, to share in what it has to offer. But, if you coming this time of year to visit the village of Marysville specifically, and do not require a vehicle please consider leaving your vehicle behind in Kingston, and walk-on the ferry.

B. Lake Ontario Water Keeper- A delegation from Lake Ontario Water Keeper will attend Frontenac Islands June council meeting to inform council of the schedule for a seven week celebration of the Great Lakes, The Kingston & Wolfe Island Culture Festival . Through story and song, it will begin with the Wolfe Island Festival the Arts by Dave Bidini, and end with the Wolfe Island Music Festival, organized by Virginia Clark . They will seek council’s input into what other areas of the island can be promoted during the festival. The Kingston and Wolfe Island Festival will feature the art, history science and nature of the area to foster new connections with water. The themes of each week will look at how Wolfe Island, and Kingston, provide an example “ of all that the Great Lakes can provide in swimmable, drinkable, fishable future.”
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is a Canadian charity aimed at keeping the province’s water systems clean. ,It is part of Robert F. Kennedy , Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance, to ensure waterways worldwide are protected. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper was founded in 2001 by Mark Mattson and Kingston’s Kristyn Tully, following the water tragedy in Walkerton Ontario, where Mark had served as counsel for a public interest environmental group. At about the same time there was a terrible sewage spill in Kingston that fouled Wolfe Island shores and waters. Mark, a lawyer, grew up spending summers swimming and fishing on Wolfe Island, where his family has owned property since the 1800’s. Watch for details of the Kingston and Wolfe Island Culture Festival (KWICF).

Around Town: **Wolfe Island Fire & Rescue have issued a letter outlining the costs of required equipment with thanks for donations. It reminded resident that the WI service is a volunteer department and required to have the same equipment as career fire fighters, ensuring resident safety but that of the fire fighters as well. It noted that a new Hurst Jaw for Life tool cost $13,000, pads for defibrillators cost $200 each, and bunker suits, good only for 10 years, cost $2,300. “You can see how important your donations are,” the letter said. ** Work is well underway at the site of the Senior Apartment Project in spite of rain earlier in the week. ** Linda Thomas spoke on behalf of the WI Feral Cat group on CBC radio morning about the successes and benefits for the cats. Worth a listen. Islanders have cared for feral cats for many years. ** Water levels remain high. Concern raised with the Big Sandy Bay sensitive sand dune erosion , and the no beach situation. *** (By the way, cycling Wolfe Island is becoming more and more popular (reserve your bike at 613-385-2240

COMING EVENTS:** WI’s 1st Annual Garden Party, June 15,16, 17th. Wrist bands available at businesses, & tourist centre. ** Severance restrictions meetings. Tues, June 20th 6:30PM Howe Island Municipal Bldg; Thurs. June 22nd 6:30 pm, WI Town Hall. **The Kingston & Wolfe Island Culture Festival: June 23 - August 12, 2017. ***Wolfe Island Classic Race & Kiddie kilometer Sun. July 2nd. Visit ***Canada Day Pancake Breakfast July 1st

Posted by M Knott at 11:55 AM
June 01, 2017
Frontenac lslands Township Issues Latest Status Report

On May 31st the Township of Frontenac Islands issued a status report with regard to flooding conditions on Simcoe Wolfe and Howe Islands. This follows the issuance of the Emergency Response Plan, and Declaration of Emergency with the Province, as a means of protecting health, welfare and property of islanders at this time.
The current update lists health and safety issues as of most concern and advises residents to be aware of high levels of bacteria in the water, and to continue getting water tested. Bottles remain available at the township offices but now must be dropped off at the Public Health Kingston Lab at 181 Barrie Street. Sand bagging continues with sand available at Wolfe and Howe in the event of high winds. No evacuations have been necessary.
The Simcoe Ferry is operational with large sand bags on the docks both sides to allow operation during high winds and wave uprush. The Howe Island foot ferry is currently running on a reduced schedule and carrying a ¾ ton truck for ballast. It is restricted to two vehicles and reduced hours. Big Sandy Bay remains closed. Water on roads shows little reduction

Wolfe Island Garden Party: The 15th,16th and 17th of June are the dates of the 1st Annual Wolfe Island Garden Party, presented by ‘Wolfe Island Records’ and ‘Wolfe Island Spring’. Wolfe Island Records (located on the Island) has been involved in the development of The Garden Party, a weekend and in association with the Wolfe Island Craft Brewery, and the Wolfe Island Grill will present a weekend of culture, music, agriculture and art and a number of events promoting music, local food production and sustainable farming. The event has received support from the Township of Frontenac Islands, Frontenac County, and CFDC
A beautiful brochure has been created with much thought, much colour and a delightful play list of events announcing the Wolfe Island Garden Party, in support of the Wolfe Island Community Garden(s). It is a wonderful invitation to join Islanders on those dates at the Wolfe Island Grill on Thursday June 15th at 8:30pm, for a Listening Party of new releases by David Corley and Hugh Christopher Brown. And on Friday June 16th for Live Music at The Wolfe Island Grill , General Wolfe Inn, and the Wolfe Island Pub & Pizzeria, also beginning at 8:30 pm
Saturday offers a variety of events beginning at 11 am with Family Music with ‘Butterfingers’ at the dock of the Wolfe Island Boat Club. A Wolfe Island Grill ‘Bar B Que’ will feature locally sourced food. A panel discussion on the opportunities and the challenges for local food and agriculture on the island (1PM-2:30PM) follows at the General Wolfe Inn, hosted by Frontenac County Economic Development.

A map will be available indicating the locations of open houses, farm locations, gardens and music workshops. Coming by ferry, visitors are urged to leave cars behind , walk on to the ferry, and to walk, cycle or hop on a wagon to visit the different locations and meet the exciting people who operate them, whether an artist, an organic master gardener, a photographer, a sheep farmer, an artist and many more. Live music continues at the same three venues the Wolfe Island Grill, General Wolfe Inn and the WI Pub & Pizzeria that evening. Weekend passes are $20. Children free with all proceeds going to the Wolfe Island Community Garden(s). Wristbands will be available at local businesses and the Wolfe Island Tourist office in advance. An email address is being created by which to reserve…stay tuned for that at the WI Network on Facebook. All kinds of work is underway on the outdoor patios, and in completing seasonal boat docking spots at the WI Gril,l and the Inn in preparation for the Garden Party weekend and summer generally. Exciting times.

COMING EVENTS: **Open House meetings to receive public comment on the restriction of severances in rural areas and proposed amendments to Official Plan Policy, Section 6.3.3. Tues, June 20th 6;30-6 PM Howe Island Municipal Bldg. and Thurs. June 22nd 6:30-8 pm, Wolfe Island Town Hall. **The Kingston & Wolfe Island Culture Festival: a celebration of Great Lakes Voices Events throughout Kingston and Wolfe Island June 23 - August 12, 2017

Posted by M Knott at 01:03 PM
May 25, 2017
Yet More About Water

Yet More About Water
Shoreline residents around Frontenac Islands , Howe and Wolfe, as well in Frontenac County and Kingston continue their effort to keep the waters of Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence from destroying homes, cottages, shorelines . But day by day there has been little change in water levels that remain very high. With frequent high winds blowing in and periods of rain, an incredible effort is required to keep the water at bay by very tired home and business owners and their coteries of volunteers.

The Township of Frontenac Islands has done what it had to do: activated an Emergency Response Plan and filed an Emergency declaration made sand and bags available, and is closely monitoring the Simcoe Islander and Township Howe Islander ferries, Roads have been reinforced and Reeds Bay Road in particular with tons of rock. Citizens have been advised to keep receipts etc. for Disaster Recovery Assistance, be prepared to care for themselves for a minimum of 72 hours and perhaps most importantly to test drinking wate. The KFLA Health Unit Advisory has been issued with regard to water safety.

And on this day in late May, rain is once again in the forecast, and “Lake Ontario, could see a new record in just a few days,” Gail Faveri said (in a Press Reader article by D.Hains, Metro Toronto). Faveri is with the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board which since 1960 has been in charge of regulating the flow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence controlled by the Moses-Saunders Dam near Cornwall, benefitting St. Lawrence Seaway shipping, hydroelectric power generation, boaters and property owners. According to the Metro article, the board has been adjusting the flow every day since the beginning of April in an effort “to provide maximum relief to people living along the shoreline of Lake \Ontario and downstream.” Thus far it doesn’t seem to be much help to those Islanders affected most. The decent of the water is happening so slowly. And now it is raining….once again. Quoting from the plan “Experience has shown that during excessive spring runoff from the Ottawa River, which is a major tributary, flooding in the Montreal area can be reduced by temporary reductions in Lake Ontario outflow. Plan 2014 formally incorporates these temporary reductions in outflow.” This obviously happened and we have that water.

2. Wolfe Island Ferry Line Ups- Anyone who travelled to Wolfe Island over the holiday weekend could only wonder at what drew the many, cars, trucks, trailers and boats to Wolfe along with so many visitors walking and biking off the ferry Wolfe Islander III into Maryville on Friday. The lineups on the Kingston side were long but it was the number of vehicles leaving the island at the end of the weekend that was truly incredible. And how grateful we are to have the MTO students keeping things in order traffic-wise. They tightened up the line, kept cars from sneaking into it, moved those parked in it and going nowhere, and generally got into the swing of the summer travel to the island.
At the recent Frontenac Islands council meeting a discussion about the line up, and the idea that that the ferry might better operate from the Dawson Point Dock all year for ease of lineup, boarding and unloading came up because the disregard by some people for the rules in Marysville causes disruptions to the MTO ferry schedule. The Township will issue a flyer to Wolfe Island residents outlining those rules as stipulated in a Township bylaw and a notice that Frontenac By-law Enforcement will be present on a regular basis to ensure compliance. Adherence to the rules is not seen as a threat to Marysville businesses but rather will help keep the ferry on schedule. Councillor Springgay expressed her strong desire that the ferry remain in the village all year for the sake of businesses, development and tourism. Though fundamentally opposed to having local citizens ticketed for lineup infractions as a way of improving lineup efficiency, she would agree if necessary. As the students become more experienced , that option may not be required.

3. Around Frontenac Islands: (a) Severance Application Review Public Meetings : June 20th on Howe Island; June 22nd on Wolfe Island, both at 6:30 pm. (b) Council approved a minimum, 1 week closure of a portion of Howe Island’s Lower Side Road to allow a culvert replacement south of the Baseline Trail. © Footings were poured for the WI Seniors Apartment facility. (d) Frontenac Islands website:

4. Around Town: Thanks to Rhonda Brown, who is retiring, for providing (Lifelabs) blood services to the WI Medical Clinic twice a month since 2013. Friday June 2nd is her last day. Enjoy Rhonda. Catalina Schneider will be taking her place. FYI: The Clinic bears the cost of the Nurse Practitioner Walk In’s and the specimen collection centres. donations are accepted. The WI Classic Race Sun. July 2nd also supports the Medical Clinic. Register at:
Coming events: ***Rummage Sale WI United Church Hall Sat. June 3rd, 9am to 2pm… ** Wolfe Island Classic Race July 2nd 9:30 am ** WI Round Up July 1,2.

Posted by M Knott at 12:56 PM
May 18, 2017
Some Say Itís the Highest Water Ever: On the Islands

Frontenac Islands activated its Emergency Response plan and ‘Declared a Flooding Emergency’ on Tues .May 16th due to the already high water levels of the St. Lawrence and River and Lake Ontario, which at this time are expected to continue increasing. The weather in the region has included high winds and incredible wave action causing flooding in low lying areas, shore lines, and erosion affecting homes , cottages , roads, etc.

To date islanders have willingly volunteered to help fill and place sandbags to divert water in a number of areas and around homes on Wolfe and Howe Islands with the sand and bags. These were made available at the islands public works facilities, with a reminder to bring a shovel and a caution to drive slowly over water covered roads. Volunteers can be called to assist local staff. With a ‘Declaration’ both Provincial and Federal Governments can also be called upon. Islanders have been advised to document any damages incurred with photo/receipts for expenses, if the Ministry of Housing determines that Frontenac Islands are a zone eligible for Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO).
There has been no problem with the Wolfe Islander III ferry, which is sitting very high in the water, but going up the ramp and down to board and exit the ferry however, is quite an unusual experience. I expect it must be similar experience for the Howe Island County ferry. However should water levels continue to rise expect the Simcoe Islander and Township Howe Islander to shut down until levels drop. The big fear as always is for the ferries to be shut down with no way to leave the islands, and in this case impassable roads, or no access to homes. But as Mayor Doyle so often says: “We are indeed a resilient lot on Frontenac Islands.”
Have you had your water tested yet? This is very important. KFL&A Public Health advises drinking water testing. Flooding conditions may have affected wells and sewage systems. Test bottles are available from either Island township offices to be returned for pickup by the Health Unit. In this situation, test the water regularly. For more information visit the Frontenac Islands website at:

2. Great Things Happening at The General Wolfe Inn: . As a member of the Frontenac County Accessibility Committee I felt compelled to call and remind the new owners of the Inn that there are a number of areas in and around the Inn that need improvements when it comes to making it accessible according to Ontario standards. And how thrilled I was to hear that such are already underway. You can’t help but notice the level of activity across the street at the Inn’s outdoor Summer Patio on the Dock. It is undergoing a complete rebuild that will include a number of initiatives to make it accessible including a wheelchair accessible washroom, barrier free entries, and height level considerations. Many may have already seen the design for that area presently hanging in the restaurant showing plantings, rock design, and general needed dock repairs If not, consider having a look. When it comes to the restaurant itself, there too initiatives are being considered including making the direct entry door at the back of the building as the accessible entry door. The operative word being a Welcoming Accessible Door , good lighting etc., and perhaps handicap parking. Much thought is being given to ways of improving the accessibility of the interior and exterior of the restaurant as well as the dining room. Good |Luck …

3. And About Beaches and Ferries: ** FYI: The design-build contract for the new Amherst Island Ferry also includes the design-build for the new Wolfe Island ferry. The contract is currently in the ‘Request for Proposals’ (RFP) stage, which is the second phase of procurement. The RFP was sent to the five qualifying shipyards at the end of April. It is expected the contract to be awarded by late summer 2017. The information about this project comes from Ms. Brandy Duhaime, Regional Communications Coordinator MTO, Eastern Region. Also from MTO: Glenora Ferry Service will remain on a 30-minute schedule with only one ferry running on limited service until further notice. Only cars, SUVs and ½ ton pick-up trucks can be accommodated. (On a trip to Picton, we noted the Glenora Ferry had a large truck centered in the middle as form of ballast against the water level.) ** Wolfe Island Welcomes Back the MTO Summer Students whom we count on to keep the ferry line-ups in order. Good Luck. **Please Take Note that Big Sandy Bay is closed until further notice due to high water levels. To put it succinctly, There is No Beach at this time. Watch for an Opening Date at:

4.. Around Town; * Jana Mills was in attendance to receive a $4,000 grant for the Friends of Ferals from the Kingston Community Foundation. **Also from the Foundation a $6,362 grant for the NEW WI Community Garden (behind the WI Medical Clinic) presented to Kayo Murakami. **

Posted by M Knott at 12:53 PM
May 11, 2017
Frontenac Island Seniors Apartment Project-- Moves Forward

The rain was falling too heavily to proceed with the planned ground breaking ceremony at the site for a first Seniors Apartment Project for Frontenac Islands. The honoured guest was present , the shovel was gilded and the people came to the Wolfe Island Community Hall. And, not for the first time, is it that Mr. John Weatherall, (Scarthingmoore Farms) has donated land for a special project on Wolfe, this time one for seniors
“We are delighted to have John here with us today. His donation is another key piece in this project,” Mayor Denis Doyle said in his welcome. “When Frontenac County went on to develop a strategic plan, county council determined that as one of their priorities, a senior apartment project be established, one in each of the four townships and allocated $375,000 for each of them, and a little more to hire a consultant to help us develop a plan,” he said. Wolfe Island indicated a need for senior living spaces some years ago, and the Weatherall’s expressed ongoing interest and support at the time. Doyle paid tribute to the WI Senior Housing committee (which he chairs) made up of members of the community including Councillor Wayne Grant, Brian Scovill, Kathy Horton, Mikaela Hughes, Walter Knott, CAO Darlene Plumley, and advisor Patrick Thompson. Frontenac Islands Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal also attended the gathering.

As people arrived (40-55), they were invited by committee members and staff to walk through an accessible one bedroom apartment laid out to full size with tape on the floor at one end of the hall. Each room space was identified with cupboards, doors, sink, tubs, windows, etc. Islanders took their time, from ‘room’ to ‘room’, offered suggestions, asked questions, and picked up rental application forms, tenancy agreement forms and information before leaving. Coffee, cookies and pie was served.
Present from the County were CAO Kelly Pender and Communications Marco Smits, and from Wemp-Smith Building Contractors wasTammie Shatraw. This first project for Frontenac Islands -Wolfe Island Ward will consist of four -one bedroom apartments, and one 2 bedroom apartment. The project is ready to go… when the rain stops… when the ground dries For more information contact Frontenac Islands -Wolfe Island 613-385-2216.
At Frontenac Islands Council: A Service Employee Appreciation event in this instance for Wolfe & Simcoe Island employees was held in advance of the May 8 Council meeting. Honoured for years of service were: Don Eves, Tom Hines, Keith Greenwood, Ed Etmanskie, May Etmanskie, Kevin Frost, Theresa Quist, Carl Lambert, Darlene Plumley, and Rob Dillabough. A similar employee appreciation will be held on Howe Island in advance of the regular June Council meeting. Each person received a certificate and a gift. (which was a surprise.)
2. A minor variance request for a property on Easy Lane was withdrawn, at the request Frontenac County Planner Megan Rueckwald on behalf of the applicant Margaret Webb because of the severe flooding on the Webb property. Webb was also at the meeting was obviously anxious and concerned as she described the flooding pattern, and all she and family members have been doing (sand bagging, ditching), to try and save their house, including manning 4 very costly industrial pumps. She spoke of difficulty with adjacent lot flooding patterns, and no proper ditching etc. The owner asked that their building permit remain open. The township will repay the $475 cost of the minor variance, and has sought and will seek further input from the Cataraqui Regional Conservation Authority, Ducks Unlimited, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Municipal Drainage Inspector regarding properties on Easy Lane. At the present time sand and bags are available at the public works departments at both Howe and Wolfe. Interesting to note, Township staff will meet with a representative from Emergency Measures Ontario to discuss Disaster Management related to flooding.
3. W.I,s Chris Brown, owner/operator of a music recording facility on the island, accompanied by Janette Haase of Community Gardens, spoke to council about the planning that has begun for a weekend featuring music, farm and garden open houses/work shops. It is to raise awareness of community gardening and the WI Community Gardens to coincide with the formal launch of “Wolfe Island Records” and also ‘Casey’s’ brewery launch. A very ambitious program involving businesses, restaurants, musicians, and gardeners with a focus on social justice, food and the rural sector. It will include the WI Island Grill and the General Wolfe Inn. More information soon..
Around Town: Speaking of Gardens, the Tulips in Maryville’s Community Garden Planted for Canada’s 150th are in full bloom. Why not take a walk that way… June 10-18 is Garden Ontario Week.
Coming Events: **. Fish Fry, Wolfe Island United Sat. May 20TH,doors open 4;30, *** Community Yard Sale, Saturday & Sunday May 20-21, 9 AM to 4 PM, New & Used Items Rain or Shine, 1263 Hwy 96 East *** WI Boat Club Try It Day–Open House, Sunday, May28 ***Rummage Sale WI United Church Hall Sat. June 3rd, 9am to 2pm…

Posted by M Knott at 10:41 AM
May 04, 2017
Marysville Comes to LIFE in Spring

Spring has finally arrived for Frontenac Islands…There is excitement in the air. You can see it happening at this time of year in every small town along the St. Lawrence, and Lake Ontario. Here Municipal crews were out cleaning the streets of winter leftovers of sand and grime. The last of forgotten Christmas decorations are gone . Flower pots are appearing on the main street ready for plants, or already filled. Islanders are back from winter holidays. Trees and bushes are just aching to bloom. The Bicycle Rental shop is open for business is Horne’s ferry, the Bakery. Soon to follow will be any other restaurant , shop, retreat, park, garden, and golf course, that was closed for the winter. The Coast Guard has set out the markers.
In small towns all over, signs will appear announcing this event or that and how to get here or there. Plants , vegetables and flowers, along with mulch and whatever else required for the growing season, will fill the stands along the front of the local general stores. Patios will be opening at village restaurants, as will accommodation facilities closed for the winter. Fishing has started and boats have begun to arrive at the village docks.. Summer residents will begin to trickle back. Local food and produce appears for sale. And finally as schools near closing for the summer, everything else that was shut down for the winter, art galleries, museums, information centres, specialty shops, parks, walking tours, etc. etc. will open, and summer fund raising events of every sort begin and visitors come in droves. Welcome to Summer….
It’s all about TOURISM, attracting people to share in what you have to offer and to SPEND their dollars that help maintain your town when businesses close down for the winter. It doesn’t seem to matter how big or small the town may be, (unless you have a ski hill or concert hall), that’s the way it goes. Here, take the Wolfe Islander III to Marysville and Welcome to Wolfe Island.
2. THE LADIES IN SIR JOHN A.'S LIFE’: Brian Porter, the well known Sir John A MacDonald impersonator, and his wife Renee wearing an 1880’s gown as Lady Agnes Mac Donald, presented a series of stories about Canada’s first Prime Minister and the women in his life. This was at a gathering presented as part of the WI Historical Society’s annual speakers series. The historical slides and the skits presented by Brian, dressed in his1880’s period frock coat, took the audience back in time to Confederation 150 years ago. But it was the stories about the women in Sir John A’s life that came as a surprise. The women included his mother Helen Shaw, his two sisters, two wives, sickly Isabella Clark, Lady Agnes, his handicapped daughter Mary and granddaughter Daisy. Sir John was a widower for 10 years before he married Lady Agnes One story about her, read by Renee Porter, was a surprise. Apparently strong willed, she travelled 600 miles , tied to the cow catcher of the train travelling through the Rocky Mountains. Through the stories it was clear that Sir John A’s home life was difficult, while his role in the formation of Canada significant. WI Historical Society president Hank Connell thanked the Porter’s for coming. It was a wonderful afternoon.
Around Town: ** Water levels are high around Frontenac Islands. As a precaution loads of sand and bags are at public works areas on both Howe and Wolfe for sandbagging if required. ** Horne’s Ferry to Cape Vincent NY was forced to delay its May 1st opening to make some dock changes due to high water. ** New owners of the General Wolfe Inn, formerly the General Wolfe Hotel, are Laurence Gray and Ron Gibson. The Restaurant Operator is Kelly Hale. At the present time the Inn restaurant is open weekends only with bands and a new menu. *** The WI Community Garden Project is the recipient of a grant from the Community Foundation of Kingston. The project to offer experiences, planting, tending and harvesting for elementary school children and further opportunities. The garden will be located behind the WI Medical Clinic. **By the way, WI Clinic AGM is Tues. May 30th *** All proceeds WI Classic Road Race support the WI Community Medical Clinic. Donations for the clinic are gratefully received. *** Check out the Tri-Island Series. The first event in the challenge is the Howe Island Hustle, this year on May 13th, the Classic in July followed by the Wooly Bully on Amherst Island August 20th. ***Howe Island Pitch In week a Great Success. ** WI Boat Club May 13th Spring clean up of boats, books and boat house on May 28th.. Open House & summer program registration and membership renewal time. ***A new building is to replace present building at the WI Recycling Centre. *** The W.I. Bloomin’ Gardeners is looking for new members to join the group. Interested? Call Linda 385-1947.
Coming Events: **. Fish Fry, Wolfe Island United Sat. May 20TH,doors open 4;30, Adults $15.00 Under 12 –$6:00 Under 6 free, Take outs available. *** Shanti Retreat 6 Week Yoga Session, Mon. May 8th – Mon. June 19th, 7:30 - 8:45 pm. All levels, beginners welcome! $115 for pre-registration or $20/ class drop in *** Community Yard Sale, Saturday & Sunday May 20-21, 9 AM to 4 PM, New & Used Items Rain or Shine, 1263 Hwy 96 East Wolfe Island, left off the ferry. *** A Rummage Sale will be held at Wolfe Island United Church Hall Sat. June 3rd, 9am to 2pm… Spring cleaning think of them . Gently used items-books, clothing, kitchen items, toys, etc. No electronics or large furniture!… If you have items for this Diane 385-2411 or Linda 365-2665.

Posted by M Knott at 10:37 AM
April 27, 2017
Ground Breaking Event : A Priority Date for Frontenac Islands

Ground Breaking Event : A Priority Date for Frontenac Islands
Mayor Doyle is always open for questions about the township, in this instance, about the planned Seniors Apartment Project on Wolfe Island. “I think the biggest thing coming up at this time is the ‘ground breaking ‘ event for the project to be held on Friday May 5th,” he said. “ Mr. John Weatheral (Scarthingmoor Farms) who donated the land for the 5 unit apartment project will join us when he arrives off the 2 pm ferry at the WI Community Hall (behind the Town Hall) for some discussion, and up dating about the project. As well, for a meet and greet of the Frontenac County representatives, including key staff members, the WI Senior project committee members, and Wemp and Smith Construction company representatives.”
Mayor Doyle added that a full sized layout of a one bedroom unit will be outlined in tape on the floor of the newly upgraded WI Community Hall, offering an opportunity for everyone to sense the size of the planned accessible apartments. “We will then proceed to the site of the project at the south end of Division, street close to the WI Community Medical Clinic, WI Emergency Services and the Community Centre grounds for the ceremonial ground breaking. We hope that any members of the public who want an update and status report on this project will join us.”
FYI.. Frontenac County Council chose senior housing as the first of 3 projects to focus on over a five year period, to build one five unit seniors apartment facility in each of the four townships in Frontenac County. County Council approved the hiring of a consultant to assist in moving forward and a common business plan was developed for use in each of North, South, Central and Frontenac Islands Townships.. Public meetings were held throughout Frontenac County to determine need, and Marysville was chosen for a first seniors project under the auspices of Frontenac County.
2. Ferry line up problems.: A majority of Islanders are following the ferry lineup signage rules posted last year to assist in loading the ferry and keep it on the hourly schedule according to Mayor Doyle, but there are still those who do not. “Currently these by far are the issue I receive the most complaints about.” He listed for instance, those Not keeping the lineup tight, those butting in from the west resulting in others at the east end already in the lineup not getting on the ferry, those who wait for the ferry to leave, then park anywhere in the lineup and in spots where those coming up behind can't see the empty space in front of the car parked in violation of the township by-law, and thus que up behind it. “Last week a vehicle park at the corner in front of the Post Office and everyone queued up behind that car, while there were no cars at all on the dock” , the Mayor said . As a result of these ferry line up issues in the village there is a growing demand by many WI residents to have the ferry run from the Dawson Pont dock all year round, because it is generally always on time, and fair for all. And speaking of docks, the next MTO Ferry Docking EA PIC (Public Information Centre ) will likely be held in early June (?) rather than in May.

3. Mayor Doyle clarified a statement he made, contained in a Whig Standard article, about extended funding for the Frontenac Paramedicine pilot project started 3 years ago. The quote read, “Mayor Doyle said he was concerned municipal funding of health-care programs could amount to ‘downloading by stealth’ by the provincial government.” Doyle explained when asked that if these services are provided at the Hospital, or by a Doctor's office, or by other health care professionals, the province covers 100% of the cost through OHIP. The way the Paramedic funding formula works the municipalities pay for 50% of the costs, “so my point was if we are not careful and ensure that the Province covers 100% of the Paramedicine cost the Municipalities once again would get current Provincial costs downloaded to local property tax payers.” Frontenac County council supported the original project, providing $5,600 per year in funding..

Around Town : **Great work by WI’s Friends of the Feral Cats : The group has been working hard and is pleased to report that they have now neutered and vaccinated over 210 feral cats. They are also thrilled to have recently developed a relationship with Kingston Animal Rescue and then Southpaw Cat Café, and have through them, ‘rehomed’ several of Wolfe Island cats. Please watch for, and support, their fundraising activities this summer and fall – “We need the support of the community to maintain the success we have had to date.” ** WI Bakery Now Open May 1st, and also marks the opening of Horne’s Ferry. It provides the. international border crossing of the St. Lawrence Seaway from Horne’s Point (Point Alexandria)Wolfe Island to Cape Vincent NY (USA) for the season. Really a unique experience as the MV Wm. Darrel with a twelve car capacity, carries passengers and vehicles to their destination. This is not a free ferry.

Coming Events:** 6 Week Spring Yoga Session at Shanti Retreat, Monday May 8th - Monday June 19th, (excluding May long weekend) 7:30 - 8:45 pm. All levels, beginners welcome! $115 for pre-registration or $20 per class drop in ** Community Yard Sale, Saturday & Sunday May 20-21, 9 AM to 4 PM, New & Used Items Rain or Shine, 1263 HWY 96 EAST (Claire’s property)Wolfe Island, left off the ferry.

Posted by M Knott at 10:35 AM
April 20, 2017
How Do We See Ourselves --Now?

How Do We See Ourselves —Now?
Planning is underway for an official plan review with public meetings, to be held in June in the Frontenac Islands one in the Howe Island ward and the other in the Wolfe Island ward, to hear comments from residents ‘specifically’ with regard to the possibility of allowing more residential lots to be created in the rural areas of the township. This resolution came following the introduction of a report prepared by Frontenac County Planner Gallivan concerning “Official Plan Policy – Restriction of Severances in Rural Areas”. A more detailed analysis is needed to determine the kinds of changes that might occur, and their impact on the 1985 dated rule limiting three lots per parcel of land. As previously stated (The Heritage, April 19) Howe Island Councilor, Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal, asked if the meetings could be ward specific with separate policies based on what comes from the meetings.

All of which is reminiscent of two meetings held in April of 2008, one on Howe Island and the other on Wolfe Island, the first steps in the Frontenac Islands’ “Official Plan Review,” their purpose, to introduce the process and to identify the community’s involvement in it. (Also to introduce Tunnock Consulting, township planners at the time).
It is interesting to note that the OP process includes a research phase to develop a comprehensive community profile. Based on the same 10 questions presented at those meetings which related to: sustainability, rate of growth, quality of life, viable/marketable uses of agricultural lands/ shoreline development/ access/ protection, Marysville, limits to growth; Howe Island attributes and disadvantages; suitable/compatible home based businesses; private road development benefits/downfalls; cultural heritage/ historical sites and alternative energy, two different profiles emerged. And drawing from that 2008 article this is what Howe and Wolfe Islands came up with:

“Howe Island wants its flavour and independence sustained. It wants a community hub, larger (3 acre) lots, a dependable faster (free) ferry; island growth restricted by maintaining resource protection. Attributes are two ferries, a low crime rate, non intrusive home based businesses. They believe their identity is diluted by attachment to Wolfe Island, concerned about the poor farming environment, have health and safety concerns about wind power but wonder what the amenities agreement means for them. They have differing opinions about island roads, they want high speed internet, believe in growing your own food, market days. and cultural heritage and citizen participation.”

“Wolfe Island wants sustainability, well managed growth and age friendly quality of life and needs met. (health, seniors , safety, clean water, self sufficiency, environmental protection, waste disposal, multiuse community centre, etc.), as well as dependable ferry transportation, public transportation on the island, new businesses through encouraging different land uses and growth for Marysville dependent on municipal services (water-sewer).”
“Both communities, Howe and Wolfe, questioned the appropriateness of the extensive agricultural land use designation and their inability to sever. They saw the need for more rural designation and smaller farming land plot sizes (developing food movement, hobby farms etc.) as well as shore line management with public access to the water as important issues.”

Has anything changed since 2008? How Do islanders feel about allowing more residential lots to be created in the rural areas of the township? All to be given careful consideration prior to any change being introduced. Watch for meeting dates on the Frontenac Islands website.

Around Town: 1. ** Help us Celebrate the Township of Frontenac Islands Seniors Apartments Groundbreaking Ceremony. It will be at 26 Division St. Wolfe Island on May 5th, 2017 at 2:30 pm. The project that will provide five modern accessible apartments for seniors located close to Marysville amenities. Join Frontenac Islands Council and staff, Frontenac County Council and Staff, special Guest John Weatherall, (Scarthingmoor Farms), Seniors Housing Board Representatives, & General Contractors, Wemp and Smith Construction Limited.
2 . Frontenac County is looking for input from residents and businesses, tourist operators, interested citizens for ways to increase overnight stays in the County all year. Frontenac County and MDB Insight Consulting will host a workshop for Frontenac Islands on Wolfe Island Mon. May 1, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. WI Community Hall 26 Division Street. Registration:
3. THE WI HISTORICAL SOCIETY invites you to attend ‘THE LADIES IN SIR JOHN A.'S LIFE’ , an afternoon with Sir John A. and Lady Agnes Macdonald, played by Brian & Renee Porter, Sunday, APRIL 30th at 1:30 PM, WI United Church Hall. A slide show, accompanied by a series of skits designed to take you back to Confederation -150 years ago.
4. Plans are under way for a very busy July 1st weekend that includes the annual Canada Day Breakfast July 1, the 37th annual Wolfe Island 5-10k Road Race July 2nd, and the 3rd annual Wolfe Island Round Up…. July 1-2nd . Watch for details…
Coming Events: Rummage Sale WI United Church Hall Saturday June 3rd, 2017, 9AM to 2PM No electronics or large furniture. Contact Diane 385-2411 or Linda 365-2665.

Posted by M Knott at 10:30 AM
April 13, 2017
Frontenac Islands Council Meeting-- Opens on a Pleasant Note

A group of Howe Island Fire Fighters (21), led by Chief Mike Quinn, filed into the Howe Island’s municipal council chamber as Frontenac Islands April council meeting began. Addressing Council, Chief Quinn introduced the department’s Fire Fighters Association president and executive officer, Joe Beattie, to make a presentation.. “It gives me great pleasure present this cheque for $6,500 to the township,”Beattie said. “ It is the result of our fund raising activity for medical and safety equipment for our boat ‘ Marine 111’ last June . The community responded so well , as they always do.” Mayor Doyle accepted the cheque to be used as requested.
Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan was on hand to speak to the application for a severance of a piece of property (lot 10, Concession North Range, (North Shore Road) on Howe Island. Comments were heard from the owners of the property, and the abutting land owner. The severance application was approved . Galivan was also there to introduce a report requested by council concerning Official Plan Policy. The ‘Restriction of Severances in Rural Areas’ and the possibility of public meetings to consider allowing more residential lots in rural areas of the township. The report outlines existing policy as identified in the official plan (sec.6.3). Before amalgamation (1998) Howe Island did not have an OP. Wolfe Island did, but had no policies with regard to severances on a land holding. It is understood that the current policy (Jan. 1, 1985) that allows 3 severances is based on a Frontenac County Land Division approach. Planner Gallivan believes that before a public meeting can be held, more analysis is required to determine what might be the result of amending the 3 lot per parcel. “The provincial policy statement encourages growth in the hamlet areas with all decisions based on good planning,” he said. Using the County GIS services an approximate number of 1 to 3 acre lots available, that comply with sec 6.3 and other criteria were identified. Using MPAC data, Howe Island ward has 35 lots, with Wolfe Island 45 and Simcoe 5.

Noting the differences in the island wards, Howe and Wolfe, Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal asked ”Can the meetings be ward specific” in order to develop separate policies based on the information and comments of citizens. Howe Island resident Bill Robinson could see no need for any change based on growth projections and ferry limitations. Another person had no quarrel with the 35 number of vacant lots on Howe. While another noted , “on Howe it’s about protecting agricultural land.” A Wolfe Islander on the other hand is unhappy with the 1985 restriction which prevents a 2nd home being built on 2 acre lot because the overall property had 3 severances already. Councillor Springgay sees increased development on Wolfe Island as a positive and assist in attracting and keeping young families, as well as building up school enrollment. Planner Gallivan suggested that if there are no appeals to the process as it proceeds through the summer, it might receive late fall approval. Watch for further information and notice of meeting dates.

FYI A Secondary Plan for Marysville (WI Ward) is to be undertaken to determine expected island growth and development with increased ferry service. A secondary plan provides specific policies for areas identified within an Official Plan as requiring more detailed direction.

Budget Approval: The result of all that effort by the staff, with earlier input by those who submitted funding requests (groups, associations, etc.), for budget year 2017, the increases for both wards is a 2.99% to the mill rate. The mill rate is the charge by $1,000 assessment on individual properties. This is all based on the total assessment, which actually decreased from the prior year, as many who have received MPAC notices will know. As Mayor Doyle completed the reading of the Frontenac Islands 2017 bylaw to levy taxes, which had been set to increase to 3.7% (1.57%for policing) for Howe, and 3.67 %,(2.01% for policing) for Wolfe, he announced that they had over budgeted for the education charge. “What should we do with the extra $45,000, take it out and lower rate or put it in reserves, or do a combination of both.?” Council chose the 3rd option, to reduce the tax rate on Howe to 2.98% with $6,000 for reserves, and 2.99% with $12,000 for reserves on Wolfe Island.

The township formalized an agreement with WI Music Festival 2017 coordinator Virginia Clark, as outlined in the Events bylaw including use of the Community Centre grounds August 10th through to August 13th. She will meet with MTO to mitigate some of the challenges involving ferry traffic particularly on the ‘going home’ commuter run on August 11th. Other elements of the festival related to policing, waste, recycling volumes, etc. will be worked out with township staff.

In other business; 1. A “Canada 150” committee has been formed to come up with an event. More to follow at May council meeting 2. An Accommodation Review meeting with Frontenac County’s Richard Allen will be held May 1st at Community Hall. Time to be determined.. 3. The Howe Island Ward newsletter to be released soon. 4. More Council news next time.

Posted by M Knott at 10:27 AM
April 06, 2017
Vimy Ridge -All about Remembering

On this day, April 6th, our youngest grandson Daniel (16) is on his way to France with classmates from École Secondaire Catholique Marie-Rivier in Kingston, to attend commemorative events being held at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial on April 9, 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge. He will be one of thousands of young Canadians who will be there to learn more about Canada’s military history. We tend to forget (or want to forget) that war is about the young.

Daniel goes with family stories about his great grandfather from Port Arthur who volunteered, joining the army (Little Black Devils) in 1914 departing for Europe, and who at age 22 was gassed at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, survived and taken as a prisoner of war for 3 years. He returned to Canada in 1919 after the end of the war. He said little or nothing about his experience for years. Daniel has also heard the stories of other relatives on both sides of the family who served in the military at that time or during the 2nd World War, the Korean War, and in in the military, as does his brother Will (RCAF).

But it is the stories of the bravery of the thousands of young Canadians, who volunteered to serve their county, and who fought at Vimy Ridge that has captured the imagination of Canadian youth. And they go to France knowing also about the losses of many Canadians and their bravery at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, Flanders Fields, the Somme, Hill 70, Passchendaele, the Hindenburg Line, and others. They know about the 100 days in 1918 leading to Mons and the Armistice in November 1918. They go to honour and remember a time in Canada’s history that can not, must not, be forgotten. We try to forget that war is about the young.

Wolfe Island does not have a War Memorial, per say. Nor was Remembrance Day officially acknowledged on the island until 1994 when a plaque was erected that expresses worthy sentiments regarding the service of island citizens to their county in the military in times of war and peace. A First Remembrance Day event was held at the WI Town Hall that year. And one has been held every year since then. First organized by the Women’s Institutes and the CWL, the service is ecumenical in nature, included the island’s school children, and was hosted by CAO Terry O’Shea on behalf of the township. Simple in its presentation, Remembrance Day has become an important occasion for the community to come together along with Officer Cadets from RMC/CMR, and members of CFB Kinston. Now it is organized by community representatives, associations and individuals along with the township. Like the Vimy Anniversary, it is about remembering.

On Remembrance Day 2003, WI resident (now Brig. General) David Paterson, spoke of researching the lives of six island casualties of war whose names he had heard read at the service in 1999, and of visiting four of the six memorials and graves of the men in Europe. They were: John Rogers killed in 1915 at the Second Battle of Ypres; also Arden McRae and Edward Walters; and 2nd World War casualties Millard Horne who died in a Lancaster Bomber in 1945; Earl Joslin, whose boat was machine gunned in Germany in 1945. Over the years Patterson provided more information about WI born Irwin Kelly, who died at the age of 21 at the Hindenburg line during the last days of World War 1 ; and of Frank Payne an island airman who died in an air campaign leading up to Operation Husky in 1943 -recorded as missing on an RAF Memorial in Malta. And in 1915 came news concerning Frederick Leonard Davis, born on WI and farmed in Joyceville, with the PPCLI and struck down in action near Cambrai, October 10 1918, and buried one month before the war ended. And finally in 2016 on Remembrance Day, Brig. General Patterson spoke of WI’s John Alexander Rogers, who enlisted in 1914 with the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and was killed (no known grave) on April 22nd 1915 at Ypres.

Vimy Ridge has been described as “a symbol of Canadian identity and history, a coming of age.“ The beauty, the sacredness,and the sadness of the memorial and the horror of the numbers who died there will surely remain with the youth who visit. It is they who must keep it alive. It is they who will tell the stories . And Remembrance Day still offers us all a time to remember “Lest we forget.”

Around Town:** Massage Therapy Clinic Now Open! Location: 1188A Main Street Please Call/Text Judy Gerber-van Vliet, RMT or Brooke MacDonald, RMT to book an appointment! Judy – 613-770-1803 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday) Brooke – 613-770-0720 (Tuesday). **

Coming events: Easter Egg Hunt, Communjty Centre Grounds. Sat. Apri1 15th, 11:15 am Ages – Infants to 12
(Children will be separated into 3 age categories)Bring your own basket to collect eggs

Posted by M Knott at 10:25 AM
March 30, 2017
Will Goats Be Part of Frontenac Islands Agricultural Model?

That remains to be seen. Originally islanders were certainly talking about the possibility of developing goat herds on the islands since the news came, about Feihe International Inc. and their plans to build a $225 million infant formula facility in Kingston. Mayor Doyle noted at the time “The islands are prime agricultural places close to the city, with a long history of milk production. I am sure the other townships in the county will want to do the same. I see this as the best economic development opportunity that has come about in years. Its going to take many people many farms, and many goats to make it work.”
Mayor Doyle encouraged interested residents to attend the meetings hosted by Frontenac County’s Economic Development Officer Richard Allen and KEDCO’s Carey Bidtnes. The meetings were held to encourage interest in the goat dairy industry. Although the sessions were well attended and interest was high from the surrounding areas, few people attended from the islands, according to the Mayor. However, he did note a very strong interest by those already part of the goat industry, in one way or another. FYI: Along with the cow milk based infant formula production line using skim milk from dairy farms, the Chinese infant formula company has plans to manufacture goat milk based products, and to process 75 million litres of goat milk annually as well. The high end milk formula line will begin upon the completion of the facility scheduled for construction this summer. The goat milk product line is expected to begin in 5-7 years. That is, if there is enough goat milk available. There’s the rub.
“There was a lot of information, with a lot of government rules to follow, presented at the county meetings,” according to Mayor Doyle. “But the net of it is that the average cost for a farmer to get one litre of goat milk is about a $1.30, and the price they would get at this time is only $1.00. The price has gone as high as $1.09, but either way they would lose money. Personally I cannot see many people rushing into the goat dairy business. As well there is a shortage of good goats. They are currently selling anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 each. To have a viable farm realistically you would need to have at least 200 to 500 animals. By the time you could get into a small size production one would have to invest around $2 million or more, so that makes it difficult. If the price of milk goes up it might be a viable business.” Doyle added that the officials from OMAFRA mentioned that there were a few long- term, well-established goat milk producers who had been successful in getting their cost down to below $1.00, but for a ‘start up farmer’ in this business they should plan for what the industry average is at this time.

Howe Island Councillor Bruce Higgs made some similar observations. His concern was for young farmers who might have considered goat dairy as the way to go, and it is effectively out of reach to them. “Add to that the fact that a prospective goat dairy farmer must have a contract through a broker, of which there are only two, to get into business at this time”, Councillor Higgs said. “Goats are at a premium. And it would be best to start off with those that yield the greatest quantity. Up and down prices can be pretty scary. I don’t know how many farmers would be interested in pursuing the idea. You would have to have a good banker who believes in your story,” he said. Higgs added that there are large (1500 goats) goat dairy farmers who have built up their goat flock over time, as well as smaller goat dairy farmers in Ontario who sell their goat milk for cheese. “I went as a councillor to get information and I did.”

For funding inquiries: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada offers a loan guarantee program,
For more information contact the program directly by email at, (toll-free) at 1-866-367-8506. See also the full list of programs. Also Farm Credit Canada offers a series of financing options for farmers.

2. Visitor Accommodation on Wolfe Island: Planning is underway for a May1st meeting with the WI business community and Frontenac County Business Development Officer Richard Allen . The purpose to come up with ideas and initiatives to attract overnight and “linger longer’ tourists to island accommodation, i.e. B&B’s, hotel /cottages, cabins and other commercial facilities..

3. Take note that the ferry, Wolfe Islander II is now operating from the Marysville Dock.

Around Town: **The family of WI resident Arthur Keyes invite you to celebrate his 90th Birthday with him on Sat. April 8th 1- 4 pm at the Wolfe Island United Church Hall. Arthur was raised and is still living in the house where he was born,
April 4th 1927, and where with his wife Geneva (65 years in July), they raised four children. Known as Poppy to many, he has 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. His parents were John and Elsie Keyes.
Coming Events: ** WI Medical Clinic N.P. Walk-In’ Clinics Tues 4:30 – 6:15 pm; Thurs. 5:30-6:15 pm. Specimen, Wellness Clinic April 7th. ** Frontenac Islands Council meeting Howe Island 6:30 pm April 10, 2017

Posted by M Knott at 10:22 AM
March 23, 2017
Frontenac Islands Seniors Project- Moving Carefully Forward

Frontenac Islands will award a contract for the Seniors Apartment Project on Wolfe Island to Wemp and Smith Construction Ltd. All procedures, processes and documents are completed for the sale, transfer and registration of the land from Scarthingmoor Farms to the township. A rather exciting time for the committee, that is working hard to see this project become a reality. The land is located in the area east of the Medical Clinic & Emergency Services Building, and at the south end of Division Street.

Following the passage of the by-law at the March meeting of council to regulate events, Councilor Springgay reminded council of the amount of waste and recycling material that ends up at the island’s waste site following these special events, and the costs involved in its disposal. May Etmanskie, Waste Recycling Depot Manager, wanted to know why there was no fee for waste from special events , a situation she believes needs to be dealt with. “It’s not the taxpayer who should bear the costs for all the extra waste,” she said. Council will review the Transfer Site bylaw for cost recovery options. (FYI-The event application form takes into whether an event is organized by a ‘not for profit’ group, or events are focused on community groups.)

In other Business: *Howe Island Garden Buds: A letter to council from their president, Shelagh McDonald, she described their Foot Ferry Gardening project, the work accomplished with “in kind” funding, received from the township, and included a refund cheque. Councilor Higgs expressed great satisfaction with their initiative and the beautiful work they have accomplished at the both the county and foot ferry docks, and asked that the township do the same * Council expressed support for the ‘Moratorium on School Closures’ and will do so by resolution. Councilor Springgay noted the loss of specialized programs in rural schools is unfairly drawing children to city schools. * The township will once again raise concerns with Kingston’s Mayor Patterson regarding the timing of the street lights at Barack and Ontario, with a request to allow a direct flow of island traffic into the city when the Wolfe Islander III unloads. * Councilor Grant wants thanks extended to Don Eves on Simcoe Island, for all he does for people there. “Most don’t realize he is not paid for it,” he said.

As the meeting drew to a close, Mayor Doyle brought council’s attention to concerns he has with regard to Bill 68 – Modernizing Municipal Legislation and its many Acts ( Conflict of Interest, Municipal Elections, etc). He said the proposed changes will impose even greater restrictions than already exist for smaller municipalities. “The province is making it even more difficult for council and committee members to serve at all,” Doyle said. “With all this bureaucracy, why would anyone want to volunteer to serve on a committee, or to run for council for that matter. I think we should pull back and maybe work with the county to make our concerns particularly for small municipalities such as ours known,” he concluded.

2. A community mourns: Every death in the small Wolfe Island community has a ripple effect, an effect that surely verifies an expression I heard when we moved here., “Everyone is related to everybody!.” And if not a direct relative, we are drawn together in other ways. Most everyone knows everyone else because we see them in the village, at the store, the post office , the library, the restaurants, local events, at church, in the line-up and “on the boat. They remain in our memory as islanders, relatives, family, neighbours, friends or acquaintances. So to lose five islanders in a short period of time, through accidents and illness has touched us all one way or another. Many islanders will also remember in their prayers Monsignor Don Clement who died recently who served as administrator of the Sacred Heart Parish when it was without a pastor.

Around Town: * The WI Community Medical Clinic reminds you that there are now two, Nurse Practitioner led Walk-In’ Clinics held weekly, Tuesday 4:30 – 6:15 pm, with NP Emma Hughes and Thursdays with NP Karen Fisher 5:30-6:15 pm. The cost to the clinic for these valuable services is approaching $20,000 per year which represents a big effort by the clinic board and the volunteers who act as receptionists. The costs are achieved through fund raising, and donations. Islanders who have not yet met the NP’s are encouraged to use these service when they need some after-hours care. Bring your OHIP card. Their AGM is coming up on May 30th. The board would welcome your ideas for the future of the clinic. For your information, Dr. Russell continues to meet with her patients, by appointment on Tuesday’s from 1pm - 4pm. She is no longer holding an after hours walk-in clinic.

Coming Events : Frontenac Islands Council meets on Howe Island Mon. April 10th 6:30 pm

Posted by M Knott at 12:23 PM
March 16, 2017
Frontenac Islands Budget Deliberations Draw to Close

It was another of those, one after the other, meetings for Frontenac Island’s council members and staff, as they looked to completing this year’s budget before moving on to a regular council meeting. It’s an interesting thing about budgets particularly if you understand little, other than budgets determine what you pay in taxes, and are taxes are always too high.

As a matter of interest the 2017 budgetary process for Frontenac Islands was done by a small group including the head of public works, the two fire chiefs, the deputy clerk treasurer, the administrative assistant, the CAO, and councillors involved with community groups. They began with a review of the past year, looked at new and non repeated issues and items projected into the new year. Council then set a target percentage increase that they felt was manageable by the citizens. Public meetings were held and numbers were shuffled around, all the while keeping in mind the fixed changes such as the increase in OPP costs (up another $100,000) for 2017, contracts, new equipment required, etc., along with new projects.
Changes in reserves were noted….such as using them for major asset purchases, and replacing/increasing them for future asset changes. As the numbers were agreed to they were entered into the spreadsheet which the treasurer operated, and the bottom line, i.e. the change in tax rate, was calculated. That bottom line is by ward, based on the latest current value assessment of properties, as provided by MPAC. Added to the township spending plans are the school taxes and the county taxes, provided by the school boards and the county.

The result of all that effort by the staff, with earlier input by those who submitted funding requests (groups, associations, etc.), for budget year 2017, the increases for both wards is 3.9% to the mill rate. The mill rate is the charge by $1,000 assessment on individual properties. For 2017 that increase can be summarized as being 2% for the OPP increase, 1% for asset management (reserves), and the balance for operating and capital changes for the new year. This is all based on the total assessment, which actually decreased from the prior year, as many who have received MPAC notices will know. This increase and the budget will be formally adopted at the next council meeting on Howe Island.

Some of the detailed discussions follow: Fire Chief Tim Hawkins returned to request an increase in the training allotment from $2000 to $4000 as originally submitted, noting that courses are very expensive and he hopes to offer more of them.. (Funding for this request will come from department reserves now at $25,000).

Chief Hawkins brought to the attention of council the need for more space for training and storage. “We would like to get back the old fire hall on the dock from Steve Fargo,” he said. (Fargo’s has already exceeded the 1-2 year rental agreement for storage.) They will be notified that as of January 1, 2018 the ‘old fire hall’ will no longer be available for rent. Hawkins had thoughts about Canada’s 150th, noting no one has stepped up as yet with ideas, suggesting that linking to certain future events might be one way (Canada Day, Round Up.)

*WI Community Centre Board representative Councillor Springgay presented budget reductions proposed in the areas of contracted services, hydro, and other materials with the amount for reserves reduced to $10,000 .

*As Frontenac Islands building permit fees are lower than in other communities, staff will undertake an investigation to determine a comparable rate.

*When it comes to Howe Island’s Roads Councillor Nossal and Councillor Bruce Higgs engaged in a discussion with Public Works Manager Dillabaugh regarding a 4 phase project on Spithead Road (a priority in the in the township’s asset management plan), with the two phases to be completed in 2017 at a cost estimate of $96,800, to be transferred from the Howe Island roads reserves. A further $4,000 will be transferred from reserves for some work on the North Shore Road.
* There are other increases for Howe specifically the HI Trail $2000 to $4000; also a $500. contribution to reserves.
*And finally for Wolfe Island, The ‘Friends of Ferals will receive $1500 and WI’s Community Support Program $1000. for a Canada 150th Celebration, both amounts from amenities money. Good News—having completed budget deliberations, it is now onward on to the budget’s adoption on April 10th.

Around Town: Please Note; Violations of half load road restrictions, once in place, will lead to call for By Law enforcement. (cameras help) .** The WI Music Festival has been confirmed for Aug.11-12th .** Check Summer Jobs at **Look for Station 14 Kington’s video about the new Wolfe Island Springs Craft Brewery located at WI’s Metal Craft Bldg. with Brew Master Rene Ziegelmaier, and WI Grill’s Casey & Nicole Fisher owners of the business. * Nurse Practitioner Walk In Clinic’s Tuesday's 4:10 pm-6:15 pm Thursday's: 5:30 pm-7:15 pm Bring OHIP card. (Costs covered by Medical Clinic)* ** Goat Farming Sessions. Frontenac County Offices March 23; 2 - 4 p.m.; 7 - 9 p.m.; register online at: 2pm: at 7pm: *Euchre St. Margaret’s Hall 7pm March 27th.

Posted by M Knott at 12:17 PM
March 03, 2017
Itís that Time of Year on Wolfe Island

MTO has informed the residents of Wolfe Island that their ferry, the Wolfe Islander III will not be returning to Marysville just yet. With what looks like there might be an early spring, and hopefully a rise in water levels, many islanders are looking for the ferry to move from the Dawson Point docking facility to the ”summer” dock in the village, sooner than later But at the present time, according to the notification, maintenance work on the hydraulic cylinders used to lift the ferry is underway. At the same time water levels continue to be monitored, and the ferry will be moved once it is safe to do so, according to MTO.

It is interesting that the notice suggests many islanders are looking forward to the ferry’s move, which is true of course. But many are ‘not wondering when the ferry will be returning to the village.’ To quote one such person,” I love the efficiency for loading/unloading and the parking at Dawson Point.” And from another , “ from Dawson Point the lineup is clear, parking, as well as drop off and pick up is easier and you are always headed home (east or west) at least 5 minutes earlier.” and “ if you want to stop off in the village there is time and parking around to do so”, etc.… Of course facilities at Dawson Point are sparse, although there is a warm waiting cabin. Unless you live in the village or you are buying coffee at the WHIP during the winter months, it is not bad. And it sure has been an easy winter….

2. Get behind “ Rural Schools Matter”, a volunteer group of parents, grandparents and other community members, chaired by “Robin Hutcheon” , who are distressed that the Ministry of Education wishes to close one out of eight schools in the province, and that the Limestone District School Board plans to close all of the schools in the Township of Stone Mills, plus Selby. On Wed, March 8th they will host a peaceful, but determined, rally at the Limestone District School Board office on Portsmouth Ave. in Kingston, from 5 to 6 pm. The board will reviewing a plan to close Yarker Family School, and bus students to Odessa instead.
‘Rural Schools Matter’ is looking for you support at the rally. Their press release notes that what is going on “points to a disturbing trend towards school closures and consolidation, a problem for citizens of all ages.” This will be the second of several rallies intended to raise local awareness of the impact of school closures and to convince school board trustees to keep our rural schools. The threat of rural school closings has taken on new meaning in our own region, and in the rest of Ontario. Frontenac Islands is an isolated, rural island community (Howe, Wolfe, Simcoe) with schools on Wolfe Island, Marysville Public, and Sacred Heart.”
Recently Mayor Doyle with members of the community Schools Alliance met with Minister of Education, Mitzi Hunter, (she who said recently “a school is the heart of a community”) at the ROMA Conference, to bring to her attention not only the detrimental results of school closures, both economic and social, on rural communities. But also the impact on children’s health as a result of long hours of travelling to and from school. He noted that the costs of closing and disposing of schools and extra bussing are probably well known, but was the fact that MPAC property values will go down as people with young children leave a community with others not likely to move in. “Schools slated for closure, and the impact closures have on communities are big issues for rural municipalities,” Doyle said at the time.
It’s time to follow this important Issue…

3. All About Goat Farming: Two Public Information Sessions at Frontenac County offices in Glenburnie—
Date: Thursday, March 23; Time: First session: 2 - 4 p.m.; Second session: 7 - 9 p.m.; Frontenac County offices, 2069 Battersea Road, Glenburnie-Seating is limited. Please register online at: 2pm:
7pm: Goat milk will be the foundation of an innovative, hypoallergenic product manufactured and as much as possible produced locally at a Feihe infant formula plant slated for Kingston. It is to be Canada’s only wet formula facility and North America's first and only producer of goat milk-based infant formula. The two information sessions, both with the same content, are being held to educate interested community members about the goat milk industry, including regulations and start-up considerations and to accommodate interested people. The content of the sessions will be valuable for those who are currently running farming operations and looking to expand to produce goat milk, or those hoping to enter the farming industry. However, anyone interested in the Feihe project is welcome to attend.
The project is seen as an opportunity that could provide multiple opportunities for both local and regional economic development, from the construction of the plant, to the company's plans to produce goat milk based formula. Kingston’s Economic Development Corporation together with Frontenac County and the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs will develop an Ontario plan for expansion of the goat milk industry

Around Town: **The annual Wolfe Island St Patrick's Day Seniors Lunch will be held Saturday, March 18 at the United Church Hall,12:00 noon. (hosted together by the WI Women's Institutes). ** Notice to truckers and shippers 2017— Half Load restrictions expected to start March 6th on all Frontenac Islands roads.

Posted by M Knott at 11:13 AM
February 23, 2017
Senior Housing ProjectóSteady as She Goes!

Progress: the Frontenac Islands Senior housing project is at the “waiting to move forward stage” at this time. The Board of Directors, (a committee of council) has been meeting regularly, almost weekly, issuing first an EOI (expression of interest) followed by an RFP ( request for proposals) in December, describing the type of energy efficient building the township was looking for, as stated in a previous article, “a building, approximately 4,500 square feet, with four one bedroom units, one two bedroom unit and a common area for people to meet and socialize. One contract will be awarded to a design-build firm for the project.’

At this time, a preferred contractor has been chosen from among three very competitive bids for the Wolfe Island project with details presently being worked on. However, there are further issues to be resolved, not least among them the formal acquisition, transfer and clearing of land given by owner John Weatherall, land close to the WI community Medical Clinic and the WI Emergency Services (Ambulance & Fire Hall) building . It is at the end of Division Street with the Community Centre Grounds and the WI Community Hall at the other. And, so the committee waits for those issues to be finalized before they move on to the next steps, the final design of the project and construction specifications. It is the committee’s intention, if the above issues have been resolved, to submit a request to council at their March meeting to issue a contract for construction of the WI Senior’s Apartment project, with a projected fall opening date planned. Committee members include Mayor Doyle, Councillor Wayne Grant, Brian Scovill, Kathy Horton, Mikaela Hughes, Walter Knott, & CAO Darlene Plumley, as secretary, and advisor, Patrick Thompson.

FYI: Senior Housing was chosen as a priority by Wolfe Islanders a number of years ago. What residents said at the time was that they wanted a facility that was affordable, in the village, operated locally and offering safety, independence, socialization and the opportunity to remain on the island. In its Strategic Plan, Frontenac County. Council chose senior housing as the first of 3 projects to focus on over a five year period and to build one five unit seniors apartment facility in each of the four townships in Frontenac County. County Council approved the hiring of a consultant to assist in moving forward and subsequently approved $335,000 for (each of) North, South, Central and Frontenac Islands-(Wolfe Island) Township. Public meetings were held throughout Frontenac County to determine need, and Marysville was chosen for a first seniors housing project under the auspices of Frontenac County.
2. Pruning Workshop on Wolfe |Island 10 am-2pm, March 4th Horne’s Orchard.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to prune your own trees? Come to the island for a workshop on the basics of pruning.
The (OWA) Ontario Woodlot Association (Limestone Chapter) will host an Apple Orchard Pruning Workshop at Bruce Horne’s orchard. Justin Smith, Certified Arborist, will instruct participants in a hands-on workshop and ensure that all go home well prepared to tackle their own pruning job. Participants are encouraged to bring a pair of pruning shears and to dress for the weather as this is an outdoor event. The workshop is on Saturday, March 4 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and the location is Horne’s apple orchard at 2041 Hwy. 95 (just before the U.S. ferry dock) on Wolfe Island. For mainlanders, the Wolfe Island Ferry departs Kingston at 9:30 am. Or consult the Ferry Schedule at A chili lunch will be provided. The cost of the event is $10.00 for non-OWA members, and free to members. All are welcome. Preregistration is required: please contact Kevin Hansen (President of the OWA – Limestone Chapter) at: 613-449-0732 or .

To learn more about the Ontario Woodlot Association, visit The Ontario Woodlot Association, through its network of Chapters across the Province, brings people together to share ideas and learn about forest management. To ensure the viability of non-crown land forests, they promote sustainable forestry management and advocate on behalf of woodlot owners.
And about Bruce Horne’s Apple Orchard. Every year since 2007, Peggy Smith and Bruce Horne give over their apple orchard at 2041 Rd.#95 for a Wolfe Island Early Years Centre Fundraiser in late September. It’s a pick your own apples and bring your own bags affair and more… Great Family Fun.. Watch for it……

Around Town: **Do buy a ticket for the Medical Clinic’s fund raiser, a play “Village of Idiots” at the Domino Theatre March 8, at 7:30 pm. Tickets $20. from WI Clinic board members ** A Massage Clinic is opening on WI at the former hair salon in Marysville, staffed by Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s) Brooke MacDonald and Judy Gerber-van Vliet, who are working together to provide the service and are accepting new clients. ** Notice to truckers and shippers 2017— Half Load restrictions expected to start March 6th on All Frontenac Islands roads. (Date could change in the event of extreme rain)

Posted by M Knott at 11:08 AM
February 16, 2017
Frontenac Islands Council had a Busy Day on Howe Island

Frontenac Islands Council had a Busy Day on Howe Island by Marg Knott
It was a long day for the Frontenac Islands council members and staff. First there was a budget meeting held in advance of the regular monthly council meeting . Council’s budget deliberations had the objective to hold the tax increase to 1.75 % to 2% , as agreed upon at a preliminary meeting. That of course is without consideration of the policing costs, which by themselves will cause a 2% municipal budget increase, beyond the control of the municipality.
Council focussed budget deliberations on the needs of the community, as determined through previous priority setting. There was a line by line review of the revenue and expense documents. beginning with administration, including Howe and Wolfe Island building improvements, emergency management, planning, WI roads, waste, recycling, culture and recreation..
Council reviewed a budget, with some minor amendments, presented by Howe Island’s Fire Chief Mike Quinn that includes the replacement of two vehicles within a defined price range, and completing the asphalt surface of the fire hall driveway with funding. Regarding Wolfe Island Fire and Rescue, Council considered the purchase of a used vehicle that was available and that fits with the WI emergency vehicle replacement schedule. Funds from the sale of surplus vehicles would be placed in the equipment reserve fund. The next, and perhaps final budget meeting, will be held on March 13th at the WI Town Hall at 1 pm, where the Howe Island ferry and all of; Wolfe Island Community Centre Board, building, wind, roads, waste, recycling, culture, and recreation figures will be reviewed, for the passage of the Frontenac Islands 2017 budget at the March monthly township council meeting.

2. Wolfe Island Music Festival Organizer Virginia Clarke attends Council Meeting
Virginia Clarke attended the meeting to outline plans for an August 11-12, 2017 festival after a one year absence. The Music Festival ran into trouble financially when the Wolfe Islander III ferry was out of service the entire summer of 2015, and the smaller Frontenac II did not land in Marysville resulting in lower attendance and higher costs, which included the rental of a commercial passenger boat. Those troubles and the many festivals in the area resulted in the cancellation of the 2016 festival. During the last year and into 2017 Clarke organized a number of fund raising events locally and in Toronto and is ready now to plan for a 2017 Music Festival. “The environment for festivals has changed a lot since we began 18 years ago,” Clarke said. “But there is a lot of support for this festival and a lot of people who want to see it happen. After the crippling financial hit incurred in 2015 I am asking for a break…to get wind back in our sails…”
Clarke is asking for use of the usual Community Centre grounds location for setup and take down from Aug.11-13th and access to the community centre building for storage of goods as well a request for amendment to the noise bylaw as usual. She proposed a different arrangement however with the bar, food, licensing and insurance provided by the festival including, as in the past, set up and cleanup. She noted that the festival provides security at the site and shares policing costs with the township. A discussion regarding a fee for use of the grounds, followed with no decision. The township will request that the Frontenac County Economic Development analyse the economic value of the Music Festival to Wolfe Island, with financial input from the township, to establish a rental fee for the grounds. Ms. Clarke’s request will be back on the agenda for further discussion at the March 13th meeting of council.

2. Economic Development: Mayor Doyle invited Richard Allen Frontenac County Manager of Economic Development to address Council. “ Its been an incredible couple of months working for the County and it is my pleasure to be here to tell you what we are working on,” Mr. Allen said. He highlighted among other things the Brand (IN-Frontenac ) Ambassador Program, its ambassadors and the excellent work of the County’s Vanderveld. “It is amazing how businesses are making the brand their own. IN-Frontenac Program will have a web portal which will include a business directory, a commercial and agricultural land inventory and much more to be added over the next months with wings to the townships.” The county is also undertaking an accommodation review. Allen continued with reference to the development opportunities in agriculture in cash crops, dairy and specifically the proposed goat milk industry development for Kingston and the region. Council meets next : March 13th

Around Town: Pancake Supper Sat. Feb 25th, 4-7pm St. Margaret’s Hall sponsored by the Anglican Parish of Wolfe Island. Cost: $5.00 **Do buy a ticket for the Medical Clinic’s fund raiser, a play “Village of Idiots” at the Domino Theatre March 8, at 7:30 pm.Tickets $20. *Don’t forget the “SOCK IT TO US” campaign to Feb. 25th. ** Take note that a new Massage Clinic is now open on WI at the former hair salon in Marysville staffed by Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s) Brooke MacDonald and Judy Gerber-van Vliet who are working together to provide the service and are accepting new clients.

Posted by M Knott at 07:34 PM
February 09, 2017
More Thoughts About Accessibility:

Ever since my appointment to the Frontenac County Accessibility committee (which requires for membership, that you have a disability) and well aware that my disability is progressing to an even more awkward stage, I have come to recognize ever more clearly the difficulties the disabled face in our society. And I refer not only to the physically disabled, but include those without sight or hearing, and so much more. I dare to look at things in our society that I previously would not have defined as disabling. The AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) uses the same broad definition of disability, “ any degree of physical, developmental, mental or learning disability that limits a person’s movements, senses or activities,” as does the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHR).

With the AODA, accessibility is associated with the design of products, devices, services and environments, and includes laws through the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Ontario Building Code. It addresses barriers in customer service, information and communication, employment, and transportation and public space design, all with an objective of improving accessibility opportunities for people with disabilities. AODA defines a barrier as a “circumstance or obstacle that keeps people apart, taking many forms for the disabled listing communication, physical, policy, programming, social, transportation and attitudinal.

It is this latter, attitude, that caught my attention recently. Quite a number of years ago someone in our community provided a pair of shoes for a disabled person. I knew that person needed the shoes, it was obvious, but I did nothing about it, a non-act I regret to this day. I could have, should have, but didn’t, and the question I have to ask myself was why, was it attitudinal ?

The kind of society we have today, with regard to all forms of disability, is much better than the one in which I grew up. In those earlier years, people with disabilities experienced abuse, exclusion—they were hidden away, neglect, discrimination, and racism. They had no supports, they were stared at, jeered at, had little access to education, or work, or housing. Even worse if a person of colour, or indigenous,. And even more horrendous was sterilization of the disabled, severe restraint of the aged, or disabled, within a severe institutionalization structure. There was no awareness of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The disabled were even prevented from coming to Canada. Some of the effects of all this remain with us today.

The Law Commission of Ontario has stated: “Disability” continues to be the most frequently cited ground of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) in human rights claims made to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO).” The OHRC noted: “A person’s experience may be complicated further when discrimination based on a disability intersects with discrimination based on other Code grounds, such as race, sex, sexual orientation, age or another type of disability, etc. “ Today, 15.5% of Ontario’s population has a disability and this number will continue to grow as the population ages”.

All of the above to say, the Frontenac County Accessibility Committee will continue to mentor for the disabled and promote the AODA, its aims and objectives. At the same time Frontenac County is working on an “Age Friendly “ Project that includes older persons.. Watch for more to come.

Around Town: ** On again off again weather, but we still have great skating , many visiting skaters and teams coming to our shores. **Members of Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic, and Wolfe Island Friends of Ferals, invite you to buy a ticket from them to their fund raising event, a play “Village of Idiots” by John Lazarus at Kingston’s Domino Theatre on Wednesday March 8, at 7:30 pm. Come join their evening out: Tickets are; $20. Each ** May have more positive information about the WI Music Festival after this week’s Township Council Meeting. ***Wolfe Island is looking forward to welcoming everyone to the 37th Annual Wolfe Island Classic 5 & 10K Run/Walk, JULY 2nd at 9:30 am.. All proceeds of the race go to support the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. Last year the Clinic was pleased to be able to offer a Nurse Practitioner walk-in Clinic which they are hoping to expand in the near future. The Wolfe Island Classic is part of the Kingston Road Runners Association (KRRA) race series. Visit their website -
***And finally take note that : Local first responders are joining forces and will collect socks during the “SOCK IT TO US” Kingston campaign February 19 to 25. Collection boxes will be in all participating paramedic stations, fire halls and headquarters for the staff of Frontenac Paramedic Services, Kingston Police and Kingston Fire and Rescue Services to donate new socks. *Note: While local first responders collect socks through their internal campaign, there will also be collection boxes for the general public at Kingston Police Head Quarters, as well as the County of Frontenac’s reception area in Glenburnie. Watch for other locations perhaps on the Islands.

Posted by M Knott at 07:31 PM
February 02, 2017
ROMA Conference Provided: An Opportunity?

Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle returned from the ROMA conference satisfied with the conference, and pleased, for the most part with the extra meetings he and CAO Plumley had with officials regarding particular island issues .

“ We were very pleased with our meeting with Minister Steven Del Duca, (Transportation), Eastern Regional Director Kathy Moore and MTO staff,” the Mayor said on his return to Wolfe Island. . “Our briefing notes sent in advance of the meeting outlined for the Minister some community concerns with the high cost of the proposed ferry docks in Marysville and our hope that some of the money could be spent on our transportation link on connecting roads. We were able to present our case to the Minister with regard to Road 7501, that’s the road from the Dawson Point dock to Rd #96 and on to Road 95 to Alexandria Pt. (& ferry to the USA), our transportation link which was the main point of our discussion ,” Doyle said.
These roads were downloaded during the 1997/98 restructuring agreement. Rd 7051 built in the 6o’s with a sand base has badly deteriorated over the years, more so since all construction vehicles, equipment and materials travelled the roads to build the 86-tower wind farm as well as its heavy use to the present.

“ We requested that MTO take them back as they are an international link between (Kingston) Canada /USA and suggested when rebuilding the Rd 7051 portion it should be rerouted more directly to Rd 96 and include a bicycle path throughout,” Doyle added.

“And finally since the new 75 car ferry for Wolfe Island is not expected until 2020 we also requested that when the new Amherst Islander goes into service in 2019, that the Frontenac II be put into service along with the Wolfe Islander III on the Wolfe Island route during the busy summer and shoulder months. We received a very positive hearing from Minister Del Duca and MTO staff who will consider our requests,” Mayor Doyle concluded.

*** Winter Fest : At last, the ground is covered with snow on Frontenac Islands. Hopefully the snow will remain for Wolfe Island’s ‘Winterfest’ coming up Sunday February 12th.
‘Winterfest’ formerly known as ‘Chili Fest’ has been part of Wolfe Island’s winter season fun for many years . In the past it was held at the Old Fire Hall in Marysville, located behind Fargo’s Store close to the Wolfe Island Ferry dock. There, in the spirit of the winter season, outdoor activities were the focus of the day's events along with the popular varieties of chili that brought out the islanders. As the Chili Contest was underway, close by dependant on a frozen bay there was skating and sleigh rides and wind surfers, and those simply enjoying a winter day. It was a great event in those earlier years, and it is now. In 2012 for the first time Wolfe Island’s Chili Fest was held at the Community Centre Grounds in Marysville beside the new NHL sized rink, with its icemaking machinery. That year, as it does every year, Chili Fest brought together island chefs with their special recipes vying for the title of “best chili cook” and a continuous stream of visitors ready to vote.
The new rink provided the location for the presentation of an award by the Township honouring the WI Hockeyville Committee of volunteers for their community spirit. Through their efforts the WI community became one of 5 Canadian communities to compete to become the $100,000 winner in the 2011 CBC Kraft Hockeyville Competition. (Wolfe Island did not win the grand prize but was the recipient of $25,000.)

Since that time, with the support of the township, the Wolfe Island Community Centre Board and its many volunteers continue to FUND RAISE to make improvements to the rink which now has a roof, excellent lighting, etc., and to provide amenities to make the Community Centre the “Go To Place” on the island all year. The Centre also has 3 baseball diamonds and a corral for horse races etc. Winterfest Wolfe Island takes place Sunday, Feb. 12th beginning at 12:30 pm with members of the Voyageurs Hockey Team on the ice. Family Skating at 1:30 and of course.. the Chili Contest…And continues as a great annual event.

Around Town: Wishing Rev. Mike Bohler , Pastor at the WI United Church a speedy recovery from recent surgery. ** Frontenac Islands Council meets next Mon.Feb.13th at 6:30 pm on Howe Island **The Island Grill. Open Fridays from 4 pm to 10 pm \ Sat. 10am to 10 pm. call 613-382-1515 to make a reservation. ** WI Medical Clinic Walk -in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP Karen Fisher. Also a Walk In Clinic with Dr. Russell Tuesday’s 4:45-6:15 pm. Bring OHIP card **Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at Early bird prices in effect until April 30th.

Posted by M Knott at 07:28 PM
January 26, 2017
Lots to Think About this Time of Year

This is a very odd time of year on Frontenac Islands, particularly this year. Without the heavy dumps of snow and the deep frost the islands are accustomed to, the winter thus far has been dreary, soggy and sun deprived.
It is a winter that is wrecking roads that are not paved, which includes most of them, as well as affecting even those roads that have been hard surfaced. No doubt a rather frustrating situation for the Public Works department. Is it any wonder that the township’s highest budget figure is always allotted to roads?
A positive of course, has been Wolfe Island’s covered rink, that has provided a wonderful outlet for everyone, skater and spectator alike. And, on a number of weekends, based on the ferry traffic coming and going, its many, many visitors. It of course, still requires the temperature to be cold enough……
**. Breaking News just in: Mayor Denis Doyle has been appointed as Chair of the KFL&A Public Health Unit Board, where he has served as Frontenac County representative. “ I have thoroughly appreciated working as a member of the board and I am deeply honoured to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as their chair,” he said. “ I look forward to continuing our work with the KFL&A Health Unit to deliver effective public health programs to all residents in Kingston and the two counties.” Mayor Doyle also looks forward to working with provincial counterparts to improve systems and lower costs.
** Mayor Denis Doyle and CAO Darlene Plumley are off to ROMA, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference, where they will meet with the Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter, regarding very specifically the impact of rural school closures on rural municipalities. (Heritage Jan.25th). Doyle along with three other members of the Community Schools Alliance hope to bring to the Minister’s attention not only the detrimental results of school closures on rural communities (economic, social). But also the impact on children’s health as a result of spending long hours travelling to and from school. “The costs of closing and disposing of schools and extra bussing are probably well known .
but the fact that MPAC property values will go down as people with young children leave a community (with others not likely to move in) resulting in lower tax revenue to the school system is not well understood, or quantified. These are big issues for rural municipalities. We also have a meeting with the leader of the official opposition, Patrick Brown, to review the same information that we will cover with Minister Hunter,” Doyle said.

There will be two further meetings, one with Minister Marie-France Lalonde Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services on the OPP, with regard to the inappropriate charges applied for the policing of wind towers ( and Wolfe Island has many) and other concerns. Their final meeting is with the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca regarding the township’s request that MTO take back Road #7051, ( road to Dawson Point Dock), as well as to briefly discuss the new ferry schedule.

** And about the latter: Much is underway related to Wolfe Island ferry transportation, including the EA for docking improvements. Planning for a 75 car ferry is also happening with the Ministry issuing RFQ’s – (Request for Qualifications to build ferries for Amherst Island and Wolfe Island. This RFQ process will be followed by RFP’s – (Request for Proposals with prices) from up to five qualifying bidders. Then should come a contract to build a ferry for Amherst, and then a contract for a ferry for Wolfe Island. Minister Del Duca announced the process for Amherst Island on a ferry ride with MPP Sophie Kiwala to Amherst Island in June of last year.
According to the minister, designing and building the ferry for Amherst Island will take approximately 24 months. It is understood that when the new vessel is in service, the Frontenac II, will become the back-up ferry providing support during extended and unplanned service breakdowns affecting Wolfe and Amherst Islands The ferry for Wolfe Island could take an additional 12 months. The ferry component for WI is part of the EA for docking facilities. An EA for the Amherst ferry is not required as it is not increasing capacity. There, dock improvements are slated to begin in late summer 2017. It is probably safe to say the ferry for Amherst is guaranteed and that Wolfe Islanders are hopeful.
Around Town: ** Frontenac Islands Council meets next Mon.Feb.13th at 6:30 pm on Howe Island ** Organizers of the Wolfe Island Music Festival are out there raising funds to make it happen again, by hosting a fundraiser entitled the Wolfe Island “Winter Ball” Music Festival, at Toronto's The Great Hall on Feb. 26th. **The Island Grill. Open Fridays from 4 pm to 10 pm \ Sat. 10am to 10 pm. call 613-382-1515 to make a reservation. ** WI Medical Clinic Walk -in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP Karen Fisher. Also a Walk In Clinic with Dr. Russell Tuesday’s 4:45-6:15 pm. Bring OHIP card **Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at Early bird prices in effect until April 30th.

Posted by M Knott at 07:25 PM
January 20, 2017
Can Frontenac Islands Become A Waste-Free Society

Since the closure of the landfill site on Wolfe Island, for years known simply as “The Dump”, and for some time before, the Township of Frontenac Islands has taken a firm stand on improving how waste of all kinds is dealt. It was through recycling, whether paper glass or electronics at a what is now the township’s Wolfe Island Transfer site, and Howe Island’s Waste and Recycling Centre in accord with Ontario’s waste management requirements. The WI site is one of the busiest places in town throughout the year, with ever improving collection services, and with staff encouraging recycling rather filling the costly waste bin with contents slated for a landfill site, and citizens eager to support island groups & organizations by donating bottle returns for their use.

“Ontario has been working on the strategy for the “Waste Free Ontario Act (Bill 151),” Mayor Doyle said this week. “It was reviewed at county council recently and we will continue to do so. The strategy has two goals, an Ontario with zero waste and zero greenhouse gas emissions. Personally, I think this is an opportune time to start talking with islanders about the changes in this new Bill 151 What it means though, is that we have to have a higher rate of participation in recyclables to benefit from the changes in the bill. Currently through a fairly complicated process we get back 50% of the cost for handling all the blue box items, the recyclables. This new bill puts 100% of the responsibility in the hands of the manufacturer of the products, their packaging, etc.. One of the benefits of the bill is to force the producers is to cut down on the packaging,” Doyle said.
The Mayor noted that it is possible that in the future there producers will have their own collection sites but, until then the responsibility will continue to fall to municipalities. “ We need to encourage more recycling although we are doing better than the Ontario average on Wolfe, but are not quite there on Howe.” Doyle pointed out that by putting blue box items into a regular garbage bag, and into the waste stream, “you are throwing tax payers dollars into a landfill site. So we are going to have to open this discussion up to the community and encourage every one to participate.”
He also pointed out that the DeBruin Bio Digester on Wolfe Island receives WI organic waste and encourages its greater use by residents who do not compost. “Doing so could reduce the number of trucks going on the ferry with waste by some 30 %, another very important consideration, as well as diverting organic waste away from land fill sites.”
Doyle pointed out that other municipalities trying to improve on poor recycling situations have gone to clear garbage bags, bag tags and only one bag a week per household. “Those scenarios would create more work and require extra staff. We would rather that our citizens become involved and recycle so that the township can benefit from whatever Bill 151 has to offer. If that doesn’t happen our taxes will have to go up . We don’t want to do that,” he concluded.

On another Issue: Mayor Doyle will meet with the Minister of Education of Ontario ,Mitzi Hunter, at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference in regard to school closures, “specifically rural school closings.. Both Minister Hunter and Mr. Raycraft, a member of our committee a former MPP and school principal, were on a Steve Pakin’s Agenda Program to discuss the fate of several low-enrolment schools slated for closure, and the impact closures have on communities,” Mayor Doyle said. “And recently, at a new school opening Minister Hunter in her dedication said a school is the heart of a community. In our community we know that to be true and within our small community we also know that without a heart, things die.. closing rural schools will rip the heart out of a community. That’s what we will try to impress upon the minister,” he said.

Around Town: **The WIPP continues to be the go to place during this rather strange winter . lunch time and coffee breaks see many cars in Marysville, including evenings.. ** Last winter the WI Community Garden group initiated a project that partnered the Community Garden group with the Parents’ Council and the senior class (Grade 4 – 8) at Marysville Public School. A wonderful success story was posted on a website but too long to include here. Ask about it. * * Congratulations to Nicole and Casey Fisher on expanding their seasonal business into offering winter hours at The Wolfe Island Grill. This comfortable waterfront dining experience is now available Fridays from 4 pm to 10 pm and Saturdays from 10am to 10 pm. Check out their Facebook posts at the to see the upcoming music events or call 613-382-1515 to make a reservation. ** WI Medical Clinic Walk -in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP Karen Fisher. Also a Walk In Clinic with Dr. Russell following her regular office hours Tuesday’s 4:45-6:15 pm. Bring OHIP card **Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at Early bird prices in effect until April 30th. **The WI Music Festival will be back in 2017, if the organizers can raise sufficient funds to do so.

Posted by M Knott at 07:22 PM
January 12, 2017
Lots of Reasons to Make It Short and Sweet?

The Township of Frontenac Islands held their first meeting of the new year on Wolfe Island. And I have to think it was their shortest.. A good thing based on the difficulties staff members in particular, have been facing during the long process of building an accessible washroom behind the township office in the community hall. On this occasion, overnight before the meeting, skunks had gotten under the building. Along with the dust, dirt, and noise of the washroom/ramp construction, (without an inside facility) and to add insult to injury, no internet access, the smell of skunks had overtaken the building. Nearly too much?
A .Economic Development: Howe Island Councillor Bruce Higgs took very seriously the development opportunity the Feihe International Inc., infant formula manufacturing company, is offering the community. With their plans to manufacture goat milk based products, process 75 million litres of goat milk annually, it can bring jobs to the region. He called on the expertise of a friend to hear what might, or could, be possible. “I was in touch with my friend Bruce Vandenberg, who with his wife Sharon, is the owner of Lenberg Farms, a 1300 goat & sheep dairy farm in Lindsay. It’s where with all the milk produced cheeses are made (Mariposa Dairy), and we discussed the proposed goat milk plant for Kingston and what it could mean for Frontenac County, and the islands of course,” Councillor Higgs said, as he handed out a summary, fact filled document prepared with his friend’s assistance to members of council. “Richard is prepared to meet with council,” Hobbs said. Council members indicated a wish to see the Mariposa Dairy setup and operation in Lindsay.

The document pertaining to goat milk production is filled with important facts . It notes that at the present time in Ontario there is a shortage of live goats with very few goats available, or for sale, except perhaps in Quebec. It states that a basic, economic, goat farm would be of some 300 animals, that barns must be dry, well ventilated in summer but do not require heat. etc. There are 5 new ‘Round Table’ 90 goat, milking machines operating in Ontario, milking 800 goats per hour with one operator. The projection is that in 5 to 8 years goat milk litres in Ontario will go from to 70 to 80 million . It was 60 million for all of Canada in 2016.

That document will be forwarded to Richard Allen, the Frontenac County Economic Development Manager, requesting that a meeting be set with the larger farming community. It would be to detail what options might be available for economic development for Frontenac Islands and the region, to ensure the supply of goat milk for the new plant in the future. Exciting times.

B. Planning: The Township of Frontenac Islands will ask the County Planning Department to provide in writing the procedure required to amend the year currently stipulated for severance applications, with the intent of being allowed an increase in the number of lots per parcel of land. Council also wants an explanation with regards to the status of the Township’s Official plan, and what sections have yet to be approved.

C. Senior’s Project: The closing date for the submissions of the Request for Proposal has been changed to January 26th, 2017, at the request of those who are submitting bids.
D. Deputy Mayor Nossal expressed satisfaction with the Howe Island Township (foot) ferry staff for their “dedication and hard work” in clearing the recent backlog of vehicles due to the unforeseen shutdown of the Howe Island County ferry. She also had high praise for the Frontenac County ferry staff for keeping in touch regarding the ferry. And for the updates circulated regularly providing ferry users with current information, and explanations as to the cause of the shutdown. On another issue, the Deputy Mayor also informed Council that she had provided the names of twenty-five Howe Island home based businesses to Allison Vandervelde Frontenac County Community Development Officer in an attempt to generate economic prosperity. It was noted that to benefit from the services provided by the County, background assistance from local sources is extremely valuable.

E. The Township endorsed the request from the WI Medical Clinic for priority boarding for the Nurse Practitioner on Thursday’s. Council meets next on Feb. 13th- 6:30 pm Howe Island

Around Town: *The WI Music Festival will be back this summer. * WI Medical Clinic Walk in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP. *Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at Early bird prices in effect until April 30th. * The WI Historical Society Speakers event with the Porters Postponed until a later date

Posted by M Knott at 11:37 AM
January 05, 2017
Busy Year Ahead for Frontenac Islands: Me Thinks!

Frontenac Islands held their first 2017 budget meeting on Jan. 4th. . At which time, they confirmed the items on the long list of priorities they had arrived at before Christmas requiring budget consideration. The meeting started late due to the wild weather and the rough ferry trip that brought Deputy Mayor Nossal and Councillor Higgs to Wolfe Island.
While waiting, there was an opportunity to note the steps the township is taking to meet some of the accessibility standards, and 2025 time frame laid out in the ‘AODA’ - Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act .“ A new ramp with railing has been completed beside the community hall entrance at the WI Town Hall. The ramp leads to an new entrance waiting for an accessible door, and the completion of an accessible washroom (work ongoing) also with an accessible door. The Town Hall itself will have direct access to the hall when the work is completed. With reference to the budget the amount received from Canada 150 was $54,000 with matching township funds. These funds will be identified as receivables in the 2017 budget. Interesting to note further accessibility provisions in Marysville include new curb cuts, handicap spaces and the prospect of benches and picnic tables. The township anticipates that Frontenac Islands businesses and organizations are looking for ways to contribute towards improving access for persons with disabilities, as required within the timeframe, and beyond what is legislated in the AODA.
Once started, council reviewed grants received in 2016 and possible future ones. It was noted that this was the last year of funding in the Arterial Roads Agreement for Howe Island. WI Early Years to be contacted regarding supplementary funding. Requiring budgetary consideration are : accessible washrooms at the WI Community centre; development of a Secondary Plan; consideration for a number of public works issues including roadside brushing, Lower Side Road culvert Howe Island; helipad relocation; a new building at the WI Transfer site; Electronic speed sign; lights (how many?) along Road 7051; higher fuel/ propane costs due to Cap and Trade. CAO Plumley introduced the inclusion of a $50 monthly electronics allowance for councillors to offset communications costs. Council proposed a budget in crease of 1.75 % to 2% overall. Staff will develop the material for the next budget meeting, scheduled for 10 am, Feb. 9th on Howe Island.
2. Lots of Goats…. Frontenac County recently announced that the County’s Economic Development Officer Richard Allen will be travelling on a trade visit to China. He will be part of a delegation, invited to do so by the Chinese company Feihe International Inc., an infant formula manufacturing company, with plans to build a $225 million processing, research and development facility in Kingston. According to Frontenac County Warden Ron Vandewal, it is important to be involved right from the beginning and aware of the opportunities the company will offer. Along with cow milk based infant formula, Feihe plans to manufacture goat milk based products, to process 75 million litres of goat milk annually, and bring 200 full time jobs to the region.
“ This is a fantastic opportunity for rural areas around Kingston,” Mayor Doyle said, following the announcement. But it was the 75 million litres of goat milk that got to him. “That works out to 225,000 litres of goat milk a day. Goats are pretty small animals. If they produce 2 litres a day you need 50,000 goats while at 4 litres its 25,000. There is a real opportunity for many people to get into the business, more importantly for young people. For goat farms you don’t need to buy a cost prohibitive milk quota. There would be equipment costs for sure but nothing like quota.”. Mayor Doyle noted that Kingston Mayor Paterson is anxious that the city and the county work together as a region “as we have in the past with economic development”. The delegation to China includes Mayor Bryan Paterson, the Frontenac County’s Allen, members of KEDCO, OMAFRA, Utilities Kingston, Queen's University and others where they will be reviewing the whole process and it requirements. Mayor Doyle said that the township will set up a public meeting with Allen following his return from China to hear about the requirements of the project. The islands are prime agricultural places close to the city, with a long history of milk production. He said “I am sure the other townships in the county will want to do the same. I see this as the best economic development opportunity that has come about in years. Its going to take many people many farms, and many goats to make it work. There are farms with big barns, lots of vacant land and perhaps opportunities for leasing,” he concluded.

3. Good News: Organic Waste Disposal to DeBruin Farms BIOGAS ORGANICS resumes at the WI Transfer site. Residents are urged to take advantage of the organic bins. Composting reduces the amount of waste to be trucked off the island.

Posted by M Knott at 11:32 AM