Not Helpless with a Heart of Gold

A few people in South Frontenac are now infected with COVID 19 through community spread: at least one is seriously ill. We wish them speedy recoveries. Now is the time to take physical separation seriously, wash hands and stay at home.

These are extraordinary times and our community is responding with compassion, good humour, inventiveness and a heart of gold. Many in our community are working on the front-lines of health care and emergency response, from keeping people alive in the ICU to providing essential municipal services and ensuring that people get the food they need. Local businesses have stepped up with innovative solutions to help residents purchase the supplies they need and limit contact. We are not helpless.

Thank you. I am proud of my neighbours.

For information on the virus or how the Township is responding to COVID-19 call the Township offices 613-376-3027, or visit the municipal website.

Please feel free to call me if you have any questions or concerns. Also, if you know of someone who needs help, contact me and I will do my best to get them the services they need.

We will get through this. Life goes on. Even some other municipal issues were dealt with this month.

Protecting Lake Shorelines

Just before Canada locked-down, South Frontenac Council gave staff direction to report back with “the most effective and expeditious way to control tree cutting on lake shorelines.” Protecting natural vegetation on shorelines protects lake health and their aesthetic beauty.

The problems with clearing shorelines were raised when the developer of the Shield Shores condominium on Dog Lake clear-cut the shoreline before making the subdivision application.

Recently, a new owner of a lot within swimming distance of Sydenham clear-cut their steep shoreline and burned the wood on the ice. The burning was a provincial violation but there are no regulations to stop the cutting. This graphic illustration of the threat to our lakes shocked many people.

The main way the Township has limited tree cutting along shorelines has been by placing conditions on individual lots as part of the Committee of Adjustment variance process. Also, new lakeside subdivisions and condominiums, after they apply, usually have tree cutting restrictions.

The loophole is that the controls are only applied after the land has officially entered an approval process. A new bylaw, if passed, should close this loophole.

Ad-Bag Litter

Council has also asked for an action plan to deal with ad-bag newspapers thrown in the ditch along many Township roads. In some places they are put into people’s mail boxes. Just as often they are thrown beside mail boxes, or thrown at the end of driveways or randomly in ditches, apparently for the ground hogs to read. This is littering.

It would be nice to develop an effective strategy to stop all littering. But Sun Media’s ad-bag newspapers are a step above the relatively few people who randomly feel the need to drive chain store coffee cups out from Kingston to through them into our common front yard. Ad-bags are Township-wide coordinated littering every week.

There are options. The Township has met with the newspaper’s representatives and suggested that they could use the mail service like the Frontenac News. Alternately, the Township also offered to facilitate community boxes for the ad-bag newspapers where people could pick them up rather than out of the snow and rain at the end of their driveway. The company declined to pursue either of these options.

It is time for stronger legal powers to stop the ad-bag newspaper littering. It could be part of the Township strategy, which is in the works, to clean up the mess made by signs randomly posted, and often left to rot, along roads.

Septic Inspections

The Township is seriously considering taking over septic system approvals when Public Health stops providing that service next year. This may also provide an opportunity for a broader septic inspection program.


About Ross Sutherland

retired nurse, researcher, public health care activist.
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