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April Newsletter 2023

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour.
Thanks Hilbert for your amazing pics of the Coopers Hawk – all winter.
Here’s to a great nest with lots of babies this season!

First, Lisa Cadue is selling her amazing VENISON TACOS.
610 Montreal St on MARCH 31 FROM 11 AM – 3 AM.
Strawberry drink and dessert included.
Price $15.

Second, the FRONTENAC HERITAGE FOUNDATION is hosting a presentation by SAGE RESTORATIONS on window restoration and USE OF LINSEED OIL PAINT. Demonstrations included.
THE SPIRE, 82 Sydenham St. in the Upper Hall, MARCH 31 from 1-4 pm.
Sage Restorations would like an idea of how many people.

1. Earth Day Celebration, April 22, 2023
2. Kingston Police Spring Bike Auction, April 22
3. Letter on the City’s Official Plan and the Current Housing Crisis
4. Students & Seniors Pressure Local RBC to Stop Funding Planetary Destruction
5. ‘New Climate Stories’ wins Awesome Kingston March Grant
6. MP Mark Gerretsen Addresses House of Commons Dispute with MP Vuong
7. Joint Statement by President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau
8. Ottawa misses own deadline on deal with Quebec shipyard to build icebreakers
9. Seafarers from Ukraine now working on Great Lakes Ships
10. Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative waiting for Liberals to make good on $1 billion commitment
11. Clearing the Way for Ojibway Land Transfer
12. Canada pledges Great Lakes funding after Trudeau-Biden talks
13. Newsletter from the International Joint Commission
14. Blue Fish News: What Anglers Can Do re Invasive Species
15. Great Lakes Must-Visit Destinations & Roadside Attractions
16. Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust Special Event
17. Psychedelics Helping Dying Patients Overcome Existential Distress
18. Social Media Addiction Disrupts the Sleep, Moods and Social Activities of Teens and Young Adults
19. When I am among the trees – Mary Oliver
20. Follies of God: For More Meaningful Evenings
21. Dangers of Titanium Oxide in Skittles and other Foods
22. Why Bad Street Design is Both Costly and Deadly
23. The Big Picture: Uncovering Lost Rivers
24. EV Charging Station “that comes to you” to Make Debut in Quebec

1. Earth Day Celebration, April 22, 2023

Received from Gavin Hutchison of 350 Kingston, early March
New Climate Stories will be holding their Earth Day Celebration again this year on Saturday, April 22 from 1 till 4 PM in McBurney (Skeleton) Park.This free, arts-oriented celebration will provide space for an all-agesKingston community to come together on Earth Day and reflect on the climate crisis through creative practices. Two of 350 Kingston’s specially creative members Nancy Bayly and Hannah Ascough are founding members of New Climate Stories. 350 Kingston will have a table in the park with free coffee and information for parents on creating their own emissions reduction plan.  

2. Kingston Police Spring Bike Auction, April 22
Received from the Kingstonist, March 15 – Tori Stafford
Kingston Police have announced the date of their upcoming spring auction, a historically well-attended annual event. “Found or seized property will be up for grabs to the highest bidder,” Kingston Police said in a press release. “As in previous years, there will be a large number of bicycles being auctioned off, as well as jewelry, tools, household goods, and currency.”
The event will take place on Saturday, Apr. 22, 2023, in the Sail Room of Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, located at 53 Yonge Street. Doors will open at 8 a.m., with the auction starting at 10 a.m.
According to Brad Snider Auction Services, the auction house overseeing the event, more than 125 bicycles will be up for offer, and bikes, jewelry, and tools will be auctioned off in different blocks of time throughout the day.More information and pictures regarding items that will be up for auction will be available at, Kingston Police said.

In 2018, Kingstonist sat down for an interview with Kingston Police to find out more about where the items available in a police auction come from, and if any of the numerous bicycles consistently on the auction block at each of the two annual auctions are, in fact, stolen bikes (spoiler alert: many are).
Read more about this.

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Letter on the City of Kingston’s Official Plan and the Current Housing Crisis
Received from the Kingstonist, March 27 –
Peter Kingston on behalf of SPEAKingston Board
Members of SPEAKingston are imploring the City of Kingston to explore necessary changes to the Official Plan to allow more developable land to be utilized to address the current housing crisis now and in the future. 
The Official Plan is a pillar of the community, providing a framework for how our community will progress. This important tool has the power, through thoughtful and insightful policies, to create resilient communities. As such, it should apply long-term planning principles that support the public interest. It can be challenging to define the public interest; however, “housing for all” is unquestionably a goal that is in the public interest. Kingston has defined the climate crisis as its top priority, but this cannot overshadow, or work against, the dire need for housing.
Housing across Ontario is in short supplyIt is important for Kingston to define its own approach to smart growth based on the unmet needs of our community, beyond provincial strategies. Smart growth demands affordable and attainable housing, as well as a diverse, market-based range of housing. This must be a central focus of the strategic plan and the Official Plan. The climate crisis affects us all, and Kingston’s focus should be on a housing-first approach, as this also supports Kingston’s goal of creating a resilient community. Prioritizing the creation of homes will have benefits across the affordability spectrum. 
Kingston’s vacancy rate has consistently been among the lowest in the province for years. When a new building is occupied, we see a short-lived spike in vacancy rates followed by a drop. This instability clearly indicates that there is a housing supply shortage in our community. Lack of housing is a critical need that must be addressed now, as the issue will only worsen over time if the policy and regulatory framework does not respond to this need.
Developable land inside the urban boundary is in short supply. Much of that land is publicly- or privately owned. Owners are often unwilling to sell or develop their land, nor should they be forced to do either. Increasing the supply of land available for development is therefore a very logical and reasonable solution that will incentivize the creation of new homes. Reducing barriers to the creation of housing is necessary to increase the supply and provide a greater range of options and opportunities. This will have long term benefits, as the housing built today will be the affordable and attainable housing of the future, just as the homes and apartment buildings that were built decades ago provide a critical supply of affordable and attainable homes today. 
People working in Kingston should not have to commute from nearby municipalities because they cannot afford to live here. The idea that if a typical housing option is not affordable for someone in Kingston, that person should live elsewhere, is messaging our members have heard in the community, and it directly conflicts with Kingston’s desire to respond to the climate crisis effectively. Kingston has an opportunity to house those who wish to live, work, and play in the community by increasing the land available for housing.
Housing is a basic human right and need. Unmet housing needs across Kingston create intersectional social consequences that must be fought through smart growth principles that create a diverse housing supply.
Kingston continues to be a desirable place to live, as the number of relocating Canadians and immigrants increases. This population surge will continue and will compound the existing housing shortage. There is a very real risk that Kingston will be left behind if we cannot keep up with the demand for housing.
With the declaration of a climate emergency, Kingston has made it clear that it will prioritize housing. Building housing that is close to where people work and play is a way to combat fossil fuel usage, allowing residents to live where they desire to be and locate close to Kingston’s core employment areas, including Queen’s University, the downtown and commercial areas, CFB Kingston, the business parks, and other significant private-sector and institutional employers. For example, Queen’s University is expected to continue to grow, and this campus growth expands into the community at large. Students and employees desire to live within the community without displacing others who also wish to live there. CFB Kingston is also facing a critical housing supply shortage, which is affecting the ability of service members to relocate to Kingston.  
The provincial government has declared a need to build 1.5 million homes by 2031. The opening of the Waaban Crossing promotes the expansion of the east side of Kingston, but there is only a small amount of development land left inside the urban boundary. The existing urban boundary is actually constraining smart growth.
The recent Housing Pledge suggests Kingston’s work in facilitating planning approvals is finished, and the number of units approved will be sufficient to provide enough housing for those that need it. In reality, we are far from finished. It is not acceptable for the City to step back now. The Pledge assumes a certain pace of development will continue, without establishing appropriate incentives. If approvals are in place but units aren’t being built, then there are other factors at play and there is more that must be done to incentivize the creation of homes, including expansion of the urban boundary in a considered and thoughtful fashion to provide more opportunities to meet the housing needs of our city.
The intent behind the forward-thinking policies of the next Official Plan must be toward the creation of new housing supply. Failure to proactively increase the supply will have major repercussions on the entire community and our climate. Climate change policies and housing policies must recognize the connection between their main goals and work together to build resilient communities. This process must be done with inclusive community consultation and a continued focus on housing for the public good. Smart growth demands we adapt our approaches by putting housing first, and it is apparent that expanding the urban boundary is the appropriate path forward.
Peter Kingston, Chair, SPEAKingston Board
Wanda Williams, Vice-ChairBoard members: Sandy Berg, Christine Ray Bratt, Patrick Murphy, Brian Cookman (Past Chair), Pete Sauerbrei, John Sheridan, Rob Wood, and John Wright.

– Wonderful thatall sides of the political spectrum care about this pressing issue!  More densification in the downtown is needed – especially in the brownfields in the Inner Harbour – where it does not impinge on environmental shoreline concerns. Allowing more housing in existing suburban lots should also be a priority. There is no need to increase the urban boundary when these other options exists.
– For more information on Kingston’s housing issue consider subscribing to YGK Housing News. Contact:
– Kudos to Councillor Jeff McLaren for workng on the Limestone City Co-Op Housing Board. More co-operative housing is needed.
– Council approves three affordable housing projects
Received from The Kingstonist March 22 – Dylan Chenier
 – New approach for Seniors: Shared living for seniors from SWIT (Senior Women Living Together) 500 members in Ontario –
Also see:

4. Students and Seniors Pressure Local RBC to Stop Funding Planetary Destruction
Received from the Kingstonist March 21 – Jessica Foley
Around noon on Tuesday, Mar. 21, 2023, those in downtown Kingston may have noticed a rallytaking place outside the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)location on lower Princess Street. Members of Seniors for Climate Action Now! (SCAN!) and Queen’s Backing Action on the Climate Crisis(QBACC) gathered together to press Canada’s biggest bank to stop funding planetary destruction.

Those expressing their distaste for the continuing investments in the fossil fuel industry demonstrated with giant puppets, music, signs, and photographs of grandchildren. According to a release from organizers, the rally was supported by
Our grandchildren’s future depends on getting banks like RBC to divest from fossil fuels,” said Nancy Bayly of SCAN! “The young people joining us understand this. We’re making common cause for the common good.” 
According to a release from organizers, senior citizens living in Kingston who support SCAN’s divestment campaign will soon have divested up to $1.5 million of their own funds from RBC. Dave Wyatt, 72, and his wife Judi, 71, have just divested all of their savings and investments from RBC. 
Dave’s father, Hal, started as a junior clerk at the Royal Bank’s branch in Eyebrow, Saskatchewan. When he retired, Hal was RBC’s Vice-Chair and Senior Director, organizers said. Dave said that his father “would be completely disgusted” with RBC’s prominent role as a leading lender to the fossil fuel industry.
According to the involved organizations, RBC has lent billions to fossil fuel expansion since 2015. It’s a primary funder of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline being built through traditional Wet’suwet’en lands in British Columbia, organizers stated. The bank reportedly also sponsors Truth & Reconciliation Week, claiming that it “stands for indigenous inclusion and prosperity.”
“When it comes to climate action, RBC talks a big game,” said Kyla Tienhaara, Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment at Queen’s. “But the reality is that the bank is putting 99 per cent of its energy finance into fossil fuels and only one per cent into renewables.”  
“Young people cannot afford to invest in the destruction of the land we live on, and seniors do not want their grandchildren inheriting a wasted Earth,” added Siena Margorian of QBACC. “We all have a stake in this fight.”

5. ‘New Climate Stories’ wins Awesome Kingston March Grant
Received from The Kingstonist, March 22 – Jessica Foley
Every month, Awesome Kingston awards a $1,000 grant to a local project that the trustees think will keep Kingston awesome. Last week, the March grant was awarded to New Climate Stories for their upcoming Earth Day celebration.
This free, arts-oriented celebration will take place in Skeleton Park in April. New Climate Stories said that they want to provide the all-ages Kingston community with a space to come together on Earth Day and reflect on the climate crisis through creative practices.
New Climate Stories is a self-proclaimed hub for climate change-related creativity and art. The group operates both online and in-person – see https://newclimatestories.wordpress.comIt acts as an art collective, to which Kingstonians can submit creative works that reflect on the climate crisis; while their team – made up of artists – hosts events in the community to encourage creative climate action and deeper engagement with the climate movement. 
“Our group was formed in late 2021 in response to the urgency of the climate crisis,” Hannah Ascough, artist with New Climate Stories told Kingstonist. “Climate change communication is often beset by apocryphal imagery and gloom-and-doom narratives, which can discourage participation in climate activism. As artists, we saw rich potential in merging creativity with climate action, conceiving of art as a way of processing the immense losses experienced under the climate crisis, but also as a means of imagining radically hopeful visions of the world we want to build instead.”
Last year, the group held their inaugural Earth Day celebration in Skeleton Park on April 22, and have earmarked that date for their 2023 celebrations.
“We initially envisioned New Climate Stories as a platform wherein local Kingstonians could share their artwork. It quickly became apparent to us that we needed to engage in outreach, as well. We saw Earth Day as an opportunity to bring the community together to reflect on the climate crisis, process their climate anxiety, and engage – through art – in more direct climate action.”
Last year, organizers were “very surprised” by the success of New Climate Stories’ first Earth Day event. The group set up a tent in Skeleton Park, with a sunflower kit station, old t-shirts for decorating, and poster-making activities. Ascough noted that they were “very fortunate” to partner with Yessica Rivera Belsham, from, who invited people into a drum circle.
“We found ourselves surrounded by dozens of children and families from the area: our t-shirts were decorated quickly, and many youth walked home with sunflower pots and climate posters; we also covered the sidewalk in chalk messages about climate change.”
She described the atmosphere as exuberant. “Children were running around, covered in fabric paint, and the joy was palpable. While we had not expected such a large turnout, we were thrilled by the laughter, and were reminded very poignantly of the power of imagination and art to bring people together and draw attention to a movement.”
The group hopes to bring that same joy and exuberance to their second annual event, while continuing to reflect on the climate crisis.
“We are cognizant that the climate crisis is political – and its impacts both environmental and social – and that days like Earth Day (when depoliticized) can distract us from its pressing urgency. We conceive of our Earth Day event not only as a celebration of our planet and all its inhabitants, but also as a call to action – a welcoming space wherein people can engage more thoroughly, and creatively, in the broader climate movement, and thus become more involved in all facets of the struggle against climate change.”
Currently, New Climate Stories is running two contests for youth – Elementary school-aged youth were asked to design a “climate-themed button,” and high school-aged youth were challenged to create a poster, which imagines what a “fossil-free Kingston” could look like.
Prizes will be awarded to the winners of these contests, and the group has extended the deadline and is encouraging youth to continue to enter the contest, which will be closing soon.
“In keeping with our contests, we will have several ‘stations’ at our Earth Day event, with various creative activities that call for climate action,” Ascough explained. “At one station, we will have button-makers, so that everyone can design and create a ‘climate’ button. At another station, we will be planting sunflowers in take-home pots, to encourage people to think about starting pollinator gardens. Our third station will involve decorating old t-shirts – which we are encouraging people to bring with them – with climate-related slogans; while a fourth station will have musical instruments. Our final station will have two large banners made from old sheets, where everyone can share their environmental messages, and which we will take to other climate protests as a show of the community’s support for the climate movement.”
Everyone is welcome to attend the day of creativity, which will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 22 in McBurney (Skeleton) Park.
Ascough added that the Kingston Frontenac Public Library will be joining them at their event this year.
“Not only have they generously loaned us their button-makers, but they will also have a pop-up library set up with all-ages climate- and environment-focused books,” she said.
New Climate Stories also gave thanks to Awesome Kingston for this grant, and said they will use the money to replenish their art supplies, including fabric paints, button supplies, old sheets to make banners, and seeds and pots for the pollinator garden start-up kits.
“We want to grow our Earth Day celebration every year, and Awesome’s grant has helped us ensure its longevity in the community. Without their support, our event would look a lot different,” Ascough noted. “We are extremely grateful for the work that Awesome Kingston does to encourage local organizing, and appreciate their commitment to growing Kingston’s communities. We are also very grateful to the Kingston Frontenac Public Library for their loan of button-makers and books; their support is a reminder that climate action comes in all forms. Finally, we want to acknowledge that this celebration is happening on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Anishinabek Nation. As such, we encourage anyone who attends our Earth Day to critically reflect on the ongoing and interlinked violence of colonialism and climate change.”
“Ultimately, we want our Earth Day celebration to serve as a reminder that joy, fun, and laughter can act as powerful forms of resistance to political inaction and social and environmental injustices,” she concluded. “In the climate movement, there is hope, and at New Climate Stories, we want to encourage everyone to merge their creativity with climate action to imagine and then enact better, fairer futures.”
More info about Awesome Kingston?

6. MP Mark Gerretsen Addresses House of Commons Dispute with MP Vuong
Received from the Kingstonist March 28 – Tori Stafford
MPs Kevin Vuong and Mark Gerretsen had a brief argument in the House of Commons on Thursday, Mar. 23, 2023, after Vuong accused Gerretsen of toeing the line of the Communist Party of China when Gerretsen explained why the Liberal government has not called for a public inquiry into foreign interference
In a world where misinformation spreads as fast as virus in a room full of people, context is important.
These are the sentiments of Mark Gerretsen, Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Kingston and the Islands and Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, after comments he made during a dispute with MP Kevin Vuong (Spadina—Fort York, Independent). The MPs traded verbal jabs regarding foreign interference – specifically that of the Communist Party of China (CPC) – during Adjournment Proceedings of the House of Commons on Thursday, Mar. 23, 2023.
The matter arose in the House when MP Laurel Collins (Victoria, NDP) turned her line of questioning to Gerretsen as the Parliamentary Secretary.
“The recent allegations about foreign interference are incredibly serious. They further erode confidence in our electoral systems, and the Liberals, today, voted against a public inquiry. They do not seem to see the damage they are doing to individuals and also to communities that are at risk of being stigmatized. We need a transparent, independent public inquiry. At this point, it is the only way to get to the bottom of this,” Collins said. “Will the member commit to pushing for a transparent, independent public inquiry?”
Gerretsen responded, “I have been very clear. I said in a speech earlier today in the House that when the issue first came to light, being on the procedure and House affairs committee, I initially asked myself why we are not having a public inquiry. It makes the most sense.”
He continued, “However, expert after expert and witness after witness who came before the committee told us the best place to deal with highly classified information is not in the public domain… It is not the answer I was hoping to hear, but it is an answer that makes sense, and it is an answer that I think warrants consideration.”

Gerretsen went on to point out that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed a “special expert” – former governor general David Johnston – to look specifically at the issue of foreign interference, noting that, should Johnston determine that a public inquiry is the best way forward, the Liberal government has said it will support that recommendation.
It was then that Vuong addressed the Speaker of the House regarding Gerretsen’s response, foreign interference, and the appointment of Johnston. His complete comments and a back and forth between the two MPs can be read at, but it was the conclusion of those comments that have resulted in accusations online that Gerretsen wanted to physically fight Vuong.
“Mr. Speaker, there is a party line being toed here,” Vuong said. “The problem is, what party line, the Liberal Party’s or the Communist Party of China’s?” He then called on the government to “step up and provide strong investigatory powers through the special rapporteur so that Mr. Johnston can unearth names and evidence of foreign interference in Canada, especially in Vancouver and Toronto during the last two elections.”
Gerretsen immediately responded, and his ire at the accusation that he was aligning with the CPC was palpable.

“Mr. Speaker, if I understood that member correctly, he just questioned whether I was toeing a Liberal Party line or a Communist Party of China line,” said Gerretsen.
“My response to that member is this: Let us go outside and he can say that to me in public where he does not have the parliamentary privilege he has in this room.”

It is that final sentence that led to online commenters speculating that Gerretsen was “calling on” MP Vuong, so to speak. Content creators speculated that Gerretsen was attempting to physically fight the Toronto-based MP by saying “let us go outside,” failing to notice the “parliamentary privilege” Gerretsen referred to.
In fact, MPs often suggest that their colleagues “go outside” to repeat accusations levelled inside the House of Commons. It speaks to parliamentary privilege, which allows politicians within the House the “rights and immunities,” including protection from being sued for defamation over anything they’ve said within the House of Commons. MPs commonly suggest their colleagues step outside to repeat accusations as a means of asserting that they would not make such allegations without parliamentary privilege protecting them. It is for this reason, Gerretsen said, he specifically included the word “room” in his statement.
“In this particular exchange, the individual was basically suggesting that I was working for China and toeing China’s party lines, which I took great offense to, obviously, as I imagine most people would. And I said [something which has] actually been said many times in the House of Commons, which is, ‘why don’t you say that to me outside the House of Commons, where you don’t have parliamentary privilege,’” Gerretsen explained in an interview with Kingstonist on Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2023.
“You can say anything in the House of Commons, it cannot be used against you in a court, in civil or criminal action. And that’s just part of promoting freedom of speech and democracy. So, quite often, people will make severely outlandish claims that could be defamatory in nature, or that are defamatory in nature, in the House of Commons, but then once they step outside and they’re in front of the media, they would never say the same thing,” the Kingston and the Islands MP continued.
“So, in the context in which that’s quite often said, when they say ‘step outside,’ we’re talking about stepping outside of the room… the media is located right outside the room.”
Should an MP who has made such assertions do so “outside the room,” particularly to the media, they are then liable to be sued for defamation of character, Gerretsen explained, noting that anyone who follows federal politics – particularly the happenings within the House of Commons – would know that was precisely what he was referring to.
Meanwhile, to all of those who are now trying to say that he wanted to physically fight the Spadina—Fort York MP, Gerretsen said that couldn’t be further from the truth, and that it ironically plays into the spread of misinformation MP Vuong was participating in in the first place.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a rise of this misinformation, accusations that are based on complete rumor… look at this incident on its own: a lot of misinformation is spreading out there about what I did and what I said, and what my intentions were. People are taking advantage of it. So, we’re living in this world where there’s so much more of that. And people come in [to the House of Commons] and they say stuff that is defamatory to one’s character. And they can do it, because they have that parliamentary privilege,” said Gerretsen.
“I certainly was not referring to engaging in some kind of physical altercation.”

7.  Joint Statement by President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau 
The White House, March 24, 2023.  Following President Joe Biden’s visit to Canada last week, the White House has provided readers with a statement of what the United States and Canada will work together on.
NOTE: Good summary

8. Ottawa misses own deadline on inking deal with Quebec shipyard to build icebreakers,
CTV News Montreal, March 16, 2023.  Ottawa has quietly missed its own deadline for finalizing an agreement with a Quebec shipyard so it can start work on replacing the Canadian Coast Guard’s aging icebreaker fleet.  The government said last summer that pending successful negotiations, it expected an agreement by the end of the year confirming Chantier Davie’s addition to Canada’s multibillion-dollar ship procurement program.  That have would paved the way for Davie to begin building seven new icebreakers that the Coast Guard desperately needs to replace its existing fleet, before mechanical problems start forcing ships into retirement.   

9. Seafarers from Ukraine now working on Great Lakes ShipsThe Bay Observer, 17, 2023.
 Algoma, CSL, Groupe Desgagnés, and Hamilton’s McKeil Marine are among the Canadian ship owners that have welcomed qualified Ukrainian seafarers and other marine personnel after Russia invaded their homeland in February 2022.  Bruce Burrows, President and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, Brooke Cameron, Algoma’s Senior Manager, Fleet Personnel and Erick Bergeron, Vice President, Human Resources, Groupe Desgagnés, are quoted.

10.  Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative waiting for Liberals to make good on $1 billion commitment, 
The Pointer, March 18, 2023.  In mid-January, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a binational coalition of over 230 members working toward environmental and socio-economic health of communities along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basins, communicated with it partner municipalities.  They were asked to pass a resolution to remind the federal government of its promise to invest $1 billion toward a Freshwater Action Plan.  In 2021, ahead of this year’s election, the Liberals made a campaign promise of $1 billion over ten years toward the development and implementation of a Freshwater Action Plan.   When the 2022 budget was released, it only included two percent of the promised funds ($19.6 million).

11.Clearing the Way for Ojibway Land Transfer
Windsor Port Authority, March 20, 2023 has relinquished title to two key parcels of land in Ojibway Shores to Parks Canada.  Furthermore, the Port will build a fish habitat on the Ojibway waterfront to further enhance creation of an Urban National Park and protect the ecological significance of this shoreline.  Steve Salmons, President & CEO, Windsor Port Authority, is quoted.

12.  Canada pledges Great Lakes funding after Trudeau-Biden talks, The Washington Post, March 25, 2023. 
Canada has pledged a significant increase in spending to improve water quality in the Great Lakes following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, whose administration also has boosted funding for the shared waters.  Following their discussion Friday in Ottawa, Trudeau said his government would spend $420 million – about $306 million in U.S. dollars – over the next decade on the lakes, still suffering from 20th century industrial pollution and newer challenges such as climate change, PFAS chemicals and microplastics.

13. News from the International Joint Commission

14. Blue Fish News: What Anglers can do re Invasive Species
Received March 20, 2023

This Week’s Feature — Actions anglers can take to halt invasive species
By L. Gunther

Preventing the introduction of invasive species is just one strategy for protecting native aquatic life. There is a lot more recreational anglers and fishing clubs can do to mitigate the threats posed by invasives. Everything from preventing further spread of invasives, monitoring and reporting impacts, educating the public about invasive species prevention, teaching fellow anglers identification and elimination best practices, supporting scientific research, and providing input to government policy makers and regulators.
In this editorial, let’s go over the different types of invasive species now in Canada, how they got here, their impact on native fishes, and how you can take action to mitigate their impact. 
Invasive species are a serious problem in a growing number of Canada’s lakes, rivers, and along our longest coastline of any nation in the world. Invasives can also have a significant impact on native fishes and the future of our favorite fisheries. Impacts include the disruption of ecosystems and competing with native fishes. 
There are numerous examples of invasive species that are already threatening native fishes where their impact has yet to be mitigated, other than measures being introduced to prevent their continued spread. Three of the most common invasive aquatic species that remain unchecked are zebra mussels, round goby and spiny water flea. 
Zebra mussels are a freshwater mussel that is native to the Caspian Sea region of Eurasia. They were first introduced to the Great Lakes in the 1980s and have since spread throughout much of Canada. Zebra mussels compete with native species for food and habitat, and they can attach to and damage water intake pipes and other structures. They also filter water, which can disrupt the food chain and reduce the amount of food available for fish. New evidence shows that they are also contributing to blue green algae. 
Round goby are a small fish that is native to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions of Eurasia. They were first introduced to the Great Lakes in the 1990s and have since spread throughout much of Canada. Round gobies are aggressive and can outcompete native fish for food and habitat. They also prey on the eggs of native fish, including smallmouth bass and yellow perch. New scientific evidence also shows they are responsible for passing on viruses to other fishes such as Muskie. 
Spiny water flea is a crustacean that is native to Eurasia. They were first introduced to the Great Lakes in the 1980s and have since spread to many other bodies of water in Canada. Spiny water fleas are predatory and can consume large quantities of zooplankton, which disrupts the food chain and can reduce the amount of food available for fish.
A fourth relatively new invasive aquatic specie is goldfish. People are releasing their unwanted aquarium pets into storm drains, creeks and ponds, and they are becoming a growing problem in waterbodies nearby urban centres. In the early 2000s, thousands of goldfish were discovered in Burnaby Lake, a small urban lake near Vancouver. In 2015 a population of over 2,000 goldfish were discovered in a stormwater retention pond in St. Albert, a suburb of Edmonton. In 2014, a population of goldfish was found in Trout Lake, a large lake in northeastern Ontario near North Bay. Since then, numerous municipalities have reported goldfish infestations in nearby watersheds, and in all cases the goldfish were found to be damaging aquatic ecosystems by uprooting native plants and outcompeting native fish species for food and habitat.
Anglers have a role in educating pet owners not to release their pets into the environment. Unwanted aquarium pets can be found new homes, returned to local pet stores, donated to public aquariums, or euthanized humanely.
Other examples where invasive species have taken over aquatic ecosystems and severely impacted the health of native fishes in Canada include:
Lake trout: In the early 20th century, sea lampreys were introduced into the Great Lakes, where they preyed heavily on lake trout. As a result, the lake trout population declined dramatically, and the fishery collapsed. It wasn’t until the sea lamprey control program was developed that the lake trout population began to recover.
Yellow perch: Round gobies, an invasive fish from the Black and Caspian seas, were first discovered in the Great Lakes in the 1990s. Since then, they have become a dominant species in many areas, outcompeting native fish including yellow perch. Yellow perch populations have declined dramatically in some areas, and some researchers believe they may be on the verge of collapse.
Eelgrass: In the 1930s, European green crabs were accidentally introduced into the waters of Nova Scotia. Since then, they have spread along the Atlantic coast and have become a significant predator of eelgrass, a critical habitat for many fish species. More recently, they have been found along Canada’s west coast.
Thankfully, not all invasive aquatic species continue to range unchecked. For example, sea lamprey, rusty crayfish and common carp are all invasives that we have learned to manage, but it can involve considerable effort and expense. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. 
It’s not just fauna causing havoc, flora is also harming native fishes. Invasive plants alter fish habitat, reduce water quality and oxygen levels, and limit access to food and spawning sites. 
Eurasian watermilfoil is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and was introduced to North America in the late 1800s as an ornamental pond and aquarium plant. It is a highly invasive species that can form dense mats on the surface of water bodies, blocking sunlight and reducing oxygen levels. It also impacts spawning and nursery habitat for native fishes.
Purple loosestrife is native to Europe and Asia and was introduced to North America in the 1800s as an ornamental plant. Its dense stands can reduce open water areas for fish to swim and feed, and the plant’s seeds can fill in spaces between rocks and gravel, reducing suitable fish spawning habitat.
Japanese knotweed is native to Japan and was introduced to North America and Europe in the 19th century. It alters stream and riverbank ecosystems. The plant’s large dense stands can create barriers to fish movement, and its extensive root systems can destabilize streambanks leading to erosion and sedimentation of aquatic habitat.
Safeguarding Canada’s natural assets from the impacts of invasive species begins with preventing their introduction, but it doesn’t end there. According to Jenna White, program development coordinator for the Invasive Species Centre, anglers can also play a role in preventing the spread of invasives by reporting when an invasive has been captured or observed, monitoring spread, participating or leading initiatives to remove invasives, supporting invasive species research, and providing input to officials responsible for invasive species policy and regulations. And let’s not forget education and awareness. Link below to hear my discussion with Jenna White from the Invasive Species Centre:
The Invasive Species Centre is a non-profit organization that works to prevent and manage invasive species in Canada. They have a reporting tool on their website that allows individuals to report invasive sightings. The Invasive Species Centre also offers training programs, funding opportunities, and technical support to help individuals and groups identify, manage, and prevent invasive species.
Other programs and initiatives available in Canada to support recreational anglers who want to do more to halt the spread or remove invasive species include: 
The Government of Canada supports a mapping initiative called EDDMapS (Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System), which allows individuals to report invasive species sightings. The tool can also be downloaded and installed as an app.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) operates a website where individuals can report sightings of invasive species in the marine environment. The website also provides information on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. DFO also provides funding for projects that address invasive species available for individuals, groups, and organizations who want to take action against invasive species.
The Canadian Council on Invasive Species is a non-profit organization that works to prevent and manage invasive species in Canada. They provide resources, funding opportunities, and training programs for individuals and groups who want to take action against invasive species.
Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program, operated by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, runs the Invading Species Awareness Program, which provides resources and support to individuals and groups who want to prevent the spread of invasive species in Ontario. This program offers training, educational materials, and funding for invasive species management projects.
The Alberta government operates the Aquatic Invasive Species Program, which provides funding and support for projects related to invasive species prevention and management. This program offers funding for research, monitoring, and control projects, as well as education and outreach initiatives.
The Manitoba government’s Fisheries Branch provides funding and support for projects related to invasive species management and prevention. This includes funding for research, monitoring, and control projects, as well as education and outreach initiatives.
Many local conservation authorities across Canada often have programs or initiatives in place to support individuals and groups who want to take action against invasive species in their area. These programs may include funding opportunities, training programs, or technical support.
If you or your fishing club are considering taking action to prevent the spread or the removal of invasive species, it’s important to work with experts and follow best practices. Sound planning also includes involving local community members and indigenous groups in the area to provide input and build support for the initiative. 
Let us know about your program so we can share with others what you have learned and accomplished. Send us an email at


15. Great Lakes Must-Visit Destinations & Roadside Attractions
MSN, March 15, 2023.  The Great Lakes encompass exciting cities like Toronto, Chicago and Cleveland.  Still, there are many other attractions to see, including beautiful lakes, beautiful beaches, historic landmarks and roadside attractions for any curious visitor.

16. Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust Special Event
Received March 24, 2023
WHAT: Thousand Islands Café with Biologist Maggie
Zoom Science Café where Maggie will discuss common invasive species that many people might find in their own backyards. Maggie will show how to identify these species and ways to manage and prevent their spread.
WHEN: April 18, 7 pm

17. Psychedelics are Helping Dying Patients Overcome their Existential Distress
Received from Freethink Weekly Feb 28

18. Social Media Addiction Disrupts the Sleep, Moods and Social Activities of Teens and Young Adults
Received from the Conversation, March 8 – Linda Pagani, Amelie Gilker Beauchamp, Beatrice Necsa, Benoit Gauthier, Kiamoush Harradian, Laurie-Anne Kosak from the University of Montreal.
NOTE: Here is the original link in case the following underlined links don’t work.

It took a half century for the first American Surgeon General Report to establish the link between tobacco and lung cancer. In response, companies infiltrated media and genetically modified tobacco leaves to make them even more addictive.
Curiously, tech companies developed similar compelling algorithms to create dependence among users — these technologies appear innocuous, but should be regulated. There are objectionable consequences regarding the influence of algorithms because they manipulate users by creating false perceptions, dependencies and addiction.
Today’s youth are among the first generations to not have experienced life before the internet. For many, their most important generational memory will be that of security concerns associated with terrorism or the recent pandemic.
Advancements in communications and internet technologies have produced a virtually integrated world; parents, guardians and educators struggle to make sense of how to manage youth online.
Our mission is to share knowledge and inform decisions.
About us
Designed to be addictive
Research in neuroscience has established that adolescence lasts into one’s 20s — and beyond for youth with neurodevelopmental disorders — making universities a prime site for addressing and managing problematic social media use.
Social media are designed to be addictive — driven and reinforced by dopamine. Teens and emerging adults are susceptible to acceptance and rejection through social media, making them particularly responsive to such media and emotionally addicted.
Daily use of social media is associated with a significantly increased risk of self-harm and depression for adolescents. The added sleep cycle disruptions explain part of the association with depressive symptoms.

An addiction to social media can disrupt teenagers’ sleep patterns. (Shutterstock)
Even moderate screen use is associated with mental health difficulties that require medication. The lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic only aggravated the situation.
Finding belonging
Youth peruse social media to derive a sense of belonging or to avoid challenges in their offline lives. Compared to live interactions, online socialization has been associated with intolerance to negative emotions and poor concentration.

Read more: Want to delete your social media, but can’t bring yourself to do it? Here are some ways to take that step

As a result, youth experience an inability to manage frustration, fear, sadness and academic difficulties. These risks could lead to problems in education, work and relationships.
One study revealed that young people were motivated to scroll as a coping mechanism or out of habit or boredom. The researchers found that staying off social media for one week led to less FOMO — the fear of missing out on social events.
Another study found that staying off social media for one week led to significant reductions in depression and anxiety in 154 young adults. In yet another study, university students were instructed to limit their use for each application to 10 minutes daily, while a control group used social media as usual. The group taking a break reported an overall improvement in well-being, achieved mainly through sleep quality.

Giving up social media is similar to giving up other addictive substances. (Shutterstock)
Short breaks from being online — even as little as two and a half hours at a time — has a positive effect on perceived life satisfaction. A study of 65 university students used daily journals to track social media use and experienced emotions. The control group used social media as usual, but the group who abstained experienced improved behaviors and feelings during and after abstinence.
Overcoming addiction
Weaning someone off social media is similar to giving up a food, drug, gambling or alcohol addiction. Cognitive behavioural approaches — such as keeping a daily journal, reading on paper, listening to music or podcasts, planning social activities, sharing meals with friends and family, physical activity, active transportation, a daily gratitude practice and bundling mundane activities with enjoyable ones — can help support the transition.
Such strategies create tolerance for solitude at times when a user may be tempted to go online. After giving up social media for a week, users experienced less distress, more active behaviour, and a more positive outlook on how to live life more mindfully and efficiently.
There is consensus that social media is deliberately designed to introduce and sustain addiction. The overuse of social media is detrimental to well-being. Therefore, we suggest that universities launch a “challenge” campaign that sensitizes and discourages leisure screen use for a period of 72 hours each semester to foster student organizational, affective, and cognitive growth. This would set the stage for better life-long habits and success.

Help us counter misinformation
Recent events have shown that scientific facts alone are not enough to reach the public. The Conversation Canada pairs scholars with editors who help them explain their work in plain language. We distribute these articles for free, with support from civic-minded donors like you. Thank you in advance.

19. When I am among the trees – Mary Oliver
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

20. Follies of God – Suggestion for More Meaningful Evenings
 “I have noticed that when all the lights are on, people tend to talk about what they are doing – their outer lives. Sitting round in candlelight or firelight, people start to talk about how they are feeling – their inner lives. They speak subjectively, they argue less, there are longer pauses. To sit alone without any electric light is curiously creative. I have my best ideas at dawn or at nightfall, but not if I switch on the lights – then I start thinking about projects, deadlines, demands, and the shadows and shapes of the house become objects, not suggestions, things that need to done, not a background to thought.”— Jeanette Winterson 

21. Dangers of Titanium Oxide in Skittles and other Foods–%20High%20Minus%20Dormant%20and%2090%20Day%20Non%20Openers
Dangers if Titanium Oxide in Skittles and other foods.

22. Why Bad Street Design is Both Costly and Deadly
Received from 8-80 March Newsletter, March 30

23. The Big Picture: Uncovering Lost Rivers
Received from CBC What on Earth March 30 – Emily Chung
NOTE: Would be wonderful if Kingston would do this!  See this Smithsonian link for info.

When I was in grad school, I lived in Vancouver, in a house at the bottom of a big hill. One day, I was digging a spot for a new compost bin and started unearthing lots and lots of round, smooth rocks. I realized that part of the backyard had likely once been the bed of a creek.

Several years later, the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Aquarium created a map – . On it, I found the river that once ran through my former backyard.

Vancouver isn’t unique — many other cities in Canada and around the world have buried or filled in a lot of their waterways. It’s something we’re reminded of at this time of year, when spring melt and rain sometimes push water back along the paths it used to travel. Accessible maps of lost rivers exist for many cities, including TorontoEdmontonMontrealHalifax and Winnipeg. They’re fascinating to explore. Now, some cities are trying to restore or uncover old waterways, a practice known as “daylighting.”

24. EV Charging Station “that comes to you” to Make Debut in Quebec

For some odd reason I had trouble with links in this newsletter.
I am not a computer expert. Apologies!
Where possible I tried to include original websites.

Spring is just around the corner.
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour