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August Newsletter 2020

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Work proceeds in preparation for our exciting
sponsored by the City of Kingston, RTO9, Trailhead, the Queen’s Inn, the Canadian Canoe Museum & others.  Here is an AMAZING taste!
Thanks so very much Morgan Oddie for the really great article!
More in the mid-August update as we determine possible changes in plan due to COVID.
In the meantime, I would like to introduce you to Hilbert Buist and Adam Malus who have been doing the most wonderful species count on Belle Island.  Some of their Facebook pictures are truly ethereal like the one chosen for this update – A Funnel Spider on a Hemimycena mushroom! Amazing! 
See #1 for more details.
1. Uncommon Species on Belle Island!
2. What’s Open in Kingston?
3. What to expect with COVID this Fall – Dr. Kieran Moore
4. ON Government Gutting Environmental Protection
5. Belle Park Campers Issue
6. Small Business Alliance Kingston – Survey
7. Cruise Ship COVID problems
8.“Green Stimulus” Water Restoration Initiative
9. Great Lakes with Record Water Temperatures
10. Quebec Port Authority Receives Huron-Wendat Support
11. Chinese Beer Manufacturers want Canadian Barley!
12. World Wildlife Fund Concerned about Shipping’s Environmental Impact
13. Canada Joins 22 Countries to Protect Oceans
14. New Sewer Initiatives – Utilities Kingston
15. Recovery Team Kingston COVID Survey
16. Dramatic Changes to City Plans for Williamsville–Planning Meeting Aug 13
17. Third Crossing Update
18. Paddling the Bruce Peninsula for the Water
19. CBC Gem Making Inroads on Netflix
20. Yellow Bike Action! July 31!
21. Discovering Edible Wild Plants

1. Uncommon Species on Belle Island!
The common species are what create familiar landscapes – and they are slowly, and interestingly, changing with climate change.  But then there are the uncommon species. Here is what Hilbert sent in recently.  Do check out the inaturalist links to look further at his amazing work that constitutes a huge asset for Kingston’s Inner Harbour.
“Uncommon Belle Island! Familiarize yourself long enough with the usual and the unusual begins to emerge. A common slime mold in white is found a rare bright yellow. A jelly fungus, Witch’s Butter, normally yellow turns up as red. Another slime mold showed up once looking like spilled blueberries across a log. Then there are the effects of climate change. A moth normally found south of the border showed up on the island. As the local weather patterns fluctuates so do the species it leaves in its wake. What was here last year is not here this year. A skunk appeared this year on the island for the first time. Last year there was a doe and a fawn, this year there are two does and two fawns. These and more are all found on the Belle Island Species Count Project on with new species being added daily!”
2.What’s Open in Kingston?
3. What to Expect with COVID this Fall – Dr. Kieran Moore
This is a really informative short video.
What will the Fall 2020 respiratory virus season look like? Will we have to keep wearing face coverings? #AskTheMOH #COVID19KFLA
4. ON Government Gutting Environmental Protection
Received from Ontario Nature, July 23
“On July 8, the Government of Ontario introduced an omnibus bill (Bill 197) which proposes to amend 20 pieces of legislation with minimum debate in the Legislature and no public consultation. Ramming it through at lightning speed, the government may sneak the new law through as early as next week, minimizing any opportunity for public scrutiny.
Here’s what you need to know:
While Ontarians grapple with the social and economic impacts of a global pandemic, the government is fast-tracking a bill that will negatively impact the health of our communities and environment for years to come through changes to the Environmental Assessment Act, the Planning Act, and more.
“For the most part, the proposed changes serve to speed up development at the expense of environmental protection and public participation rights,” says Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel at the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA).
2. With scornful disregard, the government is ignoring the legal requirement under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) to provide at least a 30-day public consultation on changes to the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA), one of Ontario’s oldest and most important environmental laws. Using Bill 197 to make this unlawful amendment lawful after the fact by retroactively dispensing with the EBR consultation requirement is appallingly cynical.
Incinerators and reduced air quality © Mary CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
3. Changes to the EAA would mean that no industrial or development projects are automatically subject to an environmental assessment, a measure in place to ensure an upfront public examination of potential impacts before projects proceed. Instead, the Act would cover only projects designated by Cabinet – and Bill 197 is silent on the criteria for determining what might be included. While the EAA has traditionally applied to landfills, incinerators, hazardous waste facilities, electricity projects, sewage works, roads and highways, Cabinet would have “unfettered discretion” to list which projects are subject (or not) to an assessment.Clearcut © Ontario Nature
4. Changes to the EAA would disallow residents of Ontario (except for Indigenous communities) from seeking more robust environmental assessments of contentious projects (i.e., through “bump-up” requests). The government is consequently squashing opportunities for the public to bring forward concerns. It is also ignoring longstanding calls for a more appropriate and transparent approach to dealing with bump-up requests, for example by the Auditor General (2016) and the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (Annual Report 2007-2008).  
5. Changes to the EAA come on the heels of other legislative amendments constraining environmental assessments. For example, as recently as July 1st, the government exempted forestry activities from the requirements of the EAA, on the premise that it would reduce red tape by eliminating duplication with Ontario’s Crown Forest Sustainability Act. Yet, as CELA counsel Joseph Castrilli explains, the duplication theory doesn’t correspond with reality. The forestry exemption “will negatively impact Ontario’s forests, Indigenous people who depend on the health of those forests to protect their own health, and all the rest of us.” 
6. Changes to the Planning Act will make it easier for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to unilaterally issue zoning orders which circumvent expected public participation in important land use planning decisions about the future of our communities. Minister’s zoning orders provide no opportunity for public input and are not subject to appeal. The amendment would allow the Minister to reach even more deeply into the planning process and overrule decisions by municipal councils and planning staff. 
7. Omnibus Bill 197, titled the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, reflects an insidious pattern of environmental deregulation, set by three other omnibus bills tabled since the government came into power two years ago (Bill 66 Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act; Bill 108 More Homes, More Choice Act; Bill 132 Better for People, Smarter for Business Act). As with the earlier bills, the government is proposing sweeping changes that would reduce or eliminate environmental protections and dramatically undermine public oversight and participation in environmental decision-making. Like the other bills, the promising title of Bill 197 poorly reflects the content of the bill and hides its negative environmental, social and economic implications. As noted by CELA, Bill 197 “largely ignores worldwide calls for a green and just recovery.”
Just last week, the United Nations released a report linking environmental degradation with future pandemics. With the government intent on pushing through Bill 197 with the utmost haste, it is urgent that Ontarians reach out to MPPs with equal speed to express our concerns about the regressive and damaging changes outlined above. For the name of and contact information for your MPP, click here. (Scroll down to search by postal code). Ask your MPP to stand up for environmental health and community well-being by voting against Bill 197.”
Ian Arthur, our MPP is really working hard on this issue!  Thanks Ian!

5. Belle Park Campers Issue
Complicated!  In a CKWS Poll 76% of Kingstonians thought the campers should move.
Councillor Rob Hutchison put forward a motion to Council, seconded by Mayor Bryan Paterson that the deadline for campers to move would be extended until the end of July.  He cited letters and phone calls he had received from many local residents complaining about increases in crime – though there was no proof that this increase was associated with the campers.  After a lengthy two-hour debate where a variety of options were suggested and then rejected Rob’s motion passed with a split vote.
A delegation from Dr. Eva Purkey preceded the debate. 
For a more detailed account of the Council meeting visit
Another piece by Tori Stafford in The Kingstonist on the issue:
Letter: Local doctors ‘disappointed’ by decision on Belle Park encampment
The rally held in solidarity with those currently living at Belle Park on Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020 saw people from across the community come together with music and speeches, including some of those health care professionals who are voicing concern over the City continuing to place deadlines on the allowance of the encampment. Photo by Samantha Butler-Hassan.
The following is a letter to the editor. The views and opinions expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of Kingstonist.
While 200 people gathered in Belle Park on the evening of Tuesday, July 7, 2020 with music and speeches in support of the rights of Belle Park residents to remain in the tent encampment, councillors of City Council debated their eviction late into the night.
Kingston City Council had an opportunity to stand up for the most marginalized residents of our community, and to show what kind of a City we want to be. Unfortunately, however, in a tie broken by Mayor Bryan Paterson, Council did not stand behind people experiencing homelessness. Instead, City Council voted to allow camping in Belle Park only to the end of July, and only because this is the time it will take to finalize plans for a cooling center at Artillery Park, ensuring a short, 10 day transitional period.
For those of us who have been supporting Belle Park residents, the outcome of this vote was profoundly disappointing. This short extension was not a win for people experiencing homelessness. The move to remove services and to eventually evict people from Belle Park at the end of July will still have profoundly negative health and social implications.
In a previous letter to the editor, we outlined the positive and negative impacts of the current Belle Park situation. We identified the stress and anxiety provoked by repeated deadlines and threats of eviction. We identified some of the strengths that the situation at Belle Park has allowed to emerge – community, agency, physical and emotional safety, and self-determination. We called on the City to endorse the UN Protocol for Homeless Encampments in Canada by exploring all viable alternatives to eviction.
We would like to thank Councillors Doherty, Holland, Stroud and Neill, who were most active in advocating for a meaningful extension to the encampment at Belle Park for an indefinite, or at least substantive, suspension of evictions. While the initial proposal for December 31st did not have the philosophical impact of a permanent extension, it would nevertheless have provided a meaningful timeline for better alternatives to be identified. Other efforts such as an extension to September 1st or an extension without a date, but with meaningful outcomes as measures of success were proposed and supported by the Councillors Stroud, Holland, Doherty, Neill, Oosterhof and Kiley.
Ultimately, any extension beyond July 31st was voted down by the remaining six Councillors, McLaren, Osanic, Hill, Chapelle, Boehme, and Hutchison. While Mayor Paterson could have broken the tie in favour of the residents of Belle Park, he chose to vote the other way, thereby affirming that campers are to vacate Belle Park on or immediately after July 31st. At that time the City will begin removing services such as toilets, running water and electricity, and potentially garbage removal, core to maintaining a healthy and secure environment. They will also have the option to bring in by-law officers or police to evict campers who choose to remain, thereby triggering the uncertainty and stress caused by constant threat of relocation.
Already the negative impact of this decision has been felt by campers, who continue to articulate their desire to remain at Belle Park until meaningful housing solutions are found. It is noteworthy that, while Kingston has voted to close down its tent encampment, both London and Kitchener have voted to allow meaningful extensions of the tent encampments that have emerged in those cities during the pandemic, citing health risks of dismantling the camps as well as improved safety for residents in these encampments (see and
We are disappointed in the City Councillors who lacked the creativity, good will, and rights-based approach to see the importance of suspending evictions at Belle Park, not only for the physical, social and mental health of the Belle Park residents, but also in recognition of the broad community support around this issue and for the demonstration of good will and solidarity with marginalized community members. We have understood the message that this Council has sent around their own priorities with respect to the health and well-being of people experiencing homelessness in Kingston. We continue to stand with Belle Park residents, as well as the community organizations and service agencies, such as Street Health and HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS), who have been working hard on meaningful engagement with residents around their needs. We will continue to advocate for a City that recognizes and supports the rights of its most marginalized members.
Signed by:
Dr. Eva Purkey, Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University
Dr. Susan Bartels, Department of Emergency Medicine, Queen’s University
Dr. Nazik Hammad, Department of Oncology, Queen’s University
Dr. Imaan Bayoumi, Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University
Dr. Rupa Patel, Kingston Community Health Centres
Dr. Susan Phillips, Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University
Dr. Rosemary Wilson, School of Nursing, Queen’s University
Dr. Julia Milden, PGY-1 Department of Internal Medicine, Queen’s University
Dr. Louise Good, Substance Treatment and Rehabilitation Team, Kingston
Dr. Amrita Roy, Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University
Dr. Meghan Wilson, Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University
Dr. Irene Zouros, Substance Treatment and Rehabilitation Team, Kingston
Yet another Kingstonist piece:
HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS) and Street Health Centre announced the establishment of the new 24/7 drop-in centre on Wednesday, Jul. 15, 2020. The location will provide a centre where individuals can access food, support, and conversation, with community organizations available to provide “broader social, economic and community health services to those we serve,” HARS said in a press release.
The Integrated Care Hub, funded by the City of Kingston and the United Way of KFL&A, will run as a pilot project until Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. The City had previously disclosed Artillery Park was being looked at for a possible drop-in centre during discussions about the homeless encampment at Belle Park – City Council voted on Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020 to extend the bylaw exemption allowing campers to remain at Belle Park until the end of July.
Beginning on Monday, Jul. 20, 2020, individuals will be able to access the Hub where staff from HARS and Street Health will be on hand, along with other community agencies, to provide support and resources, HARS explained.
“Many members of our most vulnerable population are experiencing chronic homelessness and complex concurrent disorders. Individuals experiencing homelessness with lived experience of alcohol, drug and mental health diagnoses are among the most underprivileged and vulnerable groups in our society,” HARS said in a press release. “Many of these community members have experienced high adverse childhood experiences, are living in toxic stress and experience ongoing retraumatization due to systemic violence. Kingston is a community rich in resources, however, many of our most vulnerable community members are unable to stabilize in order to access services.”
According to HARS, the values, policies, and operational programming for the new Hub will uphold the pillars of harm reduction, trauma- and violence-informed care, stabilization, wellness, and cultural safety.
“In addition, the project will place the lived experience of those we serve at the centre of the work, by engaging with individuals experiencing homelessness, poverty, substance use and mental health challenges in the creation of programming and policies for the Hub,” HARS said.
About HARS
“Since 1988, HARS has been providing comprehensive services including education, prevention, and support for people living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted blood borne infections (STBBIs). HARS’ UrWorx Harm Reduction Program focuses on urban and rural outreach to individuals who use substances, in order to minimize potential negative outcomes. In addition, HARS is continually advocating for broader social change to reduce stigma and discrimination.”
About Street Health Centre
“Street Health Centre is a 365 day a year harm reduction health centre. Street Health specializes in providing accessible, responsive, health services to communities that are marginalized from mainstream healthcare services. Street Health began as a needle exchange program in 1992 and has since evolved into a multi-service model, providing multiple health, disease prevention, primary care, and treatment services.”
Received this most recent update July 25. It discusses the wooden buildings and Councillor Mary Rita Holland’s comments that the city will have space for everyone as of July 31.
And then, following an eviction notice that was withdrawn later the same day.
What Confusion!  My personal opinion is that it is a silo problem.  By-Laws didn’t know what was expected from Council and Staff.
This was posted by Melodie Ballard on Facebook July 28

“I was there. The after-the-fact back peddling from city employees who “mistakenly” issued the order in defiance of city council, wasn’t believable.
They did an absolute 180 degree turn around from 10 a.m. this morning to 1:30 p.m. this afternoon.
Read the eviction notice, then read this email addressing council members:
“This was issued by mistake. The intent today was to verbally ask campers that are on the contaminated land to relocate to the front of the park where there is no contamination. This is for campers’ health as we do not think that they should be camping on contaminated land. Having said that, we recognize that Council’s approval is for the entire site (property) until the end of the day on July 31st. We are not relocating anyone and or any property. I apologize about this notice and messaging. The By-law team will be back on site today to clarify this with campers.
As we have indicated before, we will be making changes gradually after July 31st and will work with people one on one. From a staff perspective, we did not mean to damage any of the trust that has been built and I apologize for the confusion that it may have caused. It was not the intent and there has not been a change in the Council direction or the information on next steps/services that we have provided in the last weeks.
I am happy to discuss further with you if helpful.
Lanie Hurdle,CAO,City of Kingston
(613) 546-4291 ext. 1231″
Link to the Kingstonist  article post:
6. Small Business Alliance Kingston – Survey
Received from Jeremy Milloy
“Hi! We are the Small Business Alliance of Kingston, a group of business owners and community advocates responding to COVID-19. We made this survey to learn more about how Kingston small businesses are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic, and what we need for a successful recovery. Please share with other business owners! 
Want to connect? Email us at
7. Cruise Ship COVID Problems
Definitely something to consider re Kingston’s proposed deep water port.
Extending cruise ban, CDC says ships helped spread coronavirusChicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), July 17, 2020. In a rebuke of the cruise ship companies, Robert R. Redfield, the director of the CDC, blamed them for widespread transmission of the virus. The CDC said there were 99 outbreaks aboard 123 cruise ships in United States waters alone, the agency said in the statement. From March 1 until July 10, 80% of the ships in the CDC’s jurisdiction were affected by the coronavirus. The agency said there had been nearly 3,000 suspected and confirmed cases and 34 deaths on ships in U.S. waters. The CDC has extended the suspension of cruise operations until Sept. 30.
8. “Green Stimlulus” Water Restoration Initiative.
Mayor Walter Sendzik applauds new Government of Canada agreement to fund a ‘safe economic restart plan”Niagara Frontier Publications (Niagara, Ontario), July 21, 2020.
The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is ready to work with the Government of Canada in developing and delivering ‘Green Stimulus’ that can help Canadians return to work, rebuild our economy, while building infrastructure that protects our fresh water, rejuvenates our shorelines, reduces erosion and toxins, and limits future flood damages. The Stimulus Water Restoration Initiative released this month showcases how local governments can create approximately 150,000 Canadian jobs over two construction seasons by protecting our community’s shorelines and water infrastructure.
9. Great Lakes with Record Water Temperatures
Great Lake is close to bathwater temperature, The Times (United Kingdom), July 16, 2020.  The Great Lakes of North America are giving scientists cause for concern after registering the highest water temperatures on record for this time of year.  The spike comes after exceptionally hot weather along the eastern half of the US-Canadian border, and amid a pattern of annual water temperature rises in most of the past 25 years, encouraging algal blooms that can reduce water quality and harm some aquatic species.  Lake Erie, which is the shallowest of the five Great Lakes and the fourth largest by surface area, is worst affected: on July 10 it registered an average water temperature of 26.4C; about 5C above normal for this time of year and its joint-warmest mark ever recorded.
10. Quebec Port Authority Receives Huron Wendat Support
The Huron-Wendat Nation Gives its Support to the Port of Québec’s Laurentia Project, Canada NewsWire, July 8, 2020.  The Québec Port Authority is proud to announce that it has received the formal support of the Huron-Wendat, through its Grand Chief, Konrad H. Sioui, for the Québec City container terminal project, Laurentia.  This is an historic moment for the Port of Québec and the evolution of the project.  The Nation and the Port of Québec share a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship.  As mentioned in the Nation’s letter of support, the Port of Québec is a gateway to international trade and allows Huron-Wendat enterprises to continue the distribution of their products worldwide.  Support for the Laurentia project is an inspiration for the real desire of the Port of Québec to reflect on, integrate the Nation’s knowledge, and to offer it an active and significant role.  Mario Girard, President and CEO at the Québec Port Authority, is quoted.
11. Chinese Beer Manufacturers Want Canadian Barley!
Of course, this is of special interest to me!
Canadian barley exports surging on booming demand from China for beer, CBC, July 9, 2020.  Canadian barley farmers are the unintended beneficiaries of a diplomatic spat a world away, as exports of their product to China are picking up.  China is engaged in a trade dispute with Australia right now, accusing the antipodean nation of dumping agricultural products.  Beijing slapped an 80 percent tariff on imports of a number of Australian crops, including malting barley.  Australia is normally China’s No. 1 supplier of barley, but the trade tensions have caused China to look elsewhere for that product.  Bloomberg first reported that Canada has seemingly stepped in to fill that gap, exporting 240,000 metric tonnes of barley internationally in May, according to the Canadian Grain Commission. That’s more than double April’s level, and most of it — some 175,000 tonnes — went to China.  So far in 2020 Canada has already exported almost as much barley as it did all of last year, with the biggest months yet to come.
12. World Wildlife Fund Concerned about Shipping’s Environmental Impact
Ships Hit Smaller Sea Animals More Often than Researchers Thought, Scientific American (New York, New York), July 9, 2020.  The danger to whales and other large marine mammals from oceangoing vessels’ propellers and bows has long been recognized.  And efforts are in place to track and curb such ship strikes.  But a new study published in Frontiers in Marine Science finds that ships are also hitting large numbers of smaller marine animals — which are suffering severe injuries or dying at higher rates than previously thought.
We Need to Talk About Shipping, WWF-Canada Blog (Toronto, Ontario), July 8, 2020.  Look around and you will realize that almost everything we buy — in fact, 90 per cent — reaches us via ship.  Even the device you’re using to read this was likely shipped from overseas.  Shipping is an essential service that plays a vital role in global trade.  But why, then, is such a service — one with a substantial impact on our lives — almost invisible to us?  It’s similar to how many of us don’t read food labels: when we’re looking at something in front of us, we rarely look behind to see how it got there.  But it’s time for this to change.  We need to talk about shipping and its increasing environmental footprint.
13. Canada Joins 22 Countries to Protect Oceans
Canada joins international group of 22 countries to protect oceans, Report, lintelligencer (Burnaby, British Columbia), July 11, 2020.  Canada is an ocean nation with the longest coastline in the world.  Canadians rely on healthy marine ecosystems to sustain our economy, our food supply, and our coastal communities.  But the ocean is a shared resource that requires a global effort to ensure marine conservation.  That is why the Government of Canada is joining other countries to advocate for international action to increase conservation and protection of our oceans by 2030.  Today, during the Protecting the Oceans Most Important Places webinar, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced Canada has joined the United Kingdom and other countries in the Global Ocean Alliance.  The Alliance’s goal is to advocate with international partners for ambitious ocean action to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s oceans through the establishment of marine protected areas and other effective area-based marine conservation measures by 2030.
14. New Sewer Initiatives – Utilities Kingston
New sewer lining program will extend life of infrastructure – with no digging required
Received July 6, 2020
Utilities Kingston is introducing a new annual sewer lining program to rehabilitate aging pipes and improve operating efficiency – using a process that avoids digging up pipes and disrupting neighbourhoods.
Starting in July, up to 5,000 metres of sanitary sewer main will be lined in Kingscourt.
“At Utilities Kingston, we focus on providing Kingston with safe and reliable utility services. We are committed to environmentally-sound wastewater collection. You can count on us!” says Jim Keech, President and CEO of Utilities Kingston.
Aside from renewing the infrastructure, this work reduces otherwise clean storm water from infiltrating the sanitary sewer system, increasing pipe capacity and reducing the risk of localized basement flooding. The work will also increase operating efficiency, as reduced sewer flows mean less pumping and treating wastewater.
Instead of digging up the road along the entire length of the sewer main, Utilities Kingston’s contractors, Empipe Solutions Limited and Insituform Technologies Limited, will access the pipe through maintenance holes to complete the work. This involves preparing the inside of the sewer mains and then inserting a felt liner that is saturated with a resin. This resin compound is then cured-in-place to form what is, essentially, a ‘new pipe within a pipe’. 
Kingscourt residents
The lining work will typically be completed within a 6 -hour period. Residents in the affected area will be notified approximately 1-2 weeks prior, and again 24-48 hours prior to the lining process.
When the liner is initially inserted, it will temporarily block the sewer laterals that carry wastewater from homes and businesses to the sewer main under the street. Our contractor will cut these out to open the service, but residents will need to take temporary measures to reduce the wastewater coming from the property.  These measures are clearly outlined in the notices to be provided.
It will be important that residents in the work area take steps to avoid filling the sewer lateral with wastewater, creating a risk of sewer backup to the home.
Use cottage rules for flushing.
Wait to shower, wash clothes or run the dishwasher until they are notified that the work is complete.
Delay washing cars.
Every little bit helps: for example, you can turn off the water when you shave or brush your teeth.
As we carry out work in your neighbourhood, Utilities Kingston and our contractors remain committed to the health and safety of our workers and the public. We are adhering to all relevant safety guidelines released by Ontario to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19.
We will not enter customer premises (unless in an emergency situation). Please practice physical distancing by keeping at least two metres away from our employees and contractors. 
 Available Programs
A number of special programs are available in Ontario to help low-income energy consumers. You need to meet certain criteria to qualify for these programs:
Ontario Electricity Support Program
This program provides low-income consumers with a monthly on-bill credit to reduce their electricity bill.  This program provides ongoing help.
Low-income Energy Assistance Program
This program is geared to provide emergency assistance to those in need and at risk of a disruption in service.  Please contact Kingston Community Health Centre for application information at 613-542-2949, extension 2143. Also, please note that there is an increase in wait times due to larger volumes of people in the community requiring assistance and your patience is appreciated.
Conservation programs
Conservation programs are available to help customers reduce their energy use. Some of these are special programs for low-income customers. Visit for tips and information about the Home Assistance Program.
AffordAbility Fund
If you don’t qualify for LEAP or OESP but you’re having trouble keeping up with your electricity bill and the cost of energy-saving upgrades is out of reach, the AffordAbility Fund™ can help. The fund is designed to help lower your monthly electricity costs by improving the energy efficiency of your home. See what level of support you qualify for. You may qualify for free upgrades, including ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs, appliances, insulation and weatherstripping.
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program 
Beginning July 13, Utilities Kingston is delivering the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program or CEAP, funded by the Government of Ontario. CEAP provides a one-time, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers who have experienced hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is intended to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. 
There is no application deadline, however funding for the program is limited. Complete applications for eligible customers will be processed in the order received and we will apply any available credit to the next bill. Utilities Kingston electricity and gas customers can learn more and apply.
Request payment assistance online
Customers are encouraged to complete our online form to request payment assistance, including flexible payment terms and arrears payment agreements. A member of our team will review the request and respond by email or phone call, as quickly as possible.
15. Recovery Team Kingston COVID Survey
Recovery Team creates survey for Kingston-area workers to assess COVID-19 impact
 July 20, 2020 Jessica Foley  
The Kingston Economic Recovery Team is asking Kingston and area residents to complete a survey to help identify community-based solutions to support Kingston-area employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Worker Impact Survey is being administered by the City of Kingston, on behalf of community stakeholders participating in the Kingston Economic Recovery Team.
“This survey is an important step in gaining different perspectives on employee safety throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Craig Desjardins, Director of Strategy, Innovation and Partnerships for the City. “We want to see what else can be done to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in Kingston’s workforce, and the findings in this survey will go a long way to help identify programs and solutions to provide employee support.”
The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and is intended for employees working in the Kingston area. It asks a range of demographic questions, as well as questions about individual work experience and how employees may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents who complete the survey can enter a draw for a chance to win one of five $25 gift cards to a local Kingston business.
The survey is available online. Responses will be anonymous and the survey will remain open until Thursday Aug. 13, 2020.
16. Dramatic Changes to City’s Development Plans for Williamsville – Aug 13 Meeting
Here is the link to pictures of the proposed changes.
Received July 24 from Andrea Gummo of the City’s  Planning Department – 

“Staff have been busy preparing an addendum to the Study that outlines changes to Official Plan policies and zoning by-law provisions, as well as background reports on transportation and servicing and an assessment of the feasibility of purpose-built residential apartments in Williamsville. There was a notice in the Kingston Whig-Standard this morning about the proposed addendum to the WMSS and the scheduling of a public meeting for August 13 at 6:30 p.m. A full copy of the public notice is attached for your review. 
Please note that the public meeting on August 13 will be held virtually. For information about how to view and/or participate in the meeting, please review and follow the instructions at the following link:
The addendum to the Study, and all of the related reports/appendices, can be viewed online through our Development and Services Hub (DASH) at DASH file D35-003-2020. Once in the record, click on the blue arrow next to “Record Info” and select “supporting Information”. 
There will also be a staff report that will accompany the Study addendum for the August 13 Planning Committee meeting. That staff report will be published in the committee’s agenda on the Friday prior to the meeting and we will send out the link to it when it is available. 
Your participation and feedback to date has been an important component of the project and we appreciate your continued involvement. We also appreciate your patience during these last few months as the City has had to make adjustments to the delivery of its services in response to the coronavirus pandemic. I hope you and your loved ones continue to be safe and healthy. 
Thank you again for your engagement and support of this project. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to reading and hearing your feedback on the proposed changes in the addendum. 
17. Third Crossing Update
18. Paddling the Bruce  Peninsula for the Water
19. CBC Gem making Inroads on Netflix
Received from Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
CBC Gem surges in popularity
Pre-pandemic, CBC Gem struggled to compete with foreign streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. But the Globe and Mail is now reporting a swing towards our digital public broadcaster and its mandate to prioritize Canadian productions (with a healthy dose of global content). Stuck at home and looking for entertainment that won’t break their budget, viewers turned to CBC Gem’s 5,000 hours of live and on-demand series and films, all available for free. March was CBC Gem’s best month ever, with unique visitors/viewers to the service up 43 per cent compared with February. And between January and May, video views increased by 57 per cent, compared to the same period in 2019. The Globe and Mail’s Film Editor Barry Hertz writes this is because, even before the pandemic hit, CBC has been making some bold strategic moves, and is now reaping the benefits.
20.  Yellow Bike Action!- Fri, July 31!
NEWS By MORGAN ODDIE, The Kingston Local
KINGSTON ­– Mutual Aid Katarokwi-Kingston (MAKK) has organized a second critical mass bike rally for Yellow Bike Action in McBurney (Skeleton) Park on Fri., July 31 at 5:30 pm.
“They gave us three meters more to work in while next to us a whole barn sits nearly empty. We have regular access to the washroom because they staff it when the splash pad and pool are open,” said Michael Pomery, keyholder volunteer, Yellow Bike Action. “There has been no conversation as to when we get regular access to our main shop.”
The City had no information about when Yellow Bike Action will be able to return to their main shop in the Memorial Centre.
“We’d like to let you know that Yellow Bike Action continues to have full access to indoor washroom facilities and can also access its space inside the Memorial Centre. Please note the City has welcomed the Boys and Girls Club summer camps to the site, opened the Memorial Centre splash pad, and opened the Outdoor Aquatic Park,” said Jen Pinarski, communication officer, in response to the inquiry from The Kingston Local.
“Through these changes, staff has worked with all the tenants on the shared site, including Yellow bike Action, to accommodate their space needs and access to amenities during this challenging time,” added Pinarski.
In organizing the event, MAKK has pointed out that the three additional meters of temporary space is still inadequate for Yellow Bike Action to carry out their essential community work safely.
“Critical Mass is a world-wide phenomenon, a tactic of riding together to make cycling safer, to advocate for cyclists’ rights, sane urban planning and for climate justice,” said the MAKK event page.
21. Discovering Edible Wild Plants
Received from –
Eating wild plants is a ‘world that needs to be rediscovered’
“Many of us look forward to sinking our teeth into fresh tomatoes or lettuce from our gardens. But there are lots of edible plants around us that most of us either haven’t noticed or never thought of eating.
Julie Walker thinks we should. She’s the owner and program director of Full Circle Adventures, a company that offers edible plant walks in Calgary parks. She has run foraging outings for local chefs and landowners, and is now involved in wild food gardening.
As a hiking guide and outdoor educator, Walker noticed that people enjoyed the natural landscapes but knew very little about the greenery around them. Many had “no appreciation” of the value of nature “until we start talking about food,” she said.
After an edible plant walk, “what people experience is this greater sense of wow about nature,” Walker said. “There’s this human history connected with this.”
That history includes the local Indigenous people, who developed a deep knowledge of and relationship with edible and medicinal plants over thousands of years, as well as European settlers, who brought many edible plants with them.
Walker’s favourite edible plants include wild versions of onionschives and mint, along with fireweed, a native plant that she says you can eat like asparagus — steamed, boiled or in omelettes.
At some point in the past, all humans relied on foraging for food, said Katelyn Landry, creative director of Forij Thrills in London, Ont., which puts on events involving food foraged in urban backyards. “There’s just this whole other world that needs to be rediscovered,” she said. “It brings a lot of joy and fulfillment and excitement.”
Landry’s events have included a tea party where the tea was made with cedar and rose petals, as well as workshops where chocolate was infused with wild violets and dandelion seeds were used as sprinkles to decorate cakes.
“There are some extremely delicious plants that we are completely oblivious to literally growing outside of our doorsteps,” she said. Seeing the clovers, dandelions and violets in your lawn as food instead of weeds makes people less inclined to litter or use pesticides, Landry said. “We’re going to be more likely to take care of the nature around us.”
Steve Leckman is director of Coyote Programs in Montreal, which offers nature connection programs, including foraging workshops. Some of the wild foods he recommends include dandelion and burdock — plants brought over by Europeans that are now considered weeds. 
Leckman is also fond of cattail, which has edible roots, shoots and pollen. “Any time of year, there’s always something delicious about it,” he said.
While some edible wild plants risk being overharvested if too many people forage for them, Leckman said that by picking plants like garlic mustard, “you’ll be doing diversity in the forest a favour.” (I can tell you from personal experience that garlic mustard makes delicious pesto.)
Some wild plants have toxic lookalikes, and the differences may be tricky to learn. Leckman recommends getting to know just three plants at a time and getting to know them well.
The risk of picking toxic plants and concerns about overharvesting can be avoided through the approach Walker recommends: growing your own edible plant gardens and wild food forests. 
Compared to traditional vegetables, they have a longer season and are easier to grow, since they’re adapted to the local climate. “It actually creates a food experience from April to September,” she said.
Walker said such gardens and forests also create habitat and a healthy food chain for local wildlife, including insects. 
“We’re feeding nature and we’re feeding ourselves,” she said.

So that’s a wrap for July,  Wishing you all a wonderful August,
Mary Farrar,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,