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December Update 2020

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
We are totally thrilled that the canoe is now at the River Program, the Limestone Board’s alternative Indigenous school. 
Michelle has made (and continues to make) Interpretive Panels using the library, traditional materials and Martine Bresson’s great detailed photos. 
So now, along with props (pieces of bark, rib, lashing etc) kids who couldn’t get to the build itself can learn about how amazing birch bark canoes really are! 
This is what we had dreamed of all along!
The build was a truly wonderful coming together of 2/3 Indigenous and 1/3 non-Indigenous participants under Chuck Commanda’s guidance.  The Friends are honoured to have been able to facilitate his build. We remain hugely grateful to our Indigenous and non-Indigenous friends, partners, supporters, and participants in the build itself without whose involvement and support it would not have been possible. Although it was a huge amount of work for Michelle Webb (Miqmac/Acadian) and me (co-chairs) it was worth it. 
We were especially happy with the over 100 visits from school age children, sometimes with their class, sometimes with parents or grandparents.  Younger kids helped with gumming and older students got involved in other aspects of the build. We all learned so much about Algonquin culture and the incredible skills and art required to make Canada’s iconic boat. 
Special thanks are due to Matt Rogalsky and Martine Bresson for putting together a great slide show for future use.
We also remain hugely grateful to Mireille La Pointe, former Ardoch Algonquin co-chief and Grandmother Barbara for their unwavering support throughout. 
But most of all, we remain especially grateful for those stalwart Indigenous partners and supporters who worked with us in the trenches:  Pytor Hodgson (Three Things Consulting) and Kim Debassige who co-chaired the amazing launch day celebration, Lisa Cadue with her amazing and wonderful venison chili, Randy Cadue and his helpers for fire-keeping, Broderick Gabriel with his truly uplifting singers, Lorie Young for her special  love and understanding, and Pytor Hodgson and Brennan Googoo for creating that incredible 3 hour marathon show about the build and Algonquin culture live-streamed and still available online at Come Walk With Us, Sept. 26, 2020.
Future plans include creating a film about the build and the place of the canoe in Canadian history with Dave McCallum of Lightstruck Film Kingston, further exhibits, events, and educational opportunities involving community, and also figuring out how to store the boat near the water for community use this coming season.   More anon…

1. More Scams!
2. Important Safety Tips for Skating on the River
3. What’s Open now – in Orange Level COVID
4. Queen’s Students Asked Not to Return
5. Kingston Mayor Takes on Global Mayors’ Climate Instagram Posts
6. Ted Hsu’s List of Helpful Contacts during COVID
7. KCHC Drug Checking Pilot Project
8. City’s Snow Plow Tracker Available Online
9. Open Budget Update
10. Lake Ontario Water Level Update
11. World Wildlife Fund Watershed Report
12. Remotely Piloted Aircraft System for Canadian Arctic
13. Biden Announces Climate and Energy Team
14. Global Ice Breaker Boom.  Can Canada Keep Up?
15. Vesla Olimer – Much appreciated long-time supporter of FKIH           
16. Traveling on a Great Lakes Freighter
17. New Film about Kingston’s Red Barons Women’s Hockey Team
18. Knit-Wits Spin a Good Yarn – Jamie Swift
19. In Defense of Nimbyism – Christine Sypnowich 
20. Sounds of the Northern Lights – Amazing!
21. Urban Forest Ideas
22. Really Fun older Rick Mercer Video – Tagging Bears in Algonquin Park

1. More Scams

2. Important Safety Tips for Skating on the River
We are not advocating skating on the river.  But if you decide to go here are some really good tips. 
I am reminded of a time long past when we were skating on Loughborough Lake and my husband fell through the ice that was thin near the shore.  Had it not been for my brother lying on the ice and reaching out with his hockey stick we might have lost him.  Ever after that we always carried ice picks and rope. At least four inches of ice is recommended.
Take your pick of these videos. One was filmed at Dog Lake.

3. What’s Open Now
City of Kingston closes indoor municipal recreation facilities in response to provincewide shutdown 
Open to serve you – most municipal services remain unchanged
City staff will continue to provide many of its services to residents during the province-mandated shutdown. This spring, the City added many new online services, alternative delivery methods and contactless transaction options. Residents who do not wish to access or obtain services in person, and require services that can’t be processed on-line, should contact Customer Service by phone at 613-546-0000 or email  
Recreation facilities and programs suspended until Jan. 23
All indoor recreation facilities and programs will be closed from Dec. 26, 2020 to Jan. 23, 2021. This includes:
Artillery Park Aquatic Centre, 382 Bagot St.,
Cataraqui Community Centre, 1030 Sunnyside Rd.,
INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd.,
Rideau Heights Community Centre and Library, 85 MacCauley St.
Program and facility bookings will be refunded. Monthly payments for fitness memberships are suspended for the month of January. Clients who have a Fit Pass, Wellness Pass, Gym Pass or Pool Pass memberships do not need to contact the City – their PLAY accounts will be automatically adjusted. For clients who pre-paid for their annual fitness memberships, one month will be automatically added to their accounts. Further information will be communicated directly to user groups regarding their specific facility bookings. 
EarlyON programming held at the INVISTA Centre will not be offered during this time. Participants are encouraged to contact their local EarlyON provider for updates. 
Kingston Transit 
Effective Monday, Dec. 28, Kingston Transit will adjust their service as follows:
Monday – Friday: Saturday service level, except Route 10 which remains on weekday service levels
Saturdays: Saturday service level
Sundays: Sunday service level
Route 18/18Q and all Queen’s University seasonal routes continue to be suspended.
Grand Theatre
In-person performances and bookings at the Grand Theatre and Baby Grand are suspended from Dec. 26, 2020 to Jan. 23, 2021.
Pre-booked in-person tours of the Pumphouse Museum will be postponed until Jan. 23, 2021. 
Planning, Building and Licensing services
The municipal building at 1211 John Counter Blvd. remains open. Planning and building services including inspections and planning approval processes remain unchanged. 
Inspections within private residences are suspended, unless the inspection is related to an immediate health and safety concern.
City Hall
City Hall remains open for in-person transactions at the Payment Centre and Office of the City Clerk. Residents who visit City Hall will be required to wear a face covering and to practice physical distancing. 
Parks, outdoor recreation amenities and trails
Outdoor recreation amenities including public trails, outdoor skating rinks and playgrounds remain open. Capacity limits at the Springer Market Square rink will be monitored.
Any person who enters or uses an outdoor amenity must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from other persons using the amenity (excluding members of the same household).
Garbage and recycling
Garbage and recycling collection and bag limits remain unchanged and the Kingston Area Recycling Centre (KARC) will remain open. Bag tags can be purchased online. Replacement green, blue and grey bins can be picked up at KARC. 
Like in previous years, your household can put out two untagged bags or cans of garbage for your first collection day after New Year’s Day (the two-bag collection days are Jan. 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7).
Swimming lessons
We understand how important learning to swim is! All participants will remain registered in their aquatic programs at Artillery Park Aquatics Centre and the West End Boys and Girls Club. 
Winter swimming lessons are postponed and will begin between Feb. 1 and Feb. 7, depending on the day you registered in. This preserves an 8-week swimming lesson block, ending at the end of March 2021 (note: lessons will take place the week of the scheduled March Break). If you would like to continue with your current registration, the dates will automatically be adjusted, and no action is required.
If you prefer to cancel your registration, please fill out the Recreation and Leisure Services cancellation/refund request form – here and return to
Drop in programs
Pre-registered drop-in program participants (skating, shinny, swimming, aquafit) will have their payment credited back to their PLAY account. No action is needed.
Ice bookings
All ice bookings from. Dec. 26 to Jan. 22 have been cancelled. User groups who have paid for their bookings will be credited in full. No action is needed as credits will automatically be applied to your account. Please contact with any requests to re-book ice time.
Private pool bookings
All pool bookings from. Dec. 26 to Jan. 22 have been cancelled. User groups who have paid for their bookings will be credited in full. Where applicable, future updates will be communicated directly to facility use clients. Please contact to rebook your pool time.

Patrons are encouraged to stay connected with their affiliated sports organization for future status updates specific to the group they are a member of. If you have any questions or concerns about your membership, please do not hesitate to contact the recreation and leisure team by emailing or calling 613-546-0000. Please keep in mind City services and hours operation will be affected by the holidays – see our holiday closures for more information. 

Stay up-to-date with the City’s COVID-19 precautions:

4. Queen’s Students Asked Not to Return 
Queen’s asks students not to return to campus during lockdown
Received from the Kingstonist, Dec 23, 2020 – Jessica Foley
The Ontario government announced the Provincewide Shutdown on Monday, Dec. 21, which will go into effect as of Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. During this time, Premier Doug Ford is advising all Ontarians to stay at home to the fullest extent possible, noting that travel outside your region should be limited to only essential purposes.
On Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health confirmed that Public Health did hear these plans from Queen’s ahead of this announcement.
“They have reviewed the Province-wide Shutdown document and will only be asking students who are in the medical nursing, rehabilitation faculties to come back to be on campus because they have in-person classes. They’ll follow through with the key recommendations of keeping class sizes below I think its 6 in those settings, just to maintain the clinical skills that these students need to acquire, and have very good measures to continue to protect those students and the community,” Dr. Moore told the press on Tuesday. “I believe they wont be asking the residents to come back to the residence.”
“That’s good news,” Dr. Moore continued, “Because… recently, we had over 59 cases from students off campus, and at least 10 contacts for every student, so that was a lot of work for us. It took 50 to 60 percent of our workload just dealing with the off-campus student population.”
In a letter to Queen’s faculty and staff from the Office of the Provost on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, the University said they are strongly urging all students to avoid returning to Kingston until after the shutdown ends on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2020 unless absolutely necessary. This includes students living both on and off campus and international students who were scheduled to travel to Kingston for the start of the winter academic term. 
The letter details what this means for the University:
The start of in-person classes will be delayed, with the exception of a limited number of classes that require in-person teaching as permitted by the government, such as clinical training that supports health-related programs (e.g. Medicine, Nursing, Rehabilitation Sciences)
Students in other programs who were expecting to begin on-campus activity in the winter term will receive further communications from their faculty or program office.
Students who are scheduled to return or move into a Residence building are strongly encouraged to remain in their home communities, unless absolutely necessary. These students will receive additional information from Residence Life Services shortly.
International students travelling to Kingston for the start of the winter term are strongly encouraged to delay their arrival, unless absolutely necessary. These students will receive additional information from the Queen’s University International Centre shortly.
For already approved on-site research activity, if researchers can work remotely (from home) they should do so, only coming on campus as necessary. New requests for on-site activity are suspended. Important information on research continuity planning, including on-site access, human participant research, and field research, is available on the Vice-Principal (Research) website.
All athletic and recreation facilities are closed for in-person access.
On-campus access for employees will be limited. Only essential staff and faculty or those who must be on campus to do their work should be on campus. All other faculty, staff, senior administration, and student leadership will work remotely except for required ad hoc access (for example, to record a lecture, print documents, or retrieve files) or those with accommodation requirements.
All university-sponsored travel outside of Canada remains suspended indefinitely. This affects students, staff, and faculty and includes all future exchange, study abroad, letters of permission, faculty-led programs, internships, research placements, community-engaged learning, practicums, and conferences.
More information on the impact of the Provincewide Shutdown and its impact on Queen’s will be available in the New Year, the Office of the Provost said in the letter. Units, department, and faculties across the university will be providing updates on their services on their websites and through other communications channels.
“It seems we’ll get a little bit of a respite with Queen’s adhering to the Province-wide Shutdown and not asking any students to return to residence and going completely online except for in-person training related to the health professions,” said Dr. Moore.

5. Kingston Mayor Takes on Global Mayors’ Climate Instagram Posts
Mayor Bryan Paterson takes over Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy’s Mayors for Climate Instagram account starting Dec 17, 2020.  Congrats!

6. Ted Hsu’s List of Helpful Contacts During COVID
During this holiday season, please share the below information if it can help a family member, friend, or neighbour. We’re all in this together.  
City of Kingston COVID-19 Updates and Announcements
(Includes Emergency Food and Hampers, as well as Meal Programs) 
Book a COVID-19 Test
KFL&A Safe Celebrations
Suggestions for our community to keep COVID-19 numbers low. 
Love Kingston
Our local businesses need your support to stay alive. Use this search tool to find what you’re looking for now and in the months ahead. 
Ontario Support for Learners
$200 for students under 12; $250 for special needs students under 21. 
Deadline to apply January 15, 2021 
Ontario Mental Health Supports
Includes HelpLines for children, youth, adults, Indigenous peoples, and healthcare workers. 
Article: Worried About Your Health? You’re Not Alone, The Toronto Star, Dec. 10, 2020. 
Sunshine Call Program by Council on Aging
Each day senior participants are able to engage in a phone call with three other seniors and a local volunteer. Service is free of charge. 
Ontario 211
Community and Social Services Helpline 
United Way’s Compiled List of Local COVID-19 Supports

7. KCHC Drug Checking Pilot Project 
Received Dec 17 from The Kingstonist – Samantha Butler-Hassan
KCHC partners with Spectra Plasmonics for street ‘drug-checking’ pilot project.
Kingston City Council has approved a contribution of $269,000 to a new drug-checking pilot project from Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC)
The pilot project will see KCHC partner with local technology firm Spectra Plasmonics over 15 months, and submit a final report to Health Canada on their findings. The City will contribute the remaining balance of provincial funds from the implementation of cannabis legalization ($142,000), as well as other operating funds towards the project.
“We are seeing a high drug toxicity in our region right now, as well as many many overdoses,” Alison Young of KCHC told Council on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. “These overdoses are increasing in complexity due to the toxicity of the drugs that are currently on our streets.”

Working with Spectra, Young said KCHC hopes to enable people who use street-acquired drugs to chemically analyze them and receive individualized fact-based consultation regarding their contents. The service will be offered in a supervised Consumption Treatment Services (CTS) environment.
“It’s a harm reduction approach,” she said. “It reduces the adverse outcome without necessarily reducing drug use.” She said the approach follows a methodology “of respecting and accepting where the service users are at and empowering them to make more informed decisions on their use in a compassionate and collaborative environment.”
She added that it will also contribute to KCHC and Public Health’s surveillance and monitoring of toxic street drugs. “It will allow for rapid public health messaging on a day-to-day basis,” she said.
Spectra Co-Founder and CEO Malcom Eade also spoke to Council Tuesday night, explaining that their technology can provide analysis of the contents of street drugs to a user in plain language in a matter of minutes, using only a small diluted sample.
“This is what we hope will prevent disasters and empower people,” he said. “This is information that we can use, that will also advise our community drug strategy.”

Dr. Moore speaks to Council about on-going drug crisis
Kingston’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore also took time to address Council on the topic of drug poisoning on Tuesday night. He said Kingston’s most vulnerable are facing a “triple threat” — a long-running opioid crisis, drug poisoning that appears to be getting worse, and a lack of housing.
“The drug supply in our area and across Ontario is just getting more and more toxic and causing more and more harm,” he said.
“We’ve been going through COVID for nine months, we’ve had no deaths. Related to opioids, we’ve had approximately 20 deaths. Young people… cut down in their prime,” he said. “We talk about the years of life lost, the years these people had ahead of them. This is a tremendous loss for our community.”
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Moore said that Kingston had a higher opioid death rate than other parts of Ontario, as do our neighbouring Public Health regions of Leeds, Grenville & Lanark, and Hastings-Prince Edward County.
“We are not alone, there are other communities suffering just like us. This is an issue across North America, and the pandemic appears to have made it worse,” he said.
“We had 20 confirmed overdose deaths for the first six months of 2020. We had 17 total in the year before,” he said.
He described Fentanyl as the most toxic. It is highly addictive because it gives a euphoric effect that is fast-acting and short-lived, he said, and it is often contaminated or mixed with other toxic substances.
“The grains of sand of fentanyl can kill you.” He noted that overdoses tend to spike in the community whenever “a new batch” of the drug is circulating, with unknown toxic components.
He spoke in support of the drug-checking technology being proposed by KCHC saying it could revolutionize harm-reduction, as well as Public Health’s response alerting the community.
Councillor Jim Neill made a point of asking Young, Eade and Dr. Moore if they thought decriminalizing hard drugs was part of the solution, as implemented by Portugal in 2001. In November, the City of Vancouver voted to decriminalize hard drugs, though the move does not have federal support.
“I think we seriously have to address decriminalizing,” Dr. Moore said. “That’s going to be an essential component of our response and it has worked well in other jurisdictions. The war on drugs hasn’t worked.”
“If they put that money into social support, housing, and treated these individuals as members of the community that needed compassion and care…that’s an approach I think that deserves good study for Ontario, Canada and our region,” he said. “We’ve suffered 20 years of this, with good data to show for it.”

8 .City’s Snow Plow Tracker Available Online
City’s Snowplow Tracker available online
Received Dec 10, 2020 
You can now track the progress of City snowplows at The Snowplow Tracker, an online map that shows when roads were last plowed, is an innovative tool to help pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists get around this winter.
“The Snowplow Tracker is an opportunity to see our snow clearing efforts in a new, visual way,” says Bill Linnen, Director, Public Works. “Our crews work continuously during winter weather events to clear over 1,800 km of roads. The Snowplow Tracker allows you to see that progress across the city.”
When a plow is in motion clearing roads, it will send frequent location data that will be displayed on the map. The map uses different colours to indicate the last time a road was plowed, showing all Kingston roads and residential areas.
Road plowing is based on a priority system, with main roads being cleared first. Plows may do multiple passes on arterial roadways and transit routes before moving on to residential areas, depending on the winter weather event. Review the City’s Winter Maintenance Policy to learn more about plowing priorities. 

9. Open Budget Update 
Received December 21, 2020
This fall, the City of Kingston asked residents to provide input on the 2021 and future operating and capital budgets. The community stepped up! 
During the public engagement period (Sept. 28 – Nov. 13), more than 2,300 people visited Get Involved Kingston to learn more about the budgeting process, download resource documents, pose questions, and provide input.
“I would like to thank everyone who took part in this process by attending a virtual session, completing a poll, taking the survey or telling your friends and family members,” says City Treasurer Desiree Kennedy. She adds, “We cannot achieve a meaningful open budget process without your involvement.” Learn more about the City’s commitment to an open budgeting process.

Next steps
City staff continue to compile, and review data gathered through the survey and other public engagement opportunities. “We respect the time invested and the thoughtful feedback we received. Now, it’s up to staff to take what we heard and ensure that the budgets we present to Council in January reflect your input,” says Kennedy.
Residents can anticipate a comprehensive summary of the feedback received as part of the 2021 Draft Operating and Capital Budgets Report to Council in January 2021. This summary will also be posted on the project’s Get Involved page.
“Thank you again for getting involved,” says Kennedy. “We look forward to sharing the results, and to future budget engagements!”

10. Lake Ontario Water Level Update
Body that regulatesGreat Lakesto deviate from Plan 2014, increase outflows next monthWBFO (Buffalo, New York), December 14, 2020 (also appeared at Rochester First).  Lake Ontario is hovering at its long-term average and 2′ below where it was at this time last year, but it’s not the same elsewhere in the Great Lakes.  Some of the lakes are two or more feet above their long-term averages, presenting a risk of flooding in Lake Ontario next spring.  And with a La Nina weather pattern this winter that could lead to an increase in precipitation, the international body that helps regulate water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River has decided it needs to take
Precautionary measures.  Starting next month, the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board will increase outflow levels from Lake Ontario.

11. World Wildlife Fund Watershed Report
2020 report shows threats of habitat fragmentation, pollution and alteration of flows in our Upper St. Lawrence Watershed.

12. Remotely Piloted Aircraft System for Canadian Arctic
Contract Awarded To Acquire A Remotely Piloted Aircraft System For Transport CanadaPR Newswire, December 21, 2020. Today, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced the Government of Canada has awarded a $36.16-million contract to Elbit Systems Ltd. for the acquisition of a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) or drone. With a flying range of more than 1,400 nautical miles and the capability to operate beyond the visual line of sight, it will be used to detect oil spills, survey ice and marine habitats, and monitor activity on the ocean in Canada’s Arctic.

13. Biden Announces Climate and Energy Team
Biden announces his climate and energy team to enact ‘ambitious’ planBusiness Standard (Delhi, India), December 20, 2020. US President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday announced his nominees for key climate and energy posts, including New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland for interior secretary and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for energy secretary. Biden touted his ambitious climate plan, which seeks to end carbon emissions from power plants by 2035 and proposes broader public investment in green infrastructure, including USD 2 trillion for clean energy projects. He spoke about creating jobs, modernizing the nation’s water, transportation and energy infrastructures, turning the country toward electric vehicles, and lowering the nation’s carbon emissions.

14. Global Ice Breaker Boom.  Can Canada Keep Up? 
MacLean’s Magazine, Dec 17, 2020 – Nick Taylor-Vaisey
Can Canada keep up with a global icebreaker boom?
Russia, China and the United States are racing to build big ships meant to slice through ice in an Arctic region rich in natural resources and new shipping lanes. Canada’s backyard is at stake.

Joe Clark wasn’t the first Canadian politician to promise the world’s most powerful icebreaker, and he won’t be the last. Clark, as foreign minister in 1985, staked his expensive pledge to build a ship that could slice through ice as thick as 2.5 m on the premise that the federal government was “not about to conclude that Canada cannot afford the Arctic.” That ship never got built. Today, as the climate warms, foreign icebreakers are exploring the Arctic for natural resources and asserting themselves in a region Canadians have long claimed is Canada. Clark’s icebreaker was supposed to replace a 20-year-old workhorse. Thirty-five years later, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is still in service—and the Coast Guard likely won’t replace the country’s lone heavy icebreaker for at least another decade.
Canada’s frustrating, unending quest to build a new heavy icebreaker that can patrol Arctic waters is a mess of budget cuts and delays that no government has cleaned up. In 2008, then-prime minister Stephen Harper promised another ship, the Diefenbaker, first slated to be seaworthy by 2017. But the shipyard that won the contract, Vancouver’s Seaspan, lost the work in 2019 after too many delays. Last February, the feds pegged the new delivery date to the end of 2029 but haven’t officially reopened the bidding process.
No one is waiting for Canada. A U.S. Coast Guard analysis in 2017 counted 93 icebreakers in service or under construction around the world. The Russians, whose icebreaker fleet reportedly numbered 46 in 2017, are adding to their nuclear-powered roster. Their newest ship, the Arktika, set sail last September and marks the country’s latest effort to establish a northern sea route that could rival the Suez Canal. China, a nation with no claim to Arctic waters, has built its own, and growing, fleet of icebreakers. The U.S. Coast Guard has responded with plans to build its own massive ships.
Canada’s major shipyards haven’t twiddled their thumbs. Seaspan just finished its third fisheries science vessel for the Coast Guard—and has teamed up with Ontario-based Heddle Marine to renew an eventual bid for the lost Diefenbaker contract. Irving’s Halifax shipyard is building a new class of Arctic patrol vessels that can cut through 1.2 m of ice, the first of which will be commissioned next summer. And Quebec-based Davie, which is converting three vessels into mid-sized Coast Guard icebreakers, wants to beat out Seaspan-Heddle for the Diefenbaker job.
Canada’s shipbuilders are fiercely competitive. Seaspan and Davie both claim to be the only companies with the shipyards and supply chains to build the Diefenbaker. Both say the others’ claims are misleading. Both have also fallen behind on other jobs. Seaspan’s delivery of two replenishment vessels for the Navy is five years behind schedule, and two of Davie’s converted icebreakers have also faced hurdles.
Read More
But the rivals agree on the need for a new icebreaker in what Seaspan CEO Mark Lamarre calls “Canada’s home ice.” More resource exploration, scientific research, commercial shipping and cruise traffic means more work for ice-busting ships. “We’re even seeing 50-foot sailing vessels using the Arctic Ocean as a highway,” says Lamarre. “Canada’s at risk of falling behind, quite frankly.”
Spencer Fraser, the head of Davie’s parent company, Inocea Group, says the feds took a “courageous step” by relaunching the competition for the Diefenbaker work. “What we don’t want to have is a catastrophic failure of a major system on the Louis S. St-Laurent, and then Canada finds itself without an Arctic icebreaker,” he says.
Bob McLeod, Northwest Territories premier until 2019, told Maclean’s before he left office that Canada should build at least three icebreakers and the same number of deep-water ports in the North. Premier Caroline Cochrane hasn’t endorsed those specific priorities, but in a statement to Maclean’s, she did recognize the world’s eyes are looking north: “If Canada wants to retain its effective power and influence in what amounts to its own backyard, it needs to make sure it clearly understands its interests in the Arctic and is prepared to back up those interests with the kind of solid policy and strategic action that other countries are adopting.”
The Department of National Defence is planning to ratchet up its Arctic presence. A spokesperson said the first of the Navy’s Arctic patrol vessels, HMCS Harry DeWolf, will join maritime exercises next summer. Within three years, five more of those ships should be in service. The military is also hoping to finish construction next year on a long-promised deep-water refuelling facility, first announced by Harper in 2008, on the northern tip of Baffin Island.
The spokesperson says the pandemic could cause further delays in opening that port. But anyone who’s kept an eye up north knows that patience is the rule, not the exception. In Canada’s Arctic, 2021 is the new 1985.

15. Vesla Olimer – Very much appreciated long-time supporter of FKIH  
We are truly saddened with the death of Vesla.  Plans are afoot for a memorial tree and bench.

16. Traveling on a Great Lakes Freighter
Sarnia-born author documents Great Lakes adventure,The Beacon Herald (Stratford, Ontario), December 19, 2020. Bruce Kemp’s The Whales of Lake Erie Is a engaging travel book that examines what life looks like aboard a Great Lakes freighter. And it’s just been released for those interested in some escapist reading this winter. The award-winning Sarnia-born journalist and photographer, who now lives in Merrickville, Ont., spent two weeks aboard a laker in the late summer of 2000 and travelled with the crew from Duluth, Minnesota to Port Cartier and Baie Comeau on the border of Labrador before returning to Hamilton.

17. New Film about Kingston’s Red Barons Women’s Hockey Team
Although the name may be familiar to older Kingstonians, it is little known that the Kingston Red Barons was the first organized women’s hockey team in Kingston since the Great Depression – and that, in 1969, at a time when hockey was considered strictly “a boys’ game”. 

Members of the Kingston Red Barons were responsible for the return of intercollegiate women’s hockey, absent since 1935, to Queen’s University. Travelling throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Northern United States to find competition, the Red Barons won numerous provincial, national and North American championships. The Red Barons were responsible for forming the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA), which was instrumental in the establishment of the women’s world and Olympic hockey championships. The house league created by the RBs evolved in 1975 into the Frontenac County Girls Hockey Association (The Kodiaks) and later expanded into the Greater Kingston Girls Hockey Association (The Ice Wolves), producing, among others, Jayna Hefford, Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. 

It is little appreciated that during the 1970s, the Kingston Red Barons changed the face of hockey in Kingston, and throughout Canada. This documentary is oral history in its purest form, in which members of the Kingston Red Barons tell their own heart-warming, as well as heart-breaking, stories in their own words.

18. Knit-Wits Spin Good Yarn: Maybe It’s Stamped Utter Nonsense.
Received from the Kingston Local, Dec 15 – Opinion piece by Jamie Swift
Kingston has a woeful lack of affordable, non-market housing.

My trusty old rubber stamp features two words: Utter Nonsense.
I had it made years ago at Marchant Rubber Stamps and Paper Memories, a local outfit that supplies “scrapbooking” supplies. I got an ink pad, too.
A neat old retro store, Marchant used to ply a lively trade on downtown Princess St. before moving much further uptown. Now they’re out in the Amherstview hinterland. It’s a very cool business.
For me, the Utter Nonsense stamp is therapeutic. It comes in handy when some absurd advertising claim jumps out to annoy me.

Alas, however, much of the commercial propaganda that assaults us these days is under glass or wrought from shiny plastic. Old fashioned rubber stamp ink doesn’t stick.
Which came to mind the other day when I was walking downtown. Seems the controversial condo scheme cooked up by the Waterloo developer IN8 on the site of the old Capitol cinema has rebranded itself. It’s been in the works for years, delayed by pushback from citizens appalled by its height, massive scale and failure to respect any of the city’s planning policies for downtown.
The property company’s slogan used to be “Invest in the Heart of Kingston.”
This got to the heart of the matter. Contrary to what the developer and sundry Kingston business bullhorns claimed, it wasn’t about boosting density or downtown revitalization.
It’s all about speculation, student rentals and Airbnb. It didn’t help that when the matter first came to council it passed by one vote, including that of a city councillor, also a realtor, who had a vested interest in the local real estate economy. A series of appeal battles and court tussles ensued.
The sloganeering that I noticed a couple of weeks ago had changed. The marquee that once touted Hollywood’s latest offering is now flogging “luxury private condominiums.”
This is a “thing” these days. Private is, it seems, an unquestionably positive feature. As if random people could somehow wander condo owners’ apartments anytime they wished. The “private” emphasis fits with our era. It brings everything, says the prominent geographer John Harvey, “into the domain of the market.”
The messaging is all about being exclusive, another term used promiscuously by property marketers. Sounds positive. But words matter. When you think about it, the message implies exclusion. Luxury means excluding the lower orders, especially the desperate people who dot downtown streetscapes.

The IN8 project’s fresh face features photos of hip young white people having fun.
“Move in to the most in demand building in the most ideal location in Kingston,” boasts the come-on, adding that the yet-to-be built building is “now leasing for 2021.” As if.
Kingston has a woeful lack of affordable, non-market housing. City hall’s lacklustre commitment to housing for low-income people is an embarrassment. Should the tower go up, it won’t be inclusive with respect to people with modest incomes.
Telling myself that the entire enterprise certainly put the con into condominium and regretting that my rubber stamp was of no use here, I headed down Princess St. A couple of blocks along I came to Scotiabank’s main Kingston branch, a newish building of decent design.
One of Canada’s big five banks, the former Bank of Nova Scotia is a big-time spender when it comes to burnishing its brand. In the market for our minds, the big boys spend big. It wasn’t that long ago that Scotiabank decided to drop $800 million to get the naming rights for the Toronto building where they play professional basketball and hockey.
The Scotiabank at Wellington and Princess features lots of glass and a spacious lobby for its automated teller machines. Above the ATMs the company’s familiar “You’re richer than you think” branding slogan features prominently. The line made its debut 14 years back, becoming so successful that it garnered 85 per cent customer recall.
Homeless people seeking shelter from extremes of heat and cold can often be seen in the Scotiabank lobby, huddled beneath the sign telling them how rich they are. This master class in irony that wasn’t lost on four locals – apparently into the craft of knitting — who deftly turned the bank’s branding on its head.
It was simple enough to use a single neat cloth word to transform the famous slogan to “They’re richer than you think.”
The “craftivists” may well have taken inspiration from Vancouver’s Adbusters: “We clean up the toxic mess in our mental environment.” Or maybe they were thinking that $800 million could be put to better use: Decent housing for those who need it most?
And perhaps it was their version of utter nonsense.

19. In Defense of Nimbyism – Christine Sypnowich
Interesting piece.

20. Sounds of the Northern Lights – Amazing!
Although this isn’t new it really is worth watching and listening to again.  Amazing.

21. Urban Forest Ideas

22. Really Fun Rick Mercer Video – Tagging Bears in Algonquin Park

Happy New Year!  Here’s hoping we pay more attention to our planet and its needs in the year ahead..
And here’s hoping that the old Carnovsky bakery building that collapsed will be rebuilt!
More on this in the new year.

Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour