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February Newsletter 2021

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Trust you have been enjoying the wonderful winter weather we have been having.  Thanks so much to Jean Paquin for this Inner Harbour pic from a couple of weekends ago.  And great news that Kingston is now in the Green Zone according to Doug Ford yesterday – starting tomorrow! Here’s  hoping local businesses benefit and that we don’t have a ton of visitors from outside the region. 
1. Skating in the Inner Harbour
2. Dock Mystery Solved!
3. Sir John A. Working Group
4. More Scams:  Romance + Crytocurrency
5. City Budget Deliberations
6. Saved Gas Money? Donate to Kingston Climate Action Fund
7. Kingston’s Vacancy Rate Increases to 3.2%
8. Third Crossing
9. RAID Community Group Opposes Patry Proposal
10. New Tools for Kingston and Area Job Seekers
11. MPP Ian Arthur Appointed Critic for Small Business
12. Lead Poisoning a Concern for Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre
13. TVO Feature on Great Lakes + Great Lakes Research
14. Loblaws Phasing Out Toxic Receipts
15. Pipelines vs. Green Energy – Important to Be Informed!
16. Jennifer KcKendry’s New Book – Kingston: The Limestone City
17. New “Green Burial” Group
18. Interesting Article on Viruses – best yet.
19. Soulful Singing – to survive COVID
20. Ice Fishing in Frontenac Park – Wow! Have fun with Ben!

1. Skating in the Inner Harbour
Thanks so much to David McDonald for shoveling off those beautiful spirally pathways exposing the ice for skaters and to all of those with shovels who followed suit.  What a totally wonderful community asset!   As most of you know he has been an activist for community access to the water for a number of years –
Long-term he would like to see the City involved in creating public skating options on the ice – like so many other cities around the world.  As he states “This way the municipality would do the work of clearing the snow, actively promote engagement with the waterfront, and make people feel confident about its safety.  There are lots of official guidelines around for ice thickness. 
If Belleville can do it surely we can make it happen in Kingston as well.”
Here is the link to a great news feature on the topic.
If you think this is a good idea, you should contact your councillor (find out here – as well as Lacricia Turner, Director of Parks ( and Neal Unsworth, Manager of Parks (   Every letter really counts!

2. Dock Mystery Solved!
The docks shown in last month’s update belong to GeoCor Engineering Inc. whose offices are located at 12 Cataraqui St. adjacent to the dock locations.  Their current position is temporary as GeoCor uses them for various offshore projects.  They will be relocated once the ice melts.  Providing there is no conflict of time use, GeoCor would gladly agree to loaning them for temporary event purposes.   Yey!
I am personally also delighted that Scott of GeoCor was a former student of my husband’s at Queen’s!

3. Sir John A. Working Group
As you may have heard, I have been appointed to the City’s working group to discuss the future of the statue of Sir John A. in City Park.  Other appointees include Kingston residents Tanya Grodzinski and Ann Stevens. Three self-identified Indigenous community members were acclaimed as only three applied:  Laurel Claus Johnson, Candace Lloyd and Dionne Nolan. Chief Dave Mowatt of Alderville First Nation and Chief R. Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte will also participate on behalf of their communities.
I am busy currently reading Richard Gwyn’s biography and Clearing the Plains. If you have suggestions for further reading and/or comments you would like me to share with the consultants and other members of the working group, please feel free to e-mail me at  I am happy to share your thoughts either anonymously or with your name attached – whichever you prefer.

4. More Scams: Romance + Cryptocurrency
Received from The Kingstonist, Feb 4 2021 – Jessica Foley
click here to subscribe to Kingstonist.
“Kingston Police warn phony login pages can steal sensitive information
In a media release, dated Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, Kingston Police describe a popular phishing scenario where cybercriminals use phony look-alike login pages to steal credentials and access sensitive information.
“You receive an email with a link. The link takes you to a phony login page with the name and logo of a legitimate website,” explains Constable Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer. “Once you submit your username and password, the information is sent straight to the scammers.”
Now cybercriminals have developed a way to make look-alike pages even more convincing, according to the release. Scammers use a special tool to automatically display your company or organization’s name and logo on the phony login page. Kingston Police say they can even use this tool to populate your email address in the corresponding login field. This creates a false sense of security because many legitimate websites remember your username if you have logged in previously.
While this is an advanced attack, Kingston Police say you can still stay safe by practicing the tips below:
– Never click a link in an email that you were not expecting.
– Remember that any site, brand, or service can be spoofed.
– When you’re asked to log in to an account or online service, navigate to the official website and log in. That way, you can ensure you’re logging in to the real site and not a phony look-a-like.”

Kingston Police Provide Tips on Using Cryptocurrency Safety
Received from The Kingstonist, Feb 1, 2021 – Jessica Foley
“As the value of cryptocurrencies reach new highs, Kingston Police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) wish to remind Canadians to recognize that fraudsters also seek to benefit from the growing interest in crypto currency markets.
According to a release from Kingston Police, dated Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, data breaches, thefts, exit scams and frauds tied to initial coin offerings have all been documented in 2020.The following are some general guidelines and best practices provided by Kingston Police to help you reject fraud and protect your virtual assets.
How to protect yourself:
– Be careful when sending cryptocurrency. 
Once the transaction is completed, it is unlikely to be reversed.
– As proceeds of crime and anti-money laundering regimes around the world create regulatory frameworks that treat businesses dealing in crypto currencies as money service businesses, Canadians need do their research to ensure they are using reputable and compliant services.
– Retain your cryptocurrency with well-known and reputable exchanges, and purchase any hardware wallets directly from the manufacturer.
– Learn the differences between cold wallets and hot wallets.
 Cold wallets are not connected to the internet and hot wallets are connected to the internet. On the one hand, you are in control of your virtual assets where on the other hand, you may be exposing your cryptocurrency to the risk of theft and/or relying on a third party exchange to manage your virtual assets.
– Use strong and unique passwords for different online accounts. In the case of a data breach, fraudsters may try using credential stuffing tactics to access your crypto currency wallet.
– Consider using multi-factor authentication to secure your accounts and/or authorize transactions. 
This is an added layer of security that helps to reduce fraud.
– Beware of phishing emails, store your private keys safely and NEVER share this information. If you lose these keys, you may also lose your virtual assets. The same is true for any 12 or 24 word passphrases.
– Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself from fraud.
If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Kingston Police at 613-549-4660 as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at”

5. City Budget Deliberations
Received from The Kingstonist Jan 29, 2021 – Samantha Butler-Hassan
“City adds extra $1M to the budget for small business, non-profit and artist relief.
Kingston City Council wrapped up their 2021 budget deliberations on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 after three nights of meetings with staff and agency representatives.
Council approved a General Municipal Operating budget of $384,133,729, with a Municipal Capital budget of $58,750,013.
Additionally, Council voted to approve a $229,570 operating budget for Finance and Administration, Chief Adminstrative Office, Strategic Initiatives; a $6,011,301 operating budget for Community Services, Long-term care; a $3,363,362 budget for Kingston Access Services and a $1,050,000 transfer to the Hospital Foundation.
The budget vote was sub-divided to allow councillors to recuse themselves from voting on certain items where they had declared a pecuniary interest.
Adding support funds to the budget
Council decided Thursday night to amend the budget, adding $1 million from the Working Fund Reserve as additional financial support to local businesses, not-for-profits and arts groups.
“We’ve heard that the effects of the pandemic have been uneven,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson, who tabled the amendment. “This is a tough time for everybody but we know that it has been particularly devastating for those in particular sectors. Some business owners and employees are at risk of losing everything.”
The additional funding includes $600,000 to be transferred to the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) for distribution as financial relief to the small businesses “most impacted” by the pandemic. A further $200,000 was allocated to recreation and social service not-for-profit organizations, as well as $200,000 for artists and arts not-for-profit organizations in the City.
“I appreciate certainly all of the programs that the provincial and federal governments have brought forward,” Mayor Paterson noted. “This is really … about what the City can do on top of that.”
Councillor Simon Chapelle raised concerns that Council was making the amendment without fully assessing which at-risk businesses had taken advantage of federal or provincial programs.
“I think this requires a much longer, larger conversation,” Chapelle said. “We haven’t had an opportunity as a Council to sit around a table to talk about how, right now, our entire economy is being held afloat by a variety of subsidies….It can’t go on forever.”
“I am not fully aware of if we are duplicating efforts and I don’t want to be doing that,” he said. Chapelle and Councillor Peter Stroud voted against the $600,000 for businesses, but in favour of the remaining $400,000.
Councillor Robert Kiley said that he felt it was imperative that Council make the $1 million relief available, adding that it might not be enough, and further help might be required.
The amendment included directions to staff to develop temporary eligibility criteria for each new relief fund, and implement a strategy to replenish $1 million to the Working Fund Reserve in future budgets.
Council also passed a new motion put forward by Councillor Jeff McLaren and seconded by Councillor Rob Hutchison calling for out-of-the-box thinking from City Staff. They’ve requested staff develop “doable, sustainable, blue sky” options to reduce costs in the short, medium and long-term for local businesses, non-profits and artists.
City department leaders speak
During their third night of review of the annual budget report, Council also heard from City CAO Lanie Hurdle, Commissioner Peter Huigenbos, Commissioner Brad Joyce and Director, Strategy, Innovation and Partnerships, Craig Desjardins with in-depth presentations about all aspects of City operations.
Desjardins talked extensively about the work of the Kingston Economic Recovery Task Force, highlighting that Kingston’s unemployment rate has decreased steadily between August 2020 at 10.1 percent and December 2020 at 5.9 per cent.
Hurdle’s presentation included highlights from the Housing and Social Services budgets, such as over $2 million in funding from the Social Services Relief Fund which temporarily supports the Integrated Care Hub and COVID-19 impacted services. She also noted a $900,000 reduction in administration and salary expenditures in that department, implemented through attrition.
The full details of the municipal budget meeting agenda can be found here. All three of the meetings can be viewed in full on the City’s YouTube Channel, and are summarized on the City’s Twitter feed.”

And this from the City on Feb 1, 2021
“Council approves 2021 municipal budgets and pandemic-relief support funds
 Kingston City Council has approved the 2021 municipal operating and capital budgets.
Factoring in the education component of the tax bill, residential property owners will see an increase of 2.1 per cent while business property owners will see up to a 9 per cent reduction in their 2021 tax bills. 
The approved municipal budget includes a tax levy increase of 1.4 per cent for operations and 1 per cent for capital purposes.
The 2021 final tax billing will also include a separate amount, based on an annual requisition to be received from the County of Frontenac, reflecting the City’s share of services managed by the County.
Council also approved a motion that will see approximately $1 million from the City’s reserves put toward a pandemic-relief fund with:
$600,000 earmarked to support small businesses;
$200,000 to support recreation and social service not-for-profit organizations; and
$200,000 artists and not-for-profit arts organizations impacted by the pandemic.
City staff and partnership agencies are developing eligibility criteria and will report recommendations back to Council.
Opening the budgeting process
The City is committed to opening its budgeting process to residents so they can:
– understand the structure of the municipal budget and how budgeting decisions are made;
– provide input on priorities;
– influence the allocation of public resources; and
– F=follow the decision-making process.
This fall, the City ran a series of Open Budget engagements, which attracted 500+ participants. It consisted of a series of weekly polls and a survey on Get Involved Kingston followed by two virtual open houses that provided an overview of the City’s operating and capital budgets, recent fiscal challenges, and plans for an ongoing budget engagement process.”

6. Saved Gas Money?  Donate to Kingston Climate Action Fund
Received from the City, Feb 4, 2021
“Donate saved gas money to the Kingston Climate Action Fund to double your impact 
Working remotely due to COVID-19?  The City of Kingston encourages you to donate some of the money you have saved on gas to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund (KCCAF) to double your impact on climate change.
“Reducing the use of your vehicle is a climate action – and one of the silver linings of the pandemic. Let’s really make this silver lining shine: You can double the impact of driving less by putting the money you save on gas toward local climate actions that support a carbon-neutral future for Kingston,” says Julie Salter-Keane, Manager, Climate Leadership Division. 
Double your impact on local GHGs with your donation 
The City, Martha’s Table, Habitat for Humanity and the Kingston Community Credit Union challenge you to donate a portion of the money you would normally spend on fossil fuel toward one or both of these KCCAF-supported climate actions:
Habitat for Humanity is seeking $26,000 to install air source heat pumps in four new townhomes on Rose Abbey Drive.
Martha’s Table is seeking $45,000 to purchase an electric vehicle to serve its clients.

Make a one-time donation through Canada Helps or the Kingston Community Credit Union today and challenge your friends and colleagues to double the impact that driving less has on local greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Gifts of $20 and more made at a Kingston Community Credit Union will be eligible to receive a tax receipt, issued by the City of Kingston.  
Another way to take up the challenge!
Unable to donate at this time? You can still take up this call to action! Double your impact by committing to tell at least two people about the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund, and its goal to help non-profits green their great work.
Find out more about KCCAF and these local projects.

7. City’s Vacancy Rate Increases to 3.2%
Received from the City, Jan 28, 2021
“Kingston’s vacancy rate has improved for the second year in a row – increasing from a record-low 0.6 per cent in 2018 to 1.9 per cent in 2019 and again this past year. The increase to 3.2 per cent at the end of 2020, as reported today by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), reflects an increasing housing supply. However, current high rental and housing costs mean that the City must continue its work to support more new housing going forward to sustain this progress.
“Increasing housing affordability is a top priority for City Council,” says Mayor Paterson. “We’ve introduced a number of innovative policies and last year we saw a record amount of new housing construction. I’m very pleased to see a 3.2 per cent vacancy rate, and I think this confirms we are headed in the right direction. However, the demand for housing remains high in Kingston, so there is still more work to do to maintain a healthy vacancy rate in the long-term.” 
What This Means
Kingston’s current vacancy rate reflects the percentage of purpose-built rental housing units available in our housing market at a point in time. A vacancy rate of 3 per cent is considered healthy. Over the past 10 years, Kingston’s vacancy rate has averaged 1.7 per cent. Kingston’s reported 3.2 per cent vacancy rate is consistent with the provincial average which was also reported to be 3.2 per cent.
Highlight commentary from the 2020 Rental Market Report for the Kingston Census Metropolitan Area includes:
The average rent for a one-bedroom unit increased to $1,145 in 2020, up from $1,101 in 2019.
The overall average rent paid by tenants increased by 3.1 per cent in 2020, which was less than the 7.9 per cent average rent increase experienced in 2019.
The increase in the supply of rental housing in the community helped put upward pressure on the vacancy rate.
The increase in the vacancy rate to 3.2 per cent is not expected to be a result of fewer students returning to Kingston related to the COVID-19 pandemic as most students signed leases before the full impacts of the pandemic were experienced in 2020.
It is important to note that only multi-residential buildings with three or more units are counted in CMHC’s primary vacancy rate calculations so that certain rented dwellings, considered part of a secondary rental market, do not figure into the vacancy rate. The secondary rental market includes dwellings such as duplexes, houses, condos, one or two apartments attached to commercial space and secondary suites (117 permits were issued for secondary suites in 2020).
“We value our partnership with the development community and our continued collaboration in providing housing opportunities for Kingston,” says CAO Lanie Hurdle. “This increase is also a result of the hard work of City staff who have facilitated the record number of housing starts we’ve experienced over the last few years.” 
Increasing Momentum 
New rental building projects under construction

The City issued building permits for 1,407 residential units in 2020, up from 1,061 in 2019. This number reflects all housing types, with 875 of the permits being issued for multiple-unit dwellings. Many of these are expected to be completed in 2021 so that, starting in late 2021 and into 2022, there will be a greater number of new units to further increase the rental market supply.
Housing initiatives to increase overall housing supply
The Mayor’s Task Force on Housing presented a report to Council last March that contained a set of recommendations to increase housing supply. Although some of these recommendations included secondary rental market units, the implementation of the overall recommendations is influencing the development of housing units.
2020 marked the midpoint of the City’s 10-Year Municipal Housing and Homelessness Plan, which has been updated to reflect Kingston’s current housing context and challenges. The updated plan includes a series of actions intended to increase housing supply and provide housing and support services to the community’s most vulnerable members.”

8. Third Crossing
Received Feb 2, 2021
New Design of East-side Intersection Prioritizes Walkability, Cycling and Transit Connections

The City of Kingston has released the final design for the Point St. Mark Drive and Gore Road intersection, part of the Third Crossing bridge project. The new design offers features for cyclists, pedestrians, and transit users along with roadway improvements. 
“Providing more sustainable transportation options for residents is a vital part of the Third Crossing project overall,” says Mark Van Buren, Deputy Commissioner for Major Projects Office. “After hearing from residents and stakeholders, the final design of this intersection reflects Council’s sustainable transportation priorities and community comments by providing several new features for cyclists, pedestrians and transit users to move in and around Kingston.”
In August 2020, the Third Crossing Project Team started engaging with local residents on the preferred design of the south leg of the Point St. Mark Drive and Gore Road intersection. Based on an informal poll of residents, input from Kingston Emergency Service Providers, and the City’s Transportation Department, the final design restricts vehicle access to prevent motorists from short-cutting through the Point St. Mark neighbourhood and includes new active transportation infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, transit users and multi-modal travellers.
Highlights of the final design for the intersection include:
– Safety and connectivity enhancements for pedestrians and cyclists of all ages and abilities;
– Improved pedestrian facilities with new sidewalks and crosswalks on Gore Road to connect to Highway 15 and the future bridge;
– Improved cycling facilities, adding off-road cycling facilities, bicycle detection and cross-rides that will allow cyclists to remain on their bicycles and follow directional signals to cross the road (cross-rides work like pedestrian crosswalks);
– A right-out for vehicles turning onto Gore Road. All other access for vehicles on the south leg of the intersection is restricted. This prevents motorists from short-cutting through the Point St. Mark neighbourhood;
– A multi-use trail along Gore Road improves connectivity to the rest of the city and encourages active transportation by multi-modal users (and future bridge users!);
– Access for emergency service vehicles is maintained; and
– New bus stops and expanded transit infrastructure along Gore Road.
The project’s Get Involved Kingston page will be open for public input from Feb. 2 to 23 for residents to see the new intersection design and ask questions. Construction of the intersection will begin this spring and will be completed by the end of 2021.
Watch a short, animated video to find out more about cross-rides and to see how an all ages and all abilities (AAA) intersection works.
Received Feb 1, 2021
Third Crossing bridge girders arrive marking new milestone for the project 
Today marks another milestone for Kingston’s historic Third Crossing project with the delivery of the first of 95 150-foot long concrete girders. Once installed, these girders will support the bridge deck and span pier-to-pier.
“We’re excited for this next phase of construction where residents will now start to see more work happening above the water,” says Mark Van Buren, Deputy Commissioner Major Projects Office. “The team has prepared extensively for the safe arrival and installation of these impressive pieces of infrastructure; however, this is still a first for the City. We’re asking the public for their patience as we help them arrive safely into the community with minimal traffic disruption.”
At 150 feet in length, these girders are some of the largest ever made for a bridge in Ontario. Girders will continue to come through Kingston over the next few months. Placement of the girders will begin near the west shore and continue east towards the steel main span throughout 2021. Due to the size and weight of each girder there is a comprehensive transportation plan laid out for each one that is guided by a permit from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. 
For more information about the arrival of the girders visit the Third Crossing website
Third Crossing, Received Jan 30, 2021 
We are providing information as it relates to the Third Crossing and the exciting news that girders for the bridge will start arriving early next week. Girders are a major element of the bridge that will support the bridge deck and span pier to pier. 
At 150 feet in length, these girders are some of the largest ever made for a bridge in Ontario. Trucks are expected to arrive about twice a week during the early afternoon hours. Residents may expect short delays along Sir John A. MacDonald and John Counter Boulevard as large trucks carrying bridge girders arrive in town over the next few months. Each truck will have car escorts to help guide the trucks safely through town to the end of John Counter Boulevard near the Riverpark neighbourhood. Girders will begin to be installed on the west shore and then move east towards the main span. 
We’ve planned extensively for the delivery and installation of these impressive pieces of infrastructure; however, this is a first for the City so we ask for your patience as we ensure they continue to arrive safely with minimal disruption. 
We will be sharing images and more information about the girders over the next few months on the project’s digital newsletter and through the City’s social media channels.
Sign up for our e-newsletter here and the City’s social media channels at Twitter – @CityofKingston  Facebook – 
You can also visit the project’s website to learn more or connect with us by sending an email to

9. RAID Community Group Opposes Patry Proposal
Received from June Blackburn, Chair, RAID, Feb 5, 2021
“In last month’s FKIH Newsletter, I submitted an article about the Residents Against Incompatible Development (RAID) – a new Kingston group opposing the Patry Inc. development proposed for 2274 Princess Street.  RAID is initiating a letter writing campaign to support its position that this development should not proceed as currently planned.

To:  Lesley Lambert, Senior Planner, City of Kingston
I am writing to you to express my opposition to the Application submitted by Patry Inc. to construct a four/five storey 242-unit apartment building at 2274 Princess Street. 
Behind the proposed building lies Walnut Grove Estates – an adult life style community populated primarily by senior citizens and comprised of 135 one storey homes.  
As currently proposed, the back of the apartment building will soar approximately 50 feet into the air a scant thirty feet from the property line of several Walnut Grove homes with no mature trees to buffer the building from their properties.  The building design violates several land use compatibility requirements of the City of Kingston Official Plan including, but not limited to, the  total blocking of sunlight from homes for months during the winter months,
destruction of the contributory woodlands, loss of privacy, intrusive overlook and reduction in the ability of Walnut Grove residents to enjoy their properties. 
As a tax paying resident of Kingston, I am asking that the City of Kingston Official Plan and Zoning By-Law be adhered to, and the Developer be directed to submit a plan that conforms with these two documents.  It is time to properly respect the best interests of all residents of Kingston and not only the interests of Developers.
Yours truly,
(Insert name and address)”

10. New Tools for Kingston and Area Job Seekers
Received from City, Jan 25, 2021
The Possible Made Here website, a project of the City of Kingston, has just added a number of tools designed to support both job seekers and employers looking for workers.
These new features include
– A job board that combines all the job listings from 30 job sites and is updated daily
– A job map that displays job listings and can be filtered by geography, skills, job types and duration of job
– A career explorer that identifies jobs by sector, level of demand, average wages and skills required
“Part of the work undertaken by the Kingston Economic Recovery Team has been looking at our local workforce and how we can make it easier for employers to recruit the talent they need, and how we can ensure that job seekers find employment in the fields they’re qualified in, especially given the challenges of COVID-19,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “I’m pleased that we’re able to introduce new tools that will support employers and job seekers, and grateful to the Province of Ontario and to KEYS for their support in making this possible.” 
An Ontario Labour Market Partnerships grant, has enabled the City to create these free job tools, work more closely with Employment Ontario agencies throughout the Kingston region, and promote these resources.  
“A critical goal is to use the recovery to pivot towards a more resilient and adaptable workforce; and connecting the contributions of workers with new opportunities,” says Gillian Waters, Program Director at KEYS Job Centre.   “Possible Made Here is a tool to support workforce resilience and adaptability into the future and KEYS is pleased to have had a supporting role in its development.” 
Employers are encouraged to contact us for any information on the tools for employers or job seekers.

11. MPP Ian Arthur Appointed Critic for Small Business
Received from The Kingstonist, Feb 2, 2021 – Samantha Butler-Hassan
“Just 24 hours after announcing his new role within the Provincial NDP caucus, Kingston and the Islands MPP Ian Arthur said he’s been flooded with inquiries.
Arthur was appointed the critic portfolio for Small Business Recovery & Opening Main Street on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, a position where answers are currently in high demand.
“I’ve been in this role officially since 10 a.m. yesterday and we’re receiving hundreds of emails and phone calls to the office from people who own these businesses, saying that the system is not working for them,” Arthur said.
“The consistent message is that they don’t know what is going to happen to their businesses. They’re looking for clarity and they’re looking for the sort of supports that would meaningfully allow them to make it through the second wave.”
The Ontario PC government announced $10,000 relief grants in December, for small businesses affected by the Provincewide Shutdown. The grants became available starting in mid-January for small business owners that meet the eligibility requirements. The government is also offering $1,000 grants for personal protective equipment (PPE) support, and property tax and energy cost rebates.
“The grants should have been available from the get go,” Arthur said. “Not after Christmas, not two-thirds of the way through the second wave. I think that businesses have done everything that has been asked, and I think that they have a very reasonable expectation that the government is there to back them up, and it simply hasn’t been.”
Arthur shared some of the feedback he has already received from his constituents with Kingstonist.
“I am a small business owner in Kingston,” one of them wrote. “I do, fortunately, fall within the essential services parameters. However, as a result of restrictions, my business is significantly impacted… I am permitted to stay open but my clientele is being ordered to stay home… As a result, I don’t qualify for this service yet I am significantly impacted by the restrictions.“
“What used to be a comfortable living has devolved into a struggle for survival,” wrote another. “[I] have spent over $35,000 of my retirement money trying to keep the shop afloat for the past year.”
Arthur said he’s also received complaints about the uneven restrictions on small and large businesses during the stay-at-home orders. “Non-essential” retailers, or those which do not sell grocery or pharmacy items, have been reduced to curbside pickup.
Larger retailers such as Costco, Walmart and Loblaws have been allowed to continue operating, including offering in-store sales of those ‘non-essential’ items such as toys, stationary, home decor or tech gadgets.
“They’ve handed a massive gift to big box stores, to chains,” Arthur said. “Their profits are through the roof during a pandemic while small businesses are closing their doors unfortunately. They’re being evicted because they can’t make rent.”
Arthur said the Ontario PC government missed an opportunity to have a shorter, more intense lockdown back in the fall.
“We certainly called for a circuit breaker approach in the fall, when we had significantly lower case numbers. The circuit breaker approach has been used in Australia, and there are a couple other international examples of it. It’s a much more stringent lockdown but it’s only for two weeks,” he said.
“I think at that time we were around 700 cases a day. This lockdown is extremely long, but that’s a reflection of how high this government allowed cases to get before they actually swung into action,” he added.
Arthur said people should be prepared for more restrictions ahead. “We will likely have a partial reopening when the weather warms up again. And then it’ll be a race to prevent the third wave with vaccinations.”
He added that he thinks scientists and medical experts should determine the timing and extent of lockdowns, rather than politics.
“Epidemiologists know how pandemics play out,” he said. “This information was available to the government last summer.”
Looking ahead, and coming from a small business background himself, Arthur said his new role is one he won’t take likely.
“I’m extremely thrilled to be working on this. It’s going to be some of the hardest and most meaningful work I could do during the pandemic.”

12. Lead Poisoning a Concern for Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre

13. TVO Feature on Great Lakes with Henry Lickers, Commissioner, International Joint Commission
Received Feb 2, 2021

Other Great Lakes Stuff of Interest
Remote-controlled USV Survey of Lake Superior Seabed, Hydro International (The Netherlands), January 26, 2021.  In a substantial move forward for the Canadian marine industry, two XOCEAN Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs), remotely controlled via satellite, took to Lake Superior this winter to conduct pioneering survey work for the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) in partnership with IIC Technologies.  The project marks the first time that USV technology has been used to gather bathymetry data in inland waters in Canada.

Quagga mussel found to be primary regulator of phosphorus cycling in lower four Great, January 26, 2021.  A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology reports that quagga mussels are now the primary regulator of the phosphorus cycle in the lower four Great Lakes.  In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes creating a model to represent the impact of invasive mussels on the Great Lakes.

14.  Loblaws Phasing Out Toxic Receipts
Received from Environmental Defense, Jan 26, 2021 – Muhannad Malas
Loblaws joins Costco Canada in Banning Toxic BPA and BPS on Receipts
‘Cashiers and retail workers have a challenging and critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic: while many of us are staying home, they put their health at risk to ensure we have the groceries and supplies we need. Companies have a responsibility to ensure that cashiers and other workers are paid fairly and protected from workplace hazards, including hormone-disrupting chemicals on receipts. 
Loblaw bans hormone-disrupting BPA and BPS on receipts
In its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, Loblaw Companies Limited committed to phasing out receipt paper containing bisphenols, like BPA and BPS, by the end of this year! This includes all of Loblaw’s subsidiary companies like No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart and T&T. This is a move that will protect thousands of workers and prevent millions of toxic receipts from entering landfills or the recycling stream. And it’s all thanks to your support! Over 6000 of you took action asking Loblaw to take action – and they listened. Now, we’re calling on Metro, Sobeys and Walmart Canada to follow suit and phase out BPA & BPS-coated receipts too!  
Loblaw notified Environmental Defense staff of this commitment in its feedback to the draft evaluation conducted as part of the fifth annual Who’s Minding the Store? retailer report card, which will be published in the first quarter of 2021.
The Hidden Cost of Receipts
Two years ago, we published a report containing alarming research which suggested that handling receipts regularly over a typical work shift as a cashier may increase the concentrations of BPA and BPS by more than 100-fold. These chemicals are typically added to receipt paper to facilitate the thermal printing process, a process that relies on heat printing as opposed to ink. This is troubling because BPA and BPS is widely known for its hormone disrupting effects and is linked to a wide range of health issues including diabetes, obesity, ADHD in children and hormone-based cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.
Troubled by these results, we partnered with Breast Cancer Action Quebec, the Mind the Store Campaign and United Food and Commercial Workers Canada to call on Canada’s leading grocery retailers (Costco Canada, Loblaw, Metro, Sobeys and Walmart Canada) to eliminate the use of receipt paper coated with BPA, BPS or other bisphenols.”

15. Pipelines vs. Green Energy – Important to Be Informed!
Michigan approves Great Lakes oil pipeline tunnel permits, The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.), January 29, 2021 (also appeared in 10 other publications).  Michigan’s environmental agency said Friday it has approved construction of an underground tunnel to house a replacement for a controversial oil pipeline in a channel linking two of the Great Lakes.  The decision, a victory for Enbridge Inc., comes as the Canadian company resists Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s demand to shut down its 68-year-old line in the Straits of Mackinac.  The project requires permits from the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Canadian pressure mounts on Michigan governor to back off Enbridge pipeline, MLive (Ann Arbor, Michigan), January 26, 2021.  Canadian government and business interests are mounting a full-court-press on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, hoping to badger the Midwest Democrat into reversing an order that shuts down a controversial Enbridge oil pipeline under Lake Michigan later this year.  Whitmer administration officials say formal calls are coming from nearly all corners of Canada to allow the Enbridge Line 5 oil line crossing under the Straits of Mackinac to continue operating after a May deadline, which the governor imposed several months ago when she announced revocation of the pipeline easement over past violations.  Diplomats and business leaders across the border say the move imperils Canadian jobs and they’re threatening to escalate the matter with new U.S. President Joe Biden, who is juggling the desire of climate voters demanding a shift away from fossil fuels with efforts to improve an international relationship strained under Donald Trump.
Conservatives work to lay Michigan’s Line 5 pipeline dispute at Trudeau’s feet, National Observer (Toronto, Ontario), February 5, 2021.  Lawmakers from Canada’s federal opposition Conservative Party have embarked on a campaign to place a legal and environmental dispute in Michigan over the Line 5 oil pipeline at the feet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  Several Conservative MPs have been sharing an image on social media that warns of an impending “Liberal pipeline failure” if the Line 5 pipeline, running through the environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac, is shut down — a decision that was taken months ago by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and that Enbridge is currently challenging in U.S. federal court.  While this legal drama is playing out, Conservatives are also urging their followers to sign a petition that calls on Trudeau to “appeal” to U.S. President Joe Biden to “intervene” in the pipeline dispute in order to “prevent” Whitmer from following through with her decision.

Suggested Alternative to Line 5…/in-pushing-for-line-5-shutdown…/

Rethinking Energy 2020 Rapid Energy Transformation – Worth Watching!

16. Jennifer McKendry’s new book -Kingston: The Limestone City
Received from The Kingstonist, Jan 27 – Jessica Foley
Local architectural historian Jennifer McKendry says Douglas Library of 1924 is old fashioned in its style, Gothic Revival, and choice of exterior material – limestone from Kingston and Queenston, but in reality uses modern steel and reinforced concrete as the true structural system hidden behind stone veneer. Designed by architects Shepard & Calvin of Toronto, “the carved detailing is a feast for the eye,” McKendry says. Photo by Jennifer McKendry.
The Frontenac Heritage Foundation has received a $12,000 grant from the City of Kingston and administered by the Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites towards the printing costs of a new book by Jennifer McKendry, a well-known architectural historian and an authority on regional architecture.
Dr. McKendry has written numerous articles and books, including ones on brick and wooden buildings in the area. According to the Frontenac Heritage Foundation, this latest book examines stone structures from 1790 to 1930 in the Kingston region. The title, Kingston, the Limestone City, reflects the city’s self-characterization via the motto “the limestone city” from the 1870s to the present day.
The book includes aspects of quarrying and construction methods, and features an extensive illustrated chronology of buildings ranging from simple to complex. McKendry notes that one of the subjects of particular interest is carving ornamental elements – an aspect not previously explored in publications. Included also in the book are stone landscaping details of sites that are important to the historic ambience of properties. Over 300 pages are in colour.
According to the Frontenac Heritage Foundation, the book sets out a chronological sequence of buildings from 1790 to 1930 and explains why Kingston’s building industry relied on the stone forming its bedrock during the 19th century. Topics also explored in the book are quarries, kilns, tools, fences, wall construction and carvings….
The Frontenac Heritage Foundation advocates for heritage preservation in a broad geographical area centered on Kingston. President Shirley Bailey commented that this book will help focus attention on the importance of built heritage from the earliest stone examples through to the beginnings of the 20th century. She said a launch date has not yet been scheduled because of the pandemic restrictions, however, McKendry is exploring options to have the book carried at Novel Idea in the near future. Kingstonist will update this article as more information becomes available.”

17. New “Green Burial” Group
This is a group interested in establishing a green burial site somewhere in the Kingston area.  Currently there are green burial sites in Cobourg and Picton but nothing closer.  This group has launched a new website and are thrilled to announce a 250% increase in membership –
They are now setting up working groups with a meeting scheduled for Feb 9 at 1 pm.
The group has also written to City Councillors in Kingston and South Frontenac urging them to become aware of this climate friendly way of facing death and is encouraging interested community members to do the same.
More info?

18. Really Interesting Article on Viruses – Best Yet!
Worth subscribing to National Geographic!

19. Soulful Singing to Survive COVID
Soulful Singing via Zoom (Daily at 9am, Wednesday at noon and Thursday at 7pm)
Enjoy singing?  Want to experience more freedom and ease in your voice?  Looking for ways to decrease stress and express yourself?  Hoping to expand your bubble in a safe and uplifting way?
Then Soulful Singing via Zoom could be for you.  
Soulful Singing is an active meditative practice that promotes mindfulness, joy, creativity and community. We share songs and chants through the oral tradition in inclusive, heart-opening gatherings that focus on presence, not performance.  Come with a curious heart, leave with many songs inside you, and greater calmness.   
Wendy Luella Perkins began Soulful Singing in 2002.  She is a singer-songwriter, Unitarian Universalist community minister and Chaplain with the Office of Faith and Spiritual Life at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario. 
Rev. Wendy Luella has been offering Soulful Singing since 2002 and online everyday since March 2020.  Our community of song includes folks from the Kingston area and across the country and around the world.
SOULFUL ZOOM LINKS All sessions are drop-in and eastern time. 
DAILY Soulful Singing via Zoom — 9:00-9:45am (singing) 9:45-10:15am (sharing), Meeting ID: 192 861 308, Password: 704436
WEEKLY Soulful Singing–Wednesday Afternoons via Zoom — 12:00-12:45pm (singing) 12:45-1:00pm (sharing),, Meeting ID: 811 202 230, Password: 298083
WEEKLY Soulful Singing–Thursday Evenings via Zoom — 7:00-8:10 (singing) 8:10-8:30pm (sharing), Meeting ID: 293 287 070, Password: 491664

20. Ice Fishing In Frontenac Park – Wow! Have fun with Ben!
Ice fishing in Frontenac Park for Brook Trout with Conjuring Rock

See you out on the ice!
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour