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February Newsletter 2022

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
First of all thanks so much Hilbert Buist for the upbeat picture and quote“This mating pair of Hairy Woodpeckers reminded me that drumming on trees for mate selection can start anytime now! This morning was the second time this week I heard Cardinals sing. I don’t know about you but I’m hearing Spring!”

“Change will happen at the speed of empathy at the speed of trust.” Sheila Watt-Cloutier.
I continue to be so grateful to be part of the local Sir John A committee. It has caused me to reflect on 19th, and 20th century values. Sir John A was a product of his time. Understanding the underlying values of those eras can help us better understand him, our ancestors, and ourselves – and hopefully help lay the groundwork for greater understanding of the culture clash between settlers and Indigenous peoples that has existed over so many years so that we can become more open and empathetic to the values of Indigenous cultures and embrace empathy in our efforts towards Truth and Reconciliation.
The first item in this newsletter is a selective account -focusing on aspects of Victorian and Edwardian cultures that have resonated with me personally. If you have opinions and/or personal accounts you would like to share with me and/or the working group, please feel free to e-mail me at
1. Victorian Values: A Brief Description of Eugenics
2. From Eugenics to Social Darwinism
3. Social Darwinism of the Colonizers
4. “Upper Class” Men and some Common Ramifications of their Actions
5. The Position of Women and Children
6. The “Lower Classes”
7. Indigenous Peoples
8. Looking Forward

9. Thanks Eric Gagnon for Two Great Reads with Pics:
Dye Company + Nat’l Grocers’ Building
10. Reminder: Save our Trees Exhibit at the New Kingston Community Arts and Design Space
11. David Dossett’s Latest Exhibits
12. Mr. Whiskers and Residents Take Note: Changes to Animal By-Law
13. City’s Home Energy Retrofit Program
14. Third Crossing Update
15. Addition of Micro-Credentials to Mayor’s Innovation Challenge
16. Community Fridge for Those in Need
17. Kingston Canadian Film Festival
18. Province Invests over 1/6 M in Wastewater Infrastructure in H,L&A Communities
19. Winter Data on Warming Great Lakes
20. Great Lakes Ice Extent Reaches 44.4%
1. Victorian Values: A Brief Description of Eugenics

Eugenics was a predominant belief among 19th century intelligentsia as well as common folk.
In essence, it is the belief that some groups are superior to others due to superior genes and superior cultural practices that were developed, refined, and passed down from generation to generation through what was called “the inheritance of acquired characteristics”. In short, you were either born “fit” or “unfit”. If you were born “unfit” the only way out was to be acculturated into the superior culture where fitness could be imprinted in your brain for physical transfer to your children’s genes.
These beliefs cemented systemic racism in Canada and the U.S. with resultant discrimination against Indigenous peoples, successive minorities, the mentally challenged, the disabled, the poor, Catholics, LGBTQ, and “feeble-minded” women who became pregnant out of wedlock. In many cases, it was assumed that unfit groups would simply die out. Diseases like TB were seen as demonstration of weaker genes. For the mentally challenged and disabled, procedures such as sterilization were considered appropriate to help speed up the natural process. For the most part however, government social assistance was seen as going against nature. Libertarianism, the belief in small government, may have had its roots here. 
The legacy of this theory has lasted well into the twentieth century and is still with us. Hitler was so taken with this doctrine (reportedly even more prevalent in Canada and the US than in Europe) that he drew on it to create his own theory of the master race that resulted in WWII. And, despite the broad 20th century debate about Nature vs. Nurture, tragically elements of this legacy remain.

2. From Eugenics to Social Darwinism
The term “survival of the fittest” was actually coined by Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903), a very popular and influential 19th century philosopher. He took Darwin’s theory of evolution and incorporated early notions of sociology and psychology. In so doing, he created what is termed “Social Darwinism – basically the survival of the fittest cultures.
Although Spencer was not religious, the hierarchical notions described in Social Darwinism, were a good fit with the paternalistic hierarchy espoused by the church with a male God at the top, then male priests, then upper class men (women being subservient), then the poor, the mentally challenged, the disabled, the criminal, and all other minorities who sat at the back of the church and were at the bottom of society’s social pyramid. LGBTQ persons were considered sinners who committed illegal deeds punishable by law. They were also thought to be unreliable and untrustworthy as they were at risk of blackmail.
Society became increasingly rigidly compartmentalized in the Edwardian era (1901-1910) and elements of this rigid culture continued well into the 1960s – until the creation and widespread use of the birth control pill.Those considered unfit and feeble-minded were a source of great embarrassment for “upper class” families. As little was really understood about psychology it was generally assumed that rape was less painful and problematic than breaking a leg. Soldiers returning from wars with “shell-shock” or those suffering from psychological trauma were often called “eccentric”, a term that excused them from being considered unfit or feeble minded. I remember hearing, in the 50s, of a Ukrainian man who, in retrospect, would have suffered from the starvation inflicted by the Russians in WWII, and who endured repeated nightmares. Unbelievably these dreams were understood as expressions of a creative imagination!
Well into the 40s, 50s and 60s, unfit people were often hidden away in upstairs bedrooms or placed in insane asylums -remaining hidden “skeletons in the closet” never to be discussed in polite society.Lies and pretense were the norm. Here is an example from my husband’s British family when his grandfather impregnated his wife’s sister. To hide this from the public, the whole family went to France for an extended holiday. When they returned the baby was pronounced part of his legitimate family with nobody the wiser.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century and in the first half of the twentieth century the government, in collaboration with churches, created institutions for some of these unfit groups. One such group was unwed mothers. From the 1940s until the 1970s. 600,000 unwed young women, considered feeble-minded and therefore unfit to be parents, had to give up their children for adoption. The actual number may well have been in excess of this as many adoptions happened informally. The bond between mother and child had to be severed and the child adopted by a “fit” family. A culture of shame persisted. These women couldn’t admit anything for years for fear of having their families blacklisted. Only recently has a plaque been put in place in Toronto at a former home for unwed mothers commemorating this sadness. Most of us have now died. Many of the adopted children have grown up with a profound sense of lack of belonging.
Far worse was the compulsory attendance of over 150,000 Indigenous children at residential schools as it resulted in cultural genocide. Clearly it was felt that Indigenous people had to be acculturated to become fit. Private schools were seen as the way forward at the time of Sir John A. Many privileged young men went to private boarding schools. Riel himself was sent by his parents to a prestigious private school in Montreal at the age of 14.
Initially attendance was voluntary but later, after Sir John A. had died, sadly and tragically, attendance became compulsory -and resulted in what has now been recognized by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as cultural genocide.
Given how governments typically reflect the societal values of the times, very probably most settlers of the era (in both the 19th and 20th centuries) honestly felt that acculturation through attendance at boarding schools was the best way forward for Indigenous peoples – ostensibly to rescue them from their “savage” inferior cultures. Only recently, well into the latter years of the twentieth century, and now into the 21st century, have citizens (and governments that reflect their views) come to see how terribly wrong this turned out to be.

3. Social Darwinism of the Colonizers
Conveniently, the British were at the top in this conceptualized hierarchy of cultures. After all, it was argued, they had the largest empire that had ever been created in the history of humankind. Just look at all those pink territories on world maps! Sir John A himself proudly proclaimed “A British subject I was born.  A British subject I will die,” making it clear where he stood in the hierarchy.
Everyone else was considered inferior including other Northern Europeans. But it was especially the Irish and the predominantly Catholic Southern European cultures, including the French and Italian, that were thought to be lacking moral fibre because they could confess away their sins. Protestants were supposedly superior because each was responsible for their own sins. Protestants were thought to exude thrift, responsibility and self-reliance through years of breeding. But even within the Protestant community Anglicans were considered better than the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Quakers, the Congregationalists etc. Rivalries among these denominations were oth complex and commonplace. Cultural divisions were rigid. One did not have friends outside of one’s social circle determined by one’s religion. Personally, I well remember the Orange Parades in Toronto in the 1940s and how, as a Protestant child, I was actually frightened of Catholic children.
Because people felt the need to proclaim themselves part of “upper class” society, many people simply lied. They were blacklisted if found out. My mother who was the daughter of New York City academics, felt the need to lie in her engagement announcement in the New York Times in 1937 – saying that my father was descended from a Welsh member of parliament with the same name. This somehow excused the fact that she was marrying a penniless scholar. My mother also tried for years not to let us ever find out that my father’s father was a butler. We were supposed to believe we were better than that. When we found out, she then said he was actually the illegitimate child of a nobleman – like some Dickens novel! We laughed about this – until we found out that it was possibly true as the father on a birth certificate is listed simply as “gentleman” – code for circumstances such as an aristocratic landowner taking advantage of a servant. My mother took these secrets to her grave – determined that we should never know. Today all this subterfuge seems ridiculous but back then it was the difference between being accepted by polite society or being blacklisted and totally ostracized.

4. “Upper Class” Men and some Common Ramifications of their Actions
Upper class men were responsible for running businesses, influencing governmental decision-making through party membership, and promoting the values of Social Darwinism. They could not show weakness. Due to their assumed superiority, they had sexual license. They were free to take advantage of the prostitution that had grown in cities during the Industrial Revolution. They were also free to demand sexual favours from servants who might well be fired if they became pregnant.
In many cases, “upper class” men also felt very much trapped by the cultural expectations of Victorian and Edwardian societies no matter where they were in the social hierarchy.  My father used to repeat a quote from Thoreau “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation”.

5. The Position of Women and Children
“Upper class” women knew their subservient place – with duties and responsibilities to maintain a cheerful and happy household that was necessary to keep husbands from finding pleasure elsewhere. Women were thought to have “intuitive” minds, not really capable of serious intellectual thought.In many cases, young women did not go to university. As recently as the 60s, if they did attend it was often joked that it was just to get an Mrs, not a B.A.. My father used to tell me that my future role as a woman was to be a good cook in the kitchen, an entertaining lady in the drawing room and a whore in the bedroom.
Young girls growing up as as I did in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s were expected (and even instructed in school) to devote themselves to furthering their future husbands’ careers. At the age of 16, I was presented to the Queen Mother in Buckingham Palace as a debutante. Our school choir was in Britain to sing at the Eisteddfodd in Wales – an international choir competition. We also toured Great Britain, singing in a number of cathedrals. We were billeted with members of the “Victoria League”. I remember one of our hosts being so worried that she was no longer making the guest list for Buckingham Palace events and I remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want to spend my life worrying about stuff like that. The wife of the British High Commissioner at the time was a graduate of our high school and so she arranged for all of us to be presented to the Queen as debutantes. As the Queen was indisposed, we were presented to the Queen Mother. I remember that the Queen Mother had too much lipstick and her smile seemed artificial – completely understandable given the tedious job of a parade of curtseying teens. The presentation was followed by a fun garden party outside with delicious ice coffee and cucumber sandwiches and conversations with cute little dukes.
In my teenage years I attended many formal balls in places like Toronto’s Granite Club which were also really fun – complete with programs where young men would sign up for numbered dances. The only problem wasthat you had to have a partner for the all-important dinner-dance. He would be your partner for dinner as well as for the rest of the evening. If nobody signed your card for the dinner dance, you had to try and sneak out with nobody noticing or hide in the bathroom for the rest of the evening. I think I still have some of these cards somewhere in my collection of old memorabilia along with some now dried gardenia corsages.
In my late teens I could plan meals, do place-settings, wine pairings and embroidery, but I had never been allowed to have a job. I had wanted to have a paper route when I was young and I had wanted to work at the CNE as a teen. Didn’t happen. At Trinity College, University of Toronto, I became completely unhappy with “upper class” constraints. My friends became artists, and theatre people – known at the time as bohemians or beatniks.I even produced a play at the “Bohemian Embassy” off a Yonge St. back alley near Wellesley St. I can’t begin to convey the sheer terror we all felt if our periods were late. I did become pregnant. My lover was a poet. I was not ready for marriage and my parents completely disapproved. As I loved my parents and my family deeply I could not bring upon them the total shame, disruption and ostracism they would have faced had I chosen to keep the baby. What’s more, there was no social safety net and I had never held a job so I didn’t know how to look after myself. My mother took me to Denmark where abortions were legal but by the time everything was arranged I was in the second trimester and they wouldn’t do an abortion. So I stayed in Denmark with a family my parents paid to house me, had the baby alone in hospital, and gave her up for adoption. After the birth my father came to join me. He had been a philosophy professor specializing in Greek philosophy before starting his own HR business. And I was studying Art and Archaeology at university. We had a truly wonderful trip together to Greece and Italy exploring the roots of western civilization. The official story was that I had been visiting family friends for the summer. Even my brother and sisters didn’t know – for years. That’s how secretive all of this was back in the day. I am not recounting this for sympathy. It was a common story in those times and most of us would rather not dwell on the past. But I’m hoping it gives a genuine sense of the times and a little of what it was like to live a life of privilege.
By this time I was “used goods” as I was no longer a virgin. And in those days if you were not married by the age of 25 you were considered an “old maid” -a fate worse than death because it was clear that nobody wanted you! So when I was 24 I gave myself a year to find a husband. I went to all sorts of places where I might find a man. I met my future husband at the annual banquet for a “Fair Play for Cuba Committee” meeting in a union hall in Toronto’s working class east end. But that’s a whole other story – how I married for adventure, rather than prestige as is the story of my deep and ongoing connection from childhood to the land, the water and to Indigenous perspectives.
As with Eve in the Garden of Eden, problems with marriages were always considered the woman’s fault. Divorce was out of the question. Men needed to look no further than Eve in the bible to blame women. Women were expected to be chaste before marriage and to “obey” husbands when married. Women were property that was transferred from father to husband – as in the marriage ceremony. I went from living at home with my parents to living with my husband. I never lived on my own. Men had the legal right to beat wives and children. Children were to be seen not heard. Prior to marriage, young single women in the 50s and 60s did not go out to public places such as restaurants unless accompanied by a man. In order to circumvent this restriction, I developed many friendships with gay men at this time in my life so that we could have fun going to outdoor patios without the sexual undertones of being with heterosexual males.
As stated earlier, there was no social safety network. Often men simply left women and children to fend for themselves if they didn’t feel like staying. In such cases, like that of my British grandmother, women often had to give up their children for others to look after.  According to census data in the early 1900s, single mothers were as common then as today.

6. The “Lower Classes”
As I recall, the lower classes were simply considered inferior – not good for anything but heavy work. Successive waves of immigrants brought in as servants, or to populate the west, or to build the railway etc, along with the mentally challenged, the poor, the disabled, the Catholics, were all looked down upon by those more privileged. A huge portion (possibly as much as 25%) of the general population ended up in “insane asylums in the late 19th century.
Today, in the 21st century, it is hard for us to understand just how rigid and hard this culture was for everyone. Many immigrants had left poverty, starvation, and hard lives in the old country in search for better lives and they often really struggled to make ends meet. Having to deal with the inevitable discrimination was yet another burden.
Things didn’t really start to change until the sixties and seventiesSocial services were gradually introduced so that today the disabled, the mental challenged, and women lead very different lives. And, with the creation of the birth control pill in the sixties, and most recently, with the “Me Too” movement, women have been gaining more and more respect although they are still not paid the same as men. With the election of President Kennedy, the social disapproval of Catholics was finally broken. And with Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s multi-cultural ethic, the previous discrimination against anyone other than the British such as the DPs (displaced persons –  many of whom came from Eastern Europe as refugees after WWII) were no longer considered inferior.
Now, for the most part, French, Italians, Greeks, Spanish, Dutch, Lithuanians, Estonians, Ukrainians, Jews, East Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Central and South Americans and others are no longer considered lower lifeforms although discrimination against many, especially Blacks, Indigenous and Muslims is still notable. Blacks particularly are in the awkward situation of sometimes being considered privileged colonizers along with settlers of European ancestry. Understanding these hardships and complexities can perhaps shed a bit of light on why the general populace seems to have cared so little for the plight of Indigenous people over the years and  how that lack of concern has led to inadequate government policies.

7. Indigenous Peoples
Blindness towards problems facing Indigenous peoples has continuedthrough successive governments throughout the centuries. The disregard for treaties, the support for the war against Riel, the opposition to legitimate land claims, travesties perpetrated by the RCMP, the terrible lack of funding for education, health and housing issues, the appalling “National Crime” that residential schools became, are all unconscionable and need to be dealt with. It is only with the recent “discovery” of the mass graves, that ordinary people seem to be waking up to the vast injustices Indigenous peoples have suffered and continue to suffer today. It has to become a real election issue.

8. Looking Forward
As stated at the outset, this is a personal account — included in the hope that other “settlers” reading it might come to a better understanding of the underlying beliefs that would have influenced Sir John A, as well as our own ancestors and consequently ourselves. Many of us grew up believing that setter culture was monolithic and generally superior. But settler culture was, and is, not monolithic. Inevitably many settlers and their children have felt disconnected from one another in deep ways because they grew up in totally different cultures with very different dreams, values, and expectations. We all have scars. We all want to belong somewhere. For each one of us those scars can run deep. However, it is also true that those hardships pale when compared with the cultural genocide experienced by Indigenous peoples.
Looking to the future, it is my sincere hope that we can become more open and empathetic to the pain endured by our Indigenous friends and neighbours through the years and that they, in turn, can develop a better understanding of where we have come from. Hopefully, the best elements of all our cultures can come together for the future of the planet in fulfillment of the Seventh Fire Prophecy where Indigenous peoples and allies from all races come together to enact a new age of healing and rebirth.

9. Thanks Eric Gagnon for Two Great Reads with Pics:

This is a really fascinating piece on that old dye company on Orchard  St.
And here is yet another wonderful piece on the National Grocer’s Building.

10. Reminder: Save our Trees Exhibit at the New Kingston Community Arts and Design Space
What: Exhibit “Save Our Trees”
“1800 Trees, a wetland, natural shoreline, and wildlife are threatened by development on the former Davis Tannery site. Come and tour the site through photos – plus poems, prose, and posters celebrating trees and nature – our climate crisis allies.”
Who: Created by No Clearcuts in Kingston!
Where: 75 Princess St. at the new Kingston Community Art and Design Gallery
When: Exhibit open now Tuesday – Fridays, 11 am – 5 pm daily. Closed Sundays and Mondays
Vaccine proof, masks, and social distancing required
Facebook Page – Grandmother Oak on River Street:
Video on Grandmother Oak on River Street

11. David Dossett’s Latest Exhibits
As you know, we are very proud of the fact that David Dossett of Martello Alley fame, got his start in arts displays following his participation in our first “On the Wall” Street Art Festival in 2014.
We are always happy to support his arts efforts. 
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb, 4 – Yona Harvey.
‘Art on Ice’ pivots, uses new technology: Froid’Art, or ‘Art on Ice’ is local artist, David Dossett’s creation.
When the pandemic wouldn’t allow the outdoor public art festival take place as usual, Dossett found an innovative way allow it to occur in a new format.
Artist David Dossett of Martello Alley in Kingston had a problem: how to showcase art encased in a 300-pound block of ice without encouraging people to come out and congregate, due to the pandemic.
The solution presented itself after he looked at innovative kinds of store displays.
“This year, I ordered two blocks [of ice] from a factory north of London, Ont. and I had a special transparent film from Lux Labs [to project the art]. We put that in the block of ice,” Dossett said.
The special film — typically used in store windows for animated displays — can be used to project an image of whatever artwork Dossett chooses to profile. He brings the 300-pound ice on a truck to a selected location, lights the ice from below (or behind), projects the image, takes pictures through a special 360-degree virtual program called Matterport, and uploads the images to the website.Matterport is typically used for real estate showings online, and its “3D cameras and virtual tour software platform [digitize] buildings and automatically create 3D tours, 4K print quality photos, schematic floor plans, videos and more,” according to the Matterport website.
“The ice is lit from below, [so it] looks like it’s in glass,” said Dossett. The ice he uses needs to be clear for the images to show well and has to be frozen in a specific way. It is the same kind of ice that ice sculptors use, he explained.
Froid’Art or Art on Ice, can now be viewed virtually through a 3D program typically used to view real estate showings.
The project, called Froid’Art or Art on Ice, is made possible this year through funding from RTO 9 South Eastern Ontario, a regional tourism organization.
“I really want to underline the fact that this is the first year I’ve gotten funding… I want to thank all the sponsors and the public who supported me,” Dossett said.
The concept of putting art inside an ice block came to Dossett in the winter of 2014. His wife would go for walks after dinner, and noted that, after Christmas, people turned off their holiday lights and everything was gray and depressing. This led them to imagine an art show that could be viewed as people walked past.
After discussing it with his wife, Dossett thought of a solution to the possibility of art work being vandalized when it’s outdoors: to freeze it. He promptly ordered a block of ice, with instructions to freeze art inside it, and it arrived New Year’s Day, 2015.ithout thinking the process through thoroughly, Dossett admitted he encountered a host of problems: for one, the ice couldn’t be delivered to his residence, as it had to be delivered to a loading dock. Quatrocchi’s Specialty Foods in Kingston agreed to have it delivered there.
He eventually managed to put the ice block in front of his house, figured out a way to light it from below, set it on a pallet, and padded snow around it to hide the pallet.
“We turned the light on, and it was ‘Wow!’ It was like angels [singing]. People would see it as they went by. I ordered 12 more and it became a big thing. It was so cold that year that it lasted till mid-March,” recalled Dossett. Over the coming years’ winters, Froid’Art became something of a Kingston staple, bringing local arts to the streets, and warmth, brightness, and colour to the dreariest months of the year.
Artist David Dossett transformed Martello Alley from a nondescript back alley to a thriving artist gallery and a tourist attraction  And while Froid’Art has been around for a number of years, it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
Organizers were told they could not hold the event unless they posted guards around the ice blocks or put the blocks out but did not tell anyone. “[It was] unacceptable… we couldn’t give credit to artists, we couldn’t tell people where [the ice blocks] were. So, we cancelled it last year.”
Next year, he hopes the event will be in-person. For now, he said, “people can see Froid’Art virtually, any time of day, from anywhere in the world.”
To view Froid’Art, and to find out more about Dossett’s other projects featuring local artists, Martello Alley and Martello on Brock, visit

12. Mr. Whiskers and Residents Take Note:  Changes to Animal By-Law
Received from the City, January 27, 2022 
On Jan. 1, “paw-sitive” updates to the City’s Animal Bylaw took effect, strengthening measures to elevate standards for animal care in the community and keep residents safe.
“For many people, pets are part of the family,” says Kyle Compeau, Manager of Enforcement Services. “These new measures will clarify responsibilities for pet owners in the community to ensure that everyone, including their pets, feel safe and comfortable in Kingston.”
Updates to the Animal Bylaw include:
– A list that includes all species allowed for domestic ownership;
– New regulations for keeping racing pigeons;
– Additional measures to protect the public from potentially dangerous dogs;
– Banning the tethering of animals on public property during extreme weather events and instituting time limits for unattended tethered animals at other times;
– Prohibiting the advertisement of the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits, to discourage unethical breeding practices;
– Expanding enforcement to permit issuing fines for unlicensed dogs in dog parks;
– Permitting Administrative Monetary Penalties for Animal Bylaw violations; and,
– Expansion of at-large regulations to include Livestock
– City introducing Safe Surrender Program
The Municipal Fee Assistance Program (MFAP) has been temporarily expanded to include a Safe Surrender Program. Eligible residents can apply for a voucher of up to $2,000 to assist with costs related to the extraction or removal of the non-permitted species and associated re-homing costs. Veterinary costs would not be covered and a surrender agreement will be required between the owner of the prohibited species and the surrender agency.
The City will assist residents in contacting an appropriate agency to help with rehoming and residents seeking to rehome a non-permitted species through MFAP would not be fined. The Safe Surrender Program will be in place until the end of 2022.

Low-cost spay/neuter clinic: great news for responsible pet owners… news for pets
On Jan. 20, City council approved funding for the Kingston Humane Society (KHS) to establish a high volume/low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Kingston. This additional funding will allow the KHS to purchase additional equipment necessary to conduct safe, high-volume spay/neuter surgeries. This program will be an additional support, in conjunction with the current MFAP spay/neuter voucher program and will provide an additional 240 spay/neuters per year with further dates expected as the clinic progresses. This will significantly help community-wide efforts to reduce pet overpopulation and unwanted animals, ensuring animals can find a home.
The clinic is expected to be in operation within 2022. Residents interested in learning more can call the City’s Customer Experience team at 613-546-0000.

Learn about responsible pet ownership: The City’s responsible pet ownership program provides guidelines for residents to ensure that Kingston pets are happy and healthy.
– License your pet: dogs, and cats within the urban part of Kingston must be licensed. This helps the City to know how many pets are in Kingston and can help you get reunited with your pet if they get lost.
– Spay/neuter your pet: spaying or neutering your pet helps to control the number of animals, keeping pets out of shelters and off the streets.
– Prevent your pet from becoming a threat or nuisance: while you know and trust your pet, others might not. Please be considerate of others when taking your pets out in public and follow the Animal Bylaw.
– Get your pet ethically and from a credible source: Do your research before getting a pet and, when you do, get your pet from a recognized rescue, like the Kingston Humane Society, or a licensed breeder.
Learn more about responsible pet ownership and the Animal Bylaw online at:

13. City’s Home Energy Retrofit Program
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb 1, 2022 – Jessica Foley
The City of Kingston’s Home Energy Retrofit Program will be receiving $15 million through the Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative. The program aims to reduce pollution and help Kingston homeowners save money.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Kingston and the Islands, Mark Gerretsen, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and Joanne Vanderheyden, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), made the announcement, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022.
“Upgrading our homes to be more energy-efficient will get us a long way to our climate targets, help Canadians save money on energy costs, and create good jobs in our communities,” said Wilkinson. “Our government is pleased to help homeowners in Kingston and across Canada cut pollution from their households.”
‘Better Homes Kingston’ will be a local improvement charge (LIC) financing program to encourage homeowners to undertake “deep-energy retrofits,” according to the FCM. In addition to the primary LIC model, the City will encourage utilities providers to offer on-bill financing and third-party lending from financial institutions as the program grows over its first few years to enable a long-term scale-up, according to a media release. This program is expected to retrofit 25 to 50 per cent of Kingston’s pre-1991 single-family homes by 2040, achieving an average carbon-reduction impact of 30 per cent per home.
According to the release, Better Homes Kingston is planned to open in March and will be available to eligible properties across the City starting in the late spring of this year.
“Demonstrating leadership on climate action is a priority for the City of Kingston, and our community,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “As Mayor, I am proud to see our City partnering with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Government of Canada to help more Kingstonians realize renovations that will make their homes more cost and energy efficient. Home improvements achieved through this program will lower community greenhouse gas emissions, and bring us closer to our target of achieving carbon neutrality no later than 2040.”
The Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative is offered through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF), delivered by FCM, and funded by the Government of Canada. According to the release, CEF helps communities of all sizes implement innovative local financing programs that directly help homeowners cut their GHG emissions, make their homes more energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable, and create local jobs and keep the local economy moving.
“It is through these investments, delivered through the Green Municipal Fund, we are exploring new ways for Canadians to make energy-efficient choices that support local economies and contribute to Canada’s climate goals,” Gerretsen stated.
This initiative is one of the ways GMF continues to build on its 20-year record of supporting transformative environmental initiatives at the community level, according to the release. The Government of Canada has invested $1.65 billion in the GMF since its inception, enabling municipalities to support projects like this that leverage local resources to drive innovative solutions.

14. Third Crossing Update

15. Addition of Micro-Credentials to Mayor’s Innovation Challenge
Received from the City, Jan 24, 2022
The Mayor’s Innovation Challenge, in partnership with the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC), will provide micro-credentials for local higher education students participating in the Challenge. 
“We’re so excited about this development as we see the amazing amount of thought and work that goes into each and every pitch,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “Thanks to our strong partnership with DDQIC, we’re able to offer the opportunity to earn a micro-credential to all of our student entrepreneurs for their efforts. We hope to attract even more innovative pitches as we approach the competition on March 4.” 
A micro-credential is a certification of assessed learning associated with a focused set of competencies delivered through a short program. These credentials verify the learner’s skills, can be sent to prospective employers or displayed on professional sites, like LinkedIn.  
“Students will grow their entrepreneurial mindset by learning new strategies to develop and test solutions to real problems, and immediately apply these skills to a team-based, real-world MIC proposal. We are proud to partner with the City to offer digital badges that students can leverage to innovate in their future careers,” says Prof. James McLellan, DDQIC’s Academic Director. “Everybody wins.”  
Students who want to earn a micro-credential while they craft their proposal will be required to complete 20 hours of online innovation skills-training through the Queen’s OnQ learning management system. This is open to all Kingston post-secondary students who are working on a challenge proposal. To sign up, complete the registration form by Jan. 28.
You can access the registration form by pasting this link into your browser:
About the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge 
The Mayor’s Innovation Challenge calls on individuals or teams of students from Kingston’s major post-secondary institutions to develop innovative proposals that contribute to making Kingston a better place to live, work, and play.  
Students are invited to develop a two to three-minute video proposal that presents an innovative project that meets the following criteria: 
The proposal can be implemented in the city and contributes to the quality of life of residents; and/or  
A proposal that leverages emerging technologies or develops new innovations to enhance the delivery of municipal services.  
The creators of the top submissions, selected by the Mayor and senior city staff, will be invited to present their proposals at the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge Virtual Event on Friday, March 4, 2022 to a panel of leaders with expertise in municipal government, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Find out more at

16. Community Fridge for Those in Need
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb 2, 2022 – Zoha Khalid
Parry & Penny’s Community Fridge, a fridge/pantry located outside the Family News Stand in the LaSalle Plaza in Kingston, is stocked daily with grocery items – and those in the community are welcome to take anything they need. 
The community fridge started when Saeid Tahamtan saw a television program on community fridges in another region and realized how such a simple idea could help the community in need.  
“After we did some research on the idea,” said Merola Tahamtan, Saeid’s wife and co-patron of the Community Fridge, “we learned many communities had this idea of a community fridge. It seems this idea was started in Europe. We felt this was an ideal time to set up our own community fridge with the ongoing pandemic, job losses, and the increased cost of living,”  
Saeid immigrated to Canada in 1989 from Iran, and said his family was welcomed into the Kingston community, and many were there to help the family settle in a new home. He still remembers that kindness with gratitude. Merola works at Limestone School Board as an Educational Assistant and sees how many families struggle to provide adequate food for their children, she shared. 
“No family should struggle to feed their family,” Saeid added. 
The fridge was named Parry & Penny’s Community Fridge to honour the two matriarchs in the Tahamtans’ families: Parry is Saeid’s mother and Penny is Merola’s mother. Their mothers’ kindness, compassion, and willingness to help others, such as neighbours and the community in general, have always been a positive influence on everyone in the family and community, the couple shared of the inspiration behind the name.
The couple runs the Community Fridge by stocking the fridge and pantry themselves and welcoming support from the community. The motto of the community fridge is ‘Take what you need, give what you can.’ Anyone who is struggling is welcome to stop by the fridge/pantry and take what they need. And many community members have stopped by to drop off donations or asked how they can help.
Those who want to help ensure that the needs of the community are met can drop off donations to the Family News Stand at 506 Days Road. Staff there will inspect and sort donations to be placed in the fridge/pantry as per KFL&A Public Health regulations. Saeid also said that he can pick up items from donors’ homes upon request.
At this time, the community fridge is accepting fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as any pre-packed products in original containers/packages such as canned vegetables, tuna, peanut butter, jam, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, pudding/jello, bread, granola bars/protein bars, individually wrapped snacks, frozen juice, cereal, and personal hygiene products. 
“We are so thankful for the community we live in,” said Saeid. “We believe in the community helping the community. We have been in contact with schools who reached out to us wanting to run donation drives, as well as local businesses who want to contribute.”
Updates from Parry &Penny’s Community Fridge can be found on their Instagram and Facebook accounts, or they can be reached via email at The Parry & Penny’s Community Fridge is located within the LaSalle Plaza at 506 Days Road in Kingston’s west end.

17. Kingston Canadian Film Festival
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb 4 – Zoha Khalid
Kingston Canadian Film Festival’s first-ever hybrid edition ready to launch
In its 22nd year, the Kingston Canadian Film Festival (KCFF) will welcome film aficionados through a hybrid model, with virtual and in-person screenings of each film running simultaneously from March 3 to 13, 2022. 

The virtual screenings will take place on the KCFF digital platform, as they did last year, and the in-person events will be held March 3 to 5 at the Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts and The Screening Room.  
“Our hope is that we’ve provided something for everyone, no matter their [pandemic] comfort level,” said Marc Garniss, KCFF Director. 
The in-person screenings will be capped at 50 per cent seating capacity to comply with provincial health guidelines during the pandemic. A Q&A will accompany all the films, with the filmmaker attending both in person and virtually. 
This year, 75 films are shortlisted out of 300 submissions for the festival, and around 30 of them will be included in KCFF’s feature film program. Beyond that, the team at KCFF also looked at other films created but not directly submitted to the festival that made total submissions close to 500 this year. 
Garniss shared that this year’s lineup highlights include Drunken Birds and Scarborough, which will be playing in person at The Isabel on Friday, Mar. 4, 2022. Drunken Birds was Canada’s submission to the Oscars this year, and Scarborough seems to be popping up on ‘Best Of’ lists everywhere. Both films appear on the Toronto International Film Festival’s annual ‘Top Ten’ list. “We should have guests in attendance for both films for a post-show Q&A,” said Garniss.
A sampling of just some of the films on offer at this year’s Kingston Canadian Film FestivalAll My Puny Sorrows, Carmen, Drinkwater, and Drunken Birds. Peace By Chocolate, Run Woman Run, Scarborough, and Wildhood.
He went on, “Just getting festival fans back in the same room is a highlight for me. But I don’t want to downplay the digital event, which still feels special. We’ll have post-show Q&As for all digital screenings, and it’s exciting to know that people are watching around the world. We had viewers from all but one continent last year.”
Another vital program within the festival is dedicated to locally-produced short films, which feature filmmakers with close connections to Kingston. 
“It’s one of the more exciting programs,” Garniss said, “because you always end up seeing some of Kingston in the films, things like local landmarks and people that you may know or at least recognize. None of our feature films are made by Kingstonians, but tons of cast and crew have connections to our area, like Peter Raymont and Janet Wells.” Raymont and Wells are both Queen’s alumni, and producer and director (respectively) of the film Sleeping Warrior.
The lineup of films is available on the KCFF website, and tickets will go on sale Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. There are a total of eight in-person screenings this year; those interested in the in-person events should buy tickets early, as additional screenings are unlikely to be added.  
KCFF was founded in 2001 as a charitable cultural organization that provides access to Canadian film in a dynamic festival setting. For the past two years, the festival was screened online due to the pandemic, but organizers hope to begin returning to the original format starting this year, moving forward while following the health and safety protocols. 

18. Province Invests over 1/6 M in Wastewater Infrastructure in H,L&A Communities
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb 1, 2022 – Jessica Foley
Wastewater infrastructure in the Hastings-Lennox and Addington region is getting a substantial boost from the provincial government.
The Ontario Government is investing $1,698,792 million in three Hastings-Lennox and Addington communities to build, upgrade and rehabilitate storm and wastewater infrastructure to protect the Bay of Quinte and eastern Lake Ontario.
The City of Belleville, which is shared by H-L&A and the Bay of Quinte riding, is receiving $664,815, the Town of Greater Napanee is receiving $527,480, and Loyalist Township is receiving $506,497 to address the aging state of their storm and wastewater systems infrastructure to make them more efficient and reliable, according to a release from MPP Daryl Kramp’s office.
“This is very welcome news for these communities and demonstrates our government’s commitment to protecting Ontario’s Great Lakes, local waterways, and communities from pollution and toxic overflows,” said H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp. “We’re a very water-centric riding, with three major rivers feeding into the Bay of Quinte, and many inland lakes that attract boaters, swimmers and year-round fishing — our government is committed to protecting them for current and future generations.”
According to the release, wastewater and stormwater from urban areas can add pollutants such as phosphorus to lakes and rivers, resulting in negative impacts on water quality and causing harmful algal blooms. In 2020, 597 tonnes of phosphorus were discharged into Lake Ontario by sewage treatment plants, with over 80 per cent of this discharge in the western part of Lake Ontario.
“We know that in many municipalities across Ontario, critical storm and wastewater infrastructure are under pressure,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Our government is investing $25 million to build the storm and wastewater infrastructure necessary to ensure cleaner water and tackle the pollution and toxic overflows facing communities across the province.”
In addition, the Ontario Government is investing $10 million to help 20 municipalities upgrade sewage monitoring and public reporting capacity, as well as launching a public consultation and releasing a draft guidance document to improve wastewater and stormwater management and water conservation in Ontario, according to the release.
The province is also seeking input on a proposed planning guide to help municipalities and other planning authorities with land use and infrastructure planning.
NOTE: It would be nice if Kingston could avail itself of this funding too to deal with storm sewer issues in both the Inner and Outer Harbours.

19. Scientists race to gather winter data on warming Great Lakes, WANE 15, February 3, 2022.  What’s happening in the Great Lakes during those long, frigid months when they’re often covered partially or completely with ice? A casual observer — and even experts — might be inclined to say, “Not much.”  Researchers think more is going on in the bitter depths than previously believed — including activity influenced by climate change.  To learn more, teams will venture onto the frozen surfaces of all five lakes this month to collect water samples and other information from below the ice.

20Great Lakes Ice Extent Reaches 44.4%, WOODTV, February 5, 2022.  Great Lakes ice extent reached 44.4% on Saturday, the highest extent this winter and very close to the maximum ice extent of the winter of 2020-21, which was 45.8%.  The average maximum ice extent on the Great Lakes (53.1%) is usually reached between mid-February and the first week of March

Wishing you some happy first signs of spring,
Mary Farrar
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour