Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour
Many of you have already signed the No Clearcuts in Kingston petition asking the city to reconsider its policy re clearcutting trees for developments. If you have not already done so and are interested here is the online version: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-bryan-paterson-and-city-council-stop-the-kingston-clearcut
Also sincere thanks to Pat Hodge and Travis Canadien for their generous donations this month. Very much appreciated.
LOCAL EVENTS AND ISSUES OF CONCERN
1. River First YGK Community Picnic this Friday evening in DF Park.
2. Local Indigenous Concerns about Cultural Appropriation of Sacred Fire
3. Save the Trees and Turtles Tours every Saturday – Weather Permitting
4. City Outreach re camping in Belle Park – Zoom meetings June 20 + 22
5. Styrofoam Report from Third Crossing
6. Blue Marble Walking Tours
7. Heartwarming Turtle Protection Story
8. Letter of Opposition to Proposed King St.Waterfront Development
9. Kingston Police Warn of Smishing Scam Involving Delivery Companies
10. Turtles Kingston Making it Easier for Locals to Save Turtles
11. Matt Rogalsky’s Wildlife Recordings at the Davis Tannery Site
12. Katarokwi Indigenous Art & Food Market Returns Sundays at Market Square
13. Fish Regulation and Consumption Advisories
14. City of Kingston Installs ‘seabins’ to Clean Plastics from Lake Ontario
FROM FURTHER AFIELD
15. Average Rent in Kingston Continues Year Over Year Rise
16. Illegal Turtle Trade: Why I Keep Secrets
17. Municipal Natural Asset Initiatives
18. Seaway Shipping off to a Good Start
19. 24 Things to Know about the Great Lakes
20. Great Lakes Ice Coverage Declines as the Climate Warms
21, Green Marine Releases its 2021 Performance Report
LOCAL EVENTS AND ISSUES OF CONCERN
1. River First YGK Community Picnic
What: Community Picnic to celebrate the Great Cataraqui River and the last day of school.. Hang out with friends, meet neighbours, and learn about groups working to protect river health.
When: Friday, June 24, 5-7 pm
Where: Doug Fluhrer Park in Kingston’s Inner Harbour
Who: Tom Savage and Kevin Davidson musicians. https://www.tomsavage.ca/
NOTES: Bring a picnic, kites, frisbees, games, a blanket or chair.
2.Local Indigenous Concerns about Cultural Appropriation of Sacred Fire
Received from the Kingstonist, June 20, 2022 -Chris Vilela.
Note: Consider subscribing to the Kingstonist for local news coverage. Very nominal fee.
Appropriating Culture and Traditions: Planned Event Not Supported by Local Indigenous Groups
Local Indigenous groups have distanced themselves from a planned far-right gathering in the Kingston area, stating that the event amounts to appropriation of Indigenous culture, and that they are not affiliated with the event, nor do they support it.
“The actions that are taking place on our Territory (Kingston, ON) is unacceptable. For those who are participating in these actions, the Indigenous Community does not support the setup of a sacred fire in Kingston in support of the ‘Freedom Convoy’. The Indigenous Community did not give consent for these ceremonial practices and [they] could cause more harm to who we are as First Nations/Algonquin people,” said the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council, Tipi Moza, Kingston Indigenous Language Nest, and other additional Indigenous organizations in a joint press release.
“First Nations and Non-Indigenous people should always remember protocol and that permission from us [is] needed to proceed,” the letter continued. “This letter is to serve notice that the Kingston Indigenous Community does not support or endorse these actions. If these actions continue, we have no other choice but to support the Kingston Police in their efforts and actions to stop this at once. Once again, we do not support the freedom convoy or any other movement that compromises the safety of our community members.”
Mutual Aid Katarokwi also issued a statement regarding the unsupported event. “June 21st will be celebrated by many as National Indigenous Peoples Day. Meanwhile, past participants of the far-right convoy attacks are on the road again, this time travelling to the ‘greater Kingston area’ to unite at a ‘Sacred Fire Festival’,” the group said.
While organizers of the planned event alleged that they had strong ties to Indigenous communities, when Indigenous groups pressed them on specifics about these ties, they received no response.
“For those who don’t know, Sacred Fires are a revered cultural Ceremonial Practice in many Indigenous communities that have specific Protocols,” the statement continued. “Local Indigenous people with culturally grounded Knowledge stewarding this Tradition have questioned ‘freedom’ advocates on the specifics of which Indigenous community was organising the event and had invited them. Far-right organisers replied ‘I am First Nations’. Further inquiries resulted in a ban and the deletion of all evidence of these questions,” Mutual Aid Katarokwi said. “While the ‘Sacred Fire’ event’s website vaguely references Indigenous Traditions and Beliefs, it does not detail which Indigenous groups have organised the event.”
Mutual Aid Katarokwi said that local Indigenous peoples, and those monitoring the tactics of the far-right, are concerned that “this event may be appropriating Indigenous customs and de-centering Indigenous peoples from stewardship of their own Sacred Protocols, to the benefit of the far-right and the profits of event promoters. These concerns could be addressed and discussed if contact could be made with the community starting and tending the fire. But again, this has been denied.”
Kingston Police have said that they are aware of an organized group descending on the City of Kingston either today or tomorrow for an “event”. “This event has been organized by members directly and indirectly involved in previous protests held in Ottawa earlier this year and involves an undisclosed number of individuals travelling from as far as British Columbia and Alberta to participate,” Kingston Police said in a statement.
“Police have become aware that event organizers are reportedly travelling to the Kingston area to participate in a gathering to celebrate the Summer Solstice with a ceremonial sacred fire in recognition of noted Indigenous significance, on what will be National Indigenous Peoples Day. The Summer Solstice, which is held on June 21st, is the longest day of the year and throughout history and across continents, has been a time for Indigenous cultural celebration,” police said in the statement. “However, after reaching out to Kingston’s Indigenous community members, police have ascertained that they have no awareness of this planned event nor did they invite this group of individuals to attend their own planned ceremonies,” Kingston Police continued.
“As a result of learning this information, Kingston’s Indigenous community, out of an abundance of caution, did not follow through with weekend ceremonies leading up to June 21st, and expressed some concern for how this group will affect their planned celebrations for National Indigenous Peoples Day. Police have assured the local Indigenous community that all measures will be taken to ensure that local celebrations are not disrupted,” Kingston Police said.
Kingston Police also said that they wish to assure the community that they “are working with external policing partners and local resources will be in place to respond to this organized event and will address all safety issues that may arise as a result.”
Editor’s Note: On Facebook a number of Indigenous community members have commented that the groupsmentioned above are speaking without having consulted broadly with local Indigenous community members.
3.Save the Trees and Turtles Tours every Saturday
What: “Please join us as we walk and talk about issues from the Square to Wellington St. and along the Doug Fluhrer Park waterfront to the Tannery Grandmother Oak.” Volunteers from Turtles Kingston will tell us how they are protecting the turtles and the environment. Other relevant experts will provide info about Kingston’s Industrial Heritage. Tours last approximately one hour.
Who: No Clearcuts in Kingston! Community Group
Why: Be informed about Inner Harbour issues esp. the proposed Tannery Development.
Where: Tours begin at Market Square and proceed along the Inner Harbour to the old Tannery site.
When: Saturdays starting at 1 pm weather permitting.
Note: Look for posters and colourful umbrella.
4. City Outreach re camping in Belle Park, June 20 + June 22
The City of Kingston staff will be holding two Neighbourhood Chat Zoom meetings regarding the Encampment Response Pilot Project. This is our chance as neighbour’s to the Integrated Care Hub and Belle Park to express our concerns and to try to persuade City of Kingston Staff to choose a different location to allow their six-month camping pilot project. It seems as though Belle Park is one of the locations on their radar. There are many other parks in the City of Kingston and not all individuals currently located in Belle Park require the services offered by the Integrated Care Hub. The more participants that we have, the more of chance we have to hopefully stop them from choosing Belle Park and the location for those wishing to camp.
Please take the time to sign up for one of the two meetings.
Get Involved Kingston – https://getinvolved.cityofkingston.ca/encampment-response
June 20 – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – https://us06web.zoom.us/…/tZwrd-usrT0pE9zpfrH8cmlO…
June 22 – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – https://us06web.zoom.us/…/tZIkdO2qrDgsH9xYhcfMFHuXbCbsH…
5. Styrofoam Report from Third Crossing Team
Received from the Third Crossing Team June 20, 2022
“Last week we successfully removed 100% of the problematic curtains (1500m/1500m), with the final segment removed on Tuesday, June 14. Please see the progress chart below, current as of June 17. We also secured the remaining installation and commenced the clean-up of the interior cells. This week we will be undertaking the ‘final’ shoreline clean-up activities, which are generally limited in effort required (based on our surveillance). Map of stated clean-up
As many of you know, Carl Hanna has been documenting the disastrous quantity of Styrofoam, particularly the very tiny bits, for over a year now.Finally he has been granted a meeting with the Third Crossing Team to express his concerns. We will report back to you after this meeting. If you are interested in receiving personal updates, you can contact the Third Crossing team directly. You can also have a look at Carl Hanna’s Facebook page.
6. Blue Marble Inner Walking Tours
Walking with blue marble | Water front Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite
7. Heartwarming Turtle Protection Story
Earlier this June a wonderful and unexpected series of events led to turtle protection. Thanks so much to Councillor Lisa Osanic for her long-standing concern and for this June 3 report
“We have an awesome cop on the KPF- Julie – who watched over this turtle today at my building (Wellington and Place d’Armes) and then brought the turtle to the water when done. James gave me a turtle nest protector after work. I drove back down and put it over the turtle eggs at 7pm.
I have to tell you that it was all serendipity. I saw the turtle at 9am elsewhere in the parking lot almost at one side of the building. At 12 noon, I went to check on her. She wasn’t there at that side. I walked around to the front. Nothing. Had to go to city hall. Walking back from city hall, James recognized me on his bike from afar. He came over. I asked him where he was heading. He said to look for a turtle at OHIP. I said that’s where I work and we went over together. A guy was lying on the grass where the turtle had initially been heading to at 9am. If he wasn’t on the grass, we likely never would have found the turtle. But the guy WAS there and we asked him about the turtle and he said yes he knew where it was and brought us to the cops where Julie happened to be waiting for a prisoner’s day in court to finish and saw the turtle come by. James said he had a nest protector. I live near James. I told Julie I would check back in at 2pm. 2pm we had a downpour. 2:30pm, no Julie and no turtle. I texted James. James said that Julie texted him just before the storm that the turtle was done and she carried it to the water.
A LOT of serendipity in there!!! I was blown away, even now just recounting the story!!!”
8. Letter of Opposition to Proposed Waterfront Development at King St. West
“Dear Mayor and Council,
I am frankly astonished that this proposal should even be considered seriously.
I am in favour of more housing in Kingston, AFFORDABLE housing that does NOT encroach on others and has no hazards inherent in the construction.
I wish this to be considered as an official document in any related meetings, discussions, and decisions.
I can do no better than the discussion points already circulated, copied below:
1. Many Kingston people believe that the opposition to this development is only/mostly from the ‘rich, privileged’ residents at Commodore’s Cove, but there are many, many other ripple effects for Kingston residents. Plus, the residents [there] are largely just normal retirees!
2. The construction would be taking place, not in our neighbourhood, or on our street or beside our building, but right through the middle of the east and west sides of the townhouse property. Most of the construction activities would take place within 20 to 40 metres of existing homes.
3. It is also a serious concern that all of the gas, electrical, water, and sewer utilities, as well as the communications utilities, are under the two parking lots, which will become the staging areas for massive amounts of supplies and heavy machinery/equipment.
4. The estimated construction period of three to five years is, of course, an extremely long time, and the most painful portion of the project for immediately adjacent residents; however, other neighbours will be heavily impacted by it, as well, because of the disruption on King Street West and other streets that lead to it (heavy traffic, noise, dust, disruption of utilities, drilling, hammering, air breaks, back-up beepers, car line-ups, etc.).
5. There is a real risk that the vibrations from the sheet piles and other piles will cause damage to foundations and other structural elements of existing homes.
6. There are roughly eight apartments, condos or hotels on the Kingston waterfront to date, which have required major rehabilitation (upwards of $100,000, paid by condo owners, apt. owners, building companies, and/or insurance companies), e.g., Frontenac Village, Holiday Inn, Confederation Hotel (formerly Howard Johnson), Delta Hotel, Harbour Place at 185 Ontario, Prince George Condos, Admiralty Place, and 1000 King Street. In keeping with their locations at the water and land border, the common factors in the instability problem are rough waters, annual flooding, shifting soil, and extremely high winds, which will be multiplied in this instance, because the pier is surrounded on three sides by water. Why would the City allow yet another highrise in this environment?
7. It is noted that these very same factors played a significant role in the collapse of the Champlain Towers in Florida, along with other contributing factors related to architecture, construction methods, and municipal inspections (as per the series of Globe and Mail articles since the collapse). A $997 million settlement through multiple agreements was awarded to [affected] families in May 2022, and other legal cases are still pending.
8. When the initial project was proposed to the townhouses’ then-owners in 1988, it consisted of one building with a height of 16 storeys; now it is two buildings, and they will be 24 and 25 storeys high, once the utility floors and the parking floors are factored in.
9. Nearby buildings will be hugely impacted by shadowing from the buildings, more so in the winter months, when everyone needs every bit of sun possible.
10. The integrity, suitability, and accessibility of the Waterfront Trail are seriously compromised in the proposed plan, consisting of a very narrow path which is directly beside a 10 foot drop to the water on one side, and car traffic on the other, and which includes stairs and tight corners.
11. These two towers will house 343 units that are currently offered for sale as luxury condos and ROI’s (Return on Investment); it is doubtful if luxury owners or Air B&B clients will be taking the bus or bicycling to their destinations, as touted by City planners; each unit will have at least one, and likely two cars, thus the increased traffic and noise will be felt by everyone along King Street West.
12. The City, the province of Ontario, and all of Canada require affordable housing in a very urgent way. These two luxury towers are part of the plethora of luxury housing (condo or apartments) in the City of Kingston which have competed, and will continue to compete and to take available resources away from the affordable housing priority: financial and grants, construction materials, time of City staff, time of City Council, construction workers, etc. Neither luxury units or ROI’s will do anything to relieve the affordable housing problem in Kingston.
9. Kingston Police Warn of Smishing Scam Involving Delivery Companies
Received from the Kingstonist, June 15, 2022 – Jessica Foley
“With an increase in online shopping, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic,product deliveries are being targeted by scammers, according to Kingston Police. Home delivery may “add a degree of convenience” to consumers, but scammers have recognized an opportunity to capitalize on this trend with smishing scams.
Through smishing, or SMS phishing, scams, cybercriminals impersonate popular home delivery companies, such as Canada Post, DHL, Purolator, etc, with fake failed delivery text messages that include a link to reschedule the delivery, according to a release from Kingston Police.
“The link included in these fake delivery notifications leads to a phony look-alike website,” the release reads. “On the website, you’re asked to provide your personal and financial information to reschedule the delivery. Unfortunately, if you fill out and submit this form, you won’t be receiving any packages. Instead, you’ll be delivering your sensitive information right to the scammers.”
Kingston Police provided these tips to protect yourself from similar smishing attacks:
- Think before you tap. Are you expecting a package? Have you signed up for text notifications? Is this like notifications you’ve received before from this company?
- Never tap on a link in an email or text message that you were not expecting. Instead, open your browser and enter the official URL for the website you wish to visit.
- To verify the legitimacy of a delivery notification, contact the company by phone, email, or their official mobile app. Do not use the phone number or link sent in the text.
10. Turtles Kingston Making it Easier for Locals to Save Injured Turtles
Received from the Kingstonist, June 2, 2022 – Taylor Tye
“Turtles are on the move, and they won’t let anything get in their way! As they come out of their deep winter sleep and prepare for mating season in the early days of June, turtles are roaming around, nesting and searching for their mates. These pre-historic slow movers have been around long before roadways or vehicles. Still, every year turtles are severely injured or killed due to collisions caused by these man-made hazards to their habitats.
According to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, there are eight native turtle species, seven of which have been listed as species at risk by both the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO). Five of these species are found in Kingston. Turtles are a keystone species, meaning other species in an ecosystem depend on their presence; they are also considered wetland custodians, since they eat a tremendous amount of bacteria-producing carrion and decaying vegetation, helping to keep waters clean, according to Turtles Kingston.
In an effort to conserve the turtles, Turtles Kingston has made it easier to help our shelled friends in distress by setting up temporary holding stations across the city.
What are temporary holding stations, and how do they help local turtles?
Turtles Kingston, working in partnership with over seven veterinary clinics, has set up stations across Kingston where folks who find injured turtles can bring them. While Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre (SPWC) is the nearest location for turtle rehabilitation, it’s a bit of a trek for some, as it’s located in Napanee. Partnering with vets from the east, central and west ends of Kingston greatly increases the chances of an injured turtle’s survival.
“If someone finds a traumatized turtle, they can bring them to the stations,” said Tara Bauer, the new director of Turtles Kingston, in an interview. “Not everyone can take the half hour to drive [from Kingston to Napanee], so stations were created as a way to offer somewhere [closer] you could bring an injured turtle. We try to cover the majority of the city… so that we’re never more than 10 minutes away from a station… Once they’re brought there, we get our volunteer drivers to drive them from our temporary stations to Sandy Pines, where they can get treated.”
For quick reference, a map of the turtle station locations can be found here on the Turtles Kingston website.
Who drives the turtles to Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre?
The turtle trauma program is entirely volunteer run, including those driving the turtles from Kingston to SPWC. “There are so many turtle warriors in Kingston,” said Bauer, expressing appreciation for her team. “These people are very passionate about turtles, but they are all doing this on their own. We’re grateful that there are so many amazing people out there that are willing to do this, especially at a time when the gas is so expensive.”
Bauer also expressed thanks to Trailhead outdoor equipment store: “They provided some funding to us in support of our trauma program via their Eco Grant.”
Interested in applying to volunteer with Turtles Kingston as a driver? Do so on their web form, here.
What should you do if you spot an injured turtle?
According to Bauer, if you see an injured turtle, here are the steps to get it to safety or a holding station:
- “Firstly: safety. Individual safety is very important. You’re going to find the injured turtles on roadways, so it has to be safe for you to stop and… get the turtle.”
- “When you do find an injured turtle… make sure you know exactly where you are. Because once that turtle has been rehabilitated, it’s going to be released back to where you got it.”
- “Place it in your car, preferably in a small plastic bin with holes in the top. If you don’t have that, it can go in your trunk or a mat in your back seat. Keep it contained so that it doesn’t fly around.”
- “We recommend you drive without any radio or sound on. They’re already in a traumatic experience. We don’t want to add to it.”
- “Drive as cautiously as you can to one of our participating vets at those temporary holding stations. Once you’re there, they’ll ask you to fill out a form asking where you found the turtle and your contact information.”
A more in depth explanation on how to handle turtles, including snapping turtles, can be found on the Turtles Kingston web page, here.
A few words from ‘turtle warrior’ veterinarian, Dr. Ryan Llera of the participating Kingston Veterinary Clinic:
Dr. Ryan Llera, who also serves as Kingstonist’s Wizard of Paws, said, “I was approached by the previous coordinator of Turtles Kingston, Mabyn Armstrong. We at Kingston Veterinary Clinic were the first ones to sign on board and have appreciated the chance to give back to the wildlife community… I have always loved the idea of working with reptiles… I received additional training from the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) and am a turtle first responder through their training to be able to provide initial triage treatment, including pain management, fluid therapy, and shell stabilization.”
“If you see an injured or even dead turtle, pick it up (safely of course) and bring it to one of the [turtle holding stations] around Kingston. Even dead turtles may be carrying eggs, which can be harvested and incubated to be able to hatch. If someone finds a turtle [that] is not injured, they can help it off the road in the direction the turtle is headed, but they should not relocate the turtle any further” he shared.
11. Matt Rogalsky’s Wildlife Recordings at the old Davis Tannery Site
Matt has been doing a wonderful series of recording of wildlife at the Tannery. Samples:
▶︎ “Tannery Lands” and Orchard Marsh: Afternoon Birdsong and Stream June 1 2022 | Matt Rogalsky (bandcamp.com)
Kingston’s Orchard Street Marsh and “Tannery Lands” – a sonic record of its biodiversity | Matt Rogalsky (bandcamp.com)
12. Katarokwi Indigenous Art and Food Market Returns on Sundays
Received from the Kingstonnist June 10, 2022 – Emily Elliott
The only market of its kind in Eastern Ontario has returned, just in time for National Indigenous History Month.
While the Katarokwi Market wasn’t a regular feature last market season, it will now be a weekly fixture at Springer Market Square for the 2022 market season
After a great success last fall, the Katarokwi Indigenous Art and Food Market is reopening for the 2022 season. Located in Springer Market Square, the market will highlight Indigenous artists, artisans, and musicians. Visitors will be able to shop and watch live music on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning in June through to September 25, 2022.
Featured market vendors include Bougie Birch, a 100 per cent Indigenous-owned and -operated retail showcase of Indigenous artists; Martin’s Bead and Craft Supplies; Flint and Maple Beadwork, featuring handmade beadwork by local Katarokwi and Kanyen’kehá:ka artist, Liv Rondeau; Cadue Fine Foods; and W.C. Creatives, an Indigenous-owned boutique that also has a storefront at Kingston’s Fort Henry.
Georgina Riel of Riel Cultural Consulting, who is cohosting the market and was an integral part of its establishment in 2019, is excited for its return and encourages Kingstonians to visit. “It’s extremely important for all residents of Kingston and the surrounding area to get to know who the First Peoples are, you need to know the first history,” Riel says.
“We want people to come out and shop and meet who our vendors are, and come in and really enjoy our presentations, but it’s [all of] our responsibility to be accountable of being a local resident and getting to know [local history],” Riel adds.
The market is an excellent opportunity for artists to showcase their talent and hard work. “To have a storefront, that’s a big thing. That’s a big opportunity of being in that privileged space of being a business owner, and not many Indigenous People have that opportunity,” Riel says.
B Heaslip, a local Indigenous singer-songwriter, is excited to be performing at the market. This will be one of their first live performances, and they are looking forward to playing some of their original songs.
“It’s all very exciting to me because this will be the first chance for me to show people that I really have developed as a singer and writing music… I am really thankful for the chance to do it,” they say.
Heaslip has recently delved into their Indigenous roots, and they are “grateful to learn the many different blessings,” they say, referring to the teachings they’ve been able to engage with from other local Indigenous Peoples.
“I’m very lucky, because I’ve had a chance to talk to, keep company with, experience, and appreciate the Indigeneity of a wide group of Kingston’s Indigenous community, and I’m deeply grateful for the lessons that I’ve learned and the connections that I’ve made,” they added.
“I’d say I’m a humble and grateful student, much the same way I am with music,” Heaslip says with a joyous tone.
Riel also expressed her gratitude for the City of Kingston’s enthusiastic engagement with National Indigenous History Month. “What each municipality does speaks to their involvement with the [Indigenous] community,” Riel says. “The City of Kingston, in particular, the cultural Departments and the Parks and Recreations people, have always had a really good grasp and involvement of having conversations with [the Indigenous] community, doing collaborations and consultations, and making some really important changes.”
Riel also says that National Indigenous History Month “is significant because it’s always been an opportunity to celebrate, but it’s also been an opportunity to acknowledge and honour people that we have lost for many reasons.”
During National Indigenous History Month, Kingstonians have a wide range of opportunities to learn and engage with Indigenous culture and history. Lake Ontario Park is the site of a living public artwork, Manidoo Ogitigan (Spirit Garden), the Agnes Etherington Art Centre is home to an extensive Indigenous art collection, and many more events and locations can be found on the Tourism Kingston website.
Dancing and drumming at the Katarokwi Indigenous Market in 2021. Photos by Sam Crosby via Riel Cultural Consulting.
According to Tourism Kingston, Kingston/Katarokwi is located on the traditional lands of the Huron-Wendat and the Mississauga of the Ojibways. To the local Indigenous Peoples, this city has long been known as Katarokwi, meaning “a place where there is clay.” In Anishinaabemowin, it is “Gaadanokwii.” In Mohawk, it is “Ken’tarókwen.”
Kingston continues to have a strong Indigenous presence and voice as caretakers of the land and water. Kingston/Katarokwi acknowledges the everlasting presence of Indigenous nations, the Métis, Inuit and other First Nations, and is grateful to reside in and visit this territory.
13 Fish Regulation and Consumption Advisories
Received from Blue Fish Canada, June 14, 2022
It wasn’t that long ago that governments actually printed the fishing regulations each year along with associated fish consumption advisories. As we all moved online, governments reduced and, in some cases, eliminated the printing of fishing regulations altogether, but at what point did they stop including the consumption advisories? I’m asking as I’m concerned that anglers may have concluded that “no news is good news”.
The fact that anglers are expected to consult fish consumption advisories prior to consuming, or hopefully even the actual harvesting of fish, is concerning. So much so that in 2017 and again in 2018 I raised the issue of fish health at several water quality consultation exercises that took place in Ontario. The exercises were led by the Healthy Great Lakes Initiative upon which I have the pleasure of serving as an advisor. The over-80 water quality experts that we consulted had much to say about all manner of issues impacting the state of the Great Lakes waters that constitute 20% of the world’s freshwater. Interestingly though, there was far less awareness of how the many issues raised impact the different fishes native to the Great Lakes. This led to Blue Fish Canada being asked to conduct stakeholder consultations on the topic, which was followed by the establishment of the Great Lakes Fish Health Network for which I serve as Chair. Link below to read the stakeholder report:
For the past several years the Great Lakes Fish Health Network has been digging into fish consumption advisories. Everything from “toxins of concern”, testing methodology, the validity and reliability of test results, and how information is being shared and with whom. Reports and academic articles are in the process of being written so I won’t get into the details of what we are learning here just now. Let’s just say that the data collection, analysis and sharing systems in place are less robust than one would expect.
One of the researchers involved in tracking down answers about fish consumption advisories is Neil Dempster. Neil’s efforts resulted in the Ontario Government releasing data used to set consumption advisories across Ontario, and what we learned from this alone was more than interesting, it’s concerning. Neil Dempster is our guest on this new episode of The Blue Fish Radio Show. Link below to hear what Neil uncovered.
The importance of knowing of and applying fish consumption advisories was underscored during my recent participation in an Ottawa Region Walleye League event on the opening day of Walleye season on the Upper St. Lawrence River. This is a significant day for many of us anglers, and it’s not unusual for boats to be launched and in position to begin fishing at 12:01 a.m. The walleye being caught are mostly all large. My personal best that morning was 69 cm in length (27 inches). All my other fish were over 50 cm in length – a great day on the water by anyone’s standards.
The harvest regulations for the Upper St. Lawrence River on the Canadian side, as set by the Ontario Government, allow for up to four Walleye to be harvested between 40 and 50 cm in length; none of the fish I caught that day fit the slot. The same Government responsible for setting harvest regulations recommends that people eat no more than 16 meals per month of Walleye caught in the area that measure 30 to 55 cm in length, and no more than 12 meals per month of walleye measuring 55 to 60 cm in length. Discrepancies between harvest regulations and consumption advice aside, that’s a lot of walleye dinners. Further, for those deemed “sensitive”, defined as women of child-bearing age and children under 15, Ontario recommends eating no more than eight meals a month of Walleye caught in the area that measure between 30 and 45 cm in length, and no more than four meals per month of Walleye measuring between 45 to 60 cm in length. That’s still one-to-two meals per week. The New York State government on the other hand, while allowing for an angler to harvest up to five fish measuring over 38 cm in length, advises that men over 15 and women over 50 consume no more than four meals per month, and that men under 15 and women under 50 consume no more than one meal per month. Why the New York state consumption advice is significantly more restrictive than Ontario’s for the exact same fish living in the same stretch of the St. Lawrence River would suggest that either one of these governments is using faulty science-based health thresholds, or they’re testing for different toxins.
Based on my conversations with fellow anglers that morning on the St. Lawrence, while everyone seemed to be following the harvesting regulations, not many of the anglers who were harvesting fish expressed concern about following fish consumption advisories. Not wanting to sound alarmist, I was reminded of a time not so long ago when people first started to hear about the possible health risks associated with smoking. In the end, it took more than the simple sharing of scientific evidence to get people to stop smoking, and yet as many as 13% of Canadians continue to use tobacco to this day.
According to the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, the Great Lakes represent the most valuable freshwater fisheries in the world. Some even suggest that these fisheries are being underutilized. Even so, I’m concerned that people who purchase these fish for resale in supermarkets or restaurants might also be forgetting to include fish consumption advice on their labels or menus’.
I’m not advocating that people stop fishing for fish that can’t safely be consumed – fish aren’t cigarettes. Besides, such a move would pretty much shutter the Great Lakes freshwater fisheries valued annually at $8.5 billion. What I’m hoping is that anglers start asking questions about why such an important and valuable food source is toxic to one degree or another. Also, to demand answers about what is known about how toxins are impacting fishes in general – their welfare as well as their health.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Great Lakes fishes were free of toxins and their consumption risk free? That’s how it used to be. Let’s all agree to make that our goal – toxin-free fish across Canada. Let’s not wait for the other boot to come down on the health of recreational anglers and indigenous fishers. Time to speak up for fish and the health and socio-economic sustainability of our communities.
The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News
Learn about Lake Ontario’s fisheries and how a new National Marine Conserved Area will protect them / Nature Canada
The Great Lakes support the most valuable freshwater fisheries in the world. According to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), the value of the combined Great Lakes fisheries is almost $9 billion, of which approximately $250 million is from commercial fishing. Protecting natural ecosystems by establishing a marine protected area in Lake Ontario can help ensure the health of the fisheries for the long term.
14. City of Kingston Installs ‘seabins’ to deal with Plastic Pollution
The City of Kingston has started a new pilot project that aims to clean up the city’s waters in Lake Ontario.
Two ‘seabins’ have been installed — one at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour and another at Confederation Basin.
The two seabins act almost like a floating trash can, skimming the surface of the water.
“It’s incredible, and if you can picture it, it’s a bit like a Roomba on water,” says Amy Gibson, manager of recreation services.
These seabins collect macroplastics and microplastics from the water and keep the plastics trapped so marine staff can take them out.
FROM FARTHER AFIELD
15 Average Rent in Kingston Continues Year Over Year Rise
Received from the Kingstonist, June 17, 2022 – Jessica Foley
The uncertain housing market has resulted in a drastic increase in real estate costs across the country. This, in turn, has caused rental costs to skyrocket from coast to coast to coast as the country pulls itself out of the pandemic way of life.
Here in Kingston, the average rent for a two-bedroom home has increased almost 19 per cent year over year for the past three years, according to the latest National Rent Report compiled by Bullpen Research & Consulting for Rentals.ca.
The report is based on monthly listings from Rentals.ca, and includes basement apartments, rental apartments, condominium apartments, townhouses, semi-detached houses, and single-detached houses. The report analyzes year-over-year changes across a three-year term, from May 2019 to May 2022. In this article, the term ‘year over year’ will refer solely to those changes across that three-year term
Year over year, the average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom apartment in Kingston was down 5.2 per cent, but up 18.9 per cent for a two-bedroom, according to the report.
The average rent for all Canadian property types listed on Rentals.ca increased 3.7 per cent from April to May this year, which, the report found, was the largest monthly increase since May 2019.
Image via Rental.ca.
“After relatively flat rents on average in Canada during the first four months of the year, rents rose sharply in May, as interest rate hikes dissuaded would-be buyers from leaving the rental market,” said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting. “The typical seasonal increase in demand in the spring, coupled with renewed interest in more expensive downtown properties in Vancouver and Toronto, also contributed to the rise in rents nationally.”
According to the report, the average rent for all Canadian properties listed on Rentals.ca was $1,888 per month in May 2022, which represents a year-over-year increase of 10.5 per cent. This also represents a month-over-month increase of 3.7 per cent, the largest monthly increase since May of 2019.
The report ranked 35 cities by average monthly rent in May for both one-bedroom homes and two-bedroom homes. Kingston came in at 26 on the one-bedroom home list, at $1,380, and 21 on the two-bedroom list, at $1,953.
Unsurprisingly, Vancouver and Toronto top the list as the most expensive cities to rent either a one or two-bedroom home.
“After a couple of months of stagnation in the market following a rapid rise in rates in the second half of last year, the Canadian rental market experienced the largest monthly increase in average rents since 2019,” the report concluded. “The average monthly rental rate for single-family homes continues to rise, moving from $2,609 in May 2021 to $2,881 in May 2022, a rise of 10 per cent annually, and slightly above the market peak in 2019. Anecdotal evidence shows bidding wars, and tenants renting homes, sight unseen.”
“Uncertainty in the ownership housing market, and the delay in delivering new supply due to supply-chain delays and labour stoppages, should continue to put upward pressure on rents into the fall of this year in the face of increased demand.”
Read the full report here.
16. Illegal Turtle Trade: Why I Keep Secrets
Thanks so much Richard Aaron
The illegal turtle trade: Why I keep secrets (theconversation.com)
17. Municipal Natural Asset Initiative
Thanks so much Caroline Davis for links to two informative studies on how municipalities can account for natural assets.
Possibility for the City of Kingston to Consider?
|Subsidized project 1: starter stream – build your natural asset management roadmap|
Local governments starting their natural asset management journeys applied to MNAI’s recent call for expressions of interest, and within just weeks, 20 of them filled the first two of four sessions!
Thanks to funding from Infrastructure Canada through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), these local governments pay only $500 to participate in a workshop with MNAI to assess their natural asset management practices, determine where they would like to get to, and develop a high-level roadmap with short-to-medium-term steps to attain their goals.
Local governments wishing to save a spot for the third session (January 2023) or the fourth session (April 2023) can submit expressions of interest now. Please click on this link for more information on eligibility and to apply. Note this is a starter stream for local governments just beginning to build natural asset considerations into their asset management practices.
Subsidized project 2: intermediate stream – levels of service & climate risk efforts
Coming later in 2022, MNAI will be inviting local governments that have made some progress on natural asset management to participate in workshops to define levels of service and build natural asset considerations into their climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Legal primer: the changing legal landscape
Also coming later in 2022, MNAI will be developing a legal primer on natural assets management. The primer will help local governments make sense of the many new court cases that relate to nature and natural assets. Click here for more info on natural asset management training.
18.St. Lawrence Seaway shipping off to good start, The Western Producer, June 2, 2022. Canadian Great Lakes ports saw a 26 percent decrease in prairie grain shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway coming into this spring but as the war in Ukraine rages on and other coastal ports remain jammed, the seaway route is ready to pick up the slack. Potash shipments have nearly doubled, with April alone seeing 90,000 tonnes being exported from the Port of Thunder Bay, Ontario, according to the Chamber of Marine Commerce, the highest monthly total since 2007. Julia Fields, communications director for the chamber, is quoted.
19From shipwrecks to an underground salt mine, 24 things to know about the Great Lakes, GoErie.com, June 2, 2022. Twenty-four facts you might not know about the Great Lakes are revealed in this article.
20. Great Lakes ice coverage declines as the climate warms, NPR, June 9, 2022. The last bits of winter snow and ice in the Great Lakes melted in late May, according to a NOAA-GLSEA (Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis) tracker that uses satellite data to produce real-time daily estimates of Great Lakes ice coverage. Before it melted, scientists collected samples of ice, snow and frosty lake water in a coordinated scientific event called Winter Grab, a research effort to assess the winter conditions of the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair. More than a dozen teams of scientists from the U.S. and Canada participated in the February inaugural event. The shared results will provide the first systematic baseline of winter conditions on the Great Lakes, giving important clues about how climate is affecting lake ecosystems as a whole.
21. Green Marine releases its 2021 performance report, Green Marine, June 9, 2022. Green Marine, North America’s leading environmental certification program for the maritime industry, continues to steward greater sustainability for an increasing number of companies. More than 170 ship owners, terminals, ports, shipyards, as well as the Canadian and U.S. Seaway corporations, now voluntarily assess their annual environmental performance beyond regulatory compliance and have it independently verified to be certified Green Marine participants as the program marks its 15th year.
So that’s It for June.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer ahead
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour