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March Newsletter 2020

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,

Counting down to our amazing Algonquin canoe build this April! Here is a picture of Chuck Commanda, Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper, at work building a canoe this past July at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park. He is amazing! Also thanks to Mark D. Read/Ontario Parks for the picture and for others you can find on the Murphy’s Point Provincial Park Facebook page. Have a look – but you will have to scroll down to July!

So exciting to be working with Mireille LaPointe, Ardoch Algonquin Chief, Chuck Commanda Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper, MIchelle Webb, MicMac/Acadian and Dave More, Maritime Historian.

If you want to touch base with me with any concerns you have, please do not reply to this e-mail.  The connection doesn’t seem to work.  Please contact me at instead!  I will try and sort this out for the next update as well.

Otherwise, lots of other stuff to keep us busy!
1) Water Level Concerns:  Meeting March 4
2) Algonquin Birch Bark Canoe Build Update
3) Third Crossing Update
4) City’s 2019 Annual Report
5) Mayor’s Task Force on Housing
6) City’s New Climate Leadership Initiative
7) Kingston’s “Smart City” Initiative
8) Concerns about Homestead High Rises in Kingston’s downtown
9) Kingston Water Quality Reports for 2019
10) Blocked Sewer Line?
11) Attracting Talent to Kingston?
12) Willliamsville Development Update
13) Great Lakes Cruise Ships?
14) Upcoming Forest Therapy Walks
15) Land Acquisition: Frontenac Arch Biosphere
16) Alexander Henry in Thunder Bay
17) Recent Short Pieces on Water Levels
1) Water Level Concerns:  Open Meeting March 4
What: “United Shoreline Ontario” Meeting to address high water levels.
When: Wed, March 4, 6 pm
Where: McArthur College, Queen’s West Campus, corner Union and Sir John A.
More Info?
For further info on recent short articles about the issue, check out the last item on this newsletter (#17) – Recent Short Pieces on Water Levels
2) Algonquin Birch Bark Canoe Build Update
Plans are coming along swimmingly.  Looking forward to the partipation of Indigenous students from the Limestone Board’s River Program, Indigenous cadets from RMC and Indigenous inmates from Joyceville Minimum and Henry Trail Halfway House.  We are truly happy that some of Kingston’s Indigenous students will be able to take part.  And we were especially pleased to be able to make the connection with Corrections as Chuck had said that he had done traditional basket making workshops at Joyceville and they had really wanted him to return to do a canoe build but they didn’t have the money. Perhaps this was just meant to be.
The build will take place from April 20 – May 3 in Doug Fluhrer Park in a tent.  All welcome.

We have received $15,000 from the City of Kingston’s Heritage Fund to pay Chuck’s fee.  We have also applied to RTO9 (Regional Tourism Ontario, District 9) and the Community Foundation for additional funding for expenses associated with both the build and the Launch Weekend June 13/14.  That weekend will feature Indigenous programming including Saturday presentations from Algonquin chiefs, Paula Sherman and Mireille LaPointe as well as Bob Lovelace, adopted Algonquin. Lisa Cadue’s amazing venison chili, Kenny’s wonderful shoreline nature walks and opportunities to get out on the water in an authentic birch bark canoe with Ontario Recreational Canoeing Association certified students will also make the day both educational and fun.  Sunday’s programming is still a work in process.  We hope it will include a coming together of the broader Kingston Indigenous community as well as activities for families.  If you are interested in being involved in the decision making in any way you are absolutely most welcome.  Contact Michelle Webb –
Stay tuned…..
3) Third Crossing Update

4) City’s 2019 Annual Report
The 2019 Annual Report highlights the City of Kingston’s progress on the 28 goals aimed at advancing Council’s 2019-2022 strategic priorities. It offers updates on these efforts along with 15 key stories and 33 infographics to provide an overview of the City’s work.
“I am proud of the progress that we have made so far, and I look forward to the challenges ahead as we continue to work together to grow our community,” says Lanie Hurdle, Chief Administrative Officer.
The stories featuring 2019 work in the five strategic-priority areas include:

  • Demonstrating leadership on climate action:
  • New Community Centre to be near “Net-Zero”
  • Working Group on Climate Action identifies quick wins in ICI sector
  • Developing a strategy to address Kingston’s climate emergency
  • Increasing housing affordability:
  • Planning to pursue intensification
  • City and KFHC open new affordable housing at 645 Brock St.
  • Vacancy rate increases
  • City to provide up to $18 million for 90 affordable units
  • Mayor’s Task Force on Housing starts its work
  • Improving walkability, roads and transportation
  • 2019 Road Improvement Projects map
  • Implementing the Active Transportation Master Plan
  • Launching Safe Routes to School Program
  • Strengthening economic opportunities:
  • Promoting inclusion and diversity in the workplace
  • Attracting talent
  • Fostering healthy citizens and vibrant spaces:
  • Beautifying Kingston’s waterfronts – and shoring them up
  • Working toward Reconciliation in Kingston

Progress on Council’s 2019-2022 strategic priorities is also regularly tracked at

5) Task Force on Housing Report to Council March 3
Received from the City, February 27, 2020
On March 3, Kingston City Council will receive the Report, which offers 40+ wide-ranging recommendations all aimed at increasing the supply of housing – and especially affordable housing – in Kingston.
“These recommendations come at an important juncture. The housing landscape is rapidly evolving and we have an opportunity to implement strategies that are innovative, practical, and will ensure we maintain healthy housing levels into the future,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “I look forward to carefully examining these recommendations and incorporating them into our city-wide practices.”
While Kingston’s rental vacancy rate recently increased to 1.9 per cent, it still falls short of the healthy 3 per cent mark – and a recent Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Report also shows that local average rents went up 7.9 per cent last year. 
“Responding to our housing affordability crisis has many paths which should be pursued. I strongly encourage anybody interested in Kingston housing to read the whole report. Fulfilling many of the recommendations will require sustained and detailed work. It will NOT be checking off boxes on a list,” says Ted Hsu, Co-Chair of the Task Force.
He highlights that an economic analysis shows that building affordable housing requires public funding or philanthropy.

Task Force Co-Chairs, Ted Hsu and Councillor Mary Rita Holland, will present the Report to Council on Tuesday: A Foundation for the Public Good: Recommendations to Increase Kingston’s Housing Supply for All is available as part Council’s agenda.
The 70 page report is sorted into the following themes (please note that the listed recommendations have been shortened for this release):

Partners in Building Affordable Housing:
Consult with the development community to set up a program to mentor not-for-profits creating affordable housing.

  • Assist community organizations to pursue funding for affordable housing.
  • Encourage the Federal and Provincial governments to divest surplus lands suitable for affordable housing.

A Housing Culture:

  • Establish a Housing Working Group aimed at reaching a 3-4 per cent vacancy rate.
  • Encourage creation of secondary suites in single-detached houses.
  • Welcome innovative, cost-saving and climate-friendly construction methods.
  • Acknowledge city-wide housing needs in making local planning decisions.
  • Housing Initiatives for Indigenous People
  • Commit resources to align with the National Indigenous Housing Strategy.
  • Require mandatory Indigenous cultural competency/proficiency training for City staff and City-funded agencies.
  • Prioritize Indigenous health and social equity, cultural concerns and social history in all supportive/housing-related plans.
  • Look at including culturally supportive housing for Indigenous seniors as part of the Indigenous cultural centre.
  • Regulations to Help Supply Housing
  • Complete the City-wide harmonization of zoning bylaws.
  • Allow for residential density to be added to commercially zoned areas.
  • Accommodate increased density along arterial roads bordering otherwise low-rise neighbourhoods.
  • Encourage low-rise, accessible multi-unit dwellings in neighbourhoods with single-detached homes.
  • Support the planning and building and enforcement departments in addressing workload.
  • Fast-track affordable housing projects.
  • Incentives to Build and Subsidies to Afford
  • Use Rental Housing Development Viability Analysis to inform policy.
  • Consider a Community Improvement Plan to encourage affordable housing.
  • Seek to incentivize the creation of smaller rental units without hampering the ability to respond to current market demand.
  • Quantitative Knowledge of the Housing Market and the Quantity of Housing
  • Plan to reach and sustain a 3-4 per cent vacancy rate.
  • Make specific responses to specific housing sectors.
  • Research how demolitions and renovations affect housing stock.

Quality and Sustainability:

  • Apply appropriate capital resources and best practices to upgrade and sustain the quality of affordable housing stock.

The Task Force, has sought to identify recommendations that:

  • Address barriers to developing the housing supply.
  • Offer tools and incentives to stimulate investment in housing supply.
  • Can be applied city-wide.
  • Encourage increased supply in a diverse range of housing.
  • Complement the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan.
  • Have benefitted from community consultations, stakeholder submissions and briefings and studies.

6) City’s New Climate Leadership Division
City Council declared a climate emergency last year and has made demonstrating leadership on climate action one of its five strategic priorities.
The City’s new Climate Leadership Division was created last month to focus on leading and supporting a number of climate actions identified by Council in its Strategic Plan. The division was created by reallocating existing, budgeted staff positions in the corporation and reports to the Commissioner of Business, Environment & Projects.

The projects the Climate Leadership Division is leading and supporting include:

  • introduction of a Home Energy Retrofit Program to help residents reduce their home’s carbon footprint,
  • the development of a community climate change fund,
  • the City’s Electric Vehicle Strategy,
  • implementing energy retrofit projects in City buildings,
  • the creation of a net-zero new build policy, and
  • the Climate Leadership Plan.

These projects, among others throughout the corporation of the City of Kingston, work toward achieving Council’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the City’s operations and in the community by 15 per cent by 2022.
More Info? The Climate Leadership Plan, will act as a corporate and community climate change management strategy and will help inform how we can all reduce carbon emissions. Development of the Climate Leadership Plan includes extensive public engagement that will begin in early spring 2020. Details on public engagement will be posted on the City’s Get Involved platform in early spring.
Can you reduce your GHGs by 15 per cent? See the graphic at, which outlines the City’s current climate actions, and plan to make your own changes to reduce climate-changing GHG.

7) Kingston’s “Smart City” Initiative
Worth watching

8) Concerns about Homestead High Rises in Kingston’s Downtown
Our basic concern with high rises in the downtown is that they seem to be either geared to investors to rent to students who will be away 4 months of the year, or they are geared to wealthy downsizers who may also away be away 4 months of the year.  Neither of these demographics seems to be the best option.  Block D was supposed to solve the problems of the downtown because of increased downtown residency.  We have no evidence that it solved anything.  Preliminary research to determine the downtown spending patterns of downtown condo residents is needed to determine which demographics are desired.  If downtown high rises go ahead they will truly alter the ambiance of Kingston’s downtown.  Do we really want to become more like every other North American city?  Tourists visit Kingston because of its heritage buildings and heritage ambiance- not because of its high rises.

The following was received from the Coalition of Kingston Communities concerning important process and transparency issues:

The Coalition of Kingston Communities is concerned that key pieces of information that raise financial and ethical questions about the proposal to build two towers in Kingston’s historic downtown are still being kept hidden from the public by the City.

The Homestead Land Holdings proposal involves two buildings, 19 storeys and 23 storeys, at the foot of Queen Street, requiring significant changes to the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw.  The project was turned down by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), though a new hearing was recently ordered.

Members of the Coalition Board wrote a letter to the Mayor in December 2019 to express their concerns and met with him last week.

Among the issues raised by the Coalition is the fact that Council approved the project in August 2018, when it was in a ‘lame duck position’ under the provisions of the Municipal Act, whereby councils coming to the end of their terms are prohibited from committing future municipal administrations to financial outlays of over $50,000.  In this case, the lame duck Council took on the cost of renting art gallery space from the developer over a ten-year period.

The Coalition also noted that despite attempts for more information in advance of the LPAT hearings in February 2019, it wasn’t until a month after the hearings that a complete copy of the September 2018 Minutes of Settlement (MOS) between the City and the developer was available, and this was after individuals involved with the Coalition at different times requested a copy of the MOS, only to find each time that they were given an incomplete copy.

‘You can imagine our reaction to getting, over and over again, a document with a blank page where vital details about the deal should be,’ said Coalition Chair Christine Sypnowich.

The full MOS, all 103 pages, clearly shows that the City is committed to pay Homestead $278,500 plus utilities over 10 years for the unstaffed and unfinished art gallery space.  This financial liability was never articulated in the final public report to Council (Info Report 18-343) in September 2018 and the full MOS was never appended to the report.  Rather, the staff report left out key facts.  The Planning Director’s witness statement for last year’s LPAT hearing also did not mention the additional rent cost for the City for the art gallery space.  With the re-hearing ordered by LPAT Chair Hubbard, the full MOS which contains the rent agreement must be placed before the Tribunal.

The process for calculating the community benefit was also contrary to the Official Plan which states that ‘the value of the increased height and density is appraised by the developer’ – in this case the appraisal was completed by the municipality at taxpayer expense.  Also required is that ‘the value of the benefit to be provided is assessed compared to the increased value to the developer, so that there is an equitable relationship between the established value of the increased height and density and the value to the community’ (OP, 9.5.26h).  Despite the Coalition’s efforts to determine how the community benefit was calculated, the Planning Department refused to divulge the necessary information, so it has been impossible to determine the ‘equitable relationship’ in the Homestead deal and the basis on which a $300,000 rent reduction is a reasonable community benefit in exchange for the added height and density in the two buildings   This failure to provide full information also made it impossible to calculate the municipality’s long-term liability.

In the meeting with the Coalition, Mayor Paterson stated he ‘shared’ the concern about transparency and would investigate.  The Mayor contended he remained unaware of the particulars of the issue, despite having received the Coalition’s inquiry in December, and having signed the Minutes of Settlement with Homestead Land Holdings on September 4, 2018, on behalf of the City.

‘It looks like there was – and continues to be – a concerted effort to misrepresent the actual and true settlement reached with Homestead,’ said Sypnowich.  ‘The Mayor has a responsibility to disclose the missing information. We look forward to his response.’

Below and attached is a media release regarding concerns of the Coalition of Kingston Communities that key pieces of information that raise financial and ethical questions about the Homestead proposal to build two towers in Kingston’s historic downtown are still being kept hidden from the public by the City.  The Coalition also raises a number of other issues regarding the process of the Homestead deal.
More Info? Christine Sypnowich,Chair, Coalition of Kingston Communities – 613 583 2549, or
Jean Clipsham, Secretary, Coalition of Kingston Communities –,  613 583 6367

The Coalition of Kingston Communities is an umbrella organization of community groups working to make the City of Kingston accountable and transparent.  Since November 2015, the Coalition has been a ‘clearing house’ of concerns on City of Kingston process issues, enabling community groups to exchange information and keep each other informed.  Individuals are very welcome to participate, and our meetings are open to the public.  The CKC Board consults with participating groups (currently 21) before making public statements about process concerns and other matters of municipal administration and governance.  It is understood that although community groups from across the city share the Coalition’s mission, not all community groups will be concerned about, or agree with, all positions taken by the Board.

9) Kingston Water Quality Reports, 2019
Received from Utilities Kingston, Feb 24, 2020
The 2019 reports are prepared in response to Ontario Regulation 170 of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Ontario has strict water quality standards, which Utilities Kingston continually meets and exceeds.
The drinking water system reports detail how the systems operate. There are a series of filtration, treatment, monitoring and backup systems in place to continually supply high quality drinking water to every home and business within the urban area of Kingston.
The 2019 reports show test results for the King St. Water Treatment Plant and Point Pleasant Water Treatment Plant (serving central and west Kingston, respectively), and the Cana Water Treatment System (serving part of the Kingston East community).
Copies of the reports are now available, without charge, from Utilities Kingston at City Hall, 216 Ontario St., and

10) Blocked Sewer Line? Call before you clear to avoid serious safety risk
Received from Utilities Kingston, Feb 18, 2020
Utilities Kingston reminds residents and business owners – call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 for a free sewer safety inspection ahead of attempting to clear a blocked sewer line. 
Attempts to clear a sewer line could put you at risk of damaging a gas line that may intersect. This intersection – outside of your foundation walls – is known as a cross bore.
Motorized or water jetting equipment (otherwise known as augers or electric sewer snakes) can cause gas leaks if they run into a sewer cross bore. Call for a free sewer safety inspection before you or a plumber use this equipment.
“While new installation techniques used today ensure that new cross bores are not created, there are places where gas lines do inadvertently cross through sewer lines in Kingston. When left undisturbed, sewer cross bores do not present a safety risk,” says Karen Santucci, Manager of Service and Gas Operations, Utilities Kingston. 
Utility companies across North America began using no-dig or trenchless tunneling technology back in the 1980s as a less disruptive way to install underground utilities. On rare occasions, natural gas pipelines installed with trenchless tunneling methods may inadvertently intersect sewer service lines.
A video from Utilities Kingstonexplains more about this safety issue.
If you suspect a sewer blockage is beyond the walls of your home, call Ontario One Call and your gas utility will respond within two hours to assess the risk of sewer cross bores. They will inspect the sewer and determine whether it is safe to attempt to unclog the pipes using motorized or water jetting equipment

11) Attracting Talent to Kingston?
Received Feb 10, 2020
City wins EDCO Award for website aimed at attracting talent to Kingston
The City of Kingston has won the 2019 Workforce Development & Resident Attraction Award of Excellence for its website from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO).
“I’m thrilled that the Possible Made Here talent attraction portal was recognized with an award” says Mayor Paterson. “The portal is incredibly dynamic with a host of tools people can use to really understand what Kingston as a community has to offer. It is a shining example of what can be accomplished through community collaboration – so a big thanks to the volunteers, business owners, and  countless stakeholders that made this portal possible – proving that possible is made here!”
The City’s talent attraction portal – – was selected from 98 other entries by a panel of expert judges with experience in marketing, communications, tourism, workforce development and industrial/commercial development. 
Developed with input from two community working groups,  contributes to the recruitment of qualified individuals for in-demand jobs by showcasing the advantages of living and working in Kingston. The portal includes: job search tools, a cost of living calculator, a neighbourhood quiz and an interactive city map.
Created by the City, community partners and local employers as part of the Workforce Development and In-migration Strategy, the portal is meant to help entice talented people to apply for available jobs. The two community working groups that helped develop the website, include:
The Employment Brand Working Group, which identified the theme of “possibility” as something that resonated with our target audience. The possibility of access to nature, owning a home, short commutes and rewarding careers help attract people to Kingston.
Supported by provincial funding, the Data Analytics Working Group focused on developing tools in partnership with the Queen’s Centre for Advance Computing to make the portal unique.
Endorsed by City Council in April 2017, the Workforce Development and In-migration Strategy offers a clear path for the City to attract, develop, and retain a strong workforce. This strategy is built on cross-community partnerships and focuses on community actions that address Kingston’s current and future workforce needs.
Implementing innovative workforce and in-migration strategies is a goal under Council’s strategic priority to strengthen economic development opportunities.

12) Williamsville Development Update
Received from the City, Feb 20, 2020

“Thank you to everyone who came out to the Williamsville workshop on the 12th! Your attendance is crucial at this stage in the project and we so appreciate your continued involvement. 
For anyone who was unable to attend, but who would like to provide your input, we are sending the materials and questions for your consideration: 
       Attached is the presentation from the event. You can also access two maps that show approved and pending development in the Williamsville Princess Street corridor on the Get Involved Kingston Density by Design page. (Please scroll down the page and look under “Document Library”. Unfortunately, the digital files for the two maps were too large to send through email.) 
       Our current priority is the issues identified by the interim control by-law that expires in May. These issues include potential locations for additional tall buildings (greater than 6 storeys) in the Williamsville Main Street corridor, and the design elements of mid-rise and tall buildings. 
       We are also accepting input on other issues that will inform future work programs, require coordination with other departments, and/or items that fall outside the scope of the Heritage Act and Planning Act. 
       We are looking for responses to the following questions by March 12, 2020:

1.     Buildings along the Williamsville Main Street are permitted to have a streetwall height of 3 to 4 storeys with a maximum of 6 storeys. Buildings are permitted to be 10 storeys subject to sufficient lot depth, and this represents the form of development we’ve seen most often since these permissions were created. 
  What do you think about the permissions for 3-4 storeys at the street with a maximum of 6 storeys total? (and why do you think that?)
  What do you think about the permissions for up to 10 storeys? (and why)

2.     Look at the map showing approved and proposed developments in the Corridor. 
  Are there areas remaining that make sense to you for additional height and density? 
  Where are they, and what height and/or number of units do you think makes sense?

3.     What improvements would support your use of the Corridor? Specifically as they relate to active transportation in the Corridor?

4.     Based on what can be considered in zoning bylaws, what is important for the pedestrian experience at ground level? 
  Eg. Building setbakcs, stepbacks of the upper floors of a building, how ground floor spaces integrate with the public realm (ie. the sidewalk)

Thank you again, and please don’t hesitate to be in touch with any questions. 
Andrea Gummo, Acting Manager, Policy Planning, –, and
Sonya Bolton, Senior Planner – sbolton@cityofkingston,ca

13) Great Lakes Cruise Ships?
More cruise ships on the Great Lakes spurs environmental uneaseCBC, February 11, 2020.  Cruise ships with the popular Viking Cruises line are scheduled to dock in Windsor and other Great Lakes ports in 2022.  Good news for tourism, but not some say for the environment.  The two 200-metre-long expedition ships that will soon travel through the Great Lakes region are causes for environmental concern because of the tonnes of harmful exhaust gas emitted by cruise line and shipping vessels. However, Windsor’s Port Authority president and CEO, Steve Salmons, says these cruise ships are much smaller, are heavily regulated on the Great Lakes and burn very clean fuel.  He says the environmental impact is minimal from carbon emissions.

14) Upcoming Forest Therapy Walks
Received Jan 23
What: Sunset and Sunrise Forest Therapy Walks with Stana
Where:  Little Cataraqui Creek Conservaton Area at the sugar bush
When: Tues, March 3 from 5-7 pm sunset, and
Tues, March 17 from 7 – 9 am sunrise

15) Land Acquisition: Frontenac Arch Biosphere
I have included this because Kingston is one of only a few places on the globe that are both a UNESCO World Heritage site and part of the geological formation that is part of the Frontenac Arch UNESCO Biosphere.
Received from Ontario Nature Feb 23
Thanks to generous support of Ontario Nature members and supporters, we have been able to permanently protect three properties totalling 169 hectares (417 acres) within the Frontenac Arch area of eastern Ontario. In this week’s blog, you can meet Lorelei – one of the three new properties – and learn about its unique features and the plants and animals that call it home. 
You can read more about our expanded nature reserve along the Gananoque River in our latest blog.

16) Alexander Henry in Thunder Bay
Alexander Henry stands out in history of Thunder BayCBC, February 24, 2020.  The iconic Alexander Henry ship began its days in Port Arthur, where it was built at the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company in 1958.  For the people of Thunder Bay, the ship has been recognized as an icon of Lake Superior ever since.  Currently the Alexander Henry is located at the Pool 6 site on the city’s harbourfront where it serves as a museum, further cementing its significance in Thunder Bay’s history.  The Alexander Henry served for about 25 years as a Canadian Coast Guard light icebreaker and buoy tender, which is unusual for vessels of this kind, but technological advancements in the 1960’s quickly aged the Alexander Henry out of commission.  In 1986, the vessel was handed over to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston for preservation before it was sold to The Lakehead Transportation Museum Society in 2017.

17) Recent short pieces on Water Levels from the Chamber of Marine Commerce:
Shipping disappointed by season delay: Calls for high-water solutions that protect Seaway trade corridorChamber of Marine Commerce (Ottawa, Ontario), February 26, 2020.  The opening of the navigation season in the Montreal-Lake Ontario (MLO) section of the St. Lawrence Seaway has been delayed to April 1 to allow more outflow from Moses-Saunders dam to lower Lake Ontario water levels.  The Welland Canal will open March 24.  With little ice coverage, the MLO section of the St. Lawrence Seaway could have opened as early as March 20.  As many as 100 ship transits could have moved during that 12 days.  “We’re very disappointed with this delay.  It’s time for politicians to start working with all the affected residents, businesses and shipping stakeholders on smart, effective solutions for high water levels.  Delaying, shutting down or interrupting American, Canadian and international trade on the St. Lawrence Seaway and further damaging the economy and our nations’ global trading reputation should never be an option,” said Bruce Burrows, President and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.  “This dam is a very limited tool that does not solve this problem.  We need to work together to develop a much broader, holistic resiliency plan that looks at every avenue including flood zoning, shoreline resiliency and infrastructure investments.”  Thomas Winston, President & CEO Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Deb DeLuca, Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and Chuck Hriczak, Marine Operations Manager | Great Lakes & East Coast/ LafargeHolcim U.S., are also quoted.

Record water out of Lake Ontario, record amount right back inNNY360 (Watertown, New York), February 7, 2020. (also appeared in Brockville Recorder and Times). According to the ILOSLR board, the total amount of water released from Lake Ontario from January 2017 through December 2019 was the highest on record for any 36-month period, yet net total inflows were also the highest on record. About 85 percent of Lake Ontario’s water comes from the upper Great Lakes, which are similarly swollen, with the remainder coming from tributaries and precipitation.
Petition calls on federal government to act on lake and river levelsThe Kingston Whig-Standard, February 7, 2020. A petition from an association of residents living along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is asking the federal government to act to prevent flooding later this year.  The petition calls on the federal government to either close the seaway shipping season early or open it later in order to allow greater volumes of water to drain through the Moses-Saunders dam near Cornwall, increasing the amount of water flowing out of the system through the dam, with the aim of keeping the lake water level at 79.49 metres above sea level.

Four of five Great Lakes expected to hit record-high water levels in coming monthsMichigan Radio (Ann Arbor, Michigan), February 11, 2020.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects Lake Erie to hit record-breaking high-water levels February through May.  Lauren Fry, Technical Lead for Great Lakes Hydrology with the Army Corps of Engineers, says Lake Erie’s all-time record water level for January was nearly met last month.  “Our forecast is showing the potential for new record-high water levels during the months of February, March, April and May,” Fry said.  The Corp’s monthly water level summary says Lake Erie’s water level was seven inches higher in January of this year than it was in January 2019.  Fry says Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior will also have nearly record-breaking levels through May.

The secret savior of the US and Canada’s shared watersGreat Lakes Echo (Lansing, Michigan), February 17, 2020.  Forty percent of the border between the United States and Canada is water—the fate of which lies in the hands of about 50 people.  The International Joint Commission has about that many people.  The agency was created in 1909 by Canada and the U.S. to protect all bodies of water along their shared border.  It is guided by the Boundary Waters Treaty, which was created to resolve disputes between Canada and the U.S. over transboundary waters.  Murray Clamen, retired secretary for the commission and Daniel Macfarlane have written a book, The First Century of the International Joint Commission.  The book covers the history of the countries’ border waters, the IJC’s shift from an emphasis on water flow to ecosystem conservation and the history of the relationship between the U.S. and Canada.  The book can be downloaded for free from the University of Calgary Press.

Reactions to President Trump’s proposed Great Lakes fundingUpper Michigan Source (Negaunee, Michigan), February 17, 2020.  The Trump Administration recently came out with a proposed budget that includes $320 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  “This is money that is absolutely critical to keep the Great Lakes clean.  It’s used to clean up old toxic sites, it’s used to make sure the watersheds, where water’s flowing into the lakes, are as clean as possible.  So this is very positive,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters, D-MI.  However, Peters adds that the budget includes cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which is responsible for using the funds to clean up the Great Lakes.

So that’s it for now.
If you want to reply please use the e-mail address here below.
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour