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March Newsletter 2021

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Thanks so much to Facebook, the source of so many amazing pictures.  Nature continues to amaze.  And yes, we are connected to Nature is so many ways that we don’t even realize.  Humbling.

1. Downtown High Rises: Homestead vs. Frontenac Heritage Foundation, March 29, 2021
2. Indigenous Initiatives Underway at City of Kingston
4. Just Recovery Kingston
5. City Opens INViSTA Centre for Vaccinations
6. Celebration of Life for Robbie Cummings, Inner Harbour Drowning Casualty, Sat, Mar 6 at St. George’s Cathedral.
7. Integrated Care Hub Update
8. New Tax Info
9. Naming the Third Crossing
10. RAID Update – Have a Look!
11. Help Save Kingston’s Police Horse – Donations requested
13. March is Fraud Prevention Month
14. Local Water and Flooding issues
15. Important Planning Meeting, Thurs Mar 4 on Housing

16. Incredible Short Video of Ice Breaking Up in Lake Michigan
17. True North Aid’s Wonderful Initiatives
18. World Water Day, March 22, 2021
19. Disability Collective Performance, March 4
20. Conversations with Ted Hsu for your Input on Issues
21.Turning the Tide on Climate Speaker Series
22. Rideau Waterway Land Trust Acquiring Property
23. World’s Fastest Growing Plant. Food Security?

1. Downtown High-Rises: Homestead vs. Frontenac Heritage Foundation
Received from Kingston Local, March 1, 2021 – Jamie Swift
Do check out the Kingston Local for this feature that includes Martine Bresson’s photographs!
Around the block Again: Kingston’s Biblical Battle Plays On
The seemingly endless series of David vs. Goliath dust-ups about the fate of Kingston’s city centre continues. The argument pits deep-pocketed property developers trying to capture the moral high ground against citizen groups trying to preserve the city’s heritage legacy.
The Goliaths are trying to equate the highly desirable goal of getting more people to live downtown – fewer cars, more pedestrians, far greener than suburban sprawl – with their plans for high rise apartment towers. Even though Kingston’s planning rules promote low rise living, restricting building height.
The Davids figure that new, creatively-designed buildings can boost density while preserving the attractive character that makes Kingston an outstanding city. As recently as late February one Edmonton-based reporter, seeking to explain to envious outsiders why the city has had such success in keeping The Plague at bay felt compelled to mention its “rich history and picturesque downtown, popular for tourism.”

This month’s legal battle over inordinately high towers will take place virtually, starting March 29 and available online.
The contestants at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal are Homestead Land Holdings and the Frontenac Heritage Foundation (FHF).

Homestead is a massive landlord outfit (some 27,000 apartments) that makes the straight-faced claim that one of its “founding principles” includes providing “affordable” housing. Homestead wants to stomp all over the Official Plan by erecting 19 and 23 storey towers on lower Queen St., within spitting distance of City Hall.
Heritage boosters have cried foul, arguing that the most attractive cities boast intimate streetscapes, beckoning visitors and local pedestrians. Human scale buildings allow us to appreciate the sun and sky. Think of the market square behind City Hall, arguably Canada’s only virtually intact, 19th century town square. The Homestead scheme, if approved, would be to give us the tallest buildings downtown. One wonders which visitors arrive over the causeway, exclaiming “Wow! There’s a really tall building. Looks new. Ever neat!”
Some 18 months ago, Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal came out with a decisive thumbs down on Homestead’s lofty plan. LPAT adjudicator Marcia Valiante’s decision read in part “At the heart of this appeal is a dispute over whether the built heritage of downtown Kingston would be diminished or even destroyed if the proposed developments were approved.”
Mayor Bryan Paterson responded to the decision by telling the Kingstonist he was “certainly disappointed.” A year before that another citizen effort succeeded in convincing the LPAT to rule in favour of the downtown’s heritage character. Like Homestead, developer IN8 wanted to override Kingston’s Official Plan by building a highrise condo on the site of the old Capitol theatre site on Princess St.
“So, if this development does not go ahead, what development does go ahead?” said Paterson at that time. He sounded disappointed.
Of course, the citizen activists in each case were pleased.
These LPAT fights have been extremely costly, with the Capitol project opponents – Building Kingston’s Future in partnership with the FHF — raising money with yard sales, strawberry socials and a Great Bake Off. Full disclosure: I bought a loaf of banana-walnut bread and am an FHF member. Meanwhile, Paterson had to disclose those who supported his 2018 election campaign. Twenty-seven people each handed over the $1,200 maximum. The Mayor’s list of top donors included Homestead boss Brit Smith, controversial developer Jay Patry, the Springer interests and commercial realtor Martin Skolnick…
It’s not uncommon for citizen groups opposing this or that property development to be denounced as naysayers. Preservationists can avoid the inevitable Not-in-My- Back-Yard (NIMBY) mudslinging by coming up with alternative visions — proposing fresh ideas while opposing tired old formulas.
The dust-ups over urban design underscore Bryan Paterson’s important question: What sort of development should proceed downtown?

For environmentalist/urban designer Ken Greenberg – awarded the Order of Canada last year — Kingston’s heritage character is a legacy on which to build. Literally.
“Adding more life and activity in your downtown is desirable. But the question is how.”
He agrees with the FHF that you can have your cake and eat it. More density plus preservation of the city’s unique character.
“The proposed tower development puts that success at risk and, as my colleague George Baird has conclusively demonstrated, is entirely unnecessary.”
George Baird is unquestionably one of Canada’s most prominent architects. Formerly architecture dean at the University of Toronto,
Baird was sufficiently well regarded by Kingston officials back in 2004 when his firm came up with the Urban Design Guidelines for the North Block Central Business District, where Homestead wants to build big.

Then in 2007 Baird’s firm helped City Hall with our Downtown and Harbour Architectural Guidelines, incorporated into the Official Plan. Tall tower blocks were not part of the thinking.
Needless to say, the FHF was itself disappointed – stunned, really — when Homestead lawyers argued successfully that the original LPAT decision should be set aside. A new hearing is slated for March 29. FHF has responded with a video in which Baird explains how the towers would “damage the historical character of the town” and “indirectly put into question its future tourism potential.” Moreover, he described the decision to overturn the LPAT ruling as “extraordinarily unusual.”
The FHF retained Baird to come up with an alternative design (green, to boot….wood instead of concrete, fewer parking spaces) that would meet density requirements while significantly reducing building height. The idea was that this plan could be the basis of negotiation between the Foundation and Homestead.
According to FHF lawyer David Donnelly, the developer rejected the alternative “out of hand.”
The stakes are high. 
According to Greenberg, if Homestead has its way with the city, “you would not be getting two towers in your historic core but a wave of copy-cat developments.
Given the current workings of LPAT, the genie would be out of the bottle and it would be impossible to put it back.”
Having been around this sort of block many a time in the course of his 60-year career, Baird agrees.
“Developers are very good at saying ‘Hey, look! That guy got to build what he wanted over there. Why can’t I build one like that here? It’s very naïve of politicians to think that they’re not doing that.”
High stakes, indeed.
Oh. And follow the money.”

Indigenous Initiatives Underway at the City of Kingston
Received March 2, 2021

“She:kon, Aanii, Boozhoo, Waychaya, Kwey, Kwey, Tawnshi, Hello and welcome to the first Indigenous Initiatives newsletter from the City of Kingston. These newsletters are meant to share information and updates on the various Indigenous initiatives being pursued in partnership between the City of Kingston, Indigenous residents, organizations, communities and Nations. Many of these initiatives are related to both the Engage for Change and the Your Stories, Our Histories Projects. The City of Kingston is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation. 
Community Gathering Spaces: 
Coming out of community meetings and discussions of 2020 a next step in the path toward an interim community gathering space was identified.  That the City develop, propose and present a potential operating plan for a gathering space.  In addition, the City would continue to discuss the potential for operational and programming partnerships.
We have been pursuing this direction and are working on operational models, discussions of land access, facility uses, event booking supports, as well as interims sites and programming partnerships.  These discussions are helping to develop an actionable proposal for moving forward and with consideration of the ongoing impacts and restrictions for safety during the COVID 10 pandemic. These discussions and proposals will be brought back to the community for  consideration through community meetings in April of 2021. 
Continued Learning at the City of Kingston:
As part of Engage for Change – Phase III and as an initiative happening internal to the City of Kingston, members of the Corporate Management Team and Directors of City Departments took part in in-depth cultural awareness training on Feb 23, 2021.  This session was led by First Peoples Group and provided an opportunity for senior City staff to learn more about Indigenous culture and history and how to support reconciliation in a good way.  As a continuation of this learning, sessions with departmental liaisons will be coordinated over the next several months to build staff capacity and understanding and to capture all the work that is happening across many different areas of service delivery

Help Build Cultural Awareness:
Another initiative is the development and implementation of Indigenous History and Culture electronic training for all employees of the City of Kingston.  Currently, the City is seeking an Indigenous consultation, education, and/or training group to lead the development of this training.  The request for proposals can be bee viewed at  By clicking on the link you will be able to locate, preview and download the complete bid package listed as the Cultural Awareness e-Learning Module.  The submission deadline is March 26, 2021.
More info?  Keely Maddock at

A really super tribute to a really amazing person.

4. Just Recovery Kingston
Received from Just Recovery March 2, – Jeremy Milloy
EDITOR’S NOTE: In case you haven’t already heard about it, this is an exciting new group in Kingston devoted to a Just Recovery from the pandemic.  Main focuses are Free Transit and Community Gardens. Here is their most recent update.
“Hello again Kingston climate ppl,
I’m writing to share two projects that you can help move forward this week.
First, the city has released its climate leadership surveyThey want to hear from local residents and businesses about what kind of actions you can take to mitigate and adapt to our changing climate, and how the city can support you.
If you want support in filling out the survey, Just Recovery Kingston created a guide to responding to the survey in ways that support meaningful climate action. You can see that guide here
Second, while ice and snow still covering the earth, local ppl are helping something beautiful to spring forth – tiny forests!
Tiny forests are amazing projects – they are full on miniature forests that can be grown from seeds to maturity in a decade. Tiny forests encourage biodiversity, sequester carbon, and provide for Indigenous regeneration of culture and connection with the land. I’m so excited that people are working to create not one, not two, but three tiny forests in the region this year!
Right now, they need donations to make this a reality! Check out their gofundme page, where you can learn all about the project and support it with a donation, or share the page with others!! This project will benefit Kingston so much, everyone needs to know about it!
OK, that’s all for this week. Stay tuned for more everyday ways to help move climate action forward!
Contact Info:
EDITOR’S NOTE: Interesting video on Tiny Forests.

More Info?  JUST RECOVERY is active on Facebook, and the group is growing! If you’re on FB, please join the group. It’s a great way for members to stay in touch and discuss relevant issues and our work, and reach out to more people in Kingston who might be interested in a just recovery”

5. City Opens INVESTA Centre for Vaccinations
Received from the Kingstonist, March 1, 2021 – Tori Stafford
First COVID-19 mass immunization clinic opens in Kingston
On Monday, Mar. 1, 2021, members of the media toured the recently set up COVID-19 mass immunization clinic at the INVISTA Centre just hours before the clinic opened to the public for the first time.
Mayor Bryan Paterson and Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health, attended the tour to address the media, and both spoke with gratitude and respect for the partnership between the City of Kingston and KFL&A Public Health over the past year as the region has waged its own war against COVID-19…
“The INVISTA center, of course, was built with the idea in mind to be able to promote health and well-being of our community, and I can think of no greater purpose for promoting the health and well-being of our community than being able to be a host for vaccinations such as this,” he said.
Dr. Moore thanked Mayor Paterson for his words of support, and noted that, when he approached the Mayor about using the INVISTA Centre, a City-owned building, for the mass immunization clinic, Paterson didn’t hesitate to get the approval of Council and City Staff to make that happen. He also noted that he felt the INVISTA Centre was an ideal location for the clinic, as it is central within the KFL&A region, and is able to support both Kingston and South Frontenac at the same time.
“It is our plan that we should be able to immunize 3,000 people a day at this location, which is phenomenal. And it is part of our integrated strategy to be able to provide the most immunization at any one time for our population, if the [vaccine] supply can be met,” said Moore, adding that there will be clinics at the Strathcona Centre in Napanee, as well as the ongoing vaccination clinic at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), which is currently vaccinating healthcare workers. Once they have immunized the majority of the healthcare workers, that clinic may move on to a more convenient location for south central Kingston residents, Moore said. He also indicated there will be intermittent clinics at the W.J. Henderson Centre in Amherstview.
“So, all together, at any given time in KFL&A through our three major mass immunization clinics, we should be able to immunize roughly around 7,000 individuals. We also intend to bring on our primary care partners, and eventually our pharmacy partners. With that combination, we should be able to immunize 10,000 people a day if we’re given enough vaccines,” he said.
The mass immunization clinic at the INVISTA Centre is currently only accepting bookings for those over the age of 80, in line with the provincial directive for immunization priority (which Moore outlined at a press conference last week). Moore explained that KFL&A Public Health is currently piloting the province’s online COVID-19 immunization appointment booking tool, which has been used to send out invitations to the immunization clinic to those over 80. After a week of piloting the software, KFL&A Public Health will provide feedback to the province before they officially launch the tool later this month. He underlined that residents should not be calling Public Health, the clinic, their physicians, or pharmacies in an attempt to book an appointment. He also noted that KFL&A Public Health is providing a call service for those who do not have access to the internet or are not familiar with how to use online booking tools, and provided an update for where the region is in the vaccine rollout at this point, and a look at what’s to come.
“We’ve provided 5814 doses, and 2662 second doses, so we’re well on our way to starting to build the immunization strategy for our community, and very much look forward to providing vaccines to those over 80 in our community,”  Moore said.
“And we’ll have a multi-pronged strategy. It just won’t be at these fixed sites, we’ll have mobile sites to be able to go to vulnerable members of our community, we’ll be going to seniors apartments where they might not be as mobile and be able to come here, and we’ll be working in our rural environments as well with our family health team, so I want you to understand that we’re going to have a multicomponent strategy that would include fixed sites, primary care, pharmacies, and mobile teams to be able to meet the needs of our community very quickly.”
The tour of the clinic included a look at how residents will book into the clinic (no more than 10 minutes before their appointments, as Public Health is trying to maintain space for physical distancing), be assigned to a vaccination site, and then be observed after the vaccine is administered. The clinic will also have an area for those who are prone to reactions from vaccinations, where individuals will be able to lie down for their shots, as well as paramedics on site.
More information will be provided to the community as KFL&A Public Health moves forward during the vaccination rollout process to ensure those who are eligible to receive the vaccine are aware.
An update on case numbers:
Dr. Kieran Moore speaks to the media inside the new COVID-19 mass immunization clinic at the INVISTA Centre before it opened to the public on Monday, Mar. 1, 2021. Photo by Cris Vilela.
Moore also explained that, since Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, only one case of COVID-19 has been detected. He then went on to applaud the local community for their hard work in keeping the region one with a low case count enviable across the province.
“We had no new cases today, so I have to thank the community again for clearly adhering all the best practices, wearing a mask, physical distancing, washing your hands, and staying local and supporting local at this critical time,” he said, noting that is KFL&A Public Health’s goal to keep the local economy open and the local schools safe and healthy.
“We, as a community, are doing that. We have one of the lowest rates of infection in southern Ontario at present, so I’m very proud of our community. We’re now at 2.8 [people infected] per 100,000 per week, which is one of the lowest rates we’ve had in a very long time. And the percentage of our tests that are positive are around 0.15%, so that, again, is one of the lowest percentage of tests… in the province, so I’m proud of each and every member of our community who has to allow us to achieve that,” he continued.
“We do have two patients that are isolating that have variants of concern. There is no risk to the community at present. It appears that variants of concern are spreading and becoming more frequent across Ontario.”
Update on variants of concern
The two cases of variants of concern which have yet to be identified were clearly not picked up within the KFL&A region, Moore expressed.
“They had come from the GTA. They’re isolating. There’s no risk to the community at present,” he said, once again suggesting that those who are quick to take a bet would likely bet the variant of concern is the B.1.1.7 variant, originally identified in the UK, which is currently spreading “rapidly.”
He said the GTA, Peel, York, Simcoe and Muskoka regions are clearly still in lockdown due to this rapidly-spreading variant of concern and are currently the highest risk areas in the province.
“So please, if you have to travel, make sure it’s only for essential purposes. If you leave our region and develop any symptoms, do as our community’s been doing all along, isolate yourself, get tested and we will follow up quickly with you to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread.”

6. Celebration of Life for Robbie Cummings, Inner Harbour Drowning Victim – Sat, Mar 6.
Sophie Kiwala is organizing a Celebration of Life –
Sat, March 6, at St. Georges Cathedral. 

Here is Sophie’s message received March 2, 2021
“Kingstonians have been greatly saddened by the accidental drowning death of Robert Cummings who sadly, was without a home at the time of his passing. Due to the outpouring of grief from those who knew this kind and gentle soul, I decided to do what I could to host a community service for his family, friends, supporters and care providers. There will be a mix of online video tributes (which are being collected up until the end of the day on Wednesday), as well as a limited seating in-person service at St. George’s Cathedral at 270 King Street E this Saturday at 2:00PM. With COVID restrictions we can only host 50 people. Free tickets can be obtained through the Cathedral’s website at: More information can be obtained from my Facebook page which will be updated regularly. You may send short videos for uploading to my Messenger account.
There are a number of people who are suggesting that a GoFund Me page be set up but there are many organizations that could use the support and I do not believe that a GoFund Me page is necessary. I will be creating a post shortly that will cover which organizations supported Robbie and are in need of extra financial support. That way, all donations are tax deductible as well. Additionally, I will post where items can be donated. Many thanks for those who have been asking about this. The community compassion that has been forthcoming while Robbie was listed as a missing person and following his passing has been so heartwarming during a terribly difficult time.”

7. Integrated Care Hub Update
This is a really difficult situation for both the homeless people and  neighbourhood residents.  Of course the homeless people should have housing and help with addictions and the Integrated Care Hub is sorely needed. On the other hand, of course citizens living near the Integrated Care Hub should have protection from theft and vandalism. 
There was an interesting discussion of these issues at last Tuesday’s Council meeting.  It is not yet up on the City’s webpage but it is definitely worth watching when it comes up.
In the meantime, here is the report that was discussed. 
Received from the City, Feb 25.
An amendment was introduced by Councillor Rob Hutcison at the Council meeting increasing security patrols in the area.

“The City of Kingston is recommending that Council approve an extension of the lease at 661 Montreal St. until Dec. 31, 2021 in order to continue operating the Integrated Care Hub (ICH) and the Consumption Treatment Service (CTS).
As part of the Council meeting next Tuesday, March 2, City staff will present Council with the recommendation to extend the lease by five months, based on the ongoing urgent need to provide this 24/7 low-barrier service for vulnerable individuals who are unable to access other services.
“There is no question that services at the ICH have been and continue to be utilized by many people and that the ICH has filled an important gap in the community,” says City Chief Administrative Officer Lanie Hurdle. “Based on the data collected, in the absence of this continued service, there would be a significant increase in overdoses, hospital visits, people sleeping in the rough, and possibly an additional shelter required to meet the demand on vulnerable populations.”
The ICH has been operating at its current location at 661 Montreal St. since November 2020, as a preferred alternative to the initial pilot phase location at Artillery Park. The ICH is a partnership between the City of Kingston, HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS) and Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC).
The ICH supports clients with services that can be accessed in an environment rooted in harm reduction and trauma-informed practices. Among other things, the ICH offers counseling support and assistance, an overnight rest zone, healthy meals three times per day, and life skills such as behaviour modification workshops, self-regulation, grounding and mediation.
“It has become apparent that the challenges faced by the most marginalized individuals using the ICH are not primarily related to housing or lack thereof, but rather, that there is a major medical component of work – including mental health and addictions – that needs to be addressed in order to assist individuals in living and thriving in housing,” concludes CAO Hurdle.
City staff recognize that there are challenges in the neighbourhood where the ICH is located and have implemented additional security measures, including:
surrounding the premises with a privacy screen;
installing temporary fencing along the K&P Trail adjacent to Rideau Street; and the introduction of additional walkabout patrols in the neighbourhood that will occur throughout the day and night, seven days a week.

Staff have also completed a recent search of properties on the market that could accommodate this service, and none of the properties currently available met the required criteria.
The cost of the lease and cost of operations are being proposed to be funded through the Provincial Social Services Relief Fund – both for Phase 2 and for potential additional phases – in addition to contributions from community partners, and, as required, a contribution from the City’s Social Services Stabilization Reserve, which was established with provincial funding. Neither the lease extension nor the operations will have any impact on municipal property taxes.
The ICH is one of many City services provided to support vulnerable populations given the wide range of needs and circumstances in the community. Moving forward, it will be critical for the City to secure long-term, permanent funding for the ICH, which will require the financial support of other levels of government, as many services are to support issues with mental health and addictions.

8. New Tax Info –  Two Items
Received from the City  Feb 24, 2021
County of Frontenac 2021 Budget Requisition to Appear on City Tax Bills as Planned

The City of Kingston recently received notice from the County of Frontenac confirming its 2021 budget requisition for Fairmount Home and Frontenac Paramedic Services in the amount of $12,751,183.
The amount – requisitioned for the City’s share of these services which are managed by the County – represents an overall increase of 7.5 per cent over the 2020 requisition. As per City Council’s direction, this amount will be billed as a separate component on the City’s final property tax bills.
Earlier this month, Council approved the 2021 municipal operating budget, with an overall tax increase of 1.4 per cent for operations and 1 per cent for capital purposes, resulting in an overall increase, including education, of 2.1 per cent for residential taxpayers.
“Kingston City Council recognizes that many residents are facing financial challenges as a result of the pandemic. That’s why we passed one of the lowest tax increases in 20 years,” says Mayor Paterson. “The City has worked hard to manage our budget despite a significant loss in revenue, and we’re grateful to our partner agencies and boards who also made sacrifices to be able to meet this year’s financial challenges. As a matter of transparency, Kingston City Council does not have input into the amount that the County charges for the services they provide, and for that reason we decided to add it as a distinct line item for taxpayers.”
The addition of the County’s requisition will result in an overall increase, including education, of approximately 2.6 per cent on 2021 residential tax bills which, based on an average assessment value of $328,099, equates to an average household increase of $109, made up of $88 for City services and $21 for the City’s share of services managed by the County of Frontenac.
Business property owners will see a decrease of up to 8.8 per cent in their 2021 tax bills as a result of the Province’s reduction in business education tax rates.
DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW TAX DEDUCTIBLE -WHO  KNEW?Editor’s Note: I received the following re my subscription to the Star.
“Dear Subscriber,
As a subscriber to Digital Access you are eligible for the new digital news subscription tax credit. Digital Access can claim the digital news subscription tax credit on their personal income tax return for the years 2020 to 2024. This is a non-refundable tax credit for amounts paid by individuals in the year to a qualified Canadian journalism organization (QCJO) for an eligible qualifying subscription.
You will need this information to claim your tax credit:
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, One Yonge St, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6, QCJO number: Q3984721
To claim your tax credit you’ll need your 2020 subscription payment history, here’s where to find it:Open a new window to and sign into your account
Click your account name in the top right and select Subscriptions in the dropdown menu. View your 2020 payments made for your digital subscription on the account summary page. 
9. Naming the Third Crossing
Received from the City, Feb 22, 2021
“Today, the City of Kingston officially launched the naming campaign for the Third Crossing, which will seek to recognize and honour Indigenous culture and history in Kingston and area. 
“We know that as a City we need to broaden our understanding of Kingston’s history by incorporating more Indigenous stories, and to facilitate a community dialogue that prioritizes reconciliation,” says Mayor Paterson…
In July 2020, Kingston City Council committed to naming what is now called ‘the Third Crossing’ in a way that reflects and celebrates the stories and contributions of Indigenous communities, both past and present…  
The naming consultation will begin with discussions with Indigenous Nations with historical and enduring ties to the area, including Alderville First Nation and Tyendinaga Mohawk Council, as well as with interested members of the local Indigenous community. This will be followed by a broader consultation with Kingston residents around proposed names and their meanings. Community input will then be brought back to the Nations, Indigenous communities and Indigenous residents and a name will be selected and then shared with City Council for affirmation through a report by the end of 2021.
The consultation process on the naming is the responsibility of the City of Kingston and is being facilitated with the support of First Peoples Group… 
More info? City’s reconciliation initiatives.
10. RAID Update – Have a Look!
EDITOR’S NOTE:  These attachments really are eye-opening.
Personally I find the proposed development decdidely out of keeping with the adjacent neighbourhood. Judge for yourself!
Received from June Blackburn, Chair RAID, Feb 29, 2021“I want to bring you up to date on the continuing work that our RAID group is doing to oppose the proposed Patry development plans for 2274 Princess Street.

Some of the things we have completed are:

1.  A RAID Website that can be found at:;
2.  A Facebook page entitled “Residents Against Incompatible Development”;
3.  An Avaaz online petition that can be found on our Facebook page; 
4.  This flyer which we have delivered to adjacent Walnut Grove neighbourhoods;
5.  Letter of Support:  We created this letter of support to ease the task of submitting a letter opposing the proposed development.  All the writer has to do is insert his/her name and address and forward it to the Senior Planner, Lindsay Lambert, at
I am asking you to circulate this email to your contacts with the request that they consider supporting our efforts by signing our on line petition and submitting a letter opposing the development to Lindsay Lambert.  The Planner has indicated to me that the considerable amount of public support we have already generated has caught the attention of  Planning.  As a result, we are continuing our efforts to increase community awareness of our battle and garner more support.
We are discussing a door to door petition; however, are not yet prepared to start that initiative.
Thank you for your support.
June Blackburn, Chair, Residents Against Incompatible Development (RAID)
Phone:  613-985-8950”
Download all attachments as a zip file PP.RAIDFlyer.
pdf 172kB, 
PP.Letter.Opposition.Finalversion.26Jan21.docx 14.7kB
11. Help Save Kingston’s Police Horse – Donations Requested
Received from the Kingstonist, Feb 22, 2021 – Jessica Foley
Kingston Police Mounted Unit Seeking Donations to Continue Tradition“The Mounted Unit of the Kingston Police has been a popular sight downtown for more than 20 years. A group of community partners has launched a campaign aimed at ensuring the tradition of mounted police continues in Kingston well into the future.
Murney is the current Police horse that patrols the city with rider Constable Sarah Groenewegen. Kingston Police say the pair are seen by many as a “valued and unique member of the Kingston Police Service and the community.” Murney is depended upon to perform highly visible proactive policing and enhance the important police complement on city streets, according to a release from Kingston Police, dated Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.
The Kingston Police Mounted Unit helps prevent crime and supports public relations with residents and visitors. Kingston Police say the Mounted Unit is visible, maneuverable, approachable, and deters crime in the downtown core by facilitating positive, friendly interactions between community members and police.
The Mounted Unit also has a significant height advantage as it allows the officer to sit approximately 10 feet tall offering a great line of sight. Additionally, she is six times more visible than an officer on foot, according to Kingston Police.
Continuing this unique Kingston tradition costs money. Kingston Police say $75,000 in funding is needed to ensure Murney can continue to patrol in downtown Kingston over the next two years…
“We would like to thank our community for supporting and finding a collaborative way in order to keep Murney on Patrol,” says Inspector Matt Funnell, Kingston Police Operational Support.
 “While we recognize the financial constraints we are facing, we also see the opportunities and benefits of having Murney not only as a method of deploying our officers in a densely populated urban landscape but also a means of engaging our community as well as having positive interactions with some of our most vulnerable population.”
Constable Sarah Groenewegen has recently been nominated for Police Services Hero of the YearAt the time of the nomination Groenewegen said “It is an honour to be recognized and nominated for the Police Hero Award. I am very thankful to hear the positive comments about the work that I have done with Murney and the influence that I have had within the Community.”
In November 2019, there was public outcry after the removal of the mounted unit was outlined as a cost-cutting measure. After the announcement during 2020 city budget deliberations, Kingston residents were quick to respond with letters, social media comments and an online petition with over 1100 signatures…
Donations can be made to the City of Kingston –Murney on Patrol fund:
– Online donation: Visit and donate securely through CanadaHelps. You will receive a tax receipt by email within minutes of making your donation.
– E-transfer donation: Send an e-transfer to Please ensure to include your name, mailing address and email in the message field if you would like a tax receipt for income tax purposes.
– Telephone donation with credit card: City Payment Centre staff are available by phone at 613-546-4291 x1240 to accept your donation. Please provide your name and mailing address if you require a tax receipt for income tax purposes.
Due to COVID-19 protocols and to minimize in-person contact, online, e-transfer and telephone donations are strongly encouraged, however, if an in-person donation is required, you can visit the City Hall Payment Centre or any local branch of the TD Bank to make your donation. Please provide your name and mailing address if you require a tax receipt for income tax purposes. Please note that access to these facilities will be subject to ongoing pandemic protocols.


Formed in November 2015, the Coalition of Kingston Communities represents 22 community groups concerned about the openness, accountability, and transparency of our City government. The Coalition speaks up when City Hall is ignoring its own policies, conducting business behind closed doors that should be in open session, or ignoring public input.
The Coalition published its first Report Card in 2017, followed it with a 20-point ‘Measures of Progress’ in 2018 (giving the newly elected Council time to settle in), and presented another Report Card in 2019.
2020 has been a year of disruption and adaptation. We acknowledge that City Council has had to learn to work in a completely new environment and appreciate their efforts on behalf of the community during these stressful times. We feel that it is not appropriate to grade Council this year. 
We are very grateful to KFL&A Public Health for all the work done to keep our community as safe as possible.
COVID cannot, however, become a reason to abandon best practices and avoid or shut out public input. We, therefore, offer these ten concerns for Council to consider in the months to come.

Notice of meetings. A few days’ notice is not sufficient time for members of the community to research and prepare for a public meeting. The current practice of publishing agendas on Friday for a meeting the coming week is problematic, especially when reports are hundreds of pages long. For example, the staff report to Planning Committee for the September 17, 2020 meeting about the controversial 12-storey Capitol proposal was 340 pages. At the same meeting, there was a 93-page report about the brownfield classification and supplementary benefits to the developer of the Tannery Lands, another controversial proposal.
Missing information.  Despite extremely long staff reports, sometimes important information is missing. For example, the Divisional Court’s October 14, 2020 decision reaffirming the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal’s rejection of the proposed 16-storey Capitol building was never brought to Council’s attention in public session. 
Attendance at meetings. Now that City meetings are only taking place online, observers are in the dark about how many others are in attendance. The chair of the meeting or the clerk could let everyone know how many staff, representatives (e.g., planning professionals), and members of the public are participating online. This easy step would contribute to a feeling of inclusivity.
Texting and emailing during public meetings. City councillors have admitted to texting and carrying on email discussions during meetings about topics on the agenda. This is not respectful of the public interest and democratic principles which require a discussion in public of agenda matters. The Mayor needs to take action to preserve the integrity of open discussion and decision-making at City Council and on city committees. Reference: CBC news report by Priscilla Hwang, November 1, 2020, quoting Councillors Holland and Kiley admitting that councillors are texting each other and staff during Council meetings.
Voting at meetings. At online Council and committee meetings, it is difficult to know who has voted how. It would be helpful for the chair or clerk to summarize key votes, listing who voted in favour and who against or to say the vote was unanimous. This need not be done for standard motions concerning approval of the agenda or minutes.
Methods of engagement. People without computers are currently disenfranchised. Do people know that they can get a City survey mailed to them with a pre-paid envelope in which to return their reply? Perhaps the City could make more use of its advertising space in The Whig-Standard and include a questionnaire on the consultation topic so that readers could answer it and mail it or drop it off to a City facility. Surveys and questionnaires need to be improved: questions constrain the answers, often asking for confirmation or rejection of something that has already been decided, and they do not come across as an unbiased request for feedback from residents. A skilled survey designer could assist the City.
Reports on engagement. Although the City has greatly expanded its outreach and is asking the public for input on everything from the Parks and Recreation Master Plan to the placement of street furniture, often the results of these consultations are not made public. Consistent and timely reporting back to the public about a consultation is an essential part of the process.
Not just wallpaper. Council working groups and City committees bring together people with community and professional expertise for the benefit of the City. Too often Council makes decisions on issues related to the mandates of these working groups and committees without asking them for input or taking their input into proper consideration. The Rural Advisory Committee, for example, is restricted to giving an annual report to Council, rather than providing valuable input on pertinent issues from outside the urban boundary such as those facing the Planning Committee.  A further example, concerning heritage: in a report updating fees, the City buried the new imposition of a $300 fee for all heritage permits, no matter how minor, without consulting the Heritage Kingston committee.  One volunteer’s disappointing experience on another City committee is related in Melanie Ballard’s letter in the – ‘Why I left Kingston’s Housing and Homelessness Committee’, January 15, 2021. 

Respect for the City’s heritage assets and process. The City used its Delegated Authority to approve 51 out of 84 applications for changes to heritage buildings. Some changes were minor. Others related to doors and windows which are not minor changes. When changes involve buildings in one of Kingston’s three heritage districts, members of the Heritage Committee are not allowed to make any adjustments to staff recommendations. See also point 8. 
Important consultations ahead. City consultations on a long-awaited Heritage mandate review, draft city-wide zoning by-law, limits on secondary suites in the university and college areas, density targets, height limits downtown, community benefits, parking requirements for multi-unit residential buildings, etc., are promised for later this year. The public will need time to review the proposals and contribute their comments and concerns. After waiting so long, it is important to follow good process for a full discussion and review, before the proposals come to Council for a decision.
Finally, congratulations to City Council and Staff on taking positive first steps towards a more open budget process, beginning with public engagement work in the latter months of 2020. 
13. March is Fraud Prevention Month
Received Feb 26, 2021
Kingston Police and Utilities Kingston are partnering to help spread fraud prevention tips to local residents and businesses
“Malicious cyber actors and scammers are quick to take advantage of high-profile events, particularly those that cause worry and concern, as with the COVID-19 virus,” says Constable Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer with Kingston Police. 
As more people spend time online due to the pandemic, more scammers are targeting Canadians online, including through an increasing number of phishing attempts referencing COVID-19. (Phishing is the act of sending mass emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, but contain malicious attachments or links.)
Protect yourself online against malicious emails:
– Make sure the address or attachment is relevant to the content of the email.
– Make sure you know the sender of an email.
– Look for typos.
– Use anti-virus or anti-malware software on computers against malicious attachments:
– Make sure that the sender’s email address has a valid username and domain name.
– Be extra cautious if the email tone is urgent.
– If you were not expecting an attachment, verify with the sender.
– Make sure URLs are spelled correctly.
– Directly type the URL in the search bar instead of clicking a provided link.
If you must click on a hyperlink, hover your mouse over the link to check if it directs to the right website.
Other types of scams over the phone, at the door, and on the Internet:
– As ever, utility customers are targets for scams at the door, over the phone and through the Internet.
– “When in doubt, don’t be afraid to shut the door, hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection. You can always call us to confirm the truth of any sales pitch or other claim,” says Kevin McCauley, Chief Customer and Technology Officer of Utilities Kingston.
– Kingston Police receive and investigate numerous complaints regarding suspicious door-to-door salespeople, phone calls and emails for many promotions and services.
– In addition to the above tips, there are other ways to recognize, reject and report fraud:
– Malicious emails may be from an unknown sender, contain typos, or irrelevant attachments and web links, or portray a sense of urgency.
– Scammers claiming to be from your utility company may call and threaten to disconnect utility services unless immediate payment is made. Utilities Kingston does not collect payment over the phone. The – Utilities Kingston website lists ways to pay your utility bill.
– Utilities Kingston will never ask for personal financial or account information in an email, and we do not place outbound calls from 1-800 numbers. 
– Utilities Kingston employees and contractors carry identification and you should always ask to see it.
– In general, be extra cautious about any unsolicited calls, emails or mailings.
– Don’t be afraid to shut the door, hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection.
– Don’t open suspicious emails and attachments, and use anti-virus software on your computer. Hover over URLs before opening links.
– Don’t purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service and company.
– Don’t disclose personal information about your finances, bank accounts, credit cards, utility bills, social insurance and driver’s licence numbers to any business that can’t prove it is legitimate.
– At the door, always make sure you get a business card and look at the salesperson’s ID badge first. Ask to see their City-issued licence to sell door-to-door in Kingston.
– Remember, you have the right to ask salespeople to leave your property.
– If someone comes to your door to sell restricted products and services, don’t be afraid to shut the door and call Consumer Protection Ontario at 1-800-889-9768.
– If you receive a suspicious phone call, email or visit at your door from someone claiming to represent Utilities Kingston, hang up and call to let us know. A customer service representative is available Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM by calling 613-546-0000.
– If you’re in doubt about a communication received from Utilities Kingston, just give us a call and we’ll confirm it. 
– If people refuse to leave your property, or you become a victim of fraud through monetary loss, report it to Kingston Police online or by calling 613-549-4660.
– Report incidents to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. This agency collects information on fraud and works closely with police to solve these crimes.
– Get involved with the conversation online by tweeting to @kingstonpolice and @utilitieskngstn using the hashtag #FPM2021.
Fraud Prevention Month is spearheaded by the Competition Bureau. The above is with information from Canadian Centre for Cyber Security
14. Local Water and Flooding Issues
Received March 1, 2021
Get the #FloodFacts to help prevent basement flooding & sewer backups –
Homeowners can take action to protect their properties this spring, with Utilities Kingston’s Flood Facts.
“If you have a basement, it’s at risk of flooding and sewer back-ups – even if it’s never flooded before.
The risk is greater during spring rains and rapid snow melt. Now’s the time to be aware and take steps to protect your property,” says Jim Miller, Chief Operating Officer.
Lines coming from sump pumps and downspouts may be blocked with snow and ice, and water may be dammed up against foundation walls. Read the tips below to help prevent these common problems.
“We hope residents review the great information provided by Utilities Kingston, and take proactive measures to prepare their homes for heavy rains, rapid snow melt and flooding,” says Brandi Timpson, Emergency Preparedness Manager at the City of Kingston.  
Basement Flood Prevention Tips:
– Install and check plumbing devices:
– Consider installing a sump pump system to remove excess water (make sure it drains only onto your lawn or into the storm sewer, in accordance with the City’s Sewer Use Bylaw).
– Already have a sump pump? Check it for proper operation and follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. For example, you may wish to:
– Confirm it’s plugged in and working properly.
– Check for any frozen lines that need to be thawed.
– Consider an extra length of hose to increase the distance at which it discharges away from your foundation.
– Consider, if your sump pump drains to the surface, the discharge point may be buried under snow and ice. Uncover it and clear a path so the water drains away from your foundation.
– Installing a backwater valve on the sanitary sewer lateral may help prevent sewer back-ups, if installed, operated and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
– Already have a backwater valve? If you can do so safely, you may wish to open the lid, clean it out, confirm there is a good seal in place and test its operation.
Ensure proper drainage:
– Clear snow away from your foundation, providing a path for water to follow the natural grade around your house.
– Make sure downspouts are properly connected, and clear of snow and ice. In most cases, they should drain over the lawn (in accordance with the City’s Sewer Use Bylaw), at least two metres away from your house. This helps reduce basement flooding in your neighbourhood. Shovel a path for the water to run well away from the foundation or consider an extra length of pipe.
– If you know that a catch basin on your street is covered in snow and ice, we’d appreciate if you could take some time to clear it. This will help make sure that snow melt and rainwater can drain off the street into the sewer system.
General tips:
– Reduce your water-use on rainy days. When it’s raining heavily the sewers may fill up. Using a lot of water during heavy rains (for example, taking a shower or doing laundry) can contribute to basement flooding and overflows to your environment. Consider using less water in extreme weather situations.
– Pick a rainy day to walk around your property and look for places where water is pooling or even getting into your home.
– Check your sewer lateral. Homeowners own the sewer pipe from the home’s plumbing system to the property line. This sewer lateral should be regularly maintained. Talk to a licensed plumber, who can carry out an assessment.
– Talk to your insurer. Homeowners have a legal duty to make reasonable efforts to guard against damage in the event of a flood.
Learn 18 Flood Facts to help protect your property –
– To help protect the health and safety of employees, and contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community, Utilities Kingston is suspending some programs and services, until further notice. This includes the Preventative Plumbing Program. Applications can be submitted, but action will not be taken at this time.
– Be on the look-out for water pooling around your foundation, plumbing fixtures that are draining slowly, or a dampness along basement floors and foundation walls. These could indicate risk factors for basement flooding. Help is still available!
– If you’re concerned about basement flooding or sewer back-ups, speak one-on-one with our flood prevention expert. Contact Utilities Kingston with any questions or concerns at or call 613-546-0000, between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday to Friday. You can count on us!
For 24-hour emergency assistance with an active sanitary sewer flood in your home, call Utilities Kingston at 613-546-1181. We will check the sanitary sewer collection system, ensure it’s working properly, and correct any issues we may find.

Lake Ontario flooding risk diminishes
Received from the Chamber of  Marine Commerce: Yahoo! News, March 2, 2021.  The risk of flooding on Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River is currently considered low, dropping from a moderate risk, as reported in December.  The risk analysis, provided by the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, indicated a 28% chance of water levels exceeding a threshold at which damages occur in many shoreline communities in December.  The risk is now down to 8%.  This risk reduction is largely the result of dry conditions throughout the Great Lakes Basin in January and February.  Lake Ontario water levels declined 3 inches in January and 2.7 inches in February.  Lake Ontario’s level is currently 4.3 inches below the long-term average level for this time of year.  The lake level is almost 2 feet lower than at this time a year ago and the lowest it has been at this time of year since 2015.
15. Important Planning Meeting on Housing, Thurs, March 4, 2021
Report Number PC-21-022 is on the March 4th Planning Committee agenda, outlining the anticipated phase three timeline and identifying potential dates for special meetings of Planning Committee for the Discussion Papers.
Contact: Laura Flaherty at 

To: Chair and Members of the Planning Committee From: Paige Agnew, Commissioner, Community Services Resource Staff: Laura Flaherty, Project Manager, Planning Services Date of Meeting: March 4, 2021
Subject: New Zoning By-law Project – Phase Three Timeline File Number: D14-043-2016
Council Strategic Plan Alignment:
Theme: 2. Increase housing affordability
Goal: 2.1 Pursue development of all types of housing city-wide through intensification and land use policies.
– Goal: 2.2 Build a significant number of new residential units with a range of affordability.
– Goal: 2.4 Promote secondary suites and tiny homes.

Theme: 3. Improve walkability, roads and transportation
Goal: 3.2 Enhance public safety through active transportation and a focus on pedestrian access and enforcement.

Executive Summary: As outlined in Information Report Number 20-229 to Council, staff in Planning Services are in the third and final phase of the new zoning by-law project (New ZBL), with the ultimate goal of bringing a final document for Council’s consideration In January of 2022.
It is important to note that this timeline may be impacted should there be a direction to add additional public engagement to the overall project, or if additional elements need to be researched that are currently outside of the scope of the project…
The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of the anticipated timeline for various events related to the New Zoning By-Law project, along with the general anticipated timeline for other major policy planning work being led by Planning Services in 2021.
The intent is to provide Planning Committee with background related to the complex policy workplan for 2021, and to identify the desire for additional special meetings of Planning Committee related specifically to the New ZBL project in order to ensure this important project is provided with dedicated public consultation time without impacting the regularly scheduled meetings.

16. Incredible video shows ice breaking away from Lake Michigan after deep freeze
Received from Yahoo News, February 24, 2021.  Due to westerly winds and above-freezing temperatures, ice has been breaking away from Lake Michigan.
17.True North Aid’s Wonderful Initiatives
Received late Feb, 2021Assisting the most vulnerable communities in Canada with practical humanitarian support during this difficult time.  Amaziing initiatives such as supplying mobility equipment, delivering pounds of flour and other food, Warm Hands/Warm Hearts, drliveries of books, winter wear, blankets and PPE 
18. World water Day, March 22, 2021
Received from the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Feb, 2021
World Water Day Highlights the Need for Water Justice
As we look ahead to World Water Day on March 22, we reflect on the very real water inequities in our own backyard – from rural communities without protected drinking water sources to First Nations communities struggling with reliable access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water.
World Water Day in 2018 marked the beginning of the United Nations’ Water Action Decade; a recognition of the growing challenges surrounding clean water access, particularly in a changing climate with pressures from population growth and increased urbanization. It highlights the importance of water for the eradication of hunger, poverty and poor health. It also highlights the need for integrated water management. These concerns are equally relevant within Canada as elsewhere in the world. We can’t take access to clean, safe and affordable water for granted. 
Read the full blog post reflecting on water inequities in Ontario, the millions of people whose drinking water sources still don’t have proper protection, and CELA’s continued call for the expansion of the Clean Water Act.
 Launch of Water Conversations
The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Environmental Defence are thrilled to announce the launch of “Water Conversations.”  Taking place once a quarter for two hours, these in-depth discussions will provide water champions a chance to share their expertise, learn from others, and determine the best path forward for actions needed to ensure healthy waters.  
Prior to each Water Conversation, we’ll canvass your ideas on topics through a brief survey.  We’ll then review the list of ideas and identify 1-2 topics to bring forward to the conversation.  We will share an agenda with you, as well as resources or materials that you’ll need to review ahead of time so we can best use our time together. These sessions will not be recorded for public sharing, so please plan to join us in person if that session’s topics are of particular interest to you. 
Our first “Water Conversation” will take place on Wednesday, March 24th from 10am-12pmET, so please hold that date in your calendar. 
An event page has been created on CELA’s website, which we encourage you to share with your networks. If you’re interested in learning more about these conversations, and receiving updates, surveys, and invitations, please fill out this short form.
Received from Nancy Goucher, Feb 28, 2021
The University of Waterloo’s Water Institute is excited to announce its annual World Water Day program that will take place virtually on March 22.
Learn more + register for this free virtual event:
9:30-11:00 am EST – In the morning, we will host an interactive workshop to explore our relationship to water followed by a presentation from from Ogamauh annag qwe (Sue Chiblow), who will share knowledge on Anishinaabek N’bi pedagogies that we are water, water is life, water has a spirit, water is medicine, and is the lifeblood of Mother Earth.
2:00-3:30 pm. EST – In the afternoon, hear from Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist, policy expert, and Co-Founder of the All We Can Save Project. She will be in conversation with CTV News’ Science and Technology Specialist Dan Riskin.
19. Disability Collective Performance March 4
Received from Erin Ball, Feb , 2021
“This Thursday, March 4,2021 the piece celebrating 7 years since my time in the woods will debut, co-presented by the Disability Collective and  Skeleton Park Arts Fest
The event will be live at and on YouTube and Facebook.”
YouTube Live link:
Facebook Live link:
The piece will be audio described, captioned and have ASL interpretation. It will be live around 9pm EST. Check out the rest of the cabaret as well featuring incredible Disabled artists.
20. Conversations with Ted Hsu for your input on issues
Received March 1, 2021. 
Week 1: Long Term Care; Economic Dignity
Week 2: Climate Change/Environment; Economy
Week 3: Education and Life-Long Learning; A Fair and Just Ontario
Week 4: Building Better Communities;Affordable and Accessible Housing
Week 5: Every Vote Counts;Health and Happiness in Every Stage of Life
Week 6: Website Open for suggestions/Healthcare?
More Info?
EDITOR’S NOTE: These meetings are online on Thursday evenings. Last week was Week 1. I plan on reaching out to other political parties for future updates.

21. Turning the Tide on Climate Speaker Series with 350.org350 Kingston is proud to present the ‘Turning the Tide on Climate’ Speaker Series.  This series will allow you to hear from Kingston-based climate scientists and activists on the front lines of the climate emergency and to give you a chance to ask them your most pressing questions. The series welcomes people who share some concern for climate change but would like to understand more about it. Each week’s Zoom event will start with a 15–20-minute presentation by the speaker, followed by a 40-minute question period.  Please RSVP here  to receive the Zoom meeting link by email each week on the day of the event. 
Winter Speaker Series
Jan. 25   Farming and Food in the Climate Crisis with Mara Shaw (see video….)
Feb. 1        Lakes in a Changing Climate    with     Dr. John Smol    (see video…)
Feb. 8      Waste, Recycling and Climate Change    with    Dr. Myra Hird    (see updates…)
Feb. 15    Climate Emergency Economics    with    Steven Moore    (see video…)
Feb. 22   Climate Change and Health    with    Dr. Cathy Vakil    (more…)
Mar. 1       Youth and Climate Action    with    Isidora Ferguson    (more…)
Spring Speaker Series
Mar. 8    The Green New Deal        with    Dr. Kyla Tienhaara  (more…)
Mar. 15      Climate Justice                         with       Dr. Marcus Taylor   (more…)
Mar. 22     Renewables and Their Discontents   with   Dr. David McDonald  (more…)
Mar. 29    Rewilding Earth                         with       Joyce Hostyn   (more…)
Apr. 5        Cities Acting for Climate Justice    with    Jeremy Milloy   (more…)
Apr. 12      Zero Emission Buildings     with       Greg Allen   (more…)

22. Rideau Waterway Land Trust Fund Raiser to Acquire Opinicon Lake Property
The Rideau Waterway Land Trust (RWLT) has begun a fund-raising campaign to purchase an important 30-hectare (74-acre) property on Opinicon Lake.  It is located near the historic village of Chaffey’s Lock, in the heart of the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only World Heritage Site.
The property is located within the Frontenac Arch UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and provides critical habitat for many species-at-risk. The Frontenac Arch also provides a “land bridge” that connects the boreal forest of the Canadian Shield to the forests of the Adirondack and Appalachian Mountains. This link helps to maintain genetic diversity in plant and animal life as our climate continues to undergo change.
The land abuts Provincially Significant Wetlands, is near the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) and has been used for scientific research and education. The current owners now wish to sell the land and its acquisition is an ideal project to help the Trust celebrate its 25th year of successful operation.
The property was once owned by Don and Mary Warren. Don was one of the founders of the Rideau Waterway Land Trust, an educator and activist who led the community’s resistance to the plan to electrify the Rideau Canal’s locks in the 1960s. Mary was an enthusiastic supporter and was instrumental in convincing Don to purchase this property in 1965. The opportunity to establish the Warren Nature Reserve is a fitting tribute to their foresight.
If RWLT is successful in this fund-raising campaign, the property will be added to the Land Trust’s collection of 20 other protected properties along the Rideau Corridor between Kingston and Ottawa.
RWLT is seeking to raise $120,000 towards the $435,000 project cost by April 2021; all donations will be used to leverage matching government funding. RWLT has a very short timeframe to raise these funds.  Any and all donations from our local communities would be greatly appreciated.

Anyone interested can learn more about this project at
Donations can be made at, noting “Warren Property” in the donation comments. All donations will receive a charitable receipt.
More Info? 613-305-3507 or

23. The World’s Fastest Growing Plant Could Help Solve Food Scarcity and Climate Change
Received from Freethink Weekly, Feb 23, 2021 – Amanda Winkler

Duckweed is the world’s fastest-growing plant — and scientists are hoping to harness its secrets in order to combat climate change. When the plant reproduces, a new plant grows alongside the original plant and then sprouts off — it takes less than 24 hours to produce a whole new plant. Duckweed tastes like watercress and is already a part of Asian cuisine — and researchers believe it could become an important food source in the West, too, as we look to feed a growing global population in the face of climate change. The genetic foundations that allow duckweed to grow so fast were largely a mystery to scientists — until now.

So that’s it for now.
Spring and duckweed are not that far off.
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour