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October Newsletter 2020

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
What an amazing and wonderful experience the canoe build has been. 
SO grateful to Chuck Commanda and everyone involved!
Thanks so much Kathy Lapointe for this great picture of Randy in the canoe

1. Summary of Canoe Build + Future Plans for Community Canoe
2. Kingston’s First AAA intersection
3. City of Kingston Launches Polls as Part of Open Budget Engagement
4. Third Crossing Update
5. ON Gov Not Being Forthcoming with COVID Data
6. Brush Collection
7. Great Lakes Awash in Plastic: New Technology for Problem
8. Apparent Negligence on Enbridge’s Line 9
9. New Model Assesses Economic Damage of Climate Change on Great Lakes
10. Great Lakes Funding Infusion Addresses Environmental Challenges
11. Revitalization Plan for St. Lawrence Watershed Nearing Completion
12. Great Lakes Water Levels – Some Good News
13. Trump casts self as Great Lakes champion, but his policies may do lasting damage, 
14. Picton Terminals and Wolfe Island Info
15. U.S. Marine Sanctuary in St. Lawrence.
16. What We Need to Know About Forests.
17. Uplifting Video

1. Summary of Canoe Build + Future Plans for Community Canoe
Here is the summary we are posting to the Cataraqui Boatyard Project tab on our webpage –  Some pictures are to be included on the webpage version in addition to the great one of Randy here from Kathy LaPointe.
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour’s Cataraqui Boatyard Project 2020:
Algonquin Birch Bark Canoe Build with Chuck Commanda,
Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper
We remain extremely grateful to our sponsors:The Kingston Association of Museums,
Regional Tourism Ontario, District 9 (RTO9) and Trailhead Kingston

The long-term goal of the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour’s Cataraqui Boatyard Project is, through living history projects, to celebrate the Indigenous and French heritage of Kingston’s Inner Harbour as Canada’s oldest continuous boat building location.

This year, in the fall of 2020, we successfully completed our first project, the community build of a traditional Algonquin birch bark canoe.  Although there is no historical proof that Indigenous canoes were built in Kingston’s Inner Harbour we decided to begin our yearly series of projects with a canoe both out of respect for the Indigenous community and because the canoe is Canada’s iconic boat.  The country as we know it would not be what it is without the canoe and without the help of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.  This build involved a partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members working together over three weeks to create a 12-foot traditional Algonquin birch bark canoe.

Traditional materials collected prior to and during the build included:  the bark itself, cedar for the gunwales, ribs and cedar strip lining, ash for the thwarts, ironwood for the manufactured nails, spruce root for the lashing and a mix of spruce gum and lard (traditionally bear fat) for sealing the holes.

Chuck Commanda, an amazingly talented boat builder as well as a truly excellent, enthusiastic, and patient teacher, supervised the build in addition to answering questions from the many individuals, families and school groups who came to visit.  On average we had between 30 and 50 interested observers each day including approximately 100 school children and university students.

Lead organizers were Michelle Webb, Mikmaq/Acadian and Mary Farrar.  Volunteers were approximately 2/3 Indigenous and 1/3 non-Indigenous.  We are especially grateful to Mireille La Pointe, Algonquin Head of Family Council, for her sage advice, Grandmother Barbara for her unwavering support, Lisa Cadue for her awesome venison chili, Randy Cadue for his sacred fire keeping, Lorie Young for her heart support and collection of spruce gum, Brodrick Gabriel and the drummers and singers for their uplifting sounds, Tim Cadue, Carone Beaucage and Lumina Beaucage-Frost, Dorina Friedli, Penni Kernot, Rob Rittwage and the guys from Henry Trail Halfway House, and Kathy LaPointe for their hard work along with Graydon Doolittle, Bob McInnes, Elspeth Soper, Nancy Spencer and members of the Lyon family,  Margaret Hughes for her wonderful window display at  Novel Idea, Martine Bresson for her great photography, Lisa, Randy, Sophie Kiwala, Kathy LaPointe and so many others for sharing photos on Facebook, Matt Rogalsky for his media set-up, Sophie Grogan for helping with her life-saving and first-aid expertise, Dave McCallum for SO much work documenting and interviewing for an upcoming video, Pytor Hodgson and Kim Debassige for being Masters of Ceremony at the Saturday, Sept 26 Weekend Celebration and Pytor Hodgson and Brennan Googoo for hosting a titanic 3 hour live-streamed show featuring the canoe build and Algonquin culture on Saturday night including Barbara Dumont-Hill, Mireille La Pointe, Rick Revelle, Carone Beaucage, Lumina Beaucage-Frost and others.  We are also most appreciative of everyone who showed up over the course of the three weeks to learn more about canoes, the build and Algonquin culture

Media outreach and exposure included the following:
1. Poster completed and sent to over 35 Indigenous persons/groups and over 85 non-Indigenous persons/groups by end August
2. Cogeco announcement scroll in place from mid August
3. Novel Idea window display Sept 1 – 12 thanks to Margaret Hughes
4. Tourism Kingston September Event Calendar
5. Open Doors Kingston, scheduled Sept 26 event with Kingston Association of Museums.
6. Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour’s September Newsletters reaching close to 1000.
7. Kingston Local features by Morgan Oddie
8. Pictures shared on Facebook as well as personal posts by Lorraine Marlin, Randy Cadue, Elspeth Soper, Kathy LaPointe, KACIN, the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour and others.
9. Facebook event posted Sept 11
10. Television feature on CKWS 9a8-11ea-89f1-0242ac110003/?jwsource=cl
11. Two features by Meghan Balogh in the Kingston Whig Standard
12.  Promo by YourTV: Youtube link:
13. Tourism Kingston Promo:
14. Regional Tourism Ontario, District 9 (RTO9) Promotion
15.  Kingston This Week article by Meghan Balogh, Sept 24.
16. Come Walk With Us Live-Streamed Facebook Event Promo
17.  Come Walk With Us Live-Streamed Facebook Event, Sept 26, 7-10 pm.
18. Public Display of Canoe at Trailhead Kingston starting Oct 2, 2020

Future Plans for the Canoe:
After the display at Trailhead Kingston, the canoe will find another home at the River Program, the Limestone Board of Education’s alternative Indigenous high school located at the old Frontenac Public School on Cowdy St. 
Hank Doornekamp has also graciously suggested that we could possibly store the boat at the Woolen Mill for community use.  This would be a beautiful location so close to the water. 
We will have to be careful not to puncture it.  Although we have now learned how to do necessary repairs with spruce gum heated and mixed with lard we do not have full confidence in our abilities.
We are also hoping that the canoe might be displayed for a short period sometime at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.  Discussions ongoing.
Rick Revelle has suggested that we touch base with the Granite Ridge program in Sharbot Lake so that Algonquin students there will have the opportunity to learn about the Algonquin canoe building process and also have the opportunity to get out on the water for a paddle.
Finally, Rob Rittwage, Indigenous programmer at the Henry Trail Community Corrections Centre on the grounds of Collins Bay Penitentiary, has requested that the canoe be present at the opening of their new grounds sometime this fall or next spring.  As some Indigenous inmates from Henry Trail participated in the build, we would be delighted to accommodate.

2. Kingston’s First AAA Intersection
Received from the Kingstonist, Sept 30, by Jessica Foley
Link to Video:

An AAA cycling intersection is being put in place at the intersection of John Counter Boulvard and Leroy Grant Drive. Upgrades to the intersection at John Counter Boulevard and Leroy Grant Drive, will convert this location to an AAA (i.e. all ages and abilities) cycling intersection.
This new infrastructure, including Kingston’s first crossrides and bike signals, will enhance safety and connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists traveling through the intersection, the City of Kingston said in a release dated Wednesday, Sept 30, 2020.
This work will connect to the newly completed Leroy Grant Multi-use Pathway, a priority project identified in Kingston’s Active Transportation Master Plan, according to the City. It consists of 1.8km of accessible, asphalt pathway from Third Avenue to Elliot Avenue, through Champlain Park, and then on to John Counter Boulevard where it meets the AAA cycling intersection.
“The future of transportation in Kingston is safer, connected and more active,” says Ian Semple, Director of Transportation Services. “We’re designing and building projects that improve our roads, prioritize safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and give people more options to get around the city.”
How do crossrides work?
Cyclists have the option to cross the intersection using crossrides, cycling facilities that work like crosswalks do for pedestrians, and provide an additional level of safety for cyclists, according to the release.
Cyclists cross the intersection in their designated space, marked with green paint and bike symbols.
Cyclists may enter the crossrides when the bike signal turns green.
Cyclists remain on their bicycle and follow the directional arrows within the crossride.
When turning out of the intersection, cyclists must yield to pedestrians.
Motorists must yield to cyclists crossing the intersection in a crossride.

To learn more about an AAA cycling intersection and how it is to be used, please watch the video (link above) from the City of Kingston.

3. City of Kingston Launches Polls as Part of Open Budget Engagement
Received from the Kingstonist, Sept 28, by Tori Stafford

As a means to build a better understanding of which budget topics are of most interest to residents, the City of Kingston is launching weekly polls for residents to participate in.
“As a member of the community, it’s important that you feel informed about the City’s budget, and that you have an opportunity to share your input,” said Desiree Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for the City of Kingston. “These polls will help us introduce these topics and hone our approach toward a made-in-Kingston open budgeting process.”
The polls, which will include a new poll each week beginning the week of Monday, Sept. 28 until the week of Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, act as the City’s first step in creating an open budget process. Residents can learn more about the Council-endorsed multi-phase plan for adopting an open budget process in a Report to Council tabled in Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020.
The weekly polls will be followed by a survey seeking community input, which will run from October 19 to November 9, 2020, and then virtual open houses scheduled to take place in November 2020. According to the City, adopting an open budget process allows residents to learn more about:
The structure of the municipal budget and how budgeting decisions are made
Providing input on priorities
Influencing the allocation of public resources
“We know the pandemic will impact your feedback and how we receive it. While in-person open houses were initially planned they will now be held virtually, with the option for residents to request a mail-in survey, call-in or email their feedback,” Kennedy said. “We want to hear directly from residents what areas of the budgeting process they want to learn more about, and where they would like to have more input.”

4. Third Crossing Update
Received Sept 17 from the Kingstonist, by Jessica Foley 
On Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, the Third Crossing team updated City Council on work completed since June 2020, including design activities, permit and approval activity, communication and public engagement and on-site construction work. Highlights of the update were released in a newsletter dated Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 and are as follows:

Local Project Benefits
According to the newsletter, the Third Crossing Team has been working with local unions, labourers on the job and are purchasing local materials where possible to ensure they are supporting the local economy. Realizing local benefits at every step of constructing the bridge is a key goal of this project.
Extended Work Hours on East and West Shores
As we head into the fall and the winter, in-water construction will continue to be a major focus, the Team said in the newsletter. This summer, the team started extended working hours, Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., to support ongoing work to build the pier foundations for the bridge.
Moving into fall and winter, these extended work hours will continue.  Additional limited low-noise activities will continue from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. and a five-person crew will be on-site preparing work for construction the following day. This work will not include loud construction activity such as drilling operations.
The team wishes to thank the public for their ongoing patience as this construction work continues. For more information about the construction or mitigation measures, visit the Construction section of the website:
Point St Mark Drive and Gore Rd Intersection Engagement and Next Steps
The Third Crossing Team have been receiving, reading and tracking all comments received through the survey issued in August, as well as comments/questions received through email. According to the newsletter, these comments have been reviewed by the technical team and have been categorized into the following themes: vehicle access and road design, right-out only, safety, cycling / pedestrian / transit, environment, and other.

To review responses and considerations, please find a document on the website entitled “Comments Point St. Mark Dr and Gore Rd engagement” update Sept. 17, 2020″:
The Third Crossing Team have connected with emergency service providers about the direction for designing the intersection as a right-turn-out-only onto Gore Road. According to the newsletter, a final designs is being prepared and, later this fall, the Team will use the City’s Get Involved engagement platform to present the final design of the intersection, including vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure for your feedback.

Major Work Activity – temporary bridge over the navigation channel (lift span) The Third Crossing Team announced that the building of the temporary bridge over the navigation channel is proceeding on schedule. According to the newsletter, it will be in active use later this fall. This temporary bridge will move up and down to allow boats to pass underneath. More information about the temporary bridge can be found on the website:

About the Third Crossing Bridge
Once completed, the new 1.2 km bridge will connect the east and west sides of Kingston over the Cataraqui River. The two-lane bridge will improve emergency services, increase active transportation through a multi-use pedestrian and bike pathway, create greater business connectivity and enhance the quality of life for the residents and visitors of Kingston. The bridge is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Kingston.
For the full report, visit the City of Kingston’s webpage: ‘Project Engagement’

5. ON Gov Not Being Forthcoming with COVID Data
Received late September
Here is the first page of this report fyi.  Personally I found it disturbing:

Ontario Health Coalition COVID-19 Outbreaks in Non-Healthcare Settings Updated to: September 22, 2020 Released on September 25, 2020
As Ontario faces growing numbers of COVID-19 cases with increasing infection among younger Ontarians , it is more important than ever to make sure that testing is readily available and reporting is transparent. In addition to the widely-reported fact that the recent spike of cases is partially linked to community spread and inadequate social distancing, there has been a significant increase in the number outbreaks at workplaces, in the number of COVID-positive cases that have been found in schools and the beginning of in-school transmission of the virus. Ontario is not reporting names of the workplaces where there are outbreaks outside of health care, schools, and daycares.
Public Health Ontario reports an aggregate number of outbreaks, broken down by industry but the names of businesses are shielded from public scrutiny. In our research for this report, we have tried to find and track all the workplace, school, and daycare outbreaks. In the last week, municipal politicians in Toronto and Brampton have joined our call for the names of workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks to be disclosed publicly to protect the public and workers, and to ensure that better measures are taken to stunt the spread of the virus.
In our research for this report, we have found 162 active outbreaks in non-health care workplaces (including schools and child care centres) as of September 22 compared to 87 active outbreaks as of August 29 2020 calculated from Public Health Ontario’s Epidemiologic Summary.
The number of outbreaks has almost doubled since the end of August. The number of cases in schools has risen by more than 521 percent in the last week and in daycares it has risen by 142 percent. In this report, we have included cases that are not being reported by the province of Ontario (cases in administrative staff and private schools) and an explanatory note about the way in which Public Health Ontario is defining school outbreaks, which is different than how outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes have been defined. Since the end of August, we found that the rate of increase in agricultural workers has slowed with only nine new cases reported. However, our members working with migrant workers have reported that there has not been any testing at the farms in Windsor-Essex in two months and many workers cannot access testing. We have found additional information about workplace outbreaks prior to the end of August as well as new outbreaks from the current reporting period, August 25 to September 18 that are included below. We have summarized new information (with sources) about the working conditions that resulted in the spread of COVID-19 in some of the workplaces. The number of workplace outbreaks reported in this period may be underreported due to high wait times at assessment centres where they have seen a huge increase in demand since schools reopened.
These high wait times may be discouraging people from getting tested and are also slowing test results as the labs are overwhelmed.

6. Brush Collection
The fall weather is here, and with it comes the City’s yearly brush and leaf collection.

Brush collection started Monday, Sept. 28
Brush collection rolled out across the city starting the week of Sept. 28. Go to to find your collection week. The City asks residents to pile brush loosely at the curbside by 8 a.m. on the Monday of their collection week. 
Stack brush – pruned bits of bushes and trees smaller than 15 cm (six inches) in diameter and shorter than 90 cm (three feet) long – with the butt ends facing the street. According to the release, they will not pick up root balls.
Brush will NOT be collected during leaf collection weeks.

Leaf collection starts Monday, Nov. 2
Leaf collection starts the week of Nov. 2. Go to for your collection week. The City asks residents to have leaves ready for collection at curbside by 8 a.m. on the Monday of their leaf collection week.
Only leaves in paper leaf bags, or placed loosely in bushel baskets, garbage cans or other rigid-sided receptacles will be collected, according to the release. Yard waste like tomato plants, and vegetable garden waste (but not brush) can be put out for collection during leaf collection week. Make sure the bags or containers do not weigh more than 20 kg (44 pounds).
Leaves in plastic bags – or in bags that look like plastic – will NOT be picked up by the City.

Compost your yard waste
Leaves can be used as mulch and grass clippings may be left on the lawn to feed it over the coming months, the City said in the release. Consider composting your yard waste: check out
Yard waste may be dropped off year-round at the Kingston Area Recycling Centre (KARC) at 196 Lappan’s Lane open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at Tomlinson Organics at 2069 Joyceville Rd. (call 613-546-0884 for their hours of operation).
The brush and leaf collections are the most economical way for the City to process yard waste. According to the release, residencts may put some yard waste in your Green Bin, but collectors must see food waste in the Green Bin in order to collect it.

7. Great Lakes Awash in Plastic: New Technology
The Great Lakes are awash in plastic. A new project is using trash-trapping technology to get rid of it, CBC, October 1, 2020.  Two years ago, Mark Fisher was out kayaking on Lake Superior with his family when they decided to stop on a remote island for lunch.  But what should have been a pristine picnic spot, far from busy marinas or industry, turned out to be covered with pre-production plastic pellets, washed up on the beach after a train derailment years earlier.  “On an annual basis, roughly 20 million pounds of plastic are finding their way into the Great Lakes on both sides of the border,” he said.  In his role as president and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region, Fisher is now helping to lead a project to collect some of that plastic from marinas around the province using two kinds of trash-trapping technology: Seabins and Littatraps.

8. Apparent Negligence on Enbridge’s Line 9
Coast Guard inspected ship before Line 5 anchor dragging, The Detroit News (Detroit, Michigan), September 13, 2020.  Less than three weeks before a barge’s 12,000-pound anchor was dragged across Line 5, the barge and its newly installed anchor brake system were inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping. Both inspections on March 12 and March 18, 2018, found the system to be satisfactory.  But on April 1, 2018, the improper installment of the anchor brake pad, the unexplained disengagement of two backup brakes, a series of communication errors and icy, rough waters caused the starboard anchor to pay out over the Straits of Mackinac, where it was dragged over dual oil pipeline and severed three transmission cables, according to a U.S. Coast Guard report.

9. New model assesses economic damage of climate change on Great Lakes, Mirage News (Wollongong NSW), September 11, 2020.  Researchers have developed a new integrated model to evaluate the economic impacts of climate change on the Canadian Great Lakes Basin.  Scientists at the University of Waterloo’s Water Institute developed the new hydro-economic model to make the often unknown and invisible value of water more explicit.  The model is the first attempt to assess the role of water in the broader economy of the Great Lakes Basin and Ontario as a whole.

10. Great Lakes funding infusion addresses environmental challenges, SooToday (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario), September 18, 2020.  The Great Lakes are getting a health boost, thanks to $7.47 million in funding from the Ontario government, Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano announced today in a press release.  This funding – $77,500 of which will go to Sault Ste. Marie for the St. Marys River Area of Concern Coordination and Work Plan 2019-20 – will be used to support projects that address environmental challenges such as increased levels of pollutants, excess nutrients, and rising levels of invasive species.  The St. Marys River is a 112 km. connecting channel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  The Area of Concern was designated pursuant to the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement primarily as a result of shoreline development, historic contamination, and municipal and industrial effluent.

11. Revitalization plan for St. Lawrence River Watershed nearing completion, NNY360 (Watertown, New York), September 18, 2020.  After more than 10 years of work, a revitalization plan for the St. Lawrence River Watershed is nearing completion.  The multi-agency initiative began in 2009 when a coalition of environmental professionals created the St. Lawrence River Watershed Project to strengthen regional conservation partnerships and develop the first plan for New York’s largest drainage basin.  The $500,000 plan has been supported by a $250,000 grant awarded in 2017 by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and matching funds from all the groups involved.  In the north country, key watershed issues involve invasive species, particularly aquatic invasives, because of the heavy waterway recreation and the region’s proximity to major shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

12. Great Lakes Water Levels – Some Good News, WOODTV (Grand Rapids, Michigan), September 20, 2020.  Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month, but down 2″ from one year ago.  The lake level is still 10″ higher than the average September level and it’s two inches lower than the record high September level set one year ago in 2019. Lake Michigan/Huron (one lake for lake level purposes) is down 3″ in the last month.  It’s still 2″ higher than it was last September and 33″ above the September average level.  Lake Erie is down 4″ in the last month and down 2″ year-to-year.  The lake is 26″ higher than the September average, but 2″ below the record high September level set last year.  The water level of Lake Ontario dropped 7″ in the last month (that’s a lot) and 15″ in the last year (that’s a lot).  The lake is only 4″ above the average September level and is 22″ below the record high September level set in 1947.

13. Trump casts self as Great Lakes champion, but his policies may do lasting damage, MLive (Ann Arbor, Michigan), September 22, 2020.  On a September day at an airline hanger in Freeland, Michigan, President Donald Trump stood at a podium, in front of a handful of American flags, and trumpeted himself as a benefactor of the Great Lakes.  “I also authorized millions of dollars to save Michigan’s Soo Locks,” he said.  “Forget all the problems they had.”  Trump went on to proclaim a victory for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a major, bipartisan program that puts hundreds of millions of dollars toward Great Lakes cleanups and protection projects.  This wasn’t the first time Trump came to Michigan and declared himself a friend of the Great Lakes.  But his critics say actions speak louder than words, and when it comes to actions, Trump’s administration has been focused on weakening environmental programs that help the Great Lakes.  He’s doing damage, experts who focus on the Great Lakes say.  Damage that could take years to fix, if it can be fixed at all.

14. Picton Terminals and Wolfe Island Info
Picton Terminals’ The PT Times, Picton Terminals (Prince Edward County, Ontario), October 1, 2020.  An interesting feature on all sorts of interesting stuff happening here and there.
The PT Times Summer/Autumn 2020 newsletter available online.  Find updates on our projects in Toronto and Wolfe Island, and announcing the Picton Terminals Clean-Up Picton Bay Fund.

15. All involved appear to be on board for possible marine sanctuary on St. Lawrence County, NNY360 (Watertown, New York), October 1, 2020.  As plans progress toward potentially establishing a federal marine sanctuary on Lake Ontario, officials from St. Lawrence County appear largely in favor of being included in the project. In August, representatives from the project presented to the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators the possibility of extending an area of Lake Ontario currently in the process of being designated as a marine sanctuary up the mouth of the St. Lawrence River to the waters off the town of Hammond.  There, the sanctuary would encompass two shipwrecks, the America and the Keystorm, which would join 21 other known wrecks in the Lake Ontario portion.

16. What we Need to Know About Forests

17. Uplifting Video
Thanks Mabyn!

So there we are.
Happy Thanksgiving – even if it has to be reduced in size a bit.
Mary Farrar, President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour