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September Update 2020

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,

You will be blown away by the skill, art, community coming together and sustainability of it all! Canada would not be the country we know and love without the canoe and without the cooperation of Indigenous peoples.   The build itself is just so much fun!
South end of Doug Fluhrer Park near the marina. Might be completed by next weekend!  Thanks Lisa for the pic!
Reminder: Celebration weekend Sept 26/27.  More anon…..

Usual Table of Contents follows these two major issues: 

This Thurs, Sept 17, 6:30 pm, the City’s Planning Committee is hearing an updated proposal on the Tannery Lands development. This is a crucial issue for the future of the Inner Harbour, the river and wetlands, and the broader neighbourhood. 
Although the major focus of the report is financial, we have huge concerns about the proposed “naturalization” of the shoreline and the destruction of current turtle basking habitat where up to 100 turtles bask.  We believe that the shoreline should remain untouched with natural barriers in place such as trees and rocks to discourage public access for this small stretch of waterfront.  Precedent exists on the Otonabee River in Peterborough.  Nature is healing the shoreline by burying the heavy metals with rotting vegetation.  Cleaning this up would stir up the heavy metals.  Finally, kayakers are also citizens.  Access for kayakers to this incredibly rich and diverse eco-system should be considered along with access for pedestrians and cyclists.  Small stretches of shoreline like this one should be off limits for walkers and cyclists in order to preserve valuable diverse eco-systems.
If you want to speak on this issue, you have three options:

  1. Send your comments via email to the Committee Clerk (
  2. Participate in the Zoom meeting. Register via Zoom and receive the meeting link.
  3. Participate by phone – call 613-546-4291 extension 1170 and leave a message with your name, phone number and the agenda item(s) you wish to speak to; staff will respond to your voicemail within 24 hours to provide you with the call-in number for the meeting. Phone registration closes 2 hours before the start of a meeting.

You can view a copy of the new city report on the project here
Finally, if you want to discuss this issue further or get support on sharing your thoughts on this project, please e-mail me ( or Jeremy Milloy (

POSTED ON THE VISION FOR KINGSTON FACEBOOK PAGE This Thursday, September 17, Planning Committee will be considering a fourth IN8 proposal for the Capitol Theatre. Remember, the first proposal was 21 storeys, then 17, then 16, and now this newest proposal is for 12 storeys. Had IN8 stuck to what is allowed in the Official Plan and Zoning By-law, the development could have been completed and housing people already. The latest proposal is still several storeys above the “as-of-right” level.
For context, you will recall that IN8 lost before the Tribunal for its 16 storey plan, and then applied for leave to appeal the Tribunal decision at Division Court. We are still waiting for the Divisional Court’s decision.
Throughout, it was left to the Frontenac Heritage Foundation and Building Kingston’s Future to defend the City’s Official Plan at great expense (thank you to everyone who contributed) while the city took a pass and did not appear at the Tribunal hearing or in Divisional Court to defend Council’s rejection of the development proposal, the “no” vote at the November 15, 2016 Council meeting.
This latest proposal for 12 storeys is a product of private negotiations between IN8 and the City without any discussions with either the Frontenac Heritage Foundation or Building Kingston’s Future Inc. The city has not even had the courtesy of forwarding a number of IN8’s updates and reports that were filed in August.
Below is one of the artist’s renderings of the proposal filed by the applicant in support of the new proposal.
Here’s the link to the staff report to Planning Committee supporting the current proposal.

More Info?  Vision for Kingston Facebook Page or Frontenac Heritage Foundation at  If you want to speak or write to the city on this issue, contact

Although improved from earlier designs the major issue of a vibrant Queen St. remains.  The tourism potential for the next 100 years is huge.:  Kingston is basically a European city.  European cities care about preserving their heritage downtowns.  We shouldn’t be forced into the North American model.
1. Garage entries don’t cut it.  They create dead streetscapes.  One or two stores isn’t enough in one block.
2. Best sight line to the water of all Kingston’s arterials.  Great potential for future patios.
3. Most major cities have vibrant counter-culture streets.  Queen St. is becoming this organically.
4. More heritage buildings than any other street in Kingston’s downtown.
5. Fascinating architectural details such as carriageways ripe for repurposing – see Martello Alley.
6. A vibrant Queen St. would enliven the cross streets between Princess and Queen.  Good for these businesses.
7. Design compatibility with heritage downtown is essential for heritage ambiance.
8. With more to Kingston’s downtown than Market Square and a few blocks on  Brock and Princess Sts., tourists would have reason to spend more overnights, thereby stimulating the economy.

1. Diverse Coalition Meeting for More Democratic Budgeting by the City of Kingston, Sept 16
2. Quiet Streets Initiative Update
3. Council Priorities Revisited – DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS, SEPT 15
4. Belle Park Post Script
5. Glenburnie Spa – Council Meeting, Sept 15
6. Kingston Community Climate Action Fund Grants -You Can Apply!
1. Ontario Taking Action to Protect and Restore Great Lakes
2. Pandemic Opens Great Green Opportunities for Great Lakes
3. Rising from the Ashes: Historic St. Lawrence River Lighthouse Rebuilt
4. $8 million for Asian Carp Initiative
5. Dams and Fish Passage Systems  + DamNation video
6. Shower Less?  Yes, Even During a Pandemic!

1. Diverse Coalition Meeting for More Democratic Budgeting by City of Kingston, Sept 16 Received from Jeremy Milloy, early Sept.
“Dear Community Members,
Please join the second meeting of this diverse coalition pushing for social, economic and ecological justice as part of a Just Recovery and democratic budget in Kingston: register for the Zoom Wed, Sept 16 from 6:30-8:30pm: Please register to attend

WHAT? The City of Kingston is opening up the budget process (Report link). How our City spends our money, from policing to mental health; from parks to the arts; reaches down into the lives of everyone. We want to gather our diverse power to find common ground to push for a genuine, deep democratization of this process, and a progressive City Budget for 2021. 
The first meeting on August 26 was well attended, engaging and productive. During the second meeting we will workshop the coalition Principles and Terms of Engagement; brainstorm demands for an Alternative Budget for the City of Kingston (please bring your individual and organizational ideas to the meeting); and discuss  other coalition actions and working groups.

Please take a minute now to answer the two questions on this form which list options for breakout groups and potential working group participation to help us gauge interest before the meeting. 
WHEN and WHERE? A Zoom Gathering with plenary and breakout groups on Wednesday, September 16, 6:30-8:30pm. Please register to attend. Once registered, you will receive the Zoom link.
WHY? The visions of the past – competition, growth, and consumerism – have clearly failed us. We are inviting you to help build a coalition to create a new vision for our City, based on care for our ecosystem, investing in communities, racial justice, and decolonization….

We look forward to working for change together,
Andrew McCann, Anna Brabender, Bruce Knox, Jeremy Milloy, Kathleen O’Hara, Natasha Stirrett”

2. Quiet Streets Initiative Update
In case you haven’t heard about this, it is a wonderful pilot project for quieter safer streets in Kingston.
If you’ve been using the Kingston Quiet Streets or if you want to learn more visit KCAT.  They would like to hear from you. Let them know what you think!

3. Council Priorities Revisited – DEADLINE SEPT 15

City Council approved its strategic priorities in May, 2019.
See them on the Kingston 2019-2022 Strategic Plan microsite(External link).
Your input will be provided to Council for consideration at a Sept. 24 Special Council Meeting – Council Strategic Planning Session to review the 2019-2022 Council Priorities  
“Council developed an ambitious plan for this term based on key strategic priorities and City staff have been hard at work making that vision a reality. The current pandemic has had a significant impact on our community and on City resources, so it’s important that we review our priorities in light of these emerging needs and constraints. Your comments will help guide us as we take stock of where we are and set a refreshed course forward,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. 
Go to to offer Council your comments on any or all of these five strategic priority areas by 4 p.m. on Sept. 15:

·       Demonstrate Leadership on Climate Action
·       Increase Housing Affordability
·       Improve Walkability, Roads and Transportation
·       Strengthen Economic Development Opportunities
·       Foster Healthy Citizens and Vibrant Spaces 
Visit the Kingston 2019-2022 Strategic Plan site for details on per-priority initiatives.
Need assistance to participate in this engagement? Call 613-546-0000 ext.1900 to offer your comments on the Council Priorities.

4.  Belle Park Postscript: An Open Letter to Kingston City Council
Received from the Kingstonist, Sept 8
After removing most of the belongings and people from the encampment at Belle Park on Tuesday, Spet. 1, 2020, the City of Kingston brought in heavy equipment to demolish and remove the shelters that had been erected in the park by those living there.
The following is a submitted open letter to the Kingston City Council. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of The Kingstonist.

“Dear Mayor Paterson and elected councillors of the City of Kingston,
I am writing to you today, a week after the forced eviction of remaining residents at Belle Park tent encampment, to share one version of the Belle Park story for your consideration. This narrative is important to remember when you reflect on what happened at Belle Park over the last four months, as well as when our City is faced, as it is sure to be, with similar situations in the future. The Belle Park eviction on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 had real impacts on people’s physical, social and emotional well-being, for which there must be a reckoning. 
The Belle Park encampment emerged in late April of this year in the context of real concerns around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people experiencing homelessness in this city. This encampment occurred at a time of increased public awareness around the issue of homelessness in Kingston following the publicized evictions of people from other sites, including Market Square, MacDonald Park across from Kingston Health Sciences Centre, and the Memorial Centre, among others. The game of malicious musical chairs which is routinely played with the lives of people experiencing homelessness, where they are repeatedly moved from place to place by public officials, losing their belongings and in a constant state of physical and emotional insecurity, is not new, however in light of concerns around marginalized groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, it got the attention of, and galvanized, substantial public support.
At Belle Park, suddenly, the game stopped (albeit the music was always playing in the background). There followed four months of community building. People living in Belle Park settled in, developed community, provided physical and emotional safety for each other, and stopped wondering where they would sleep each night and whether or not their belongings would be there when they got back at the end of the day. For the better part of four months, people had somewhat regular access to food, modest sanitation services, availability of harm reduction and mental health support, and community support through the provision of tents, ongoing lobbying for improvements in sanitation services, and a sense, albeit temporary, that their presence was legitimate. No community is perfect, and support was never what it should have been, but during these four months there were no deaths from overdose, there was minimal conflict, and residents started to advocate for themselves and each other with the media, with City council, and with the broader community. People developed a sense of belonging, and people’s mental and social well-being improved. When visiting Belle Park, residents were engaged, made eye contact, had ideas and opinions about what they needed, and how their City could be a better place.
Then City Council stepped in….
Two good things have come out of Belle Park, and I will return to the encampment in a moment. First, the Artillery Park Hub, as articulated by Mr. Gilles Charette of HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS) Kingston at council on September 1st, has obviously filled a need that has been long standing in Kingston for a low-barrier space where services can be provided in a coordinated and client-centered fashion. This has been a model in other communities and has been missing in Kingston for a long time. This is obviously well used and needed, and we hope that at the end of September this service will expand rather than end, and that the breadth of services offered, including the safe injection site, will grow. Second, several residents of the Belle Park community did secure housing, through their own devices and/or through support from City staff and community organizations. This is obviously a good thing.
Both of these things could have, and should have, happened without the threat of eviction and eventual forced eviction of Belle Park residents.
In this, Council has failed.
It is easy to say that City staff could have extended the encampment, as they did through the month of August, without official approval of Council. Ultimately, however, the eviction at Belle Park on Tuesday rests on the shoulders of the Mayor and Councillors.  
It was your decision, based on the complaints of some private citizens and your own ideology around private and public property, bylaws, what is and is not acceptable, visually or otherwise, in this City, that resulted in the forced eviction of about 10 remaining residents at Belle Park by dozen police officers and another dozen city workers
It was your decision that resulted in the sadly ironic situation that unfolded whereby allies and Belle Park residents moved belongings further into the woods, as you were told they would, while City staff, workers, and police looked on.  
It was your decision that resulted in people who were previously a community now being spread out around town, more difficult to access, with less physical, emotional, or social support, in a week that has seen four overdose deaths in Kingston.  
It was your decision that has led to, three days after being evicted from Belle Park, further eviction notices being issued to the same people who were evicted just three days prior, as they look for somewhere that is deemed acceptable for them to sleep.It was your decision that pressed “play” on the satirical game of musical chairs that those who have power continue to play with the lives of those who do not.
But this is not a game. Too many people, now out of the public eye, still have nowhere to call home. The parking lot at Belle Park is clean and tidy now.  What did this accomplish? 
Eva Purkey and Toni Thornton
On behalf of Mutual Aid Katarokwi Kingston”
MARY’S NOTE:  This is a very complex issue.  City Staff have been trying hard. The Integrated Hub at Artillery Park has been well needed and well used.  The newly proposed location on Montreal St. looks promising.  Some of the homeless at Belle Park were using drugs.  Others were not.  Still others wouldn’t go there or to Artillery Park because they don’t want to be living with drug users – and they shouldn’t have to. Drug users need help.  COVID has drawn attention to the absolute need for our city and city’s all across the country to do something about the complex plight of all homeless people – with all of their differing needs.  All levels of government need to contribute financially.  Guaranteed minimum income would be a good start as wages have not kept up with costs.  All of us need to come together for the good of everyone.

5. Glenburnie Spa
Received from the Kingstonist, Sept 8
City meets with climate groups ahead of vote on Unity Farm Inn & SpaThe City of Kingston has confirmed that staff have met with three environmental advocacy groups ahead of make-or-break decision for Unity Farm Inn and Spa.
City Council voted to defer a final decision on the development at 2285 Battersea Road on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, following a request for further study from Kingston Climate Hub (KCH). Out of respect for their declaration of a climate emergency in March 2019, seven council members voted for further consultation with community-based environmental advocacy groups.
“Staff reached out to three climate focused organizations: SWITCH; Kingston Climate Hub; and, Sustainable Kingston,” said James Bar, the City’s senior planner on the 2285 Battersea Road file. “Meetings were held on August 25, 26, and 27 respectively,” he said. Organizations were asked to provide written feedback to the City by Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2020….
Spokespersons from KCH also confirmed to the Kingstonist that they have met with City staff, and that a representative of BPE Development, the spa’s developer, was present.
In a letter submitted on the same day as the City Council meeting, Emily Ferguson and Colleen Gareau of KCH enumerated their concerns about the project.
Fergus and Gareau suggested that BPE’s proposed development directly or indirectly contravenes 13 sections of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) 2020, a government document that sets the rules for land use planning in Ontario.
The project’s compliance with the PPS has already been heavily scrutinized by Kingston’s city planners, with their analyses included in a 373-page report presented to the City’s Planning Committee on Thursday, Jul. 16, 2020. That report contains detailed explanations for why City staff find the project compliant with 71 aspects of the PPS, and recommend that it proceeds. The City’s Planning Committee approved that report.
The points in the PPS are broad, and open to interpretation. In fact, seven of the 71 items included in the report supporting the development are also cited in the Kingston Climate Hub’s letter opposing it.
“We are asking the planning department to look at all development with a climate lens and to respond to how they consider elements of the PPS that speak to climate goals,” said a statement from Kingston Climate Hub to the Kingstonist on Friday, Sept. 4.

Water use and conservation
The question of sustainable water consumption at the Unity Farm & Spa, as well as the impact on well levels for the rest of the community, has been raised by a number of area residents, neighbouring farmers, the Glenburnie Residents Association and the Kingston Climate Hub.
The July 16 report from City Staff to the Planning Committee includes a Hydrogeological Study, Environmental Impact Study and a Stormwater Management Report. “The analysis confirms that the hydrogeologic conditions are suitable for the propose development,” the report concluded.
In their letter, Fergus and Gareau said further investigation was needed, and questioned the rationale of a water and energy-intensive project on a “highly vulnerable aquifer” as identified by the Cataraqui Source Protection Area Regional Areas of Sensitive Groundwater.
BPE’s President Ben Pilon said his team has gone to great lengths to maximize water efficiency on the property, and reduce the impact on the area.
The total water usage is expected to be approximately 48 thousand litres per day, he said, once the business is fully built out, noting the numbers used are based on the Ontario Building Code engineers. It brings the project in just under the 50 thousand litres per day limit that would require BPE to obtain a provincial Permit to Take Water.
“We will be processing all wastewater — black and grey — on site,” Pilon said. “It will be treated and cleaned and then returned to holding tanks for use in the toilets, into the cisterns for use on the gardens, or into the ponds to water the agriculture fields.”
BPE is building the wastewater treatment system for 10 to 20 thousand litres per day for the first three to five years. “The system can be expanded when needed, but you can not build it too large otherwise you ‘starve it,’” he said. “It needs a constant flow of effluent for the bacteria to thrive and breakdown the waste.”
“All spa tub water, when it needs to be changed, will be evacuated and flow through the wastewater system and come out as clean, treated potable water. No spa water will be discharged to the ground,” he added.
“Two ponds are being built, one has been built and just needs to be lined. These ponds will hold over 4,000,000L of clean water for [onsite] agriculture.”
Each building on the development will also have a large cistern to capture and store roof rainwater. “Two of the five cisterns have been built. The cisterns are to water the areas around the buildings. All rainwater that runs off from the fields, lanes and parking area will be captured by our ditches and be directed toward the ponds. This design has been completed and 75 per cent of the ditches have been built.”
Finally, Pilon said that drip irrigation is proposed for their agriculture production. “While it is a significant investment, it reduces the water used and enhances agriculture growth,” he said.

Pedestrian Access & Transit Planning
Almost half of the points Fergus and Gareau highlighted in the PPS focus on pedestrian access, active transit and public transit. They’ve suggested the project contravenes provincial direction to promote transit-supportive development, minimize land consumption and transit servicing costs; focus employment and commercial land use development on sites which are served by transit, promote pedestrian friendly development, and “active transit,” such as walking and cycling.
These objections would seem to be broadly applicable to any commercial development in the Glenburnie area. When asked for clarification, Kingston Climate Hub responded: “As our focus is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, we would like to know how increased vehicle emissions affect Kingston’s overall goal of attaining zero emissions.”
Pilon told the Kingstonist on Thursday, Aug. 13 that he is in discussion with a local trolley service to provide daily shuttle trips from downtown.
They’re planning three departures from the spa at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., he said, as well as three departures from downtown at 10:30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. “We would like any guests that are staying downtown that would want to experience the Farm and Spa to take the trolley out,” he said. “If approved, we will be setting up partnerships with various hotels.”
The parking lot will also be equipped with 10 charging stations for electric vehicles, with plans to eventually expand to 40. “We can do more if needed,” he said, “it just takes more planning.”
The property also leverages green energy sources throughout, he said, incorporating solar electric power, and geothermal heating and cooling.

Compatibility with Rural Landscape
KCH also asked the City to review their conclusions on PPS statement, which calls for the promotion of rural development that is compatible with the rural landscape, and sustainable by rural service levels.
The City staff’s planning report states that the uses proposed for the site are compatible with the existing residential and agricultural uses in the area, as they are “low scale passive uses that require agricultural inputs, larger open spaces, quiet settings, and larger separation distances that would be out of context in an urban setting and would not make the best use of urban serviced lands.”
“The site does not produce negative off-site impacts such as pollution, traffic, or noise,” the report said, though residents in the area have written to the City to raise concerns on these matter. Their letters can be found with the agendas of Planning Committee meetings going back over the past year.
Compatibility also encompasses the Minimum Distance Setback (MDS) requirements. These provincial rules stipulate the distance or “setback” that livestock need to be from other buildings. Paul Kerby and Jessika Jensen Kerby, who own the farm next door, are concerned that the project will impose new MDS restrictions on their own farm, where they say they’d like to one day have cattle.
Paul Kerby said he was surprised that the City planners had recommended the development, as he the felt PPS and City Official Plan statements encouraged that priority be given to active farms in rural areas. Bar said he met with the Kerbys on several occasions to help answer their questions about the impacts of the development on their property.
Pilon said that while his development is a hospitality venue, it is also every bit a farm.
The working farm is 12 acres, he said, including a five-acre vineyard, three-acre orchard, four acres of vegetables, greenhouses and hops, an apiary with fifteen hives and maple syrup in the woods. They also plan to have 60 chickens and ducks, with municipal and provincial approval, in mobile coops that will be shuttled to different areas of the property for natural pest control. “They also provide eggs and composted manure for our gardens,” he said.
The City’s report on July 16 also concluded: “The development is compatible with the rural landscape and these characteristics will be reflected in the site-specific zoning by-law amendment. The development does not negatively impact the natural heritage features on site, with the recommendations being implemented through the appropriate planning mechanism.”
Decision Coming at Next Council Meeting
In their responses to the City following consultation, Bar said the climate organizations were asked to provide feedback on the application itself, and to also consider the broader application of sustainability measures to future applications. “The City is undergoing a thorough review of its policies,” he said.
“We understand it is a challenging job to balance the economy with environmental concerns,” wrote Fergus and Gareau in the Aug. 11 letter. “Gathering more information before changing zoning of a vulnerable area could assist in reaching a robust decision in line with [the City’s] declaration of a climate emergency and participation in the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.”
Kingston City Council will revisit the motion to approve Official Plan & Zoning By-Law Amendments at 2285 Battersea Road and 2311 Battersea Road at their meeting on Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2020.

6. Kingston Community Climate Action Fund Grants – You can apply!
Demonstrating its commitment to leadership on climate action, the City is pleased to bring you the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund. This fund will help non-profits and charities implement local projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Successful applicants will have their projects featured on the City’s website and donors will be able to review them and target their donations to their chosen projects. Every dollar donated at a Kingston Community Credit Union branch will be matched, up to $5,000.  
Eligibility criteria: 
Projects must be implemented in Kingston within a year of receiving the grant.
They must be tangible and have direct and measurable GHG reductions once the project is fully complete. 
The Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum will evaluate the projects before presenting them to Council for approval in November.  Fundraising to support the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund projects will run from Dec. 2020 through March 2021 and funds will be disbursed to the various projects in the spring. 
To learn more or to submit your application, visit:

Ontario Taking Action to Protect and Restore the Great Lakes, Government of Ontario News, September 4, 2020.  The Ontario government is investing $7.47 million to improve the health of the Great Lakes.  The funding will support projects that address environmental challenges such as increased levels of pollutants, excess nutrients and rising levels of invasive species.  Protecting the Great Lakes is a key commitment in the province’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to ensure water resources and ecosystems are safeguarded for future generations.  Approximately $5.8 million is being provided to 65 Great Lakes projects run by communities, organizations, universities and Indigenous peoples across the province to address issues critical to the health of the Great Lakes.

Pandemic opens up great green opportunities for Great Lakes, Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario), September 4, 2020.  A multimillion-dollar rehabilitation project now underway along the American bottom of the Detroit River is just a small example of the potentially huge benefits the Great Lakes region could enjoy through post-pandemic investments.  As senior governments hunt for the biggest and best bang-for-the-buck scenarios to rev up COVID-ravaged economies, scientists, business leaders and environmentalists argue that accelerating the work on ready-to-go Great Lakes cleanup projects would be an effective use of public funds designated for economic stimulus.  And for each dollar spent on Great Lakes cleanup and remediation, more than three dollars in additional economic activity is created, according to a study by Michigan economists for the Great Lakes Commission and the Council of Great Lakes Industries.

Rising from the ashes: Historic St. Lawrence River lighthouse rebuilt two years after devastating fire, CTV Edmonton (Edmonton, Alberta), September 9, 2020 (also appeared at CTV Ottawa News and at iHeart Radio – Pure Country).  An historic lighthouse near Brockville, Ontario that was struck by lightning and destroyed in 2018 has risen from the ashes.  The lighthouse, known as Five Mile Light, was a fixture on the St. Lawrence Seaway for 162 years before a lightning storm set it ablaze.  On Tuesday, the Five Mile Light rebuild project unveiled their nearly completed replica, which sits in the same spot on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, just west of Brockville.

$8M for Asian carp gauntlet project restored by Michigan Legislature, (Lansing, Michigan), September 3, 2020.The Michigan Legislature has restored funding to help pay for early work on a gauntlet project meant to stop invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. Restoration of $8 million pledged to the project in Illinois was approved by the House and Senate in an unemployment and flood relief spending package passed this week, which now heads to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for a signature.

Dams and Fish Passage Systems + DamNation Video.
Received from Blue Fish Sept 2

While most all dams pose barriers to fish mobility, not all rivers where dams are guilt are inhabited by migratory fish species. Further, dams equipped with fish passage systems don’t necessarily benefit non-migratory fish species. Compounding fish sustainability are reservoirs created by dams that don’t necessarily provide access to suitable spawning and rearing habitat, and the restrictions to fish mobility throughout watersheds that limit gene flow, resulting in unique and not always healthy genetic pools. The aging hydro dam on the St. Croix River in New Brunswick is one such dam that has caused all manner of fish sustainability issues for decades and is now about to be removed with the support of stakeholders including New Brunswick Power. 
However, let us not forget the role dams can play in protecting and rebuilding native species like Alberta’s Cutthroat Trout from non-native migratory species like Rainbow Trout. Or how dams have prevented invasive Lamprey from moving beyond the great lakes. the paper mill dam in Georgetown Ontario on the Credit serves as an example of a structure being left in place on purpose to protect fish species introduced upstream, (Brown and Brook Trout), from having their habitat invaded by Rainbow Trout and Pacific salmon (Chinook and Coho) introduced into Lake Ontario in the 1970’s. Water exiting turbines can also serve as prime fish habitat that benefit both fish and anglers alike as they provide fish with a focussed source of food, and release the colder water located deep in reservoirs above dams that trout crave – a crucial habitat variable that is increasingly harder for fish to find as the climate continues to warm. 
At the same time, thousands of abandoned commercial and private dams continue to carve watersheds into countless river-locked segments that serve no economic or practical purpose and remain largely forgotten. Professor Sean Landsman from Carleton University believes one of the main takeaways about dams and fishways is that there is hope for a better relationship between humans and migratory fish through increasing recognition that, “dam removal is warranted in many cases”, and “we are getting better at designing fish ladders and other fish passage systems that actually work”. 
As humans continue to turn from carbon-based energy to electricity, the demand for hydropower will grow. The public, scientists, and perhaps most importantly, industry, recognize the need to ensure barriers to the movement of fish populations aren’t an unintended problem associated with newly constructed dams. But that doesn’t mean anglers can take for granted what’s happening at dams now. 
The relationship between dams and fish is complex, which is why I asked Dr. Sean Landsman, a fellow angling nut, to help bring some clarity to a fish impact issue all of us anglers need to know. Dr. Sean Landsman is with the Institute of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Science at Carleton University. 
In part one of this 2-part Blue Fish Radio series, Dr. Landsman discusses different dam configurations, movement of fish past dams in both directions, and why it makes sense to simply remove most smaller legacy dams. Link below for part one of my conversation with Dr. Landsman on Blue Fish Radio:
Like me, many anglers may be of the mind-set that fish ladders or some other fish passage system introduced at dam sites is all that’s really needed. In this 2nd of my 2-part discussion with Dr. Sean Landsman, he explains the different fish passage systems adopted to move fish around dams, their strengths and weaknesses, and why alternative solutions to dams may be preferable in certain cases. Link below to hear the second part of my conversation with Dr. Landsman on Blue Fish Radio:
Job creation, infrastructure projects, economic recovery, will all become priorities as we dig our way out of the pandemic. The federal government recently announced a fund to clean-up abandoned oil drill sites in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Let’s hope that something similar is in the works specific to removing the tens-of-thousands of legacy dams throughout Canada. The window for these sorts of projects is relatively short because, once the economy is up-and-running, the equipment and human resources needed to do this work will be focussed on private sector developments. No one wants to see public resources used to bid against privately funded projects for access to such services and equipment. The time to make a difference is now, so let’s make sure we get the removal of legacy dams on the table for funding consideration. 

DamNation Video – Well Worth the Watch!

6. Shower Less?  Yes, Even During a Pandemic!
From CBC Radio’s  As It Happens, Sept 7.
Dr. James Hamblin’s new book Clean explores the modern over-reliance on personal care product 
A new book examining the science of clean skin suggests people don’t need to shower nearly as much as they currently do. (Torwaistudio/Shutterstock)
Listen22:18  Read Story Transcript

It has been more than five years since Dr. James Hamblin had a proper shower. 
He still regularly washes his hands with soap and water. Occasionally, he’ll pop under the shower-head to tame his bed-head or rinse away some actual dirt from his skin. But he doesn’t shampoo his hair or lather his body.
“You don’t look and smell the same as after you go through an elaborate skin-care regimen or, you know, have lathered yourself in fine-smelling soaps. But you don’t smell terrible either,” Hamblin told As it Happens host Carol Off. 
“You’re just sort of in an equilibrium. And you smell, as I’m told, like a human.”
Hamblin is a preventative medicine doctor, a lecturer at the Yale School of Public Health and a staff writer for the Atlantic. His new book, Clean: The New Science of Skin, asks readers to question the multitude of products they’re being sold in the name of hygiene and personal care, and whether some of them may, in fact, be doing more harm than good. 
He says a global pandemic could be a better time than ever to experiment with cutting back on those products — and on showering overall. 
The rapid expansion of personal hygiene products 
A hundred years ago, having running water and a bar of soap in the home was a new phenomenon, Hamblin said.
Nowadays, a single family’s bathroom may be home to an incredible array of products — scented soaps, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, cream rinses, facial cleansers, and an assortment of creams, ointments and serums all meant for specific body parts. 
“It is a brilliant story of marketing,” he said. 
“It’s basically a process of segmenting and growth by the big corporations that have sold us these things and found ways to make these products slightly differentiated so that they are maybe a little different colour, a little different scent, a little different concentration, and making whole new products out of them.”

Shampoos, soaps and other hygiene products on display in a Walmart aisle. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
That original shift toward personal hygiene was based in science, Hamblin said, and helped curb the spread of disease and infections.
“But it really quickly devolved away from from actual disease prevention practices and toward wealth and class signifiers.”
That linking of cleanliness to class, Hamblin says, has had devastating consequences for society at large.
“Throughout the history of the idea of cleanliness, it has been used maliciously as being used to justify racism and xenophobia, and we’ve we’ve called other groups unclean since before we had germ theory as a way of just differentiating ourselves and justifying plunder,” he said.
Asked what he think of comments by U.S. President Donald Trump about increasing water pressure from showerheads to have a more intense shower experience and injecting disinfectant to combat COVID-19, he said that “goes hand-in-hand with a lot of germaphobia.”
“There are clear tropes with purity and cleanliness that become very easily tied up in toxic ways, toward thinking you just want to eradicate all foreign entities,” he said.
“That is where you start to see very clearly a propensity to just think of all germs are bad and purity as good as this hyper-simplified version of the actual way that we should be thinking about our skin and our microbial worlds.”
Balancing your bacteria 
Human skin is covered in bacteria. And Hamblin says that’s not a bad thing.  
“They are all over us all the time. So we are never without the skin microbiome. We wouldn’t want to be. It’s a normal feature of us,” Hamblin said.
“We’re really just starting to understand the depths of the importance of what those microbes are doing and how to keep that microbiome healthy. But it does seem clear that the answer is not to try to simply clear cut the forest as much as possible.”
Instead, he says the key could be to allow the microbiome to find its natural balance. 

Dr. James Hamblin is the author of Clean: The New Science of Skin. (Penguin Random House)
Bacteria feeds off our natural oils, which also acts as a moisture barrier for your skin. So excessive washing can lead to dry skin and exacerbate conditions like eczema. And then people try to fight that dry skin with yet more products.
“For some people who are doing just fine and enjoying their daily regimens and not having any skin issues, you know, I say more power to you,” Hamblin said. 
“But there are plenty of people out there who kind of get into these cycles of having flares of acne or eczema and trying to, you know, use more and more products and clean more and more aggressively. And there’s a big segment of that population who finds that, actually, things get better when you taper off.”
How to stop showering in a pandemic 
Hamblin says he’s not out to convince everyone to stop showering like he did. He says he understands how important the ritual can be for people. 
“I hope that by the end of [the book], though, people have sort of gone along with me on this journey to trace our beliefs and our practices and come out at the other end sort of questioning what is really necessary and what is not,” he said.
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But if you do feel like cutting back, Hamblin figures there’s no better time, even during a pandemic that has people being hyper-vigilant about hygiene.
“I think there is long overdue attention to hand-washing, to not touching your face, rubbing your eyes, picking your nose, to being conscious of where you’re directing your respiratory droplets, not coughing and sneezing on people or anywhere near people,” he said. 
“But at the same time, a lot of people are working from home, working partly remotely, spending a lot more time at home as it is, and being more relaxed about ….self-care practices that weren’t really necessary in the first place.”
Just take it slow, he says, and be patient. 
“This was something I just sort of weaned myself off of slowly,” he said. “I don’t recommend that anyone quit cold turkey because it tends not to go well. “

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Katie Geleff. 

So that’s it for now. 
I will include one final update later in Sept with details about the amazing Canoe Build Celebration weekend, Sept 26/27.  It’s looking truly awesome.  Lisa’s great venison chili, blessing and launch of the boat, the chance for visitors to get out on the water in a genuine Algonquin birch bark canoe and a Truth and Reconciliation Walk.  Still in the planning stages. 
Volunteers needed.  If interested contact me at 513-544-1246
Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour