This is a brief note to HIRA members and other residents of Howe Island about the Township of Frontenac Islands regular council meeting held on Monday May 13, 2024. Note to report on the June 3, 2024 Council meeting will follow soon.

Only matters of particular interest to Howe Island residents are highlighted  here.

Letter from MTO re Howe Islander (County) Ferry:


The township received correspondence from MTO dated May 6, 2024 whereby MTO advises Township CAO that the ministry has committed to reviewing options for the Howe Island ferry service.  Per MTO, in order  “….to determine a reliable long-term solution that meets the current and future Howe Island needs, the Ministry plans to review various options that include modifications to the existing ferry and procuring a new vessel”.

MTO claims to be in the process of retaining a certified naval architect to provide advice on long-term options to improve the ferry service and to restore the capacity of the existing vessel. MTO hopes to have the naval architect on board by the fall of this year.

In addition, MTO claims to be exploring “….all feasible options to ensure service reliability for residents….while a long-term solution is being developed.”

The letter was signed by Franca Sacchetti, Director, East Operations and by Colin Simons, Director, Transportation User Services.

Howe Island Projected Road Work – Public Works Report PW-005-24:


Council received for information a report submitted by Mike Quinn, Public Works Lead, that outlined proposals for road work to be performed on Howe Island roads for the balance of 2024. The Public Works department proposed the following:

    • Periodic grading of Baseline Road, Spithead Road, Lighthouse Lane, Fuller Road, Driscoll Road and Lower Side Road.

    • Gravel application on as needed basis only.

    • Dust control measures to be assessed pending cost of liquid calcium.

    • Shoulder edging and removal of sod to assist with drainage on roads that were not done in 2023.

    • Shoulder / edge work on asphalt surface edges. Will include grading, application of recycled asphalt and packing.

Howe Island / Wolfe Island  Future of Recycling Ontario-Public Works Report No. PW-006-24:


With recent changes to Ontario Regulation O. Reg 391/21, the province of Ontario has signalled a move is underway to change the existing Ontario Blue Box recycling program. The province is moving towards a “producer responsibility” approach to recycling where the producers of recyclable materials will be responsible for recycling costs associated with those   materials.

Effective July 1, 2025 responsibility for the collection, transportation and disposal of recyclable materials will become the responsibility of a provincially appointed firm known as “Circular Materials”. The company will be collaborating with all municipalities in the province to make the transition to a new recycling program successful.

At this point, the Township has been given no clear path to transition. It is not clear, at this point, if the Township will continue to offer collection depots on both Wolfe and Howe Islands after July 1, 2025. 

Transition mechanisms will be the subject of negotiations between the Township and Circular Materials that will take place over the next year. Township Council and staff will provide updates as information becomes available.

Howe Island Fire & Rescue to receive grant funds- Public Works Report

No. PW-007-24:


Howe Island Fire & Rescue was a successful applicant for grant funding from the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area. The amount of the grant awarded is $2,261.07. The funds will be used to replace CPR manikins used to train first responders on correct CPR techniques and to acquire a manikin that can be used on training for airway management.

2023 Operating Expenses Report- Finance Report No. FN-004-24

Treasurer Jesse Collins submitted a report comparing 2023 budget amounts to actual 2023 expenditures by department. Although some departments did  have significant variances, the Township as a whole experienced a budget variance of only 1.89%….so effective cost control overall.

New Ferry or Bridge? Formal survey requested:


Howe Island resident Alison Healy submitted a letter to Council to request the Township conduct a formal survey of Howe Island residents to obtain an accurate reading of opinion on the question:

    • Do you want a new ferry?

    • Do you want a fixed link to the mainland i.e. a bridge? 

Council received Alison’s letter for information but declined to pursue the survey issue at this time.

Notice of Motion made by Deputy Mayor Bill Saunders re County ferry service:


A motion was made by the deputy-mayor that proposed the following:

    • Township staff are directed to communicate Howe Islander’s strong desire for a new ferry directly to the Ontario Minister of Transportation and senior MTO staff.

    • Request the MTO identify and implement options to improve the reliability of the Frontenac Howe Islander until such time as the new ferry is available for service.

    • Request MTO to prioritize these issues and take measures to address them effectively.

Motion was carried.

Statement by Members of Council:


On behalf of the Howe Island Recreation Committee Deputy Mayor Saunders advised:

    • The committee has been working diligently to arrange events for Island residents.

    • Saturday morning coffee and the farmer’s market have been a big success

    • The bon-fires planned have been postponed a couple of times due to inclement weather

    • Monthly Euchre sessions will resume in the fall.


By-Laws passed that affect Howe Island residents:

    • By-Law #019-2024 – limits access to the Township East End ferry to passenger vehicles, cyclists and pedestrian traffic. No heavy vehicles or trailers will be permitted to use the Township ferry.

    • By-Law #021-2024- authorizes the Township to levy property taxes pursuant to tax rates set out in Schedule “A” to the by-law.





PLEASE NOTE: If you are a member of HIRA, thank you for your support. If you are not a member, the annual $10 membership fee, or a lifetime membership fee of $100, can be paid via cash, cheque or etransfer to memberservices@howeisland.org.


Cheques payable to HIRA can be given to one of our Directors or placed into the HIRA mailbox at the roadside at the Township Office.

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