HIRA Briefing Note: Sept/Oct 2023 Council Meetings

This is a brief note to HIRA members and other residents of Howe Island about the Township of Frontenac Islands council meeting held on Monday October 10, 2023. The public was provided with Zoom access to the regular meeting and HIRA directors attended or monitored the meeting. Only matters of particular interest to Howe Island residents are highlighted here.

Auditors present draft financial statements for 2022 fiscal year:

KPMG staff attended the council meeting to present draft financial statements for the 2022 fiscal year. A copy of the presentation content and draft financials is available at pages 6 – 68 of the agenda for the October 10, 2023 council meeting that has been posted to the township website. The agenda can be accessed using the following link: https://frontenac.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/238384

Plaque presented to Mike Hart:

Councillor Bob Ackley presented Howe Island resident Mike Hart with a plaque to express appreciation for the work Mike has put into managing youth baseball and recreational programs on the Island over the years. Our thanks go out to Mike for all he has done and continues to do.

Memorial bench to be installed in memory of Noreen McDougall:

Deputy Mayor Bill Saunders proposed that the Township install a memorial bench in honour of our late former councillor, Noreen McDougall, in a designated location at Pat Norris Park. The memorial is to recognize the many contributions made by Noreen to the community. Noreen was instrumental in the successful application to upgrade facilities at the park. She also served the community as an elected Township Councillor and as long-time volunteer member of the Howe Island Garden Buds.

Public Works Report PW-007-23:

A report that details various projects and activities pursued by Township public works staff during the month of September 2023 was prepared by Fire Chief Mike Quinn and submitted to Township Council.

Items of general interest include:

· The large road projects, including surface treatment, have been completed on Howe Island Drive and North Shore Road. Additional work has been completed on Lighthouse Lane, Spithead Road and Baseline Road (west). The Township road restoration plan for 2023 is now completely on target.

· Kayak and boat docks at the foot ferry (east) site will be removed for the winter season. (Removal was completed later in the month of October).

· Brush and branches have been trimmed back on Howe Island Trail.

· The public Works Yard on Baseline Road is being reorganized to allow better use of the recycling area. The 2-car limit on vehicles allowed in the recycling area has been withdrawn to reduce wait times.

To view Fire Chief Quinn’s complete report readers can refer to pages 157- 160 of the agenda for the October 10, 2023 council meeting. The agenda can be accessed using the link:


By-Law #44-2023 Speed Reduction on Howe Island Roads:

The township proposes to reduce speed limits on all Howe Island roads to 60 km/hr unless otherwise posted. This represents an effort to improve overall safety on the island’s roads. The by-law received first and second reading at the October 10, 2023 council meeting. In order to allow for public input, third reading of the by-law was deferred to the next regular Council meeting scheduled for November 14, 2023.

Township proposes to restrict trailer access on Township (East) ferry:

Council proposes to remove trailer access on the Township (East) ferry. In future, access to the Township ferry is to be restricted to passenger vehicles only. Allowing trailers to access the smaller Township ferry introduces safety concerns and increases congestion at the ferry landing. The issue is to be discussed further at the next regular council meeting scheduled for November 14, 2023.

MTO expands ferry options for Howe Island:

Councillor Bob Ackley advised that, in view of Transport Canada reducing the County (West) capacity to 10 cars, MTO has indicated it may be prudent to expand options available to include consideration of replacing the existing ferry with a new ferry. Council passed a resolution to send a letter of support for the “new ferry” option to Colin Simons, Director, Operations Division-Transportation User Services Branch of the MTO. It is too early to tell if this represents material progress in our efforts to obtain a reliable and efficient ferry service for Howe Island. We will monitor future developments and report back.



HIRA was not able to monitor the regular Council meeting held on September 11, 2023 due to poor audio quality available with the Zoom broadcast. However, we wish to report on a number of by-laws that were proposed or enacted at this meeting.

· By-law 35-2023:

A By-law to adopt a priority boarding policy for the township (east) ferry received third and final reading. The by-law grants priority boarding rights to vehicles used in response to various emergencies and urgent circumstances.

The public can access detail around the by-law on pages 109-110 of the agenda posted to the Township of Frontenac Islands website.

The agenda in question can be accessed using the following link:


· By-law 37-2023:

A By-law to disband the Howe Island Recreation Committee that was established with the enactment of By-law 13-2023 received third and final reading. The committee has completed the tasks for which it was struck.

· By-law 38-2023:

A By-law to repeal the appointment of the members of the Howe Island Recreation Committee that were appointed with the enactment of By-law 34-2023 received third and final reading. We thank the members of the committee for their efforts made on behalf of Howe Island residents.

· By-law 39-2023:

A By-law to establish policies and procedures for the procurement of goods and services by the township received first and second reading. Detail surrounding the By-law can be found at pages 113-134 of the agenda. The agenda can be accessed using the link referred to above for By-law 35-2023.

· By-law 40-2023:

A By-law to appoint Marcel Lavigne as Chief Building Official / Provincial Offenses Officer received third and final reading. The appointment was made retroactive to August 28, 2023.

· By-law 42-2023:

A By-law to appoint the law firm of Cunningham, Swan as Integrity Commissioner for the Township of Frontenac Islands received third and final reading. The lead lawyer will be Tony Fleming. The appointment took effect on October 1, 2023.


PLEASE NOTE: If you are a member of HIRA, thank you for your support. If you are not a member, please consider joining at $10 per year. Yearly membership dues are due on January 1 of each year. If you have paid, thank you.If you have not paid, please send or deliver a cheque payable to HIRA to one of our Directors or place a cheque into the HIRA mailbox at the roadside at the Township Office. You can also pay by e-transfer to memberservices@howeisland.org.

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