Lionesses Laugh and Learn at Conference
About 135 Lioness Club members from 22 clubs across southern Ontario laughed it up Saturday morning as Judy Croon, motivational humorist, entertained at the “Laugh and Learn” conference, Nov. 10-12, hosted by the Ferndale/Lion’s Head & District Lions Club at the Best Western Inn on the Bay in Owen Sound.
In spite of the Friends of Cabot Head’s high hopes for reopening, the Cabot Head Light Station will continue to be closed throughout 2018.
The popular tourist destination in Northern Bruce Peninsula was closed this year due to concerns of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), which arose after environmental studies had been completed at the site.
A timeline for completion of ongoing remediation work has not yet been finalized, Rosaleen O’Mahony, communications adviser for the DFO said in an email.
Ina Toxopeus, President of Friends of Cabot Head (FOCH), the group which runs the site’s day-to-day operations, said the board of directors has not yet met to discuss the situation.
“We are planning on doing some meetings over the winter,” she said.
Currently, FOCH continues to pay various bills at the site in connection with their ongoing operations, without having been open for the 2017 season.
The group also maintained the site throughout 2017, cutting the grass and performing various tasks to ensure the buildings and grounds remain in good repair even though the site has been closed to the public.
“We really have to look at are we going to keep going or aren’t we,” Toxopeus said.
The group continues to need active, paid-up FOCH members and Board Members to survive, she said. Toxopeus has been involved with FOCH for nearly 28 years.
“Because we are in limbo, I haven’t pursued the business plan. It’s almost ready to go,” she said.
The business plan for the site’s operation is required by the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, who lease the site from DFO, the site’s owner.
Since August, the DFO has completed an initial soil sampling program; a designated substance survey, which included a mercury survey; a structural assessment of the buildings and an additional soil sampling program on Oct. 24 and 25, O’Mahony said.
Reports are being prepared as a result of these remediation tasks and will be used to develop plans and specifications for lead paint abatement and soil remediation, and to assist the Department in determining if any additional measures are required to address mercury vapours, she said.
The DFO will not do any remediation work at the site over the winter months.
“Lead paint abatement and soil remediation is anticipated to occur between April and October next year (2018). Due to the nature of this construction, access to the public will not be granted while the work is ongoing,” O’Mahony said.
In regard to the site’s upkeep, interior maintenance work can continue under two stipulations: that Fisheries and Oceans Canada is not conducting any other construction at that time, and that those working at the site do not exceed the limits presented in the risk assessment which was completed this year.
As for the municipality, Mayor Milt McIver said in an interview council had not yet discussed the site’s future.
In addition to the DFO’s remediation, council and local residents have safety concerns arising from the increased amount of tourist traffic on the road leading to the site – which will also need to be considered, he said.