Editor's Notebook

Musings

The newspaper industry is retrenching.

 

Sun Media announced last week that it was closing 11 newspapers and eliminating another 350 jobs.

 

Seems to me it’s another chicken and egg scenario. The newspaper chains have been cutting editorial people for years. The quality of the product falls, then sales drop and they say they have to cut more editorial staff. The chains should try the opposite tack and improve their products. They might be surprised.

 

**

 


It’s only money

What’s the matter with this picture?

 

In Canada, we allow some railways to operate trains with one employee and we allow trains to sit unattended on a siding for hours at a time.

 

If that train accident in Quebec had happened in a Third World country, we would be lamenting the lack of regulations, just like when the garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh.

 


A lot of gas

Team Kincardine wants another $10,000 from council to continue working on the municipality’s integrated community sustainability plan (ICSP).

 

The plan is a requisite to receive federal gas tax funding, which if I read the Canadian government website correctly, is administered by the province.

 

Phase 1 of the report, presented to council last week, is full of buzzwords, such as initiatives, strategies, priorities, sustainability, action plans, communications. In other words, it doesn’t say much.

 

But municipalities, from coast to coast, will be making similar plans to send on to bureaucrats at an upper level of government. Those bureaucrats will decide who gets federal gas tax funding.

 


Here and there

According to a story in this week’s newspaper, Kincardine Mayor Larry Kraemer says a decision on whether natural gas comes to Kincardine and area will be made in a couple of weeks.

 

Since local taxpayers could be on the hook for the $100 million project, I hope council will provide more details before any deal is inked.

 

**

 

I hear the washrooms at the Kincardine Arts Centre were not open a week ago Saturday for the first pipe band.

 


Good bye

Independent readers will be sorry to hear of the death of Bryan Edden.

 

Bryan operated a garage for many years at the corner of the 5th and Highway 21. Whenever he got a bee in his bonnet, he would grab an old piece of paper, usually an Independent bill, and write a letter to the editor. There was usually grease on his hands, I guess, because his ballpoint or pencil wouldn’t write on the greasy spots on the paper, making his notes hard to translate at times.

 


Wacky world

I was watching the CBC news Saturday when I saw Carlo, who runs an Italian deli and grocery store in Regina, being interviewed.

 

I was introduced to Carlo about three weeks ago by my son-in-law, Chris, when we were in the west. It’s a small country in some ways.

 

The CBC was doing a story on VISA’s advertising campaign to get people to use their VISA card to buy small items. The campaign appears to be another way to gouge small business.

 

As Carlo said on TV, buying a $10 item with a VISA card costs the merchant 25 cents. Buying the same item with a debit card only costs the merchant 7 cents.

 


Strange

Dana and I were lunching at a downtown bistro Friday when a strange-looking man, clad in a kilt, walked in the door and approached our table.

 

He wanted to know if we were wearing “plaid”. Fortunately, my shirt passed the test and body searches were unnecessary.

 

The man in the kilt was Andy French who said the Scottish Festival had reinstituted Tartan Fridays to promote the festival which is July 5, 6, and 7.

 

So fear not if you find yourself being approached on a Friday in the downtown area by a man in a kilt. He’s about to tell you about the Scottish Festival.

 

**

 


Where are the dreams?

If you are familiar with Canadian history, you know that our first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, promised a national railway to entice British Columbia to join Canada.

B.C. joined and Sir John delivered – the railway was completed in 1885.

Putting the railway through the mountains of B.C. was a daunting task but I never realized the magnitude of the problem until I saw the IMAX film, Rocky Mountain Express.


On the road

Dana and I have been in Regina the past week, babysitting our four-year-old granddaughter while her parents were taking in Memorial Cup games in Saskatoon.

We have been doing things we were doing 40 years ago. Saturday we took Annie to her first soccer practice of the season. Coach Jim knew what he was doing.

We spent part of the day at the Saskatchewan Science Centre, a great place for the younger set. Kids are full of wonder and excitement and they are honest as the day is long in their early days – they wear their moods on their face.

It’s hard to believe so many innocent youngsters grow up to be nasty adults. Where does society go wrong?

Anyway, we did all kinds of interesting things, far more important I’m sure, than our usual activities.

**


Pathetic

Do you laugh or do you cry when you watch the news coming out of Ottawa?

Senator Mike Duffy has obviously sold his soul; he’ll do and say anything if you send money his way. He’s a pathetic, venal man.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would clean up government when he came to power and that people who behaved like Duffy would be punished.

Instead of punishing Duffy, Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright, rewarded him by paying the $90,000 Duffy apparently owed the Senate.

That mistake cost Wright his job – but he did the honourable thing and resigned.

Not Duffy, if he were a man, he would resign from the Senate.  Instead, he’s still collecting his pay.