Editor's Notebook

Welcome back

If the weather is half decent, the area will be full of cottagers and other visitors this coming weekend. A welcome goes out to all of you.

 

However, you should know that you are the subject of much discussion by the Municipality of Kincardine. Councillors have been a bit on the touchy side the past couple of weeks whenever they discussed a proposed tourism strategic plan.

 

Councillor Ron Coristine, who spearheaded the plan, said Wednesday, as you can read in a story elsewhere in this newspaper: “Either you want this to go forward or you don’t and if you don’t, that’s fine. You can sit back and watch as tourism happens around you.”

 


Money, money, money

Kincardine councillors have a bit of reading to do if they are to do justice to the new tourism strategic plan.

 

I was speed reading it Friday and it does have lots of information; council will have to see if it makes sense.

 

There are a few things in it that make you wonder. One of the benefits of tourism, says the report, is: Diversification of the economy (new businesses such as windsurfing lessons and equipment emerge to support tourism). That’s not much of a reason to get excited about tourism.

 

The plan proposes increasing the budget from $250,000 to $391,000. Do taxpayers really believe we should be spending almost $400,000 a year to promote tourism?

 


War?

Now that spring is sometimes in the air, I have the urge to plant a few vegetables.

There’s only one problem now that I’m an apartment dweller – I have to use containers.

And that means I’ll have to go to war – not with my neighbours but with the downtown squirrels.

Squirrels never bothered me when I had a real garden, but since I’ve tried container gardening, they can’t contain their glee. Last summer, for example, I’d plant a box and the next morning the planter would be dug up and earth scattered to the four corners of the deck.

It didn’t much matter what I planted – dutch sets, tomato plants, or just vegetable seeds – chaos reigned each morning.

If I caught them in the act early in the morning, they’d chuckle and then take off along the fence to the nearest tree.

If I’m wearing a squirrel skin hat this fall, you know I went to war. If I’m not, I’ve given up gardening.

**


Heaven or hell

What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties… - from Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Dana and I spent most of Friday at the Art Gallery of Ontario where they have a special display of Renaissance art, which indeed shows man can rise above the pettiness of day to day existence.

Around 700 years ago in Florence, Italy, the merchants became very well to do. Knowing that it was difficult for the rich to reach heaven, they hedged their bets. The merchants hired artists to create works of art for the churches of that city. Some even built family churches.


What’s next?

The dirty little secret is out. The federal government and big business are in league when it comes to replacing Canadian workers by sending jobs off shore and by using foreign workers here.

The news that the Royal Bank, with the use of the temporary foreign worker program, is shedding jobs should be no surprise.

The big newspaper chains already send advertisements to India for composition. And there are no doubt many other industries – call centres for example - sending jobs overseas.

Young people must wonder why they go to school.


Expectations

News that Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer is off to China on a trade mission raises a problem.

 

What can the people of Kincardine send to China to show our deep affection for the most populous country in the world?

 


Pandas good sports

Seven Cree walked 1,500 kilometres from Quebec to Ottawa to meet Monday of last week with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It was a cold, long walk.

 

The Prime Minister, however, left Ottawa the same day in a rush to greet two Chinese ambassadors to Canada upon their arrival in Toronto.

 


Box store ugly

Dana, and I spent Friday evening in beautiful downtown Vaughan, a new city north of Toronto.

 

Everything I saw in Vaughan was super-sized. A block behind our hotel, at Highways 400 and 7, was a huge Ikea store. Across the road was a street with more huge box stores – a theatre and an Irish Pub. We didn’t walk further.

 

When we returned home Saturday, Dana wanted to see a huge mall she had heard about. When checking out, the hotel staff said to drive north seven minutes and we would arrive.

 


An answer

I can’t understand why government no longer seems to work – services deteriorate while costs escalate.

Then I read a review of Donald Savoie’s book, “Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher?” in the Toronto Star last week.

The Moncton author has written more than 40 books on politics, public administration and the decline of democracy.

The title of this latest book came from a conversation the author had with a prominent Canadian businessman who grew up in a small Nova Scotia village. While growing up, there was a provincially-employed music teacher in the village who worked alongside two Department of Natural Resources employees.


The night the lights went out

Hanging out with a just about four-year-old takes you to places you wouldn’t normally visit.

 

Daughter Sarah, coach of the University of Regina Cougars, was in Toronto last week for the university women’s hockey championship.

 

Since we seldom see our granddaughter, Annie, we told Sarah to bring her along and we could spend some time with her.