A modest proposal

Section: 
Editorial

Two things seem to be dominating conversation these days – the weather and windmills.

 

People are tiring of Highway 21 being closed three or four days a week while others want to see no more wind farms.

 

Here is a modest proposal to solve the Highway 21 problem and put our current wind farms to good use.

Highway 21 from Kincardine to Port Elgin is due for repaving in the next year or two.

 

When the highway is repaved, the government should put heating coils in the pavement and use energy from the windmills to keep the pavement bare all winter.

 

Even in the worst of snow storms, it’s easy to stay on the road if the roadway is bare and black. And if it’s windy and snowing, you know the wind turbines will be spinning. Therefore the highway would not have to be closed, saving the local economy millions of dollars each winter.

 

And then look at the cost of highway maintenance. With no snow on the road, the province doesn’t need a fleet of snowplows. The odd time a plow could push snow from the shoulder into the ditch. Another huge saving.

 

If the Kincardine to Port Elgin experiment were to work, the windmills up or planned from here to Grand Bend could keep the Bluewater Highway open year round.

The above, of course, is tongue in cheek, but it almost makes sense.

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Kincardine’s new council hasn’t had much to do since it took office in December. I’ve lost count of the number of meetings that have been cancelled because Highway 21 has been closed.

 

Maybe the municipal hall shouldn’t have been moved to the country.

 

**

 

Rev. Aaron Rubach, who a few years ago helped get the Lutheran Church established just east of Kincardine on Highway 9, dropped into the office last week.

 

Now 86 years young and living in Kitchener, Rubach continues to keep busy, helping to get a church established in Guelph. He also fills in at times at churches in Kitchener.

 

Keeping busy must be good for the health.

 

**

 

And not being healthy isn’t good for the pocket book.

 

A reader from Ripley recently complained about having to attend the medical clinic in Kincardine three times in one day. Parking is $3 per visit and he believes $9 for parking in one day on the hospital hill is excessive.

 

**

 

There is nothing like a good headline to grab your attention.

 

I was glancing through the Durham College Chronicle (it comes regularly in the mail) when this headline jumped off the page: Become a good pain in the ass.

 

The story was an interview with philosopher Christopher DiCarlo of Guelph who has written a book: How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Asking the Right Questions.

 

Socrates, says the professor, “was such a good pain in the ass that the Athenian society killed him, sentenced him to death because they’d rather just shut him up than have to face the difficult questions that he was asking.

 

We could use a few MPs, MPPs and municipal councillors like Socrates.

 

**

 

Last week, Chief Justice Beverly McLaughlin of the Supreme Court of Canada said the middle class cannot hope to pay legal fees that average $338 per hour, leaving them little option but to represent themselves in court or go away empty-handed.

 

The justice system, she said, caters to the very rich and the very poor, who get legal aid.

 

McLaughlin was speaking at a conference in Toronto where judges, lawyers and academics from this country, the U.S. and Britain all bemoaned the fact that the middle class is shut out of the court system.

That’s something most of us know – but something that isn’t about to change.