The legend will live on


If you want to know what is wrong with this country, look no further than Kincardine’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan.


Kincardine and other municipalities across Canada need such plans to apply for government grants from the federal government’s Green Municipal Fund. Without such a plan, a municipality has no hope of getting funds.


What’s challenging is making sure plans, because they’re so big, don’t sit on a shelf,” says the CEO of the company that did Kincardine’s plan.


It would be interesting to see how many such plans are sitting on the shelves at the municipal building.


In reality, the federal and provincial governments are keeping consultants in business by demanding plans before municipalities can apply for grants. That costs municipalities thousands of dollars and countless hours of time from employees, elected officials and volunteers. (This particular plan cost more than $61,000.)


If Kincardine, for example, has a need for a new sewage plant, surely it doesn’t need to look at a sustainability plan to tell it so.


Such endeavours, in my mind (I’ve covered too many meetings), are simply a waste of resources.


Consider all the money that has gone into planning over the past 15 years for the addition to the Kincardine Hospital. With the addition frozen in the recent provincial budget, has that money gone down the drain?




Government plans, of course, don’t always work.


Provincial governments have been following an educational plan that calls for bigger and bigger schools. To achieve this, more and more children are bussed to school.


And so, says the Grey Bruce Health Unit, the current generation of children will likely have a shorter lifespan than their parents. The reason – a lack of physical activity is leading to serious health conditions.


Only seven per cent of Canadian children get enough physical activity – which is defined as one hour of physical activity each day.  Teenagers are starting to get heart disease and diabetes.


What good are bigger and better schools if they’re killing our kids with inactivity?



Last week, by the way, was the 37th birthday of The Independent.


I wonder how many million words I’ve written in that span. I could have written dozens of novels, maybe even a best seller.


The Independent continues to be one of the country’s better weeklies. For the third year in a row, we’ve received a Canadian Community Newspapers Association Blue Ribbon. They are presented to the best newspapers in each circulation class.


On the provincial front, we’re one of three newspapers nominated for the Best Special Section Award for newspapers with circulations up to 9,999.. We entered the section we produced on the 100th anniversary of Bruce Telecom.


The winner will be announced at the annual convention later this month.




Ted Wand (Gump) and I have always had an understanding. If he gets a shut out in Huffer Puffer hockey, he makes the front page of The Independent.


In that regard, I have no more worries. Gump, 75, has tended goal for the last time. Father time has caught up to Gump – his one hip seems to be made of rubber.


When I started playing with the Huffers 14 years ago, Gump was one of the original three or four who got the league started. He’s the last of the originals to hang up his skates.


Gump has been the glue that held everything together over the years. He has organized the Christmas and year-end parties, kept track of players, kept us laughing with a never-ending supply of jokes and one-liners and, most foolishly, he cheers for the Montreal Canadiens (an apparent weakness of many goalies).


That lightning glove will be missed – but the legend will live on.




The General Motors dealership next door to The Independent has moved out to the former Chrysler dealership on Highway 21.


There has been a garage at the former Pierson dealership a long time – International trucks and Volkswagen are two. To the north of the garage was the Windsor Hotel and to the south a home.


 The closing is the second major hit to downtown in the past two months – the grocery store, Foodland, closed its doors in March.


What people seem to forget is that both the food store and the car dealership brought many people into the downtown.

Many getting their cars fixed or serviced, for example, would walk down the street and shop or pop into a restaurant

In the past 15 or so years, the downtown has also lost the municipal office and the head office of Bruce Telecom.

People who work downtown often shop and eat downtown.

The closings are not a good sign for small business in the core.