Shameless

Section: 
Editorial

A reader dropped by last week with a clipping from a 1947 Kincardine paper.

 

The article in question, New Musical Chairs, described how downtown merchants were playing a new version of musical chairs.

 

One merchant parks his car in front of another’s business and that merchant responds in kind. Eventually, of course, there is no parking for would-be customers.

 

Sounds like downtown parking has been a problem since cars became popular following the Second World War.

 

It appears to be a wild west zone today. Motorists continue to park with abandon in the downtown – in no parking zones, across driveways, in handicap zones – with few consequences.

 

I heard the end of an hour-long show on parking on CBC Radio one day last week. They were talking about Sacramento, California, which restored its historic centre by putting in parking meters. The merchants went for the idea only after the city said all the money collected would be spent where it was collected.

 

Might be an idea to bring parking sanity back downtown.

 

But nothing works without enforcement, one of Kincardine’s problems before parking meters were removed.

 

**

 

It used to be that people in public office caught cheating were shamed into resigning.

 

That idea is a thing of the past. Shame doesn’t deter the new breed of politician.

 

Toronto politicians caught in conflicts-of-interest don’t apologize, they continue in their ways.

 

London’s mayor is facing fraud changes. So what?

 

Senators have the most gall of all.

 

Senator Pamela Wallin, a former journalist, has $360,000 in travel expenses the past two years. Senator Mike Duffy is under investigation for claiming living expenses for living in PEI, even though he really lives in Ottawa.

 

Milking the public purse seems to be speciality of senators.

 

Some are crying for the abolition of the Senate. I’ve got a better idea – appoint people of integrity who will respect the office. It is supposed to be the Chamber of second thought – it can, but seldom does, send legislation back to the House of Commons.

 

If we ever elect a real dictator as prime minister, a proper Senate would come in handy.

 

**

 

Speaking of former journalists, Environment Minister Peter Kent is having quite a time pretending the government is serious about the environment.

 

Maybe journalists should stay out of politics.

 

**

 

The Canadian government has been hiding its head in the sand for the past few years when it comes to the environment.

 

It believed everyone needed our oil and ignored things like greenhouse gases from the oil sands and earlier this year gutted environmental laws. For some reason, this government doesn’t pay much attention to science.

 

That is a mistake.

 

We’re losing money hand over fist because we can’t get the oil to market because of a lack of pipelines.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama hinted last week that Canada should pay more attention to the environment if it wants to the U.S. to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

 

Maybe it’s time we took our heads out of the sand; we could use the business.

 

**

 

If you live by a wind turbine, you might be asked for a hair sample this spring.

 

The federal government plans to study hair samples of 1,200 people to analyze hair cortisol concentrations. That will determine, perhaps, if the turbines are causing stress to people living nearby.