Big Brother?

Section: 
Editorial

In the last 10 days, a few residents scheduled to testify at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) hearing now underway in Kincardine have told me that they have answered their front doors to find two OPP officers in attendance.

 

The officers, in plain clothes, said police would be attending the hearing, just in case any of them were worried about their safety.

 

Apparently, everyone testifying was being contacted by the OPP.

 

That I couldn’t figure out. We don’t have a history of violent confrontation around here. All a visit from the police would do is intimidate many people.

 

I got my answer Saturday night when I returned home and read my Toronto Star. The lead story was: Police visit nuclear dump foes – at home.

 

Those against the deep geologic repository would love that headline.

 

Police shouldn’t be the story in this hearing, yet here they were on the front page of the province’s largest newspaper. (They made page 3 Monday.)

 

According to the Star article, an OPG spokesman said the OPP’s “engagement” came at the request of the CNSC and “local municipalities”.

 

Saturday at the hearing, OPG apologized to the CNSC as the CNSC had nothing to do with calling the police in.

 

And I remember nothing about Kincardine asking the OPP to take part.

 

Maybe Big Brother is just keeping an eye on us to keep us all in line.

 

**

 

Dana and I were in the London area Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (For the record, we weren’t at the PC convention.)

 

A lot more rain fell in London than here. The fields and creeks north of the city were full of water when we returned home Saturday afternoon.

 

**

 

It takes guts to make tough decisions, especially if you are a politician. However, taking the easy way can come back to bite you.

 

Take the stranded debt from the lakeshore pipeline project that started in 2004. The current Kincardine council is still dealing with the fact that the council of 10 years ago caved under public pressure.

 

Normally in Ontario, everyone served by a water project pays a portion of the cost. However, since council of 10 years ago allowed people to opt out, there wasn’t enough money to cover the cost of the pipeline. That shortfall, $1.5 million, is still hanging around.

 

And so this council is left with the hard decision.

 

If you remember, Huron-Kinloss was in the same situation 10 years ago with its lakeshore pipeline.  Despite a lot of opposition, council rightly decided everyone on the pipeline would pay his or her share of the cost. The problem soon went away.

 

Kincardine is still dealing with its pipeline problem of 10 years ago.

 

Kincardine council also has a similar problem on its hands.

 

The footing drains of many homes in the Huron Ridge subdivision are hooked into the sanitary sewer,

causing problems in heavy rains.

 

Council has said the drains should be unhooked; Huron Ridge residents don’t like the idea.

 

This has been an ongoing problem and is once again up for debate.

 

It will be interesting to see what happens.