By Stephen Vance, Editor
Rants, Raves & Rumours… the new ‘3 Rs’ column from The Meaford Independent will allow me to expand beyond the confines of the traditional editorial to share some of what’s on my mind.
Whether it be local, provincial, federal, or international politicians that I’d like to rant about, or a community group with a new project that I’d like to rave about, or the latest rumour making its way through the mill, the 3 Rs is certain to provide plenty of fun, and thought-provoking commentary.
Not everything I would like to share my opinion about warrants a full-blown editorial or opinion piece, but might deserve some rather quick, pointed jabs or a few bullet points in order to express an opinion: that’s what the 3 Rs will be – quick hits, short quips, and the occasional shout-out.
This will be a regular feature of our print paper, but here’s a taste of what’s to come…
This Week’s Rants:
I’m not sure if I can think of a greater misuse of time, energy, and money than the upcoming Pan Am Games. Toronto and the surrounding area will host thousands of athletes and their coaches and support staff for these games, and a week later there will be few that remember the event even happened, and even fewer will be able to name three medal winners. Now, I’ve got nothing against sport, and I fully understand the desire to compete, but just imagine if the enormous amount of time, and the huge numbers of people – many of them volunteers – and the large pile of money that is being spent on this Pan Am vanity project was instead spent developing sustainable communities and food gardens, or to house the homeless, or to provide low-cost, or cost-free post-secondary education? Instead, all those resources are being pumped into an event that will quickly be forgotten. Sad.
I find it interesting (and somewhat ironic) that a mayoral candidate, who throughout last year’s municipal election campaign made a point of chastising existing and former members of council for the waste of time and money on things like lawsuits and consultants, has requested independent audits of two of his opponents’ campaign expenses. Neither of the two candidates even came close to spending the maximum allowable, yet their expenses are being called into question. Perhaps more frustrating is that I’ve already heard people talking about this issue as if the two candidates have already been investigated and sent to the gallows. My bet is that this audit request won’t even make it beyond the joint compliance audit committee.
This Week’s Raves:
The Municipality of Meaford is looking pretty snappy these days. In the decade I’ve lived here, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the parks so well-maintained and orderly, and the downtown flower boxes and the new BIG red chairs that have been scattered throughout the municipality have certainly given this town some fantastic curb appeal, and I suspect that curb appeal will be even greater once the licenced sidewalk patios arrive.
Once again, the community came together and, with the help of the municipality and a host of community groups and service clubs, has put together a fantastic Canada Day celebration. From the downtown core to downtown Bognor, Meaford residents celebrated the birth of our nation in style.
This Week’s Rumours:
Rumour has it that an area golf course has dealt with some pesky Canada geese by shooting them. Based on my email inbox over the last couple of weeks, reports of controlling geese hanging out around a golf course with a gun has ruffled quite a few feathers, and if it’s true, what I have to say is that there must be a better way. It’s bad enough that our insatiable need for more and more housing and places to shop keeps forcing more and more animals out of their natural habitat: do we really have to shoot them if some of them feel the need to hang out in the area of their former home? Perhaps golf courses could partner with the OSPCA – which incidentally is badly in need of a cash injection – to help deal with wildlife issues on the fairways. Seems to me it would be better for the animals, financial support from Ontario golf courses could certainly bolster the OSPCA, and the golf courses would be much better able to uphold the ‘stewards of the environment’ statements that seem to be on so many of their websites.
Another rumour making the rounds in recent weeks is that summer has arrived. I call BS on that rumour, given the fact that I am shivering as I type this. If only there was a way to explain why we seem to have had such strange weather in recent years. Could it be climate change? No, Prime Minister Harper and his ilk assure us there’s no such thing, and even if there were, it ain’t caused by us humans… oh well, I guess we’ll never know.