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Mind the steaming mound

Posted: January 6, 2017 at 9:06 am   /   Comment

Across Ontario, farmland prices are rising— up about 16 per cent on average last year and about 65 per cent since 2012. Despite generally lower commodity prices and a killing drought in some regions across the province, farmland values are higher than they were four years ago. In some cases, much higher. Closer to home, […]

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Why vote?

Posted: December 23, 2016 at 9:19 am   /   Comment

2016 has been an unsettling year. It feels, in some ways, like the first act in a Shakespearean tragedy—the part where the quiet lives of peasants are about to be turned over by an invading horde. We sense that trouble is brewing, yet we are helpless to do anything but wait for the storm to […]

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Wynne’s New Year’s gift

Posted: December 15, 2016 at 9:55 am   /   Comment

It feels vaguely ill-fitting, so close to Christmas and all, to use this page to illuminate yet another ill-conceived energy scheme concocted by the provincial government and set to be inflicted on Ontario residents beginning on January 1. (If uplifting is what you’re looking for, however, may I recommend you turn to page 12, where […]

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Undoing

Posted: December 7, 2016 at 10:40 am   /   Comment

Rural Ontario wandered into a lot of bad deals in 1997 and 1998. In some cases, perhaps most, we had these arrangements thrust upon us. There can hardly be a worse deal than the one that saw our communities trade control of funding of our schools for the care and maintenance of formerly provincial roads. […]

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Unbounded Bea

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 8:50 am   /   Comment

My favourite drawing by Bea Lotz is of a lone mourning dove perched at the end of a long, thin branch. Observant and a wee bit vain, the bird calls out for attention. She can wait all day. Next month we say goodbye to Bea’s art and poems in The Times. Her much-loved contribution is […]

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Navigation aids

Posted: November 25, 2016 at 8:40 am   /   Comment

How do we know what we know? It is an important question when making a big decision. Even when all the signposts point in one direction, we can still be led astray. Not intentionally, mind you.But through poor design, lack of context and bad assumptions we can be convinced we are headed the right way, […]

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The fall

Posted: November 18, 2016 at 9:33 am   /   Comment

Winter is coming. It’s a season, particularly in Canada, that can inflict hardship and enduring suffering upon the unprepared. In another era, we knew instinctively to fill our cupboards and root cellars in the fall, to ready our lives for the coming winter. We cut and chopped wood to stay warm. Because winter can be […]

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Past due

Posted: November 11, 2016 at 8:55 am   /   Comment

It wasn’t idle curiosity, but neither was there a specific purpose to my request. In reading and writing about the County’s waterworks these past 13 years, and specifically about the escalating costs of keeping this system of pipes and pumps flowing smoothly, there was no obvious measure of how consumers were coping. There is plenty […]

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Get out of the way

Posted: November 4, 2016 at 8:51 am   /   Comment

The challenges we face in Prince Edward County—declining school enrollment, decaying roads, a shortage of affordable housing and a sputtering economy due to a shrinking manufacturing and industrial base—aren’t unique to this community. Across rural Ontario, these trends chip away at the fading veneer of once vital and optimistic towns and villages. These forces are […]

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A necessary fight

Posted: October 28, 2016 at 8:45 am   /   Comment

Taking back Pleasant Bay Road will be hard. There are other roadways and many more unopened road allowances where the County’s claim may be challenged. The County could find itself entangled in a legal thicket for years. Yet, that is precisely what it must do. Consciously and deliberately. When gates were erected across Pleasant Bay […]

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