Many people, in Ontario, are asking why their local schools (600) are closing. Again I would point people to the reports, "Investing in People: Creating a Human Capital Society," "Small, Rural and Remote Communities: An Anatomy of Risk," and "Ontario in the Creative Age," done for government by urban university professors/academics.
In these reports there is the promotion of Urban specialty schools, fully funded child care, all day kindergarten and the expansion of post-secondary education. So how is the province to pay for these specialty schools, like the Bill Crothers Secondary School, which was reported as costing approx. $32 million for "a unique mix of sports and classes," or to pay for tuition for post-secondary? The government is paying for this by closing rural schools. The government has also been instructed to take money from health care to fund even more urban educational facilities.
To be quite blunt this all started in the 1980's when government instructed municipalities, in the rural areas, that the only industry which would be allowed would be agriculture, tourism and recreation. This ensured those employment opportunities for small communities would be minimum wage jobs, and the only way to financially gain was if one had post secondary education. If you didn't have a piece of paper you weren't qualified for a better job or better pay.
Government has what they refer to as a "blue-print" of what they want Ontario to look like (those reports). This all is laid out in governments "5 year plans," and when one reads those reports, one sees that these plans are for urban successes, not rural successes. I just have to look at the events that took place in Collingwood to see the effects of this.
Collingwood had ship building as its main industry. It also had a "starch plant" and a Goodyear rubber plant, now there is a very large empty factory. It had Harding Carpets, again shuttered. There are no more ships, the "starch plant" turned into an ethanol plant. This was shut down because the planners in Collingwood allowed a residential subdivision to go in, down wind of the ethanol plant. The smell was there first, but the people shut it down because of "environmental issues", based on smell, not pollution.
Now we have people with university degrees working part-time pouring coffee, because there just isn't any employment involving their specialty, so who gains? The professors who wrote the reports making recommendations to government. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy and not in the best interest of Ontarians. This is also the bureaucracy that is running this province and this country. Is this what Ontarians want? The election is in 2018. You decide.
Elizabeth F. Marshall,
Director of Research Ontario Landowners Association
To the editor,
I was exceptionally pleased to read your article about the “Music Care Program” coming to three local Senior's Facilities.
My mother was a resident of Hillsdale Estates. My family and myself ensured she would have Music playing as much as possible.
The first gift from my daughter was a CD player. Then we had fun choosing the different CDs for her. She especially enjoyed The Irish Rovers and The Tenors. I was visiting her one day and she was actually tapping her toes to the music.
I have always believed music to be a vital and essential part of life. It helps people with Dementia, by maybe stirring a memory inside.
I donated a CD and Radio player for the Residents and I saw there was a response to music. They seemed to “come alive”.
A big “thanks to” the Government of Ontario and the Trillium Foundation.
On January 16th, 2016 my family and I joined the 90% of businesses that are family owned, becoming one of the small number of independently owned newspapers, helping to maintain cohesiveness in our communities which are becoming increasingly rare. Like limited edition runs of special items, anything that is rare has great value.
Our family is no stranger to the news business. I started in publishing in 1986, working with the 'Festival of the Arts' in Ottawa. After moving to Toronto in 1988, and working in the graphics department for a major investment firm for almost three years, I became dissatisfied, it wasn't my purpose.
My husband, a Greenbank-ian from the age of 12, attended R.H. Cornish then Port Perry High. After graduating, he left for his big life adventure in Toronto. He says, the only adventure that didn't disillusion him, after living there for many years, besides God, was meeting me.
We were married after a year and that's when I started a publishing company. He started a distribution company, worked with trade web companies to garnish better deals, to support my publishing, and we had a modest success. But in 1992 my husbands desire for home town brought us back to this area. I couldn't have been happier. I sub-contracted for two news magazines doing production work, and with that, my husband became a feature reporter/columnist.
Next, I went to work at the Port Perry Star; of course when it was still an independent paper. After the Star was purchased by a large corporation, I worked elsewhere, in small graphics jobs, until I joined The Scugog Standard team two years after it's inception in 2004, becoming head of production in 2008, eventually taking over as its general manager in 2013.
Our son Christopher, now 25 years old, joined The Standard at age 15, writing a blog column. He went on to study design at Durham College and audio engineering from a U.S. College, his purpose, to become a multimedia producer for The Standard, as well as GreenStreamsStudios.ca. Our daughters started in 2013 in the mailroom and now do our graphic and web design. Our eldest son, who studied design and digital animation at Durham College, does videography. My husband does everything from delivery to editing. We have discovered that purposely working together enables personal development as well.
Once the former owner decided to sell, it was logical he would offer it to us first. With the help of our community, we transitioned officially last January, and now happily bring you, great local news, reported and delivered by people who live, work and play here.
We are a family, plus a committed group of individuals, who we would consider as extended family, (you know, the ones you would choose, even if they were family, ha ha), and together, each week our purpose is to showcase the needs, strengths and care of our community. Recently, our feature columnist, Jonathan van Bilsen, wrote an article on Margaret Ayres and the great work she does with Big Brothers Big Sisters. The Standard offers us the opportunity to celebrate the everyday heroes in our midst. Our editor, my husband, calls our paper 'The good news newspaper'.
One of our goals is to make The Standard a news organization on several platforms. Already we have been broadcasting our news articles via podcast, local online radio, iTunes and the cloud, and video via our own YouTube channel and website, showcasing Canada, and our Local History, in a series, titled 'There is no time like the Past'. This original feature, created by Christopher Green, specifically for The Standard News, highlights interesting local facts about our community's past. For History buffs, there is an interview with Barb Pratt of the Lucy Maud Montegomery Society of Ontario, filmed on location at the Leaksdale Manse. For Sci-fi buffs, a 'Five Awesome things About Uxbridge', featuring facts about a Star Wars cast member in the area. For action buffs, a video involving Seagrave residents, regarding the history of the Fenian Invasion.
GreenStreamsStudios.ca, our own sound studio and mobile video unit, enables us to create video and radio commercials for our advertising partners. Our multimedia department also creates web presence and online advertising campaigns.
Go online to our website www.thestandardnewspaper.ca and register to receive The Standard newsletter directly to your in-box each week. It contains video content, additional articles and photos we didn't have room for in the print edition.
Needless to say The Standard is a lot more then a print publication. We offer advertising partners marketing campaigns on all platforms, and our readership, news, sports and entertainment written by local enthusiasts in our neighbourhoods.
I've always been a believer in the adage “Good fences make good neighbours.” But like most things this can be taken too far, becoming the inverse of its intention.
For instance, in the realm of positive thinking, if what one deems 'positive' or 'good' is focused upon exclusively, it's believed it will create those things, including making ones body or mind function better than it could ever have. However, what is 'good' can be coloured by emotional scars, and can become down-right paranoia at a simple standard enquiry like, “How are you today?” This is more “positive editing” not healthy “positive thinking”.
I recently asked this question of an acquaintance who responded with hostility. No softening in the obvious lines of strain already on their face, no gentle release to the idea that someone wanted to be with them in their difficulty to share the load, and so reduce it. In fact the response of this person was, “That's a stupid thing to say! Don't ask anybody a question like that, when they're dealing with circumstances of ...” and their voice trailed off as they walked briskly away, not knowing how to finish their sentence, in a manner that would frame it the way the wanted to see.
As a counselor and concerned citizen, I couldn't help but feel extremely sorry for the individual. They have forgotten that “a shared sorrow is half a sorrow” and begun to assault the healthy mental environment cultivated by “Love thy neighbour.”
In nuero-chemistry applied in psychological research, they have found, when a person is able to allow the involvement of caring individuals into their concerns, stress levels dramatically decrease. Stress interferes with many electrical and chemical processes occurring in our minds and bodies. This is commonly accepted in many spiritual disciplines as well. But, their is a dangerous trend happening in our SELF-oriented, others are a complication cultural swing.
How many times have we heard someone say. “I don't want to go to the Doctor, they may find something wrong.” This is the individual trying to maintain a fantasy about their condition. To be positive, is to be in attitude toward real life, with all it's bumps and bruises. We must learn to manage ourselves, in response to actual reality and not try to anesthetize ourselves from it, THIS IS GOOD MENTAL HEALTH.
This approach of “positive editing” has crept into our pharma-based medical system, treating people with mental placebos by withholding real findings from people, in hopes it will help them deal. It's an exercise in disconnection from reality, engendering distrust in the doctor, and training people NOT to be mentally resilient. This approach to managing symptoms instead of reality is why doctors are treated with the same skepticism many mechanics receive, it's too allusive.
The backlash to this is, “positive thinking” on steroids, people insulating themselves from the contribution of others. There is a term, 'Failure to thrive', it's used when an infant dies because of lack of loving contact with others, but it's not just infants who deal with this problem. Emotional isolation from others or self imposed dependency on ones self, to the extreme, is a malady that is increasing and we are seeing the effects of this societally.
As far as fences are concerned, maybe we should look over them once and a while, not to invade anyone's privacy, so let's do it considerately, but so we can identify if our neighbour needs a helping hand or a sympathetic ear. We've been conditioned, wrongly, to try to handle all struggles ourselves, and with the idea that we can get mental health 'cooties' from those who are distressed.
Although this should be the least of reasons, it also helps our emotional health, when we genuinely connect with anothers' life, to help it on it's way.
I would recommend that our readers read the Erin O'toole column in last weeks paper, or go online to The Standard to find it on our website, and read about Durham Regions' 'Let's Talk' program in today's paper, they know and this Editor hardily agrees, it's a step in the right direction for anyone who gets involved.