To the Editor,
To be perfectly honest, I was like a lot of people before the Pan Am Games started. I made a lot of jokes and vowed that I wouldn’t have any interest, and viewed them equally as nuisance and waste of money.
Then they actually started, and like most people I changed my tune faster than a Canadian sprinter.
There is nothing quite like cheering on your country, and I’m happy to say that I was able to take part in person, at boxing in Oshawa and baseball in Ajax.
It was an awesome atmosphere at both events, and the volunteers did a great job of making sure that everyone was where they should be and that everything ran smoothly.
I would agree with most of what’s been said about the coverage, that the real shame was that you actually had to be there to watch most of the events, since our “national broadcaster” was often nowhere to be found. It was fine for those of us that live close enough. But, what about the millions of other Canadians? The ones in Newfoundland and Saskatchewan that wanted to cheer and couldn’t. Thumbs up for Canada, thumbs down to the CBC.
Mike Jacobsen, Uxbridge
Summer is still in full swing, but the labour situation at Ontario’s schools continue to simmer in the background.
In just over a month, an uncertain September awaits more than two million students across the province. The three largest teacher’s union in the land - the Catholic, public elementary and secondary - have all stepped away from negotiations with the province, as well as local school boards, and are showing no signs of coming back anytime soon.
The clock is ticking, but there does not seem to be the sense of urgency one would expect from this situtaion as days tick by with the sides no closer to resolving anything, and little news emerging save for more job action plans from teachers.
Those responsible for reaching a deal appear to be wasting precious time, and it becomes clearer by the day that Ontario is likely to see even more of the job action that disrupted secondary schools for weeks in Durham this spring, when teachers went on strike, only to be ordered back by the province. Since that temporary solution, nothing has been done on either side to avoid a repeat, and it seems like a forgone conclusion.
By allowing the teachers to be without a contract for more than a year as they look to finally get a grip on their decade-plus spending spree, the Liberal government has lead Ontario’s public schools to return to the dark days of the Mike Harris administration 15 years ago. High school teachers recently taking away extracurricular activities, and elementary teachers withdrawing from administrative duties, including not booking field trips for next year.
Ontario students deserve better, even if it means cutting vacation short for those on both sides of the bargaining table.
So far it’s been so good for Canada at the Pan Am Games.
We’re right behind the United States in the medal table, and on consecutive nights beat the Americans for Gold Medals in baseball and women’s basketball. It was a night to remember for those lucky enough to be there to witness the event live.
Because, if you were trying to watch those historic victories at home, you were out of luck. Sportsnet seems content to replay Tour de France coverage that ran earlier in the day, while CBC - the national broadcaster - rolls out reruns of Murdoch Mysteries.
It would appear that both of the Games’ broadcasters severely underestimated that there would be such a appetite for live coverage from Canadians. But why?
While many bemoaned the Games in the lead-up, most observers noted that Canada was an almost certain-bet to finish high in the medal count. Knowing that there would be a huge wave of Canadian pride to ride to big ratings in the television doldrums of summer, how could the broadcasters not have planned better to offer live coverage of Gold Medal events? If you want to watch women’s soccer between Peru and Panama or the United States gymnastics team’s routine, you’re covered. But if you’d like to watch Canadian women win their first major international Gold Medal. At home. Over the Americans. Well, better luck next time.
Some have praised the live on-line feed for its coverage of the events, but for many residents, particularly in the many parts of the country - including large rural areas of North Durham - that’s simply not an option.
Our national broadcaster has let us down with their coverage of these Games, and for a corporation tasked with connecting Canadians, it’s a remarkable failure.
To the Editor,
We would like to take this opportunity to express our greatest thanks for the contributions of Pat Mikuse to the advocacy of Uxbridge Heritage and her council work on the Heritage Uxbridge Committee.
During her two terms as council representative, she was passionate in her efforts to celebrate the history of our town; from the initiation of the murals that line Toronto Street, her annual tourism booth at the CNE, her work on the implementation of the Uxbridge Heritage sign Bylaw. Pat always saw 'the glass half-full', and no challenge was too great for her. She was a credit to her peers, and her profession.
Pat also lived in an Ontario Heritage Act designated century home/hotel, and ran a country store called 'Circa 1864'. She lived her beliefs, and, “on that note” (and won't we miss not hearing that phrase again), we are saddened beyond words to no longer have her breadth of experience, knowledge and good will to draw upon.
Rest in Peace Pat, God bless.
Heritage Uxbridge Committee
To the Editor,
This is the 40th year for Greenbank United Church’s Beef Barbecue, which will be held Friday, July 31, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Greenbank Church and Ianson Park (Hwy. 12 and Cragg Rd, Greenbank).
In 1976, the church Board of Stewards started this event as a fundraiser and fed 500 to 600 people, which soon became 1,000 - plus children - in the intervening years.
It is a rewarding to have so may volunteers, from teens to those in their 80s, as well as newcomers to the community come forth and help. Work starts on the Wednesday before the event, with the “spit” and shelter set up, then Thursday it’s down to scrubbing and wrapping 1,100 potatoes that will go into 12 ovens for baking on Friday. Twelve hips of beef (a Herrington’s specialty), are wrapped for cooking, and on Friday tents and tables are set up, and the donated pies and yummy desserts arrive at the church. Buns donated by Greenbank Chicken Coop Bakery are part of the menu, along with coleslaw, baked beans and condiments, teas, coffee, cold drinks. The final clean up happens Saturday morning.
Entertainment is ongoing during the mealtimes, with Irwin Smith and his music entertaining this year. Bring your own chair to linger and listen or socialize.
Tickets are only sold in advance, and are available by calling Rodd Foster at 905-985-8298 or Lianne Pelletier at 905-985-3745, or any church member.
The cost remains the same despite the recent food price increases- adults $20, children 6 to 12 are $5, and the under 6 crowd is free. Take-outs are available with ticket.
If you haven’t attended before, come and join the 1,000 plus on this 40th year!
On behalf of the Greenbank Board of Stewards,
Mary Jean Till
The Pan Am Games officially got underway last week, and Canada is off to a roaring start, leading the medal table as of press time.
The success of our Canadian athletes at these games is a point of pride for all of us. And the greatest victory of all to come from this game, won’t show up on any podium.
The greatest success to come out of these games for future generations of athletes will no doubt be the investment of more than $2 billion towards sports facilities in the GTA. These new and refurbished facilities will foster the future success of many athletes, who will one day go on to glory on a global stage.
The infrastructure upgrades - including the new rail link between Union Station and Pearson Airport - may have come eventually, but the Pan Am Games helped to speed up the process, which will benefit many in the GTA, even in North Durham.
We have long had a rich sporting history in this area, which will now likely only be enhanced with these world-class athletic facilities just a short trip away.
From the new aquatics centre in Scarborough to the gymnasium in Markham to the new velodrome in Milton, no longer will athletes from North Durham, and the entire GTA, have to abandon athletic dreams simply because the proper facilities aren’t available for them to use.
The Pan Am Games could ultimately prove to be the catalyst to help propel a young man or woman from the area to future Olympic glory, which would be a great point of pride for the entire area. It would seem to be a small price to pay for a few weeks of traffic frustrations for those making daily commutes to Toronto.