As a former publisher of a small community newspaper in Port Perry, I found it rather ironic to read Heather Malick's column in the Toronto Star, on August 27th, 2018, bemoaning the subject of free journalism.
It was Ms Malick's employers, Torstar and Metroland Publishing who were at the forefront of the weakening of print media. Metroland began producing free publications throughout the GTA, almost half century ago, a move that paved the way for the situation faced by print media today.
Free mass-distributed newspapers started in urban areas, and were later injected into rural communities. Their dominance forced many small subscription based newspapers to sell their community publications to this new powerful competitor, or go into receivership.
Ms. Malick says "the expectation of free journalism is wrecking a business being crunched and crushed by the disappearance of paid advertising," and she is absolutely right.
By the mid-1990s free newspapers began to flood the market. Advertisers and subscribers began to dwindle and small local newspapers, were forced to abandon their subscribers and provide costly free blanket distribution.
Today, people expect free news, and the newspapers that have been able to survive are struggling.
Ms. Malick suggests that, "free online journalism is something that snuck up on all of us". This is exactly how it felt when "free distribution newspapers snuck up on small independent newspaper owners".
They say that history repeats itself. It appears the Toronto Star and many other large publications are "reaping what they sowed".
Port Perry, Ontario
On behalf of Theatre on the Ridge, we would like to acknowledge the overwhelming support for Festival 2018, July 5th to August 18th, at Town Hall 1873 and other locations in Port Perry. It was a season of powerful and captivating theatre to be proud of and we would like to thank our patrons, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, partners, funders and believers for making this season so successful!
Special thanks to Vos’ Independent Grocers, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Scugog Council for the Arts, Township of Scugog, Utica Community Hall, Church of the Ascension, Prince Albert Community Hall, Scugog Memorial Public Library, M. Meyers & R. Henderson, Heather Chapman, Canadian Tire Port Perry, North Durham EcoWater, Hark Nijjar Photography, Puckrin & Latreille Real Estate, HandtoHeart Healing, Legacy Vintage, Framer’s Gallery, Willowtree Farm, META4 Contemporary Craft Gallery, Pamela Meacher, Libby Burns, Grant Lucas, anonymous and the golden girls of Perry St.
We would have not been able to accomplish so much without the support of the above or without the commitment and enthusiasm of our actors, artistic, production, marketing and front of house teams, and the staff and board of directors, not to mention the word of mouth provided by so many patrons.
Festival 2018 brought us new insights, new experiences, new friends, and great theatre in a great community. Thanks again to all and we look forward to Festival 2019!
Carey Nicholson, Artistic Director, Theatre on the Ridge
Ruth Spearing, President, Theatre on the Ridge
Local newspapers play vital roles in communities across the globe. The Information Age has changed the way many people get their news, but local newspapers continue to serve as valuable resources, for readers interested in learning more about and becoming more involved in their communities. While local publishers continue to adapt to the changes brought about by technology, the following are a handful of benefits unique to local newspapers.
Local newspapers keep readers up-to-date on their own communities. Globalization may be here to stay, but that does not mean local communities are no longer home to newsworthy events. National and international newspapers and 24-hour cable news channels can keep men and women up-to-date on national and world news, but in many instances, local newspapers are the only means people have to learn about what's going on in their own communities. Local politics impacts residents' lives every day, and local newspapers cover local politics extensively.
Local newspapers benefit nearby businesses. Small business owners often connect with community members via local newspapers. A strong, locally based small business community can improve economies in myriad of ways, creating jobs in the community and contributing tax dollars that can be used to strengthen local schools and infrastructure. And local newspapers do their part, by providing affordable and effective advertising space to local business owners looking to connect with their communities.
Local newspapers can strengthen communities. Local newspapers are great resources for residents who want to become more active in their communities and learn more about community events. Local newspapers often showcase community events like carnivals, local theater productions and projects like park cleanups. These are great ways for readers to become more active in their communities and build stronger communities as a result.
Local newspapers can benefit children. National newspapers may have little age-appropriate content to offer young children, but local newspapers tend to include more soft news items than national periodicals, and such stories typically are appropriate for young readers. According to Newspapers in Education, students who participated in an NIE group in Florida performed significantly better in spelling and vocabulary than nonreaders. Additional studies have indicated that students who use newspapers in the classroom perform better on standardized reading tests than those who do not use newspapers in class.
Many local newspapers have played vital roles in their communities for decades, providing a go-to resource for local readers and business owners.
Why am I hearing fireworks again?
I didn't realize we celebrated Saturdays. This is the third time this year I have witnessed an extensive firework display coming from behind [the] Independent [Grocer].
If this is the townships funding, I think I would prefer parts not flying off my car, as I drive up my pothole riddled road, know as Portview Drive. Which is one of the worst I have seen in Port Perry among many.
Not only that, there are hawks nesting behind Food Basic, so I'm hoping the babies survived the last round from August 18th. Idiots.
During the past year, the Port Perry community and its health care team have anticipated the reopening and repatriation of services to our hospital, currently known as Lakeridge Health Port Perry. True, many services continued in some form or another, such as surgical and obstetrical services in space graciously provided at other Lakeridge Health locations; however, as Dorothy discovered, and we can confirm, “there is no place like home”.
At this grand moment, I would like to take the opportunity, on behalf of the physicians of the Medical Associates of Port Perry, to reaffirm our commitment to providing outstanding Surgical, Anesthesia, Obstetrical, Emergency, and Inpatient services. Our intent is to provide patient care that is safe, compassionate, close to home, and, barring future acts of God, uninterrupted.
Matthew J Schurter,
BSc MD CCFP FCFP
Chair of the Board,
Medical Associates of Port Perry
Twelve years ago, I was struggling. My family and I were dealing with serious personal issues, many of which unfolded in public. I drank too much and I had a major disagreement with my wife, which led to charges being laid against me. Those charges were ultimately dismissed. I have since worked very hard to get my life back on track, to be the father and friend my family deserves. I own any and all mistakes I have made in the past. I no longer drink, and use fitness and diet to channel my anxiety.
Recently, my family has come under attack because of my decision to run for Regional Chair. This is unfair, both to me and, more importantly, to my former wife and children.
I have no issue with my opponents challenging me in open forum about public policy positions.
I take exceptional offence to the lies, rumours, innuendo and hurtful comments being spread that are impacting my children and my former wife, with whom I have a strong friendship. Those responsible are causing them a great deal of distress and bringing up painful memories that we have all worked very hard to move past.
My opponents may not like me, and I accept that. However, I will not stand idly by while my opponents try to score cheap political points at the expense of my family. My children are my world. My former wife is a dear friend who is a wonderful mother and a beautiful human being. They do not deserve this.
The mudslinging has also included candidates making serious allegations about me having connections to criminal activity. These are baseless and false accusations that have no place in a campaign which should be about lowering taxes, creating local jobs, building better transit, keeping our communities safe and supporting first responders.
I am appalled by these tactics. I simply ask that they stop immediately and my opponents start focusing on campaign and policy issues, out of respect for my family and the voters of Durham Region.
I now consider this matter closed and will not be commenting further.
Candidate for Durham
We would like to thank all the doctors and staff of the Port Perry Medical Associates for giving so much of their time, to keep the walk-in-clinic running so well while our hospital was closed, owing to a terrible fire.
They worked so very hard in this endeavour and should be publicly commended. A big thank you to Port Perry Medical Associates.
Carol & Woolf Frankfurt
Having read through Bill 2 – the Urgent Priorities Act – that is in 2nd reading at Queen’s Park, I think, perhaps, the PC MPPs are not being fully informed as exactly what is in this Bill. I am attempting to bring forward certain aspects of this Bill and work with the sitting MPPs, because I feel that there are some advisors who are not working in the people’s best interest.
Schedule 1 of Bill 2 is to limit the Board of Directors, executive, etc., including subsidiaries of Hydro One, placing the aforementioned under the control of the Management Board of Cabinet. But under the Management Board of Cabinet Act (MBCA) it states that Hydro One and its subsidiaries are not included in the public service for the purposes of the MBCA after the 2015 Budget was passed. If the government is allowed to do this under the MBCA, can the government not pass legislation taking over the executive and board of directors of any other corporation(s)? Is that not against the law? Does this not violate the Securities Act? Does this not violate the Criminal Code?
Schedule 2. In the press we have heard both Premier Ford and MPP Todd Smith state that the cancellation of the White Pines Wind (WPD) wind project will not cost taxpayers any money. Again, I feel the PCs are either not informed or are being set up to fail. One needs to read section 6.
"Compensation - 6 (1) The Crown shall pay compensation to wpd White Pines Wind Incorporated in accordance with this section…”
This includes expenses reasonably incurred by WPD for development, acquisition, leasing and construction costs, employee termination payments, subcontractor losses or landowner losses, and decommissioning costs and other costs required to wind up the White Pines Wind Project, plus payment for the debt amount WPD owes to make-whole the corporation for the project and any additional amount not prescribed.
MINUS any accounts receivables owed, insurance due, any moneys in the bank of WPD or any money’s owed by the Crown under this Act and/or anything else included as in any other rights or assets owned by WPD. So, it would seem that the tax-payers are on the hook for the cancellation of the WPD wind project…but should they be?
I am certain that if those in government had taken some time they would have found more cost-efficient avenues instead of Bill 2 to control Hydro One and to cancel this wind project. It is hoped the PCs will take some time and seek out other information prior to the passing of Bill 2, wouldn’t you agree?
Elizabeth F. Marshall,
Director of Research Ontario Landowners Association
Open Letter to the Editor
Today, Premier Ford announced his intent to make significant changes to the structure of municipal government in Ontario. The immediate impacts of his announcement will be felt in the City of Toronto, and the Regions of Peel, York, Niagara, and Muskoka.
Our understanding is, the municipal electoral process presently underway in the Region of Durham is not affected by this provincial initiative. The elections of Regional Chair and Council will proceed based on existing ward and area municipal boundaries. The residents of Durham can be assured they will elect their Council this fall based on the wards their communities have opted to put in place.
In his remarks this morning, the Premier indicated his government’s intent to undertake a review of regional governments across Ontario to assess which level of government is best positioned to address the challenges we face.
Regional municipalities are not a new level of government. They have existed in Ontario since the 1950’s.
In the Region of Durham, we are proud of the effectiveness and efficiency of the services we provide to our communities: essential services like policing, ambulance, public health, long-term care, safe drinking water, sewage treatment, roads, transit, and waste management. The regional level of government provides these services in Durham because they are best planned, funded, and delivered on a broader geographic scale than by individual municipalities. Working together, we avoid duplication of effort, reap economies of scale, and offer more equitable, higher quality services to the regional community.
Durham Regional Council has proactively restructured services and Council structure on multiple occasions, to achieve greater effectiveness and ensure the needs of our residents are met.
When the Harris government downloaded services and costs to municipalities, Regional Council and staff worked diligently and creatively, to manage the financial gap and continue to support our residents, while maintaining a strong financial position. Many Ontario municipalities have still not recovered from the impact of downloading in several key areas.
The unaddressed social housing needs, the Premier noted this morning, are almost entirely the result of the federal and provincial governments withdrawing funding from these programs in the late 1990’s. At the same time, downloading of provincial roads, lack of provincial funding for transit, and reduced funding for other infrastructure also contributed to backlogs and gridlock. Some infrastructure funding has been restored in recent years, but municipalities still have insufficient revenue tools to address massive capital requirements.
The new provincial government has canceled funding for various programs that were targeted to improve the energy efficiency of social housing stock, to expand transit, and to make our infrastructure more resilient to climate change. Yet we have no indication of how, or if the Premier plans, to replace this funding to municipalities generated by the cap and trade program.
I was a member of Regional Council the last time the province enacted change of this magnitude. I urge the provincial government to undertake the kind of consultation that is necessary on this important issue.
Here in Durham we are always open to making our operations as efficient and effective as possible. We look forward to engaging with the province, during the review of regional government, to demonstrate how we deliver excellent services and representation to Durham residents.
Statement from Durham Regional Chair and CEO Gerri Lynn O’Connor