The Township of Scugog recently held a catered event, to celebrate the launch of a new tourism website, promoting our town and its local businesses. From photos seen on social media, senior staff, the mayor, members of council and even the regional chair were in attendance.
Behind the veil of marketing is the grim reality that our infrastructure has reached a critical state. Residents and tourists alike have complained of flat tires, bent rims and cracked windshields, as a result of driving into potholes this spring, yet these reports are but quaint anecdotes when compared to serious incidents like the school bus carrying children getting stuck on Mast Rd., and nearly toppling over, or the ambulance that was stranded on Cragg Rd while responding to an emergency. When emergency vehicles can’t respond to calls, due to infrastructure deficiencies, lives are put at risk; an alarming liability given the landmark case on Coates Rd.
Within this context, the optics of marketing campaigns and events are questionable, as are the $90,000 budgeted for yet another waterfront study, $24,000 for a “wayfinding” strategic plan, $45,000 for a dog park, or $10,000 for a mascot costume (since removed) from the 2019 budget. While residents in Nestleton are out grading their own roads with garden tractors, tens of thousands are being spent lighting Cartwright Fields. Despite the New Animal Shelter of Uxbridge and Scugog project being jeopardized by significant delays and cost overruns (Scugog has already committed $399,000), Mayor Drew insists it’s “a key project to move forward.”
The township must focus on meeting its basic municipal responsibilities. Not internet ventures or renovating the white-elephant (now red) on Queen St., for the benefit of private interests.
Improve our image by addressing the rotting bell tower, greeting visitors on Reach St., the welcome signs with conflicting dates of establishment, and a dimly lit Queen St., resulting from replacing wobbly streetlights with orange pylons. Continue repairing sidewalks, address rural roads so those headed to bed & breakfasts in the country don’t feel like they’re driving on the moon, and ensure ambulances can reach them in case of emergency.
Scugog truly is a wonderful place, but it faces critical challenges which can no longer be ignored. The new tourism slogan is “One big beautiful lake. Hundreds of adventures.” Getting around safely shouldn’t be one of them.
Marc Gibbons, Port Perry.
ERIN O'TOOLE MP Durham
According to Greek mythology, Icarus flew too close to the sun and plunged to his death after his wings melted. In his iconic poem, Williams Carlos Williams depicts Icarus’ fall as an afterthought: “Unsignificantly/ off the coast/ there was/ a splash quite unnoticed/ this was/ Icarus drowning.” The fall of Canada’s Icarus has created a splash that has been noticed.
When Justin Trudeau came to office in 2015, he promised to climb to new heights on his “sunny ways” wings. He promised a return to “positive politics” and promised various groups of Canadians what he thought they wanted to hear. He promised electoral reform to woo voters and the left. He pledged to restore Veteran pensions to woo voters on the right. Trudeau promised to be Canada’s first feminist prime minister and that he would achieve reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians. He promised to be all things to all people.
Like Icarus, however, Trudeau discovered his mortality the hard way. Trudeau made promises to win, but not to deliver on. On electoral reform, Trudeau abandoned his declaration that the 2015 election would be the last conducted under the first-past-the-post system. On veterans’ pensions reform, the government marketed a Pensions for Life program that is nothing of the sort.
Instead of making governance more transparent, Trudeau has ignored and shown disdain for different voices, revealing the emptiness of his sunny ways promise. The Liberal government has continued to force through omnibus bills after promising to never do that. Though the Prime Minister calls himself a feminist, we learned that he bullied or ignored his party’s brightest and most competent female MPs.
In the SNC-Lavalin Affair, for example, Canadians found out that Trudeau sought to coerce Jody Wilson-Raybould to ignore her ministerial responsibilities and to do his bidding. He yelled at Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes when she shared with him her desire not to run for re-election. Trudeau also showed his lack of commitment for Indigenous reconciliation when he ejected Wilson-Raybould and MP Jane Philpott—the two strongest voices on that file—from the Liberal caucus. The only sunny finding from the SNC scandal is the realization that there are many MPs within the Liberal Party who are willing to stand on principle and against Trudeau.
Across the board, Trudeau has demonstrated his focus on style over substance. While bedazzling Canadians with empty promises and progressive rhetoric, Trudeau has proven unable to deliver. The federal budget is no closer to being balanced. Instead of prioritizing pipeline construction and sustainable economic development that would benefit Indigenous and resource communities across the country, Trudeau has proven unable to get the job done. And though Icarus falls in silence in Williams’ poem, Trudeau’s fall has been anything but silent. Trudeau’s failure to respect the rule of law has negatively impacted Canada’s standing in the world and has led to examination by the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD).
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at a debate organized by the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy. Churchill knew the value of rhetoric, but more importantly, the power of hard work and commitment. Historian Martin Gilbert notes that Churchill was fond of the motto that “the heights achieved by men and kept/ were not achieved by sudden flight/ but they, while their companions slept/ were toiling upwards through the night.”
In our debate, I said the 2019 election would be about authenticity. It doesn’t matter how many promises you make if you do not follow through with them. There has been no “sudden flight” with the Trudeau government but a steady fall from grace as people realized the Prime Minister was not the authentic brand they advertised. In the lead-up to the October election, the Trudeau Liberals will make a whole new set of pledges. The difference is that this time, Canadians understand what happens when you fly too close to the sun.
We would like to express our thanks to the community for the support of our 2nd Walk for Dog Guides. We have significantly surpassed last year’s number but it is too early to give final numbers as donations are still coming in. Donations are accepted until the end of June.
This could not have been done without the support of our sponsors, like: Vos, The Old Flame Brewery, PP Print, Anja of Sweden, Framers Gallery, Brocks, Port Perry Marina. McDonalds, Perfect Scoop, and Budget Blinds to name a few. Jack from the Old Flame Brewery has confirmed, next year the Old Flame will be applying for a road closure permit, due to the growth of the event.
The golden retrievers this year decided to switch from Vos hot dogs to the Perfect Scoop Gelato. And some walkers really enjoyed the treat bags, handed out, so much they took two.
Thank you to the fabulous organizing committee of Sue Brain, Scott Riley. Pam Riley. John Eden, Anna Fava, Livia Tymon and Robyn Hulowski, to their spouses, and to all who gave tirelessly of their time.
We could not have asked for better support than what we received from Scott Riley of Pet Valu, Pam Riley of Paulmacs and their team, and the Port Perry Lions, under the new leadership of Karen Thompson.
Thank you Mayor Drew for attending and Councillor Angus Ross for walking. Thank you to our print media for their support, coverage and constant updates. Thank you especially to the Port Perry BIA for their support and hospitality on the day of the walk, and to the Chamber and the Town for their social postings.
Thank you to Paula Crebbin, Toiné Lahner and York for sharing their stories with dog guides. Thank you Cheerio Crebbin for bringing the Puppies in training
Jonathan Van Bilsen put his own unique spin on the MC and then also walked. Thank you to Mike Slade, Alexander Sivilla, Steve Brain and Kelly, for the professional photographs, and Jonathan Van Bilsen for the finishing touches and his wisdom.
All the pictures will be posted by Wednesday, at http://tiny.cc/05t86y thanks to Kelly Lea Photography
A big thank you to the army of volunteers and all the walkers and donors. We could not have done it without you.
We look forward to working together for an even better walk next year.
Co-Chair, 2nd Port Perry Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides May 26 at 10:00 at Palmer Park
Giving Canadians a New Leash on Life
Peter Bethlenfalvy MPP Pickering/Uxbridge
In our 2019 budget, we brought forward a responsible approach to restoring fiscal sustainability while preserving critical front-line services. It is time to return to the core commitment of our plan: to protect what matters most.
However, there has been criticism in recent weeks about some decisions in the budget. We know that the loudest critics are the ones who supported the Wynne government to get us to a $343 billion debt, spending $1.5 million every hour on interest-on-debt.
The question we must ask ourselves is: what did we get in exchange for an additional $200 billion debt burden and are we better off now than we were before? The answer is clear: no, not even close.
Our mandate is to protect core public services like health care and education. To achieve this, we are making an education investment of $1.6 billion this year alone to protect teacher jobs while boards align high school class sizes with other jurisdictions in Canada. We’re laying off zero teachers as a result of our class size and e-learning strategies.
From kindergarten to grade three there will be no changes to class sizes. Students in grades four to eight will see a minimal average increase of one student per classroom. Secondary students will see an average class size of 28 students – aligning Ontario with other jurisdictions in Canada.
We are modernizing learning in our education system by equipping students in Durham Region and across Ontario with the skills they need in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The long-term goal is to increase students desire to pursue math and sciences in high school and beyond.
For students with autism, school boards will receive an average of $12,300 for each eligible new student entering the school in the 2018-19. This will ensure that students get the support they need to succeed.
Under our watch, we will not allow our province to adopt the same failed policies as adopted under the previous government.
Ontario deserves a better, brighter, more prosperous future. That is what we are building – without apology, and with tremendous care of our children and grandchildren.
On April 24th, the Region of Durham, led by Pickering’s mayor, voted to support an airport in Pickering. The motion was handed out at the meeting, with no advance notice to councillors or the public. Mayor Ryan said that the extraordinary (we say undemocratic!) move was necessary because it was an “emergency,” and he further declared (more than once) that the public had already “had its say,” implying majority public support for an airport. Land Over Landings says, “Untrue! The public has not been heard. But it will be!”
Recognizing that the “emergency” excuse was used to avoid a pre-emptive public outcry, Land Over Landings will be combining its Annual General Meeting, on June 2nd in Claremont, with a call to action for all those opposed to an airport on the prime farmland of north Pickering.
Citizen action in the face of government inaction will be the theme of our main speaker, Dr Dianne Saxe, former Environmental Commissioner for Ontario – until the office was closed by the Ford Government this spring. Special guest Steve Parish, long-time Mayor of Ajax and Greenbelt champion, will talk about Pickering's "aerotropolis" event (held in Toronto on April 9th) and discuss advocacy and environmentalism in the current political climate.
With Durham Regional Council and Ajax Council both recently passing motions to support Pickering's push for an airport, it's clear development forces are launching an all-out assault on the Federal Lands. Land Over Landings’ Chair, Mary Delaney, decried the municipalities’ willingness to ignore today’s realities as governments around the world are declaring climate emergencies. "It's like we're in an alternative reality here, where alternative facts are the norm," said Delaney, adding, "How dare Pickering’s mayor speak for us and not let us speak for ourselves?" Citizen action and politicians of vision stopped the airport in the Seventies. Now, more than ever, citizens and politicians of vision need to stand together and declare “no pickering airport!”.
Land Over Landings' Annual General Meeting will be held immediately after guest-speaker Q & A’s on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Dr. Nelson F. Tomlinson Community Centre, 4941 Old Brock Road, Claremont. Refreshments will follow.
On June 6th, 1944, I arrived by boat on Juno Beach in Normandy, France, with the Canadian Scottish Regiment. My role was in the mortar platoon. On June 17th, I was based in a barn, anticipating an attack that never came. I went into a nearby shed to disarm the grenades when one exploded, resulting in the loss of my right arm.
When I returned to Canada, I became a member of The War Amps, which was started by amputee veterans returning from the First World War to help each other adapt to their new reality as amputees. Through the years, we have made it a goal to remember and commemorate our fallen comrades, and to educate youth about the horrors of war.
In Normandy, many Canadians died or suffered wounds that they had to carry for the rest of their lives. As we mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, it is important that we never forget.
Allan Bacon, Toronto
From all the team, we would like to thank all the residents for their support of the 2nd Port Perry Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides awareness campaign, which took place this past Sunday at the SmartCenter. We would also like to thank SmartCenter and all their stores for allowing this campaign.
The donations collected were more than last year and the online registrations so far are running at twice the pace of this year.
Thank you Scugog community.
Looking forward to the walk on the May 26th at 10 a.m. in Palmer Park, Port Perry!
Co-Chair, 2nd Port Perry Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides, Giving Canadians a New Leash on Life
Hello Friends of the media and beyond!,
Once again, our 17th annual "Uxbridge Huck Finn Youth Fishing day", held this past Saturday, was a great success, despite the challenging weather conditions.
We had a great turnout throughout the course of our 3 hour event. Our winning brook trout this year was 12 inches in length, caught by a 7 year old little boy! He won a trophy, kayak and a fishing reel, as well as a one day fishing charter for 2!
We served up over 800 hot dogs, handed out close to 600 loot bags, and the McDonald's mobile coffee truck served over 1,000 cups of coffee. An amazing time was had by all.
As a committee and a community, we truly appreciate your support every year. We are already in the planning stages for our 18th annual, scheduled for April 25th, 2020!
All the best and thanks again!
Pat "Huck" Higgins
Chair of Uxbridge Huck Finn Youth Fishing Day, Uxbridge
The Sunderland Co-operative, Gallagher North America, and KMR Fencing recently formed a partnership, to bring the residents of Peterborough County, Durham Region and surrounding areas a 'Fencing Makeover' contest.
The contest ran between the months of January and March 2019.
“During this time, we were able to obtain a total of 38 applications, and we could not have been more pleased with how the contest played out. All submitted applications were reviewed by a team of Gallagher employees, who received redacted applications, which omitted personal information about the contestants. Our partners at Gallagher were very impressed with the quality and extent of applications received, which made judging them very difficult.
“Nonetheless, the chosen winner was Kim Schneider of Sunderland, Ontario. Kim has both sheep and horses on her farm, and is a loyal Sunderland Co-op customer.
“We were so very excited to present the grand prize of $1500.00 in total product and services to Kim, and her reaction was a reminder to all of us, why we do what we do. Kim's excitement could not be contained, and we could not be happier that she was chosen as our contest winner.
“Overall, this event transpired into a reality we never dreamed would be true. We are extremely thankful and appreciative of our partners, particularly of each valued customer who applied for the contest. Our whole team is over the moon with how everything turned out, and we can't thank all of our wonderful customers enough for all of their continued support.”
Gallagher Fencing and KMR Fencing
Life can be wonderful. Friends, family, and co-workers seem to buzz all around doing their thing, both spending time with you and others they care for, and living the life they live with zest and/or struggle, eventually they get by with a little help from their family or friends. Trust is a paradoxical thing. It is both the strongest thing in life or can crumble rapidly from the slightest precision blow.
Have you ever counted on someone; a person who’s loyalty and capability you’ve never questioned, for something you felt was needful, and they didn’t want to show up, or help. For what seemed like no good reason, they made up excuses, or even became defensive quickly, so quickly it seemed premeditated. Then the next thing you know, the time you see or talk to them next, they act like it was no big deal. What in the world was that about? Or have you had someone who was a long-trusted friend, family member, or even your spouse (Just so you know, I’m not implying mine has.), flip-flop on you. They shared information, about your relationship or one you have with someone else, with others you don’t know, like online “friends” or someone who’s judgment you have previously stated you don’t trust. Then there’s the ever so important betrayal over money, business, or social matters, leaving you feeling left high and dry, alone and wounded. What about a loved one opposing you publicly, about a previously agreed upon position, exposing a rift in a relationship, before any real discussion had been shared around their changing convictions in a private relating time? This is probably a more appropriate manner in which to do things. These things can challenge your ability to trust again, open up to connecting again, or even want to be a part of social things again.
Betrayal, which gets its meaning through Old French from a Latin word “tradere” meaning ‘hand over, deliver up’, as in ‘having your head served up on a platter, or tray’, is an all too common experience, especially in today’s increasingly pseudo connecting societies. Techno-social platforms have made it extremely easy to convince ourselves we are properly adjusted, truly connected with others, and therefore in a sense of community. Unfortunately, this often can replace the ways of satisfying the legitimate need for acceptance, addressed by honest face-to-face connection with those flesh and blood others close around.
I was involved in an earnest conversation the other day, with a person who said they were very interested in the development of the new AI Robots, as personal relationship substitutes. They expressed very clearly, they would much rather have a partnership with one of these than another human being. Their reasoning was, “It would sure be a lot less complicated.” They said there are others they have talked to who felt the same, even to the point of attempting to pass laws to marry them. I was struck with an overwhelming sense of society betraying itself and giving up, of a serious lack of comprehension of how deep real relationships go, and of the distortion of social mores.
The idea of replacement relationships can deceptively weaken the bonds of real relationships; those with actual human touch, true integration, and even the counter balance of real reprisal to stimulate responsible behaviour. This is the actual community, and it comes with the honest effort of learning to appreciate differences built into individuality. It comes with adjusting the manner in which we express ourselves and realizing other’s significance as well. In a basic sense, it means adjusting to how they smell, and you can’t do that online, it’s too clinical, too easy, in a hyphenated word “cop-out”
Maybe you’ve had the kind of discussions where you work out mutual ground rules for how your relationship will work. Looking in the eyes of that trusted person, so you can see their true convictions about the topic at hand, to truly connect, is a far greater information stream. You get real time, real world, 3D feedback. Yes, some people have these conversations to establish trust and protections for their lives together. It’s healthy; countries do it, municipalities do it, corporations do it, even social organizations do it.
Communication works, because honest connection works. It can get those involved on a mutual page and reduce assumptions and surprises.
But after a connection is no longer a priority, a person has become sufficiently self-deceived into believing they can exist in a healthy way by themselves. All psychology, society, and religious groups, in particular Christianity, have their foundations in the need we have for others, partly in order to gain the feedback for healthy development.
At this time of year, we are commemorating Passover, the time when God set the Jewish people free from cruel slavery by the oppressive Egyptian Pharaoh. We are also celebrating the act of Christ taking each of our personal sins upon himself, and then pursuing his own death on the cross, to allow God to judge that sin within him instead and to free us all from the cause of self betrayal, which is what holds us captive, and drives us to the compromise of betraying others. This inner struggle, against the effects of this pollution of our souls, can at best be delayed in our own strength, but is a continual battle. However, what God has done, is set up an opportunity, for anyone who would choose to rely upon His provision, is offer a new essence of life. If we would admit our need, and simply ask Christ to enter our hearts, each person will experience Him living there by His Spirit, and through this His nature will overcome our own inherent self willed nature.
This Friday is, Good Friday, the day acknowledging Christ’s dying on the Cross to take away our sins. Then comes Holy Saturday, normally Jewish Sabbath, which is particularly solemn, as it acknowledges the attempt of sin to persuade in the hearts of mankind that death had the final word. Praise God, however, ‘Sundays a comin;’ Resurrection Sunday, when Christ’s triumph over death, His rising again, offers each of us a chance at Eternal Life, if we will invite God, through Jesus, into our hearts to change, and then rule our nature, as the Gentlemen He is. No more inner forcing, compulsion toward self betrayal, or desire for betrayal of others. A nature to share its capacity to forgive the betrayal of others will inhabit your soul. All that remains is the practice of co-working with that nature, which will demonstrate to you the wonders of forgiveness and truth. Even after this exchange of our sin for His nature of grace, we still stumble. We are still human after all, but having God in the human heart gives us a greater capability to understand the failings of others, and the ability to get back up without being overcome by what could overcome us before. I recommend you don’t betray this opportunity to visit a local church this Resurrection weekend and even participate in the Good Friday walk, starting at Palmer Park, which is an opportunity to understand what led up to Christ’s intercession for your life.
Happy Resurrection Experience