A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Re Ontario Green Belt Reduction

I can but say that I share these concerns and the following communication from ALL the Ontario opposition parties says it all.......

Bonnie Lysyk
Office of the Auditor General of Ontario
20 Dundas St. W., Suite 1530
Toronto, ON  M5G 2C2

January 11, 2023

Dear Ms. Lysyk,

Over the last few months, we have independently raised concerns with the government’s decision to remove 7,400 acres of land from the Greenbelt to allow for development on what was protected land. Today, we are writing to you together to ask that your office conduct a value-for money audit and an assessment of the financial and environmental impacts of the government’s decision to remove lands from the Greenbelt and repeal the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve Act.

The removal of protections from these lands has instantly shifted wealth to property owners, who have likely benefited substantially from the rezoning of this land from undevelopable agricultural land to developable land. For example, about 4,500 of the 7,400 acres of Greenbelt land formerly belonged to the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve (DRAP) and had easements protecting the land as farmland in perpetuity under the DRAP Act. These easements represented a multi-billion-dollar public investment in Ontario's natural and agricultural systems by the people of Ontario, who gave up enormous profits when the Ontario government sold these lands at discounted prices on the condition that they forever remain farmland. The removal of these easements means these speculative profits will now flow to private landowners, with no compensation to the public.

Removing protections from the DRAP lands also has potential environmental impacts. These lands are adjacent to Rouge National Urban Park, and Parks Canada has raised concerns that the removal of protections would have a detrimental impact on park lands and the local ecosystem. In their submission to the provincial government, Parks Canada wrote, “there is a probable risk of irreversible harm to wildlife, natural ecosystems and agricultural landscapes within Rouge National Urban Park.”

Hundreds of concerned Ontarians and stakeholders shared similar concerns through the Environmental Bill of Rights consultation process. The consultation showed broad opposition to the government’s decision to remove land from the Greenbelt, including concerns regarding anticipated negative environmental impacts. Many groups identified that the Greenbelt plays an important role in Ontario’s ability to address climate change and emphasized the importance of protecting natural areas.

Given the strong likelihood of negative impacts on the environment, we are requesting your office investigate the environmental impact of the removal of these Greenbelt lands on agricultural and natural systems. Additionally, we are requesting a value-for-money audit investigating how much public wealth has been transferred to property owners and whether these land transactions are in the public interest.

Collectively, we are very concerned with the impact that the removal of these Greenbelt lands will have on the future well-being of our province. We thank you for your time in reviewing our request and would be happy to meet with you and your team to further discuss our concerns.


Marit Stiles, MPP John Fraser, MPP Mike Schreiner, MPP
Incoming Leader
Ontario NDP
Interim Leader
Ontario Liberal Party
Ontario Green Party



source: media release, Ontario Green Party



Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Rural Life After Loss …...

In recent weeks our local news magazine The Owen Sound Hub has featured a series of articles about the difficulties faced by those whose income fails to meet the outgo needed to keep the 'wolf' from the door and food on the table. Over my more than 50 year working life my wife and I have been fortunate that whilst at times the outgo has been difficult to keep up with the income our frugal lifestyle and my hands on repair skills have permitted us to eventually own an idyllic property in Grey Bruce. Unfortunately my partner of 40 years was struck down with cancer 3 years ago leaving me to share our 30 acres of managed forest with only my working son during the limited hours he is not helping other folks in setting up their own retreat from the big city.

I thus then now spend my days trying to pass the time till its time to assemble something for supper for the two of us. Now make no mistake there is no shortage of 'stuff' to do be done to upkeep on the modest barn & house we built 20 years ago almost entirely with our own hands or keeping those woodland trails from becoming too overgrown. Where the problem comes from is when the ability and ambition to do those things does not match the volume of jobs to be done, lets just say that the previously reasonably tidy perennial flower gardens are now best describes as 'natural' plantings! Its hard to stay active and motivated when most of the time the only conversation and company comes from the woodpeckers and the squirrels!

This self assessment was brought about by the difficulty I have experienced in trying to find a 'companion' to share my idyllic (at least during the summer months, perhaps not so much during the winter) hideaway with someone who perhaps needs a little lift from their current situation. Having made several inquiry's of various social and support organizations in the last year or so with little success I begin to question both my own efforts and that of the groups contacted. In all but one instance the response to my offer of a semi permanent low cost home for a lady in need in return for a little companionship and some household help has met with either total silence or a 'not in our mandate' response. I was under the impression from the various articles features on The Hub that there was an increasing need for inexpensive accommodation for those whose financial situation has left them in need of help to simply put food on the table each week. Was I wrong?

Is the semi remote location and the need for transportation to go into town limiting the number of possible companions to near zero. Is it that the unfounded impression that we are a couple of helpless guys looking for a house cleaning slave or that any male that offers to help out a female is a sexual predator. Is it that my total avoidance of 'social media' is limiting my circle of 'friends' or simply that I have yet to find the right forum to offer our help and need, this then is perhaps my final effort in that regard before I crawl back into my corner and give up the search. Make no mistake at this point the 'companion' part is perhaps the most important bit and thus personal compatibility by both parties will be a key requirement of any successful relationship. 

DMR, Chatsworth, Ont


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Ontario missing in action?

A provincial source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told CBC the government of Ontario Premier Doug Ford does not think trilateral talks between the federal, provincial and Ottawa municipal governments are necessary since all three levels of government have kept in touch since the protests started.

A spokesperson for Ontario's solicitor general added in a statement that policing protests is a responsibility carried out by local police services.

"To be clear: police services, including the Ottawa Police Service, have full discretion and extensive existing legislative authority under the Criminal Code to respond to and manage demonstrations and take enforcement action, as appropriate, against any individuals committing crimes in their jurisdiction."

This may be true but they do not have the resources, either of manpower or financial to deal with this level of insurrection and must request assistance from the province, which appears to be severely lacking, who must in turn request assistance from the Feds. Much of the on line rhetoric is focused upon the Feds who in most instances (except perhaps at the border) could not just jump in even if they wanted to, personally I would love to see the army come in with their heavy equipment and drag these trucks out of the way (supported by their fellow troops) but we are not there yet.

If these AH's carry on much longer it may come to that yet for when the shelves go empty and the wage cheques disappear its going to get ugly. Some folks don't realize how integrated the North American economy is, that may not be how we want it but it is reality. These 'truckers' (the small proportion of those creating the problem who are not just anti government shit disturbers) dont seem to realize they are killing their own jobs, there are lots of guys only too pleased to take their jobs!

PS – Good for our friends across the water........

Police in Paris (France) said that "freedom convoy" protesters will be barred from entering the city starting on Friday, Reuters reports.

Protesters were warned that they could face two years in prison, a 4,500 euro fine and suspended driver's licenses for violating the order, according to Reuters.



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Booking Covid shot....

My son in his 30s has just attempted to book a covid shot in an area clinic... without success! The Ontario system permits individuals to book up to two weeks in advance however NO bookings are available in this area over that period and it is not possible to book beyond that time. The frustrating part of the process is that the ONLY way to determine that is to try and book for each individual day in that period, thats16 tries to book with a rejection and no further options avalable!

I think we all understand that the demand for shots is high, particuarly when a new criteria opens up giving the 30 year olds (who are MUCH more probably out in the work force) an opportunity to get vaccinated but what is wrong with this picture? Cannot the 'system' simply say 'no bookings are avalable in the next two weeks' or even better ' please enter you phone number or email and we will call as an opening becomes avalabe'.... too much-to ask?

As a senior who is eligible to get a shot I have not bothered, not only is it hard for us home bound old fellows to get to a suitable clinic (particularity at a per-determined time) but what is the point if my younger offspring are not (until this week) able to be protected. Sp the old man is protected but his kids in the house are not, not a good picture!

I think we all realize that this whole thing is a difficult situation but I find it very difficult to see that it has been handled in a logical and efficient way ….. just ask the remaining seniors in various nursing hone across Ontario!

Enough said!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Pissed off Senior....

OK, so now after a good proportion of the U.S. rich and powerful are getting vaccinated we up here in Canaduh are finaly getting a small portion of the shots available (I note here that its not our Gov fault re supply, could be worse ya could live in an African country!) but they are being directed to 80+ year olds. Whats with that? I understand the attention given to the nursing homes due to their terrible lack of attention to spread of infection but the old folks isolated at home are at minimal risk ….unless they leave home to go ino town to get the friggin shot, accompanied by their younger care giver who is NOT able to get said protection! That the folks who have spent months keeping our food on the shelves and other similar 'essential' services running are not at the top of these lists REALLY pisses me off!

Less you think this is a young fellow having a rant be it known that I am past 75, my best buddy is past 80 and has just been offered a shot, for which he must ask his 'caregiver' to take him to nearest clinic and mix with possible infected individuals (not local so far as I can tell). What is wrong with this picture?

For the record, if offered a shot (which I suspect will be at the nearest 'bulk location' I will pass at this point. If and when it is available at my local 'clinic' by my regular NP AND my adult working son is also included in the mix I will consider it.


It now seems that there are so many Ontarian's over 80 (or more probably their 'caregivers' who cannot themselves get a shot) trying to register on line that the system crashed. But dont worry you can always use the telephone line and wait for several hours waiting online for an answer. Only surprise to me was that there were that many fellow seniors over 80 not yet pushing up daisys!

Rant OFF, but mind not changed!


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

News release.....

Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Ian Arra is giving notice of intent to Order the mandatory wearing of face coverings in enclosed public places. The Order will be issued and coming into effect within the next 10 days as per consultation with stakeholders.

Population of Grey Bruce 160,000 plus
Total reported cases 114
Total active cases 2
Number of deaths 0

Number of identified cases in our area since the start of this pandemic as a percentage of population .07% or roughly 1 in every 1400 persons.

Whilst there is little doubt that the less restrictive travel criteria and the desire of many folks from more populous areas where there is a higher incidence of COVID to visit our area will see an slightly greater risk here this would seem to be la bit of an overkill.

That there has been no such order here or in most other places prior to this when there were many more active cases makes this order even more bizarre. Those folk that are in high risk situations can, and should, continue to take suitable precautions and I thank those that are doing so such as store clerks, food servers and of course our medical workers.

There is also little doubt that a proper mask worn and handled correctly will reduce the wearers chance of spreading any potential infection to others, the protection afforded to the wearer from general airborne contaminants is debatable. This is particularly true given that very few folks will indeed wear, handle, store and sanitize or dispose of their mask in the recommended manner and wash their hands after each use!.

If its so damned important why wait 10 day to implement this order?

Enough said!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Pain in the .....Nose?

Do vets care more about their pocket book than the heath and comfort of their patents? I always thought of Vets as caring folks who had turned their love of animals into a way to make a living, after a recent experience I am thinking that the latter item takes precedence. My doggie companion recently learned not to mess with a porcupine the hard way and returned from a woodland walk with a group of us viewing the spring flowers with a snout full of quills. Ouch!

There being more than just one or two we decided that it would be best to call a vet and take her in to get sedated to remove them, no big deal, whilst not one to take my buddy into the vet unless there is a pressing reason I thought this was one such occasion. Called up a vet we had dealt with some years ago to put down our previous long time companion who's time had come and was in pain, explained Nikki had quills that needed removing, first question “have you dealt with us before” Yes, can I bring her over to get looked at. “Sorry we are fully booked and cant help you”. Guess a dog with porky quills in her muzzle is not an 'emergency' much more important to keep those regular customers little poodles looking pretty I guess!

Ok, there's more than one vet listed, that they are all a good half hour drive from us so best call first to see if they are open, two more calls two more responses much the same the first question being whether we had been there before (what bearing does that have on looking after the dog) that last of whom kindly informed me that they could 'probably' fit us in tomorrow and the MINIMUM charge would be $500 to $700 or quite possibly more ….SAY WHAT!

Now I love my dog who is the 5th of a long line of friends 'rescued' from one bad situation or another but also try not to spend more than my old age supplement brings in and that kind of money to briefly sedate a dog and pull a few quills seemed to me to be excessive. No doubt they would want to give her a full check over and find some other excuses to up the income but even so it would have been a distinct possibility IF they could actually deal with it TODAY.

So here we are at home having managed to remove those in close proximity to her mouth with a little help from a couple of our visitors. She NOT a happy camper after that so we will let her rest for a bit and have another go later but my companion who normally barely leaves my side is keeping her distance now. Sorry Nikki but you are going to be even less fond of me before we are done with this trauma. Hope you learned the lesson about Porkies the first time around!

(I note that I never spoke to the actual 'Vet' so far as I know but who  ever answers the phone at those establishments!)