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, December 29, 2017

The Canadian Lifeboat

A recent reply to Owen over at Northern Reflections by one Steve go me thinking (always a dangerous undertaking) and my thoughts being far too extensive to reply to that post I will try and assemble my thoughts here. Nothing I say here in anyway reflects upon that conversation although it was fodder for this post and I hope that I can disagree with some of the opinions expressed with the same respect for each others views as these two individuals.

Firstly here are the responses from Steve that grabbed my attention.....

“Things have changed. We should be looking at our country as a lifeboat. If we want more displaced persons we have to be engineered to take more passengers without capsizing the boat.
Right now we have a housing crisis. Until this is solved why would we bring more people to live here?”

“I know its not popular but nation building IMHO is a better way. I propose we put our efforts into goverment in a box. This is a software package just like any ERP the leading companies used but designed for goverment. In the case of Hati being self sufficient in food is a easy task. For other places including our first nations, container food is the way forward. Third container housing with solar panels, composting toilets and rain collection.
If we have the capacity for these people, why dont we have the capacity for my children?”

First of all whilst there are many places on this planet of ours where the lifeboat is not only in danger of sinking but far too many where folks are already underwater and more drowning on a daily basis. Whilst it is impossible to save them all, and some that who are busy shoving the less buoyant under who should perhaps not be supported, we cannot IMHO not rescue as many as possible within our ability to sustain them however briefly. It is a difficult discussion as there are far more displaced persons than any one country can help, or indeed than 'civilized' (as opposed to warring) nations can succor!

As for 'capsizing OUR boat' we are a long way from that, the biggest problem I see is that far too many passengers both established and recent/ want to crowd into (mostly) one end of the boat, namely Toronto!! (or perhaps better expressed 'our larger urban centers'). This vast country of ours has lots of capacity to accommodate both our own growing population and many newcomers, the problem is that infrastructure, services, and employment opportunities are increasingly being 'centralized' in larger urban areas in the name of 'efficiency' which in my mind is part of the problem. This city-centric thinking by both industry and government is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Moving on, “In the case of Hati being self sufficient in food is a easy task. For other places including our first nations, container food is the way forward. “ OH lord Steve, where do I start? Whilst I have no first hand knowledge of the Haiti situation I do recognize that it is far from simple, they may well be in a climate where under normal circumstances they can be largely self sufficient so far as crops are concerned and from what I have read they hardly can be faulted for being 'wasteful' with their other resources. When ALL is destroyed returning to any measure of self sufficiency is hardly 'easy'!
“container food is the way forward.” Its hard to tell exactly what is meant by this particularly when linked to a particular community, is this referring to the method of getting the food TO the community or to a method of GROWING the food within the community, either way again its not that simple and if if the solution works for one segment of our nation it should work for all! I invite “Steve” to expand upon what he meant by this statement.

Finally “Third container housing with solar panels, composting toilets and rain collection.” I have no argument with this basic concept and so many folks are moving towards more 'self sufficient' systems within their own households as are a number of communities, particularly in rural or remote places. Whilst the 'up front' costs make it largely impossible for lower income individuals to move in this direction the ever reducing prices of equipment and the availability of 'contract' installations are having a positive impact upon the move away from less desirable systems. Prefabricated 'container' housing may be a way for some less affluent communities but such units are not affordable for many who are currently living in 'substandard' housing for by the time they are built to 'modern' standards the cost is prohibitive for far too many folks. I know somewhat all about this having lived for many years in a 'mobile home' which today would not be considered 'allowable' for a year round residence, not perhaps luxurious but better than the alternative when times are tight.

Steve, you said “If we have the capacity for these people, why dont we have the capacity for my children?” If you are having difficulty feeding your children or finding employment for the older ones then I very much feel for you having been in that situation many times in my life, however blaming others for 'taking away your job' or trying to do what they must to feed their family is non productive and futile. I wish you and all my readers a happy and prosperous new year and a stress free 2018.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

More beuracratic BS

Ontario wildlife rehabilitation centres are growing increasingly frustrated with the provincial ministry that governs their activities. In particular, the rehab workers are discouraged by the inability to appeal rulings made by the ministry.
Ontario Wildlife Rescue, an organization that represents Ontario's rehabilitation centres, says an increasing number of rehab centres in Ontario have shut down in the past 10 years because they can't work with what they believe are increasingly unrealistic requests from the government. There's growing tension between the rehab centres and the MNRF, which is responsible for wildlife management and public safety.
Sandy Donald, a spokesperson for Ontario Wildlife Rescue, said officials have also told rehab centres that they can't take pictures of wildlife. The MNRF said in a response that photography isn't completely banned, but should be limited because it could "counter" the rehabilitation process. As well, Mr. Donald said the MNRF refused to allow the use of surrogate parents to raise orphaned wildlife, saying that these orphaned animals should be released or euthanized instead.
Mr. Donald said that "almost all these centres are run by volunteers. If you're spending a chunk of your time fighting a rearguard action against the ministry, at a certain point, you go 'enough's enough.'" He said that there used to be 200 rehabilitation centres in Ontario, but there are now around 60. The decrease in centres comes despite a rise in demand for medical treatment for wildlife, which rehab workers said is caused by increasing urban development.
Among the growing number of rehabilitation centres throwing in the towel, Ms. Beechey (of Tillsonburg, Ont., wildlife rehab centre} said that she, too, is ready to close up shop if she can't get the right to appeal the ministry's decisions.
The above extracted from the full article here.....