All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Come The Revolution …

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

This is not a column about Industrial Wind Turbines. Sort of. And it’s not a column about the rape and death of PEC Memorial Hospital. Sort of. It’s a story about what has gone wrong with Ontario and Canada.
If you’re an innocent man standing at the gallows with a rope around your neck, and the deck is about to open, it’s always a good idea to ponder: “How did this happen to me?”

In this case, the frame-up was instigated by our old friend, turned enemy, the provincial government. Looking at the Big Picture beyond IWTs and hospitals, former Premier McGuinty took a big black pen and erased the word ‘democracy’ from all Ontario documents. This would require a considerable amount of time, which is probably why the ‘new jobs created’ index shot up for a couple of months.
The Green Energy Act – removing the voice of County people, our Council and our MPP – was simply the culmination of a widespread government policy to ignore public input. QHC pretends, but even their LHIN bosses don’t agree with the treatment Picton is getting.
McGuinty apparently has read Mein Kampf and the Memoirs of Josef Stalin, and thought it was a keen idea to institute a pogrom on rural Ontarians. I’m surprised the Green Energy Act did not include a section on building camps to harbour those unhappy with the health effects and destruction of life and land he has ordered.
His replacement, Wynne, is now publicly apologizing for McGuinty’s misbehavior, and is bravely trying to put a Happy Face toward us useless backwoods creatures who live somewhere beyond Scarborough.

At times like this, someone invariably says to me: “If you don’t like the government, change it with your vote!”
This no longer has meaning for me. The follow-up question is: “Okay, who am I going to vote for – who will save our butts, and not just inherit the Crown and continue on with ‘business as usual’?”
The problem is not a party politics problem. There is no party platform solution. And party promises are worth the air they’re printed on.

The problem is not which party is in power, the problem is systemic.
It’s the WAY we now do politics in Ontario and, indeed, right across Canada. Decisions are made behind closed doors in the middle of some city, and these decisions are passed to places like rural Ontario – though Queen’s Park has no concept of the differences in culture and lifestyle.
Despite Queen’s Park’s view of us as a vast, empty, uncultured wasteland, they have not noticed that the demographic of the County has changed radically in the last 10 years.

County people were never the sod-stomping clods they picture in their minds. We were just happy to be left alone. As Sir John A. said: “I love the people of Prince Edward County! They vote for me time and again; they ask for nothing, and they get nothing.” We like that.
But the County now has a whole new wave of people who chose this place as their personal paradise. Doctors (in vanishing numbers), lawyers, accountants, engineers, administrators – top-notch professionals – award-winning people, even members of the Order of Canada!
They have a right to ask why simply moving to Prince Edward County has reduced their status to Third-Class Citizens.
They were once the people who drove our economy and drove our government … their opinion is now less than worthless by virtue of passing over the Bay Bridge.

Long-time County, short-time County – we were all given a promise that this would remain our paradise. Old and new, we are all rooted here. And our expectations are simple, and have remained the same for years: “We love what we have; leave us alone.”
We live in the County hoping our property will increase in value. We plan to grow old here, surrounded by a sense of community, and be supported by a once-admirable health care system.
Now health, wildlife, property values, and the very land we treasure is in extreme jeopardy. And our hospital is being reduced to a box of bandages and a bucketful of leeches.
All courtesy of our provincial government, driven from the top down. This is what has gone wrong.

Anyone old enough to remember when your MPP was elected to represent the PEOPLE to the provincial government? Thankfully we have a feisty MPP who still believes that, but his voice is a cry in the wilderness – or, more appropriately, a cry FOR the wilderness in a metro building that only knows asphalt, urban consumerism, and the unending bloated steamroller that is the GTA.
News reports also indicate that our own Councillor Quaiff is bulldogging the new Premier to produce something other than promises to save the future of the County. Go, man, go. Her promises are too little, too late – and we are already reeling under the terrific gifts that political promises have showered upon us.
Ms. Wynne needs to lose her pretend love for red-ringed rubber boots and denim bib overalls, and do something that really matters: admit that McGuinty’s dictatorial reign was a monstrous political mistake, and cancel the proposed wind projects on the south shore. That’s a premier I can stand behind.
Hell, the cancelled gas plant fiasco cost $500 mill ($900 mill – almost a billion dollars – according to other watchdogs). Wynne, if you want to buy into rural Ontario, put that kind of money where your mouth is.

In closing, a quick shot at QHC:
Even the LHIN doesn’t like you. We don’t like you an awful, awful lot. It pains me to hear on the radio about the brand new emergency rooms in Belleville, with antiseptic sinks, individual temperature controls in each exam room, and a complete set of brand new equipment, possibly including wide-screen TVs which can access porn channels – just to keep the patients happy while awaiting stitches.
They also are installing solar panels on the roof (Yay!) and a whole set of low flush toilets. The whole combo will save them $270,000 a year. No mention of the capital cost outlay, which would probably open all the wings of PECMH, and allow nurses in French Maid outfits to deliver those UCW triangle sandwiches on trays to people in the waiting room.

Yes, my friends, we are being royally screwed by the Evolution of Politics. The system is broken beyond repair, and we have only seen the cutting edge of how we are about to be victimized.
But, as I say: Come the Revolution, all of this will change. Surprisingly, I’m getting more nods than laughter when I say this now.
Free the County, let’s get back where we belong. Let’s play our own game.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Marnie says:

    I can’t speak for Jan but I doubt she “hates” anyone. It’s the changes that many of us hate. We feel like strangers in our own hometown. It’s not realistic to expect us to watch our peaceful little community transformed as it has been, without experiencing feelings of resentment. We’ve lost something that was very special and it cannot be recovered.

  2. Mark! says:

    Steve, you make some valid, clarifying points.

    But when someone basically says “we should have locked the gates to the County to keep non-county people out”, that is treading on hate. See: Jan’s first comment.

  3. County Steve says:

    Well, we’re having some fun now! I can’t possibly hope to clear the air on this, but I’ll add a few thoughts.
    Mark seems to think I’m a right-wing provocateur, which gave me a mighty laugh. Guess he reads what he wants to read into what I say. Speaking out against major threats to our County by the provincial government is of benefit to everyone here. If anyone is ‘feeding the monster’, it’s you with your one-line cast-off put-downs of people expressing their thoughts and concerns.
    As for newcomers, I have expressed my opinion many times in my columns: If you love the County and choose to call it home, you are County. You don’t need 7 generations to love and care about a place. As for wineries, I’m happy to see agri-based businesses back in the County, using the land as it was meant to be used.
    Old-timers have a right to their concerns. A large part of it has to do with money. County wages are way below the provincial standard, and people arriving – having sold their house in Mississauga for $600K – seem to have way more options than the locals, who can no longer afford a ‘starter home’. This is not so much a cultural rift, as a financial rift, which can cause long-timers to feel left behind as the County ‘upscales’.
    There is a place for everyone here, and there is no ‘hate’. But we should recognize there is anxiety, and the best way to clear it is to express it.

  4. Marnie says:

    Jan is right. It was a different place and we see a little more of it disappearing all the time. Soon what we knew as the county will be just a memory. The whole place will have been exploited.

  5. Jan says:

    Donna, I think you have missed the point. It WAS lovely and peaceful!!

  6. Donna says:

    Animosity seems to fill these boards. How could the County ever be ‘lovely and peaceful’ with so much anger and meanness in people’s hearts?

  7. Lovin' the County says:

    with all these opinions, which we are allowed to have?? wonder why our young people leave or just let the crabbers keep crapping..they can’t even have a say!! done with all of County Live…sorry Sue and Amber…some of these “ladies” are down right nasty!! think I too will have a glass of wine..if that is okay??

  8. Mark says:

    Not so certain this Mark was deserving of Jan’s trashing.

  9. Jan says:

    I haven’t figured out whether Mark 1 and Mark 2 are clowns or monsters. Regardless, I wish they would both move to another planet! By the way, I don’t need to read anything written or spoken by Steve Campbell to form my opinion of the “know-it-alls” that have infiltrated our formerly lovely and peaceful County! Hopefully they will tire of the County and move on to spread their propaganda to another poor area of Ontario especially when they realize that they cannot walk all over the local folk and trample them into the ground!

  10. Donna says:

    I wonder how the indigenous people felt when United Empire Loyalists flooded in and took over their land? My point: we’re all newcomers.

  11. Paul says:

    The County seemed to have focused on the tourism industry attracting visitors in the summer months which is great but only a few tourist based businesses benefit from the 4 or 5 month tourist season. Full time year round jobs are scarce in The County even seasonal jobs are becoming harder and harder to find I remember tractor loads of tomatoes and pumpkin heading for Baxter’s canning factory the fisheries in The County have slowly disappeared. I hardly ever see a milk truck driving through town anymore. Getting stuck behind those tractors with tomatoes and pumpkins was always fun but getting stuck behind the tractor pulling manure spreader was the best by

  12. Marnie says:

    Don’t quit your day job Mark #1 for you really bomb as an advice columnist. Go have a glass of wine and forget the whole thing.

  13. Mark #1 says:

    Marnie, if I’m the Dear Abby of this site, you, Jan and Steve are the Glenn Becks. Good on ya.

  14. Wolf Braun says:

    I grew up in Peterborough.

    I discovered the County in the late sixties right after high school. I discovered girls and the sand dunes. 🙂

    I married a County girl. We bought our first house in Bloomfield in 1972. We left in 1975 because of career advancement. We continued to come to the County regularly. Moved back here in 1995 from Montreal. The County suits me just fine. I volunteer. I hold a real estate license. I deal with a lot of people from out-of-town.

    I plan to leave here in a box. :-))

    People who visit here stay in local B&B’s or some of the larger places like the Waring House and others. They usually stay one or two nights. They tell me about the great shopping in Bloomfield. They talk about the fine restaurants we have and how they enjoyed their meals. Many of them come back more than once in a 12 month cycle. Some do invest in the County. Many create local jobs. They pay taxes just like the rest of us. They get involved in County life….life in the County is wonderful. We’re all blessed.

    ” Equalizing self and others is the foundation of all the subsequent practices that lead to enlightenment.” …Universal Compassion

  15. Marnie says:

    Mark, you are the Dear Abby of this site. You have advice for everyone. All the answers are at your fingertips and in your eagerness to straighten all of us out you don’t even read our comments carefully. No one “hates” the newcomers. If you trouble yourself to look you will see that I have mentioned several times that many of them are good people with a lot to contribute. The problem lies in the fact that too many of them arrived all at once and now the tail wags the dog. How does this equate with hate?

    I fully understand that taxes go up through the years. That’s a no-brainer. What you don’t get is that they go up a lot more for those of us living close to wineries. Refusing to pay my taxes would be a childish, stupid move but childish and stupid pretty much describes a lot of your “good” advice.

    You make a grave mistake when you assume that Jan and others with similar views have been brainwashed by County Steve’s columns. We are all capable of thinking for ourselves.

    And Taffy no one is denying that newcomers have a lot to offer and do good work in the community. Once again it boils down to the large number of them who came all at the same time. Now there are far fewer locals in these groups than there were before. Just coincidence? I think not. A wave of new people, many of them highly educated, wealthy, and very successful swept into the county and a lot of the natives felt a little intimidated by them. Maybe they found it easier to back away than to fight the tide. If you think this is all nonsense then you are not as in tune with things here as you may think.

  16. Mark! says:

    And Steve:

    Comments like Jan’s are far too often the outcome of articles like the ones you pen. Really not constructive stuff. You keep feeding the monsters.

  17. Mark! says:

    Marnie, a serious question: Do you think anyone in Canada’s tax bill is cheaper now then it was in say, 1994?

    I’m serious when I say do something about it. Not necessarily move away. Take a stand. Refuse to pay it. Or just continue to come on the internet and complain about everything. It obviously makes you feel better.

  18. Mark! says:

    And to all you transplants who may not be from here originally: Please know that not everyone here hates you. There is a solid core in this County that welcomes change and progress and realizes its not 1955 anymore.

  19. Mark! says:

    Marnie… I was unaware that County boundaries were both ends of Main Street in Picton, and nowhere beyond.

    Your insights on here are sad to me. Literally. It makes me sad for you. Its a big scary world, isnt?

    To anyone who says something like the clown who said “we should have locked the gates to the County… blah blah blah”… you are not even worth responding to.

    I’d love to have this debate in public. Maybe the stage of the Regent Theatre. If you want my contact details, just let me know. We can charge admission and all the donations can go towards your unjust and unfair tax bill.

  20. fed up says:

    If you are who I think you are, Taffy, any place in Canada should be happy to have you. You are one of the most pleasant, helpful people I have ever met.

  21. Taffy says:

    So much for tolerance and Canadian all-round decency, Marnie and Jan. Steve Campbell had it right in his article – “old and new, we are rooted here”. My own background is in the hard scrabble mining valleys of South Wales, but that was eons ago. When I came to Canada over half a century ago, I expected to adapt to Canada, and did so. When my Canadian-born wife and I came to the County, we expected to adapt to the County, and did. Each of us are up to the neck as volunteers for meaningful County activities. Your comments, frankly, just peddle nonsense which you clearly haven’t thought through.

  22. Marnie says:

    Some good thoughts Jan. For years the county was a sleepy little rural community where nothing ever changed much. First tourism took off and Ontario’s best kept secret became common knowledge. Then the wineries were developed and we became a trendy area where the well-to-do all wanted weekend homes. There is nothing wrong with any of it except for the speed with which it happened and the daunting number of newcomers who suddenly started explaining our own history to us and trying to run us. Interesting to observe that as a lot of these newcomers age they beat it back to where they came from to be close to family in their last years. The county was just an adventure for a time. New ones come to take their place and the cycle continues. Who can blame us for wanting to go back to a time when we knew all of our neighbours and none of them complained about farm smells, the noise of farmers harvesting crops at night, or the sound of glider planes in the summer?

  23. Jan says:

    If only we had put a locked gate on all entrances to the County about 15 to 20 years ago, I wonder how much nicer the County would have been today! Of course, everyone born in the County would have been given a key!! Instead we have all these strangers telling the County folk how to run their businesses and dictating how everything should be done in the County. It’s amazing when I look at the death notices in the local papers. Who are these people? I use to know everyone who had passed away. Now, I feel like I’m reading the Toronto Star obits! Oh, if only we could go back to the old days where the local folk had control of their hospital and their lives!! Oh, I know the locals should be welcoming all
    these upper crust citified know-it-alls into our hillbilly community so that they can push us to the background and educate us in high society living. This will bring our County up to the 21st century and, of course, this will be for the better!! So much for my rambling…

  24. Marnie says:

    If they eat at the wineries then the wineries make money and no one else. Picton’s Main Street restaurants are not making a dime from them. Always something one can do about the tax bill Mark? It seems that you want Steve and everyone else who disagrees with you to move on. Sorry but we have been county residents longer than you have if you are just 32. You first.

  25. Mark #1 says:

    “Instead of a local restaurant.” Some wineries have restaurants. Is that not “local”? Or does it have to be at Gus’ or Coach’s?

    Everyone understands that your tax bill is higher. There is always something you can do about it.

  26. Marnie says:

    A regular Pollyanna aren’t you Mark? I wonder how you would like my tax bill, post-wineries? I have the misfortune of living near one of them. Those who come for the wine are probably a lot like the tourists who come for the beach. They fill up elsewhere and buy very little from local stores. If they have come to tour the wineries they likely lunch at one of them rather than eating at a local restaurant. It’s not likely that they buy groceries unless they are tenting somewhere, which I strongly doubt.
    I have a right to complain. It costs me more to live in my home county because of the wineries.

  27. Mark #1 says:

    Yes.. at the wineries. And at our gas stations. Our grocery stores. Our hotels. Our restaurants. This isn’t high economics Marnie.

    Complain for the sake of complaining.

  28. Marnie says:

    Really, Mark, and where do they spend the money? Probably at the wineries.

  29. Mark #1 says:

    EVERYTHING costs more today than it did 20 years ago. 20 years ago everything cost more than it did 40 years ago. Things change. Adapt. Plan. Inflation is a helluva thing.

  30. Mark #1 says:

    This is a really good lesson in frustration. Good grief.

  31. Mark says:

    Yes,wineries have made such an impact that our taxes just continue to climb! I am not against wineries but they have made little influence for the taxpayer who paid less and got more prior to their arrival.

  32. Mark #1 says:

    Thats all well and good, but the fact is that wineries attract people here and those people ideally spend money here.

  33. Marnie says:

    The Royal Hotel and Picton gave our town character, unlike some of those trendy little shops that are on Main Street today. Mark #1 it’s wonderful that you embrace change and feel that it is only geriatric fuddy duddies who cling to the old ways. Some of them were pretty smart actually. They probably played pool at Bailey’s and had a few beers at the Royal now and then but they were still savvy enough to know that not all change is for the good. Right now we are all about wine, tourists, and the high life. Personally I liked the Royal better than I do all of those wineries. Remember those wonderful Friday nights in Picton with members of the Sally Ann shaking tambourines beside its front steps? The wineries are colourless in comparison.

  34. Mark #1 says:

    I guess I should clarify, re: the Royal. I’m 32. The Royal I knew was a lot different than the Royal a lot of you know.

  35. Paul says:

    The Royal was a busy place for many years paid taxes, employed many people over the years and contributed to the OLD County charm.The County has taken a new tact and is in the midst of redefinning itself like a teenager awkward and prone to making mistakes it WILL find its stride and thats because of the great people of The County old and new who volunteer and have Prince Edward Counties best interests at heart, regardless of government slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives We’ll get it right sooner or later..

  36. Mark says:

    I quite liked the Royal Hotel and it’s attractions. Certainly would be a welcome contrast to the fancy little tourist shops.

  37. Mark #1 says:

    And you still didn’t answer who exactly “promised” you things? You, like all of us, are not entitled to anything.

  38. Mark #1 says:

    I too, have lived here all my life. 7th Generation. I’m in the rare 18-35 demographic that has been able to make a living in the area and stick around, AND contribute the area. I don’t need you questioning what I do here. I volunteer my time often and have since a very young age. Its how I was raised. But I’m also progressive. I’m not afraid of everything new that comes here like most of the older generation. I’m not bitter towards tourists and progress. Things change. The County has changed A LOT for the better. The main attraction on Picton’s Main Street isn’t the Royal Hotel or Bailey’s Smoke Shop anymore.

    You need to understand that there are educated, bright people that live here that are not always going to agree with you.

  39. fed up says:

    Partisan, maybe. Anti Neo Con, surely. Living on perceived “promises”, never.
    We might live on an island, in a literal sense; we don’t live on an island in any other sense. Perhaps because I have lived elsewhere in my life, I do not view “the county” the same way you do. It is just a nice place to live, period.
    That doesn’t make me hateful. As for locked in opinions, don’t be foolish. We ALL have them.

  40. Rusty S. says:

    Yowling malcontents, neo-fascists, and unmitigated disasters? Why is it when the leftists get upset they resort to name calling? Limited vocabulary? Or is it that they lack the intellect to have compassion for any point of view that doesn’t march in perfect socialist lockstep with their own?

  41. County Steve says:

    I’m used to getting criticism, but I don’t get fed up and Mark #1.
    I was born and raised here, so I’m not moving anywhere. But that’s not the point. I started column writing because major issues occasionally threaten our County lifestyle. Open discussion and opinions are better than the kind of locked-in opinions you guys have.
    You can hate me for that, and you clearly do, but I feel we need to discuss the changing face of the County, the threats against us, and the lack of representation we have with the provincial government.
    It’s a great place to live, granted, but if we can strive for something better, and fix some of the issues we face, then I say we need to do it. Blaming it on Mike Harris – oh those many years ago – is not good enough. I agree he dismantled Ontario, and didn’t bother to rebuild it. But choosing some other Gifted Political Party doesn’t seem to work for us either.
    The sky is not falling, and I’m not an alarmist. But ‘like it or lump it’ just shows you don’t have the willpower or the brainpower or the motivation to help make the County a better place.

  42. fed up says:

    My feeling is that the civil servants, including Deputy Ministers, have too much responsibility. Politicians come and go, but the deputy ministers and their minions stay regime, after regime. They are the ones giving advice to the elected reps. In recent years, bad advice has been given and taken. Here’s hoping for a stronger, wiser,and more independent thinking leadership.

  43. Laura says:

    Revolution, secession, whatever it takes. The day will come in the not too distant future when the rest of Ontario decides it’s had enough of the GTA crap being shoved down our throats. I’m starting to hear people who I NEVER would have thought would utter the word ‘secession’, now talking openly and earnestly about it.

    The GTA can take their corrupt criminals and their trough-feeders and their massive debt and just shove off into Lake Ontario. The rest of the province will start over fresh and rebuild ourselves to a great and proud status once again.

    We’re tired of being treated like second class citizens by those who live in the southern most parts of this province.

  44. Mark says:

    A different Mark now commenting. The Conservatives can be thanked for the almagamation of hospitals, amalgamation of municipal politics and I believe the creation of the LHIN’s. The hospitals and amalgamation of our municipality has been disastrous. Skyrocketing tax increases, more user fees, a glut of highly paid staff, less control and less services.

    And when you look at the corruption of the Federal Conservatives and the Provincial Liberals what is a person to think other than they are all the same no matter the political stripe. It seems anything over 4 years of governance breeds corruption and no accountability to the electorate.

  45. fed up says:

    Rob Ford! He has no place in this discussion. But, since you brought it up, the man is an unmitigated disaster, period.

    Mark–I think your comments are valid. What “promises” were ever made and by whom? Not worth “the air they’re written on.” We all have to live in the modern world. Like it or lump it.

  46. Smith says:

    The problem is that the GTA in general doesn’t give a crap. They would vote the liberals in again even with scandal after scandal!! Then you have the NDP who demand answers for the gas plants but then back the budget. So in Andreas mind she’s not happy about loosing $1billion but as long as the liberals keeps spending she’s happy. Where’s the money coming from?? One day us and our kids will have such a huge debt to pay back and this province will be bankrupt. No one will be able to afford power so who will need the turbines????? As much as people hate Rob Ford, he has done what he said he would do, which is stop the waste and get the budget in line and brought Toronto around to where they have money to spend!!!! How can you hate the man for that?!

  47. Mark says:

    “Long-time County, short-time County – we were all given a promise that this would remain our paradise. Old and new, we are all rooted here. And our expectations are simple, and have remained the same for years: “We love what we have; leave us alone.”
    – what? When was this promise “given” Steve?

    It seems you get a free pass on here, and in your columns and in your magazines and in your “books”. If you think you’d be happier somewhere else, MOVE. Complain about anything and everything somewhere else. You and your merry band of sky-is-falling followers have made reading local newspapers and visiting this website beyond annoying.

  48. fed up says:

    The usual line of bafflegab, Steve.
    Lay the responsibility at the door where it belongs–Mike Harris and his merry band of neo fascists. They were the ones who forced amalgamations and dismantled municipal politics, the education system, and on and on. Yes, there are changes needed, but sinking the equivalent of the gas plant fiasco money into cancelling contracts is not the way to do it. That was a political disaster brought about by kowtowing to the moneyed people of Oakville and environs.
    A reasoned approach, unfettered by special interest and yowling malcontents is the only way forward.

  49. Rusty S. says:

    Best bit I’ve read in a long while. Short of a meteor smacking into Queen’s Park, it’s going to take an all hands on deck effort to get our rural townships back under our own control.

  50. The County isn’t the only Municipality being completely stripped of it’s Democracy and it’s ability to make it’s own decisions that once was considered a “sacred right” for it’s success and future growth. This Provincial Government has basically dismantled all powers that a Municipality once had over it’s own affairs.
    There is one simple answer to this power struggle. TAKE BACK CONTROL of your own Council! Elect only officials who have their electorates concerns as their concerns. Work actively to identify who is on the side of the people, who will support your demands and then run with them at the next election. Throw the ones out who show no backbone or will to fight this Provincial oligarchy.
    If every Council across Ontario had Democratic and honest people in place then Municipalities would run this Province once again! Remember that the power lies in the hands of the tax payers and their hard earned dollars that go up the ladder to the top of this multi tiered Government labyrinth. Without OUR $$$, politicians would be broke!

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