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Much Ado About … Something?

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

This what I call my ‘Clean-up’ column. On the heels of my busy season, I have been missing in action for a while … much to the annoyance of my fans, and much to the relief of my detractors.
So I’ll deal briefly with a number of current issues:

More on LCBO
As Chris Keen pointed out in a recent Letter to the Editor, the timing of the LCBO upset could not have been worse. The Corporate Suits didn’t consider that this might be a damn poor time to make a move to smaller quarters, with limited parking. Nearby business owners are suddenly vexed with the kind of random, “don’t care, only be five minutes” mind set of people who are in a real hurry to relax in the County.
Please don’t take it out on the local staff. I’m sure their faces turned from Bacardi Gold to French Vanilla Mudshake white when they first caught wind of the plan.
But this is the kind of new mentality we are forced to deal with.
It’s like “Hey! Why not locate industrial wind turbines in a designated Important Bird Area, and squash the endangered species there?” Let’s run it up the flagpole, and see who salutes it! Wow! Everybody in the room who has never been outside of Queen’s Park, and doesn’t know where milk and bread come from, and can’t spell ‘pollination’. They know that pigeons are birds, because they have them in Toronto, and they know what turtles look like, since they used to read picture books to their children.

A Ferry Tale Follow-up
It’s like another Ministry, who decided to pull our second ferry – for the second year in a row – during peak tourist season.
The reason? The harsh winter delayed the needed repairs at dry-dock.
Seriously? Is this not the meaning of the word ‘dry-dock’? It’s not like they had to equip their mechanics with insulated wet-suits and scuba gear, cut a hole through the ice, and send them into freezing water with an acetylene torch.
It’s on land, for God’s sake. Has no-one in the Ministry ever heard the words “Canadian Winter”?
“Hmm, strange, it seems to be cold out here. I’ve never seen this happen before. Everybody go home, and we’ll start working on this in June.”
See? Bureaucrats are constantly surprised by things like winter, and land, and animals, and water, and common sense.
Hell, I could make five phone calls to County boys who would have the ferry moving like Miss Supertest in seven days. Paul Turner alone could rebuild a ferry that could compete in the Gold Cup Races! The only drawback is the ministry would need to change their ‘welcome audio’ to: “Please remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt on … we will be in Adolphus­town in 10 to 15 seconds.”
To add to the ‘bad timing’, the Skyway bridge at Deseronto is under repair, so it would take James Bond and a parachute to find a quick way into the County this year.

Good Decisions
A thumbs up to the people who decided to maintain a two-way bridge at the Brighton Murray Canal crossing. I travelled that route last Wednesday, and it is remarkably busy with traffic.
And they didn’t even propose a Tim Hortons Drive-thru and an LCBO outlet in the middle of the bridge! Man, some bureaucrat was on his meds that day!

County Truck Abuse
I know a lot of people complain about this, which is why the issue came up at the Council table. I think it’s a waste of time.
That’s because I spend a lot of time on the road, delivering Breakaway magazine, and if it happens I can make a convenient stop along the route, I do it. It just makes sense.
Someone complained to me that they saw a County truck in the No-Frills parking lot. “Perhaps he needed to buy some milk,” I offered. Because, if I were passing by, and needed milk, that is what I would do.
“But we’re paying for this!” he responded, indignantly.
Personally, I respect the County staff enough to assume this is worth the few pennies I might be paying to a guy who runs in to get milk. I doubt he has an 18-item grocery list – he’s just making a quick stop on his route.
By the same token, sometimes it makes sense to take a County truck home, so you can be closer to the next day’s work site.
This attitude stems from another chronic complaint I hear: “Why do I see one guy digging a hole, and three people standing around chatting?”
My stepson answered this, from experience: “If you’ve ever dug a four-foot-deep hole through County limestone, you would know why it takes four people to do it.”

Council Size
To me, this is another pony that won’t run. Sure, I have my preferences, if changes are made. The simpler the better, with a split into four quadrants, while maintaining township identity.
To me, the County is the County. And every one of our reps, in my experience, will help if they can.
So it isn’t the number of councillors I have a problem with (and I see little cost saving in changes, unless councillors claim ‘hookers & booze’ under Misc. in their expense accounts), but the quality.
I think we have a pretty good council right now, except they keep getting distracted by trying to appease 50% of the people, while angering the other 50%. Such is the nature of politics.
The best solution is to invent a time machine and send someone back in time to duct-tape Mike Harris to a chair, so that amalgamation would never have happened. Instead, Harris managed to clone himself into the form of future premiers, who rule by edict, and are driven solely by their own lust to maintain power, and assert their own agenda upon the mindless masses beneath them.
And he left us with soaring costs, which have soared even higher under subsequent regimes – and then backed off on financial support. And like the theme to ‘Secret Agent Man’: They’ve given us a number, and taken way our name.
I still don’t know what Ward# I live in, or work in, or vote in. Don’t send me to Ward 5, because I don’t know how to get there, unless I’m already in it.
Like every other brainless government decision, it works great on paper. And behind the doors of all the bureaucrats who never need to leave their room.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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