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On the Bright Side…

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

Though my highly-paid job writing for The Times and CountyLive is to bitch and complain, I would like to start the New Year on a more optimistic note, and take a snapshot of the things we can be thankful for. The cynical part is at the end.

1. Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister.
Sure, I stole the idea of hope and optimism from him, but he doesn’t have a copyright on it. So far, not so bad, so I wanted to get in early and say: “Not bad so far,” before he does the usual stupid things Prime Ministers do when they start feeling their oats, and makes me hate him. It’s inevitable.
But, on the other hand, Stephen Harper is gone, cursed to join the Boards of several giant corporations, who will pay him big bucks, while he’s drawing an enormous pension on our dime. Still, he won’t tell anyone what he’s thinking, but large corporations like that.

2. Wind Turbine Battle continues.
I honestly didn’t think we’d make it this far, but my hat is off to the many County folk who put their time and money into protecting our homeland from provincially-sanctioned destruction.
The arguments will carry on, but only time will tell if useless, outdated, overpriced technology and big money interests win the day.

3.Our hospital is alive!
The province has a penchant for buggering up everything it touches. Wynne demands cost recovery on our health care system, while rapidly building and expanding a 285.6 billion dollar debt in every other department.
Priorities mixed up? You bet.
But the bouquet of flowers goes to the Hospital Auxiliary and the County Hospital Foundation, who shouldered the load of keeping our hospital vibrant, while the provincial bean counters have attacked on every quarter.

4. Volunteers rule!

While I’m at it, let’s give thanks to the many service clubs, church groups, community organizations and businesses who volunteer and raise funds to keep our community vibrant and healthy.
This should also be the government’s job, but clearly they don’t have the brainpower or the heart to get it done.
On behalf of County people everywhere (yes, we are everywhere!), we salute you.

5. Live from County Farm Centre!
Great work on developing County FM 99.3 for all involved. It certainly is a feather in the County’s cap. My favorite is the noontime County Grapevine. I swear, I’ve learned things about the County I’ve never known before, and also learned how to cook a turkey, and identify different woodpeckers. (Believe me, you don’t want to get these two mixed up.) I also learned a lot about honey bees, so you might want to avoid me at cocktail parties.

6. The Royal is on the move.
Yet another anticipated development in the County business community and economy, the reconstruction of the beloved Royal Hotel is now under way. It’s too soon to line up for a beer, but it promises to be another great Destination for locals and tourists.

Jeers to:
1. Council Downsizing.
I figured going in that this would be botched at the start, botched in the middle and botched in the end.
For all the time and effort and town hall meetings, it was a rather fruitless effort. It’s like asking a teenager to clean his room, which to him means putting one pair of underwear in the laundry basket, and leave the rest as is.

2. No saving our infrastructure.
No thanks to the province again – this time for killing their roads contribution in … well, anyplace that didn’t vote Liberal. Which would be most of rural Ontario. So Highway 49 will continue to be a Disney World ride, or perhaps used by the military to simulate travel in Afghanistan.
Wynne is a lot like McGuinty: She would make a great Mayor of Toronto, but makes a lousy Premier of Ontario.

3. Say Ahhh @#$%: The Ministry of Health
Sure, it started with Mike Harris, but carries on to this day. It’s like hiring a home renovator who only knows how to do the tear-down part. So you end up with a garage with no doors and no roof, which still looks kind of like a garage, but is no longer useful for putting your car in.
On the bright side, QHC Belleville is apparently replacing their cafeteria with a limited-menu Tim Horton’s franchise! No kidding! I believe it even has a wheelchair drive-thru!
They say it will actually make them money, and allow them to fire a lot more staff.
And, I have to say, there’s nothing I like better than having my surgeon wired up on a mega-cup of Timmy’s coffee: “The good news is, we removed your gallstone. The bad news is, the incision goes all the way around your body, and part of your butt fell off.”

As a noted columnist, I get inside information on these things so, following up on the Tim Horton’s concept, here’s what’s coming up at QHC:
• All post-surgery suturing will now be performed by the ladies of the Quinte Quilter’s Guild;
• Patients’ drugs will now be handled through a vending machine in the downstairs lobby;
• The nurse’s alarm call will now just play soothing music, while you wait for the next shift;
• Each floor will be guaranteed at least one nurse, equipped with one of those two-wheel Segue vehicles; an electric golf cart will be used to transport patients to the morgue. This will cost the Ministry nothing, as they do not provide money for equipment. Or nursing staff, for that matter.
• LHIN administrators will find that their administrative skills were so good, they have no-one left to administrate. But they will not give up their jobs or their enormous paycheques, in case a confused ex-nurse wanders into the building, causing an administrative emergency.

And, finally, the money they save by laying off useless skilled professional nurses will be diverted to a hot new province-wide marketing campaign: “Don’t Get Sick. We can’t help you.”
This will be followed by Phase 2: “Chronic Disease? Don’t be a baby. Stay at home and suck it up.”
And, of course, Phase 3: “Closed until we pay off our $3-billion debt.”

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Kathie Schutta says:

    Thanks, Steve…still eliciting huge guffaws from me whenever I read your column.

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