Category Archives: Politics

Ontario teachers dispute ends in distasteful fashion

After months of bitter wrangling between Ontario’s teachers and the provincial Liberal government, the warring factions seem to be kissing and making up.

But the way it’s happening is distasteful, to say the least. And, no surprise, money is at the heart of it.

For years, the Liberals and teachers enjoyed a mutually harmonious relationship. Dalton McGuinty styled himself as the “education premier” after coming to power in 2003, facilitating generous contracts between educators and the school boards that employ them.

In exchange for contracts that increased their wages by 34 per cent over eight years – while many Ontarians in other professions saw their pay frozen or cut, or their jobs eliminated entirely – teachers gave the Liberals strong support at election time, helping to deliver three consecutive wins at the polls.

Continue reading

Stephen Harper’s Grey County roots

Originally published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, September 6, 2005.

Every time Stephen Harper visits Grey-Bruce, it’s a homecoming of sorts.

The federal Conservative leader spent almost three hours at the Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular fishing derby Saturday night, meeting and talking to local residents, helping out at the fish fry and reminiscing about his many childhood visits to his grandparents’ Durham-area farm.

“My mother’s from Durham,” the Opposition leader said after arriving in Owen Sound in a Conservative party van. “My grandparents lived on a farm just outside of Durham when I was a boy, and they later moved to Hanover.

“My two uncles and one of my aunts are in Port Elgin. I have lots of family around this area. Johnston, Heard, Henderson, anyone with those names is probably related to me. There will be a few relatives here (tonight).” Continue reading

A national spotlight for Keady

Originally published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, June 16, 2004.

People who live in the tiny Grey County hamlet of Keady are used to an influx of visitors one day every week.

But it’s unlikely Keady has ever received the kind of exposure it got Tuesday, when nearly two million people got a look at it.

A crew from CBC Newsworld broadcast live from outside the Keady Farmers’ Market, looking at the Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound riding in advance of the upcoming federal election. Continue reading

Where’s the beef?

Originally published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, September 2, 2003.

If Big Bruce could move, he might be standing a bit taller and prouder today.

The local cattle industry got a huge boost Monday when organizers of a massive beef barbecue at Roberts Farm Equipment southeast of Chesley ran out of food after serving 12,172 free burgers.

The barbecue was staged by local Kinsmen and Kinettes as part of a nationwide attempt to set a Guinness world record by serving one million pounds of beef to four million Canadians. Continue reading

A snub for Bruce Peninsula

Originally published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, June 17, 2002.

Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson, the province’s minister of northern development and mines, has put to rest the idea that the Bruce Peninsula might be designated as part of Northern Ontario.

But Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch has vowed to push forward with the proposal, noting the Bruce has many of the same economic problems faced by single-industry towns in the province’s north.

Wilson and Murdoch were attending the opening ceremonies of Grey County’s 150th anniversary celebrations Friday night at the Owen Sound Coliseum. Wilson was asked about the proposal but he quickly shot it down.

“It’s not something we’re planning on doing at this point,” said Wilson, who was given the northern development portfolio by Premier Ernie Eves. Continue reading

Walkerton tainted water tragedy, May 2000

Originally published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, May 15, 2000.

People in Walkerton and elsewhere in southern Grey-Bruce are still coping with the aftermath of a thunderstorm that swept across southern Ontario late Friday night.

The Saugeen River crested its banks and flooded parts of Yonge, Peter and Catherine streets in Walkerton after two of its tributaries reached near-record levels due to what the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority called “intense rainfalls.”

A flood advisory bulletin from the SVCA said the Beatty Saugeen and South Saugeen rivers had risen to levels not seen since September 1986.

SVCA general manager Jim Coffey pointed out the tributaries converge and flow into the Saugeen upstream from Walkerton.

“That water’s got to go downstream,” he said. Continue reading

The more things change…..

Originally published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, March 19, 1999.

The city’s community planning and advisory committee has recognized there may be a need for a new bridge across Owen Sound Harbour to alleviate downtown traffic congestion.

But a bridge from 11th or 14th Street West is probably at least 10 years away.

That’s the opinion of Coun. Bill Twaddle, who chairs the committee. He told the committee Thursday night that a bridge isn’t in the city’s short-term plans.

“Probably sometime in the next generation, we’ll be looking at that,” he said after the meeting. Continue reading