Well, I have to say, the County gets more interesting every day.
Newspaper people are running their butts off trying to keep up with breaking news in l’il ol’ Prince Edward County.
Top of the list is the horrible Valley Road murders. Fortunately, murders only happen occasionally in the County although, per capita, we might now be rivaling Toronto. All of our hearts go out to the family.
Justice Byers, who served as a Picton lawyer for many years, made no attempt to hide his contempt for the kid who will now pay a heavy price for his actions.
The rest of us are left thrashing around, trying to put a “Why?” into the heartbreaking situation, hoping to find an answer that will make us feel a little more comfortable.
But there is no easy answer. There is no: “Ah, now I get it.” There is no sense of completion, and no satisfaction.
The world gets a little stranger every day, and there’s no predicting human behaviour.
Hot on the heels of that story, is the shocking announcement of a Bloomfield area foster-home family convicted of sexual abuse involving their charges.
This is horrific enough and, again, there is no counting on human behaviour. A dark light has been cast on the agencies who placed children in their care, but I don’t fault them.
I’m sure there were no indications of misconduct over the years. With no ‘Red Flag’ to act upon, why would they question what seemed to be a mutually beneficial relationship?
As careful as they are in choosing their people, the Children’s Aid Society can’t read minds any better than the rest of us. This is yet another situation we could only have prevented “If we knew then what we know now.”
We all know people who are very weird. Hell, that describes half my client list at County Magazine. But if I called the OPP and gave them a list of weird people, they would be busy for months. And I’m weirder than most of my clients, so I’d probably end up in the same jailcell.
Shocking as it is, and painful as it is, none of us can predict the unexpected. We would love to stop bad things before they happen, but we just don’t have the ability.
Which brings us to the next hot news item of the day: Dr. Charles Smith speaking at PECI. You’ve read the stories, so I won’t fill you in on the background. This incident has sent boards and administrations into the bunkers to draw up new rules on ‘allowed speakers’.
Despite the turmoil, and the fact that the Toronto Sun broke the story (this means there are Toronto people hidden amongst us, feeding subversive information back to The City. They all have sweaters tied loosely around their necks, and carry bottled water wherever they go, so watch for them), there is more to this than meets the eye.
Of all the news reports I’ve read, one question stands out in my mind. What did he say? Was he introduced complete with his credentials as a former forensic child pathologist, stripped of his profession? In which case, I would like to hear what he has to say.
I feel the pain of Smith’s victims in this scenario. But I also believe that information is a valuable commodity. I learn more from people who disagree with me, than from those who agree.
High school students are not dumb. (Well, at least if we’re doing that job right.) If they knew the speaker’s background, it would be a very interesting session.
Before everyone goes looking for ‘heads to roll’ over this apparent fiasco, perhaps we might check with the students for their perceptions. If I were in a law class, and the speaker said: “First of all, lie your ass off,” I would be at least somewhat skeptical.
When the Neo-Nazi Party emerged in Canada, lots of people said they should be banned. I say No. If you ban them they will go underground, and no-one will know what they’re doing. I want them visible, right up front, so you can see what they are, and what they’re doing. That’s information.
And my final “What’s happening now?” is about the Times supporting Peter Mertens.
I was on deadline for the Winter issue, and so missed the original super-hot news story about a newspaper supporting a candidate. I did pick it up in the letters pages of the ‘other’ papers
To the point, Gord Fox and Dennis Fox (no relation) were shocked that a newspaper would support a candidate. Dennis, though otherwise an intelligent individual, said something like: “Never, ever in the history of Canada have I ever, ever, ever seen a newspaper support a candidate.” (That’s a satirical paraphrase.)
He obviously missed the days when the clearly Liberal Picton Times under Bill McLean went against the clearly Tory-Blue Picton Gazette under Phil Dodds.
Poor Dennis also must live in an area in which he has no access to the right-leaning Toronto Sun, the left-leaning Toronto Star, the buttoned-down middle Globe and Mail and the Ping-Pong Ball National Post.
None of these have ever supported a candidate of any kind, and ripped apart the opposition, in any election, because that would be wrong.
Any business, as everyone knows, has a right to contribute to a political party, and to a municipal hopeful. There is no sin here. This is why we have McGuinty and Harper.
On a local level, not to speak for Conroy, but the Times stands out from the crowd because he does analyze, and opinionize, and decode the bafflegab for the rest of us. That’s his style, and I have no problem with that.
To blame another candidate’s loss on his financial contribution is blatantly stupid. I think the voters made up their minds based on the merits of the people running. And there were many running.
So, if your choice lost, it would be better to help them strengthen their weaknesses, than to jump on the people who supported someone else.
By the way, this is my own opinion, and not due to any loyalty to The Times. Sure, they gave me a sweet deal for writing these columns, including an all-expense-paid trip to the Bahamas, and all the booze and women I could handle.
But, so far, I only have one of those tiny airplane-type bottles that come free at LCBO when you buy a big bottle. And there are no women yet.
And Air Transat won’t return my calls.
Filed Under: Steve Campbell
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