On weeding the garden, here and there

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The well-tended potato plants are starting to bloom north of the border

There’s a lot to be said for growing a garden, especially one as big as mine here at Cathedral Drive Farm in Hope Ness, on the Bruce Peninsula, in Ontario, Canada. It’s like ballet, or any other creative discipline that requires your absolute devotion and attention for hours a day, every day. You can get lost in it, but not aimless. It can be an escape for a while from the world of cares and woe and discouraging news about how the future is likely to unfold; and these days it’s not very good at all.

And, yes, I am referring to the infernal T-word. Continue reading

Driver’s licence no small matter in rural Ontario

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Cathedral Drive, rural Ontario, another reality

I’d like to conduct a bit of a survey.

So, here are my survey questions:

Do you have an Ontario Driver’s Licence?

Do you live in an urban area with access to reasonably good taxi or public transit service, or friends and family to help you get to appointments, do your shopping, run errands, or just get out?

Do you live in a rural area without public transit, no nearby taxi service, and relatively speaking, compared to people in urban areas, not that many neighbours you might ask to drive you to the nearest small town, or Owen Sound?

Are you more than 70 years old?

Do you know that if you’re involved in a collision that results in you being charged with a Highway Traffic Act (HTA) violation, and you either plead or are found guilty, you will be required to pass a three-part re-examination of your fitness to have a driver’s licence?

That includes a written and vision tests, as well as a road test.

Continue reading

Candidate Meet for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Riding

Well, nothing like a dose of cold reality to bring one’s feet down to earth.

Just a few days ago it was easy enough to be fooled into thinking it was still summer, that the possibility of frost and even snow was still somewhere in the future. But a couple of mornings ago I looked out the upstairs window of this old farmhouse and saw the cold, brisk east wind blowing the clouds in the wrong direction – always a bad sign; and the need to take certain steps to batten down the hatches for the winter, and so on, suddenly seemed urgent. Continue reading

Vote Strategically

So, the federal election campaign has suddenly got interesting.

To some extent it’s about competing polls. One surveying the national and province-by-province mood of voters was done by the polling firm Ekos for LaPresse newspaper in Montreal. The results were released just in time for the French language leaders’ debate this week. It polled 2,343 people for their voting intentions. The results are considered accurate 19 times out of 20, to within two percentage points, according to news reports. Continue reading

Last Words of Jack Layton

The outpouring of public grief since Jack Layton died less than a week ago is the most interesting and significant aspect of one of the most important events in Canadian political history. That’s for what it reveals about the kind of person Canadians would prefer to see running the country on their behalf. And it extends all the way from Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and cabinet minister, to lowly backbencher from any party, or no party. Continue reading