Wind: 28.97 km/h
By Jon Farmer
I moved back to Owen Sound in the depth of winter when the temperature was regularly dropping into the negative 20s and frozen pipes had left over a hundred houses without water. Despite the chilly reception, my home town quickly reminded me how warm it can be...
By Anne Finlay-Stewart
These notes are just that – observations and musings on what I see, and a little more meat on the thin bones of official minutes. If you want to see what I saw, we post the video of each city council meeting on our City page as it becomes available. When they have been approved, the minutes can be found on the city site or from a link on our City page.
Public meetings – These are opportunities for members of the public to hear about and have a say on issues before council, often mandated by the Ontario Municipal Act. This week there were three such public meetings in a row – about re-zoning property for the residential hospice, small changes in building permit fees, and the 2015 city budget. Not a single comment from the audience.
Deputations – Individuals and organizations request the opportunity to present information or requests in person at council meetings, and the subject matter can be almost anything. This week we gave a facade grant for the improvements in the 2nd Avenue East heritage building that houses Community Living. We heard about the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority's 2015 budget which includes only a 1.7% increase in Owen Sound's levy to cover cost of living increases in wages and benefits, and their plans for repairs to our mill dam.
You and I have met on a couple of occasions. I went to school with your kids, we sold cattle together in the black angus club and I spoke with you about our local library a while back.
After hearing you on the CF0S radio show this week, I would like to clarify some things and ask a couple questions.
Once in a while an event occurs that reveals the political character of a society; our MP Larry Miller's recent comments on the niqab are a case in point. In an interview on CFOS, Miller said: "I'm so sick and tired of people wanting to come here because they know it's a good country and then they want to change things before they even really officially become a Canadian... Like, frankly, if you're not willing to show your face in a ceremony that you're joining the best country ... if you don't like that or don't want to do that, stay the hell where you came from."
Miller's comments carry several racist assumptions that require unpacking. First, does Miller seriously think that a drive to 'change things' is entirely new within Canadian society? Miller ought to consider the place that his neck-tie, cowboy hat, or blue jeans, have in the history of this country. Reaching out to Chiefs Chegahno or Roote and asking them just how much settlers have changed the country would be a good place to start. Miller ignores the fact that Canada exists solely as a result of people coming here from elsewhere and changing what they found upon arrival. It is laughable at best, and colonial at worst, for someone as deeply embedded in the Canadian settler-colonial project as Miller to decry the way others comport themselves.