Opinion

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schoolboard-regBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

It is the first day of the school year for over 17,000 students in Bluewater elementary and secondary schools, and the beginning of the end of term for their school trustees.

There are ten days left to register to be a candidate for Bluewater District School Board trustee in the October 27 municipal election. Owen Sound is entitled to one of the nine elected trustees, and so far there is only one candidate, four-term incumbent and current chair Marg Gaviller.

Trustee elections tend to be less contentious and dramatic than their mayoral and councillor counterparts at any time, but an acclamation can slide by almost completely unnoticed. The downside of this is the lack of public discussion around the local decisions concerning education. Even for the most devoted pragmatist among us, education should be a subject of high interest. At a tax rate set by the province, almost twenty cents of every residential tax dollar in Owen Sound this year is earmarked for education. The connections between effective schools and the economy, health care, social services and even public safety should not be difficult to make.

poverty-regBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

Why are people with professional jobs, good wages, solid benefits and pensions handing a big cheque to a group trying to explain why others live without that security?

This is what I asked of Dick Hibma, representing the Society of Energy Professionals (SEP) in giving $2000 to Peace and Justice Grey Bruce for its ongoing initiative on precarious work.

BCK-regBy Aly Boltman

For over a decade, I've watched that hulking mass of blight we Owen Sounders call BCK, rot away. As someone who loves our city, I've never been able to understand why it has sat there, woefully ignored and abandoned for so long. Yes, there are probably a dozen reasons why its owners haven't moved forward with a plan – mild contamination, lack of expansion in our population base, poor understanding of our community, the bleed of industry in our downtown core in favour of the faceless, sterile car-friendly development on the fringe, and so on. I've heard it all. But one thing is absolutely certain – the lack of growth on the site (excepting the weeds), be it a pop-up park or a full scale mixed-use development, really points to a fatal pairing that has allowed the blight to exist for far too long; lack of imagination and an apathetic city.

Whip-regBy Jenny Parsons

What do whipped votes and dead money have in common? No, they are not ska-punk bands names. These are the concepts that are still forefront in mind after hours of guest speaker-talks and intense conversations had at the Green Party Convention held in New Brunswick this month.

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