shoes2- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

A beautiful day. A community celebration. And blood in my shoes.

My own fault really. I went to the Owen Sound Cultural Awards because I had nominated someone and I wanted to be there to support her. The day was so lovely and the street seemed dry so I figured I could skip the boots and walk to the Bayshore Community Centre in a solid pair of shoes. The kind that look nice at a special occasion, but aren't really built for distance. It was on the way home from one end of our city to the other that my heel started to bleed and I tried to focus on the bigger picture.

I own a car. My friend uses it to go to work in Chatsworth because there is no inter-town transportation and that's too far to walk. If

AgnesProfile-by David McLaren

In a recent opinion piece, Jim Merriam proposed a radical idea. He suggested that political parties work together. And, believe it or not, we Canadians want that too. As evidence he quoted the much maligned Liberal questionnaire on electoral reform: 70% of those of us who took it (transparency alert: I didn't) said they would prefer a system in which the parties would have to collectively agree before a decision is made.

Wow, that means compromise and consensus. Not exactly the order of the day in Parliament. In fact, it hasn't been the order of the last two decades, no three ... maybe four. Oh shucks, when has it ever been, really?

Jim's yearning for civilized and productive decision making puts me in mind of ...

DP106525- by Bill Moses

We are hearing a lot lately about the looming skilled worker crisis. The mantra is "Skilled workers will soon be retiring and there is no one to replace them." One solution being put forward is to encourage these skilled workers not to retire. "You will be happier and live longer!"

It used to be that a company would "bring along" young people to replace valued employees. Nowadays if you "bring along" a young person chances are that they will "move on to greener pastures". This means there has to be another way to "bring people along".

Sometimes though there is not enough time to get local people up to speed but fortunately there is a huge supply of skilled people in other countries who are willing to lend a hand. A good example of this is that there once was a shortage of trained police officers across Canada. The solution was to recruit them from England. Minimal cost to train them and so problem solved. Since that time I

reycraftThe text of Community Schools Alliance Chair Doug Reycraft's comments to the Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter at the Rural Ontario Municipal Conference in January.

Madam Minister, on behalf of the executive committee of the Community Schools Alliance, which includes the mayors of Frontenac Islands and Georgian Bluffs, Mayor Doyle and Mayor Barfoot, who both requested an opportunity to speak with you during the conference, I thank you and your staff for offering us this meeting.

We are here today to add our voice to the students, parents, school councils, municipalities, and MPP's who have urged you to implement a moratorium on accommodation reviews and school closures until an education funding formula and a Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline that recognize the needs of rural Ontario are in place.

Our members include municipalities from all regions of the province and we've been getting frantic phone calls and emails from...


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