Sometimes in the past the above appellation may have been applied to you in a pejorative way because of something you did, but as I am about to tell you, the moniker was probably ill applied.
For almost all the time we have lived in southern Bradford, I have grown a patch of beans to provide the family with green/yellow beans during the summer and dry beans for the winter. Due to the vast number of hares abounding on our property (sufficient to have rabbit stew every other day in the year, if only my wife allowed me to hunt them), I fence that garden with a sturdy mesh that I found by the highway. I suspect that the mesh had fallen off a truck.
That fencing has been most effective in keeping the hares at bay. Over the years, the hares have often been seen hopping around the fence, probing for a way to get in. To them the visible, succulent greenery must appear to be Edenesque. The lush green bean varieties, all with healthy leaves and pods, are agonizingly almost within reach.
Until this year the hares have been kept out. They failed to solve the fence.
Humans, every now and then, produce someone bright and/or unusual who comes along and makes humanity look at the world in a different way, be it a Darwin, Einstein, or Madame Curie. So too the hares. This year an ‘Einsteinian’ hare came along who solved the puzzle and is teaching the solution to others.
To remove the stones holding the netting in place, the hare ran repeatedly into the netting until the stones bounced off allowing it to crawl the underneath. To stop that method, I applied a layer of soil to the bottom four inches of the netting and that kept them out for almost a week. Then one morning I saw it chew a hole through the netting and slip inside. I tied up the netting and rested happily, until I discovered half the soya beans gone and another hole (one to get in, one to get out?). How can one not admire that animal?
Either the same hare or another bright one managed to eat my wheat plants despite the latter having a two-foot mesh around it. As observed, it simply reared on its hind legs and delicately scissored through the stems to eat them and the seed heads. By the time I saw that technique applied more than half the wheat was gone. In my ignorance I had blamed a deer (which I had seen come through the yard) for the damage. With the ground dry and hard there were no tell-tale tracks.
To return to where I started, if ever someone calls you a ‘dumb bunny’, just accept it with a knowing smile, because what they really said in their underestimation of you is that you are a strong analytical problem solver.
Be ye like the hares.
Letter to the Editor
No post-confederation government wanted to spend millions of dollars establishing residential schools for Aboriginal children when there were roads, railways, and hospitals to be built. But establishing the new schools became a priority because conditions on many reservations were bleak. Alcoholism weakened the fabric of the community and tore families apart. For any number of reasons the adults of the band would not or could not find work in the logging or mining camps in the area. Poverty led to despair and neglect.
The politicians at the time read the reports of the RCMP, social workers, and missionaries working on the reserves – the reports were dire. Parents did not encourage the children to attend school; consequently the young lacked the skills and training to find employment in the commercial industrial economy of mainstream Canada. Health concerns ranging from suicides to malnutrition to tuberculosis accounted for above average death rates in Native communities. On the reserves conditions were far from idyllic for the traditional economy based on hunting, trapping and fishing generated insufficient capital to even think of starting a business.
The members of parliament of the time thought they were providing a better option, a more promising future for Aboriginal youth than having them remain on the reserves. Had they offered residential, off reserve schools as an option for native children, the new schools and the education they offered might have worked well. And if the social workers had removed children from families which could not support them on a case by case basis then even the Indigenous community could have supported it. But the administrators had a different plan. Attendance at school became mandatory and the curriculum mandated was as Anglo European as it was in the rest of Canada. Of course the Native children brought up with different customs, language, and values were not receptive to the new schools. No accommodation in the curriculum to a different way of life was accepted. And if the reserve that the native children were living in was too small or too isolated to support a school then the children must be taken from their family and relocated.
The parliamentarians of the past were as caring and thoughtful as they are today. They understood that if the Aboriginal children were to prosper in a modern urban commercial setting then they must be given the skills and mindset to do well. I believe they had the best of intentions when they allocated millions of dollars for the education of native children. Exemplary residential schools such as Eaton, Winchester, and Harrow were well known to them, and leaving the newly established schools under the supervision of a Church, whether Anglican or Catholic, appeared to be a sensible administrative decision. With historical hindsight we know that the MPs were ill informed and careless in their oversight, but it was certainly not their intent to injure, abuse, or cause harm to children.
In order to effect reconciliation the Indigenous community should accept some responsibility for the emergence of residential schools; the governments of the time would not have spent millions if there were not a need. And in the spirit of reconciliation I would ask that Indigenous leaders not accuse past governments of genocide for the term is provocative challenging and inflamatory. Using – or misusing – such extreme rhetoric keeps us apart and interrupts the healing process.
For years, the fossil fuel industry and their political allies have sowed doubt about climate change and convinced the public that it’s an abstract, far away problem. This summer, many Canadians are realizing that was a dangerous lie. The BC heatwave was so intense that it killed hundreds of people and, right now, thousands of people are living in fear of wildfires raging across the country. The climate emergency is here and now. It’s time for our political leaders to take real action.
Prime Minister Trudeau talks like a climate leader, but he doesn’t act like one. Canada is still building pipelines and planning to expand fossil fuel production for decades to come. And Trudeau still hasn’t delivered the Just Transition Act he promised last election, legislation critical to phasing out fossil fuels in a way that puts workers and communities first.
I was glad to see 350.org launch the #CanadaOnFire campaign, which calls on Trudeau to take emergency-level action on the climate crisis instead of just talking about it. We have two demands:
An immediate moratorium on new fossil fuel approvals and a freeze on all fossil fuel projects under construction — including the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Just Transition legislation to support impacted workers and communities, especially Indigenous and remote communities as we move towards a 100% renewable energy future.
Every Friday between 4:00 and 7:00 pm, caring and devoted people like you are gathering in small groups at “The Flow” on Country Rd. 27 in Elmvale, ON, as well as many intersections in Perkinsfield, Wyevale and Waverley.
We are carrying signs to effectively publicize the critically important efforts to protect (once and for all) the “exceptional” water flowing underground in the Waverley Uplands. This groundwater has been tested for decades and is more pure than ancient Arctic ice; so pure that it has been determined by scientists, of differing specialties, to be the purest water on Earth.
What is most “time-sensitive” now, is that one of the aggregate companies wants to expand on French’s Hill. This is where the aquifer recharges itself (recharge zone). This is where the almost magical process happens; the layers of sand and soil, gravel and sediment, the trees and other plants naturally filter the rainwater and surface water, making it so pure, you can drink it straight from the ground. This groundwater is being placed at a terrible risk, as the mining/digging will very likely destroy this “natural filtration” process.
Please come and help us make this more public. We have been writing to the Ontario Premier and the Ministries about this very important area that we must protect. We need our politicians to open their eyes and put on their listening ears for such an important cause as this one. There are numerous pits and quarries all over Ontario; we do not need to mine gravel here on French’s Hill. Also: there is a 100+ year surplus of aggregate.
What’s more, we are allowing aggregate companies to pump millions of litres per day of this pristine water, to wash gravel. We have people in Canada who live everyday with ‘boil water’ advisories, while we let gravel companies wash their gravel with this exceptional water?
This is the difference between right and wrong.
We are affectionately “relentless” in our desire to protect this very special water; a Universal Treasure.
Please come and join us. If you would like to buy a sign, they’re $10.00 (plus a donation if you like) and the money goes toward the legal defence fund. Please take a flyer home with important information at your fingertips.
Donna Deneault, Victoria Harbour
Letter to the Editor,
I will be forwarding this correspondence below to the Township of Tiny for Wednesday’s meeting. Due to the upcoming tribunal hearing dates July 23rd-CRH Canada proposed gravel pit expansion & Aug 3rd, 2021-Appeal of the Permit to Take Water (CRH Canada) I would like to submit to the Springwater News in advance of the meeting.
Readers can check out Tiny Townships Youtube website for July 21st, 2021 to find out what happened at Tiny Council.
To: Mayor George Cornell, Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma, Councillors Cindy Hastings, Gibb Wishart & Tony Mintoff
Re: Request to address council regarding the recent decision to remove Tiny Council from the LPAT CRH Canada (Dufferin Aggregates) proposed Expansion Hearing , Permit to Take Water (PTTW) also of great concern.
I thank you your Worship and council, staff and members of the public for the opportunity to speak with you here today via zoom or by letter.
I am here to speak with you regarding the recent 3-2 vote by Tiny Council to pull away from the hearing on the expansion of the CRH Canada aggregate (Gravel) site (Dufferin Aggregate) Pit on Darby Rd.
I was disappointed.
I have put some thought into the position Tiny Township finds itself in once again and I ask you to look into the past for some answers-the past of Site 41.
I was only one of the many who participated in stopping Site 41.
In 2009 it looked pretty bleak. Construction was imminent.
Our Warden of the day had betrayed us. He had indicated he would stop the proposal only to vote in favour.
The situation may seem hopeless but it is not. We can and will change things if we believe we can and take action.
Tiny Township in 2009 bravely created 3 motions to stop Site 41. I believe you can too. Please see 3 attachments.
“The Good News”
We are garnering Public Support.
We are working on a new Federal Petition with support from MP Bruce Stanton.
Dr William Shotyk and Dr. Mike Powell are attracting national attention with their factual exposition of the dilemma we face-a few truckloads of gravel now? Or pristine water for generations to come?-most recently published is their article in the Globe and Mail.
- A Moratorium
In 2009 Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians presented to Tiny Council on the need for a moratorium on the Site 41 Property. Tiny Council agreed and championed the cause at the County level.
We ask Tiny Council to seek Provincial Support for a complete Moratorium for any new or expanded aggregate Extraction and Water Takings in the Waverley Upland area.
It was a cabinet order that overturned an Ontario Municipal Board decision to deny approval of a landfill at Site 41 in the 1990’s.The current government has stated its belief in upholding the will of local people and their representatives-as Premier Doug Ford made clear last year in expressing his support for the people of Milton and opposition to the Campbelville quarry. https://www.miltonnow.ca/2020/07/29/82095/ This is a direct quote from the Premier “I am not in favour of that. I believe in governing for the people when the people don’t want something you don’t do it. Its very simple. I know Mayor you don’t want it, no one wants it. I don’t want it, we are going make sure this doesn’t happen one way or another.”
Also last year , the Ford Government withdrew a proposal that would allow quarries to be built in endangered species habitat because of feedback from stakeholders. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/08/28/news/ontario-drops-plan-allow-quarries-endangered-species-habitat-golden-horseshoe
Council you have heard from eminent scientists, that our pristine water is unique, and that it is endangered. We urge you to champion our cause with the province, to bring in a moratorium until the study by Dr. John Cherry and others has been completed, providing answers on what aspects of the Tiny Township geology and hydrogeology combine to make the water so clean, and what measures are needed to protect the water for the future.
- We urge you to use your power as the representatives of Tiny Township residents to make our case to local MPPs Jill Dunlop and Doug Downey, Premier Doug Ford and neighbouring municipalities.
- Partner with research proposal.
‘Make a Difference’
We believe Tiny Council can make the difference. Strong, positive and committed people are needed. We ask Tiny Council to lead the way.
Anne Ritchie Nahuis
No Place 4U2P
During the pandemic Heritage Park in Elmvale was a great place walk or jog.
It was the place for little folk to listen to a bull frog perched on a log.
There are two marvellous playgrounds on which the children can climb and play,
While their parents visit at social distance and take the loneliness from the day.
I often interviewed the adults and listened to their plea;
“Why would a town with such a wonderful facility provide no place 4U2P?”
The folks from Wasaga marvelled at the fancy dress that colours our park in spring;
Some visitors from Orillia said they came to hear the robins and cardinals sing.
The bikers using the Trans Canada Trail were grateful to use our parking space,
However, if they wanted to use the toilet, they would have to seek another place.
I know the men, when the call of nature beckoned, found a place behind a tree,
But women who are trying to train their children are troubled that there is no place 4U2P.
A lot of people use the picnic tables in the pavilion as a place to relax and eat.
It is even a meeting place for organizations that need an outdoor place to meet.
Seniors sometimes grab a bite of lunch from one of the food outlets in our town
But with no toilets to accommodate their needs they have to rush to get it down.
I apologize to folks that I interview, I let them blow off steam to me,
And I let them know that I, too, am mystified why there is no place 4U2P.
The Small Town Philosopher – July 2021