Editor's Musings

In Northern Ontario, there is possibly 3,000,000 acres of class 2, 3 and 4 fertile land which is largely undeveloped. The area is rated at 2355 heat units (Earlton Airport).

The 8 year average for heat units here is 2930 with this year running at 2885 (farmwest.com).

My son talked about flying up to the Earlton Airport. He was flying over trees and rocks then suddenly he came out into the agricultural area. When he landed at the airport, it was so quiet, he could almost hear the corn growing. In the few hours he was there, he heard one aeroplane come in and one leave.

Part of the problem in that area is getting your product to a market. It is 10 hours to get to the Cargill beef processing plant in Guelph. It is six hours to the grain elevators in Thunder Bay. But as more farmers come and begin working the lands and producing produce, new avenues are expected to come online.

The Mennonites moved into Matheson eight years ago and have established a variety of businesses including poultry, pork and a variety of crops.

A farmer from Alberta who was renting land for $300 an acre, moved into the Kapuskasing area and bought land for that price.

I have been told that one of our local tile drainage firms spent a fair amount of time up in that area. Cost share programs are available for tile drainage work.

With land prices in our area running in the $10,000 an acre range and twice that amount in southern Ontario, there are some great opportunities in northern Ontario.


You may read that airports / flights are down 75 to 80%. As these aeroplanes fly around the country, they are constantly relaying air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind directions and speed back to the meteorologists for up to date and accurate weather reports. Because only a quarter of the planes are in the air, there has been less weather data available for various parts of the world. I would suppose that is the reason some of our weather reports may not be as accurate as one would like.


The provincial government is thinking about releasing the names of all registered farm businesses in response to a Freedom of Information request. Farm organizations vociferously objected to any information being released and in a government survey, only 3% (15 farms) were in favour of releasing their information.

Why does someone want it.

In these days of ‘peaceful’ activists, some wonder if they want to know where all the dairy or pork or beef or mink farms are. Another “Peaceful” protest is about the names and if someone is offended by your identification, there may be some reckoning there.

There is a 30 day period in which an appeal can be made re the decision. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture has indicated that they are protesting the decision.


There are 35 potential coronavirus vaccines in human trials across the world, and countries are making plans for how they will eventually be used. China says there’s no need for everyone in the country to get vaccinated, just frontline workers and high-risk populations. It’s a sign of growing confidence among governments that they can get the virus under control.


A straw poll or is an ad-hoc or unofficial vote. It is used to show the popular opinions on a certain matter, and can be used to help politicians know the majority opinion and help them decide what to say in order to gain votes. Straw polls provide dialogue among movements within large groups. Their accuracy depends on the demographics of the people polled. Online and internet based polling are not considered random samples.

I checked out a few.

A question was - “What scares you the most?”

Covid 5%, the government 79% and other 16%.

In the Team Daily Opinion Polls, owned and operated by the Conservative Buzz LLC, the question asked “Should Trump win the Nobel Peace Prize? Of 2772 votes, over 92% of the voters thought he should.

Another question was “Do you trust Dr. Fauci?” - 7042 votes and only 26.38%  said yes.

Another question with 7573 votes was “Are the Oregon Fires caused by arson or climate change?” 95.71% said arson.

Another question - “Was 9/11 an inside job?” How come two towers got hit but three imploded? 3480 votes split almost evenly 51% yes and 49% no.

94.58% think Trump will win the election!

A local poll had 25% of the parents saying that they would not send their kids back to school. I have not read anything lately to see what portion are keeping their children home.

In another Canadian poll out Tuesday where they surveyed 1539 people, it found that a 1/4 say they believe public health and government officials exaggerate the warnings. That means 75% do not think these officials exaggerate so why are they emphasizing the negative?

Do you wonder if we are in the minority?


An update on my solar panels - the revenue from August was $542.12 plus HST, the return on 1430 kWh. That was about a smidgen below average for the 5 years I have had them.

In July, I was right on average with 1663 kWh.

June was great with 1790 kWh. It was the most lucrative this year when  July is usually the number one producing period.

In 4 years and four months, the revenue has been approximately $19,400. The system cost $30,000 installed. My contract with Ontario Hydro is for 20 years and I get paid 38.4 cents per kW.


The students are back to school amid the worries that there is not enough social distancing to prevent the spread of the Covid virus despite the wearing of masks.

I have a grand-daughter in grade 8. She is one of the 27 students. Another is in Grade 5 and she is one of 23. Their brother is in grade 3. He doesn’t want to be there. He would rather be riding his bicycle, fishing or doing half a dozen other things. He has 17 classmates.

On Friday, we took the oldest to the high school. Off the grounds, there was a group of 10-15 with no masks on kibitzing abut whatever.

In numerous places we saw very few masks and not much social distancing. If any of the students get the virus, people will claim “I told you so!” If any students get the virus, there is a greater chance that it was contacted in their groups outside of the classroom.

Not everyone is in favour of the mask rule. They are protesting. That is why we live in a democratic country. It is legal.


An interesting website is Worldometer. In their Coronavirus part you can see the cases and deaths in each of the 215 countries and territories. Here you can find the number of cases and/ or deaths per one million people.

In total case United States (20,371) is in 11th place behind Qatar (43,527), Bahrain, French Guinea, Aruba, Panama, Chile, Kuwait, Peru, San Marino, and Brazil. Sweden which was criticized for not locking down is in 34th spot with 8638 cases per million. Canada is in 83rd spot with 3650 per mil. The average is 3785.

In total deaths per million, the US is again in 11th place with 601. Doing worse than them we have, San Marion 1237, Peru, Belgium, Andorra, Spain, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and the UK. Sweden is in 13th spot with 579. Canada (243) is in 29th. The average is 119.8 per mil.

Total deaths are at almost one million. If there is any good news in that, it is that the experts predicted between 10 and 20 million.

In the world as of Tuesday, there were 29,631,542 positive tests for COVID 19 and 936,229 deaths - a rate of 3.17% of those sick and 0.01% of the world population.

In Canada (37,810,245), there have been 138,463 cases and 9,179 deaths - 6.65% of those that tested positive or 0.02% of the Canadian population. There have been 6,235,465 tests and 2.1% were positive.

In Ontario (15 million) we have had 44,817 cases with 2816 deaths - a rate of 6.2 deaths. - 14 in 100,000 sick and 19 in a million dying.- one in every 5263 people. In Simcoe Muskoka, there have been 770 diagnosed and 37 deaths, a rate of 4.8%  and 0.007% of out 540,249 people. In our area, one in every 14,600 people have died. There is one person in the hospital today with the virus.

When over 80% of the people have almost no symptoms, I  wonder if there is too much emphasis put on the number with COVID 19. We don’t record how many people had the flu, or the common cold or the number that went for a car ride.


Charles - do you want me to promote you as a handyman available for hire? You can show them pictures of your house and all you have done there. Do you have pictures of the before and after?