Editor's Musings

If Global Warming was taking place, Canadians should be  welcoming it. We would not be paying as much for heating our homes. We would have a longer growing season offering the opportunities of a more varied type of crops. In areas where frost limits the type of crops one can grow, with Global Warming, we could grow corn in many more places across Canada. Why corn? Most of the gas we purchase has ethanol in it. Ethanol comes mostly from corn. That could mean cheaper gas for the consumer and more income to our rural counterparts.


Sometimes I really do not approve of the way the councils spend our money.

Springwater wants to finish off the basement (lower level) of the administration office for the Township’s current and future staffing requirements. They put out a ‘Request for Proposal” (RFP) and received two replies. They have a point system so each report is evaluated. SRM Architects Inc. got an 87.4 rating while X-Design Inc. get an 82.

So Phase 1 of this project is to assess the needs, measure the building space, supply plans with up to 3 options and prepare the estimate of construction costs. They had budgeted $35,000 for this project and the winning bid was  $17,290 plus HST.

Why do I think this is a waste of money?

Do you need a firm to decide what services should be located in the lower level? Are the employees of Springwater Township not able to figure this out? Is there no employee in Springwater Township that can’t take a tape measure and come up with the building space? In fact, there must be a blueprint as the building was built in 2009. Can a few people not sit down and decide how they would like to see the basement developed? Are the walls not all cement blocks and basically the area is set? Can a group of people not meet for an hour or two on three or four occasions and get a floor plan? Only then would you maybe need a blueprint but then, I would think one could take it to a couple of suppliers i.e. Elmvale Home Building Centre (Is this not the only supplier in Springwater Township?) and someone would quote on the needs. With the plans, they would even total the amount of whatever they need. At that stage, one could ask a few builders/electricians/whomever (in the township) for a labour quote and voila, we have saved almost $17,000.

For some reason, the system has changed. Despite whatever talents the employees have, they hire someone else to do the work.

My brother-in-law owns Innovative Automation. They just opened a new $10 million plant with all the trimmings. He designed it himself. Most all the contractors were from the Barrie area. This is the difference between the private and public enterprise.


In 1965, after having been affiliated with the University of Toronto, York University was founded. It is arguably, the most strike prone university on Canada. In 1978, they struck for 14 days. In 1977, 55 days. In 2001, they were out for 78 days. In 2008, the school delay took 29 days. In 2015, 4000 contract staff went out. On March 5th, 2018, 3000 York teachers walked out. After almost two weeks, York University contacted the Union who promptly criticized the University for taking so long to contact them - as if the Union could not have taken the initiative. So to look like the good guy, they presented a counter proposal.

Not everyone was aligned with either side. Some students wanted to continue with classes while the teacher/union/University handled their dispute.  Does either side have the right to obstruct a student’s pursuit of an education? Should students have to make a choice as to whether or not they will cross a picket line?

If the strike is over after 20. 30 or 40 days, do you really suppose the students are getting as good of an education as if there was no stoppage?

I agree that everyone deserves a decent income. As for job security, I become a little bit more skeptical. How many professions have job security?

Take Bill 148 - Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Job Act 2017. As an employer, I have to give my employees a 48 hour notice if there is no work. If we show up at work and there is no hydro, I have to pay my workers. If we show up for work and one of the suppliers has not delivered materials or machinery, me as the boss have to pay the workers. When I hire a worker, after five days of employment, the worker qualifies for 10 days off, two with pay. So as a contractor, I have to take all these situations into account. If everything goes peachy, I make a fortune. If things go bad, I could be bankrupt.

The university employees are striking for better work conditions. Strikes? There has to be a better way.

I cannot help but think that in some cases, the workers are jeopardizing their own job.

Back to my brother-in-law and his new business. The ribbon cutting was done by a computerized robot. When we toured the place, they were making a block (4 inches long, 3 inches high, 1 1/2 wide with threaded holes in them) for something The blocks were smoothed, sharp edges removed, material all bossed/shined up...to the tolerance of 1/60th of as human hair. The machine was making 400 a shift whereas it was expected that a human employee could make 4 a day.

There is a video of a German car manufacturer and most of the car is built by machines.

Because of strikes, watch York University resort to more computer/online classes. And we all know where the teachers and markers will be from...India.


Down near Dalston, there was a gravel pit. After the gravel was gone, the legislation allowed the gaping hole to be refilled. There seemed to be no regulations as to what the material might be so dirt from the building of the  Subway in Toronto was being hauled into it. Oro-Medonte council seemed hamstrung as to what to do to stop it. There were no regulations as to what could or could not be in the dirt so no one knew whether there were any contaminates in the soil.

Not far from Elmvale, I am told the dirt hauled into  an exhausted pit came from Wasaga Beach building sites.

There are five places in Ramara Township that are importing soil from where ever.

Apparently, in one jurisdiction, if you get a building permit and need some fill, go for it. Someone got a building permit for a building, less than 400 square feet, and started hauling in the soil raising the ground level, affecting the flow of a stream and affecting the drainage unto other people’s ,properties. No building has been built and it is not expected to ever happen.

At Springwater Council, on Wednesday evening - last night in reference to the date of this paper - Scott  Brown is doing a presentation objecting to the importation of soil unto two properties along Hwy 93 south of Craighurst. This is Oro-Medonte property - a municipality that still after a few years do not appear to have solved the problem. Apparently there is a piece of property along the highway on the Springwater side that has become a dump for excess soil. A preposterous argument is that the soil being hauled in will enhance the soil.

One of the exposes I read suggested that the company delivering the material paid $100 a load. 100 loads a day reflected on a pretty good income. In some cases, a company had purchased the land, will probably haul in an unknown amount of soil, there seems to be no rules as to how much, raising the land level - one, two or three feet, then selling the property.

Head’s up folks! I think we should be harassing our elected council to do something.


Doug Ford will be our next Premier of Ontario. He has a history of working for the little guy and it rather amazed me that he may have had more support in the northern part of Ontario - you know that many around Queen’s Park and Toronto think anything north of Highway 7 is Northern Ontario. For people to compare him to Donald Trump, I think they have not looked into the history of the guy, and they think they are getting on a bandwagon to who knows where. There is no choice. The Liberals despite promises of balancing budgets and helping the people of Ontario have got to go. If we re-elect them, Ontario, which already has the highest hydro rates in Canada, will just expense themselves out of existence. If you think we are a Have Not Province now, wait until the end of another four years of them.               See you in two weeks, Charles.