Editor's Musings

Margaret Ann and me, we went to Alberta last week. Tim, my oldest son lives there and frames houses in the Canmore, Cochrane, Calgary strip and sometimes up in Airdrie. He is married to Jessie, one of Cochrane’s famous gym instructors and they have two boys Sean and Ethan who are 14 and 16...and two German Shepherds names Zeus and Cali.
There is less snow there than here and outside of that 54 minutes (based on Wednesday sunrise/sunset) less of sunlight/daylight that they have versus here, the temperatures were relatively the same.
So no motorcycle riding but I updated the license. At the insurance company, my new rate was not available. Last year, I paid $551 a year on a $15,000 bike inclusive of fire and theft while here, I pay something like $750 on a $2500 bike without fire and theft on it. Although Alberta might have something called a high cost of living, it is sure not auto / bike / truck insurance that contributes to it.  With two bikes, three vehicles and other items to cover like a trailer full of tools and a Zoom boom, his insurance is not as much as what we pay in Ontario.
Each time we go, we have dinner at Tim’s with his/our friends and usually over to their houses to imbibe in some great food and drink.
Being a builder, Tim knows where all the construction is going on. We visited a site in Canmore north of the Trans Canada where they are building a huge new Catholic Church. On the south side, one of Tim’s friends builds there so if work is slow, Tim heads over his way and helps. Further east of Canmore, there is another new subdivision with houses popping up like weeds.
We hear a lot about the oil patch problems but Alberta has many other businesses and the economy is not waning very much.
The worse part of the trip was the leaving to come home. I have had some reconstruction/steel work on my leg and seldom get through the scanners without needing a thorough pat down. Then one of my carryons was suspicious but when they opened it, it was just a book.
Then in my other bag was an unopened heavy Christmas present. Wanting to know what that was, they opened my Christmas present and then I found out it was a series of torque wrenches. The wheel fell off my truck this summer and $8000 later, we had it back on the road so Tim and his boys thought they would give me these 8 torque extensions. Apparently you cannot carry tools in your carryon - although it does not say that on the ticket information - so minutes before loading time, I had to run back and check my bag.
Nobody is in a rush. There was a lineup ahead of me. I finally interrupted three airport girls’ conversation to see if I am in the right lane explaining my dilemma and that the planes leaves in 10 minutes. One of them saw the urgency and took me to an unoccupied check in, where I could check my bag. She suggested it won not be on this plane so back in Toronto, I would have to wait for the next plane from Calgary to get it. All I wanted to do was catch a plane so no questions, Iwas out of there back to the checkin where no one is in a rush...the plane takes off in 5 minutes.
Again, I have to be scanned, checked and okayed. I went racing down the hall to be the last person to get on the plane.
When we landed in Toronto, the VERY helpful check in lady scanned my boarding pass, asked me how many bags I had checked in - ONE - then it was on the plane.
Thank you and when I got home, I slept well.

I received a comment from a reader about how much better his cellular reception is on his Rogers phone.
He wondered why?
If we back up a couple of years, there was to be a communication’s tower built on the west side of Elmvale. There was some opposition to the fact that it was so close to some future developments. It was suggested that ice buildup on the tower would shower buildings and property around it causing untold damage. If the tower ever fell, it could land on buildings and property so before things start, let’s take some positive actions and move it to another neighbouring spot.
After some wise discussions, it was decided to move the location a kilometer to the north, along the side of the Simcoe County Rail Trail.
It took a long time but this summer, a small road was installed off Flos Road 10 W (just off of Cty Rd 27) and the hydro was brought in.
We pulled in there a few times just to watch the progress and by this fellow’s suggestion, they must have turned on the signal sometime in November.
A little research suggests that people are paid between $2000 and $40,000 a year to have a cell tower on their land. That boggles my mind because they seldom take up to even an acre of land. If it was good farmland for rent, the going rate could be $100 to $150 an acre.
The contracts can be for any length of time from a low of 5 years with renewal clauses and as long as 30 years. When the contract is up, the property is supposed to be reverted back to its original state.
When it comes time to sell, apparently, not many people will even visit a place with a tower on it so resale time and value of your home or property will take a big hit unless it’s on an empty or industrial lot.
A few years back, we were led to believe the towers would not last long. As technology improved, we were told that the communication links would be through satellites.
Is this possible?
I notice that the GPS devises that I own can connect with up to seven satellites at a time so to get a precise fix on my location. I would suggest the technology is there.

We listen to one sided stories on the news everyday.
One of the latest that irritated me a little was the scrapping of the Green Energy Act.
The Green Energy Act gave the Ontario government complete okay to say to any wind turbine builder the right to come into your community and build almost where ever they wanted. No one had to consult with your local government.
Over in York Simcoe, they wanted to build a tower off the end of the runway at the aerodrome in Collingwood. Although it may have been upwards to a mile away and a little to the right of the flight path, it was in the way.
As my son who is a pilot suggested to me, there are two things to consider.
When you are travelling at 100 miles an hour, one mile is not far away.
The other, and I remember this from the days when I took the ground school (I have one hour of flying time in my book so don’t call to go for a ride), after leaving the ground, it is suggested pilots fade to the right in case there is another airplane coming in to land. Today, most planes have a communication system but back in the day of no radio contact, it was suggested you get out of the way.
York-Simcoe MPP Jim Wilson lobbied on that enough that it never got built.
Although I am glad the Green Energy Act has been scrapped, and if someone wants to build a wind tower in our communities, we have a say in it, I do not understand why some of these acts can’t be revised.

In contrast to that, did you know that most airplane runways are under Federal jurisdiction. If I want to put a runway on your property, with your okay, there is nothing we have to do with any local municipality rules or Provincial laws. In fact as I understand it, the municipality and the Ontario government comes second fiddle to any Federally approved individual. In fact most anything to do with airplanes is under the Federal regulations. If an airplane crashes on a runway, and the cops and firemen show up along with a Federal agent, they work for him. But this happens so seldom, the rule of law is ignored.

A US tobacco company called Altria Group in investing $2.4 million in a Canadian marijuana company called the Cronos Group giving them a 45 per cent share.
Instead of bailing out other American companies in Canada, I think our government should be investing in a Canadian company allowing them to grow and all their revenues would stay in our country.
Canada paid billions for that trans mountain pipeline, although it was too much, it was now Canadian owned. Then our government was trying to peddle it to any foreign buyer and I could only wonder why? Would it not be wiser to be Canadian owned when all the revenues would stay in our country?

Okay Charles, let’s hope we get the paper out on the 27th.