Opinion

Les opinions sur les questions relatives à la municipalité de Pontiac - Opinions about issues concerning the Municipality of Pontiac

Mighty maple

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Everyone loves fresh syrup, but Sucrerie Alary (#3242, opposite #3239, Route 148) have taken the notion of 'super-size' to a whole new level.

The sugarhouse is open every weekend from about 10 a.m. to about 4 p.m., with hot tire sur neige (taffy on snow) being served after 12 noon.

Call for information at 819 455 2572 or go to www.sucreriealary.ca

Too big

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You are, no doubt, starting to get the idea that I have a 'thing' about fire.

Crazy thing, you see, is this:

During summer - although the grass is sometimes thick and green and the sky is sometimes cool and cloudy - things can seriously burn down anyway. These bonfire flames [seen last week at a lovely local home] were stretching at least 25 feet into the air, all within a spark's access of many tremendously flammable ditches and fields.

Pulling over to see if someone was in danger, I could actually hear the relaxed and appreciative chatter of people sitting happily while they watched. I could also feel the awful heat of the blaze though my car window... from the road, which was at least 20 feet away.

PLEASE please please be careful about what you set fire to until we have an inch of cold, deadening frost. Big thanks.

A true Eagle

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Romeo Belisle has been hassling me about getting the Golden Eagles Hunting and Fishing Club into the news ever since I started working for one of our local publications, probably 2003. This year is the 40th and last year of the Golden Eagles. My hat is off to this remarkable man for his endless hard work, insight, foresight and truly extraordinary determination.

More to come . . .

Big bang theory

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I'm a generally hopeful kind of person and tend to believe that good-will prevails and truth and beauty win out. But I feel quite sure that if the Sandy Hook killings did nothing to change the way Americans can get guns, the Orlando nightclub slaughter won't either. Sorry.

Dring dring, scammers calling

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Looks like the old "tax fraud" scam is headed around the region one more time. Yesterday, a neighbour described to me a long phone call she'd just had with some especially insistent men from Revenu Quebec* who claimed that she had not paid enough income tax and so the police were coming to take her to prison.

Shoulda asked Sheila: A Winter Tomato tale

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by: 

Sheila McCrindle and Kate Aley


Shoulda Asked Sheila takes your burning food issues of the day, chops 'em up and serves 'em hot and satisfying

Kate asked: Sheila, what is with these tomatoes? The seeds have germinated inside the fruit! Ugh!

Sheila replied: Yikes, where did that come from? Did you buy those?

Danger, stranger

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As an Australian, the fire danger safety sign is a holy and unquestionable symbol of authority that stands between the community and unspeakable devastation.

Did you know that, as a result of a number of particularly deadly fires, the state of Victoria now has a 'black' rating?

Red denotes 'extreme'. So, the level of danger the colour black designates?

The State of Kate: Appawatiskat's broken heart

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Sometimes you just wish so hard for a magic wand --- and a magic carpet --- to rush to a place to do a thing. If I had those two objects, I would rush to Appawatiskat with hundreds of canvasses, a million brushes and enough paint to fill a swimming-pool. I would magic up a tent and hold 24-hour painting workshops for ever. Art is not the answer to everything but it's a huge step towards understanding and coping with almost anything. Art can soothe your broken heart. Good luck and much love, Appawatiskat. Don't give up. I am praying hard for you.

The State of Kate: To the EC, with love...

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I don't know what you do when you listen to radio reports on the situation in Syria and the resulting refugee flood assaulting southern Europe.

Personally, I cry... which probably means I should stop listening to CBC in the car.

Just over the mountain in Wakefield, incredible things are happening: money is flowing into bank accounts and houses are being rented. Volunteers are forming committees and signing their names to forms to sponsor refugee families into the community.

This Omnivore's Dilemma: Pontiac Style

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In my younger years I tried to be a vegetarian. I was embracing the back-to-the-land dream of self-sufficiency, earth sheltered houses, that sort of thing. I tried cooking my way through the Moosewood Cookbook and indeed there are delicious recipes in there that I still use. But inevitably I would go to my parents’ for dinner.

Welcome to nowhere, you are here

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Someone once described the Pontiac region to me as being 'in the middle of nowhere but close to everything', and that is surprisingly true. I can be driving past the RCMP cars and construction vehicles parked on Parliament Hill in almost 30 minutes from my front gate. 

Having both distance from and proximity to not only a major urban centre but the nation's capital is a unique and potentially useful circumstance. Let's take a bit of time to think about how we can get this to work for us.

K

FPAQ and UPA reaction to the Gagné Report: An unfounded report that will ruin maple syrup producers and destabilize an entire sector

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Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) and Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) sharply criticize the Gagné Report for its lack of seriousness, objectivity, analysis, and economic foundation with regard to the future of Québec maple syrup. "The report's recommendations will lead the maple syrup industry to ruin. Mr. Gagné's goal is not to give the industry a boost, but rather to knock the legs from under it," FPAQ president Serge Beaulieu said today at a big meeting in front of the Québec National Assembly. A group of over 1,000 maple syrup producers braved the bad weather in order to say NO to the Gagné Report and YES to prosperity in their sector through their collective development tools.

Rapport Gagné: c’est la fin du plan conjoint

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— Clairement, le rapport Gagné possède tous les ingrédients pour détruire le plan conjoint acéricole et rendre inopérants les mécanismes de développement des marchés mis en place par les producteurs, comme la réserve stratégique mondiale de sirop d’érable.

“Big Organic”: Threat or Opportunity?

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Rob Wallbridge

I’m proud of the growth in the organic sector. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic sales in the United States have increased from $3.6 billion in  1997 to over $39 billion in 2014. This double-digit rate of growth holds true for Canada, too, which is now the fourth-largest organic market in the world.

Trading Places: Two farmers step out of their comfort zones

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Rob Wallbridge

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step across the “conventional/organic divide”? During the first week of December, we (Jen Christie and Rob Wallbridge) did just that. Rob (an organic vegetable grower) had been invited to speak on a social media panel at Agri-trend’s Farm Forum Event in Saskatoon, SK; an annual gathering of hundreds of primarily large-scale Prairie farmers. Jen, (a conventional dairy farmer) attended the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario Conference in London, ON, a gathering of a couple hundred farmers from a wide variety of organic and ecological farms, mostly small-scale. A conversation on Twitter afterwards inspired this blog post where we share our thoughts and reflections in more detail.

The Unintended Consequences of Proportional Representation

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Jonathan Crowe

Now that the election is over, many disappointed Canadians are talking about proportional representation, and how much fairer it would have been than our first-past-the-post electoral system.

I have never been a fan of proportional representation, partly because I think its supporters are mostly unhappy with the results of the most recent election and want to re-run it under different rules that they think are more favourable to their side, and partly because I’m a big fan of holding members of Parliament accountable to a constituency. But also because I’ve seen how PR systems operate in other countries. Not in the intricate, technical, here’s-how-it-works terms that PR advocates like geeking over — the real-world effects. And some of those real-world effects are precisely the opposite of what PR advocates want.

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