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Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

Jim is the publisher of the Fort Frances Times Ltd. He writes a weekly column and can be contacted at jcumming@fortfrances.com

Where have all the babies gone?

Back in 2012, New York Times' columnist David Brooks noted the declining fertility rates across the mid-east and the affects that declining birth rate would have on the region.

In 2016, it was noted that in the United States had reach an all time low in births. It has continued to decline since then.

In Canada, our birthrate has been on the decline since 2009. In fact, Canada's replacement rate of new persons is not keeping up with our aging and dying population.

Old homes may still have lead pipes

I grew up on Third Street behind the arena.

Our home was the second to be built in that new subdivision and as a young four-year-old, the street was my playground.

There really wasn't an alley and everything behind our home was bush.

The ditches were wide and deep. The street was a gravel road. I became a young supervisor watching homes be built.

Don Christian amazed me, cutting down the sides of basements with a dragline. He could dig a basement in a day.

We must always remember them

Monday will mark the 101st anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary and the 74th year following WWII.

Each year we see fewer veterans at the cenotaph who fought in the Second World War.

We must continue to remember the sacrifices of the families who remained at home and the soldiers who went off to war.

We also must remember the soldiers from Canada who have gone to many of the hot spots around the world over the last 75 years.

Trudeau must pay attention to west

Prime Minister Trudeau on election night made a claim that Canadians overwhelmingly supported his vision for the future of Canada.

But before making that statement and cutting Scheer off, he should have looked at the electoral map of Canada and the voting totals.

If ever there was clear indication that we live in a divided Canada, the map clearly indicated that.

The Liberal party also received fewer votes Canada-wide than did the Conservative party.

Farmers truly at the mercy of weather

As we travelled across the prairies this past week, Marnie and I couldn't help but see the difference in crop harvesting and the impact weather has played on this year's crops across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Rainy River District is not alone in suffering from too much moisture during the months of September and October.

Much of the grains grown in the west end of the district were in wet, sodden ground and the ability to get on the fields was almost impossible.

Years of anticipation fulfilled

I have watched as young people become excited when birthdays come around and they can understand that there will be a party for them.

There are the constant questions of how many sleeps will there be before Christmas arrives.

There are questions about “When will I go to school?” as they wave older brothers and sisters off on the bus.

As we grow there is the anticipation of going to high school and later the relief when you walk across the stage having graduated. Then comes the worry. “What am I going to do?”

Privileged to record our histories

In 1934, my grandfather, James Alexander Cumming, with his partner, Roscoe Larson, came to Fort Frances and took over the Fort Frances Times.

Later, they created a second paper—the Fort Frances Daily Bulletin.

My parents took over the paper in the late 1960s and my brother, Don, sister, Linda, and myself assumed control of the newspaper in the early 1990s.

For 85 years, the paper has been a full part of our lives and we grew into the industry as youngsters delivering papers as early as eight years old.

Read up on candidates' platforms

Are you watching the four main political party leaders as they seek to outdo each other in promises to win the national election on Oct. 21?

Who can outpromise the most? Who is being most honest with the electorate?

Where do smoke and mirrors end and when will we hear promises that can be fulfilled?

How much additional debt do Canadians wish to take on annually—$5 billion, $10 billion, or $20 billion? It is your choice to make!

Let's be judged by how we've changed

Who am I today? It is a question that must be pondered by countless Canadians in this election.

Am I the same person who did not feel comfortable to be around gay young men in high school who were frightened to come out and let schoolmates acknowledge their differences or am I now the person who now accepts gay and lesbian people and same sex marriage?

I grew up, went to university and discovered that several of my friends who I played with in the neighbourhood were in fact gay, and in knowing them and others, my thoughts and feelings changed as did my attitudes.

Thankful election campaign is short

I had barely gotten back from delivering across the west end of the Rainy River District when the first red and orange signs appeared on lawns and driveways. The election was less than six hours old.

I might think that the important issues would revolve around young people and health, yet there appears to be no dynamic issues facing voters.

The Liberal slogan is to “Keeping moving forward" while the NDP slogan's is "New Deal for People" and the Conservatives is "It's time for you to get ahead.”