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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

Seniors' housing an election issue

Senior retirement housing, long-term care, and subsidized senior housing all are on the minds of Ontario residents in this year's provincial election.

It also will be part of municipal elections in the fall.

Housing for seniors is an issue. For instance, what types of senior housing do we require in the district? As well, what are we willing to pay for senior housing and who should be building the units?

It's important to understand many of the differences and who will pay for the services.

Which party can bribe us best?

Will we be bought with our own money again this provincial election? It is a question all voters should be asking themselves as the “robot-calls” light up our phones at meal times.

Which party can bribe us best?

When Kathleen Wynne unveiled her election budget in March, she promised free day care for children from age two-and-a-half to kindergarten and free prescription drugs to seniors. Her budget announced the largest increase in hospital funding and expanded mental health services.

She also promised a huge tax cut for middle-class workers.

When will the ice be out?

It is the big question on the minds of district residents these days.

It has nothing to do with the provincial election. It has nothing to do with municipal elections. It is all about ice.

Bill Naturkach reminded me about a visit by delegates from our sister community of Paris, Kentucky. Paris is the home of citizens of Bourbon County and the plan was to take the mayor of that community and Paris' CFO for a tour of Rainy Lake.

There was only one problem. Rainy Lake still was frozen in but arrangements were made.

Small steps make a difference

Sunday marked “Earth Day” in Canada. It also was the warmest day in Rainy River District so far this year, embracing the warmth of spring.

Earth Day is celebrated around the world, having begun as a mission of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970.

I look around my yard and trees that were planted in the early 1980s have matured and been removed. They have left gaping holes in the yard and their shade in the hot summer will be missed.

'Spring Fever Days' set to go

The merchants of Emo have geared up for “Spring Fever Days” again this year.

The festival, now more than 50 years in age, has become the signal that winter is officially over. Kudos to the foresight of Ted Corrigan, Charlie Tompkins, Bill Mosbeck, Gordon Meyers, and Dennis Degagne, who believed that if the businesses gathered together for a big promotion, residents would make their way to Emo.

“Spring Fever Days” began with the merchants offering a grand prize of admission tickets and accommodations to the Calgary Stampede. It was quite the draw.

Good example to follow

When I click on my cellphone to awaken it, I am perturbed by the advertising that pops up on the screen before I even type in my password.

It is annoying and now I know that every time I view a car rental, flight rental, or hotel rental, I can be assured that Expedia or Hotels.com or Trivago will continue to offer me deals up until the date that I looked at.

And I'm surprised that when looking at family photos on Facebook, advertising is becoming more common on the screen and often takes up more space than the postings of family.

Fond memories being a paper carrier

I am peering out my dining room window and looking south on Victoria Avenue remembering the people who lived along there more than 50 years ago.

They all have moved on, but the kindness they gave me as I delivered the Fort Frances Times to their homes will never be forgotten.

I recall a fierce thunderstorm and Mrs. Osborne told me in no uncertain terms that I had to borrow a raincoat from her to keep from being soaked and to return it the next day.

Privacy laws falling behind technology

Federal governments have put forth much privacy legislation to protect individuals across Canada. France, England, the United States, and many other European countries also have passed privacy legislation to protect their citizens.

But we now know those efforts have not been totally successful.

No one expected that citizens of those countries would be expected to protect their own privacy in the social media world. It was expected that by controlling who you could “friend" or "unfriend” on Facebook would be enough.

Gearing up for spring

Yesterday was the official first day of spring but signs of spring have been everywhere.

Back on March 14, one could see slush holes opening up on the Rainy River in front of the main street in Emo. By Thursday afternoon from that same street view, the river was open as far as the eye could see to the east and already had passed the dock located on Front Street.

The river will continue marching westward and early open-water walleye fishing on the river soon will commence.

Safe Liberal, NDP seats may be in play

One might expect that a candidate who has the majority of votes, and wins the majority of ridings, in an Ontario provincial leadership election would become the party leader.

However, this was not what unfolded Saturday when Doug Ford was crowned the provincial Progressive Conservative leader.

The difference was in the number of votes assigned to the candidates. Each riding was assigned 100 votes and the votes were distributed to each candidate based on the votes cast on their behalf in the ridings.