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Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

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

No place for negative ads

The federal election campaign for the Oct. 19 vote officially is underway.

Polls show the three major parties are in a neck-and-neck race, with 60 percent of eligible voter undecided and wavering between all three.

The electorate is volatile. Historic “safe” seats for the political parties may be up for grabs.

This election will prove interesting. And as recent provincial elections have shown, the decision of who voters actually will support will be made after the Thanksgiving weekend.

Enjoying nature’s tranquility

It was a hot weekend—and the heat is continuing this week.

Awakened by the roar of bass boats heading for their fishing haunts, I was enjoying the cooling small breeze that drifted through the windows of our cabin.

Rainy Lake and Turtle Island have been our family’s source for renewal on just about every weekend from ice-out through to late October. A weekend at the cottage often is better than a week-long vacation.

‘Bass Week’ all set to go

It is “Bass Week” in Fort Frances. Driving past the Bayview Motel on Sunday evening, the trucks and SUVs were lined up with their boats tucked neatly in behind.

The extension cords were running from the plug-ins on the wall to battery chargers on every boat to restore the drained power from the abuse the strong winds played on the electric trolling motors.

Earlier Sunday, some pros took young anglers fishing. It was a one-fish tournament, with the angling pair of pro Shane Wepruk and upstart Davis Wielinga taking top spot in the new Safeway Pro-Am.

Fishing can be addictive

When fishing, my friend, Phil Bangert, often reminds those in the boat with him that if you try fishing, it could catch on.

He even goes so far as to tell you it could become habit forming to the point of being addictive.

Phil introduced me to bass fishing and has a million stories to keep you in stitches for a week of fishing.

Phil just purchased his latest Bass Cat bass boat and says that, at age 77, it will be his last boat that he will buy. He said the same thing a year ago.

Adults also should wear life jackets

I watched as two skiffs, full of adults and children, pulled into the docks Sunday afternoon at the marina and as a family was set to depart.

The family preparing to leave meticulously strapped their children into life jackets. Life jackets also adorned the children arriving by boat.

My wife and I commented to each other about how we always have worn life jackets when travelling by boat, and had made sure our children also wore them.

Pharmacare plan a no-brainer

Do you know someone who, in the past year, has chosen not to buy a prescription drug ordered by a doctor because they could not afford it?

Would you choose to skip medication because you had a choice of putting food on the table or going hungry so you could get well?

Statistics tell us that 10 percent of Canadians make this decision daily. And many of those end back in hospital emergency care.

Statistics Canada, in a survey, found that 24 percent of Canadians have no drug coverage.

June a feast for the senses

June is a fun month. The leaves are all out and the pollen is falling from the pine trees, fertilizing the flowers that will, in a couple of months, produce cones for the squirrels to feed on.

All the annual flowers have been planted and their blooms brighten our neighbourhoods.

The cloying pungent smells of the lilacs are giving way to the soft fragrant smells of roses. Purple and yellow Irises bloom.

Election spending differs

In Canada, we are gearing up for an election in October.

Various news agencies constantly are polling households each evening to determine which of the three parties—Liberal, NDP, or Conservative—would have your vote if you were going to the polls the following day.

The results are published and the news media’s political specialists pore over the numbers with magnifying glasses trying to determine who is ahead and who is behind at a moment in time.

They look for trends in hope they can predict the outcome four months out.

Why don’t MPs face same scutiny?

Should we be surprised by word that 30 senators are said to owe taxpayers almost $1 million.

After the questionable expenditures of senators Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, and Mac Herb, does this recent announcement surprise us?

I hope not.

The first four senators to come under scrutiny claimed they were not aware of the rules that were in place. Pamela Wallin and Mac Herb repaid the claims against themselves.

Donate to a good cause

Riverside Foundation for Health Care director Samantha Manty had approached our table one afternoon prior to the Canada Day Cash Lottery early-bird draw.

By the time she was finished, all eight of us had purchased tickets for the draw.

In the past, the Fort Frances Times and Rainy River Record have been actively involved in raising funds for the “Care Close to Home” campaign.