You are here

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

Will your voice be heard?

Will your voice be heard at the ballot box? Or are you among the 50 percent of Ontario citizens who are going to let someone else make the decision for you about who will govern the province following tomorrow’s election?

Around the coffee table, it appears no one is excited by this election. It is not a top-of-mind concern anywhere in Fort Frances outside of the campaign offices of the four parties.

What does that say about electors in the Kenora-Rainy River riding?

Parties choose own agenda

The provincial election will be held June 12 but the advance polls already are open and voting is underway.

As I watch the campaign unfold, I’m struck by how mean-spirited it has become among the three party leaders.

Integrity and honesty seem to have been forgotten, and many of the mandarins carrying the three main provincial banners are doing no more than uttering the sound bites put forward by the central organizing committees in Toronto.

Old buildings left me in awe

When is something considered old? In fashion it might be three months. When it comes to cars and trucks, it could be 10 years.

A home might be considered old when it has been around for 50-60 years. A person might be considered old at age 70 or 80.

Buildings in Canada could be considered old from age 40 to age 125. By our standards, much of historic Germany, Austria, and Hungary must be ancient.

After travelling for two weeks up the Rhine and then down the Danube, I gained a new appreciation for the age of buildings.

We’re off to the races

Well, we are off to the races, with the election date set for Thursday, June 12 here in Ontario.

After the budget that Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government delivered at Queen’s Park last Thursday, I fully expected that Andrea Horwath and her NDP caucus would stand behind the premier and the legislature would go on for another year.

I like both women. Both Andrea and Kathleen are practical, down-to-earth people and I find them both sincere and approachable.

Decoys are folk art

In my office at the moment sit four decoys for the annual Ducks Unlimited auction coming up this Friday evening.

They range from a working decoy to museum-quality duck reproductions.

Sitting on a filing cabinet, they face me from across the room. But come Thursday evening, they will travel to the Memorial Sports Centre to be part of the auctions at the DU banquet.

I have enjoyed looking at decoys since my wife, some 30 years ago, gave me a mallard decoy as a gift. It began a long enjoyment of collecting duck carvings.

‘Spring Fever’ welcomed

This is “Spring Fever” weekend in Emo. This year, it also might be known as the “Cabin Fever Breakout.”

The businesses of Emo have, for more than four decades, drawn district residents together to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring and summer.

Some 47 years ago, I made my first trip on my own to check out the boats at Tompkins. That spring, I had a licence to drive and my father let me borrow the family car and with my brother on a Friday night, we headed to Emo for Spring Fever Days.

I haven’t missed a “Spring Fever” weekend since.

Travel offers education benefits

This past weekend, I was discussing the value of travel in young peoples’ education with parents from Kenora and Dryden.

It is interesting to note that the current generation of young people are more informed, more mobile, and more adventurous than previous ones.

When I was growing up, the big trip I remember was travelling west to Saskatchewan to visit relatives of both my mother and father.

After that, the only experience I had was travelling with the Muskies to the Centennial tournament in Sudbury back in 1967.

Support daffodil pin drive

It is the first flower of spring. It is Mother Nature’s symbol of hope.

The daffodil, with its brilliant yellow petals, has been sold every year in Fort Frances by the sororities as their way of supporting the Canadian Cancer Society.

In my household, I’ve been bringing those fresh daffodils home for more than 35 years. The local sorority would have a sign-up sheet for daffodils at the newspaper, and my sister would go around encouraging everyone on staff to buy at least one bunch.

Ditches tempt all little boys

Sunday teased us that spring actually might be happening.

The rain gutters melted out. The downspouts were shooting water across my sidewalks into the banks of snow that were ready to soak up all that moisture.

I suspect that the water eventually worked its way across the yard and onto the sidewalk, where it drained onto the road.

Election fever in air

We must be gearing up for a provincial election.

Even with the chills of winter still storming around us, Premier Kathleen Wynne appears to have rallied her troops this past weekend to be ready to pound on doors and wear out shoe leather on the sidewalks.

She pummelled the Harper government, lambasted the provincial Tories and leader Tim Hudak, and, without naming Andrea Horvath, indicated to her attentive audience that the New Democrats were not ready to govern.

All the provincial parties are ready to get into the election ring right now.