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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

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.

Projects of spring are mounting

Spring is coming. On Sunday at 2 a.m., we will set our clocks ahead one hour.

That will mean more light in the evening but for several weeks it will be a little dark when I head off to work in the morning.

You can again feel the heat in the sun, and the snowbanks have shrunk to half their size and the water is collecting on the streets and sidewalks.

Over winter, you often look around your home and yard and begin making plans for upgrades in the spring. It is no different at our house.

Pride in our Olympians

For the past 10 days, the television in our home has clung to the CBC and TSN channels broadcasting Olympic coverage from Pyeongchang, South Korea.

From the opening ceremonies onward, if we were not awake, then the coverage was recorded so we could it watch in our waking hours.

We enjoyed watching the Canadian flag be raised all 16 times during the awards ceremony and our hearts swelled when “O Canada” was played for our gold-medal winners.

Our Canadian Olympians make us proud.

Property sale ignored future parking needs

The Sorting Gap Marina and La Verendrye Parkway have proved to be a great success for our community and its citizens.

The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship will celebrate its 24th rendition this year while the seventh-annual International Boundary Water Dragon Boat Festival is set for June 30 at the Sorting Gap.

The final report, “Town of Fort Frances Waterfront Development Plan,” dated October, 1987, made it imperative to develop attractions and events at the waterfront.

Valentine's Day has evolved over time

I often have wondered how two people fall in love and continue to build on that love through their lifetimes.

I remember, in my courting days, heading to the florist on Valentine's Day to pick up a bouquet of roses and stopping by the drug store for a box of chocolates—all to show my now wife how much I cared for her.

Either of us would prepare a fanciful meal for the evening to please the other.

Do flowers and chocolates, along with a special meal, make the difference? I suspect just showing appreciation to that significant person in your life does.

Province is in pre-election turmoil

The province of Ontario is in turmoil with the coming election.

The Progressive Conservatives have lost their leader and today are being led by interim leader Vic Fedeli. But prior to the June 7 election date, the party intends to hold a leadership vote—pulling in 200,000 members of the party to elect the next leader.

There also is a movement to only have the caucus choose the next leader, with the understanding that they know the potential leaders better than the 200,000 party members.

This is bringing turmoil to the party.

Tough decisions had to be made

Newspapers across Canada and the United States are evaluating their future. The Fort Frances Times, along with the Daily Bulletin, is no different.

In southern Ontario, 40 newspapers ceased publishing in December. Across Canada, almost 75 weekly newspapers closed their doors in 2017.

An additional 100 have gone from publishing two or three days per week to a single weekly.

Across the border, the Falls Daily Journal became the Journal and went from publishing five days a week to just two days per week.

Mourning a mentor

A friend and a mentor passed away this past weekend. As another Master official in Canada said in an e-mail to me, “A whistle has gone silent.”

Jim Brow captured my imagination to what competitive swimming was all about. He was my mentor and he coached me as we travelled across Northwestern Ontario in either buses or vehicles to Kenora, Dryden, Red Lake, Atikokan, and Thunder Bay, as well as to Warroad, Mn.

On longer bus trips to provincial championships, we often shared a seat and enjoyed the youth of the swimmers on the Fort Frances Aquanauts Swim Team (FFAST).

Plenty of pitfalls for cellphones

Have you ever sat in a restaurant or airport and watched people sitting next to each other texting on their phones.

It is something that is becoming more common every day, as new studies confirm.

The latest studies have discovered that a group sitting around a table would much rather text than have a conversation with the others at the table.

Connecting and making the world a smaller place is one of the big benefits of social media. Yet in our gallop to make the world smaller, we would rather isolate ourselves from each other in common discussions.

Prairies far from dull in winter

The GPS said in 659 km, turn left off Trans-Canada Highway. You hardly can go wrong travelling from Regina to Calgary on a bitterly cold day just before Christmas.

Just as everywhere, CBC Radio was describing how cold it was outside. Having left the Fort a day earlier, Marnie and I were crossing the prairies for the first time in winter.