A Message in a Postcard from NAL pubisher Doug Draper
Posted June 6th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
From Cape Cod, Massachusetts –
For all of Niagara At Large’s major followers out there who wonder if NAL is taking it a little slow on the posting news and commentary in recent days, you are right.
That’s because this Niagara At Large publisher is off on the east coast of the continent for a week or so, breathing in some fresh, salty air and enjoying the sight of sea birds gliding above the surf of the beaches along the outer shore.
I was walking along the dunes this Sunday and in my imagination I came across this person sitting on the beach and looking out over the water to some distant place in the horizon. Here she is.
And before she disappeared with the sun setting over Cape Cod Bay, she thanked me for the little tribute piece to her I posted on NAL recently on what would have been her 90th birthday. And she said I was right to post in that piece a few lyrics from that old song by Elton John because as those lyrics say, life is like a candle in the wind, and you have to try your best to keep it glowing, bright and warm, for as long as you can.
And she said it was good that I had come out to the seashore for some rest and peaceful reflecton because it will only be a matter of days – around next coming Monday, June 13 – that you will be back in Niagara, Ontario where the winds can blow harsh and you will once again have to face municipal councillors at the region like this.
These councillors and all too many of their cronies, who conduct themselves like hold overs from the ugliest, slash-and-burn days of the province’s Mike Harris era, will try to con us into thinking that Niagara won’t grow and prosper into the future if it is not “open for business” which, for them, is code for letting their select friends in the development and business community do whatever they want. And don’t let anything – not what is left of our wetlands and forested areas, or farmland in the west end of Niagara, or public access to our lakefronts – get in the way.
And do it by stacking key politically appointed posts and senior administrative positions with individuals who think like them or who are them, and will do their bidding.
And if anyone from the Niagara citizenry comes to council with a delegation of fellow citizens to question the mission of the current kubal and to ask for more accountability and transparency – more open democracy and dialogue with everday members of the public, if you will – they stand the chance of being accused to saying things that are untrue and may be libellous about the current powers that be, and they are treated like human garbage, just as a St. Catharines area citizens named Ed Smith was at a council meeting this past May.
We are coming up to the half way point this fall of the four-year term of this current Niagara regional council dear citizens, and we have to begin to pay more attention to what is going on at this level of government. And we have to be thinking about finding good, community-minded people with a 21st century vision for our region to replace the 1950s, pave paradise thinkers on this current council.
We have to elect people who know that we can grow and prosper and that we can, at the same time, protect and preserve what is left or the great natural heritage that makes Niagara special. We don’t have to make a false choice (what the neo cons on the current council would cod as “striking a balance) between the two.
There are people in this region with imagination and vision that can work with our communities to achieve both.
So let’s all make a promise to ourselves and to each other to get more engaged folks. We’ve got a lot of house cleaning to do in the next couple of years.
See you soon, and please continue to send in your comments to this post or any other you may wish to share views on this site. I will be checking for comments from you between walks on the beach.
Meanwhile, if you are in the mood for some uncivil conduct on the part of municipal politicians, you can click on this. I call it “Mr. Smtih Goes To Niagara Regonal Council” –
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders