Editorials - Aug. 18, 2023
A “crap-pee” idea
A local company is really thinking outside the box when it comes to green energy. According to an article on CBC News, Francis Veilleux, president of Bluewater Recycling Association (BRA), says his company has a truck that is not carbon-neutral, but actually carbon-negative.
The BRA has one truck in its fleet of 44 vehicles that runs 100 per cent on cow manure. Yes, you read that right. Apparently, the daily business of approximately 100 cows provides enough natural gas to power one recycling truck. The manure is loaded into a digester and the gas is collected, leaving the remnants to be spread on the fields as fertilizer, but without releasing gas into the atmosphere.
Once again, rural Ontario is leading the way in creative sustainability by using one problem and a bit of ingenuity to solve another problem. For years we have heard that the methane from cows is one of the driving factors behind climate change (the jury is still out on how much of a factor bovine methane is). By finding a way to harness a little of that gas, and use it as a replacement for fossil fuels, the BRA is setting an example for the next generation of businesses and business owners. We need to keep trying new things and pushing the envelope if we are to have any hope of slowing down climate change. – DS
*Pretends to be shocked*
It would be shocking, scathing and damning - all at the same time - if it wasn’t just so predictable. When Premier Doug Ford - friend to all who develop - started selecting sites to be removed from Ontario’s Greenbelt, critics immediately felt something fishy was going on. Sure enough, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk released her report, which found that site selection was heavily influenced by a small group of developers who stand to make billions.
Mistakes were made, says Ford, but only because his government is working diligently and quickly to build more homes for more people. In fact, Ford has said his government will implement 14 of Lysyk’s 15 recommendations. The lone orphan? Revisitation and possible reversal.
This report should concern all Ontarians, regardless of their stance. If you believe the Ford’s government’s actions are borderline criminal (or straight-up criminal), it should concern you, but if you accept Ford at face value, it should still concern you. Not doing its due diligence in carving up some of the province’s most sensitive and important land shouldn’t sit well with Ontarians either. But, regardless of what you may think, Ford is moving ahead. He’s answered questions about this like New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick did after his team started slowly in 2014, when he parried every question with a look to the future and the team’s next game. “We’re on to Cincinnati.”
Ford is on to Cincinnati, but Lysyk said the future of her findings is in the hands of the Ontario Provincial Police. Where the police or some diligent and dogged journalists take it from there is anybody’s guess.
When businessman/politician (not politician/businessman) Ford was elected Premier, many speculated he’d take care of his friends. He, it seems, is no friend to Ontarians, only to his friends. – SL
No direction home
The affordable housing crisis has left a profound impact on most Canadians, whether through awareness, personal experiences or enduring its hardships. Two recent news articles underscore the severity of this crisis, providing a stark perspective.
The first story is about Natasha Salonen, the 28-year-old mayor of Wilmot Township near Kitchener. Despite her substantial annual income of about $90,000, she is unable to afford a home in the very community she governs. The situation has forced many of Wilmot’s younger residents to relocate due to the inaccessibility of housing. Instead of following her peers out of town, Salonen has opted to remain living with her parents to continue fighting for affordable, local housing options.
The second story shifts the spotlight to Canada’s most-populous city and consistently one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets. The escalating housing costs in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have reached such extremes that certain families with a combined household income of $100,000 now qualify for support from Habitat for Humanity. Six-figure incomes previously represented comfortable living, but times have changed and a loonie doesn’t stretch nearly as far as it once did.
These anecdotes, if not reflecting the painful reality faced by many Canadians, could easily seem like absurd plots for unfortunate situation comedies. Don’t miss the new seasons of Mom, Dad and the Mayor and $100,000 Is Not What It Used To Be coming to television screens as soon as the writers’ strike is over.
Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter. The ongoing struggle with housing affordability demands serious attention and solutions. Only through concerted efforts, policy reform and community engagement can we hope to rectify this sobering reality and pave the way for a more equitable and secure future for all. – SBS