Editorials - July 22, 2022
It is happening again
Numerous indicators point to another COVID-19 upswing in Ontario, which many are saying will be the beginning of a new wave; the seventh such wave, if you’re still counting. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Health Canada has approved use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for the youngest Canadians, aged six months to five years old. Regardless of where you stand on the pandemic and vaccination, these two points make it clear that the provincial government’s directive of “learning to live with COVID-19” will be severely interrupted in the coming weeks.
Surely the virus and vaccination will creep back into the conversation for many, for better or worse. Add the eligibility expansion for second booster shots for all adults and all those things we thought we might have left behind are sure to re-emerge. For many, this may threaten the first “normal” summer in three years, for a variety of reasons.
As Canada creeps further away from March of 2020, things are being left up to us. Get the shot or don’t. Wear a mask or don’t. Stay home if you’re feeling sick or don’t. Limit your public interactions or don’t.
After two-and-a-half years, many will not want to return to house cat behaviour. Furthermore, it’s reasonable to expect a low vaccine uptake for the country’s very young. The risk of complications from COVID-19 for them is low and there are many unknowns. For some parents, however, they have been waiting impatiently for this day to come.
This coming wave of the pandemic could be the most scattered and, as a result, the most unpredictable. Governments, be they federal or provincial, will surely be reticent to reintroduce any restrictions or regulations, so maintaining safety will largely be up to us. – SL
Lock it or lose it
In the past week, the local Ontario Provincial Police have reported a number of bizarre thefts. CTV reporter Scott Miller focused on the theft of pigs and trees from two nearby farms in the Seaforth area.
Certainly those two thefts, which as of now remain unsolved, jump off the page. They’re unique and certainly not something you see every day. However, for those of us who live in Huron County, Miller’s story was just another chapter in what has become an increasingly prescient problem in this area and in much of rural Ontario in recent years. Huron County residents have long prided themselves and their home communities as being among the safest in the province. That is true, as worry over violent crime, murder and other nasty crimes is very low here. However, it’s clear that the county and much of rural Ontario has a theft problem. Apart from the aforementioned police correspondence, one only has to peruse any of the local community “buy and sell” groups on social media for accounts of regular minor theft; things going missing from porches, backyards and garages. The items being lost may be so minor as to not even warrant calling the police, but things are going missing and foul play, very often, is to blame.
We can’t live in denial anymore. Nefarious folks are on the prowl for easily-scored items, whether they be bicycles, toys or vehicles. So, lock your houses, garages and cars, don’t leave anything valuable out overnight and keep your eyes open. What’s happening in Huron County can’t be blamed on any one community’s “bad apple” any longer. Do what you can to keep your property safe. – SL
Sober second thoughts
Hockey Canada announced that it is reopening an investigation into an alleged 2018 sexual assault that was settled out of court. The plaintiff in the case claimed she was assaulted by eight hockey players, some of whom were part of the national junior team in 2018.
The investigation was handled by a third-party and the investigation will be addressing it differently this time around, no doubt due to the fact that, according to recently named Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith, an average of two complaints of sexual misconduct have been identified involving Hockey Canada in each of the last five years.
While it’s good that Hockey Canada is attempting to right these wrongs, the letter regarding the incident, the statement from Smith and the information that came to light following it leaves a lot of questions as to how the investigation was handled before it was settled. For example, the plaintiff didn’t even take part in the initial probe, or spoke with police, but she will be this time, according to her lawyer. Hockey Canada has reported that participation by the players in question will be mandatory this time, which wasn’t the case the first time around.
The organization encouraging players to answer questions, yet not requiring it, shows the flaws of the initial investigation. Smith reported that about two-thirds of the players were interviewed, but said nothing of how much they contributed to the investigation.
The revelations of the incident and investigation make it clear that Hockey Canada has some work to do, and the decision by the government to pause funding to the national body may have been exactly what was needed to force some introspection. – JDS