Editorials - Sept. 1, 2023
Not the right path
As this paper goes to press, the Municipality of South Bruce Peninsula’s Council is convening an emergency meeting to deal with the fallout of the release of an audio recording of its mayor disparaging the neighbouring community of Chippewas of Nawash First Nation.
Mayor Garry Michi, as a municipal leader, should know better. With the recent land exchange at Sauble Beach, Mayor Michi should be looking to build bridges between all of the communities in his region.
The attitude displayed in the audio clip is precisely why reconciliation is so difficult between white settlers and Indigenous peoples. Blaming Indigenous communities for their own troubles may relieve our own guilt, but it only serves to further alienate them.
At least the other council members and the staff at the municipality are aware of the damage that the mayor’s comments have caused, and are working quickly to distance themselves from him. Hopefully, the Chippewas of Nawash can look past one man’s comments and recognize the many who are striving to work with them. – DS
Protect yourself at all times
As more of our lives have moved online, the need to protect ourselves in that space, just as in the real world has also risen, though the latter, it seems, has not kept up with the rapid speed of the former.
As school returns for another year, staunch reminders have been relayed as cases of sextortion among young people are rising. Montreal Police, for example, have already fielded over 100 complaints to its child sex exploitation unit - compared to 30 or so at the same time the previous year. It’s a similar story in Saskatchewan as, between January and June, the province’s RCMP has received 105 reports of sextortion compared to 36 during the same time in 2022. In the case of Montreal, many of the victims are young men between the ages of 14 and 17, lured by those posing as teenage girls.
Similar but different, on Monday, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security released a report warning of a rise in ransomware attacks in Canada over the next two years, citing organized cybercrime as posing a threat to the country’s national security, economy and infrastructure.
As municipalities, businesses and more approach budget time, it’s likely easy to look at a line item like cyber insurance and brush it off as something for another day. However, keeping safe digitally should be treated along the same lines as any other form of safety these days. In that same vein, parents should not shy away from conversations with their children about their online activities and the threat of sextortion, as awkward and uncomfortable as those conversations may be.
Cyber security should be as commonplace as other safety measures and sextortion conversations should be a new chapter in the “Birds and the Bees” rite de passage. We just need to change how we think.
We can’t just move large swaths of our lives and services online and benefit from the convenience while leaving care and caution behind. Think ahead and have those conversations. Better safe than sorry. – SL
Local pride in the arts
Last week, Mildmay’s own Owen Riegling took the main stage at Lucknow’s Music in the Fields. The young and talented country music star has been attending the festival for years, graduating from teenaged fan to performer on stages gradually ascending in size and stature.
In the early days, Riegling performed in the ramshackle shadows of recreational vehicles in the rambunctious festival campground area. Then, he was invited to the slightly more formal, yet equally rowdy beer gardens. Last year, he earned a spot in the Emerging Artist Showcase and performed on the festival’s side stage.
This year, fans camped stageside for hours before his scheduled evening performance. When his promotional merchandise hit the merch table, throngs of fans of all ages and genders snatched up hats, t-shirts, posters; pretty much anything that said Owen Riegling. The rising young star made a point of signing autographs for anyone who wanted one, resulting in a long lineup of eager Riegling fiends.
The festival’s massive audience included his Formosa-based grandmother, as well as many other family members and friends. Friday’s crowd was treated to songs performed with an authentic and casual small-town charm that came across clearly to the crowd assembled in the authentic and casual small town of Lucknow.
Wingham was once colloquially known as “Nashville North” because of the thriving local music scene that resulted from the visionary work of “Doc” Cruickshank and the CKNX Barn Dance phenomenon. North Huron Council decided to shut down the museum dedicated to preserving the Barn Dance legacy, leaving its future in jeopardy.
Owen Riegling may just be the new Earl Heywood. Investing in local culture would offer both Riegling and Heywood more prominent platforms, of which they are both deserving. It would be music to the ears of music fans of all ages. – SBS