| Jun 23, 2005


Letters, June 23, 2005

Letters June 23, 2005

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POLICY BY REFERENDUM When the old Reform Party came to town a few years back my wife and I attended the policy meeting to see if perhaps a real breath of fresh air might indeed be arriving on the Canadian political scene. The meeting that took place in the Northbrook Lions Hall was well attended and quite informative as the prospective candidate laid out the platform that his hopeful party wished to implement if successful. Not to be, so it turned out.

One of the policies tabled at that gathering gave me reason to question this Reform candidate, and it still troubles me today. Is it really in the best interest of a free and democratic society to govern by referendum?

Young_geoff_turner

Should the majority opinion always prevail in matters of morals or conscience the result will prove disastrous. "In matters of conscience the majority has no power." It was this premise that guided the trainers of the American Constitution, and hopefully those of the Canadian Charter of Rights. A free society needs to be protected from what could become a well-meaning however misinformed and misguided majority.

There is a real concern here as history has amply proven. In far too many cases the majority opinion has proven disastrous to "liberty of conscience," an entrenched right that was gained over the centuries (Magna Charta, the afore mentioned American Constitution etc.) at a very great cost in blood. "Those who forget are doomed to repeat." The Dark Ages are proof enough that the masses controlled by a misguided religious fervor can do heinous things to the dissenting few. This alone should prove to the informed mind that majority opinion can be very wrong in the area of conscience and morals.

Yes, there are crying abuses that should be corrected, but the sins of the flesh are not going to find even a semblance of solution in a legislated righteousness. Whatever it is that reveals itself in open immoral display had to first be conceived in the heart, that being the case "a mind changed against its will is of the same opinion still." To legislate against perceived wrong will, as proven in the past, only drive it under ground again. The Churches fail, and admit defeat of the power contained within the gospel when they resort to the civil power to correct what the pulpit through proper application of the gospel could and should have done.

This is not intended as a defense of same sex marriage by any means. It is a plea for historic perspective and an acknowledgment that we have "already been there, already done that" and it tragically failed. The Church and the State must remain separate. Christ Himself stated "my Kingdom is not of this world, for the kingdom of God is within you. W. C. McLean Flinton

Seniors and family health The Seniors' Services Advisory Committee of Northern Frontenac Community Services would like to congratulate the Sharbot Lake Medical Centre and its staff for being selected as one of the 52 pilot sites for Family Health Teams across Ontario. As a group that represents seniors throughout Central, North and parts of South Frontenac Townships, this committee is well aware of the wide variety of health needs in relation to the senior population. They also realize that providing health services to our rural setting offers many challenges. We all look forward to the increased options and variety of services that will be made available with this new model of health care. Harriet Riddell On behalf of the N.F.C.S. Seniors' Services Advisory Committee

Litter in Arden

We seniors in town are doing our utmost to keep the road between Highway 7 and the village of Arden as litter-free as possible. We realize we are up against the odds, when on a windy day, the overflow from the dump can undo all our work. However, lately were finding more and more Tim Horton cups, Dairy Queen Cartons, plastic and tin pop containers and french-fry containers, some still with the plastic forks intact, between the highway and the dump. Help a senior, eh? Hold onto your garbage another thirty seconds and you will be at the big refuse container at the mill-pond. Dump it there, and you will be doing your part in making the entrance to Arden more attractive.

Rick Brown Arden.

Shame, shame

I cannot understand how North Frontenac Council can charge, with clear faces, money to travel to the lakes on the roads to Middle Branch, Granite etc, under such deplorable conditions where it isnt decent for a horse and buggy. And at a charge of $8.00 a day! Shame, shame.

Gerald Sproule, R.R#1, Denbigh, Ont. K0H 1L0. Phone 333-1273

Black Bears on the increase

Black bears, once only found in northern Ontario, are being seen more and more in our area, and beekeepers are being forced to put electric fences around their hives to keep the bears out. Black bears can outrun a horse, and with little effort can crack bones in their powerful jaws, and also attack human beings. Black bears are no longer fearful of humans, and their population is increasing rapidly, particularly since 1999 when the spring bear hunts were cancelled. Many naturalists are lobbying to have the spring bear hunts resumed as a way to provide a safe and secure environment for all people without worrying about bear attacks.

A 2004 study in Manitoba proved scientifically that a spring black bear hunt is a sustainable wildlife management tool that reduces the potential for human/bear conflicts well before the June/July nuisance bear season. The study, authored by a group of scientists and biologists, showed that having a spring hunt and a fall hunt to reduce the number of black bears is the best method to control ballooning bear populations. However, the Ontario government is promoting an initiative that promotes the policy of living in harmony with black bears, but the harmony idea works better in music and on paper, and when faced with a black bear who can out-run a human, or maul a child to death, harmony just doesnt cut it. Bob McQuay, Chairman, Canadian Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) questioned: Will it take the death of a Toronto child or a young mother to force this government to accept the advice of knowledgeable outdoors people and reinstate the hunt? COHA and its affiliate outdoors organizations and members hope not. So folks, watch out for bears, and make loud clanging noises when out in the bush in hopes of scaring them away. Keep your garbage out of site, and supervise your children at all times, remembering that children under 16 must have an adult with them at all times unless they are on their own property at home.

Rev. E. Jean Brown Henderson

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