| Mar 23, 2006

Feature Article - March 23, 2006

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Feature Article - March 23, 2006

Letters to theEditor

Diploma mill no fix for college labour dispute I welcome the intervention of Minister Chris Bentley in the current College labour dispute. It is to be hoped that both sides will continue to meet until a settlement is reached.


In the meantime, news of schemes to complete this semester with part-time faculty and managers is causing considerable concern in the student body; and their professors share their frustration. Management at Algonquin College plan to reward student’s time and tuition with a semester completed by a single project, cobbled together over a few days by part-time teachers, who may have only some knowledge of part of the program curriculum. As many are unwilling to partake in this blatant strike-breaking, the part-timer is understandably worried about future prospects. Any semester completion strategy that does not include all faculty, will be damaging to the College’s collegial environment far beyond the post-strike period. It could potentially damage the reputation of Ontario ’s Community Colleges for years!

An expedited finish to this semester may be welcomed by many students; this is only natural. However, students need to think carefully before endorsing this easy, quick fix; your credentials will be devalued. If Algonquin or any other college goes down the diploma-mill path, it will take years for your potential employers to restore their faith in the Ontario College system.

As Mary Lynn West-Moynes, the President of Mohawk College stated in a Hamilton Spectator’s March 15 article, “It’s disrespectful to students that we wouldn’t recognize the calibre of professor required.”

- Marilyn Schacht, Professor

Algonquin College Re:NF Crown land stewardship program

The Crown Land Stewardship Program is off and running and about to spend $38,000 on a poorly planned project with somewhat fuzzy returns and no guarantees. When the decision was taken, the best argument was that the Ministry of Natural Resources would not back out of the program because it was their idea and they approached us first.

Tax payers and council should not hang their $38K on that argument. About ten years ago Barb Sproule, reeve of Palmerston, North and South Canonto townships, established a planning committee to prepare and present to the MNR the initial crown land stewardship concept and proposal. The committee had as its chair Councillor Walter Wilson with members such as Councillor Art Beale, former Councillor LLyall Stewart and myself. We approached MNR first. I prepared the initial draft document and presentations which received almost immediate MNR acceptance and approval.

For some reason, our current deputy mayor, who was on council when this all happened, does not remember or has failed to disclose the real facts so our council can make a reasonable, informed decision based on truth. I hope that someone at the township will also remember that along with MNR's commitment came a very handsome grant to repair the forest roads going into the area. This was an enormous financial boost to what was to be a revenue mutual program.

I agree the Crown Land Stewardship Program is a great idea and needs better management to survive. Couldn't we simply ask our partner MNR if they want to continue the program before we sign the contract. If MNR doesn't want to dance anymore, we can't afford the $38,000 ticket.

- Leo Ladouceur

Sunday Hunting and SFCouncil

The absurdity of South Frontenac council (SFC) not endorsing Sunday firearm hunting is overwhelming. Of course this council has a history of being overwhelmingly absurd; ask the residents of Sydenham.

During my conversation with David Hahn, it became known that he hunts. However, he is not particularly enthusiastic about his neighbours hunting on their private adjacent properties when he is a-field! The fact they hunt waterfowl also disturbs his Saturdays. Further, local hunting of any sort and at anytime, according to Mr. Hahn, upsets the part-time residents (there are those that are more equal). Obviously, it is okay for Dave to hunt; others doing so, it appears, should be subject to his rules, whims and preferences! Being on council, he makes the petty rules preferring that the residents of Bedford and South Frontenac live by his prejudices.

Statistics, unimportant to SFC unless they agree with SFC’s myopic world, consistently prove hunting is one of the safest pursuits, far more so than driving an automobile, handyman chores, fishing, hiking and the sport so loved by SFC: ATV harassment. Councillor Vandewal believes hikers are at risk! Okay, I say his statement is rubbish, a fairy tale, let him prove me wrong with FACTS, not hearsay, bluster and myth. We already have the bombast. Where is the proof?

The MNR Sunday proposal applies only to “PRIVATE PROPERTY”. Ron and his fellow walkers can trudge their souls out on crown land where only bow hunters will be found on Sundays. Those wishing to hike on private land would have the landowner’s permission (wouldn’t they?) and the common sense to pre-determine if there were any hazards or areas to avoid. Should they forego these important formalities they are their own fools.

Councillor Robinson states with absolutely no proof or verification, “the majority of residents in his district of Portland were also against it”. This could well be, but instead of pure braggadocio, how about public disclosure of the returns from the survey forms which surely were sent to his constituents establishing this position. If there was no survey done…? Well, it must be Bill’s psychic powers and distorted view of reality focusing on the make believe.

In short, well thought out wildlife management plans, increased recreational opportunities, family bonding, expanded personal use of one’s private lands, the chance to harvest organic foods, instruction of the young in ancient skills--to name just a few of the positives--are being thwarted by bigoted Luddites moronically clutching irrelevant archaic retrogressive legislation and social myth, self-serving special interest minorities and the stunted autocracy of eight members of SFC. Outside of the bogus pomposity of the council chambers only Mr. Barr can substantiate a position of believability.

This issue is a primary freedom of choice issue allowing the FREEDOM to use firearms to hunt on a specific day, in specific locations, during legal hunting seasons; the First Nations already have similar rights. It falls into the same freedoms exercised on any Sunday that allow the population to have a beer, make love, gamble, go shopping, spend the day snoring, or to participate in any legal activity. Sunday is simply a day, sacred to some, inconsequential to others. Everyone has the right to spend it as it suits them. Some private lands will be open for hunting and some will not. There is no conservation, ethical, moral or legal reason for the demeaning discrimination dispensed by the beclouded Neronianism of SFC against the hunting community, especially when we are voters.

- Paul M. Wicher

- Leo Ladouceur

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