Various matters

October 6, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Like a weird stew our lives are inundated with conflicting notions and ideals, things we wish we were; inspirations of stronger people; people with practical ideals and ideas that they could make work; make them work because somehow, they inspired the dream of community’s being important. Because community is never about the one – one business, one idea, one person; it is the bigger picture and, with luck and a tight hold on those whose ambitions are more self-centred than otherwise, the general populace will benefit one way or another.

A hero has died, a man who inspired – or whatever it took for those involved to do their best – to at least partially volunteer – profit after donating – a very clever and useful policy for the good of the community – has passed away and with him perhaps the methods have gone too.

A person said that the hero did things when they were possible to do and although I questioned him a little on that – his answer was – do you see how anyone is doing that now?

We live in a time of renewed, reinvigorated corporate greed, companies playing games with the prices of things, blaming government policy and supply shortages. This week, we were threatened with a ten cent jump in gas prices because “of the move to reduce the use of gas and oil, new restrictions on building pipelines…” (CBC news). Oil companies have been attempting to black mail environmentalists for years with their boasting about jobs and threats about soaring fuel prices.

Grocery corporations are jerking the price of food around, raising the cost of many items by 40% one day and something else the next so that shoppers find themselves wondering how to budget when they never know what to expect the next time they go out.

Our wallets are our best tool for protest. They are the most powerful influence on pricing there is. If we protest the game corporations are playing with the cost of living by shopping elsewhere, at the farmers’ market and local shops – do that enough and an economic balance will be struck. If we cut out the snacks and sugar-laden drinks populating the middle aisles, leaving all that sugar and salt on the shelves, our health will improve and our wallets will make the statement of savings. 

On the small, close to home scale, what worries me the most is mediocrity and the paucity of quality in new construction. In the decades after World War II, there was a rush of new development, crummy little houses going up in a hurry – “all made of ticky-tacky and all [looking] just the same.” as the old song said. The birth of the sub-divisions in earnest and a shift in social culture where there were fewer corner shops and even fewer local pubs or places for people to meet. 

Now, by which I mean the last ten years, is the return of shoddy building of homes, pressed together, stamped out with just one design and nary a solar panel in sight.

The excellence insisted upon by the hero who built the beautiful CLD building and the medical building and much more has left his mark but his influence on today’s buildings is gone and the town’s council appears to have limited say over the designs and quality of new construction.

It is false economy to over price and undervalue goods and buildings, false thinking to ignore the crushing demands of an abused planet. It is a waste not to follow the path of doing things right in the first place to prevent having to do them again sooner than you would think. There has been a slide to the cheaper, faster, bigger profit that will demonstrate a lack of good judgement on both sides: the profiteer and the consumer.

For the hero knew for sure that banding together for the benefit of the few made everything better for the many, a better place, a better spirit.

Orangeville is a wonderful town, one of the most vibrantly artistic towns in Canada, active and inclusive far beyond its size. There are more than one hero who have and are influencers here and this town is a richer – in the truest sense of the word – because of them. 

With an election coming up, Orangeville is too small a place for people not to vote. Keeping in mind always how easy it is for the rot to set in, citizens have the self-interested (if you like) obligation to vote, to be responsible for who governs and, therefore, who guards the many, many virtues this town possesses. It is up to you, voters, to know who is running for office and what they each believe is important. At the polls, you are the guardians of the town; once you have done your job, placed your trust, it is still up to you to still know they you have trusted are doing theirs.

Meanwhile, here is to our heroes past and present.

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