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It’s time to speak out

by Dave Adsett

A sage reporter once pointed out that in the grand scheme of things, whether the subject matter is small-town politics, an unspoken scandal or a crime unsolved, someone always talks.

It often takes time but eventually the shield of immunity wears down and the truth comes out. Rather than wait until that eventuality, we are pleading on behalf of Crime Stoppers that someone speaks out now.

Since last September, 13 suspicious fires have ravaged structures and destroyed property.

Abandoned homes and rustic structures have been targeted. Along with that, out-buildings with hay and straw have been burned out, as well as a successful lumber yard having material in storage set ablaze.

While any loss is tragic, the Hortop Mill in Everton stands out as a piece of county history that can never be replaced. Early settlers patronized the operation, which was a good example of early industrialization, where water power was transferred into stationary power able to mill flour and feed.

Other fire sites saw the loss of farm produce and lumber.

As mentioned in our coverage this week, the loss of these structures is further exacerbated by the waste of time for authorities in pursuing such crimes. There are so many more positive things that authorities could spend their time on. This kind of senseless destruction creates a real risk to fire responders and police who can’t take for granted that no one is within the blaze.

Residents are advised to secure buildings that might be attractive to these fire-starters. Along with making it less easy to trespass, landowners may wish to purchase and install cameras.

To date police have few clues, except the report of a compact car racing up Guelph Township Road 3 close to the scene and time of one fire there. Residents seeing something odd or out of character should take note of the license and notify authorities.

We would like to take that request a step further. Someone has to have noticed a family member or friend acting oddly or out of character. So far, no one has been hurt in these fires, but there is always the chance of something bad going worse.

It’s time to speak out – Crime Stoppers awaits your anonymous call.

Making the point

Much has been made of immigration and refugees these days.

For fun, look within your own family roots to see how many generations back your family landed in Canada and came to your current community.

We took this challenge and despite the Adsett forefathers arriving in Canada in 1832, our mother’s lineage remained in Europe for another 125-plus years, before coming here in the 1950s. It raises the question - are we fifth generation or first generation Canadian? Let’s just settle on the fact we are Canadian.

While we celebrate ties elsewhere, we note most families made a similar trek in an honest way, sponsored often by a family here.

News this past weekend that refugees were flooding into the small Manitoba municipality of Emerson-Franklin bothered us. We have no doubt the centre of 655 people will welcome and help newcomers, but it seems the federal government should do more to encourage migrants to enter Canada legally. Financial responsibility should not rest on a small local government, even if only until the RCMP takes over and processes the refugees.

A similar charge of the border came near Hemmingford, Quebec, where a Syrian family eluded a U.S. border patrol agent and ran into the arms of waiting RCMP officers.

The seemingly desperate effort to reach Canada was compelling, but there was something manufactured about the event. TV cameras and print journalists just happened to be there for the exodus? A media industry authority suggests the north side press was tipped off in advance of the crossing attempt.

It was cheap theatre and poor journalism. It doesn’t seem to us to be a wise way to characterize a neighbour, when the issues of porous borders, immigration and dubious news are the political dynamite they have become.

The federal government needs to step in and lead on this issue.

February 24, 2017

 
 

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