The real upside of Woolwich’s bid for the Hockeyville title was the massive display of community spirit.
Yes, winning the big prize would have been great. Finishing third was undoubtedly a letdown of sorts, there’s no sugarcoating that.
But there are plenty of reasons to be proud. In the grand scheme of things, the bragging rights and the prizes involved pale in comparison to the boost given the township by the very act of getting involved. First there were efforts to showcase the community to the rest of the country, then residents came together in a common cause, determined to get out as many votes as possible.
The effort showed us all what we’re capable of if we put our minds to it, a valuable lesson in these increasingly complacent times. No, it wasn’t a drive to eradicate poverty or other social ills, but the next time a worthy cause emerges, we’ll know what we’re capable of doing.
In fact, there is one project that the community can tackle right away: clearing up the very visible signs of the recent Hockeyville campaign. The posters, displays and ribbons have run their course. This is especially needed on the routes leading into Elmira, which is gearing up to host tens of thousands of visitors at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival Apr. 3.
In fact, that’ll be a festive occasion everyone who worked so hard on the Hockeyville bid can get out and enjoy too.
We deserve better from the House
Given the state of the economy, the recent election cycle and the ill-advised Conservative economic update that led to Stephen Harper’s Hail-Mary prorogation of parliament, Canadians could be excused for thinking the House would be a more civil place during the new session. Apparently that’s not to be the case.
Instead of putting partisanship away and getting down to the serious business of tackling the economic crisis, MPs are exhibiting the usual signs of childishness in the Commons. The Tories, in particular, have been launching personal attacks on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, a move seen as a precursor to another round of attack ads.
The situation has become so bad, that Speaker Peter Milliken has gone to the rare lengths of issuing a written order to MPs to stop the personal harangues against their colleagues.
“I intend to halt at an early stage any trend in this direction,” his letter reads. “As such, I am writing to advise you that I will vigorously enforce the authority given to me by Standing Order 31 to cut off Members, if, in my opinion, improper statements are made.”
The global economic slump, brought on by mismanagement and poor oversight that led to the U.S. financial crisis, is the most pressing bit of business. Now is not the time to continue the antics that have served only to diminish the public’s regard for the House of Commons, its procedures and the politicians elected to it. Nor is it the time for partisan bickering. Rather, some cooperation is needed, and expected.