Recruiting, Remembrance and Railroads:Phil-ing In Returns

In homage and remembrance of the last Prince Edward County raised editor of the Picton Gazette the late Phil Dodds, this corner will endeavour on an irregular basis to recreate a ‘Phil-ing In’ editorial where views on multiple topics are offered.

A NEW DAY DAWNING

The results of the County of Prince Edward’s great CAO hunt-2019 edition won’t be able to be properly graded for at least 18 months but, judging by the earmarks and the experience she’s gained in the last two decades working within the provincial government’s municipal apparatus, the acquisition of Marcia Wallace looks to be an outside the box, intuitive hire by the municipality.

And that’s precisely what the doctor ordered for a County government that should be desperate to forge a new direction and craft a new identity after a lengthy period of senior staff inertia.

That’s not a knock on caretakers such as acting CAO Robert McAulay but once the thespian senior administrators (you know, acting?) at Shire Hall are graciously allowed to exit stage left after adequately performing their roles, it will be Wallace’s task to remold County government in a progressive direction that addresses the growing list of concerns-affordable/attainable housing, employee attraction/retention and infrastructure among the leading issues of the day.

Judging by her CV, Wallace knows how to accomplish goals at the municipal level and her experience as a deputy minister in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will almost certainly bear fruit when it comes time to take advantage of provincial policies and programming.

What Wallace lacks in direct involvement with a municipality from local government’s side of the table she will hopefully make up with an enthusiasm and fresh prospective.

It’s our hope that after a brief ramp up period and learning curve, Wallace grabs the tiller at Shire Hall and steers this municipality to a new and prosperous place for all its residents.

REMEMBERING OUR DUTY

V. Ransom’s letter in this week’s Gazette (Page 9, Media show little respect for war dead at Picton Cenotaph) certainly gave us pause.

It’s never the media’s goal to desecrate or disrupt a solemn occasion such as Remembrance Day ceremonies but this newspaper isn’t about to apologize for undertaking its duty to capture and report on the news of the day.

Our coverage and the coverage in other local newspapers last week serve to recognize and capture the importance of these solemn gatherings. The newspaper of record in Prince Edward County serves as the eyes and ears for those residents who would like to attend the Cenotaph on Nov. 11 but are unable to because of their work commitments, health conditions, etc.

This reporter will endeavour to attempt to do a better job of staying out of sight at next year’s ceremony but not at the expense of providing accurate and appropriate coverage of this important event.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Considering the fact commercial trains haven’t run in Prince Edward County since the 1980’s, the strike by CN Rail workers who walked off the job Tuesday might not be at the forefront of local resident’s minds.

But it should.

CN Rail carries $250 Billion worth of goods across Canada annually and larger companies are losing $1 million a day. From chemicals to oil to agriculture, a lengthy labour action could cause irreparable harm to the economy.

The 3,200 conductors, trainpersons and yard workers are looking for a new contract that addresses long hours, fatigue and what they consider dangerous working conditions. These are worthy concerns.

Many have called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act on this developing crisis be recalling parliament and initiating back to work legislation and forcing the parties to work out a settlement.

We agree. There’s simply too much at stake to allow this impasse to linger.

-Jason Parks