Of racist tirades and removing turbines: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.


One doesn’t need to be too vigilant to see the hideousness of racism festering in all corners across North America.

Perhaps that trend is true most days but about the same time Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board Trustee for Prince Edward-South Alison Kelly was speaking at the public Board of Education’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, a woman was in mid-tirade at a Burnaby, BC Shopper’s Drug Mart, publicly spewing the typical garbage towards a person that was of a different, non-Northern European descent unlike herself. I

t was the typical, single brain cell tripe that seems to flood social media time and again-The woman ranting to an Asian staff member that “We speak english in Canada”, and berating several members of the staff for speaking a different language than she is accustom to. Workers try their best to calm the woman down before she uses a steady stream of vulgar language and storms out of the store.

It’s unclear what sparked the racism in plan sight in a popular Canadian market place but it doesn’t really matter. Issues with a return, an error in change or something else are hardly a reason to escalate a situation let alone erupt into a racist assault on front line staff.

But perhaps the most disheartening part of the story that was quickly going viral across the nation Wednesday was the fact the woman appeared to have a young boy in tow. Again, the facts are unclear at this juncture but, assuming this person was her son, can you imagine what the conversation was on the way home after an afternoon of shopping? We greatly applaud Kelly’s efforts and, by extention, the efforts of the senior staff at HPEDSB to identify racism as an issue currently bubbling up at local schools . As we know too well in the community thanks to the brilliant Talia Epstein and her opinion piece last month, we are not immune to hatred. Talia’s baring of her soul has served as a catapult for Kelly to bring this issue to light with people that can stir change and enlighten those that will come after.

Our hope is that the HPEDSB’s stronger stance and new policies and procedures that will be forthcoming after a time of development will reach the ears and the minds of those who need it most.And maybe a little boy in British Columbia.


Full disclosure-this corner has gone back and forth on the wind turbine issue in Prince Edward County a number of times.

I can recall back in 2005, this newspaper breaking news that a massive turbine installation near Main Duck Island was in the works with energy fed into the Lennox Generating station via submarine cable. That project didn’t materialize but plans for onshore turbines did and the polarizing debate ebbed and flowed, ratcheting up year after year.

Of course species at risk, namely Blanding’s Turtle and Little Brown Bats won the day, derailing one proposed project and dragging out another long enough for a government change and a quick cancelation of the other.

I listen to both sides and for me, the only aspect that holds water at this stage is the habitat of species-at-risk factor.

The draconian nature of the Green Energy Act and unwilling hosts, the change of south shore skyline, et al, are arguments of convenience.

In 50 years, I will have likely taken leave of this mortal coil and I wonder who in this great Prince Edward County wind turbine debate will be on the right side of history.

If not those that won the day, I hope the children of tomorrow will forgive us.

-Jason Parks