I hope that you’re enjoying our first weekly issue of the Rural Post. You may remember us from about a year ago when we sent you a few issues. We wondered whether people in the townships were interested in receiving positive community news. You are!
Sometimes it seems hard to remember that there’s a wealth of good news all around us, when our newspapers, TV’s and connected devices seem to highlight only the bad. The old newspaper adage “if it bleeds, it leads” seems more apt today than at any other time in our history. Sometimes it seems that if it doesn’t bleed, it isn’t worth reporting.
Negative news and views, natural disasters, global warming, species extinction, polarizing politics and more seem to pervade our media. No wonder so many of us are depressed.
In 2009, our publisher had a small business in Elmira and he was growing increasingly concerned about the unemployment rate, which had climbed to 9.1%. “My goodness.” he thought, “If I lose 10% of my business, how will I survive?” Needless to say, this way of thinking led him into the emotional realms of concern and worry. Then he went to a talk put on by the Elmira BIA, where the speaker suggested that rather than thinking about 9% of Ontarians being unemployed, why not focus on the fact that almost 91% have jobs!
This helped him to realize that he had been looking at the glass as being half empty, and that it was just as valid and indeed far better for his mental and emotional health, to look at it as half full.
It has been 67 year since Norman Vincent Peale wrote his epic work, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” In it, he wrote, “We are beginning to comprehend a basic truth hitherto neglected, that our physical condition is determined very largely by our emotional condition, and our emotional life is profoundly regulated by our thought life.”
By providing you with weekly, positive stories and news about our community, the Rural Post hopes to help our readers stay focused on the wonderfully half-filled glass of our shared life here in beautiful Waterloo Region. We are truly blessed.
Amalgamation and You
The province is looking very seriously at getting rid of Wilmot, Wellesley, Woolwich and North Dumfries townships, as well as the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge. By creating a big metropolitan area with one level of government, the argument is that there will be significant cost savings and efficiencies. But what will be lost? Not everyone agrees that amalgamation is a good idea, and I strongly recommend that you read Mayor Sue Foxton’s comments on page 3 if you haven’t already done so.
In order to find out if amalgamation is a good idea, Ken Seiling, the past Chair of Waterloo Region, has been holding meetings with local politicians and businesses as well as inviting comments from the public. Mr Seiling’s travelling roadshow spent one day in the Region at the end of April when he heard the amalgamation opinions of 21 local delegations. His report to the premier is expected in June.
If the province decides in favour of amalgamation for the region, each of us living in the townships will be affected. Our taxes will be impacted, as will our local voice in planning decisions, services and more.
The rural voice on regional council often gets drowned out by the booming blare of our regional cities, but our voice is heard, if not always heeded. With amalgamation, our voice will be non-existent.
Let us know your thoughts.