More bits and more pieces

With the cold weather, apparently my creative flare has frozen.

As I type this, it’s getting late on Monday night and no ideas for a column are coming to fruition. However, there are some bits and pieces floating around in my brain.

After the positive feedback of last week’s bits and pieces column, here are some more bits and pieces…

The coldest arena

As a coach and hockey parent, I spend a lot of time in our local arenas. After a recent trip to Walkerton for our U11 Local League game against the Capitals, the talk of the Minto parents was, “Damn, that rink’s cold!”

In Minto, we like to think we know a thing or two about cold arenas – we have the Harriston arena, which feels like it was built before insulation was invented.

Between Harriston and Kurtzville, I thought I knew where the two coldest rinks were. I never thought of Walkerton as a cold rink, but after spending an hour on the bench in Walkerton, it ranks right up there.

How cold was it in the rink that day? The ref skated over to our bench following an icing call, told us he couldn’t feel his toes, and then said, “We’re going to have the faceoff on the other side because I need to move to warm up.”

Yup, that’s cold.

The awkward season

It’s officially that time of year – that awkward season between fall and winter.

Take this week for example. We woke up on Monday with snow covering the ground, and by the time you read this we’ve had a +13 Celsius day this week.

It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions for everyone.

Parents see snow, freak out and call their local garage to book an appointment for snow tires.

Kids see snow, freak out and go play in the snow; the following day, they’re freaking out because the snow melted.

The furnace freaks out because it doesn’t know if it is supposed to be on or off.

I know that Mother Nature is a complex thing to try and understand, but couldn’t she just decide if she wants to be hot or cold and go with it?

Doug’s latest promise

It’s this election campaign’s version of buck-a-beer – “we’ll lower the price at the pumps.”

Premier Doug Ford said last week that the Ontario government will lower the price of gas by 5.7 cents before the next provincial budget is released in March.

While that sounds good on paper – we are getting hosed at the pumps, I think – just how Premier Ford expects to deliver on this promise, I don’t know.

Last time I checked, the Ontario government does not control the price of gas at the pumps. The province doesn’t own a fuel company or an oil refinery, so the premier can’t tell the company to simply lower its margins.

This time, Ford has called on the federal government to match Ontario’s pledge in reducing gas prices, or he’ll cut the provincial fuel tax “even further.”

While it will look good to voters that “I lowered gas prices,” he’ll be doing so by removing revenue from his government’s coffers.

That can only mean one of two things: increase taxes elsewhere or cut money from another part of the budget to make up the lost revenue.

Either way, we lose in the long run.


Mike Wilson is the editor of Midwestern Newspapers. Comment and feedback is welcome at