Editorial: Sudsy Ford focus?

The weather, for the most part, has improved to a near summer-like feel. For many, enjoying a cold one on a hot day is part of season. Enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two will now be easier, thanks to the Ford government’s plan to add more agency-type LCBO stores, and open the market to corner store sales of these alcoholic beverages. Access to alcoholic beverages really isn’t a big problem for rural communities like South Dundas. It may mean a quick trip down the road from Brinston to Iroquois or South Mountain, but it is not an onerous journey.

However, maybe what we really need to focus on this summer are very present, and very serious issues in South Dundas. They should rate a higher priority than additional places to purchase booze.

A gas station in Iroquois. It has been over a year since the former gas station closed. The ability to purchase fuel without driving 10-15 minutes out of Iroquois seems essentially more important than establishing one more place to buy alcohol.

Improving access to local doctors in South Dundas. Attracting and retaining doctors in all rural Ontario communities is a real problem that needs a solution from the Ford government. This issue is amplified in South Dundas given the imminent closing of the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic’s Iroquois location. We need doctors, not beer outlets.

South Dundas is dealing with a looming garbage issue. One landfill will be closed at the end this month; the other has limited time and space remaining. Solutions are needed. How can the government help?

Equal access to secondary school programming in South Dundas. Assisting rural secondary schools like Seaway to offer the same quality programming as their urban counterparts would go a long way to ensuring all students have the same opportunities to succeed.

Creating access to affordable child care and addressing food insecurity issues for local families. Establishing greater access to seniors housing in South Dundas. Opening access to mental health supports. All are important needs. Where are responses from the government?

These are several pressing, on-going issues that need addressing right here in South Dundas. The same is true throughout all of Ontario.

One year in, Ford continues to claim that his government is the “government for the people.” People we talk to are fixated on several critical issues: this government appears fixated on beer. Priorities?

Since you’re here…

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