October 2-8 is National Newspaper Week – which celebrates the importance of newspapers in Canada. According a study conducted in 2021 by News Media Canada, 86 per cent of Canadians read newspapers – either in-print or online – each week. Readership is important, because news is important. A newspaper’s job is to report the facts, what the people involved say, and what that means to the reader. Newspapers hold governments and politicians to account, detail community issues, and cover community events from fundraisers and concerts to hockey and soccer games. This is a job that journalists at all newspapers, including at The Leader, take very seriously.
One local example of this is from the September 29 South Dundas municipal all-candidates meeting where the waste management system was brought up many times. Some candidates stated that the Williamsburg landfill should have remained open, or that specific landfill could be reopened as a solution the landfill issue. There is a problem – facts.
As The Leader reported in June 5, 2019, Ontario’s Ministry of Environment ordered the Williamsburg landfill closed. The landfill at the time was at capacity and no further garbage could be added. Numerous articles published by The Leader in 2017 and 2018 detailed the staff reports, deferrals, a staff resignation, and council inaction on the landfill file. The Leader also reported on February 3, 2021 that South Dundas applied to expand the Matilda Landfill. That process is ongoing.
Compost sites were also discussed at the all-candidates meeting with some candidates suggesting a return to previous compost facilities. The compost sites in Iroquois and Morrisburg were closed in December 2020 as South Dundas’ sites were not legal according provincial regulations. The Leader reported on June 10, 2020 that then Director of Environmental Services Danielle Watson said the cost of making those two sites compliant was a minimum of $150,000 each for application and consultant fees.
Without a newspaper in the community, those facts – and many more– would not be out there and voters would have to decide based on the word of some candidates that were not grounded in accuracy.
Newspapers are vitally important to the community. Credible, fact-based news, not social media musings, provide a healthy baseline for being informed and forming opinions about what is important to you and your community.
The Leader’s roots in the South Dundas community run 160 years deep. Support from the community through readership and advertisers enables us to do that job. Thank you reading and supporting The Leader this National Newspaper Week and every week.