Approaching ‘normal’?

As we muddle through our second COVID Christmas we have adapted to the ever-changing provincial protocols making on the fly tweaks to our community celebrations. Unlike last year when even the most optimistic people were struggling to be cheerful.

If adaptability and resilience was the motto for 2020, persistence and creativity should be the motto for 2021. A key asset to community is knowing what people care about. It has become very clear these past 10 months what our communities care about – the people. Whenever COVID threw a monkey wrench into plans, community members stepped up and threw the wrench back.

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Boomer healthcare storm

So, I have a birthday coming up. It’s not a big milestone birthday – but I am very close to one and it’s freaking me out.

For the first time in history, Canada is home to more people over the age of 65 than those 15 and under. Boomers make up 27 per cent of the population, up from 18 per cent two decades ago. With more than five million Canadians set to turn 65 this decade, the 2020’s is the decade that sees many baby boomers head into retirement. The oldest baby boomers, who turn 75 this year, move into age groups associated with higher care needs.

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Rural zoning revisited

And it’s back.

Remember the municipality’s comprehensive zoning by-law project, Zone Clarington? The project that was initiated in January 2016. As many of you recall the Rural Area Zoning was first to be reviewed. And it was – however, in September 2020, due to it becoming exceptionally controversial, Clarington Council instructed Planning staff to pause their work and tabled the rural portion of Zone Clarington for a period of three months.

To jog your memory, in November 2018 [the election was in October], a first draft for the rural portion was released proposing to add 33,600 acres to Environmental Protection. The majority of the land being added is woodlots, wetlands and other recognizable features and a buffer protection of these features. This included 13,340 acres of lands identified Minimum Vegetation Protection Zone, as required by Provincial Policy.

This didn’t sit well with rural property owners as the proposed zoning absorbed most, if not all, of the agricultural designated property they had left.

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Too much of a good thing

Early Christmas stinks. There I said it.

For me personally, it diminishes the magic of the season when we force it to drag on so long by starting too early. Nevertheless, we are powerless to prevent the shopping season from sprawling across the calendar.

In Canada, we have an unspoken rule against celebrating Christmas before Remembrance Day – at least that used to be the case. However, over the past few years this seems to have gone out the window.

I am a child of the 1960s – the tail end of the baby boomer generation. The Christmas of my memory was a purer, much less commercial holiday than it is now. I remember decorating the tree, visiting relatives, eating cookies, and fondly watching some of my favourite Christmastime TV fare: How the Grinch Store Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas were new to the air waves.

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The Land of the Free because of the Brave

November 11, 1918 – Day 96
At 6:30 a.m., a message reaches Canadian Corps Headquarters that an armistice will be declared at 11:00 a.m. The pursuit continues forward regardless, reaching a line some eight kilometers to the northeast of Mons. The armistice to end the First World War takes effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

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