Deb O'Connor

Alternative Voices Needed

We live in a white bread world here in the hills and valleys of Upper Canada, safely distant from the colourful and diverse city up the road. Here we still cling to the old school values of staunch British resolve, and we expect our neighbours to be the same.

Nowhere is this more evident than in our local media, especially when those sources are taken over by huge corporations. It’s all apple pie and motherhood around here, nothing remotely new or controversial to be found anywhere. Cobourg’s taxpayers association might be newly formed, but their right wing approach to taxation is certainly nothing new. Instead it’s just a slight adaptation because most of them seem to be Toronto escapees bent on preventing citified diversity from creeping into their upscale suburban paradise. They want gold plated services from the Town as long as they are the beneficiaries, otherwise they want taxes trimmed to provide only the basics of services for everyone else.

The CTA cause is mostly showcased in the Cobourg Blog, that online news source that covers so many municipal matters around town so thoroughly. John Draper seems most impressed with these people who seem to worship at the feet of Business, a common oddity among many these days. When did this happen, this notion that Business and business people are our modern super heroes? That they alone have all the answers?

This is why I am personally thrilled to see my old co-conspirator, Ben Burd, back at his computer speaking out. As a former Town Councillor, President of the Northumberland Labour Council, and a founder of the Help Centre and Northumberland Legal Centre, his viewpoints are considerably different than the usual same-old traditional sentiments that we mostly see around here. 

We need him and others like him very badly. We need to hear our alternative voices loud and clear if we ever hope to see new solutions that work for all of us, not just the affluent elites who think it’s their job to run everything.