Of opening flood gates and unreadable licence plates:Phil-ing in returns

In homage and remembrance of the last Prince Edward County-raised editor of the Picton Gazette the late Phil Dodds, this corner will endeavour on an irregular basis to recreate a ‘Phil-ing In’ editorial where views on multiple topics are offered.


The pace remains glacial and potential change is still many months away but it appears all the politicking on both sides of Lake Ontario has stirred the International Joint Commission to commence with an expedited review of Plan 2104.

Evidently, matching funds from the Canadian and United States government of $1.5 million each is enough “to investigate possible improvements that could be made to Lake Ontario outflow regulation activities” and will be undertaken by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management (GLAM) Committee, a sub-committee to the IJC’s International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, International Niagara Board of Control, and the International Lake Superior Board of Control.

The investigation is expected to take between 18-to-24 months so Prince Edward County shoreline owners and local businesses dependant tourists being able access water for fishing, boating etc. will need to remain vigilant and keep their fingers crossed for a dry spring.

But recognizing and acknowledging there’s an issue is the first step to correcting it and the IJC has, at the very least, taken the initiative.

Our hope is while Plan 2014 and the resulting fallout for shoreline communities up stream of the Moses-Saunders Dam near Cornwall is examined and pored over, the IJC sticks to its plan to delay the start of the shipping season until April 1 to let as much water pass through to the St. Lawrence as possible without flooding Montreal and communities down river.

Locally, County of Prince Edward Mayor Steve Ferguson and his worship Jim Harrison in Quinte West deserve much credit for taking on the angst of beleaguered residents and pleading the case something needed to be done to just about anyone in power who might listen and lend a hand.


Premier Doug Ford looked frayed at the collar earlier this week when announcing an agreement to bring a road to the “Ring of Fire” in Northern Ontario where the province hopes $30-$60 billion worth of chromite, nickel, copper and platinum could be extracted from the ground. The Premier went to his playbook in a very public display of disdain for the assembled media attempting to engage on a number of pressing issues of the day including labour negotiations with Ontario’s teachers and the COVID-19 outbreak.

But what seemed to draw the most ire from the Premier were questions regarding the ‘plategate’ fiasco. The Ford government seemed so proud to replace those “Liberal” license plates (Actually developed under former PC Premier Bill Davis four decades ago) that any questions on their development, testing, functionalityand cost is regarded as a insult-even after documented flaws.

This is a bad look for a Premier that’s about to start the back nine of his mandate and seems so pleased to trample, rip up and throw away anything not developed in a Conservative caucus-no matter the measure of significance.

We would offer advice to those around Ford who might have designs on actually getting reelected that a contrite tone regarding a very public flub on what is essentially a tempest in a tea pot would be wise.

Of course, bluff and bluster has served Doug Ford so well to this point, why would he change?