Farmers' Market's 10th Season Has Arrived

StephenVance 540The Meaford Farmers' Market kicks off its 10th season on Friday, June 3 at the Rotary Harbour Pavilion, and this little market has come a long way over the past decade.

It's no secret that I have a soft spot for farmers' markets, and particularly our market here in Meaford. Though I'm not a farmer, nor a food producer, I was quite involved with the Meaford Farmers' Market for a number of years, first as a sponsor of children's activities at the market, and then serving both as a board member including a term as president, and as market manager for a few years, and I can tell you from my personal experience that a decade of hosting a farmers' market doesn't happen by accident: it takes a lot of hard work by some dedicated volunteers.

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It's Time For Manufacturers to Take Their Share of Responsibility For Waste

StephenVance 540The province of Ontario has a lofty but necessary goal of 70 percent waste diversion, and while many communities (like Meaford) have now found their way to the 55 to 60 percent diversion rate, the extra push required to reach 70 will likely need to come from product manufacturers themselves.

Sure, we can all find additional opportunities in our homes to better separate the waste we create, we can find new ways to repurpose items rather than dispose of them, and we can try to purchase fewer products, and those we do purchase we can seek out brands with the least amount of packaging, but I think for any significant change, we need to look to those who manufacture all of this stuff we buy.

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Approach of Coming Infrastructure Nightmare Gaining Speed

StephenVance 540I'm sometimes criticized for spending too much time ringing the infrastructure alarm bell, but I remain convinced that the 'infrastructure nightmare' I've often referred to is not only coming our way, it is already here, and the latest update on the state of Meaford's bridge infrastructure is yet another example of that fact.

As council learned this week, the 80 bridges in this municipality are ageing to the point that some serious decisions have to be made, and some serious funding will need to be found to address some $30 million in required bridge rehabilitation and repair over the next ten years. Worse yet, some of those bridges have been deemed to be in need of urgent attention that will require nearly $6 million in funding, ideally in the next 12 months.

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Does Meaford Need More Off-Leash Parks?

StephenVance 540When I first moved to Meaford nearly 11 years ago, one of the first things I noticed about the community was the number of dogs – they seemed to be everywhere I looked. Having moved here from a much larger urban centre, I wasn't used to seeing so many canines, and I confess I had a fleeting moment of regret about moving here.

It isn't that I don't like dogs, or at least it isn't that I don't want to not like dogs, I truly wish I could love them as much as everybody else in this town seems to; it would certainly make my life easier. The reality is that I have a deep fear of any dog, no matter the size, no matter the breed, and certainly no matter if the dog's owner uses those famous last words – don't worry, he won't bite.

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