Column a new place to crow

For many moons Rossland has kindly tolerated my version of the town’s events — as edited, laid out, and headlined in a heroic weekly effort by Robson Fletcher, who also handles the Castlegar News and the West Kootenay Advertiser — so we’ve decided a short column would help readers take me with a pinch of salt and dash of spice.

For many moons Rossland has kindly tolerated my version of the town’s events — as edited, laid out, and headlined in a heroic weekly effort by Robson Fletcher, who also handles the Castlegar News and the West Kootenay Advertiser — so we’ve decided a short column would help readers take me with a pinch of salt and dash of spice.

There are many people I have to thank for generosity, hospitality, and just downright good times since arriving in Rossland some 20 months ago, too many to name, but for now I’d like to thank the town as a whole for their great latitude and attitude towards my reports in the Rossland News. I encourage people to continue to write when they find errors or disagree with points of view: reporter@rosslandnews.com.

National Compost Week is right on time to help digest the dirty waste left by a month of Canadian democracy — at least we don’t have to worry about that for the next four years.

I’m kidding, mostly, but citizens will have to be ever-vigilant as a controlling prime minister, found in contempt of our democratic institutions just a month ago, takes majority rule.

Across Canada on May 2, roughly 39 per cent of voters didn’t vote, 37 per cent went to the polls for the rainbow of anti-Harper resistance, and only 24 per cent dropped ballots for the blue team. With that, Harper won 54 per cent of the seats and 100 per cent of the power. Oh, Canada.

There was hope for a minority government or majority coalition, something with the right carbon-to-nitrogen ratio to get the pile steaming in Parliament.

Alas, without a chipper, crusty carbonaceous conventions like the Senate and first-past-the-post elections will take more than four years to decompose into a rich soil of proportional representation and other important reforms.

Despite the welcome splash of Green, there just aren’t enough nutrients in the multi-hued opposition to tackle the woody debris heaped up by Canada’s plutocratic oligarchs.

Yes, Compost Week is as good a time as any to start reading Paul Stamet’s Mycelium Running and Joseph Jenkins’ Humanure Handbook to get thinking about how fungi and bacteria will help us clean up the inevitable leaks and spills after rubber stamps and scribbled signatures in Ottawa push forward dull-witted plans for pits in the prairies, pipelines over our peaks, tanker ports on perilous coastlines and other ideas that undervalue our natural heritage, overvalue short-term corporate profits, treat Canada like a third-world quarry, and ignore more innovative economies and the long term interests of regular Canadians.

As Harper fights fictional crime with all-too-real prisons, foreign wars with F-35s, and civil freedoms with fear, we in Rossland, regardless of our partisan leanings, would do well to just keep doing what our community already does so well: the politics of positivity.

Right here in our backyard, through volunteerism, sports, advocacy, gardening, music, art, and so much more, we can work to turn our wastes into resources and encourage our too-powerful government to do the same.