Pros­per­ity through Man­darin

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - Ian Cum­ming, Green Val­ley

The Ed­i­tor, Clan loy­alty de­fines Glen­garry, hence it is re­fresh­ing to see Rod McRae's let­ter of March 8 (‘Hold fast: Let no man take thy voice’), prais­ing his politi­cian brother-in­law, plus that man's politi­cian sib­ling and cousin on their work with the school is­sue.

The 30 to 35 stu­dents for next year’s grade 9 class at Char-Lan is ap­par­ently re­stored as is. Plus the mul­ti­ple school board sys­tem, based on the Belfast model of sep­a­ra­tion of re­li­gions, along with a French side arm, ap­pears to be en­shrined for decades to come

If that's what peo­ple want, that's what they get.

If one wasn't “jostling for the spotlight” to give them what they wanted, they might have pointed out how that is so wrong on many lev­els, and we need to fix this for the sake of chil­dren's qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion. But that's why politi­cians are politi­cians say­ing what vot­ers want to hear, and jour­nal­ists are jour­nal­ists with facts.

One can ar­gue that not even at­tempt­ing to see and deal with facts, due to an over­rid­ing moral is­sue like “save our schools,” is or isn't “hys­te­ria,” but we'll leave that for the in­di­vid­ual to de­cide.

But while the spotlight was on the es­teemed politi­cians of the McRae ex­tended clan, en­sur­ing things were to re­main as is, be­cause that's what the peo­ple wanted, the world of agri­cul­ture and ru­ral com­merce, which greatly af­fected East­ern On­tario, con­tin­ued to churn on­wards with­out Glen­garry's par­tic­i­pa­tion.

A Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 19 gath­er­ing at the Ottawa man­sion owned by CEMC China, a $45 bil­lion a year com­pany here to in­vest in agri­cul­ture, had top of­fi­cials from Agri­cul­ture Canada and Agri­cul­ture China, here for sev­eral days of talks. I was there as a jour­nal­ist, and so was the owner of Van­kleek Hill's Beau's Beer, an­nounc­ing a plant be­ing built in China to brew his beer, with th­ese folks as in­vestors. The local fa­cil­ity here only be­ing five per cent of the size that the China fa­cil­ity will be at open­ing.

It was at that same man­sion back in July where they told me about the $225 mil­lion Chi­nese baby for­mula plant to be built in east­ern On­tario, to buy farm­ers milk. Kingston won that bid, with the for­mal an­nounce­ment on De­cem­ber 1.

Did Glen­garry politi­cians even lobby? Other multi-mil­lion-dol­lar in­vest­ments have been made by this Chi­nese com­pany in Smiths Falls.

Pros­per­ity is what fills a com­mu­nity with peo­ple, and hence fills schools. But to be in to­day's game to at­tract in­vest­ment, Gaelic doesn't cut it, Mr. McRae. Man­darin does.

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