Letter: A cross-cultural alliance group would be more effective than the MMA

Dear Editor:

A mugwump is “a bird who sits with its mug on one side of the fence and its wump on the other.” 

Can someone please tell me, does Manitoulin’s MMA (Manitoulin Municipal Association) have a pinch of value at all? I and others have tried to get on its agenda for best part of a year to present some facts on an issue that is Island-wide (pesticides use) without success.

How can any single Island municipality (like Billings Township) do what is right for the Island as a whole when the majority of mayors and councils have shrunken forefingers from licking and holding them into the wind? We need leaders, not followers trudging along in the far distance.

This isn’t the first time MMA has been found wanting, and probably won’t be the last.

NEMI has already pulled much of its planning out of the Island-wide Official Plan. It wouldn’t surprise me if they distanced themselves further.

However, NEMI’s mayor Al MacNevin would impress me more if he asked the province how he could control people coming by road (Highway 6), air (Manitoulin East Municipal Airport) and water (cruisers and later cruise ships). My preference would be to order all of them to submit to self-isolation for two weeks. Better still, threaten all of them with two weeks of compulsory isolation at the airport (it has a full perimeter fence, doesn’t it?). Surely that would be a deterrent!

Kudos for Mayor Ian Anderson and Billings council for making the right call on declaring a state of emergency. A real decision about a very real situation that is no respecter of whether you are a colonialist or Indigenous.

Perhaps it is time for Billings, NEMI and some of the First Nations communities to form some alliance that represents the majority of residents?

Paul Darlaston