Big-brains in the Pontiac

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  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_page::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_page.inc on line 297.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_block::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_block.inc on line 78.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_attachment::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_attachment.inc on line 242.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::element_type() should be compatible with views_handler_field::element_type($none_supported = false, $default_empty = false, $inline = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/cck-6.x-2.9/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 229.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_handler_field_multiple::pre_render() should be compatible with content_handler_field_multiple::pre_render($values) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/date-6.x-2.9/date/date/date_handler_field_multiple.inc on line 185.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_pager_none::post_execute() should be compatible with views_plugin_pager::post_execute(&$result) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/plugins/views_plugin_pager_none.inc on line 69.
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Added: Wed, 04/10/2019 - 2:30pm
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Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

Years ago, the then-chief of Canada Manpower in Campbell’s Bay expressed his surprise at the number of PhDs in the Pontiac. His comment was something like, “there are more brains here per square kilometre than most cities in Canada!” Not our usual image.
Today I wonder where these geniuses are, especially with the doom-
and-gloom predictions of just about every conversation: climate havoc, environmental degeneration, wildlife collapse, air pollution and the desertion of rural towns and villages – everywhere. Are there no realistic solutions? Is
there nothing we can do to take the wheel from the madmen, the non-geniuses, who seem to be in control?
Apparently, and despite the national statistics about de-population of rural areas,  Pontiac’s wild spaces have attracted many brilliant people, escaping the vacuity and constant distraction of urban living. Hermits, in other words. Everyone can name at least one bright light living here, trying to escape the aimlessness of modern life. 
Besides the hermits, the beauty and freedom of our wild spaces attract artists and creative people, brilliant ones. Manpower didn’t keep stats on the proportion of artists, writers, and musicians to the rest of the population, but it seems the Pontiac has more artistic people in proportion to the cities and suburbs.
Pontiac, near Ottawa and Gatineau, attracts retirees and these include technical and  government employees, usually well-educated and experienced.
Finally, Pontiac’s natural beauty, wildlife, birds, hiking and skiing, waterways, peacefulness and friendly towns attract people who value these things. Professionals who come to serve end up staying – doctors, teachers, government people. Likewise for the now-occasional back-to-the-landers, and cottagers who stay year round.
We do have many things to complain about – from internet service to grocery store choices to  public transportation, all the way to complaining about our planet’s apparent future – yet we all have to live somewhere, and it seems that more than our share of bright folks have decided to live among us - out here in the sticks. Many of our children move off to the city, seeking jobs and opportunities which we lack - they are stretching their horizons. Some do return with their educations and training.
All to our benefit.
Yet it’s also hard to reconcile a lot of what goes on with an intelligent
population. Granted that many people are still seeking jobs,  is it really a sign of an intelligent population that we allow dangerous or fraudulent activities in our midst? The proposed massive radioactive dump just upstream at Chalk River? Live and glowing radioactivity will be transported from around the country to our neigbourhood? Other less dramatic projects are all argued on the grounds that if we want jobs, this is all we can expect. Sounds like an insult to me. And is it really so intelligent to just shrug as if these unsavoury proposals are inevitable?
Or irrelevant? Hey, we are not like the people around Chernobyl who were given no choice.
On a milder scale, we often accept, look the other way, to clear-cutting with little re-planting, to waterway contamination, or to building on farmland or forest when other land is available. We ignore piles of wreaked vehicles or old buildings collapsing, all leaking their materials; we  fill in waterfronts, and this list goes on almost everywhere, although the municipalities are now taking these responsibilities more seriously than in the past.
Are these the signs of an intelligent population? Are all our brainy people
hermits? And are “hermits” absolved of the responsibilities of being citizens, being human?
With all the world’s warnings of coming calamities, isn’t it the time for us to uncover our smarts? Given that we already live in such a beautiful and
liberating place, don’t we feel compelled to move ahead, to take the advantage that the Pontiac has given us as our jump-off point to a better world?
And if we’re as smart as we suspect, let’s pause the hand-wringing about our planet’s future and apply some of this brain power to our own back yard’s problems - as a first step. Some of our brainiest people have decided to serve on municipal councils. There’s a start.