Editorial by Chris Pickup

The Regional

February 8, 2012

While this end for the Regional News is personally difficult for my husband and me, I worry for the residents of this county who have lost their alternative voice.

From the very beginning this newspaper has never shied away from controversy, gaining the reputation of "telling it like it is". We have taken a lot of lumps over the years because we were no afraid to go up against the establishment and fight for what we believe to be right.

When a group of people alerted us to the situation at the community-built and community-supported Hagersville hospital we fought along with them until the province stepped in and removed the administrator who was undermining the hospital's viability. No other reporter bothered to look into it, some calling us sensationalist, and uncritically took for gospel the assurances of the very administrator who eventually had to step aside. Some residents thanked us, some didn't, wrongly believing we were going after the hospital itself rather than the way it was being run. But the hospital is still there and thriving, which is all that matters.

This present council will likely dance on our grave today, but someone needs to hold them accountable. The Sachem's viewpoint has been bought and paid for by council.. the proof is in the their editorial pages and the mayor's fatuous weekly columns, so it obviously won't be them. Besides, they've never been critical of anything; cowardice seems to be in the news genes over there.

Then there's our favourity subject - believe me I wish it didn't have to be! - the OPP. That's another organization that will join council in the dance... it will have to be a bloody big grave. But there again, they need to be held accountable. They can't just be allowed to shove their oaths under the bed because it's convenient for the provincial government to avoid the truth, as they have avoided many and many a truth over the last few years and left this province as thoroughly have-not as it is. It seems to us so many police organizations have lost their way, from the RCMP out in B.C. to Hamilton and Toronto officers who have botched so many drug raids by targeting innocent families.

But the OPP is ours, and it's allowing politicians to designate which laws they should and should not enforce. I have nothing but respect for Gary McHale and Merlyn Kinrade and the rest of CANACE who have personally given so much over the last six years and got so much disrespect from those who should know better.

Which brings us to the Industrial Wind Turbines. We have been the platform for those digging in and fighting to stop them coming to Haldimand County. News out of Toronto is more and more giving weight to their arguments, both as to jobs and to costs of the so-called green energy. Council has not been supportive of the residents of this county on any of these issues, and now there will probably not be a newspaper that will support them either.

We have always thrown our editorial pages open to everyone no matter their viewpoint. And it's made over the years for a lot of healthy discussion on all sorts of subjects. A newspaper that strangles dissent, or worse yet panders to the establishment or this or that advertiser, is no newspaper.

I'll miss this job, and all the readers who email or call and talk to use about all kinds of things.  Many of them share our political views at all levels, and I would hope we can keep contact in the future. I won't miss all the B.S. and political correctness claptrap we've had to contend with. I won't miss having to haul my butt out of bed at 3 o'clock on a Wednesday morning after a late night at the printers, to get the paper to the various post offices.

By we'll go out proud of this newspaper's record and what it had stood for for forty years. And I'll finally have time to clean my house.