As Russia finishes year one of pounding on its neighbour Ukraine, posturing visits are underway.
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly went a week ago. U.S. President Joe Biden landed there earlier this week.
Inflections of hope, promises of armaments and funding were followed by photo-ops. Perhaps visits from foreign leaders rally forces over there and maybe the visits are part of a campaign to raise awareness among sheltered Americans and Canadians who don’t understand what is at stake in Europe and figure funds are best spent here.
Within 24 hours, Russia backed away from a nuclear arms treaty at the behest of President Putin. According to his speech, Putin views this somewhat local conflict turning global due to all the support offered through NATO allies. In this game of cat and mouse the West must consider the potential of this conflict escalating.
While the world has known bullies and dictators throughout its history, the rules of engagement remain similar. It is the least equipped who suffer the most.
When we first heard about the Biden visit, immediately we wondered about safety concerns. Those concerns evaporated when news slipped out that the U.S. had back-channeled news of his visit to Russian counterparts in order to avoid an international incident, chiefly the president falling victim to a military action. We have been grumpy since hearing about this form of professional courtesy.
Outside of that safe zone, a whole different world exists. Rather than grins and the broad smiles of telegenic politicians, Ukrainians suffer. Displaced from their homes, compelled to leave the country, unable to attend their workplace, living in horrible conditions and with little access to the basic necessities, the poor are suffering mightily.
Unlike other areas of the globe facing humanitarian crises caused by natural disasters, this one is all man-made. The extent of waste and hardship is a crying shame.
This edition of the Wellington Advertiser will be the last one printed in Ontario for a while.
Our firm received notice a few weeks back that our current printer was exiting the print business. Metroland will continue to publish its community newspapers and the Toronto Star along with other daily titles in its stable. The company made the fateful decision to farm-out its printing despite a seemingly solid roster of clientele.
This action will impact not only this newspaper but several other independents in Ontario. In the last 18 months, approximately six newspaper presses have closed for numerous reasons, including volume available at monster press plants. Unfortunately, we were not invited to meetings where these final decisions were made, so we didn’t have the chance to remind the brain trust making these choices that there is only one Tuesday and Wednesday in a week. Many publications were left scrambling.
The effect of corporate ownership on community newspaper titles is finally coming to fruition.
Despite the opportunity to see what big business can do to community newspapers, as happened with chains in the U.S., corporates here learned nothing. It would not surprise us for a moment to see grim news coast to coast in the ensuing months.
Fortunately, the spirit of independent publishers is strong. Their desire to serve their readership well, employ people, contribute to the well-being of their community and insist on the strongest of ideals for local government lives on.
While we embark on this challenge, every effort will be made to serve readers and businesses to the best of our ability.