Having been an editor on the news desk of the biggest paper in Canada, I cringe when I spot an error in the copy. In this case the Mercury’s Scott Tracey reported on a report about ambulance deployment to be delivered to a city committee .
It was interesting to read about how the EMS ambulance service is having a tough time covering the city and Wellington County. The story introduces EMS chief Stephen Dewar, and Erin Mayor, Lou Maieron. But then someone named Armstrong pops up in the story without attribution.
That’s an OOPs! And you think editing a newspaper is easy. I commiserate with the writer.
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At what point does an activist become a terrorist?
Recently, the Mercury ran a lengthy piece about a convicted G20 urban terrorist Amanda Hiscocks. To describe this unrepentant woman as a “Guelph activist” is an insult to everyone in the city. She bragged in the interview that these criminal convictions are not her first and they won’t be her last. I don’t know what your definition of a terrorist is, but anyone who counsels people to riot and wreck stores and create mayhem in the name of condemning capitalism is a terrorist. In fact, she is no different than the Al Qaeda leadership that planned and executed the destruction of the World Trade Centre.
The Mercury piece went on to say that while she pleaded guilty to counseling persons to commit property damage and obstructing police, it was never proven. So why did she plead guilty? Justice moves in mysterious ways. Hiscocks’ guilty plea was tied to charges being dropped involving her friend, Monica , and 10 other defendants.
Are Mercury readers that interested in an interview with a pair of urban terrorists who happen to live in Guelph? We have a history of arson of homes under construction and the Cuttin Club pro shop; major streets being blocked and ruthless harassment of civic officials attending the official opening of the Hanlon Business Park. One would believe that running a pity piece about the alleged perpetrators is unwarranted.
This was a case of bad editorial judgment. Here’s hoping Amanda Hiscocks and her friends find a new home in which to practise their violent political action.
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Is our heritage preservation out of control?
Susan Ratcliffe, who comes by her socialism honestly, chastises Mercury reporter Scott Tracey for his “thoughtless words” in his December 22 column. Scott writes a weekly column as well as covering City Hall and matters municipal. In my former newspaper days, reporters were never allowed to write columns. It was viewed as a conflict of interest. Reporters cover and write about events and reaction. Columnists write opinion pieces based on news stories. Regardless, I find his weekly columns more interesting than his reporting pieces.
What got Susan’s dander up was the destruction of alleged heritage buildings, usually abandoned, by both city and private owners. She demonizes Mike Lackowicz because he dared to say “this city has gone heritage crazy.”
Well the biggy heritage project this city has undertaken is in its fifth year of restoration. I refer to the $16 million restoration of the Loretto Convent to become a civic museum. That was launched in 2007 and since then, there have been cases of heritage preservation by City Council. Of course, at the taxpayers’ expense.
The column describes the heritage policies of this council as avoiding the Mississaugafication of Guelph. Whatever that means.
Those who came before us chose to create an urban community and developed a modern society in Guelph. Heritage preservation was part of our growth as a city, but not at the expense of other important projects.