Report from Snowpocalypse 

When you’ve lived much of your life in snow country grossly swelling snow banks are no big deal. Certainly nothing to worry about. Last week surrounded by snow banks towering 12 to 14 feet high…

Stuart McLean's illumination 

News of a death does not always bring only dark sadness. Sometimes it brings illumination. That was the case last week when we learned that Stuart McLean an unpretentious Canadian icon had passed away. He…

Reading to understand each other 

By Jim Poling Published Feb. 16 2017 The number of Canadians who say they read books is continuing to drop. That’s not good news because reading books is known to make us better informed citizens…

Making the forest great again

By Jim Poling Published Feb. 9 2017 A dark and heavy despondency had fallen over the forest. The creatures who worked and lived there brooded over their declining state of affairs. The beavers complained about jobs…

It's about the birds 

By Jim Poling Published Feb. 2 2017 Canada is a country of great diversity so it is odd that we might still want to single out anything as especially special in identifying our nationality. Yes…

A return to 'normal' winter?

By Jim Poling Published Jan. 26 2017 So winter returns to normal this weekend. Sort of. Daytime temperatures are forecast to be below the “normal” of minus five starting this weekend. Overnight lows will drop…

Extra! Trump's inauguration speech 

You read it here first! Through fantastic reporting I have obtained Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration speech. Obviously I can’t reveal how I got it except to say that brilliant reporting was involved. So while the…

Toilet tissue in a bonfire 

By Jim Poling Published Jan. 12 2017 Few things hurt more than making a mistake that costs money. It hurts even more when the mistake is combined with being ripped off. I made a mistake…

Better than the last?

By Jim Poling Published Jan. 5 2017 The hootin’ and hollerin’ over the passing of the old year has subsided as we move along trying to make this one better than the last. More folks…

A cash-for-access party 

A courier arrived at my door and handed me an envelope embossed with the Canadian coat of Arms. You know the one with the scowling lion and a silly unicorn each holding a flag. I tore…

Our drug overdose epidemic 

Back in 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) arrived in Toronto from China. Roughly 400 people got it 43 died Ontario declared a public health emergency and the rest of the country lived in fear…

Deja vu all over again 

By Jim Poling Published Dec. 8 2016 There are none so blind as those that cannot see. He didn’t say those words but that’s the real message delivered last week by Michael Ferguson the federal…

Our disappearing trees 

My daughter’s steep-sided backyard in California has a strangely shaped tree. It grows out of the hillside naturally but then bends forms an arch and follows the ground down the hill to the patio. This…

Lessons from the back 40

Lessons from the back 40 By Jim Poling Published Nov. 17 2016 Blue jays are such contradictory creatures. I’m not thinking baseball’s Blue Jays who hit everything out of the park one day but can’t…

Torture in the 'new residential schools' 

By Jim Poling Published Nov. 10 2016 The torture of Adam Capay in Thunder Bay Jail says as much about how politicians are failing us as anything else happening in the world today. As much…

Autumn of the demented squirrels 

Red squirrels always have been well a bit squirrelly but this fall they are completely crazy. They are high in the hemlocks gorging seeds then leaping bough to bough and kuk-kuking incessantly. They are in…

Bringing up the curtain 

For some seven years what was once the Beaver Theatre has stood shuttered and silent like a ghost along Minden’s Water Street. The boards that cover its entranceway have become such a normalized part of…

Riding the train 

I took  a ride with The Girl on the Train but found the journey a bit too long. The Girl on the Train is the hugely successful thriller by British author Paula Hawkins. When it was released…

Blowin' in the Wind 

It was a week of good news and bad news. First came the good and surprising news that singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel prize for literature. Dylan’s songs changed popular culture. His lyrics…

Taking a break from government 

Finally there is an escape route from the nightmare in the United States. How did we not think of it before? It has been in front of us for 10 months. The nightmare of course…