Letter to the Editor — Country Roads

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Dear Editor,

Thank you for your attention in the article, “Country Roads”, to the need for greater focus on a the plethora of issues touching North Grenville ‘s rural sectors. As usual, you shine a fiercely clear and astringent light on the points you bring to light.

As you noted, I have demonstrated my own concern for the set of issues which beset NG’s rural sectors. And my approaches have varied. My concept of a Rural Summit, developing in my mind first in 2013 and evolving through my Council motion in 2015, a further attempted motion in 2017 and the creation of the 2018 Rural Summit with two motivated community members, plus another Council member, has continued an intentional, and hopefully inexorable, process to bring rural issues to the table.

You rightly state, of course, that the 2018 Summit does not bring all Rural issues to the table. That is unfortunately “ultra vires” for a project of the magnitude Councillor Arnaud, Jim Beveridge, Deron Johnston and I could manage at this time in a one-day event on a small budget. But I do not agree that the topics discussed at the Summit are peripheral. And it must be stated that our four-man effort, ably assisted by ITM Events, is a strong step toward getting all rural issues on our radar at all levels of discussion. The future of the Summit is open to shine a light on all rural issues.

As you know, I am seriously ill with cancer at present. In fact, I am under doctor’s orders not to attend the Summit on Saturday, a painful disappointment for me. But I promise you that, with God’s grace, I shall defeat this illness just as I have, with the help of many allies including yourself, brought the concept of a Rural Summit as a forum for rural issues to reality. And I DO intend to run for election again this year. Rural issues will continue to occupy my thinking AND my action.

In conclusion Mr Editor, I thank you again for your acute and positive interest in rural affairs in North Grenville. I know you will continue to make your critiques in this area. I promise to reflect deeply on each one, as I know you will consider with fairness my own attempts to bring pertinent issues forward. This should be a partnership of many minds. Let’s keep OUR work moving forward!

Jim Bertram
Councillor (temporary leave/illness)
Municipality of North Grenville

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