Monday, 15 April 2013

A Taste of a Casino-LESS Woolwich

This evening my family and I attended "A Taste of Woolwich" at Breslau Mennonite Church.  It was a great evening celebrating all the local food and local food initiatives that come from the Township of Woolwich.  the event made me feel proud to be a member of this community.  All the people were very friendly and very proud of the products that they produced.

The evening started at 5:00pm, we arrived a little after 6:00pm where the kids had a chance to make Friendship bracelets with representatives from the 4-H club.  After that we attended a very informative seminar on getting your children, no matter what age, involved in food preparation.  Children need to be taught about where food comes from and to respect those that produce our food.  The speaker discussed activities that children could be involved in from the age of 3 all the way up to 12+ years old.  There is opportunity for learning about food as well as supporting ideas presented in school (two quarter cups equals on half cup).

Next we toured around the food vendors in the gymnasium.  The first vendor gave us samples of tortilla chips and talked about Bailey's Local Foods, which happens to be local food buying club that we are already members.  There were a variety of other vendors selling fresh meats, cheeses preserves and many other wonderful products all produced locally.

After we purchased a few things including a nice wedge of Dutch gouda cheese we went to a kids activity area where the kids made flower pots from used tin cans.  They decorated the cans and planted pansies in them.  They had a great time with the volunteers in the room who were extremely friendly and very helpful and patient I might add.  After they were done their flower pots they had a chance to look at an interesting map that explained how far certain fruits need to travel to get to our plate.  They talked about pineapples, kiwis, strawberries, oranges, grapes and bananas.  They learned that kiwi was the fruit that travelled the longest distance, all the way from New Zealand.

This event appealed to my wife and I because of the power and significant impact that food has on our lives. We need to continue to make decisions both in our own lives and in our governments decisions that support sustainable food development.  We have to take responsibility for our lives and the way we choose to live.  Continuing to push out urban sprawl and eliminating our farm land puts us at significant risk of severely inhibiting the thriving local food markets that exist in Woolwich.  Cities need farmers and farmers need cities.  Urban and rural need to work together for sustainability.  A lesson which I hope we don't learn too late.

The last point in that I would like to make is to my township's elected officials.  This event further emphasized the ridiculousness of your decision to move forward with a casino in Woolwich.  The idea is so extremely counter to the culture in which we live here in this township that I wonder what virtual reality you live in that you think we need or want a casino.  You have voted for something to be built in this area, something that does not fit and you will probably not even see a dime for it.  OLG doesn't want to be in Woolwich, they want to be in Kitchener or Waterloo and you now have provided them the leverage that they need.  Please don't be a pawn in a high stakes game that you shouldn't even be at the table for.  Go out into your township and celebrate the local food and the local culture don't bring in the glitz and glamour of a big city casino.  We have so much local glamour that your vision of Vegas in Woolwich is laughable. We are a widespread rural farm based township.  Please figure that out soon before you launch this region into a project that your constituents want nothing to do with.

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