Consider This
Politics, Life and Journalism in Northumberland County, Ontario


Well, I’m moving on up…

After years of being hosted at Loyalist College and then on the free WordPress service, I have struck out on my own.

You will find my new home is more beautiful and richer in features. Thanks to Remco at Digital Underground for hosting my new adventure. The intent is to become more adept at using WordPress and exploring some of the fabulous features and tools.

So, hang on. Change your bookmark. And let’s enjoy the journey together.


In an effort to explore innovative forms of journalism, the Canadian Hyperlocal News Project begins today.

This article by Robert Washburn, professor of e-journalism at Loyalist College, starts the investigation with some basic terminology and an overview of this growing trend.

But, it will not stop here. Over the upcoming days and months, the project will post articles, blogs, resources, links and other important materials to enhance the understanding of hyperlocal journalism and assist those interested in starting a hyperlocal news site.

In addition, there will be opportunities for discussion on relevant topics and chances for timely debate on breaking news.

As well, you can follow the @jsourceinnovate on Twitter for more up to the minute ideas, trends and news.

Finally, it is important to identify those creating hyperlocal journalism. So, let us know what you are up to or if you know of a hyperlocal news site by email. We will add them to our growing list.


Municipal leaders across Northumberland should take a moment to pause and consider the Conservative government’s newest Canada-U.S. trade deal announced late last week because it could mean more economic pain that it is suppose to relieve.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was busy extolling the virtues of a new trade that will remove the unrestricted right of Canadian provinces and municipalities to favour local companies when handing out contracts.

In return, Canadian exporters are being given partial access to contract protected under the Buy American program. Read the rest of this entry »


The recent concerns raised around future services at Northumberland Hills Hospital is a major misstep as it keeps its plans under wraps rather than being transparent.
Rumours wildly circulating around the possible closure of the palliative care unit that looks after fatally ill people raised the ire of former hospital chief fundraiser Bill Patchett recently.
Of course, the rumours are not being confirmed by hospital Chief Executive Officer Robert Biron, despite the fact that he is withholding a special panel report submitted Jan. 16 with details regarding deficit-cutting measures. Read the rest of this entry »


Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s announcement of a $7-billion deal allowing Samsung Group and a Korean utility to build 2,500 megawatts of solar and wind farms in Ontario last week may appear on the surface to be good news, but it is problematic in many ways.
There are definitely winners.
Samsung gets cash incentives, a toehold in the competitive North American market, and the right to sell power into the electrical grid at guaranteed preferential rates.
McGuinty gets political mileage for becoming the leader in green energy in North America, along with 16,000 jobs in five new plants being built to manufacture solar and wind turbine parts.
But, there are lots of losers, too. Read the rest of this entry »


As fundraising consultant Ian Fraser outlined his campaign strategy before Cobourg council to raise $3.1 million for the new community centre, the issue of naming rights was raised.

It is not uncommon for major fundraising drives to seek extraordinary donations from corporations and, in turn, give over naming rights.  Look at the General Motors Place where the Vancouver Canucks play hockey or the Scotiabank Place where the Ottawa Senators play or the Air Canada Centre where the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors call home. But there are exceptions, as in the case of Peterborough, where the Petes play in the Memorial Centre, but some of the other hockey teams play games in the Evinrude Centre. Read the rest of this entry »


The Vote! project offers a unique opportunity to test certain aspects of the Citizens’ Assembly protocols.
On Wednesday Oct. 18, 2006, a mayoralty debate was held at Loyalist College in Alumni Hall at 7 p.m. The three candidates, Mary Anne Sills, Neil Ellis and Doug Rolllins, attended a public meeting.
Vote! Project 2006

Loyalist College e-journalism program is seeking your assistance to create its municipal election site for Belleville, Trenton, Brighton, Cobourg and Port Hope. As major news organizations in these areas, we hope you will join us in presenting extremely valuable information to citizens in these municipalities and, at the same time, assist young journalists in our program. Read the rest of this entry »


What a night!
The stream went really well, I think. We had up to seven people at a time coming and going. It was a clear stream from our end. I think the server made a difference, plus the higher speed connection at the collere. We can really pump it out.
The wireless thing with the student was also a blast. People were congregating around them, wanting to know what they were doing and wanting to ask questions. Amazing. When you get out there and seek input, people are prepared to talk.
The event itself could have gone on forever. We had people lined up at the microphones.
It was fantastic. Read the rest of this entry »


he stats are in for the first week of election work. Total of 886 visitors. 445 were first time.
We received one email submission this week from David Dailey, of Belleville. Obviously, he is a union/activist from his email.

We are very successful in pursuing questions for the site. It is interesting to note that people are not quick to participate on the site. However, when we use traditional methods of asking people what issues they want covered or of a concern, they will volunteer them. Read the rest of this entry »


The Peterborough consultation session for the Citizens’ Assembly was a great opportunity for the e-journalism students to get some practical experience, along with providing a chance to test our technology.

The results of the journalism are currently being edited, but the live coverage was most interesting. Barb MacEachern was chosen to live blog the event using Blackberry technology. Her task was to send coverage via email about every 10 minutes to the Online Pioneer Plus website ( A module called mailhandler within the website would translate the email into a blog entry. However, mere hours before the event, mailhandler developed some problems. The first time it was configured, we had problems, but were able to resolve them. It was tested several times and worked fine. I believe the problem migrated to the Zeus server, the Apple OSX system we use to configure our email accounts for the websites. There was insufficient time to explore the error thoroughly. We will do this prior to the Belleville consultations and resolve the issue. Read the rest of this entry »