E-letter: Trick or treat

It’s a big month, so we will skip around a bit.

First, WMS is coming up on the 31st – Nov. 2. Every two years at WMS, Wood Industry magazine partners with Acimall, Machines Italia and the Italian Trade Commission (ITC) to provide two free trips to Italy in May to attend Xylexpo — Italy’s semiannual trade show for the international wood industry. We will have entry forms at our booth 1538 at WMS, as will the ITC at booth 2337. The draw will be at the Wood Industry booth on Saturday at 3:00. You don’t need to be present to win, but you need to be present to be in the photo. Unlike the lottery, your chances of winning are pretty good. See the rules at this link. You can also enter there. No purchase necessary, and all that jazz. See the rules.

Kerry Knudsen

We have skipped our annual November Readers’ Survey recently, due to the avalanche of amateurs demanding that you take a survey on anything from a toothpaste buy on Amazon to a website you used but can’t remember. It is ridiculous.

Even so, you have been marvelous supporters in the past, and we need to ask your help in taking a survey this year. We are a small industry, and, as we have shown in the past, your interests are interpreted and presented by outsiders and suppliers as being one thing when they are not. For example, in this politically charged environment the wood industry was recently represented as a swamp of misogynists and louts by the self-named Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC), simply because we cannot afford the public relations effort needed to counter these attacks. As you recall, the WMC will not respond to our requests, and has refused acceptance of notice under the Access to Information Act. For direct action, I suggest you stop by the WMC booth 1324 and ask Richard Lipman why.

For more scientific ammunition, we are sending out a Wood Industry survey later this month. Our credibility has always been top-notch, essentially because we get such a high response rate. The survey will be short and to the point, will likely not bug the WMC again this time, but will provide comprehensive data on how cyber threats, governmental regulations and imports are affecting our industry. We use this information to educate our editorial efforts, not sales, and we and you are the most-respected, most-recognized names in this industry in all of North America, irrespective of our designation as the toque-wearing denizens of the frozen North. Your input matters, and we cannot and will not offer any prizes or raffles, as these can affect the outcome. For prizes, you have to go to the Italians. For the survey, you respond if you get a survey form.

Speaking of politically charged, has anybody noticed we have an election coming up? I don’t make any secret of the fact that I am a small-c conservative, or that I tend to really dislike Prime Minister Selfie. What an embarrassment. It makes me feel like wearing a toque in October.

This year, however, I can’t tell the difference between political messages from any parties. The big-C Conservatives seem to be in a race to promise to take more of our tax dollars, process them through the bureaucracy and give them back to us, after taking a cut, of course.

If you are attending any of the candidates’ debates in your own riding over the next couple of weeks, can I suggest that you ask what they see the future being of the public-sector unions? Will they grow or shrink? Will they exert more policy pressure or less? In fact, we should likely add a question about that on our survey.

Here’s something to think about. It’s science. Humans have a brain, and they also have an endocrine system. The endocrine system is largely a bunch of glands, including sex, that release hormones. Hormones can affect your brain, but they are not your brain. Somewhere, the distinction has become lost. All this stuff about gender identity, sex rights, etc., has to do with hormones and how they affect the brain.

The group most strongly affected by hormones is the under-35s. They are supposed to be hormone-driven, as they have a natural function to perform. However, the fact that their brains are affected by hormones more than reason is not a strong argument in favour of lowering the voting age. Quite the contrary. Since it seems we have the luxury of maturing much later in life, if at all, than did our forebears in the Middle Ages, it is logical to raise the voting age to 35. While we’re at it, we could also limit the vote to people that actually have something on the table — real property, a business or a few years of positive earnings, for example. That’s the way it was, back then.

Anyway, politics is everything. Politics decides whether your neighbourhood gets a new soccer pitch, whether your local theatre group can proceed and whether CBC reporters get a raise and pension guarantee. Politics decides whether the Canadian Union of Public Employees gets to dictate whether your children finish school. It’s your choice. Even if you agree with me that the choices do not always seems spacious, you need to get out and vote on the 21st, or you lose the right to bitch. I expect to both protect that right and to use it.

Thanks for reading. See you at WMS, whether under a new regime or the juvenile one.