Rachel Garber

Freedom is a relative term, isn’t it?
Now that preventive measures against Covid are lifting, many begin to feel their freedom is restored. Others, living with compromised immune systems, feel their freedom is even more constricted as they strive to avoid contact with persons who are unvaccinated, untested and seemingly uncaring.
But all this pales when you wake up to the news that Russia has invaded Ukraine.
It feels like a replay of the beginnings of the first and second world wars. Then you think about all the intervening wars – Korea, Vietnam, and Afganistan, to name a few. Then you wonder if war has ever really gone away over the past century – or centuries. You think about the millions around the world whose very lives have been crushed by military ambitions.
I think about my parents, who lived through two world wars, a global depression, and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. How did they do it? We, the baby boomer generation, felt we had dodged the bullet by living in peaceful and vaccinated times.
But that may have been a fantasy. Now it appears that, like our parents did, we are living squarely within the era of influenza pandemics and worldwide war, as well as coping with a ravaged environment and an increasingly violent climate. Now we begin to see that both influenza viruses and military machinations have continued to flourish among us. Now we recognize we are suffering the damages we ourselves have inflicted on our environment.
Now we begin to understand that we humans are the worst enemies of humanity, not to mention the planet we live on.
We still have remarkable freedoms in our society. Let us cherish them. Let us care for one another, for our planet, and for our wonderful Townships.
“From you I receive, to you I give,” goes the song. Well, that’s the song of the fridge that shares, also known as the Frigo-Partage. Located at 54 Bibeau Street in Cookshire, the fridge receives food donations, which are free for the taking by anyone who needs. It’s a free-access public refrigerator set up by La Relève du Haut-Saint-François. For information, visit their Facebook page.
The Baby Bazaar is back on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Angus arena. To sell items, register online in advance at Registration is open now.
Poets Shannon Webb-Campbell and Douglas Walbourne-Gough from the Maritimes will read from their work in a Zoom event Tuesday, March 15, at 7 p.m., with host Shelley Pomerance. The reading is one in a series by the Centre des arts de Stanstead, founded by the artist Gabriel Safdie. For tickets, visit, and click on the Eventbrite link. Free of charge.
New this year, more people can use the free bilingual income tax assistance program in Sawyerville. You are welcome if you are: (1) a single person with a maximum annual revenue of $35,000; (2) a couple with a maximum revenue of $45,000, plus $2,500 for each dependant; or (3) a single parent with a child with a maximum revenue of $45,000 plus $2,500 for each additional dependant.
Eligible persons’ income from interest should not exceed $1,000, and does not include income from self-employment, bankruptcy, or deceased persons.
The Sawyerville income tax assistance program is on Wednesday afternoons, March 9 and 30, from 1 to 4 p.m., and March 16 and 23, from 1 to 7 p.m., at the Catholic church in Sawyerville, Église Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire, 4 Randboro Road (back door to enter the basement). Observe safety protocols.
Bring along your notices of assessment from last year’s returns, and any slips you’ve received from the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec in the past months. You will also need your T4 and Relevé slips from your employer, or any other forms you received regarding income or tuition. Also, if you are a renter, you will need the RL-31 form from your landlord. House owners will need their property tax number, which is on the municipal property tax bill.
Bring receipts for any payments you made for pills, dentist visits, glasses, or other health expenses. (Tip: Your pharmacy can give you a printout listing your pharmaceutical costs for the year.) These expenses may give you a tax credit.
Persons above age 70 should inquire about a refundable tax credit for expenses incurred to continue living independently. Such expenses could include purchasing, leasing or installing eligible equipment or fixtures, or staying in a functional rehabilitation transition unit.
If you need any information, call Danielle at 819-889-2614, Francine at 819-889-2574, or Suzanne at 819-889-1036.
These bilingual weekly exercise groups for people aged 50+ are free of charge. In Newport, Lyne Maisonneuve and France Demers invite you to the Viactive group at the Municipal Hall, 1452 Route 212, Island Brook, on Tuesdays, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Info: 819-889-1340 or 819-560-8565.
And in Sawyerville, Denise Nault and Gérard Nault facilitate the group at the Église Notre Dame du Rosaire (Catholic church), 4 Randboro Road, Sawyerville, on Wednesdays, at 10 a.m. Info: 819-889-2630.
United. For updated worship services in February and March, please call the office at 819-889-2838; contact Rev. Tami Spires at 819-452-3685 (leave message) or, or check the “United Eaton Valley Pastoral Charge” Facebook page.
Baptist. Regular in-persons services are in French at 9 a.m., in English at 11 a.m., respecting Covid protocols, including masks, hand sanitizing, and a vaccine passport. For information, please contact Pastor Michel Houle at 819-239-8818.
Anglican. Bishop Bruce Myers continues to offer Home Prayers at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays via Facebook, and at (Worship Videos). Info: 819-887-6802, or consult
Do you have news to share? Call 819-640-1340 or email by March 7 for publication March 16 or by March 21 for March 30.

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