For almost a century, the water hole at the Harold Quarry near the town of Stirling-Rawdon, Ont. served as a natural swimming pool for area residents. It was an ideal place to take a dip on a scorching summer day.
But that was then and this is now. Which is to say, the water hole is still there, but access to it has been walled off, thanks to a barbed wire fence costing almost $50,000. Stirling-Rawdon's council voted to install fencing and gates, topped with barbed wire no less, around the Harold Quarry, just as the hot summer weather kicked in.
Apparently, Stirling-Rawdon’s insurance company warned of serious liability issues should someone be hurt while using the quarry. Hurt how? Drowning? Falling? Or is this yet another infernal COVID-19 social distancing protocol? That question has not been answered.
Most residents are livid with this Grinch-like action. Thus, a “swim-in” protest was held on Dominion Day. That attracted about 50 demonstrators/swimmers (apparently, a barbed wire fence can be defeated by ladders and blankets). Ontario Provincial Police officers responded to the swim-in, but no tickets were issued for what is now deemed as a trespassing offence.
But even if this water hole is potentially dangerous, despite a dearth of evidence proving this assumption, is that a valid reason to shut it down? Playground equipment is potentially dangerous, too — do we tear down the swings, slides and monkey bars?
To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan circa 1987: Mayor Bob Mullin — tear down this wall!