The New Liskeard office of the Anti-Adams Mine Campaign is in high gear.
Two women -- one anglophone, one francophone -- field a never-ending stream of phone calls. People are continually coming in off the street looking to help or offer money. One guy in a golf hat comes in wielding a cheque book, wanting to know where to make his donation to the "fight."
Then he sits down to write a letter to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, that will join the ever-growing pile of correspondence urging the committee to bypass haughty, environmentally lax T.O.
In the midst of the chaos, a volunteer takes the time to read out the latest Toronto Star editorial. It's not that the paper has a problem with building a dump site that's sunk 300 feet into somebody else's water table.
Nor does it sweat the fact that the plan was fast-tracked through a narrowly scoped EA and still couldn't get a clear passing grade.
No, what bothers the bow-tie-and-Panama-hat crowd at the Star is the optics of the whole thing. What's at stake is Toronto's reputation as a swell kind of place.
The Star's solution is to send Mayor Mel on a publicity tour of the boonies to "mend fences" and deal with the "ruffled feathers" of northern residents.
The naivete of this proposal inspires a round of derisive laughs among the volunteers.
Right now, Mel is still in a fighting mood. He says he won't be blackmailed by northern malcontents.
But I can just imagine him on a "let's make up" tour, tossing trinkets to the surly folks among the farm fields and bush roads of Timiskaming -- an old Caribana T-shirt here, an old Blue Jays pennant there, some "Our cops are tops" buttons for the kiddies.
The way the winds are blowing up here, though, I'd say Mel is better off staying put in his north Toronto mansion. Folks here aren't taking any guff.