Today the area of Eastern Ontario where I live loses another person who made a real difference in the region. John Bolton, radio personality and host of various things in the area from TV Cogeco, to CFLG-FM back in the 90’s to the now-defunct AM1220 and most recently(as of December 8th) 101.9 CJSS-FM. John is a straight-shooting, no-nonsense guy with a sharp-wit and a lot of common sense. What the lefties would call a “right-winger”, he is more a Libertarian than anything.

John leaves the area for good tomorrow. Another person leaving Ontario due to the economy and the failure of bilingualism in this country. His wife was part of that massive job reduction at the StarTek call center in Cornwall in the spring of 2011. Simply put, without french, you cannot get a high paying job in Eastern Ontario. His wife landed a great job out west, and so in the span of less than six weeks, house sold, relocated and off he goes too. Not only does the area lose out on a great couple, the area loses a great booster of the community.

John is passionate about helping people, helping the underdog, working in the community. He’s never been far from a campaign for a food bank, fundraising for the local hospital, or championing local issues. He is (and his wife who did a lot on her own too) the type of person we need to retain here for this area to grow and thrive. The fortunate thing is that John will bring that passion for community to where he moves to, and that community will benefit from that.

My connection, I’ve gotten to know John over the last five years and have had the honour of being a very small cog in his radio show for the better part of two years. I am not a morning person per say, but getting up early on a Monday morning for that 7:40am phone call has been a highlight of my week. It’s the only time I’ve agreed to get up early in the morning for anything that wasn’t tied to a pay cheque or at the behest of my wife. Being a part of his morning show reawakened a part of my past that had been suppressed, my former work as a journalist and a writer. More on that another time. It was John’s believe and confidence that I could play a role in his morning show that has led me to become more active in the field again. So everyone out there has John Bolton to blame for that one. :)

Thankfully this isn’t 1985 so when someone moves you can still keep talking to them. The miracles of modern communication. However I will miss working with him.

Good luck my friend.