Mayor Mayberry's April 2017 Blog
During the March break, I travelled with the Woodstock Collegiate Institute students and teachers to Taiwan for their exchange with Tam Kang High School. As warden, it was an honour to represent Oxford County. The relationship between Oxford and Taiwan is the result of the missionary work of Dr George Leslie Mackay in the 1870 and 80s. Dr Mackay, originally from the Embro area, built schools, churches and medical clinics with support from the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the people of Oxford County. Today, the original “Oxford College” has developed into a junior, middle and high school and university. The Dr. Mackay medical clinic has been replaced by the very modern Dr. Mackay Memorial Hospital, equivalent to our University Hospital in London.
Taiwan is a small country (about the size of SW Ontario) of about 23 million people, with the second highest density per square kilometer in the world, about 625. (Canada’s density is about 3.5). Taiwan has very limited natural resources and imports most of its resources, energy and food. Because of their dependence on imports, they have learned to maximize their efficiency in the use of everything. They attempt to reduce their waste by designing many consumer products to be recycled. In fact, they are now creating “Industrial Parks” where any “waste” from one process can be utilized by another manufacturer within the park. Excess heat or scraps from one process can become the resources for the next.
This determined drive for efficiency is one of the reasons this tiny country can compete with the elephant next door, China. There is a lesson here for Canada (and Oxford), if you want to go head to head with the super powers, you better focus on being more efficient and productive. Any waste, is potentially wasted opportunity.