|Today's date: Thursday June 20, 2013||Vol 46 Issue 24|
We Cover The County...
The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
A ‘festering mess’
On May 31 the Advertiser reported on barking dogs disturbing neighbours (Fergus-area business owner, neighbours clash over barking dogs).
Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act defines an “adverse effect” to include “loss of enjoyment of normal use of property.” The neighbours cannot enjoy being in their yards (property) during the barking, so it seems clear the barking is an “adverse effect”.
The Act defines a “contaminant” as “any solid, liquid, gas, odour, heat, sound, vibration, radiation or combination of any of them resulting directly or indirectly from human activities that causes or may cause an adverse effect.” The Act goes on to outlaw contaminants. So, this barking is an illegal contaminant.
The Ministry of the Environment, which is to enforce the Act, should step in and protect the neighbours. Case closed: MOE should force sufficient mitigation of the noise.
If the MOE side steps its enforcement responsibility by down-loading its enforcement job to Centre Wellington, its bylaw states, “no owner of a dog shall permit the dog to make persistent barking, calling or whining noise likely to disturb the residents of adjacent properties.”
If Centre Wellington side-steps its enforcement responsibility, leaving the neighbours to suffer the ongoing adverse effect of the barking, then the owner of the dogs should fix the problem.
The fix is easy: Hire an acoustic engineer to design a sufficient berm or barrier to sufficiently mitigate the sound. Build the barrier and spare the neighbours. The cost would be modest.
Unfortunately the cost in the current situation is being borne by the neighbours in that they lose the enjoyment of their property. This is clearly unfair.
The MOE should carry out its responsibility to enforce the Act. The municipality should do the same. The dog owner should bite the bullet, respect the neighbours and build a sufficient noise barrier.
We have laws and bylaws to avoid festering messes like this one. Let’s fix this mess and move on.
Ric Holt, RR1 ELORA
Down with Drive Clean
Introduced in 1999, the Drive Clean Program should never have been and its demise is long overdue.
An expensive (tax grab?) and bothersome program, it does nothing to protect the environment. Until now testing was done on tail pipe emissions.
Starting in 2013 testing will be done on the vehicles’ computer. A check engine light on will result in an automatic fail. It could cost you up to $450 to pass the test.
Former Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter in his 2012 report questioned the effectiveness of drive clean in reducing smog. A similar report in 2004 highlighted the significant number of fraud complaints against repair facilities reporting false fail results.
Emission testing programs in North America are closing down - Ontario should do the same. What can you do? Email your concerns to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s office and your local MPP. Make this an election issue!Peter Schofield,, ARTHUR
Duck race success
The Grand Valley Lions’ Club would like to thank all our sponsors and merchants who sold tickets for our May 25 Duck Race.
All tickets were sold and everyone had a great time in Hereward Park listening to the music of the Ramblin Rascals and being entertained by pony rides provided by Grand River Rodeo, the duck pond, free milk from the Dufferin Dairy farmers, free cookies from Boston Pizza and the bouncy castle by Hop Around castles while waiting for the duck race to finish. Plus many enjoyed all the varied booths in Hereward Park.
A special thank you to Ron of Grand Valley Crane Rentals for providing the crane to drop the ducks into the Grand River. And Glenn and his helpers at the Town of Grand Valley for having the park in such great condition, and Ian of Greenwood Aggregates who provided the stage for the Ramblin Rascalls.
There were 28 prizes in total, with the top five prize as follows:
- first prize of $1,000, sponsored by Grand Valley Wind Farm, won by Tim Gagawchuk of Orangeville;
- second prize of $1,000, sponsored by Orica Canada Inc., won by Ken Plester of Mount Forest;
- third prize of $502, sponsored by Thomasfield Homes, won by Tom Layzell of Amaranth;
- fourth prize of $500, sponsored by Greenwood Construction, won by Briar Deckers of Amaranth; and
- fifth prize of $250, sponsored by Dufferin Wind Power Inc., won by Kyle Williams of Shelburne.
The Grand Valley Lions club wants to thank all who bought tickets, sponsored prizes, sold tickets or attended our most successful duck race.
Please support our sponsors and merchants that generously assisted the Grand Valley Lions in raising money for our many community projects and let them know you appreciate their support. Thank you.
Randy McClelland, Grand Valley Lions Club
Food safety concerns
Canadians count on the government to make sure the food we eat is safe, yet when it comes to the inspection system, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Conservative government refuse to own up to their own mistakes.
An independent review of last year’s XL Foods E. coli outbreak, which led to the largest beef recall in Canadian history, found that the outbreak was entirely preventable. It found that there was not “a strong food safety culture” in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at all levels. Staff were inadequately trained and inspection practices weren’t good enough. Our government failed.
Many of these problems would have been fixed if the Conservatives had followed through on their commitment to implement the recommendations of the Weatherill Report on the listeriosis contamination at Maple Leaf Foods in 2008, a serious shortcoming they refuse to admit.
Mr. Ritz claims he has been “bolstering” our food inspection system and that he has “added 20% to the personnel.”
In fact, documents reveal he plans to cut hundreds of food safety and inspection staff at CFIA, which will reduce, not strengthen our food safety system.
The Conservatives also failed to implement the final recommendation of the Weatherill Report, which called for an independent, comprehensive resource audit to ensure that the CFIA had the resources, human and otherwise, to carry out its mandate. Even the former president of the CFIA, Carole Swan, said that what they did do was not the audit the Weatherill report called for. That could have prevented many of the problems.
This slapdash approach allowed problems at XL Foods to go unchecked for years, allowing the E. coli contamination that caused 18 Canadians to get sick, cost $16 to $27 million to the beef industry and undermined consumer confidence in our food safety system.
Will Mr. Ritz and the Conservatives actually implement the recommended changes to food inspection to prevent a third major food crisis on their watch?
Don’t hold your breath; when I asked him in question period, he refused to commit to an implementation date.Frank Valeriote, Guelph MP,
Give savings to festival
I read with interest that a temporary bus service running between Fergus and Elora is set to begin this month.
This should eliminate the need to rent space for the next 18 months to house the Fergus library while whatever-they-call-it is being done. Move the books to the Aboyne and Elora libraries where the bus will be stopping.
Take the $30,000 to $50,000 saved and give it to the Fergus Highland Games, which over the years has done more to attract tourism and put Fergus on the map than any other singular event.
They need time to efficiently organize this year’s games - and future games - and shouldn’t be spending time fundraising for a government-created deficiency.
All these volunteers devote time and energy to promote Fergus and we should actively support them with time and dollars.Bob Walker, FERGUS
Joy in simplicity
Columnist Kelly Waterhouse made an interesting point (Summer Camp, June 7) when she wrote, “Like most parents, (we) have to work throughout the summer to keep our children in the lifestyle that we have taught them to believe is realistic.”
While they both may legitimately need to work to survive, I think she is highlighting the enormous social pressure to keep up with the elusive Joneses.
Why do we teach our kids that things and experiences are necessities for happiness?
Many would think us odd for not having cable TV or video games. We only have a cell phone because my husband’s work provides one. Our two daughters share a room, as do our two sons. None of them is going to summer camp.
Christmases are low-key, though still fun for the children, and birthday parties are special without being extravagant. No ponies or portable carousels for these kids.
When they ask for things we cannot afford, we just tell them it is not the best use of our money.
It is difficult when “all the other kids” have (fill in the blank), and TV shows portray wealth as being normal. But we manage to find great joy in simplicity.Andrea Black, SALEM
OPEN MIND: Emotional intelligence
You will be familiar with the term IQ or intelligence quotient, which is a measure of your intellectual ability. Are you also familiar with EQ or EI?
The term refers to emotional intelligence, and your ability to recognize and understand your emotions, and to realize how your emotions affect you and the people around you.
Emotional intelligence also involves your perception of others. Understanding how you feel allows you to manage relationships more effectively.
People with high emotional intelligence are very self-aware and acknowledge their feelings, but don’t let their feelings rule them. They can control and handle their frustration, anger, sorrow, joy, annoyance and other emotions. They are usually motivated, and willing to defer immediate results for long-term success.
They show a high degree of empathy, and have the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of others.
As well, they have good social skills, are easy to talk to, are strong team players and they encourage success in others. In short, they are the kind of people we love to have in our personal and work lives.
Is emotional intelligence a new concept? Not really. A quote from Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E) states his belief that “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
So, can these abilities be learned? Fortunately, the answer appears to be “yes”. Although emotional intelligence is likely part of your nature, it can also be learned, nurtured and practiced.
Why would this be important? In addition to the benefit such skills would have on our day-to-day relationships, they are also of key importance in the workplace.
A leading researcher in this field stated that success in the workplace has more to do with EI than IQ (Goleman, D., Working with Emotional Intelligence, 2006).
He summarized desired traits for entry-level workers as: listening and oral communication, adaptability, personal management, team player, effective worker, and competent at reading and writing. Only the latter was academic.
Goleman found that “76 per cent of the abilities thought to distinguish best performers were emotional competencies. This held true across all categories of jobs, and in all kinds of organizations in what set the stars apart from the average.” These skills became of even greater importance in upper management positions.
Emotional intelligence skills can and should be taught in our schools.
A student’s ability to focus and learn at school is greatly impacted by his or her emotional state. A student who is able to cope with emotions is better able to learn. A student who develops empathy will find less need to bully.
For adults as well, emotional intelligence can be taught and developed.
Many books and tests are available to help you determine your current EI, and identify where you may need to do some work. You will find that increasing and honing your emotional intelligence will benefit not only you, but your community as well.
This article was written by Janet Fowler, Open Mind Group member and retired public health nurse.
The “Open Mind” column is sponsored by individuals and organizations concerned with mental health issues in rural Wellington and Dufferin counties. Contact Canadian Mental Health Association at 519-766-4450 ext. 231 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For access to all Open Mind columns and local mental health resources/ information, visit www.cmhagrb.on.ca or www.communitytorchlight.com.Janet Fowler,
We’re writing as members of the Elora Sculpture Project.
For the first time in our three year history, three sculptures have been vandalized in one week. We are embarrassed that the artists’ trust, which is so important to our initiative, has been jeopardized by these careless or malevolent acts.
These artists have brought their creativity, their heart to our beautiful village. Their sculptures are given on loan, free of charge, for our enjoyment. If we want to see this program continue and expand, we’ll have to be ready to keep an eye out on their behalf.
What do you say, shall we come together as a community watch and make sure our sculptures aren’t damaged again?
I’ll leave you with a quote by North Bay official Steve McArthur that was passed along to us by Centre Wellington councillor Kirk McElwain: “Elora is a beautiful town that obviously embraces its arts and culture. The sculptures strategically placed throughout the town invite you to browse leisurely, sit and relax, or simply entice you to plan a return visit. The Elora Sculpture Project is an inspiration to other communities.”Randi Vann and Jim Reed, ELORA
Thanks for support
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my community for the kindness that you have shown to my family throughout the process of losing my wife, the mother of our four children, Kerry-Ann McDougall.
You are: our neighbours, family and friends, the staff and students of the schools my kids attend and EDHS where Kerry taught, local churches, Centre Wellington Minor Hockey, our family doctor, our dentist and staff, Grand River Cancer Centre, Community Care Access Centre nurses and personal support workers, Giddy Funeral Home, co-workers, and kind souls I’ve never even met!
And what you’ve done: meals, visits, cards, flowers, contributions to the trust fund for my kids, encouragement, hugs and tears, and even fuel and generators for when we were without power while Kerry was dying.
I’m overwhelmed and so grateful to be part of this community!
May God’s richest blessing fall on all of you for your great kindness to us.Chris McDougall, RR3 ROCKWOOD
‘Mountain of scandals’
Last week Brett Rathgeber, MP for Edmonton-St. Albert, resigned from the Conservative caucus on a matter of principle.
Rathgeber said he could no longer stand by people who had morphed into something that he had gone to Ottawa to replace ... that is to say, he believes the Conservative caucus led by Stephen Harper is no better than the Liberals under the pall of the sponsorship scandal.
Buried in the mountain of their own scandals, government business has ground to a halt. Everybody is talking about the Senate expense scandal every day, all the time. Meanwhile, our economy is being hollowed out by a tsunami of multi-national corporate decisions to move good-paying Canadian jobs to cheaper jurisdictions. Look no further than the loss of 331 jobs at the A.O. Smith factory in Fergus.
Where is Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong in all this mess? Does he represent his constituents or does he stand with the party whip? Is he our man in Ottawa or is he Harper’s man in the House of Commons?
I feel the people of Wellington -Halton Hills deserve an answer.
If Chong is the honourable member for Wellington-Halton Hills then he should do the right thing and resign from the Conservative caucus and follow Rathgeber’s courageous lead in these most trying times. We deserve better than this.Robert Sevigny, Wellington-Halton Hills NDP, HILLSBURGH
Dave Adsett: Happy Father's Day
• Acton Fall Fair
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