Today's date: Sunday May 27, 2018 Vol 51 Issue 21
   
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The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
You may, if you wish, submit your letter online.

Book sale success

Dear Editor:

On May 4, 5, and 6 at the Elora Curling Club, Elora Festival and Singers book volunteers celebrated their 30th year with a hugely successful book sale. Thanks to all book lovers who attended the sale; we especially thank the hundreds of intrepid customers  who spent over an hour in the parking lot during the windstorm on Friday night waiting for the power to return.

We also thank local organizations and individuals who generously supported the sale: Elora Curling Club; De Boer’s Farm Equipment; Bank & Vogue; the Vanier Centre in Milton; Portage Academy; Gerald Benham; Wellington Advertiser; RONA; Robinson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Limited; Centre Wellington Food Bank; Kitras Art Glass; Universal Rentals; Village Kids and the Crooked Door consignment shops.  

Each year, volunteers are amazed at the stream of 80,000-plus books left in the drop box at the EFS Book Depot, 380 St. Andrew St. W., Fergus (side entrance on Maiden Lane). Thanks to all people who donated clean, gently-read adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction to be sorted and priced by book volunteers. People often ask what happens to the unsold book; they are donated to the Vanier Centre in Milton for their library, to CSM Christian Books for oversea missions, to needy schools in the Philippines, and to an organization that accepts books for online sale. Your donated books make a difference in many lives!  

The Elora Festival and Singers Annual Giant Book Sale occurs on the first weekend in May. Please mark your 2019 calendar for May 3, 4 and 5. Until then, happy reading.

 

 

 

Judy Stormes, Book sale volunteer,

Greenbelt protection

Dear Editor:

I am concerned about the move to develop in the Greenbelt in Ontario.

Over the years I have seen the degradation of the environment in the Guelph area, through continued development around the city. City government has repeatedly approved development proposals, without having the water or sewage capacity. This is a violation of the Planning Act. The city has forced citizens to conserve water in order to continue development.

The projected population was 120,000 by the year 2020. It is now over 130,000.

In 2005, I recorded a presentation to the Planning, Works, and Environment Committee, in which Dr. Jennifer Sumner from the University of Guelph reported on a study done in the 1940’s and replicated in the !990’s, which confirmed that very few people experience the positive economic benefits to development. Everybody experiences the negative impacts, in loss of quality of life; loss of services; and, increased cost of services.

Please do not support continued development in the Greenbelt. I ask you to protect the environment for the good health and welfare of our people.

Robert Barron, GUELPH

Lyme ticks lurking

Dear Editor:

In response to the recent letter from Dave Droman (Tick found on trail, May 17), I can confirm that Lyme disease-carrying ticks are present in Wellington County.

Our research team conducted a two-year study in Centre Wellington and found that 36% of the blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) collected from people, dogs, and outdoor cats were infected with the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi.

Each year, songbirds widely dispersed Lyme disease vector ticks across Canada during northward spring migration (mid-April to early June). When fully engorged blacklegged tick larvae and nymphs drop from songbirds, they molt to the next life stage and, by mid-summer, are ready to bite humans and their pets.

Indeed, blacklegged ticks infected with the Lyme disease bacterium are lurking in grassy and wooded areas in this region.

This tick-host study was sent to all health-care professionals serving Groves Memorial Community Hospital. A copy of this study is available online at doi: 10.7150/ijms.17763 or by emailing: jkscott@bserv.com.

John Scott, FERGUS

OPINION: Unconditional basic income a bad idea

Almost 50 years ago, a Canadian Senate report declared a basic income “is an idea whose time has come.” Ever since, the idea resurfaces every so often, with support that spans the political spectrum.

Most recently, a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report reinvigorated the debate by estimating the cost of a particular version of a basic income program. Proponents, including columnist Andrew Coyne, go so far as to claim a basic income will end poverty.

In our view, however, an unconditional basic income is a bad idea whose time should never come.

In theory, a basic income would replace the existing web of income-support programs (welfare, the GST tax credit, Old Age Security, employment insurance, etc.) with a single simple program that provides a cash transfer to Canadians.

The PBO’s version is based on a pilot program in Ontario and would provide a maximum unconditional cash transfer of $16,989 for single Canadians (couples would receive $24,027).

There are several reasons why this is a bad idea.

A basic income would weaken the incentives to work for lower-income Canadians and people not strongly tied to the labour force (i.e. youth, secondary earning spouses) in two important ways.

First, the transfer doesn’t have a work requirement - even for able-bodied recipients - which raises serious concerns about the potential to encourage dependency on government and discourage people from improving their situation through gainful employment.

Second, because additional income earned triggers a reduction in the transfer amount, a basic income will discourage additional work effort or the willingness to report additional income. In the PBO’s version, $1 of extra income results in a 50-cent reduction in the transfer. The total effective tax rate on employment income - 50 per cent from the basic income clawback, plus personal income and payroll tax rates, and potentially other reduction rates in government income-support programs - would be significant.

Experiments in Canada and the United States in the 1960s and ‘70s with various designs of basic incomes showed that recipients - especially married women - respond by reducing the hours they work. More broadly, however, proponents of an unconditional basic income ignore the lessons from Canada’s welfare reforms in the mid-1990s and early 2000s, when stronger work requirements and tighter eligibility rules helped reduce dependency.

In 1994, 12.2 per cent of Canadians were on social assistance and welfare benefits reached levels comparable to what a full-time minimum wage job would pay. Partly in response to this growing crisis in dependency, governments across Canada reformed their welfare systems. Reforms varied by province, ranging from tighter eligibility rules, to work-related requirements (such as job search), to reduced cash transfers.

These reforms helped dramatically reduce the share of the population on welfare - it fell by almost half, from 12.2 per cent in 1994 to 6.3 per cent in 2012. The U.S., with a similar set of reforms, also experienced a marked decline in welfare.

But if income was unconditionally provided, as prescribed by many basic income models, irrespective of working or even searching for work, we shouldn’t be surprised if fewer Canadians end up working.

Claims about an unconditional basic income solving poverty oversimplify what’s often a much more complex problem. It’s important to recognize the differences between transitory poverty, which almost all Canadians experience (for instance, when they’re in university or college) versus long-lasting or permanent poverty, which is much more worrying.

The root causes of long-lasting poverty go beyond a simple lack of income. Issues such as addiction to drugs or alcohol, mental health challenges, severe physical disabilities and not completing high school increase the risk of chronic poverty. A cash transfer with no restrictions may either exacerbate the problem or not address why someone is stuck in poverty.

Proponents from across the political spectrum promote the idea of an unconditional basic income. But clearly, the drawbacks are significant and should give us all pause.

* * *

Charles Lammam is director of fiscal studies and Hugh MacIntyre is a senior policy analyst at the Fraser Institute. They are co-authors of the study The Practical Challenges of Creating a Guaranteed Annual Income in Canada.

Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre,

Opposition complaints

Dear Editor:

I have never written to you, however putting up with all the folks writing in to oppose progress made me think about where we all come from and where we are moving forward to.

I chose to live outside of Elora in 1979, when the road on which I purchased my first and only home was still a gravel road.

Time went on and merchants were saying the new to-be-built bridge bypassing the village would put a dent in tourist shopping. There was no talk about the positives of more folks being able to walk more safely while meandering about the village.

The Elora slots were going to bring high crime, prostitution and financial ruin to the area. The fact is, it created good opportunities for workers to be able to make a reasonably good living. The group opposing the racetrack asked for donations to cover legal bills. My suggestion is pick your battles and if you can win over progress, give yourselves a “my kids/grandkids won’t have a job” high five.

The Elora Mill, just about finished, is driving me crazy. All those trucks, construction people eating and purchasing coffee and driving to their work and creating havoc on the roads in our village. All those conventions and tourists  to pollute this peaceful village is unacceptable. Think of all the pristine water and chemicals that will be flushed down rivers - and why do we want thousands of well educated, responsible people having a great job?

Opposition slows down the process; second thought is always good. For those moving in, I suggest checking the municipal planning, since you may have new surprises ahead.

My little life has so far been well lived. I still dream of having a little farm ... but most of all I wish my back was stronger than it was yesterday.

Not to say that the Wellington Advertiser is the best, but a community newspaper is very much appreciated by myself (the “free” part is in my price range).

As long as you are complaining, you are still living. That’s a high.

George Reichert, CENTRE WELLINGTON

Pipelines safe

Dear Editor:

RE: Pipeline concerns, May 17.

Mr. Tegler, please get the facts on oil sands development. You describe old processes that started the development decades ago. Newer insitu processes now dominate new projects (SAGD and NSolv to name but two). It’s like comparing a model T Ford to a modern car. Misinformation is killing our industries, projects and ultimately our livelihoods.

On pipeline development, the facts clearly show that this is a very safe way of moving oil.

Blocking twinning of an existing 60-year-old safe pipeline is not the way to stop oil use. The Mid-East keeps shipping up the St. Lawrence to meet what we need. Foreign oil does not meet our high development standards and probably, sadly even, kills some sea life along the way in a tight seaway.

See BC’s political obstruction to be what it is: foolhardy! Their politicians will pay the price as even BC’s public is now 70% onside with Kinder Morgan. This project has been well thought out environmentally and engineered to high standards. As an aside, BC is by far the largest coal exporter in North America - wholly within their domain they could do something about that!

I disliked Barack Obama’s position on KXL - pipelines should never have been politicized. The U.S. is now the #1 oil producer due to fracking, which is far more risky than the oil sands development (ie. - the U.S. gets cheap Canadian oil and sell theirs at world price - a ‘delta’ worth billions).

Oil usage will diminish when we stop using it. It will be some decades before that happens, but I am all for that! Alternatives must be fully developed … wasting money by jumping into silly over-investment in renewables has cost us (watch upcoming hydro hikes). With respect, we’ve been too naive on these issues and need to be more informed.

Mike Hall,, GUELPH

Sharing the road

Dear Editor:

As the hot weather arrives, please be extra vigilant when out and about on our local highways and byways, for the courageous and hard working buggy horses we share the roads with.

If you see any of these mighty animals in distress or being mistreated please call Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477 or the OSPCA at 1-888 -668-7722. Keep this article in your purse or glove box just in case. 

 

Elizabeth Wilson, CLIFFORD

Sheltered workshops

Dear Editor:

On May 16 Guelph families marched on Queens Park. The adult special needs population is a diverse one with a wide range of physical, emotional, and intellectual abilities. The Liberal government did not appreciate this vast spectrum nor did they consult with individuals, families, or caregivers before they imposed the closure of all of Ontario’s sheltered workshops.

My daughter, who is 26 years of age, has both an autism and mental health diagnosis. Her needs are complex and she is prone to uncontrollable emotional outbursts. At Torchlight Industries in Guelph she felt secure to work while knowing that trained staff were always there for support and encouragement, and now it’s gone.

She has no interest in attending the replacement recreational day program options now offered. It’s never been about minimum wage. She has her monthly disability pension to cover her needs and wants. It’s about a safe place to work, self worth, and having purpose to her day. Many individuals with special needs like my daughter, can’t cope with the pressure of the minimum wage competitive work force or busy volunteer environments. The sheltered workshop was created for individuals with unique needs like theirs. This decision affects thousands of our most vulnerable citizens across our wonderful province in large cities and small communities alike.

The Liberal government needs to reevaluate this decision and this time consult with those who are actually living this life of challenge and limited opportunity. This is a shout out to individuals with special needs, families and our community members to unite and help their voices be heard.

My daughter and everyone just like her may have special challenges, but their lives are meaningful too.

Kathy Alaee, GUELPH

‘Real democracy’

Dear Editor:

If ever we get the chance to decide together our common future, we will not let any of us get a far larger part of the wealth and leave a large group with just enough to survive.

Of course this call for democracy can hardly be understood these days, as everyone seems convinced, despite all evidence, that “representative democracy” is democracy. This has been repeated so many times, over such a long period of time, in the mainstream media, that even several progressive forces are buying it.

I can already hear strong reactions. Oh, but this real democracy is not possible today, we are far too many. Nonsense! First, the technology is there; second, and more importantly, most decisions should be taken by the concerned people, directly or indirectly, not by absolutely everyone – concerned or not.

Plus, democracy would eliminate a lot of issues raised by the actual absence of democracy in terms of peace, fairness, environment. Most of what we can do now is listening to the rich and powerful ones, laughing at us, despising us, protected by this fiction of democracy – the representative democracy.

A time will come, I hope, for our own collective future and the future of our planet, that democracy, real democracy, will prevail.

 

 

Bruno Marquis, Gatineau, Quebec

‘Snow Angels’ lauded

Dear Editor:

I want to thank those kind hearted persons who are called Snow Angels. They spend time, effort and love for their neighbours to “go that extra mile” and give community service to their senior neighbours and other shut-ins.

It’s not easy to get up early to do your own driveway - and then to do it all over again in some one else’s driveway!

Now that winter is over, these same good neighbours look for other ways to help-such as the blue box (yes it needs taking out too).

“Love thy neighbour as thyself” must be their motto; they are true heroes of Eramosa!

And I want every one to know and to respect them for their selfless caring attention to the quiet older citizens in this community.

May God bless you.

Sytske Drijber, ROCKWOOD

‘Unfairly taxed’?

Dear Editor:

Anyone following the Wastewater Environmental Assessment process knows it has caused great concern and division of opinion in the Town of Erin.

Big decisions still need to made and they will fall to the next council. Voters will need to consider carefully who they elect in the fall and now is the time for citizens to step forward as candidates. This is a call for fair and just minded candidates to run.

I have no problem with a wastewater system being built for Erin and Hillsburgh. It will be good for the environment by cleaning up bad septic systems in small lots. It will clean up the septic leakage in the Station St. Mill pond beside the huge library for a tiny village in Hillsburgh. It will provide capacity for septic services to deposit their product locally saving a lot of carbon producing fuel.

It will bring more people to our town to support our commercial sector and hopefully bring in more businesses that I would actually buy from and that will bring price competition. It may bring in more industry to provide local jobs. Most people drive out to work.

Voters should also consider, however, that from a property tax perspective building a lot of houses will not help in lowering your tax bill. I have been informed by a former municipal politician that the tax revenue benefit of industry to the town is 3-1; for commercial it is 2-1 but for housing it is 1-1. It is no benefit to the town coffers to add a lot of housing as the services the added people require cancels the revenue.

Right now, the town will not help rural owners who have a problem with their wells, but they do make everyone pay to find new wells for the urban water system, as recently happened when council voted an extra $600,000 to look for new wells. (If they can’t even find enough water for the present urban population development and a wastewater system will not be possible - poor developers.)

When/if the wastewater system is built hooked-up residents who have a problem with it can run crying to the Town for help but rural residents have to fix their own problems. Taxpayers should also know that three of the current town councillors’ homes will be hooked to the wastewater system and I have been told another owns property on the system. The Ainley presentation says that properties hooked to a wastewater system enjoy increased value. Rural voters need to consider these facts.

Any rural residents who may be thinking of running for the municipal election, I say please step up! There is an urban/rural divide in this town and rural taxpayers need several voices on council to protect them from being unjustly and unfairly taxed.

Jane Vandervliet, ERIN

ReliableFord

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Wellington North Guide 2018-2019

BUZZ

Public health: Wellington could be endemic area for Lyme disease by end of 2018
Save Our Water protest in downtown Fergus
Remaining all candidates meetings
Erin sells 1 Shamrock Road
Man breaks into Erin house, drinks wine, plays piano
Bar’s booze taken
2018 Perth-Wellington provincial candidate profiles
2018 Wellington-Halton Hills provincial candidate profiles

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